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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Charity concert news

Stay clear of Horseshoe fire scene, says Ponderosa boss

* Devastation to the ground caused by the fire pictured by Simon Clemence of the Ponderosa Café.

* Fire appliances still on top of the Horseshoe Pass. Picture by Simon Clemence of the Ponderosa Café.

People shouldn't travel up to the Horseshoe Pass area unless absolutely necessary as the mountain is still smouldering after more than a week on fire.

That's the message this morning from Simon Clemence, owner of the world-famous Ponderosa Café at the summit of the pass.

They say on their Facebook page: "The main pass road is still closed. The Old Pass is open however please take care.

"We are open to the emergency services and the public but I would advise people to not travel up the pass unless absolutely necessary.

"There are still fire hotspots and the mountain is still smouldering. The devastation this fire has caused to our beautiful area is heartbreaking but hopefully now we can move forward.

"Can I just take this time to thank all emergency services involved they truly are commendable without their bravery and determination I don’t think the Ponderosa would be standing.

"So from each and everyone of us thank you so very much. Regards Simon and Samantha Clemence."

* The annual Ponderosa Fell Race, due to start from the café tomorrow evening (August 1) has just been cancelled.

Earlier this morning organiser Charles Ashley said on Facebook: "It is with regret to inform you all that this year's race is cancelled.

"Firefighters are still in the area working to put out hotspots etc etc.

"I know this will be a disappointment to you all but I’m sure you’ll understand that this is completely out of our control."

The massive operation to supply the firefighters still around the Horseshoe Pass with refreshments, being co-ordinated by Cat Meade at Wingetts estate agents in Castle Street, Llangollen, continues.

* Meanwhile, Denbighshire County Council has paid tribute to its teams of staff that have been busy supporting North Wales Fire and Rescue Service in dealing with the fires at Llantysilio Mountain.

Teams from the Countryside Service have been have been out assisting firefighting efforts since the first fires started a week and a half ago and teams have been working tirelessly ever since.

They have responded positively to all requests from the Fire and Rescue Service and have provided their own specialist fire fighting equipment to assist the efforts and supported fire fighters in its use.

Teams have also been assisting with cutting fire breaks,  working closely with fire and rescue teams and colleagues from Natural Resources Wales to try and prevent the fire from spreading.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said: “The fire and rescue service has been working tirelessly to deal with the fire at the location and they are to be commended for their actions.

“They have been ably assisted by our countryside teams who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to protect this area of outstanding natural beauty and reduce the risk of the fire from spreading to nearby properties.

“This is an example of partnership working at its best."

A number of other teams from the Council, including highways and social services have been involved in the response to the fires.

Holiday route saluted at Autumn Steam Gala

* Steam engine No. 46521 during a previous visit to Llangollen Railway.

The important role played by the old Ruabon to Barmouth line in connecting holidaymakers from the North West of England with the Cambrian Coast will be celebrated at Llangollen Railway this October.

2018 is Visit Wales' Year of the Sea ( with the theme for October- December being Connected Coasts.

At its forthcoming Autumn Steam Gala, which runs throughout the weekend of October 12-14, Llangollen Railway is marking the occasion by saluting the part played by the Ruabon-Barmouth route – of which the 10-mile heritage line was once a part - in linking the busy industrial areas of Cheshire, Manchester and Liverpool with the holiday resorts of North Wales .

The gala is entitled Along Cambrian Lines 2 and follows on from the railway’s highly popular event on the same theme in April 2016.

Organiser Peter Dickinson, a project engineer at the railway, said: “It will be a three-day feast of steam-hauled nostalgia.

“Our annual Autumn Steam Gala has become an important event on many enthusiasts’ calendars as it offers a varied range of trains running along our picturesque line.

“For nearly 100 years, the railway carried many thousands of holidaymakers over its tracks to seaside resorts right along the coast.

“This October’s gala will be a celebration of these much loved trains heading for the seaside during the 1950s and early 1960s.

“A great line-up of visiting locomotives will be supported by members of the Llangollen Railway's home fleet, recreating many of the authentic sights and sounds of the period.”

Visiting locomotives include BR Ivatt 2MT  No. 46521, courtesy of the Great Central Railway. This former Royal Train engine spent almost its entire working life in Wales and was allocated to Oswestry, Brecon and Machynlleth steam sheds during its career.

No. 46521 was also a regular sight around Barmouth during the 1950s and 1960s, working trains along the Cambrian Coast route and the regular shuttle service up the Mawddach Estuary to Dolgellau. 

Other visitors will be announced over the coming weeks, including the possible return of a local locomotive after a 60-year absence. 

Attractions include:
  • Interactive activities for all the family, including Make your own Luggage Labels.
  • Display of entries of the railway’s 2018 Steam Trains to the Seaside children's poster competition.
  • Intensive timetable over all three days.
  • Full line and local services to-ing and fro-ing.
  • Demonstration goods and parcel loading at Berwyn station
Along the Llangollen line there are a number of interesting structures built with local stone which was quarried along the River Dee.
A special exhibition telling the story of some of the viaducts, road bridges and station buildings will be running in the Henry Robertson Suite in Llangollen Station throughout the gala.
Passenger timetables will follow in the weeks leading up to the event.

The full working timetable will be available free of charge to holders of travel tickets for the event from the railway’s booking offices at the event while stocks last.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Firefighter has her 40th birthday battling the big blaze

The proud mum of one of the firefighters who have been battling to control a mountain fire above Llangollen has spoken of how she had her 40th birthday on the fire ravaged frontline.

Jayne Dulson went on Facebook to describe how her daughter Clare Dulson (pictured) spent her milestone birthday alongside her colleagues from Chirk fire station trying to contain the flames which were ripping through the moorlands near Llantysilio and the Horseshoe Pass.
And the organiser of the big effort to supply the firefighters with much-needed refreshments, Cat Meade from Wingetts estate agents in Llangollen, said that when the volunteer driver delivering food and drinks to the hard-pressed fire crews found out it was Clare’s birthday they served her with bacon butties plus a cream cake.
Clare is originally from Llangollen but now lives in Chirk.

Her mum Jayne says in her Facebook post, which has rapidly gone viral since appearing yesterday attracting over 1,000 likes: “This is my daughter Clare Dulson and she is one of the many firefighters that have been tackling the mountain fires over the last 11 days.

“I just want everyone to know how amazing she is because not only was she up there pretty much continually from Thursday morning until the early hours of this morning, with her colleagues from Chirk, and there is a chance they may go back, it was her 40th birthday yesterday and she dropped all her plans and chose to keep her crew available to fight the fires.
“They saw her birthday in with her, and out, and I can’t even imagine how tired they all are and therefore she didn’t have a birthday at all, or any celebrations, and while some have put on the here that “That’s what their paid to do anyway”, the hours they have put in are astounding and they are all heroes.
“She spent most of her birthday evening trying to contain some of the most challenging conditions that they have had so far ,and I was worried sick about her, but today she wanted no fuss, and said she would have rather been there than anywhere else, because of her love for the job, and her hometown.
“So, although she will not appreciate my post, I want to say huge thanks to all of the firefighters that have spent so long up there, whilst trying to juggle a day job, families and no sleep, and hope as many people as possible wish my daughter a very happy birthday for yesterday, and show our appreciation for our wonderful firefighters.”
Cat Meade, who has organised an online appeal for the firefighters’ supplies which has so far attracted donations well over £1,200, said: “When we found out that Clare was having her 40th birthday up there we knew we had to do something a little special for her.

“The money we’d collected meant we could send them all bacon butties but we also gave Clare a nice big cream cake which was donated by a shop in Oswestry.
“We were delighted to help her celebrate her big birthday because she and he colleagues have been doing such a brilliant job up there for us.”       


The incident saw the closure of the Horseshoe Pass at the end of last week but North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has announced this morning that the old section - from Ruthin up to the Ponderosa - has now reopened.

The new section remains closed, a spokesman for the fire and rescue service added.

