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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Tourism sector event for the county

Businesses have the opportunity to boost their digital skills for free as Google brings Google Digital Garage to Denbighshire in October.

The Denbighshire Tourism Forum and Google Digital Garage takes place on October 10 at the Oriel House, St Asaph.

With a line-up of guest speakers including representatives from Visit Wales presenting on investment opportunities for businesses, Keep Tidy Wales and Surfers Against Sewage sharing their experiences of working towards plastic free status in their towns, it promises to be a key event for those involved in the tourism sector.

Three free Google Digital Garage sessions will be available during the afternoon. ‘Build a Digital Marketing Plan’ gives small businesses an introduction to the main digital marketing channels and how to use them to build a strategy.

‘Know your Business with Data’ will explore how Google Analytics can help uncover trends about customers, including how people use websites to interact with businesses online. Finally, the Social Media Strategy session will explore how to create a social media strategy based on business goals.

The event offers a great opportunity for delegates to network and share experiences, knowledge and ideas.

A variety of information stands will be present including Business Wales, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, SC2, Development Bank Wales, Clwydian Range Tourism Group and many more.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire County Council, said: “The Tourism Forum is a great way to meet like-minded people and find out about the latest tourism developments.

“The Google Digital Garage visiting Denbighshire is a great opportunity for businesses, students and people looking to gain new skills and knowledge. It’s a great benefit for local businesses to see how they can reach more customers and increase their business potential.”

Ronan Harris, Google UK & Ireland Managing Director, said: 'In the digital age, a basic understanding of how the online world works is useful and when it comes to business, it’s essential.

"We are delighted to bring the Google Digital Garage to Denbighshire and ensure everyone has access to free digital skills workshops. We hope you'll pop in and get the skills you need to become more confident online, grow your career or business, and maybe even launch the next big idea."

In the last two years, over 200,000 people across the UK have benefitted from Google’s free face-to-face training on digital know-how.

* To book a place at the Denbighshire Tourism Forum and/or Google Digital Garage please visit

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Aerial view of Corwen rail project

* Looking east, showing the new subway in the foreground.

* Looking west with the water tower.
Llangollen Railway volunteer Dewi Davies used his drone to take some high-level pictures of the
Corwen station works site at the end of August.

They show how much civil engineering has taken place to alter the former single line embankment to accept the need for an island platform set within the two lines which form the terminal loop.

The first picture views the site from the west, Green Lane end, looking towards Carrog and shows the platform construction with the subway access in the foreground.

The wall for platform 2 on the right is complete and the wall for platform 1 on the left is under construction. The area in between is  being infilled and compacted with spoil to a depth of 5ft. When complete, the area will need to be paved to provide for a surface suitable for passengers. 

All this work is being undertaken by the project's team of volunteers, aided by contractors as necessary.

The cost of the platform infill is being meet through donations to the Tenner for a Tonne Appeal which, so far, has raised nearly £10k and remains open for further support to the Corwen Central Railway Project c/o 'Dolwen', Bryn Eglwys, Corwen LL21 9LY.

It is intended that the area around the subway will be provided with a canopy and installation of heritage style of columns will be a task for the future. In the meantime, the set of eight columns have been cleaned up and conserved by a Llangollen Railway volunteer.

The passenger facilities and the booking office will be provided in a temporary building now on site below the embankment which is externally finished in a railway livery of brown and cream with a new water proof roof attached. The internal layout will be organised by Corwen station staff during the coming winter in time for the opening next year on a date to be announced.

The second picture views the site from the east end looking towards the recently installed water tank as constructed by contractors at Rhosllanerchrugog earlier this year. The tank will receive its water supply from a nearby borehole situated in the pumphouse on the left.

The area in the foreground will shortly see the installation of the track work to complete the loop line and connection to the track in platform 2 on the left. Completion of platform 1 to the right of the water tank will follow.

However, before this work is tackled, it is necessary to bring in the signalbox cabin from its storage place at Carrog and mount it on the prepared base to the right of the site - a job for the autumn.

Completion of this work during the autumn will eventually allow for the gap in the embankment behind the camera to be infilled and the 150 yards connection made to the railhead at Dwyrain Corwen East temporary platform. Ballasting and tamping of the new track layout will then follow before it is declared operational next year.

Subject to completion of the outstanding work, and the continuing provision of resources - manpower, materials and finance - the aim is to open the terminal in 2019. Then a basic station facility will be available for trains to stop adjacent to the town's car park and bus interchange.
With a stop-over time in the station of 20 minutes, whilst the locomotive detaches and runs round to reconnect at the rear of the train, passengers will have time to alight relative to the town centre. 

