Ferryside ( _cy. Glan y Fferi) is a seaside village in Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is situated 8½ miles (14 km) south of Carmarthen, near the mouth of the River Tywi and close to golden sandy beaches.

Originating as a landing-place on the ferry route to Llansteffan (the ferry was used by Giraldus Cambrensis in 1188), it developed further as a fishing village and is now a popular place for retirement. Much of the village developed from the mid-nineteenth century, when in 1852 the village was linked to both Carmarthen and Swansea by Isambard Kingdom Brunel's South Wales Railway.

Along with Laugharne, Ferryside was once at the heart of the cockling industry in Carmarthen Bay. [http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/CAR_CAU/CARMARTHENSHIRE.html] Cocklewomen from Llansaint could collect about 650 tons of cockles a year, and did so until around 1900. The cockle industry now experiences intermittent bursts of activity when the Ferryside cocklebeds are opened to commercial pickers: intensive 'strip-cockling' occurs and several hundred cockle-pickers work the estuary beds with tractors. In 1993, Ferryside saw what are known locally as 'the cockle wars': fights between rival gangs on the beach, notably between gangs from the Gower, Liverpool and the Dee estuary, and Glasgow. In addition to gaining the village rare visibility on the front pages of national newspapers, the cockle wars led to a Parliamentary [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199394/cmhansrd/1994-10-31/Debate-19.html inquiry] and calls for the beds to be licensed. The British cockling industry has surprisingly close links to gangland: the Ferryside cockle wars may be seen as a precedent to unsavoury incidents such as the 2004 Morecambe Bay [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1143475,00.html drowning] of Chinese immigrant cocklers and [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/lancashire/3545876.stm turf wars] at Newbiggin. Today, though, gangsters-in-wellies are infrequent visitors, and mainly oystercatchers and herons harvest the estuary's famous bivalves. [http://www.kidwelly.gov.uk/content/attract.htm]

The village has a railway station served by trains between Carmarthen and Swansea, a post office, a pub, a cafe, a yacht club and a hotel.

Notable ex-residents of the village include the General Sir Thomas Picton (of Iscoed Mansion), a former governor of Trinidad who died at the Battle of Waterloo, Hugh Williams, the 19th century Chartist lawyer who played a prominent role in the Rebecca Riots and the portrait and landscape painter Gordon Stuart (five of whose portraits can be found at the National Portrait Gallery, including those of Kingsley Amis, Dylan Thomas and Huw Wheldon).

In 2006, the graveyard and grounds of the parish church, St. Ishmael's, was selected for an innovative project aimed at encouraging biodiversity in churchyards.

Analogue television switch off

:"For further information on Digital switchover in the United Kingdom."On 30 March 2005, Ferryside and Llanstephan became the first areas in the United Kingdom to lose its analogue television signals. Residents of the Carmarthenshire villages - on either side of the River Tywi - voted to switch to digital after taking part in a pilot scheme.

Homes were given digital receivers for each of their televisions. A helpline was set up for residents' teething problems, and one-to-one support was made available to the elderly.

After three months, the households were asked if they wanted to keep the digital services or revert to analogue only. More than 85% of households responded and 98% voted to retain the digital services. Hence at the end of March 2005, the analogue channels, BBC One Wales, ITV1 and S4C, radiating from the Ferryside transmitter, were switched off leaving BBC Two Wales as the only analogue channel remaining. Viewers wanted to keep this channel because it provided certain programmes that the digital equivalent, BBC 2W, did not show.

STISH - Community Magazine

STISH is a monthly magazine by the St Ishmaels community for the villagers of Ferryside and Llansaint, run by volunteers to bring news of local events, articles and letters. It aims to make a profit each year and make a donation to a good cause or causes chosen by the readers at the end of the year. Editor: Betsan Bowen, Sub-editor: Les Jones.

External links

* [http://www.welshwildlife.org/Livingchurchyards_en.link Living Churchyards project, St. Ishmael's]
* [http://www.stishmaels.org.uk/ - St Ishmaels Community web site]
* [http://www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/attached_files/Kit/Ferryside%20Walk.pdf - Carmarthenshire County Council, Ferryside Walk]
* [http://www.digitaltelevision.gov.uk/pdf_documents/publications/Digital_SwitchoverTrial_Report.pdf - Digital Switchover Technical Trial Report]
* [http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/item1/11275 Aerial photograph of Ferryside]

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