Two fire appliances remained on site overnight and there are plans to send three crews and an off-road vehicle up to the scene today.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Fire supply team calls for volunteers

* Fire control centre.

* Picture of the fire scene taken earlier this afternoon.

* Food delivery on the road this afternoon.

2.15pm UPDATE ...

Cllr Issy Richards has just returned from taking a consignment of supplies to the crews.

She said: "Fires still smouldering but rain has helped, firefighters still hard at the work."

* A statement just received from Denbighshire County Council says:

“On Friday night, the escalating fire meant that the Council was placed on high alert to take immediate action if necessary.

“The Council’s countryside service teams have been working closely with fire and rescue service colleagues throughout the week and the weekend to tackle the fire.

“Fire crews, assisted by the Council’s countryside service teams have been making good progress in their efforts to distinguish the fire and the rain has certainly assisted the efforts.

“The Council has put arrangements for a rest centre in place, should the need arise. However, in light of the improving situation, the Council has been given permission to stand down its rest centre arrangements. The situation will be closely monitored and we will be informed if the need for a rest centre arises again."

The team taking supplies to the fire crews battling the blaze on the mountainsides near Llangollen say they are now looking for extra help.

Llangollen's deputy mayor, Cllr Issy Richards, who is helping to co-ordinate the delivery efforts, said: "So far there have been a handful of helpers to collect and deliver hot food at 1pm and 7pm to the firefighters at various points.

"We are now looking for extra help, as the situation may be ongoing throughout the week.

"If anyone can help please let us know and we will contact you via Messenger.

"What are needed are two people in a vehicle who can collect hot food from Llangollen and deliver, probably to the Llandegla roundabout."

Please contact the team via the Llangollen Noticeboard page on Facebook.

Firefighters' supplies appeal goes on, says organiser

Good evening everyone,
The Ponderosa has been evacuated due to fire and smoke.
Can I please just take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful emergency services who are currently battling this menace.
Regards Simon Clemence.

Image may contain: sky, road, outdoor and nature

* Last night's message on Facebook from the Ponderosa Café.

11am update from Ponderosa's Simon Clemence to llanblogger ...

Yes the Cafe was evacuated last night I’m back up here now. Road still closed. Mountain in a terrible state but the cafe and family is ok thank goodness.

The urgent operation to get food and drinks to firefighters battling the blaze on the mountainsides around Llangollen goes on despite overnight rain.

That’s the message from Cat Meade from Wingetts estate agents in Castle Street who has been co-ordinating efforts to get supplies to the hard-pressed crews.
Last night it appears that the Ponderosa Café whose car park had been used as the emergency services command centre for the past few days had to be evacuated.

Its owner Simon Clemence put out a message on Facebook to say: “The Ponderosa has been evacuated due to fire and smoke.
“Can I please just take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful emergency services who are currently battling this menace.”

Late last week Cat at Wingetts set up an online appeal for cash to help pay for supplies for the large number of fire crews who have been drafted in from across North Wales.

Within hours hundreds of pounds had been pledged and the tally this morning (Sunday) stands at £1,200.

However, Cat points out that with average spending on food and drinks running at around £200 a day the money collected so far can’t last much longer if the emergency continues.

She said: “We’re hoping that the rain we’ve had overnight will help damp down the fire but it’s so deep-rooted that we just don’t know.

“We’re therefore planning to keep both the appeal and supply runs going.

“We know they do have a stockpile of supplies up there but what they’ve got is only likely to last for the next 24 hours.

“The public have been fantastic in supporting the appeal but I think now we need a little help from the corporate side of things. I’d like to see larger businesses contributing in some way – not just from this area but right through to Wrexham from where many of the fire crews have been coming.”

She added: “Could you also advise people that the last of the supplies were delivered last night. There was plenty of water but they’ve requested energy drinks like Red Bull, Lucozade and so on.

“Our collection points at Wingetts in Castle Street, from 9am tomorrow, and the leisure centre. Llangollen Leisure Centre opening hours are Sunday 9-1pm and Monday 7.30am-9pm.

“Things must have been pretty bad up there last night as Simon and his family had to be evacuated from the Ponderosa. I just hope they are okay.”

And for those who can't access the online funding, Cat Meade is at Wingetts from Monday onwards for cash donations.
* To donate to Cat’s appeal go to:

Denbighshire Free Press has just published an update from official sources. It says:

Smoke continues to spread across North Wales as firefighters begin another day of tackling a huge mountainside blaze.

Several fire crews have continued to battle the flames over the weekend, with three appliances and an off-road vehicle at the scene this morning.

A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters are currently focusing on tackling hotspots, as well as protecting fire breaks (measures such as trenches used to prevent the blaze from spreading further.)

Saturday, July 28, 2018

8.30pm update on the fire

North Wales Police has just tweeted an update on the ongoing saga of the fire raging through the mountainsides above Llangollen.

Around 8pm their tweet said: “Fire in #Llangollen - due to a change in wind direction it has been required to close the new as well as the old Horse Shoe Pass sections of road. Please
continue to avoid the area. Thanks for your cooperation

This follows a worrying report from Llangollen’s deputy mayor, Cllr Issy Richards, this afternoon to llanblogger after she had taken the latest consignment of supplies to firefighters.

She said: “Just been up. Conditions deteriorated on the Pass, thick smoke low down … awful smoke on the top near Ponderosa. Took hot food from kebab house on the corner £125. None needed tonight but hot needed tomorrow lunch and tea.”

In their own tweet at around 8pm tonight North wales Fire & Rescue Service said: “#Llangollen fire update - 9 appliances still in attendance. Smoke still
drifting far afield - if you see/smell smoke it could be from
#Llantysilio fire unless you see source of fire /flames. Both old &
new Horse Shoe Pass rds now closed so avoid area. Thanks for your cooperation.

In response to calls yesterday on social media for the army to be drafted in to help the firefighters battle the blaze, Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones (pictured) responded to llanblogger earlier today: “I would support that if the firefighters themselves felt it were required.
“North Wales Fire and Rescue are working tirelessly in a difficult situation and stressful weather conditions, making the safety of local residents their priority.

“I have worked closely with local firefighters in the past on saving the second fire appliance for our area. I trusted their judgment absolutely – and if they believe army back-up to be required, they will have my support in calling for it.

“However, my view is that we most listen to the professional judgment of our excellent, dedicated firefighters on this matter.

“My thanks to the firefighters for the excellent job they are doing.” 

Below is a message which went out earlier today to all county councillors from Denbighshire County Council ...

As you are aware, a fire has been burning at Llantysilio Mountain near the Horseshoe Pass for over a week and it intensified Thursday night into Friday.

Our countryside teams have been working with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service during this period. They are helping with the work of digging trenches, so that fire breaks can be created to try and prevent the fire from spreading.

The county has well-prepared arrangements in please for dealing with major incidents and the Council is working closely with the Fire and Rescue Service, the lead agency in the response.  We are keeping in close contact with the incident commander who is managing the situation and we are proactively responding to requests for assistance.

Both the police and the fire and rescue service have advised people to stay away from the location and to leave the response to the agencies involved. That message has been relayed to the public via the media and social media and that advice still stands.  Our own press team are re-sharing these messages.

The Horseshoe Pass has also been closed as a precautionary measure.

Social Services are also on stand-by to assist to open a rest centre, should any evacuations be necessary.  There are 12 properties in the nearby vicinity that may need to be evacuated. However that has not been necessary at this stage and the situation is being constantly monitored.

We will keep you informed of any developments.

Latest update on the fire

* The fire scene at 10.23am today (Saturday).
The Daily Post has given this latest update on the mountainside fire this morning (Saturday):

More fire crews have been called in again this morning as the fierce wildfire in Llangollen rages on.

Despite heavy downpours in the area last night, the rain has made no dent on the blaze on Llantysilio Mountain and the Horseshoe Pass.
So far this morning, seven fire engines and seven off road vehicles are at the scene.
The Horseshoe Pass is still closed due to drifting smoke and flames.

Eisteddfod to celebrate International Friendship Day

* Volunteers, such as these on the Floral Committee, are the heart and soul of the eisteddfod every year.

On International Friendship Day next Monday Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod will be honouring relationships it has established over the 70 years since it began.

On the day it will be celebrating the 800 volunteers who provide crucial support throughout the week-long event.

International Friendship Day was established by the United Nations and aims for more people to make and celebrate friendship throughout the world leading to less chance of injustice, war and poverty.

Eisteddfod chairman Dr Rhys Davies said: “We only have six employees. Without our friends of the festival who volunteer each year we simply couldn’t function.

"It is through the camaraderie of friendship that our festival is able to thrive. By accumulating these bonds, we contribute to the aims of the UN in developing strong ties of trust which are needed to achieve peace and lasting stability.

“As our festival continues to grow, it’s fantastic to welcome both familiar and new faces. What remains year-on-year is the joyful atmosphere of the eisteddfod, which is enhanced by the extensive network of volunteers who dedicate so much energy and commitment.

“This International Friendship Day we extend our thanks to all of those who give up their time to journey from far and wide across the globe, as we celebrate the coming together of nations.”

The eisteddfod's Competitiors Club co-ordinator Ann Ankers, said: “From working as an usher at the Eisteddfod in 1956 to stewarding in the 1960s I met a lady called Carol who travelled from Glasgow to sing at the festival. Being so inspired, the following year she returned, bringing along a friend for eight consecutive years. 

“I came across Carol three years ago, returning again to support the festival and we have never looked back.

"Carol has come back to fulfil her ambition of choral singing. Having fallen in love with the peace, harmony and togetherness of the Llangollen Eisteddfod. She has been inspired to be part of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and this year is performing at The Proms, an amazing achievement that I am so proud of."

Each year the family of Selina, Daniel and Bill Kong travel from their home in Hong Kong to volunteer in the Competitors Club.

Sisters Lynette Haber and Jane Rysanski from Connecticut, USA, have been regular visitors to the eisteddfod.

This year they decided to volunteer as part of the Floral Committee, creating the beautiful arrangements that decorated the festival stages.

Acknowledged as one of the foremost world peace festivals, Llangollen has been nominated for a number of awards, including the Nobel Prize for Peace.

The eisteddfod has volunteering opportunities suited to all ages and abilities. From office-based roles to floral and archive duties, there are plenty of roles available throughout the year as well as during the festival week itself.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Armed police stop car on the A483 has just posted a story with pictures about armed police stopping a car at the Ruthin Road junction of the A483 earlier this evening.

For the full story, see:

llanblogger takes first hand look at the fire frontline

UPDATE 8pm Friday ...

Flames are now visible on the mountainside near Llantysilio from the town centre. Taken by llanblogger with a telescopic lens.   

llanblogger exclusive

* The fire is clearly visible from the Horseshoe Pass - currently closed to traffic. 

* The blaze on the mountainside not far from property on the Horseshoe Pass.

* Part of the fire command centre near the Ponderosa Café.
* Llangollen's deputy mayor, Cllr Issy Richards, right, thanks Silviu Pop and his partner Gyulaydan Ali at the S&G Bistro for their donation of today's lunchtime sandwiches.
* Cllr Richards checks donations to the website set up by Cat Meade at Wingetts. 
llanblogger has seen at first hand the massive battle being fought to control a huge fire raging on the mountainsides above Llangollen.
And we have also witnessed the major effort back in town to get vital supplies to the teams of firefighters involved the operation.

Since it flared up again earlier this week the blaze has turned many acres of grassland into scorched earth.
Relays of firefighters from Llangollen and other parts of North Wales have since been braving soaring temperatures to beat out the flames.

Numerous people have been supporting them by donating food, water and other items.
And one woman from a local business has co-ordinated an appeal to keep the supplies flowing which had raised over £1,000 within hours of being set up.

This lunchtime (Friday) llanblogger joined Llangollen’s deputy mayor, Councillor Issy Richards, and her partner Mike as they delivered the latest batch of sandwiches and cold drinks to the two locations from where the fire is being fought.
Two big boxes of freshly-made sandwiches came courtesy of Silviu Pop and his partner Gyulaydan Ali at the S&G Bistro in Castle Street.

Our first delivery was to the fire crews battling the blaze from the hills around Llanstysilio and the second was to the busy command centre which North Wales Fire & Rescue has set up with other emergency services on the car park of the Ponderosa Café on the Horseshoe Pass.
The pass itself was closed by the county council earlier today at the request of the fire service who said sightseers were hampering their operations. However, we had special permission to use it for our delivery.

We had hoped to speak to some of the Llangollen-based firefighters who have been in the thick of the action but a colleague from the Wrexham station said they were busy in an inaccessible part of the nearby mountainside.

* One grateful firefighter's
message on Facebook.
However, he thanked Cllr Richards sincerely for the donation and said it would be much appreciated by the crews.

Back in town Cat Meade from Wingetts estate agents in castle Street described how as a gesture of support for what the fire crews were doing she had arranged an online donation page the money from which will help to pay for more supplies.
Cat, who lives in town, explained how she had set this up around 8pm last night and within minutes it had started clocking up the pounds. By around 1pm today the donation total stood at just over £1,000 with more coming in by the minute.

She said: “I’ve been overwhelmed and very touched by the amazing response to the appeal.”
Cat said other cash donations were being made in person by members of the public at her office.

Food, water and soft drink supplies have also been coming in from a host of local businesses and a supply collection point had been set up as far away as Oswestry.
The BBC reports that 60 firefighters are currently tackling the blaze above Llan, with 12 crews involved at Llantysilio and near the Horseshoe Pass.

The fire service said its control room has received calls from concerned people reporting smoke in the air from 12 miles away in Wrexham.

* To donate to Cat’s appeal go to:

Horseshoe Pass closed by fire

North Wales Police have just issued the following message on social media:

A542 Horseshoe Pass LLANGOLLEN will be closed due to mountain fire. 

Please avoid the area.  People taking photographs have been causing problems for fire crews.

Keep away for your safety and take alternative route.

A further message from the county council says:

The Horseshoe Pass is closed until further notice. The request has been made by the North Wales Fire and Rescue to allow them to continue to deal with the grass/gorse fire. We will let you know as soon as the situation changes. Thank you for your patience during this time.

Rising rock band Gallops dashes for the Fringe

After announcing their reformation and releasing their much anticipated second album Bronze Mystic in April 2017, experimental rock band Gallops have been storming headline shows and festival appearances across the UK and beyond.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Gallops will headline Llangollen Fringe Festival alongside rising US hip hop artist Miss Eaves (pictured) as part of the International Beats night.

Shanthony Exum (aka Miss Eaves) is a fierce femcee known for her unique electro-pop-rap feminist stylings and fun-dance-explosion stage presence.

With her tongue-in-cheek rhymes in tow, her music has led her to perform at shows such as Tomorrowland, Dour, Les Rockomotive, and a packed out gig at South by Southwest. Most recently, touring with Wheatus and MC Frontalot around the UK.

* Tickets for International Beats at Llangollen Fringe Festival are on sale now at 

Gallops and Miss Eaves are joined on a stellar bill (the festival's biggest to date) by LEE SCRATCH PERRY, CRAIG CHARLES, MARK RADCLIFFE’s GALLEON BLAST, LAURA CORTESE & THE DANCE CARDS, LINTON KWESI JOHNSON, LLOYD LANGFORD.  Plus the return of BAND FOR A DAY, the music themed STEAM TRAIN and AQUEDUCT BOAT trips, and many other fringe events.

The event rounds off with its now legendary closing concert in the stunning surrounds of VALLE CRUCIS ABBEY. The Fringe Finale at the spectacular Valle Crucis Abbey will this year feature the ethereal sound of GOLDEN FABLE and THE NEW SINFONIA ORCHESTRA.

Tickets for all other Llangollen Fringe performances are also available from the website, or by calling the Fringe box office: 0800 1455 779.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Latest official update on mountainside fire

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service continues to impress upon communities the importance of being extra careful and to stop and consider the consequences of grass fires during the current heatwave.

Crews remain at a gorse fire in Llantysilio in Llangollen after having first being called to the scene over a week ago - demonstrating just how much of a drain on resources these fires can be.

Firefighters have been continually present at the scene of this fire ensuring it is brought under control and kept under close surveillance - and once again this afternoon the fire has gathered pace in prevailing winds with seven appliances in attendance tackling an extensive fire front.

With part time or retained firefighter resources being used to tackle this incident this means that local employers are also affected as staff are released to attend the fire.

Kevin Roberts, Senior Fire Safety Manager, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said:

“Fires like this one in Llantysilio, where access is extremely difficult and water supply is limited, place tremendous pressure on our resources. Our firefighters have been tied up for a considerable length of time working to bring it under control.

“It’s still too soon to determine the exact cause of this fire but we continue to strongly urge people to take extra care when they are out and about in the countryside to help reduce the risk of such fires – especially in such unprecedented dry weather.

“In these dry conditions, fires involving grass, bracken and heather can develop extremely quickly, especially in raised winds, and can soon get out of control and spread to neighbouring properties or forestry, with the need for us then to attend to extinguish them.

“So if you are out and about, it is more important than ever in these conditions to make sure that any smoking materials are discarded and extinguished properly. If you are camping, again make sure that campfires or barbeques are fully extinguished. Better still, avoid open fires altogether in this dry period.

“We would like to thank the public for acting in a safe and responsible manner by notifying us of such fires - we ask people to keep well away from the area affected to allow firefighters to continue to deal with the incident, and for their own safety.

“And we would also like to thank our firefighters who are working in challenging conditions, their employers for releasing the from work, and our partners such as Denbighshire County Council for their assistance.

“Remember - setting fires is a criminal offence and we are actively working alongside North Wales Police to combat deliberate incidents – those found to be responsible will be prosecuted.

“Anyone with information on such crimes is advised to anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Padde-boarders dice with death on the aqueduct

The Shropshire Star has a story about paddle-boarders taking huge risks in the hot weather 125ft up on the Pontcysyllte Canal aqueduct.

For the full story, see:

Town councillor helps organise supplies for firefighters

2nd UPDATE ...

More dramatic fire pictures have been sent to the blog by Val Roberts. 

They show the scene in the morning and then the afternoon from Pentredwr. The Horseshoe Pass can be seen below the fire.

Thanks to Val for sharing them with our readers.

1st UPDATE ...

Donations of water and food (pictured below) have been made to the firefighters tackling the blaze by residents and local shops #helpourfirefighters.

Donations are at Wingetts and also the Leisure Centre.

* The fire scene at 10am today (Thursday). Smoke can be seen
rising from various points on the hillside.

* The fire at its height last night.

A Llangollen town councillor is helping to organise supplies for the firefighters who have spent the night battling a blaze on the mountainside near Llantysilio.

After being damped down over a week ago the fire in the undergrowth reignited yesterday afternoon.

Later in the evening seven fire engines were involved in the effort to bring the blaze under control.

Back in Llangollen Town Councillor Issy Richards was making arrangements to get supplies to the firefighters.

She said this morning: "I've spoken to Fire Chief Kevin Jones and he said that the fire dampened down overnight, but they are expecting it to kick off again as the day warms up.

"At the moment, they are about to swap the crews, so they don't need anything now, but he expects supplies will be needed later on.

"Wingetts have very kindly offered to take supplies in, we can also use the Council Chamber  - where you vote, around the corner from the Town Clerk's office - if required, to store supplies. I will be there from 9am today.

"Although I am a town councillor, I am acting just as a resident who lives near the Fire Station and is very aware of the tireless efforts made by these brave firefighters.

"Town Councillors Andy Beech and Karen Edwards will be around today to help too."

Pengwern gets free taxis to beat bus problem

A free taxi service is now running on the bus route between Llangollen town centre and Pengwern.

According to one of the local county councillors, Graham Timms, this has been arranged by Denbighshire until a suitable bus to serve the area can be arranged.

He explained: “There has been an intermittent problem with the service between the town centre and Pengwern due to the lack of availability of a suitable bus.

“I understand that the service will only cover Pengwern if a small bus is used. When a larger bus is used on the service it has been missing out the Pengwern section of the route, causing problems for residents who have been unable to catch the bus into town, or who have been left to find their own way home when the smaller bus is not available for the return journey. 

“I understand that the route is under a Wrexham contract with a financial contribution to the service being also made by Denbighshire.”

Cllr Timms added: “The situation is clearly highly unsatisfactory for local residents who rely on this route.

“easybus are trying to resolve the problems and are likely to have the service back to normal in August.

“Until that time Denbighshire have agreed to put a taxi service on the bus route running at the same time as the easybus timetable to ensure that passengers are provided with public transport according to the timetable provided.

“It will also ensure that passengers can travel on to Llangollen Health Centre should they wish. The taxi service is being provided by Premier Cars and will be free to bus users until the normal service is resumed. 

“Residents have been discouraged from using the service due to the intermittent and unreliable provision at a time when we should be encouraging the use of public transport. 

“There may be some duplication in the service until easybus are able to resolve their problems as they are unable to predict when their Pengwern service will run.

“The taxi replacement taxi service started on Monday 23rd July.” 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Seven fire engines tackle re-newed hillside blaze

* From the Horseshoe Pass at around 9.30pm. Picture: Karen Edwards.  

* The fire just before 9pm Wednesday.

* The fire pictured by Karen Edwards.

* Smoke from the fire drifts across the mountainside. 

Seven fire engines are currently tackling a blaze on the mountainside in Llantysilio.

A story on Leaderlive earlier this evening says: "A fire which experts had under control has flared up again in Llangollen.

"North Wales Fire and Rescue have been attending a blaze on a mountainside in Llantysilio since 2.20pm on Thursday, July 19.

"A spokesman told the Leader this evening that the fire has "re-flared" and more crews are now in attendance.

They said: "Crews have been tackling the fire since last week using dampening methods. It was not completely extinguished from last week but at around 4pm today the fire sparked up again.

"Four fire engines are in attendance an three off-roader vehicles.

"The incident is still ongoing."

New website gives details of local and national services

A new national well-being website will be launched across Wales this week at the Royal Welsh Show.

Dewis Cymru provides information about a wide range of local and national services that can help people take control of their own well-being and make informed choices about the way they choose to live their lives.

The site helps people find the information they need to improve their well-being and access local services across Wales.

The Dewis Cymru website is an important first for Wales – a single, clear and reliable information source that can be used by members of the public as well as care service professionals, information and advice services and others across Wales to help support people achieve their well-being goals.

Cllr Huw David (Bridgend), Spokesperson for Health and Social Care at the Welsh Local Government Association, said: “Finding the right information can be challenging. This new resource aims to cut through the confusion by offering people clear, consistent and up-to-date information and advice on their well-being and what services are available in their local area. The website is a real cause for celebration, and a marker of true regional and national collaboration. It is a resource that has been built in Wales, by Wales for Wales.”

Richard Palmer, Assistant Director of Data Cymru, and project lead for Dewis Cymru, said: “The 2014 Social Services and Well-being Act placed a duty on local authorities across Wales to make information about local services available to the public. Dewis is part of their response to this duty.

"Information is key to enabling people to make their own choices about how to best meet their well-being needs. After my mother died, my father wanted to live independently in the family home. Despite hours on the web, I struggled to find appropriate services to support him – largely due to inaccurate or out-of-date information.

"Dewis ensures that we have a wide range of up to date information which is easily available to the public – enabling them to have choice and take control of their own lives.”

Dewis Cymru has been developed by Data Cymru on behalf of the 22 local authorities in Wales in conjunction with a wide range of national and local stakeholders.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

"Rare" 37-acre site near Llan goes on sale

* Picture of the site for sale (taken from estate agent's website).

The Oswestry Advertizer is reporting to day that a rare 37-acre site near Llangollen has just gone on the market with offers in the region of £100,000.

* The site which is for sale (taken from estate agent's website).