A GROUP created to remember, celebrate and explain how and why we are able to enjoy the freedoms of Cefn Sidan Sands and the reasons for the creation of Pembrey Country Park has been dissolved with irreconcilable differences within the membership being blamed for the break up.
The group known as SOS@50 was created when two of the original Save Our Sands (SOS) campaigners decided to work to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic campaign to thwart a Ministry of Defence bid to establish a gunnery range on Pembrey Peninsula. This ran from 1969 until its successful conclusion in 1971 following a five week public enquiry. It resulted in the creation of Pembrey Country Park.
The new group established last year worked hard to successfully organise a 10-school 700-pupil strong walk from Burry Port Harbour to the park. It was a school walk from Carmarthen to Burry Port by the former Burry Port Secondary Modern School pupils that had helped energised the 1969 Save Our Sands campaign and raise funds for campaign posters.
As well as the reflective commemorative children’s walk on May 23rd the newly formed SOS@50 group has given several talks to local schools and pupils emphasising the importance of the historic events that occurred during the campaign.
The group’s events co-ordinator and original SOS campaigning press officer, Ron Cant, said: “Due to irreconcilable differences within the group, SOS@50 was dissolved on Tuesday August 6th. 2019, on the recommendation of the majority of its members.
“This included four people, two of whom were part of the original SOS committee actively involved in the SOS campaign 50-years ago.
“Through generous fund raising events, donations and sponsorship SOS@50 has been able to produce informative pamphlets and literature, including the publication of a bilingual children’s booklet.
“This has helped to achieve the group’s principal aim of raising awareness and educating younger generations and newcomers to the area of the historic achievement and the mighty fight of the combined communities of coastal towns and villages from Kidwelly round the coast to Gower against the MoD.
“They were all involved in the battle to save Cefn Sidan Sands and its immediate environment from the ‘Big Guns’ for everyone’s enjoyment.”
The children’s booklet is being distributed to every school in the area on behalf of SOS@50.
Mr Cant said after its responsibilities had been fulfilled, all of SOS@50′ remaining funds and assets – together with any monies raised through fund-raising events that have yet to be declared and received – would be offered to another group that had a successful track record of accessing major funding from numerous sources to achieve their ambitions. This group had also developed a good relationship with Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council which would assist in achieving the original aim of SOS@50
That was to establish a suitable and appropriate commemoration honouring the huge effort and personal sacrifice of everyone involved in the original Save Our Sands campaign.
Mr Cant said: “The ‘majority’ of members of SOS@50 wish it to be known that they have disassociated themselves from any group of a similar name purporting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the SOS campaign attempting to access public sponsorship.”