A Llangollen Railway spokesman said. "For 2019 the need is to attract further passengers to join the train at Corwen from a new segment of the tourist market in North-west Wales and beyond.

"Additional passenger numbers travelling on the Llangollen Railway through the Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is key to the continuing success of the line, justifying the considerable expense which the extension of the line from Carrog has involved over the past eight years of its construction.

"As with other heritage railway schemes, the initial basic facility at the Corwen station will be enhanced as resources allow with the eventual provision of a purpose built station building, subject to obtaining planning consent and grant aid."

Friday, September 28, 2018

Craig's big bank job pays healthy dividends

llanblogger takes an exclusive look inside the new business
in the old HSBC bank which is now rapidly nearing completion

* Craig Forde in the coffee shop-tearoom with its hand-made furniture and fittings.

* One of the shower suites housed in the basement. 

* The large front en suite including an original 1830 ceiling beam.

* Extensive work goes on at the back of the building.

A MAN who originally came to work in a Llangollen youth hostel and liked the place so much he’s stayed 21 years is now putting the finishing touches to his “dream” business in one of the town’s old banks.

Craig Ford and his team of contractors have spent the past eight months ripping apart and rebuilding the former HSBC in Bridge Street as an impressive new enterprise called appropriately Riverbanc as it backs directly onto the mighty Dee.
The imposing five-storey building, which dates back to 1830, was vacated after protests by local people in February 2014.

But it’s now been given a fresh lease of life and is a major investment by Craig and his wife Hannah who is also his business partner.

* Craig hopes to turn Riverbanc
into a local hub. 
Its many internal rooms have been thoughtfully planned to accommodate two separate operations – a coffee bar/tea room complete with its own chef and a new home for the Fordes’ existing and thriving outdoor activities companies, Whitewater Active and Safe and Sound Outdoors.
Craig is originally from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and worked in various places around the country until he signed up for six weeks as an activity instructor at the former Llangollen Youth Hostel, then located at Tyn Dwr Hall, back in 1997.

He enjoyed being in the area so much he decided to stay and settle down, splitting his year between working at restaurants in the Alps in winter and Llangollen in summer.

Deciding it would be perfect for his requirements he made his pitch for the old bank building not too long after it went on sale and eventually sealed the deal in March last year. However, it wasn’t until last Christmas that he finally secured planning permission for the ambitious scheme he had in mind.
A team from G Construction based in Weston Rhyn moved in to start the massive facelift job last February and are now coming to the end of the project.

Craig said: “We’ve virtually ripped the place apart but in the most sympathetic way possible, preserving parts of the old building such as the huge original oak beams in a number of places and, of course, the huge steel-doored safe which we’ll use as a storeroom.
“The place had always been a bank, starting off as a branch of the North and South Wales Bank and going through various incarnations over the years.

“We’ve renewed about 70 per cent of the floor and taken all the walls back to the brick, putting in proper insulation. It’s a traditional build but done up to modern standards.”
It might surprise some people to learn that because of the way the building is terraced down towards the river at the back, it has large cellars on two levels – both virtually unused during bank days

The upper part of the basement will be used for storing equipment for the activity centre and there are also be changing rooms along with two sets of showers and toilets. At the rear this area sweeps out through a door onto a picnic area.  
The lower cellar will be another storage area, mainly for wetsuits connected with the activity business. Again, leading off will be another patio area.

Pride of place back up at street level goes to the coffee shop/tea rooms which will run independently from the Fordes’ other business.
Seating 30 in the front and another 30 on a deck over the river, this has been smartly fitted out with counters hand made in the shaker style and heavy wooden benches specially crafted for Craig.   

From its fully-fitted kitchen it will serve breakfasts, lunches and brunches prepared by resident chef Alison Evans who has worked at a number of eateries in the Llangollen area, including the Bryn Howell where she trained under the famous Dai Chef.
While customers will feed into the new eatery through the front door of the former bank a new main entrance has been created – out of what was the manager’s office - just along the front of the building for the activity business customers, who will also be able to gain access along a passage leading to another door at the side.

Up on the first floor are three en suite bedrooms and a large training room which can be hired out fully equipped including a wall-screen.
The top floor has four more en suite bedrooms, including a very large family room at the front of the building overlooking Bridge Street.

