Get in touch ...

Know of something happening in
us on

E-mail your contributions to:

We are on Facebook at

Monday, December 31, 2018

Arrests made following spate of local burglaries

North Wales Police are appealing for witnesses following a spate of house burglaries in the Llangollen, Froncysyllte and Corwen areas during the weekend December 29 and 30.

CID officers are investigating five separate incidents where property was stolen.

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Evans said: "Due to the exceptional work of our local officers and staff, suspects were quickly identified and on Sunday afternoon, four persons were arrested in the Llangollen area and are due to be interviewed by detectives in connection with those offences. 

"Unfortunately, two North Wales Police employees were assaulted during those arrests. Thankfully, neither have sustained serious injury. 

"I would like to thank those members of the public who came to our assistance and would ask that any witnesses to the incident contact North Wales Police on 101 (quoting event W185151).

"Burglary of anyone’s home is understandably intrusive and, that items of property are stolen just after Christmas can be particularly upsetting.

"Due to the outstanding work of our staff, items of property have been recovered which we hope to reunite with owners in due course."

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Local author aims to give his new novel a kickstart

Local author David Ebsworth is taking pre-orders for his new book, an historical novel about the "wicked" wife of Elihu Yale, through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

The book comes highly recommended and if anyone wants to pre-order a copy it will help him to get the book launched successfully.

It starts in 1721 when an elderly Catherine Yale discovers that her second husband Elihu has left her nothing in his will except the slur of naming her a “wicked wife.”

Her private journals are filled with intimacies: her inner thoughts about life in Old Madras, where the East India Company’s intrigues are as complex as any in the Mughal Emperor’s court; about the conflicts she must endure as a mother now to the additional children she conceives with Elihu; about her role as a spy for the political factions determined to prevent a Catholic succession to the English crown; and about the realisation that she is now wed to a husband she is quickly coming to despise.

Yet these past 50 years, since the early days of her short and tragic first marriage to darling Joseph, the diaries have been kept safe and secret. Or have they? Perhaps it’s time to read them afresh, to go back before the days when Elihu first betrayed her, before she was betrayed also by the East India Company women who should have stood at her side – before she wreaked her own special revenge on them all. 

David says of his book: "It was a chance meeting. Our local Wrexham MP Ian Lucas asking me if I’d ever thought of writing a story about our local historical celebrity, Elihu Yale.

"Yale has a very fine and famous tomb in the grounds of St Giles Parish Church and is taught to Wrexham schoolkids as the philanthropist who bequeathed some of his wealth, and his name, to help found one of the world’s most famous universities, in New Haven, Connecticut.

"But I knew enough else about Yale to understand that, while he may have been the original nabob, he also made much of his wealth through the Indian slave trade – and thus he didn’t interest me much as a protagonist for a novel. But life’s never that simple and, out of respect for Ian’s own interest, I decided to dig a bit deeper.

"I then stumbled on a copy of Elihu Yale’s will, sent to me from the National Archives. And a remarkable document it turned out to be. This entry, a single line: To My Wicked Wife… And then? Nothing. No bequest. Not even her name. Simply a large blank space.
So who was she? And why so wicked?

"A lot of the story is pure fiction but all Catherine’s family background is authentic."

The novel, David's seventh, is due for publication on April 8 but it’s available to pre-order now through a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign, the link to which is:
The Doubtful Diaries of Wicked Mistress Yale on Kickstarter

The second novel in the trilogy, Wicked Mistress Yale, The Glorious Return is due for publication in late-autumn 2019, and picks up Catherine’s story with her return to a London turned upside down in 1689, while the third part, Wicked Mistress Yale, The Parting Glass, is scheduled for release in mid-2020.

Friday, December 28, 2018

County sends out reminder on waste collections

Denbighshire County Council is reminding residents of changes to the waste and recycling collections over the Christmas and New Year period.

Collections normally scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday of this week are being collected a day later than the normal day. 

A special collection will take place on Saturday to catch up.

Bins and recycling will collected as normal on Monday, December 31 - there will be no change.  

There will be no collections on New Year’s Day.

In the first week of January, if you normally have your collections on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, they will  be collected a day later.

All collections will return to normal on Monday, January 7.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Fund launched to combat child exploitation

* Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales Arfon Jones and Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Neill Anderson.

A £60,000 fund boosted by money confiscated from criminals has been launched to help tackle the growing menace of youngsters being groomed and exploited by vicious drugs gangs.

According to North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, the ill-gotten gains of villains will be recycled for the benefit of the community in a series of crime-fighting initiatives across the region.

The Your Community, Your Choice Awards are again putting up the Community Fund for local groups and Mr Jones is urging local groups to bid for the cash.

It’s being organised jointly by Mr Jones, North Wales Police and the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT).

The money for the awards comes partly from money seized by the courts through the Proceeds of Crime Act with the rest from the Police Commissioner’s Fund.

Each of the region’s six counties will have up to £2,500 apiece for two groups with £5,000 each for two organisations that operate in three or more counties.

In addition this year, thanks to additional funding from the police and crime commissioner and North Wales Police, there will be two new grants of £10,000.

The larger grants are designed to fund projects addressing issues related to the emerging threat of County Lines, where young people are being coerced and threatened with violence to take part in illegal activity across the region.

The deadline for applications is January 18 and the successful groups will be chosen by public vote.

Entry forms are available on the North Wales Police website with a link to it on the Police Commissioner’s website.

A shortlist of applicants will be chosen by a special panel and voting opens on February 4 and runs until March 1 with that vote deciding the winners.

Mr Jones, a former police inspector, said: “I decided to give more money this year because of the growing threat of the County Lines phenomenon which involves the criminal exploitation of children and young people.

“These drugs supply networks are often run by criminals from out of the area via a mobile phone line who use associates or even coerce vulnerable people to act as local dealers to deal drugs for them.

“Violence and intimidation is a common theme in these abhorrent networks which have become known County Lines.

“There is a great deal that third sector organisations and community organisations can do, especially in terms of raising awareness amongst the potential victims themselves.

“It is vitally important that warn youngsters of the very real dangers of being ensnared by these vicious gangs.

“County lines is a growing scourge, not just here but also across the UK, it getting to grips with it is a major priority in my Police and Crime Plan.”

His message was backed by Assistant Chief Constable Neill Anderson who said: “The Your Community Your Choice fund hits at the very heart of what we’re trying to achieve.

“There are so many worthy community groups out there, and this initiative is about the police and the community working together to actually make things safer for the public of North Wales, with the added benefit of course is that some of the monies comes from criminals.

“All of this chimes  perfectly with the commissioner’s Police and rime plan and the force’s objectives.

“Whilst there is lots of enforcement activity on going with County Lines, and we’ve been very successful in that regard, this is about prevention.

“There are groups out there that I think could help young people to stay on the right path and not get pulled into any of these County Lines drugs supply networks.

“Once they’re sucked in, they’re exploited and their lives are made hell. The impact on them is just terrible and there are links here to modern day slavery.”

PACT project manager Dave Evans said: “Every applicant must look at the commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan and consider how their proposal can support one or more of the five priorities that are contained in the introduction within that plan.

“They also need to talk to their local Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team through their PCSO or directly through their local inspector who will need to endorse and support their application before it comes to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s panel.

“This is a win-win for society because it’s bad money being turned into good. This is now the sixth year that we’ve been running this fund and every year the quality of applications is getting better and better and the impact that money is having in the communities is absolutely fantastic. We’ve seen first-hand the benefits that the communities are seeing from this money both on a community basis and in an individual basis.

“The people of North Wales have a say in all of this. They are the ones who decide who is going to be successful in each category. The more votes that you can secure through your network of supporters as an applicant the better. It’s all down to the applicants to make sure that they encourage their supporters to vote for their particular project.”   

* Completed applications must be returned by e-mail to by 5pm on the closing date of January 18. For more information go to or

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

llanblogger says Merry Christmas to all its readers

County playgrounds could get more disabled friendly

* County Councillor Mabon ap Gwynfor at Llandrillo playground.
Playgrounds in Denbighshire could become more accessible for disabled children thanks to a drive to increase accessibility in the county.

County Councillor Mabon ap Gwynfor called for playgrounds to become more accessible earlier this year, and the authority agreed to take steps at last week’s Chairs and Vice Chairs Committee by making an audit of the current situation. 
Cllr ap Gwynfor, said: “There are children in our communities who are being excluded from an opportunity to play with their friends because many of our playgrounds have no suitable equipment. I have children in my ward who have mobility issues and can’t join with their friends in the playgrounds. This is true across the county. 
“The council has a programme of updating some of its playing parks at the moment, and we were asking that they consider the needs of disabled children.
"The authority carries out regular health and safety audits and have therefore agreed to carry out accessibility audits as well. This is excellent news.
"This information will allow playing ground planners to consider the needs of children with disabilities when they upgrade tour playgrounds, so that no child in the future will miss out on playing with their friends."
A statement from Disability Wales says: “In 2010 local authorities in Wales were given a duty to ensure children and young people in their areas had access to secure and sufficient play areas. Eight years on, the provision for inclusive play areas that disabled children can use remains poor.
"It is disappointing that despite the legislation disabled children are missing out on their right to play.
"It is great to hear of the campaign in Denbighshire to increase access to playgrounds for disabled children.
"Disability Wales welcomes the steps taken by Cllr Mabon ap Gwynfor to raise awareness of poor playground provision for disabled children in the county. Disabled children have the right to play in the same playgrounds as their non-disabled siblings and friends. 
"We hope that the playground refurbishment programme by Denbighshire Council will result in more inclusive playgrounds for disabled children.”

Monday, December 24, 2018

Peugeot travels to luxury end of people carrier market

* The Peugeot Traveller.

* The Traveller's interior.

Peugeot Traveller road test by Steve Rogers

Not so long ago no family was complete without a people carrier.

They were born in the eighties, the brainchild of Renault whose innovative Espace brought a whole new meaning to big family motoring. With seven comfy individual seats it was a bit like taking a trip in a miniature luxury coach.

The French company caught its rivals napping but habits change, the people carriers were a bit too big, not to mention expensive, and were pushed out by the smaller MPVs – Peugeot 5008, Ford S-Max, Vauxhall Zafira, Citroen Picasso etc.

All we are left with are the diehard Volkswagen Sharan, Seat Alhambra and Ford Galaxy.

Yet Peugeot has come up with a new people carrier. Well, sort of. The Traveller is not bespoke, it's based on the Expert van, a very good one as it happens, brim full of cutting edge technology, and just the job for throwing in such luxuries as heated and massaging leather front seats, tinted windows, thick pile carpets and few more homely touches.

The PSA group - that's Peugeot and Citroen - has joined forces with Toyota so if you think the Japanese company's Proace, Citroen Space Tourer and Pug Traveller look like triplets you would be right because only the front grille and badge setting them apart, oh and Peugeot would say its Traveller is far more luxurious, and it would be right. More expensive as well.

Does it work as a people carrier? Surely the firm suspension needed for commercial work compromises ride comfort for passengers.

It might, except this is not a heavy duty van, so the starting point offers the best of both worlds. My first journey was solo along B roads and the van DNA was obvious. Road rumbles came up through the suspension and it became obvious that Traveller does not have the composure of a big car.

On decent A roads and motorways the ride is fine and it got better with six people and luggage to settle it down, in fact Traveller got universal praise for comfort from the four back seat passengers.

The seat configuration is two-three-three with the second and third rows each having a 70/30 split, all on runners so there are a multitude of combinations. Legroom is ample for all adults but be aware boot space is limited on the shortest of the three versions when all the seats are in play.

To maximise capacity for our trip one two-seater was taken out so there was extra luggage space which was just as well given the boxes of wine that materialised. Versatility is the key here and movement between the rows is fairly easy. For carrying big items, and I mean big, all the seats can be lifted out but the doubles are heavy beggars so get a mate to give a hand.

Whether it is being used as a van or people carrier Traveller has car like driving habits. Driving position is good with adjustable steering column, nicely weighted steering, and dashboard mounted stick for the six speed gearbox.

My test car was the six speed automatic with a manual option operated from steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The change is smooth enough but throttle response from start is a tad slow and can catch you out at busy roundabouts.

The features found on high spec cars are all here, electric windows, air conditioning, navigation, automatic wipers and headlights with auto dipping function along with a 360 degree rear camera which, incidentally, has brilliant definition.

Rear passengers get roof mounted heating controls, although it wasn't that effective, but the wide opening powered sliding doors went down particularly well along with the glass roof panels which pour light into a dark area.

Another useful feature not found on many cars is cabin storage space. There are loads of cubbies on the Traveller.

Safety isn't forgotten either with the excellent blind spot alert, a huge help on motorways picking up an overtaking car that can be out of site for a split second. Adaptive cruise control is another good safety feature on busy motorways as well as keeping the driver on the right side of average speed cameras. And should it snow the Traveller has Peugeot's highly praised grip control system which does exactly what it says on the tin, providing extra grip in slippery conditions.

Top prize goes to the windscreen head up display, perfectly positioned in the driver's eyeline for speed and navigation instructions. It's a brilliant aid and the sooner it is standard on all cars the better.

There is performance aplenty from the most powerful engine option, a 2-litre turbo diesel, which averaged between 39 and 41mpg over 1400 miles.

Just a couple of irritations: Lighting is needed for the temperature switches on the dashboard and the cruise/speed limiter stalk is hidden behind the steering wheel and difficult to use.

I don't see a lot of family's heading for the Traveller. It might be well equipped but £39k will buy a very decent big SUV. But it is perfect for VIP travel and taxi work.

Fast facts

Peugeot Traveller Allure

£39,239 (starts £31,850)

2-litre turbo diesel 180bhp auto

48.7mpg combined

151g/km. First year road tax £830

Insurance group 24

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Scheme aims to deter offenders from life of crime

* North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones.

A pioneering scheme to divert low level offenders away from a life of crime is being launched in North Wales.

The idea has been championed by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones who says it will cut reoffending rates as well as reducing police and court time.

It’s anticipated part of the Checkpoint programme will be piloted in a selected area of North Wales in the New Year with the aim of rolling it out across the region over the next 12 months.

The scheme, which has been developed by Cambridge University, has been successfully trialled in Durham.

Offenders are offered  the chance to avoid prosecution by seeking help from rehabilitation services in the community after signing a contract to say they will comply.

Each offender will be supervised by a skilled 'navigator' – many of whom have successfully completed rehabilitation programmes - the four-month period and they face prosecution if the contract is broken.

Durham’s Checkpoint programme has already won a national award from the Howard League for Penal Reform and has achieved impressive results in reducing reoffending.

Statistics from Durham showed only four per cent of those referred for support were re-convicted compared with 19 per cent who went down criminal justice routes.

It is argued that the Checkpoint approach improves life chances because people avoid getting a criminal record, which can affect employment and education opportunities.

Mr Jones, a former police inspector, says it may even save lives because criminalisation deters people from seeking help and encourages high risk behaviours.

With the estimated cost of imprisoning someone now at £65,000 and £40,000 for every year after that, Mr Jones also argues that public savings could be substantial.

Following a recent fact-finding visit to Durham, Mr Jones Jones said: “Checkpoint is aimed at people who have committed a lower level of offences and rather than taking them to court we can intervene and use skilled navigators to direct them to the appropriate services.

“This will address the underlying causes of their offending and aim to reduce the risk of them re-offending.

People are often motivated to commit crime due to underlying issues in their lives – these could include drug or alcohol misuse, mental and physical health issues, housing or homelessness, or problems to do with money or relationships.

“Checkpoint offers eligible offenders a four-month long contract to engage as an alternative to prosecution.

“The contract offers interventions to address the underlying reasons why they committed the crime to prevent them from doing it again to somebody else.

“Serious offences such as rape, robbery or murder will not be eligible for Checkpoint. Neither will driving offences, cases of serious domestic abuse or serious hate crime.

“Checkpoint is not a soft option – and it will be harder to complete than all of the current out of court disposals currently available , for example, a caution, or a fixed penalty notice.

“If the subject successfully completes the contract and does not reoffend, no further action will be taken against them.

“If they reoffend or fail to complete the contract they will be prosecuted and we will inform the courts of the circumstances of their failure to complete the contract.”

In Durham they have 12 navigators who currently deal with 300 offenders who have given an undertaken to seek help from services for four months and in return they will avoid prosecution but if they breach that condition then they will go to court.

Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg, who invited Arfon Jones to come and see how the programme is working, said “Checkpoint demonstrates that traditional criminal justice sanctions are less effective in reducing reoffending than diversion schemes.

“Traditional criminal justice sanctions such as a caution or a fine do nothing to address the reasons why people offend and reduce reoffending.

“It’s also important to adopt this kind of strategy as we face financial cutbacks and have to look at different ways of operating – this will help us to cope.
“There’s scope for savings with regard to police, court, probation and prison time – any cost will be outweighed by the savings.
"Serious offenders who commit serious crimes will not be offered this and will still go to prison.
“Checkpoint is a massive step forward for policing and for this force in general.”

Oneplanet Adventure gets early Christmas present

Oneplanet Adventure has announced the purchase of the Visitor Centre at Coed Llandegla Forest from the Church Commissioners for England (CCE).

A statement from Oneplanet says: "The purchase and signing of a new lease for recreational use of the forest will ensure the future of the site as the ‘Gateway for adventure in North Wales’ for years to come.

"The team at Oneplanet Adventure would like to thank CCE and Tilhill for their assistance over the years and we very much look forward to continuing the partnership long into the future.

"We would also very much like to thank HSBC and Development Bank of Wales with assistance from Hillyer Mckeown and the Welsh Governments Accelerated Growth Program who have all played an important part in enabling us to make this happen.

"As passionate mountain bikers, everyone at Oneplanet Adventure very much look forward to sharing our exciting plans for the future with you all early in the new year."

Saturday, December 22, 2018

County advises on your festive shopping rights

On the last Saturday for present buying before Christmas Denbighshire’s Trading Standards team is reminding shoppers of their rights.

Cllr Tony Thomas, Lead Member for Housing, Regulation & Environment, said: “Knowing your rights can take some of the stress out of shopping.  Shoppers who know their rights shop with confidence, saving time and money, which is good for all concerned.

“Nobody wants to give or receive a defective product but it is important to know how to resolve any issues, should they arise.”

If you have bought goods after 1 October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies and it is now easier to understand and enforce your consumer rights.

Here is a summary of the main changes to the law and tips for a happy Christmas shopping experience:

Refunds for poor quality goods – If you bought goods after 1 October you have the right to a full refund within 30 days of purchase if the goods you have bought are faulty, not fit for purpose or don’t match their description.  If goods have a fault within six months and they can’t be repaired or replaced, in most cases you are entitled to a refund.

Returning unwanted goods – your rights are different depending upon whether you bought from a shop or through distance selling (online, over the phone or mail order) - If you have bought goods from a shop and there is nothing wrong with them and you’ve simply changed your mind, you do not have any rights to a refund although some shops do have a refund policy, so always check the terms of the refund policy before buying.

If you’ve bought online, over the phone or by mail order - The new law states that if you change your mind you now have 14 days from the date you received the goods to tell the seller you have changed your mind and obtain a refund.  Once you have told the seller you have another 14 days to return the goods.

There are a few exceptions, such as personalised items or goods that will deteriorate quickly.  Make sure you know what your cancellation rights are and how much it’s going to cost you to send goods back before you buy.  If the goods are faulty the seller must refund the return postal costs.

Extra costs - If you are buying online, over the phone or by mail order check any additional costs, such as delivery and any other charges. This information must be made clear and you will not be responsible for costs you were not made aware of before you entered into the contract.

Finally, don’t get scammed and watch out for fake goods; always buy from a genuine and reputable retailer. If the price sounds too good to be true – it probably is!  If you are buying online, ensure you check the seller and the website out. Check that the contact details and address is real, do a price check and read online reviews and see whether the trader is part of a recognised association, such as Buy With Confidence ( Check to see if the website is a legitimate stockist by visiting

* For advice on your consumer rights call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh Language or online via .  Reporting a fraud can also be done through Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or on the website at

Friday, December 21, 2018

Meet Llangollen's Youth Parliament member

* Youth Parliament member Talulah Thomas.

A student from Llangollen has been elected as a member of the Welsh Youth Parliament.

The parliament, which will meet frequently over the next two years, includes 60 young people aged 11-18 from diverse backgrounds across Wales.  

Representing Clwyd South will be Talulah Thomas, a year 13 student at Ysgol Morgan Llwyd who is hoping to go on to study history and politics at university.

Parliament members will choose the issues they wish to debate and raise awareness of them at national level.

They will also gather views from other young people across the country and work with those with the power to make change.
Talulah said: “During my time as YPM, I hope to work closely with our local AM Ken Skates and MP Susan Elan Jones over these next two years.  

“My key issues are mental health education in schools, promoting culture and the Welsh language and Welsh youth participation in politics.
“I wish to be a member of the Welsh Youth Parliament because the political future of Wales rests with our youth, and our nation's young people must be engaged to ensure progression.”

She added: “I would encourage discussions within schools by starting an all-inclusive committee that will highlight the issues that are important to young voters, as their views are most important to me.
“I hope that this will reflect politics as an essential element of everyday life and create a bridge between the voices of young people and the Senedd in order to negate the rhetoric that it is inaccessible and elitist.

“I would like to create a Welsh language podcast with young people that will discuss and debate issues such as mental health, Welsh independence and the voting age. By using a modern form, I hope to raise political issues in a relaxed and accessible way.
“By being a member of the Syr IfanC Board and acting as the ambassador of my area, I have confidently developed group discussion and debate skills about issues, as well as contributing to the community.

“I have no fear of voicing my opinion and I would be very excited to have the opportunity to act on behalf of young people to ensure that we have the representation that we deserve as the youth of Wales.” 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

New waste and recycling scheme gets green light

Plans to change waste and recycling collections in Denbighshire have been given the go-ahead
The changes will include:
·         a new weekly collection for recyclables such as paper, glass, cans, and plastic
·         a new weekly collection for nappies and incontinence wear
·         a weekly collection for food waste
·         a new fortnightly collection for clothes and small electrical items
The aim is to encourage more recycling on top of the council’s current rates (64%) to meet the Welsh Government’s 70% target by 2025, with an expectancy that the target will rise to 80% in future.
The council says if residents use the recycling service correctly, it should only result in a minimal amount of residual waste being created. 

As a result, the council will be changing the collection of non-recyclable waste to every four weeks for the majority of households.

Residents will be issued with a  bigger black bin if they need one, but overall, households would have more capacity each week for managing their waste than they have with our current service. 

The new weekly recycling service (using a Trollibloc system) would provide more capacity for recycling when compared to the current fortnightly collection with the blue wheelie bin.  

Residents will be able to free up even more space in their black bin by using new kerbside recycling services for textiles, small electrical goods, batteries and where needed, nappies and incontinence waste.   

The Welsh Government has already committed £7.9 million towards the service. This funding would be used to develop the infrastructure necessary to enable the council to change the service. 
Welsh Government are supporting the changes as the proposed changes mean that the carbon footprint of the new service would be much less. We would be using less fuel, recycling more waste and producing higher quality recycling suitable for use in the UK manufacturing industry, avoiding, where possible, the use of virgin materials sourced from the Earth’s diminishing resources.

Councillor Brian Jones, Cabinet Lead Member for Highways, Planning and Sustainable Travel, said:  “This has been a big decision for the council and these proposals have been explored and considered at great length.
“Whilst we are delighted that the change has been approved, the hard work of preparing for the changes and working with communities begins today. We have taken on board the comments received as part of a consultation we arranged and we want to make the transition to the new service as seamless as possible.
“This proposed new way of working will certainly make the county more environmentally friendly, it will make residents consider what and how they recycle and will also save money through implementing a more efficient and effective service."
Over the coming months, the council will be launching an information campaign to keep residents informed of the changes and any impacts on them and their community. The new facilities that are needed to support the service should be in place early 2021, with the aim of the whole county being moved across to the new service by July 2021.
Further information will be included on
* A llanblogger reader submitted a Freedom of Information request to the county council regarding its garden waste scheme, and says this showed it has derived the following income from the scheme:

2015/16 £408k

2016/17 £390k

2017/18. £434k

2018/19 £390k (year to date)

Monday, December 17, 2018

llanblogger takes a short break

llanblogger is taking a short pre-Christmas break but will be back before the big day.

Large audience enjoys town carol service

* The audience sings a carol during the service.

* Llangollen Silver Band provide accompaniment to the carols.
The Rev Phil Poole, to the right of the stage, led worship.

* Cor Canu Hardd take the Town Hall stage.

* Town Mayor, Cllr Jon Haddy, delivers a reading.

A large audience took part in the annual Llangollen Town Carol Service at the Town Hall yesterday (Sunday) evening.

Musical accompaniment, sung in English and Welsh, was provided by Llangollen Silver Band, which also performed a selection of numbers on their own including Winter from Vivaldi's the Four Seasons and Oh Holy Night.

The audience also appreciated the seasonal numbers provided by boys and girls of the local young people's choir, Cor Canu Hardd, conducted by Elen Mair Roberts. Immediately after leaving the stage to warm applause the choir had to dash off to its second appointment of the night, signing at the Eisteddfod Christmas Concert at the Pavilion.

Various readings from the Bible were delivered between the music by people including Town Mayor, Cllr Jon Haddy.

The service, which was organised by the Llangollen Churches Together organisation Cytun, was led by the Rev Phil Poole of Llangollen Methodist Church.

During a break in the service the winning exhibitors in the annual Christmas Tree Festival staged at the Methodist Church were announced. They were Best White Christmas: the Holy Cross Church; Best Traditional: Ysgol Bryn Collen.

Afternoon tea, prepared by volunteers, was served during the first hour of the event.

Inclusive dance competition to open near Llangollen

* Helen from Dolywern takes part in last year's Strictly Cymru final.

Wales’ first fully inclusive dance event, Strictly Cymru, is back for the second year running, with the first regional heats taking place near Llangollen this week.

Organised by the disability charity Leonard Cheshire, Strictly Cymru invites disabled dancers from across the country to take part and show off their talent.

The event is pan disability and aims to improve health, wellbeing and access to sport for disabled people across Wales.

First of the regional heats will be at Leonard Cheshire in Dolywern on Thursday and Friday, December 20 and 21.

This follows the success of last year’s competition, where participants reported significant improvements in their well-being as a result of taking part.

Helen from Dolywern, who had experienced extreme short-term memory loss and limited speech, now engages in conversation, has improved memory and an extended range of vocabulary. She came joint third in Strictly Cymru Grand Final last year.

Helen said ahead of the final last year: "It was a fun event to take part in. I’m amazed was in the final!"

Leonard Cheshire is inviting disabled people across the country to take part in the competition — from keen dancers to complete beginners.

Glyn Meredith, Leonard Cheshire’s Director of Operations in Wales, said: "Dancing improves people’s health, happiness and well-being, opening up opportunities that too often are not accessible for disabled people.

"Following enormous success last year, we can’t wait to see what this year’s Strictly Cymru has to offer.

"We know there is a huge wealth of talent among the community in Wales and this event is the perfect opportunity to bring people everyone together to show what they can do."

The event has been organised in partnership with Para Dance UK.

Patrick McGeough, Para Dance UK CEO, said: "We welcome the opportunity to partner with Leonard Cheshire on this amazing event, enabling the community of Wales to take part in dance, but also developing a legacy that can show and enable the community that everyone can be involved in dance whether that is for fun, creative or competitive reasons.

"We wish all the participants good luck and we look forward to meeting and inspiring everyone to get involved have fun and show that no matter what the ability that all of the community of Wales can dance!”

* For further details and to find out how to take part, please visit:

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mazie designs AM and MP's Christmas card

* Susan Elan Jones MP with Mazie Pemberton, holding her
winning card design, and Ken Skates AM.

A six-year-old schoolgirl has been chosen as the winner of a competition to design this year's Christmas card for the area's AM and MP.

Mazie Pemberton’s entry featuring a colourful tree was Ken Skates and Susan Elan Jones’s favourite out of hundreds submitted.

Her design has been made into the Labour pair’s official Clwyd South Christmas card and will be sent to hundreds of homes, businesses and organisations across the constituency.

Mazie, who is in Year 2 at Rhosymedre Community Primary School, was presented with her framed original, a winner’s certificate and prizes by the politicians on Friday morning.

Susan said: “We would like to thank all the children who took part, as well as their teachers. There were so many wonderful entries it was incredibly difficult to make a decision, so we have included the runners-up designs inside the card as well. The finished article looks fantastic, we’re delighted with it.”

Ken added: “It was brilliant to meet Mazie and present her with her prizes. We could’ve chosen any number of entries because there were so many excellent ones, but Mazie is a deserved winner. I’d like to wish all the children and staff a merry Christmas and a very happy new year. I hope they all enjoy their well-earned break.”

The runners-up were eight-year-old Evie Davies and six-year-old Isobel Paddock, both from Ysgol Acrefair, who will also receive certificates.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Freezing weather closes Ponderosa for the day

The Ponderosa Cafe on the Horseshoe Pass has closed due to bad weather today.

A post on Facebook this morning says ...

Morning everyone,

Due to freezing conditions on the car parks I have taken the decision to close the Cafe today.

The roads are treacherous with black ice in lots of places please only travel over if necessary.

Apologies for any inconvenience

Kind regards Simon Clemence

Llangollen Museum stages its Christmas Carol Concert

* People gather to sing carols during the concert.

Llangollen Museum hosted a Christmas Carol Concert at Valle Crucis Abbey last night (Friday).

By special permission from CADW a large number of people packed inside the ancient chloisters to brave the cold and sing a variety of seasonal songs accompanied by Llangollen Silver Band and Cor Meibion Bro Glyndwr.

The choir and the band also performed a number of solo carols and there were Christmas-themed readings by museum volunteers. 

Local supermarkets donated mince pies and mulled wine.

* Members of Cor Meibion Bro Glndwr perform.

* Llangollen Silver Band provides musical accompaniment to the carols.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Catrin Finch joins eisteddfod line-up for 2019

To celebrate tickets going on sale to the general public Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod has announced royal harpist Catrin Finch as the next addition to its evening concert line-up for 2019.

Harpist and composer to the Prince of Wales and vice president of the eisteddfod, Catrin Finch is one of the most accomplished and versatile harpists of her generation.

She joins a line up that already features jazz and bluesman Jools Holland, French-Mexican star tenor Rolando Villazรณn, salsa, pop and flamenco outfit Gipsy Kings and award-winning Celtic music band, Jamie Smith’s MABON.

Music Director of the festival, Edward-Rhys Harry, said: “We are very proud to announce Catrin as our next addition to the already star-studded line-up, which spans genres and generations, crossing the boundaries of age, culture and creed.

"There really is something for everyone and we’ll be adding even more early in the New Year, with the announcement of our Llanfest headliners for 2019.”

* Tickets are on sale to the general public and can be purchased online at or via the box office.