THE launch event of Pembrokeshire's Royal Welsh feature county year raised nearly £16,000.

Pembrokeshire will have the honour of being featured county for the centenary show and the county effort was officially launched during a four-course carvery lunch on the Pembrokeshire Showground.

The event was attended by 620 supporters, among them many loyal friends of the show from Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion – including Dai Lewis, chairman of the RWAS council and Hugh Hughson, chief executive, together with their wives – all of whom were high in their praise of the superb local caterers, Gegin Cwmgwaun, led by Teleri Jenkins Davies and her excellent team.

Everyone was warmly welcomed by Meurig James, chairman of the county committee who introduced the guests speakers, Meurig Raymond, and Brian Harries – president elect of the Pembrokeshire Show.

In addition to a highly profitable raffle, an auction of 18 various lots raised the amazing sum of £15,825 – included were several weekend stays at local holiday lets, hospitality at Parc y Scarlets, a livestock trailer donated by J E Rees, items from local seeds merchants and butchers and even a complete working bore hole to provide water for a whole farm.

Expressing his delight at the measure of enthusiasm already being shown, Brian Harries said it was so important that the County Show and the Royal Welsh were seen to be working in harmony with mutual benefits.

Following this spectacular county launch area committees now swing into action with David Phillips (chairman) and Kathy Elliott (secretary) of the south east area arranging a cawl evening at the Boar’s Head, Templeton on St Davids Day (Thursday, March 1).

The South West area (Delana Davies and Rhiannon James) plan a Steak Night at the Masons Arms on Friday, 9 March and the Central area (Carwyn Rees and Vicky Williams) are putting on a Curry and Quiz evening at Haverfordwest Golf Club on Friday, March 16.

Still in the planning stage but a sure winner will be the Fashion Show being arranged by Merched y Wawr at Preseli School on Friday, March 22.

In July of next year the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society will be staging its Centenary Show on its centrally located permanent site near Builth Wells in mid Wales.

The Royal Welsh, dating back to its inception in 1904, has evolved to become a spectacular four-day annual event drawing an attendance well in excess of 200,000 each year and appealing to all ages in every corner of Wales.

The largest agricultural event of its kind in Europe, one of the main reasons for its remarkable success has been that each year there is a new featured county – a shop window where differing techniques of farming and all aspects of individual local crafts and are given prominence.

Last year, 2017, Carmarthenshire was the featured county and, in raising funds for the show, various groups within the county held well over 150 events and, in addition to supporting the society, also raised over £30,000 for good causes, such as prostate cancer and breast cancer, among others, in the name of the Royal Welsh.