Craig said: “The bedrooms, half of which overlook the river and the other half the street, would ideally suit our activity customers but are really for everyone.
“I believe there’s a definite lack of accommodation in Llangollen, where for seven or eight months of the year most places are fully booked. I wanted to try and do something about that.”

Craig has created five new jobs with his enterprise, which includes four in the coffee shop/tea rooms over the winter and six on the activity side.
He said: “We started our activity businesses 15 years ago but have been renting in various places like the Malthouse in Regent Street and premises in Castle Street since then.

“It was always my dream to have somewhere we owned where we could put our own stamp on things – I just didn’t think it would be this big!  
“But it actually ticks all our boxes and there are so many things we can do with it. It’s in a fantastic place right next to the new Centenary Square and the river.

“It’s also a beautiful building of which we’ve tried to keep as many features as we could.
“It’s now my aim to make it a local hub so everyone can come along and enjoy it”

Craig says he’s aiming to have Riverbanc fully open and ready for business by early next month.

Llan businesses invited to join Christmas promotion

Businesses in Llangollen are being given the chance help promote their towns over the festive period.

As part of the #LoveLiveLocal campaign, Denbighshire County Council is looking for traders to act as social media ambassadors to appear in short video clips to highlight what the county has to offer shoppers.

#LoveLiveLocal aims to get people to show support for local independent businesses by using the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook to share good experiences they’ve had as well as promote products and services locally they have ‘loved’.

The Council is looking for businesses who would like to take part by talking passionately about what their high street has to offer.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire, said: “With Christmas on its way the Council is already preparing to help promote our local traders this festive period as part of our work to create resilient communities.

“We are helping to highlight the great retail offer right here in Denbighshire and encourage shoppers to see what is on their local high streets.

“Not only do local businesses offer great value for money and a wide range of products, they also provide excellent customer service.

“I’d encourage businesses to put themselves forward so we can showcase our fantastic Denbighshire businesses.”

The videos will appear on social media throughout the Christmas period to help promote shopping locally.

* If you would like to take part in the video contact or phone 01824 706896.

Childcare funding gets county go-ahead

Denbighshire County Council has confirmed that the roll-out of the Welsh Government’s 30 hours a week funded education and childcare in Wales will be introduced in the county in January 2019, with the whole county benefitting from the roll-out at the same time.
In 2017 the Welsh Government (WG) pledged to offer 30 hours a week of government-funded early education and childcare to eligible working parents of three and four year olds, for 48 weeks of the year by September 2020.
Children will be eligible to access the offer from the beginning of the term following their third birthday until the September following their fourth birthday.
Eligible children will be entitled to up to 20 free hours of childcare during term time, on top of the 10 hours already provided by the Foundation Phase. During the school holidays, when there is no early education, the offer will provide 30 hours a week of childcare for up to nine weeks. Parents are able to choose any registered childcare setting that suits their personal and family circumstance, whether inside or outside of county, in agreement with the provider and the local authority.
Those not currently accessing the 10 hours a week free childcare provided by the Foundation Phase will be able to apply for 20 hours free childcare, as part of the scheme.
To be eligible for free childcare, parents/ guardians must meet a set of criteria: their child must be aged 3 or 4; parents/ guardians work and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours at national living wage or national minimum wage, or are in receipt of specific caring benefits and they must live in Denbighshire.
Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Cabinet Lead Member for Education, Children, Young People and the Welsh Language, said: “We are delighted to be able to share this positive news.
“The aim of the Childcare Offer is to allow eligible parents to have more employment choices, increase their disposable income to help counteract poverty for those in low paid jobs and ensure that quality early education and childcare is provided to promote child development and prepare them for early education.
“Denbighshire County Council have worked hard with Welsh Government to lobby for the families in the county to benefit from the offer.”
Denbighshire will have the role of ‘Engagement Authority’ and will be sharing information and promoting the offer to parents/ guardians and to childcare providers within the county.
Information about the registration process will be publicised in due course but in the meantime, general information on childcare can be found on our website

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Llangollen Round presents £65,000 cheque to cancer charity

* James Rogers from Cancer Research UK accepts the £65,000
cheque from organisers Judy Smith and Sandra Woodhall (right).

The third annual Llangollen Round Challenge scooped a record £65,000 for Cancer Research UK.

About 400 walkers from across Britain slogged it out in the gruelling challenge on the weekend of June 2 and 3 with the aim of covering a tough 35-mile course through the hills around the town in either one or two days.

About 200 of the intrepid trekkers did it in just one day, with Anton Wouters from Ellesmere in Shropshire recording the best time of seven hours and seven minutes.

The organisers, Sandra Woodhall and Judy Smith, said “We’ve staged this triennial walk three times now and were delighted to raise £65,000 this year following £43,000 in 2015 and £37,000 in 2012.”

“As well as local people we had walkers from right across the country, including London, Dorset, Somerset, Cambridge and Glasgow. They ranged in age from 15 to their eighties and there were a number of family groups involved.

“Helping to make everything go smoothly was over 100 volunteers who took on tasks such as marshalling, manning checkpoints around the course, driving, catering and administration.

“We also received strong support from a number of local firms such as Spar and Aldi in Llangollen, Tesco at Cefn Mawr, Nisa Store in Ruabon, Arla Cheese in Oswestry, Warburtons and Severn Trent Water.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the challenge and the volunteers for all they did to make the event such a big success.”

James Rogers, local fundraising manager for Cancer Research UK, came over to Llangollen from his base in Herefordshire to receive the £65,000 cheque from the challenge organisers.

A book detailing the Llangollen Round, all proceeds from which go to Cancer Research UK, is available priced £7 including P&P. It can be ordered online at:    

* Anton Wouters (centre, wearing headband) celebrates his best time achievement with fellow walkers and challenge officials. Picture: Barrie Potter.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Minister reviews progress on Corwen station project

* Ken Skates AM looks at aerial views of the works area taken by Dewi Davies using a drone at the end of August.
Ken Skates AM, Welsh Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Transport, visited the Corwen station works site and viewed progress with the building of the new platform and signalbox installation.

He was given a briefing on progress in preparation for an opening of the new terminus in 2019.

He said: "Completion of Corwen Central station will be a high boost to the railway and the town opening great opportunities for more visitors in 2019."

Project leader Richard Dixon-Gough said: "We were very grateful for the opportunity to update the Cabinet Secretary with details of the progress being made with the new station and our aim to open it for train services next year."

Library knitters make blankets for the Gambia

* Members of the Nitter Natter group at work on the blankets for the Gambia.
The Nitter Natter group which meets each Wednesday at Cefn Mawr Library has been busy knitting and crocheting blankets for needy children in the Gambia.
For the past year about six ladies have been producing the woollen squares which go to make up the multi-coloured blankets.

They say they would welcome donations of wool.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Guardian diarist walks the Vale of Llangollen

The country diarist from the Guardian newspaper has walked the Vale of Llangollen.

For the full story, see:

Missing person scheme launched

A scheme which provides valuable information for those who search for missing vulnerable people has been launched in North Wales.

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme being introduced locally by the North Wales Safeguarding Board and North Wales Police to encourage carers and family members to compile useful key information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing.

This can include details of places frequented, medication required, general routines , description and recent photograph.

In the event of a family member or friend going missing, the information can easily be sent to frontline police officers and PCSOs, to reduce the time taken in gathering this information and will provide those involved in the search for the missing person with essential information to promote their safe return.

The protocol is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the D-Day landings in Normandy. He was suffering from dementia when he went missing several years ago.

Neil Ayling, Chief Officer – Social Services at Flintshire County Council and chair of the North Wales Adults Safeguarding Board, said:  “There is nothing more frightening or distressing than when a loved one, friend or neighbour fails to return home when they are expected.

“For people living with someone with dementia, this could be quite common and the Herbert Protocol could give you some peace of mind.  People still need their independence and the protocol can help to reassure their family and friends that, if their loved one does go missing, the information can be passed through swiftly and there is a greater chance of finding them quickly”.

Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard said: “North Wales Police is committed to helping those people with dementia live an independent life for as long as possible.

The Herbert Protocol provides reassurance to families and loved ones, assisting us in obtaining accurate, vital information, giving us the best opportunity to locate the individual as soon as possible.

I would ask those who know someone who is living with dementia to complete the form and keep it safe in the event that they have to report their loved one missing.”

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Successful year for Citizens Advice in the county

Citizens Advice Denbighshire secured £7.4 million worth of benefits and credit gains for its clients across the county in the last financial year.

The various branches also handled £6.6 million of debt during the same 12 months and ensured that 64 clients facing repossession received help in court.

These figures are revealed in the latest annual report from the organisation, which gets financial assistance from town councils across Denbighshire, including Llangollen which put in £1,500 last year to ensure the registered charity can continue its good work.
The report also shows that £1.5 million of backdated benefits was received by clients thanks to Citizens Advice intervention.

Over 350 clients were raised out of fuel poverty and two out of three clients said the organisation’s welfare benefit service improved their quality of life.

During the course of the year Citizens Advice helped 5,990 clients with 9,041 enquiries.
A total of  3,391 clients were seeking help with benefit issues and 80 per cent of debt clients said that following the advice process made a lot of difference to their peace of mind.

Others figures revealed in the annual report are that 27 per 10,000 adults in Denbighshire entered insolvency during 2017 – higher than the England and Wales rate of 21.5.
Two in five clients with council tax arrears also had rent appears, according to the report.

Eighty per cent of the welfare benefit appeal and reviews assisted by Citizens Advice were successful.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Family fun day in the Llan woods

* A woodland skills workshop featured in the family fun day in the woods.

The Woodland Trust is hosting a family fun day in Pen y Coed woods off Pengwern Road.

The Tree to Saw event, which goes on until 3.30pm (Saturday) gives people the chance to take the ancient wood returns tour and finish by sawing and chopping their own unseasoned firewood.

They can also see a range of saws in action and make a bird feeder, planter or wood cookies.

Friends of Pengwern have been selling soup, rolls and cakes at their community centre to raise funds for future events.

Lottery players to win free Llan cinema entry

* Hugh Jackman stars in The Greatest Showman.

It's National Lottery Cinema Day on Sunday September 30 and selected cinemas up and down the UK are offering free entry to those with a valid lotto ticket.

New Dot Cinema Llangollen is holding a special screening  of hit musical The Greatest Showman and invites everyone to come along and enjoy this thrilling movie experience.

Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show  business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

Starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zak Efron and Zendaya amongst others, this is a high energy circus-fantasy bursting with power pop.

The film aims to champion the 'misfits' of the era. Its Oscar nominated, Golden Globe winning song "This Is Me" has been described as an anthem for the marginalized, disenfranchised, the bullied and the outcast.

The Greatest Showman is an all-singing, all-dancing feel good hit that inspires repeat viewing, sing-a-long screenings and tribute circus costumes.

The screening takes place on Sunday September 30 at Llangollen Town Hall, Castle Street LL20 8NU.

The Greatest Showman is rated PG. Doors and bar open at 7pm with the film starting at 8pm.

* More information can be found on Facebook, Twitter and at

Important information: all Lotto tickets purchased for draws between September 26 and 29 qualify for free entry for one adult. Under-16s and those without a valid lottery ticket can pay £6 on the door for entry. Tickets for the screening are only available on the day, from 7pm.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Second steam star signed up for railway gala

* Pannier Tank engine No. 7714 will be a star of the railway's Autumn Steam Gala.

Llangollen Railway has signed up a second venerable guest engine for its popular Autumn Steam Gala.

Already booked to appear at the three-day event, which runs over the weekend of October 12, 13 and 14, was the former Royal Train engine BR Ivatt 2MT No. 46521, courtesy of the Great Central Railway.

But organisers have now also managed to secure an appearance by the pannier tank engine No. 7714 away from its usual home at the Severn Valley heritage railway. 

Built for the Great Western Railway, these pannier tanks were regularly used on local freight and passenger workings.

No.7714 is an old friend of Llangollen Railway, having been based at Birkenhead from 1937 until 1958 before moving briefly to Wrexham's Rhosddu shed prior to withdrawal.

This interesting old engine will be starring alongside another visiting 'local loco', Ivatt No. 46521.

A one-time hauler of the Royal Train, this locomotive 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 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.

Llangollen Railway’s Along Cambrian Lines 2 gala will be a celebration of the much-loved trains heading for the seaside during the 1950s and early 1960s.

The visiting locomotives will be supported by members of the Llangollen’s home fleet, recreating many of the authentic sights and sounds of the era.

Attractions for the weekend include:

* Interactive activities for all the family, including ‘Make your own Luggage Labels‘.

A display of entries for 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

A special exhibition telling the story of some of the viaducts, road bridges and station buildings along the line will be running in the Henry Robertson suite at Llangollen Station throughout the gala weekend.
The full working timetable will be available free of charge to holders of travel tickets for the event from all the booking offices at the railway while stocks last.

* For more details and to book tickets, go to: 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Outdoor event planned for this Saturday

Shuttle times:

Market Street Car Park
Drop off
Corner Tan y Coed and Brooke Street
Corner Tan y Coed and Brooke Street
Drop off
Market Street Car Park
11 am
12 pm
12.45 pm

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Information for Gas Safety Week

During the current Gas Safety Week, Wales & West Utilities has given some timely safety information to users ...

After the long hot summer this year we’re now focusing on preparing for winter – and we’re urging everyone in the communities we serve to take just five simple steps to make sure winter doesn’t catch them out:

1.       Get gas appliances safety checked by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer – this should be done every year.

2.       Keep your eye on your appliances: Flames on your cooker and boiler should be crisp and blue, and no sooty black marks on or around any gas appliances.

3.       Make sure you have an audible carbon monoxide (CO) alarm: it might save your life and save you from the debilitating side effects of CO poisoning.

4.       Know the signs of CO poisoning: a headache is the most common but also dizziness, feeling sick, tiredness & confusion, stomach pain and shortness of breath.  The symptoms are flu-like without the high temperature – but very high levels can kill almost instantly.

5.       Save the National Gas Emergency Number 0800 111 999 in your phone so you can call it immediately if you smell gas or suspect the presence of CO.

To keep people informed we’ve launched a social media campaign raising awareness of gas safety and letting people know how they can prepare for winter. We’d really appreciate if you would consider sharing this information on your social media channels, so your followers have even more opportunity to see these vital safety messages.

Some tweets that you may want to use are below:

1.       Its @GasSafetyWeek 2018 #GSW18 and @wwutilities are reminding you to get your gas appliances checked by a @GasSafeRegister engineer before winter.

2.       To mark Gas Safety Week #GSW18 @wwutilities are reminding you to save the National Gas Emergency number in your phone: 0800 111 999. It could save your life!

3.       Do you know the symptoms of CO poisoning? @GasSafetyWeek is a great chance to remind yourself how to stay safe from the ‘silent killer’ @wwutilities #GSW18

Museum talk on the coming of the railway to Llan

Project engineer Peter Dickinson from Llangollen Railway will be giving a talk in the town's museum on Wednesday September 26.

Entitled Thunder & Smoke and starting at 7.30pm, it will be looking at the coming of the railway to Llangollen during the Victorian era and will include many unpublished/unseen images from his own collection.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Concert for pancreatic cancer at Town Hall

A concert in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK  will be held in Llangollen Town Hall on Saturday  October 6, at 7 pm.

The 30-strong James Lambert Singers from Wrexham, conducted by Mair Evans, are 
giving an evening of their well-loved and entertaining light music.

This charity supports research into pancreatic cancer, which kills most of 10,000 patients a year within six months.

Until now no treatment has been effective but the current research, funded by PCUK, has produced results which has at last given hope for effective treatment in the near future.

* Tickets for the concert are available, from £7, from Philip Hughes on 07774 850677.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Fire chief answers questions about mountain blaze

* The fire rages on Llantysilio Mountain. 
The army makes a charge if it is called in to help fight mountain fires like the one which raged for weeks above Llangollen recently.
This was revealed by the fire chief when questioned on the issue by Denbighshire county councillor Mabon ap Gwynfor (pictured right) at the recent full council meeting in Ruthin.

A film released by Cllr ap Gwynfor’s Plaid Cymru party shows the member for Llandrillo quizzing Chief Fire Officer Simon Smith about the Llantysilio Mountain blaze.
He asks: “In Saddleworth the army was called in after three days. In this instance the army weren’t called in for assistance. Why was this the case? Who would make the call? And do you think that in future the army might be called in circumstances like this?”

Mr Smith replies: “A decision to bring in the army would be made if we felt that we did not have the resources or the manpower to adequately deal with the incident ourselves.
“Going back to the previous question, the army charge – they don’t do it for nothing, and I would need to be convinced that there was a sound economic set against the operational argument before we would do that.

“Clearly, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, in terms of Saddleworth Moor, took a different decision and that decision would be, first of all, the decision to ask would be one that would be taken jointly with the key stakeholders including the police, NRW (Natural Resources Wales) etc and then it would be very much a decision by the senior people in the army whether or not they could provide that resource.”  
Cllr ap Gwynfor said later: “At the full council meeting the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority were in front of us asking for money.
“I therefore had an opportunity to ask them about the Llantysilio Mountain incident.

“The question that many were asking was why weren't the army called in, like they were on Saddleworth Moor.

“I asked the Chief Fire Officer why weren't the army called in, and my understanding of the response was that it was because the army would have charged them!

“I thought they were there to provide a service during civil emergencies.

“I've sent the Ministry of Defence some Freedom of Information requests.”

* To see the film, go to: