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Monday, July 31, 2017

MP backs hearing support campaigners

Susan Elan Jones MP is backing a campaign by charity Action on Hearing Loss which calls on the Government to do more to support companies and people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Speaking after meeting with representatives of Action on Hearing Loss in Parliament, the Clwyd South MP said: "A recent YouGov poll found that 57% of business leaders feel there's a lack of support available for employers about employing someone with hearing loss while nearly two-fifths of business managers don't feel equipped to enable staff with hearing loss to stay productive in the workplace.

"Those figures are really concerning when you think that 11 million people in the UK having a hearing loss - and almost 5 million of them are of working age.

"I want to see greater work opportunities for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and greater support for employers too. I welcome this very thoughtful campaign from Action on Hearing Loss who have written two excellent reports which make detailed and constructive suggestions for how the Department for Work and Pensions can act."


* Susan Elan Jones MP meeting in Parliament with representatives of Action on Hearing Loss.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Party in the Park is a big hit

Llangollen Cytun Churches Together hosted its Party in the Park at Riverside yesterday (Saturday) afternoon attracting scores of people to its range of children's games and free barbecue.

There was also a strong gospel message and here the Rev Phil Poole, Minister of the English Methodist Church, leads a live music session on the bandstand.

video

Saturday, July 29, 2017

MP calls for tougher action on problem gambling


* Susan Elan Jones MP campaigning for tougher laws against problem gambling.

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones is calling on the Government to take much tougher action to tackle problem gambling.

She is especially keen to see the Government drastically reduce the stakes allowed on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 to £2.

Ms Jones said: "I am really concerned about this issue and its impact on families and individuals.

"In the last Parliament, I was very involved in a campaign to get controls over Fixed Odds Betting Terminals devolved to the Welsh Government.

"Although the UK Government would not do this at first, our persistent campaigning did finally get them to include partial devolution in the Wales Bill."

She added: "I want the entire UK to be covered by laws that mean stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are reduced from the staggering £100 a stake which is legal now down to £2.

"All of us who have campaigned on this issue know the misery that Fixed Odds Betting Terminals can cause, with casino games like routlette allowing punters to stake £100 every 20 seconds. That is £50 million being lost to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in Wales alone.  No wonder Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are often called the 'crack cocaine' of gambling."

The UK Government is currently considering responses from the Call for Evidence into Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility launched in October 2016. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is expected to publish the next stage of the Review, with its proposals, this October.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Peacemaking motorbike to star at Llan show

The 1916 Triumph believed to have carried the German Kaiser’s surrender document to allied HQ on November 11, 1918 is one of a special display of motorcycles over 100 years old that will be to the Llangollen Motorcycle Festival, August 5 and 6.

The 550cc Model H is one of several owned and ridden regularly by Brad Jones of Froncysllte (pictured).

Its history includes letters from an army officer revealing its vital role in the signing of the armistice.

It will be among an array of machines at least 100 years old (pictured below) in a display called The LlanBikeFest Centenary Club.

An even older 1913 Triumph 500 cc TT Replica, owned by Neil Shirley, will be part of an exhibit by the Vintage Motor Cycle Club, with machines representing each of the last 10 decades. And Jeff Owen of the Llangollen Motor Museum will be riding his own 1916 Triumph to the Festival.

LlanBikeFest’s John Hutchinson said: “It’s tribute to the engineering skills of our motorcycling forefathers that many of these bikes are still on the road and going strong.”

Starring TT legend John McGuinness, LlanBikeFest is billed as a family-friendly Festival, with tons of trials and mountain bike action, children’s entertainment, music and a Battle of Britain Spitfire and Hurricane flypast on Sunday.

More information on www.llanbikefest.co.uk and  Facebook at Llangollen Motorcycle Festival.

LlanBikeFest is sponsored by Carole Nash Insurance, with day tickets £10 on the gate or online at www.llanbikefest.co.uk, and children 15 and under free. Or contact the Festival office at 07960 693398, office@llanbikefest.co.uk. Club stands and exhibitor bookings are free.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Time running out to have your say on bus services

Denbighshire County Council is reminding people that the  consultation closing date on plans to revise a number of public bus services in the county is looming.
The services being consulted on are:
·         1, x1, 2 Ruthin - Mold
·         19, 40 Dyserth
·         53 Denbigh - Prestatyn
·         55 Ruthin - Corwen - Wrexham
·         66 Denbigh Town & Henllan
·         72, 73, 77 Fflecsi Rhuthun
·         95 Bryneglwys
·         98 Llantysilio & Pentredŵr

People can also view the proposals online at: www.denbighshire.gov.uk/travel.
The closing date for comments is August 10. All feedback received will be considered as part of the review, with the services going out to tender in the autumn.

Chef to the stars heading for Hamper Llangollen


* Tim Roberts (right) with singer and TV presenter Connie Fisher and helper Jonny Platt.

A chef who is rapidly rustling himself up a reputation as the caterer to the stars will be setting taste buds tingling at this year’s Llangollen Food Festival.

Over the past few years Tim Roberts has served up his mobile feasts of Spanish and Italian dishes to hungry diners at a host of major entertainment events.

And he’s also become the chef of choice to celebs such as opera legend Alfie Boe and presenters from TV antiques show Bargain Hunt including Eric Knowles.

On Saturday and Sunday October 14 and 15 he’ll once again be setting up his stand at the food festival named by the Daily Telegraph and the Independent newspapers as one of the Top 10 in the UK.

Tim, 43, served his apprenticeship with his family business of Eric Roberts butchers in Oswestry, Shropshire, before taking a job with a travel company working in countries across Europe.

He said: “I initially went out there to put up and take down holidaymakers’ tents but I soon got into doing the cooking for groups of 100 or 200 people.

“Ever since I was a boy I’d had an interest in watching TV chefs like Rick Stein and Keith Floyd and my love of cooking stemmed from there.

“While cooking for guests in the south of France, Italy and Austria I was able to indulge my passion for food and at the same time I was learning about different cuisines and picking up background culinary knowledge.

“Eight years ago, along with my wife Sarah, I decided to start my own business, which is called Su Casa Cuisine, and from our base in Oswestry we started to cook in people’s homes, doing dinner parties for groups of up to 15 or 20 people, which we still do."

Explaining how his brushes with the big names of entertainment came about, Tim said: “About four years ago I was cooking at an antiques fair in Shrewsbury and one of the production runners from Bargain Hunt which was being filmed there came over and asked if I could do some food for members of the crew and Tim Wonnacott who was one of the presenters at that time.

“I said of course I could and they all told me they enjoyed my paella very much.

“I’ve since become the regular caterer to the Bargain Hunt team, on buying days and at the auctions, and I cook for them about a dozen times a year. I’ve been all over the country to places like Lincoln, Malvern, Hereford, Worcester and Whitchurch.

“One of the regular presenters Eric Knowles is a particular fan of my food and loves the spiciest stuff. I do paella dishes from Spain and Latin street food such as Mexican fajitas, chicken and peppers and pulled pork.

“Another of the show’s presenters, Charlie Ross, always tells me he loves spicy food with a ‘bit of a wallop’ to it. I’ve shared recipe ideas with Kate Bliss who is also on the programme. They’re all great characters and I really enjoy cooking for them.”

Tim added: “The antiques people aren’t the only stars who enjoy my food. I recently set up at Walcot Hall in Shrewsbury to cook my chicken and chorizo paella at the Together Again Tour starring the singers Michael Ball and Alfie Boe.

“I was serving about 600 people that evening and Alfie came over for a plateful. We had a really good chat after I told him I have relatives who come from his part pf the world around Fleetwood in Lancashire. He’s a very down-to-earth guy and he said he really enjoyed my food.

“Actually, I’ve cooked for him before when he appeared at the Llangollen Eisteddfod, where I’m also a regular caterer, a few years ago but on that occasion he sent someone to get his food for him rather than fetching it himself.

“The night after the Ball and Boe concert I was back at Walcot Hall cooking for about 500 at a Cliff Richard gig and I did another 500 meals when the same tour moved on to Tamworth the next night.

“Another star who likes my food is Connie Fisher, the former singer who is a now a TV presenter. She’s had my paella three years in a row at the Llangollen Eisteddfod.

“There’s also the TV chef Ainsley Harriott who I met at a street fair in Chester a few years back. I’ve also had good comments about my paella from Nathaniel Parker who used to play Inspector Lynley in the TV crime series.”

Tim found time recently to cater for the new CBBC show Marrying Mum and Dad of which he said: “It was a great day watching the children arranging a wedding for their mum and dad and I think the programme is due to be broadcast this summer.

“I’ve cooked for so many famous people in the past few years I think you could call me the caterer to the stars but I’m really looking forward to being at Hamper Llangollen again this year.

“It’s a great event in a lovely venue held at the right time of the year. I believe it’s improved year on year and I can’t wait to start cooking there for hundreds of people once more.”

Phil Davies, a member of the committee at Llangollen Food Festival, can't wait to try Su Casa's mouth-watering cuisine.

He said: "I am a big fan of Spanish food so it will be a real treat to give their dishes a try.
"They will be among the record number of around 130 stall-holders at this year's festival which promises to be the biggest and the best yet."

* To find out more about Su Casa Cuisine, go to: http://www.sucasacuisine.co.uk/ and to find out more about Llangollen Food Festival go to www.llangollenfoodfestival.com

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Around the world ... and stopping off at Plas Newydd

An exciting tale of trains, boats, elephants, Indian princesses and a suspicious detective is coming to Plas Newydd next week.

On the evening of Friday August 4, Wirral-based Off the Ground Theatre is bringing its touring open-air production of Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days to the home of the Ladies of Llangollen.

Billed as the original global adventure, the play tells the story of Phileas Fogg who thinks he can travel the world in just 80 days.

The fellows at the Reform Club in London disagree. On the very day that a £20,000 wager is made between the men, Fogg sets sail.

Taking only his new servant for company, the pair race against the calendar, from the West to the East, taking on the world in the most literal sense.

On their journey they interrupt a sacrifice, are arrested, stampeded by bison, victims of a falling bridge, attacked by Sioux Indians, and accused of being bank robbers, all before they reach Japan!

The action starts at 7.30pm and tickets are priced at £12 adults, £8 concessions and £5 for under-21s. They are available from www.offtheground.co.uk, or on the door on the night. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Fabulous old cars on display at Glyndyfrdwy

As part of its 1960s weekend, Llangollen Railway held a classic car show on the field next to Glyndyfrdwy Station.

llanblogger went along yesterday (Sunday) to picture some of the fantastic old metal on display.


* 1953 Ford Prefect.


* 1934 Packard.


* 1970 MGB GT.


* Late 1950s Vauxhall Cresta.


* 1930s Rolls Royce.


* 1960s Volvo 1800.


* 1960s Cadillac.


* 1960s Jaguar Mk. II.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

County urges people to check broadband speeds

People in Denbighshire are being urged to make sure they are getting the best broadband speeds.

The county council is asking residents and businesses to test their broadband connection speeds via Ofcom’s website and to check with their Internet Service Providers when their current non-superfast contracts are due to end.

The council has also written to residents who it understands will be unable to access superfast broadband after the end of the current Superfast Cymru programme in December, providing them with advice on alternative solutions to improve speeds.

The Welsh Government’s website hosts a checker to confirm which premises have access to superfast speeds.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, leader of Denbighshire County Council, said: “Unfortunately broadband providers don’t always update customers about the full range of products available to them. The Welsh Government checker is an independent source which can tell residents and businesses if they can access superfast broadband.

“It is also easy to forget when your contract is due for renewal and people who could get superfast may find themselves unnecessarily tied into slow speeds for a further year if they automatically renew existing contracts.

“Helping residents and businesses to access superfast broadband is part of the council’s work to unlock the economic benefits high quality broadband can bring to communities and businesses.”

Councillor Richard Mainon, the council’s lead member for Developing Community Infrastructure, said: “The council has previously expressed its disappointment at information released by the Welsh Government on which properties in the county will not get access to fibre broadband through its Superfast Cymru programme.

“Although a second programme is due to get underway next year, there are no guarantees properties currently unable to access superfast broadband will get this opportunity in the next phase.

“The Council has identified properties in the county that cannot access superfast broadband and is helping residents and communities access information on available funding at http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/superfastbroadband.”

The Welsh Government’s superfast broadband availability checker is at https://beta.gov.wales/go-superfast/can-i-get-it

Saturday, July 22, 2017

MP wants to hear from attacked emergency services staff


* Susan Elan Jones MP, fourth from right, outside Parliament
with emergency staff, Chris Bryant MP and other co-sponsors of the
Crime (Assaults on Emergency Staff) Bill.

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones, who is co-sponsoring a ground-breaking parliamentary bill, is calling on local emergency workers to contact her if they have ever been attacked in the course of their duties.

She is a co-sponsor of Rhondda MP Chris Bryant's Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill.

It aims to make attacks on emergency workers such as police, fire and ambulance crews an aggravated offence.

Ms Jones said: "Although it's already an offence to attack a police office in the course of their duties, there's widespread acknowledgement that few people get prosecuted and the sentences that are handed out are far too weak.

"Doctors, nurses and paramedics don't have additional legal protection at all which is dreadful when a survey last December showed hospital staff in Wales were physically attacked more than 18,000 times at work over the last five years.

"I invite any constituent who works in emergency services and who has ever been assaulted in the course of their duties to email me in confidence on susan.jones.mp@parliament.uk if they'd like me to speak in Parliament about what happened to them.

"No-one should be attacked when they're just doing their job - and the criminals who attack our emergency service personnel should have to face tougher sentences. I think it's high time our law did more to protect the people who work so hard in our emergency services."

Friday, July 21, 2017

Art competition prizes are presented


* The Mayor, Cllr Sheena Burrell, with painting category winner Terence Edmonds and his picture entitled Blue Myfanwy.  


* The photograph category winner Mystical Dinas Bran. Its creator, Dawn Field, wasn't present.



* Amongst those highly commended was Jillian Handley for her painting Modern Day Legend, depicting well-known Llan character Wyn Hughes. She is pictured, right, with Sue Hall of Plas Newydd.


* Colourful entries in the children's category now on display.

Town Mayor, Cllr Sheena Burrell, presented prizes to the winners of this year's Picturesque Art Competition at Y Caban in Plas Newydd yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.

Once again the competition was organised in conjunction with Llangollen Fringe.    

This year it linked in with the Welsh Year of Legends and extended to the whole of the Dee Valley as represented by the Area for Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Organisers were looking for any photo or painting/sketch from children or adults with a link to a myth or a legend in this area. 

Entries were judged by local professional artist Tikki Lowe.

Winner of the adults' photograph category was Dawn Field for Mystical Dinas Bran and the prize was lunch for four people at Caffi Florence in Loggerheads Mold.

The adults' painting first prize went to Terence Edmonds for his picture Blue Myfanwy. His prize was lunch for four people in Plas Newydd Tea Rooms.

Legend has it that Blue Myfanwy of the Dee is a greedy, lustful goddess who is up for anything and loves a bacon sandwich. She is also said to favour the International Eisteddfod and the Fringe Festival.

Highly commended for their paintings were Jan Murray (Celtic Legend), Jillian Handley (Modern Day Legend), Mike Flory (A Flash in Time), Irene C Bingham (Bran), Tina Rogers (Quest for the Grail) and Richard Buxton (The Salmon of Knowledge). Commended photographer was John Pugh (Maeneg Ellylyn - Foxgloves and Fairies).

Children's prizes were also presented. In first place was Mathilda Sutcliffe, aged eight, for Steve Your Soup is Legend. Her prize was a £25 voucher donated by the Friends of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley.

Second prize of £10 to spend in the Craft and Hobbies Shop, donated by shop owner Rob, went to Lily Anderson, 13, for her Branwen ar drudwy, and third prize, £5 in cash donated by local artist Mike Flory, was awarded to Madison Byers, nine, for her picture Giant.

All entries will be on show in The Potting Shed exhibition space in the grounds of Plas Newydd until Saturday August 5.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

County offers free cyber security help

Businesses are being offered free help to protect themselves from the growing threat of cybercrime.

Denbighshire County Council is providing a workshop to businesses on Cyber Essentials, a UK Government backed, industry-supported, foundation for basic cybersecurity.

The one-day course will be delivered by Ruthin-based cyber and information security specialists Safonda and covers the Cyber Essentials framework, best practice to mitigate cybersecurity risks  and understanding external and internal cyber threats to businesses.

Denbighshire businesses are being offered a free place on this course, normally £70 per person.

Cllr Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire County Council, said: “National and global reports of IT security breaches are now unfortunately becoming common place.

“While attacks are increasingly sophisticated, businesses of all sizes remain vulnerable because they are failing to follow simple security measures.

“The course is relevant to any size of business and is intended for company directors, business and finance managers and any staff responsible for the security of IT systems and software.

“This is part of the council’s work on developing the local economy by helping local businesses understand what they can do to make themselves resilient to the growing threat from cybercrime.”

The course will take place at Caledfryn, Smithfield Road, Denbigh on July 27, starting at 9.30am.

Mayor to present art competition prizes


* Plas Newydd where the art competition entries will go on show in Y Caban.

Town Mayor, Cllr Sheena Burrell, will present prizes to the winners of this year's Picturesque Art Competition at Y Caban in Plas Newydd at 2pm today (Thursday).

People will also have the chance to winning entries at a special exhibition.  

Once again the competition was organised in conjunction with Llangollen Fringe.    

This year it linked in with the Welsh Year of Legends and extended to the whole of the Dee Valley as represented by the Area for Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Organisers were looking for any photo or painting/sketch from children or adults with a link to a myth or a legend in this area. 

There are many myths and legends abounding in these beautiful hills and valleys, from King Arthur and the Holy Grail to Giants, Dragons  and magic cauldrons.  

There were two categories this year, one for photos and  one for paintings/sketches.  Both were open to adults and children.

Entries will be on show in The Potting Shed exhibition space in the grounds of Plas Newydd until Saturday August 5. 

Prizes were awarded for children up to 16 and adults in both categories.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

County issues traveller floods warning

Denbighshire County Council is urging people to be extremely cautions if they are travelling in northern parts of the county.

The council says it has seen an increase in the number of calls late this afternoon as a result of the storms affecting northern parts of the county. This is due to the amount of rain that has fallen in a short space of time.

There are reports of flooding affecting parts of Rhyl, Rhuddlan and Prestatyn.  Roads in Rhuddlan have been described as being “impassable”.

Reports have been received of roads affected by flooding:
·        Waterfall Road, Dyserth
·        Pen y Maes, Rhyl
·        Garford Road, Rhyl
·        Ffordd Derwen, Rhyl
·        Vale Road, Rhyl
·        Cefndy Road, Rhyl
·        Oakhill Drive, Prestatyn
·        Ffordd Penrhwylfa, Prestatyn
·        Ffordd Parc Bodnant, Prestatyn
·        Vicarage Lane, Rhuddlan

The council has closed parts of Rhyl  Leisure Centre and Nova, Prestatyn as the storms on the coast have caused water to enter the buildings via the roof and also up through the floor drains which have been unable to cope with the volume of water in such a short space of time.

Prestatyn Leisure Centre will be closed this evening due to flood damage.

There are also problems with flooding at Prestatyn High School, with two classrooms and a corridor affected. The school will be closed on Thursday as a result.

There are also reports of problems at Ysgol Clawdd Offa.

Staff from the council are working with colleagues from the emergency services to respond to the situation and  will monitor weather forecasts for the latest updates.

Railway swings back to the sixties this weekend


* A 1960s Triumph on show at last year's classic car rally at Glyndyfrdwy Station. 

Llangollen Railway is heading back to the Swinging Sixties this weekend.

Saturday and Sunday  will see the eighth year of its special 1960s-themed event, featuring a classic car rally at Glyndyfrdwy Station, free vintage bus rides plus an intensive timetable of steam, diesel and rail cars.

Dr Beeching’s real ale bar will be open all weekend in the Henry Robertson suit on Llangollen station serving nine draught ales, bottled larger, wines and much more.

Saturday evening will be the highlight of the event when musical group Sixties Retro will play live on platform 2 at Llangollen station.

Sharp suited and booted, the group will bring on back the good times with all the hits of the decade, including numbers by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces, The Byrd’s, The Searchers, The Beach Boys and many more.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Revised school transport policy approved

Denbighshire County Council’s revised school transport policy has been approved  by the Cabinet.
The current Home to School Transport Policy came into force from September 2015, after agreement by Council in 2014 with a review of the policy planned after 12 months of operation.
Today (Tuesday), at the Cabinet meeting at County Hall, Ruthin councillors were updated on feedback to the recent consultation on the revised policy, now known as Denbighshire’s Learner Transport Policy.
Over 13,000 letters were sent to families, as well as schools, councillors, AMs, MPs, colleges and governing bodies, as well as consultation with 73 students representing Denbighshire’s secondary schools.
79 responses were received to the consultation, with the majority supportive of the draft policy. The issue of Welsh school categorisation was raised, particularly in reference to Ysgol Bro Cinmeirch, with some concerns that pupils may move to Ysgol Pant Pastynog, to be eligible for free school transport to Ysgol Glan Clwyd.
Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Denbighshire’s Cabinet Lead Member for Education, Children and Young People, said: “Councillors recognised that there were pockets of concern regarding certain elements of the current policy and we have addressed these concerns as and when they have arisen. This  triggered the need to look at the way we executed policy and question if it was fair, flexible and meet the needs of the children and families.
“We agreed when we implemented the policy that it would be reviewed after one year of operating. That review has now taken place and has taken into consideration feedback from schools, parents, councillors and advice through legal discussions.
“The new policy clarifies the Council’s position with regards to pick-up points and hazardous routes, with a previously separate guidance note being incorporated into the latest policy. This is a more flexible and far policy which give a clear appeals process. As with the current policy, the Council would continue to provide free transport to the nearest suitable Welsh language or Faith school, if this was the parental / carers preference.
“We are extremely grateful to people for getting involved in the consultation and this is a demonstration of councillors listening to residents and making the changes for the benefit of our children."

Hamper Llangollen means £8m boost for economy


* A taste of Africa in Wales ... James and Nicola Adedeji from Bim's Kitchen.


One of the first food festivals in Wales is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a record number of stallholders and an £8 million boost for the economy.

Llangollen Food Festival was founded in 1997 and pioneered food tourism by creating a shop window for home grown producers.

Since then the event has gone from strength to strength, annually attracting around 8,000 food lovers from far and wide.

As a result, it's been named as one of the Top 10 food festivals in the UK by the Independent and Daily Telegraph newspapers.

It's estimated the festival pumps nearly £400,000 into the local economy every year, making a total of £8 million since it started two decades ago.

This year's festival is on October 14 and 15 and once again it will be held at the iconic Llangollen Pavilion.

Committee member Pip Gale said: "We have a wonderful array of fantastic food producers clustered in the area and this year the festival is going to be bigger and better than ever so we'll be celebrating our 20th anniversary in style.

"We're heading for a record number of around 130 stallholders with a fantastic choice of produce, along with demonstrations from the region's finest chefs so there will be plenty to tempt the taste buds.

"I'm glad to say we're also making a positive contribution the local economy with food lovers travelling from far and wide because the festival is now firmly and rightly established as a major highlight in the UK's culinary calendar."

Among the first to congratulate the festival on reaching the important milestone was Ken Skates, the Clwyd South AM who is also the Welsh Government's Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, whose portfolio includes tourism.

He said: “Llangollen Food Festival is an incredible success and a great annual occasion for the Dee Valley.

"The economic benefits that the festival brings to the area are considerable and underline the region's growing reputation as a go-to destination for food lovers.

"Food tourism is something I believe has huge potential for future growth and it is no wonder that North Wales has been hailed as one of the world's top four must see places to go by The Lonely Planet travel guide."

It was a sentiment echoed by Jim Jones, the managing director of North Wales Tourism, which represents around 1.500 tourism businesses in the region.

He said: "We are entering a golden age for the visitor economy in North Wales and the increasing importance of food tourism is playing its part in our overall success.

"As one of the first and most successful food festivals in Wales, the Llangollen Food Festival has been a trailblazer for culinary excellence and I would like to congratulate them on reaching their 20th anniversary."

The regular stallholders at the festival include a husband and wife team whose African-inspired sauces made at their base in Afonwen have won a wealth of top food industry accolades.

Bim’s Kitchen, the brainchild of James and Nicola Adedeji, are preparing to unveil their latest culinary creations at this year’s event on October 14 and 15.

James said: “The festival offers a direct route to our customers. People are able to taste our products before they buy and you get great feedback from them and can gauge their reaction.”

Another big fan of the festival is artisan bread and pie maker Robert Didier from Wrexham-based Orchard Pigs.

He said: "Llangollen Food Festival is fantastic and it's not difficult to see why it has been named as one of the Top 10 food festivals in the UK by not just one but two national newspapers."

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fringe's Wilko Johnson concert cancelled

Bosses of Llangollen Fringe Festival say that Wednesday's concert by Wilko Johnson at the Pavilion on Wednesday night has had to be cancelled.

The move comes after his management informed them on Sunday afternoon that his bassist and very close friend of many years, Norman Watt-Roy, had suffered a heart attack on Saturday evening and has been hospitalised.

A statement says: "Following the decision to cancel the concert the directors of Llangollen Fringe would like to send Norman Watt-Roy our best wishes for a speedy recovery and have made the following arrangements:
  • A concert will be held in Llangollen Town Hall on Wednesday 19th July. It will be a FREE concert and will be headlined by The Delta Radio Band with support from Captain Zed.
  • All those who have purchased tickets for the Wilko Johnson will be refunded the full price of the ticket and be invited to attend the free event.
  • Refunds will be made via Paypal for all internet sales.
  • Those who have purchased tickets from our outlets in Llangollen will be able to get a full refund by returning the tickets to the box office outside Llangollen Town Hall during the festival.
  • Those unable to return the tickets for a refund should get in touch with us at:  contact@llangollenfringe.co.uk so that a refund can be arranged.
"We have asked Wilko Johnson’s agent to consider arranging for Wilko to appear at the 2018 Fringe. And they have provided the following statement:

“Firstly thanks for your understanding & good wishes for Norman’s recovery. Wilko never likes to disappoint his fans & looks forward to being able to play Llangollen next year.” Nigel Kerr, ABS Agency

The Fringe statement adds: "Although it is too early to confirm details, we hope that they will be able to arrange for supporters in North Wales and the North West to see Wilko in Llangollen with his band in July next year.

"We know that it will be a huge disappointment to fans of Wilko and Norman but also hope that you will join us in offering our best wishes to Norman for his speedy recovery."

Flying Millyard will thunder into LlanBikeFest


* Its creator aboard the Flying Millyard which is heading for LlanBikeFest.

One of the most outrageous motorcycles ever built will thunder 190 miles from its creator’s home in Berkshire to the Llangollen Motorcycle Festival on August 5 and 6.

Engineer Allen Millyard used two cylinders with pistons (pictured below) the size of saucepans from a 1942 Pratt and Whitney Wasp aircraft engine to build his superbly crafted 4,894cc V-twin Flying Millard.

Motorcycle journalist Roland Brown described it in a road test it as “mad but wonderful - like a two-wheeled Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.

Revving at an earth-shaking maximum of 1800rpm and generating around 80bhp, Allen is also planning to ride it up the Horseshoe Pass to the Ponderosa Café during the festival.

“My bikes are built to be used,” he said. “I’ve ridden the Flying Millyard 4,500 miles to shows and events across the UK, including the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight and Guernsey. I am really looking forward to riding around LlanBikeFest and hope others will enjoy it.”



* Follow LlanBikeFest on Facebook at Llangollen Motorcycle Festival and Twitter at @llanbikefest.
 LlanBikeFest is sponsored by Carole Nash Insurance, with day tickets £10 on the gate or online at www.llanbikefest.co.uk, and children 15 and under free. Or contact the Festival office at 07960 693398, office@llanbikefest.co.uk. Club stands and exhibitor bookings are free.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Company's successful night at the eisteddfod


A Llangollen company is celebrating a successful time at the eisteddfod.

Translation specialists Linguassist, based in the Malt House on Regent Street, says it had a wonderful evening as the official sponsor of the Friday evening concert at this year’s festival which starred American singer Gregory Porter.

Here company boss Graham Paton receives a certificate of thanks from eisteddfod president Terry Waite for the support given to the event.

* For more details about the company, go to: http://www.linguassist.co.uk/ .

Sunday, July 9, 2017

llanblogger takes short break

llanblogger is taking a short break and will be back in about a week's time.

Thanks for keeping on reading.




American singers named Choir of the World


* The Aeolians of Oakwood University from the USA were named Choir of the World.

The 70th anniversary of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod came to an exciting climax last night as two international groups won the dance and choral competitions’ highest accolades.

After a thrilling final, The Aeolians of Oakwood University from the USA were named Choir of the World, while Northern Irish dance group, Loughgiel Folk Dancers were crowned Dance Champions of the World. 

Loughgiel’s supporters were in great voice as the dance group spilled onto the stage to collect the Lucille Armstrong Trophy in a sea of happy tears and red frocks. 

But the pavilion erupted as the US choir was announced as Choir of the World 2017 by the International Eisteddfod music director, Eilir Owen Griffiths. 

The singers bolted across the pavilion form their seats and stormed the stage, holding American flags aloft and posing for selfies with the Pavarotti Trophy and their esteemed conductor Max Johnson Ferdinand, who had just been awarded the Outstanding Conductor Award.

The evening concert, which was sponsored by GHP Legal, saw the very best of international choral and dance talent battle it out on the stage of the Royal International Pavilion for the prestigious awards and also featured special appearances from The Overtones.

The UK’s number one vocal harmony group, The Overtones, opened the show, setting the upbeat tone for the evening. Performing a range of much-loved classics including Pretty Woman, Let’s Stay Together and How Sweet It Is, the charming quintet had the audience swaying in their seats.

Suitably warmed up for the main event, spectators were the treated to exceptional performances by the winners of each of the choral group categories, from the mixed category CYWAIR (Wales), from the female category Grupo Vocal “Amitié” (Spain), from the Open category, Cor Glanaethwy (Wales), from the male Men in Blaque (USA) and from the youth category, The Aeolians of Oakwood University.

After a short interval the three highest scoring groups from the dance categories took to the stage to perform for the chance to lift the coveted Lucille Armstrong Trophy. 

The competition opened with a cheerful traditional performance from Scotland’s Corryvrechan, before the Gabhru Panjab De Bhangra Dancers from India took over the stage in a riot of colour and noise, performing a dance connected to harvest time. But it was Loughgiel Folk Dancers who stole the show, with a flawless routine that reflected a beating heart and the blood coursing through the body.

Already two-time winners of the Dance Champions of the World title (2014, 2015), the troupe also made International Eisteddfod history earlier in the week during the Open Floor Dance category, scoring the first ever perfect score of 100/100 that the competition has ever seen.

Resplendent in sparkling dinner jackets, The Overtones returned to the stage while adjudicators considered the eight world-class performances. After praising the talent of the groups that had performed the five admitted they’d ‘never been to a festival quite like this one’, before teasing the crowd that they had been ‘spectators for long enough’ encouraging a joyful sing-a-long of Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

Following the presentations the concert concluded, as is traditional, with the pavilion joining hands to sing Auld Lang Syne, bringing the International Eisteddfod’s 70th anniversary competitions to a close.