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Friday, November 24, 2017

Council premieres Christmas shopping film

* Brass ensemble DMC6, made up of pupils from Ysgol Brynhyfryd and Ysgol Dinas Bran.

Christmas has arrived in Denbighshire with the release of a video showcasing the county’s high streets, including Llangollen.

Denbighshire County Council has released its festive shopping clip to promote the wide range of products available on the county’s high streets.

You can view the clip on the Council’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts.

The two-minute video features a host of traders highlighting what is available in Denbighshire with scenes filmed in all eight of the county’s towns.

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: “I would like to thank all the businesses, residents and groups who helped make this video possible.

“Denbighshire has everything shoppers need to help celebrate Christmas coupled with excellent service and friendly staff.

“Shopping locally benefits the local community with money spent locally staying in Denbighshire’s economy, benefiting everyone in the county.

“Denbighshire offers a more relaxed and enjoyable shopping experience than bigger cities and out of town shopping parks so I would encourage residents to see what Denbighshire has to offer this Christmas.”

Businesses featured in the clip are Nouveau Riche, Prestatyn; Detour menswear, Rhyl; The Oriel Country Hotel & Spa, St Asaph; The Little Cheesemonger, Rhuddlan; State of Distress, Ruthin; Snow in Summer, Denbigh, Rhug Estate Farm Shop, Pethau Tlws, Corwen and Llangollen Baby.

Sandra Griffiths has run Denbigh’s Snow in Summer for the last three years selling vintage items, greeting cards and locally made artisan crafted goods and gifts.

She said: “It was very nice to take part in the shop local video.

“Shopping locally gives customers the opportunity to buy locally designed and made goods, and to purchase unique items for themselves or for the home.”

The video was produced as part of the #LoveLiveLocal campaign which supports local traders by encouraging customers and businesses to post pictures of great products and experiences on social media.

Heather Powell is managing director of Denbighshire Music Co-operative, which provided the senior brass ensemble DMC6, made up of pupils from Ysgol Brynhyfryd and Ysgol Dinas Bran aged 12 to 16.

She said: “The band was delighted and proud to be asked – they always like supporting local events and really enjoyed the event.

“The experience was great for them. As a local business shopping locally is vital – we always support other local businesses and think there are a wide range of lovely local shops.”

The council is providing free car parking in all of its town centre car parks after 3pm until December 31.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Your views sought on Dee Valley planning

The views of the public are being sought on new planning guidelines for the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which includes Llangollen.

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is one of Wales’ most treasured landscapes, and officers from Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham have joined together with the AONB Partnership to produce a new Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) note for proposed development in the area.

The purpose of the document is to ensure that new development is designed to fit in with the area to conserve and enhance its natural beauty for current and future generations.

The draft SPG was presented for public consultation commencing on November 20 and ending on January 29 next year.

There will be two drop in sessions, where planning officers will be available to answer questions, at Loggerheads Country Park (A494 Ruthin Road, Loggerheads, CH7 5LH).

These will be on Wednesday December  6, from 10am-2pm, and Thursday January 18, from 2pm-6pm.

The document can be viewed on each of the following websites and copies are also available at Denbighshire County Council libraries and one-stop-shops, at County Hall in Mold and at Contact Wrexham, 16 Lord Street, Wrexham, LL11 1LG:
If you wish to speak to a planning officer in Denbighshire, call 01824 706916, send an email to, or meet them at the Council Offices in Denbigh (Caledfryn).

Comments should be forwarded to Flintshire County Council who are coordinating the consultation on behalf of the three Local Planning Authorities. They should be forwarded by 5.00pm on 29th January 2018 using one of the following methods:
  • by e-mail to
  • in writing to Flintshire County Council, Andrew Farrow, Chief Officer (Planning and Environment), County Hall, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 6NF

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The day I survived David Cassidymania

llanblogger's Phil Robinson recalls a momentous day over 40 years ago

Back in the day David Cassidy, who has just died in Florida, had it all.
In the early 70s he was only a couple of years older than me but he had the looks, the talent and the charisma, all of which ensured he also had the hearts of legions of young girls.

And for a couple of days in the spring of 1973 most of them were outside my office window.   
Not that it had anything to do with me, of course.

* David Cassidy on stage at
Belle Vue in 1973.
In that heady year I was working in the publicity department of the famous Belle Vue leisure centre in Manchester – the place where Cassidy was due to do four shows on March 13 and 14 as part of his smash-hit European tour.

Thanks to his starring role as son Keith in the enormously popular US show the Partridge Family he had rapidly taken on heartthrob status and become one of the hottest properties of the era.

The tour followed and every place he went he was mobbed by thousands of doting, screaming girls.
We’d witnessed a similar phenomenon with Beatlemania a decade earlier but this was much bigger. And louder.

In fact, by ’73 Cassidy’s fan club had more members than either its Beatles or Elvis counterparts.
It was against this crazy background that this handsome young actor/singer was due to take the stage of the Kings Hall arena at Belle Vue.

We knew in advance that the place was going to be thronged by his adoring teenage and sub-teenage female fans. But we weren’t quite prepared for the scale of the invasion.
Nor were we expecting how long it would continue because when I arrived for work on the morning of the first day hundreds of them were already outside the main gates and were tuning up their noisy renditions of his hits, like I Think I Love You, which continued at increasing volume for the next 10 hours or so.

As the day wore on they continued to arrive on buses, in trains and out of cars driven by worried-looking dads.

I could see all this going on from the window of my office (pictured left) which overlooked the car park where they were gathering.

I viewed the unfolding scene with fascination but also growing concern as my treasured Hillman Imp was parked down there amongst the screaming, chanting hordes.

And as its decaying metalwork was held together by plastic filler I began to write off its chances of survival in the face of all the pushing and shoving going on.
Some wag in the office joked that I shouldn’t worry because David would probably fork out for a replacement Imp if this one was destroyed by his army of adherents. Not likely and therefore no consolation.

The cacophony did go on all day, right up to my leaving for home at around 5pm and beyond until showtime when the gates finally opened allowing the barmy girlie army to launch their big push on the Kings Hall. Cassidy, as far as I recall, had been smuggled in through another entrance to the complex so stayed completely untouched.
And no, despite my press office status, I didn’t get to attend the concert or meet the man himself, either that day or the next when the whole mad scene took place again.

My Hillman Imp and my hearing survived but sadly, ultimately, David Cassidy hasn’t now made it beyond the age of 67.
But it was a day I’ll never forget – only to be repeated to a lesser extent that same year when The Bay City Rollers gigged at Belle Vue. But that’s another story.  

Another competition win for Llan Silver Band

* Members of the youth band who took first prize at Ruthin last Saturday. 

Llangollen Silver Band's youth section took first prize in section 6b at the North Wales Brass Band Association Contest held at Bryn Hyfryd School, Ruthin last Saturday. 

Beaumaris Intermediate Band took second place and Llandudno Youth Band were third. 

Llangollen's chosen test piece for the competition was Rufford Abbey by Drake Rimmer and the chosen hymn tune Fewster was their opener. 

For the third year running Llangollen also took best soloist prize, won this year by cornet player Taya Castley. 

The youth bBand are now  busy getting ready for their upcoming Christmas jobs, Friday December 22 being their last performance of the season and that is their own Sparkle and Shine Cracking Christmas Concert at the Town Hall where they will be performing along with the intermediate band and training band.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Backing small businesses on December 2

Businesses and shoppers in Llangollen are being reminded that they can take part in this year's Small Business Saturday.

The event, which will be held on December 2, Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses.

On Small Business Saturday, customers across the U.K go out and support all types of small businesses, online, in offices and in stores.

Many small businesses take part in the day by hosting events and offering discounts.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Steam engine inches out onto Abbey Road

* The engine is backed carefully out into the road and traffic waits in both directions.

* 80072 is slowly inched around parked cars.


* The engine out on Abbey Road ready for the off.

Traffic in both directions on Abbey Road was held up for a short while earlier this afternoon when a heavy loader carrying a steam engines from Llangollen Railway had to inch its way onto the roadway.

Thanks to some skillful driving and the ability of the wagon to make some tight moves, BR Standard Four tank No. 80072 eventually made it to the A539 and its onward journey.  

Call goes out for eisteddfod competitors

* The Aeolian Choir of Oakwood University, California, celebrate victory at the eisteddfod.

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is on the lookout for talented groups of singers, dancers and instrumentalists from across the globe to enter its competitions next year before the deadline of November 24.

The 2018 eisteddfod takes place from July 3-8 and successful entrants will compete for a range of prestigious titles including the Dance Champions of the World, International Acapella Group and the jewel in the crown of the festival, Choir of the World.

There are cash prizes of up to £6,000, international medals and opportunities for aspiring musical singers to win the chance of a lifetime to perform at the Gold Coast Eisteddfod in Australia.

The globally acclaimed Choir of the World competition is the grand finale to the festival, which determines the best overall choir of the event and has launched many an iconic career.

In 1955 the winning choir, from the town of Modena in Italy, included a young trainee teacher named, Luciano Pavarotti – the legendary tenor who, in 2005, added his name to the competition trophy in recognition of his appreciation of the festival and its influence on his career.

Applications for non-competitive acts are also open and community groups are being encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to perform on one of the eisteddfod’s international stages and experience the unique atmosphere of the festival. Closing date for this category is also on Friday November 24.

Eisteddfod chairman Dr Rhys Davies said: “Our competitions offer the opportunity for performers from across the globe to compete on an international stage alongside some of the world’s most talented musicians and dancers.

“With more than 20 categories to apply for there really is an opportunity for all types of performers, from all disciplines and of all ages to get involved.

“Every year we aim to extend our offer and both the Outstanding Conductor and International Acapella Group categories are exceptionally exciting additions to the syllabus. We’re looking forward to see this year’s applications.”

* For more information on all the competitions or to apply on the Eisteddfod competitors’ website visit:

To purchase tickets for the Llangollen International Eisteddfod or for more information visit: