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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Explorer Bruce Parry heads for Fringe date

Explorer, film maker and environmentalist Bruce Parry is heading to Llangollen Fringe Festival.

Parry (pictured) is a documentary filmmaker, best known for his BBC series Tribe which saw him living with indigenous peoples around the world, and thereafter his work about globalisation and climate change.

More recently he switched from television to the big screen with his directorial debut, ’Tawai, a voice from the forest’ - his attempt to dive deeper into the heart of what he had learned on his many years travelling the world.

The Fringe will be hosting a screening of that film on Sunday July 21 at the Town Hall, followed by an interview and Q&A with Parry.

Tawai is a word the nomadic hunter-gatherers of Borneo use to describe the connection they feel to their forest home.

In this dreamy, philosophical and sociological look at life, Parry embarks on an immersive odyssey to explore the different ways that humans relate to nature and how this influences the way we create our societies.

From the forests of the Amazon and Borneo to the River Ganges and Isle of Skye, Tawai is a quest for re-connection, providing a powerful voice from the heart of the forest itself.

* Tickets are on sale now at £15. Festival tickets and dates and times for all concerts and events are available from or by calling the Fringe box office: 0800 1455779.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

New Dot unveils summer film programme

New Dot Cinema's summer programme has just been announced. 

It includes First Man, the dramatic biopic about Neil Armstrong and the race to put a man on the Moon. 

The rest of the programme includes a beautiful French animation, a dreamy Italian tale, a French novelist who broke all the rules and a Russian ballet dancer's dramatic dash for freedom.

New Dot has made some changes for this programme to tickets and screening times. 

From now on, tickets will be priced at £6 across the board. No more two-tier pricing. 

Also, it is moving its screening time up half an hour. From now on the doors will open at 7pm and the film will start at 7.30pm. 

* Tickets and more information about any of the films can be found on our website:

Hong Kong family return as eisteddfod volunteers

* Bill Kong, right, with his wife Selena and their son Daniel.

A businessman from Hong Kong is making his magnificent seventh trip to Llangollen International Eisteddfod to work as a volunteer.

And this time Bill Kong will be bringing with him the male voice choir he has been a member for many years and which will mark its 40th anniversary by performing at the festival.

Wine expert Bill, 58, recalls being mesmerised by the intoxicating magic of the eisteddfod on his first visit as an audience member in 2013.

He was so taken with the atmosphere that he was determined to travel back to Llangollen to join the small army of dedicated volunteers who help make the iconic cultural event such a big hit and has been coming back ever since.

Bill’s links with Britain go back over 40 years to when he attended a prep school near Bewdley in Worcestershire then a public school near Uttoxeter in Staffordshire.

Later he went on to Manchester College, Oxford to study for a degree in social administration before returning to Hong Kong in 1984.

Bill joined the Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir - HKWMVC - there a couple of years later after being introduced to it by a friend.

He performed with the choir in the London Welsh Festival of Male Voice Choirs at the Royal Albert Hall in 2004 at the invitation of the London Welsh and sang with it in the chorus of the Hong Kong Art Festival’s production of Tosca in in 1999, which is where he met his wife Selena.

When he’s not drinking in the joys of music Bill works as a consultant in the wine business in Hong Kong and has been a wine importer, educator, consultant to importers and a wine judge.

Bill said: “Selena and myself, along with our son Daniel who is now 14, will be arriving in Llangollen from Hong Kong once again.

“Apart from volunteering to welcome visitors from across the world, this year we will help as the field hosts to my own choir.

“Our HKWMVC will be bringing 36 choristers to take part in seven performances at the eisteddfod and three outside performances including Bala, Gresford and Wrexham.

“This year also happens to be HKWMVC’s 40th anniversary year and beside our multinational choristers we will be joined by our better halves, families and friends from Hong Kong.

“We will have close to 100 people attending this year’s eisteddfod and most will be in Llangollen, and at the eisteddfod, for the first time.

“Amongst our party will be a number of our choir’s founding members and our life president, Berwyn Evans.”

Bill added: “I am truly honoured to have been an ambassador for Hong Kong to the eisteddfod.

“I can’t believe this is my seventh year here with my family and we feel Llangollen is our second home.

“I must thank everyone at the eisteddfod and in the town of Llangollen for having given my family a most wonderful experience and the kind of hospitality that we can never forget.

“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on the field.”

Friday, June 28, 2019

Popular engine steams off for major overhaul

Seen passing Berwyn hauling the 15.10 from Llangollen in glorious sunshine on Thursday, the BR Standard Tank 80072 is undertaking its final steaming at Llangollen Railway this weekend.

As of end of play on Sunday June 30, the engine will be withdrawn from service for its 10-year overhaul. 

A railway spokesman said: "If you want a ride behind 80072 be sure to visit Llangollen Railway on Saturday or Sunday to see and hear this popular engine in action for the last time after ten eventful years."

Canal man Phil reaches Llan in time for eisteddfod

* Phil Thane at the helm of his boat Seren as it passes over the aqueduct.

* Looking out across the valley as Seren noses over the aqueduct.

* A panoramic view of the valley.

* Phil arrives in Llangollen at the end of his long canal voyage.

A former local town councillor has this afternoon (Friday) arrived safely in Llangollen after a mammoth 25-day trip along the canal network to reach the town in time for the International Eisteddfod.

Phil Thane moved down to Potton in Bedfordshire just over two years ago and has since rebuilt an elderly cabin cruiser named Seren.

Almost a month ago he set off aboard her to reach Llangollen and now, over 300 miles and 230 locks later, he has just berthed in the local marina.  

He intends to enjoy daily visits to the eisteddfod before casting off for home in about a week's time - again travelling all those miles and passing through the same locks in the opposite direction.

"It was a very pleasant trip and only rained for most of time," he joked.

"I'm glad to be visiting Llangollen again, a place of which I have many happy memories." 

Phil, who is a technical author by trade, has been writing a blog on his solo voyage for the Waterways World magazine. 

Councillor calls for county to declare climate emergency

* Llangollen county councillor Graham Timms
 is amongst the signatories to the climate change motion. 

Llangollen's Graham Timms is amongst a group of county councillors calling on Denbighshire to declare a climate and ecological emergency. 

He said: "I was approached by Llangollen Friends of the Earth to see if I would be prepared to put a motion calling for a climate and ecological emergency to DCC and agreed. 

"However, I did not want the motion to appear to be a Labour Party motion as I thought that it would gain much more support if it was sponsored by individuals from other groups too.

"This issue is far too serious to be claimed by one political party. I sent FoE names from all political parties who I thought might be sympathetic to the motion and as a result it has been put forward for the council meeting next Tuesday with three names, Joe Welch, the independent councillor for Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch, Mabon ap Gwynfor from Llandrillo and myself."

He added: "The scientific community tells us that unless we move very quickly to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions there will be catastrophic consequences, causing climate change and an ecological disaster for the whole earth. 

"Whilst this issue needs to be tackled internationally by governments across the world, I believe that we should set an example locally by committing ourselves to becoming carbon neutral in the next 10 years within Denbighshire County Council. 

"Llangollen recently became the first town in Denbighshire to gain 'plastic free' status from Surfers against Sewage, showing that our residents and businesses already have a commitment to the environment. 

"If this motion is passed it will extend our commitment to the whole of the county council. We are proposing the setting up of a task and finish group to examine the extent of the work that needs to be done to achieve our aim. It will report back to the council within 6 months with a plan on how we can become carbon neutral by 2030 at the latest. 

"I've had lots of emails from concerned Llangollen residents urging me to press DCC to declare a climate emergency. 

"As a former science teacher I have been teaching young people about the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions and the greenhouse effect. I recently met with the school council at Ysgol Dinas Bran and they were also passionate about the need to take action locally to prevent serious environmental damage. It is time now that we take this issue very seriously and look carefully at how we can all work together to avoid the crisis that scientists predict." 

The motion calls for Denbighshire County Council to:

● Immediately declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency.

● Commit to making the authority net carbon zero by 2030 at the latest

● Set up a task and finish group to draw up a clear plan within 6 months to achieve the above, including ways to enhance biodiversity in Denbighshire

● Call on the Welsh Government and UK Government to provide assistance and resources to enable us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance biodiversity.

● Work with partners across the public, private and third sector to help solve this climate and ecological emergency.

The Welsh Labour Government declared a Climate Emergency earlier this month, setting a date of 2030 when they would aim to become carbon neutral in the public sector.

Dedicated birdwatcher John wins AONB award

* At the awards presentation. Front row, Ann Williams, AONB Senior Countryside Warden, Rhun Jones, John Lawton Roberts and his wife, Vice Chair AONB Partnership Cllr Paul Cunningham, Chair of AONB Joint Committee Cllr Tony Thomas.

An avid birdwatcher from Llangollen has been presented with an award.  

Every year the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) presents two awards to honour those contributing to the landscape and communities in the area.

This year John Lawton Roberts was presented with the AONB Volunteer Award.  

Corwen Community Garden was given the AONB Award.

Mr Roberts has devoted much of his life to recording, watching and reporting on birds in North East Wales and has helped paint a detailed picture of the changes to bird populations in the area spanning a period of more than 40 years.

He has had various scientific papers published and charted the changes to the avian interest at Ruabon Moor and Creigiau Eglwyseg, with his work contributing to the success of a number of projects including the Welsh Black Grouse Recovery Programme.

Corwen Community Garden is located within the community orchard near the centre of town, and is a resource for all members of the community.

The group meets every Wednesday, providing a social opportunity and making a contribution to the health and wellbeing of participants.

The site was developed in spring 2016 with Welsh Government funding secured by Age Concern and once the funding came to an end, a small group of volunteers carried on the work.  In the past two years they have transformed the field into a beautiful and productive garden.

Chair of the AONB Joint Committee, Councillor Tony Thomas, said: “I would like to congratulate John and the volunteers from Corwen Community Garden on their awards.

“The Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB benefits from all those who give their time and effort to help improve the landscape and communities. Both John and the members of Corwen Community Garden have gone above and beyond in their efforts.”

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Festival Praise at Methodist Church

Singing festival at Capel Seion on Sunday

A good sing or simply experience a great Welsh tradition ably led by excellent conductor and accompanist.





8 P M




Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Police deal with rural off-roaders

During last weekend, June 22nd and 23rd, North Wales Police ran a second operation to address concerns regarding off-road bikes and 4x4 vehicles.
Following numerous complaints, increased patrols are taking place in rural parts of Denbighshire and Wrexham to target the illegal use of off-road motorcycles that are being ridden illegally.
As a result of the weekend long operation 15 people were dealt with for having illegal number plates, one had no insurance one for was dealt with for other driving offences.
Sgt Martin Jones said: “In addition to a safety hazard to both themselves and others, illegal off-roading has a major impact on the environment.”
“There are signs in place, but people are choosing to ignore them. We would like to remind members of the public that anyone found to be undertaking illegal off-road activity on a footpath or bridleway may be liable to prosecution under S34 of the Road Traffic Act and S59 Police Reform Act. Under both acts, illegal off-road riders are liable to have their vehicles seized.”
“The best way forward is for these riders to find a commercial motorsports site, an off-road centre, or by joining a reputable club specialising in off-road activities. User organisations can advise people on the use of public rights of way, such as byways and unsurfaced roads.”
Police have the power to seize bikes and cars which are used in a way which causes harassment, alarm or distress. A warning is given first but if that fails to be effective and the vehicle is used in an anti-social manner again, it will be seized under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act. Vehicles can also be seized if the rider is not insured or has no road tax.
Riders who want to keep within the realms of the law are encouraged to contact their local rights of way officer for information on where they can ride or join one of the many organisations representing riders.
Sgt Jones added: “Riding off road motorbikes can be very popular – however, these vehicles can also be used in a dangerous, noisy and anti-social way, generating lots of complaints to police.”
“We regularly receive complaints concerning the anti-social use of off road motorbikes, and to help reduce harm to individuals and communities, we will continue to work closely with our colleagues in Natural Resources Wales to carry out operations where we will seize and crush illegal off road vehicles.”
He added: “Information received via the public is vital to positive action being taken and we are urging anybody who witnesses the illegal use of motorcycles, off-road or quad bikes in the area to contact us. We would also request that any footage captured is sent to us with as much detail as possible.”
Sergeant Luke Hughes, of Wrexham Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "We will continue to take action against those who show no regard for road traffic laws, or those with no respect for the local community and wildlife.
"We wish to make our communities and these areas of natural beauty safe and accessible for all to enjoy and will run similar events regularly through the summer."
Anybody with information regarding the use of illegal off-road bikes are asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency always dial 999.

No. 5 bus will run for another year, says government

The Welsh Government will continue to fund the important number 5 bus service Wrexham to Llangollen in 2019-20, Transport Minister Ken Skates has announced.

It means this regular service will continue for the next year and carry on taking in stops including in Johnstown and Ruabon Railway Station.

The Welsh Government will now work with Denbighshire County Council to agree the necessary arrangements.

The news comes after Ken Skates recently announced funding of £25 million Bus Service Support Grant for local authorities in Wales for 2019-20.

This funding supplements local authorities’ expenditure from their own budgets in supporting the bus and community transport networks in their areas.

The Welsh Government’s White Paper, Improving Public Transport, also aims to improve bus services and provide legislation which will help deliver a truly integrated public transport service.

Transport Minister Ken Skates said: "An effective and reliable bus service is for many communities a lifeline and I have heard previously how beneficial the number 5 is to local people.

"I am pleased the Welsh Government will continue to support this service which is vital in connecting communities on this route from Wrexham to Llangollen.

"We know bus services provide important access to education, training, work and healthcare and for people to quite simply enjoy a day out. I hope today’s announcement brings comfort to those who use it knowing they can continue to benefit from this service.

"As a government, we are absolutely committed to ensuring a healthy future for public transport. Local authorities have a vital role to play in delivering a sustainable bus service for the benefit of local communities and we will continue to work closely with them and the bus industry to ensure passengers’ interests and needs come first.

Managing Director of Arriva Buses Wales, Michael Morton said: "The continuation of funding for this front line service guarantees that we can maintain the frequency on Sapphire Service 5 from Wrexham to Llangollen. Arriva Buses Wales is pleased to see that the Welsh Government sees this as an important transport link in this very beautiful part of North Wales that will continue to provide local people and tourists with an upmarket Sapphire standard bus service."

Denbighshire’s Cabinet Lead Member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, Councillor Brian Jones said: "We are delighted that the news of a second year’s additional funding for bus service improvements in Llangollen.

"This funding ensures that the town and its residents and many visitors will continue to benefit from an improved bus service than would otherwise be the case and this is meeting demand for public transport services locally in the Llangollen area. On weekdays, the funding allows the service to continue broadly every half hour during the day.

"The council also subsidises the evening bus service and I’m sure these developments will receive a positive response in the local community."

Council to host eisteddfod welcome event

Ysgol y Gwernant honoured for Welsh language use

* The gold award winners line up.

Ysgol y Gwernant in Llangollen is amongst 14 Denbighshire schools honoured for their commitment to increasing the number of pupils who communicate socially through the medium of Welsh.

In January 2016 the Welsh Government launched the Welsh Language Charter pilot scheme in Denbighshire's Welsh medium schools. 

The aim of the charter is to increase children's social use of the Welsh language. 

By taking part in the scheme schools will plan to inspire children and young people to use their Welsh in all aspects of their lives.

The Language Charter encourages participation by all members of the school community - the school council and the language ambassadors, pupils, the workforce, parents, governors and the wider community.

The schools received the Language Charter Bronze Award in the summer of 2016 and the Silver Award in the summer of 2017. 

Since then the schools have been working hard to achieve the Gold Award requirements and since summer 2018 they have been validated one after another and succeeded in achieving the Gold Award.

The successful schools are:

  • Ysgol y Gwernant, Llangollen
  • Ysgol Bro Dyfrdwy, Cynwyd
  • Ysgol Betws Gwerfil Goch
  • Ysgol Bro Elwern, Gwyddelwern
  • Ysgol Pen Barras, Ruthin
  • Ysgol Pentrecelyn
  • Ysgol Bro Cinmeirch, Llanrhaeadr yng Nghinmeirch
  • Ysgol Tremeirchion
  • Ysgol Henllan
  • Ysgol Twm o’r Nant, Denbigh
  • Ysgol Dewi Sant, Rhyl
  • Ysgol y Llys, Prestatyn
  • Ysgol Pant Pastynog, Prion
  • Ysgol Carreg Emlyn, Clocaenog.
Councillor Huw Hilditch Roberts, Lead Cabinet Member for Education, Children's Services and Public Engagement, said: “Receiving the Gold Award clearly shows the hard work that has taken place within the schools to improve the quality of the school pupils to socialise through the medium of Welsh.

“The pupils have been inspired to enjoy using the Welsh language in an increasing range of situations,  increasing their use of technology through the medium of Welsh and their confidence to use the language more widely within their community and beyond.

“Congratulations to all pupils on their success.”

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

County backs 10-year World Heritage Site plan

A plan outlining how the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site will be managed over the next 10 years has been supported by Denbighshire’s Cabinet.

Five miles of the Llangollen Canal, which is part of the World Heritage Site, is situated in Denbighshire and the council is one of four partners that have responsibility for managing the site. 

The others are the Canal and River Trust; Shropshire Council and Wrexham County Borough Council.

The sited is an outstanding example of the advances in canal building and the Industrial Revolution and includes the Llangollen and Ellesmere Canals.

The plan sets out how the partners will work together to create a community which is proud of its heritage and culture, making sure that the site is sustainable and preserved and that the site management results in greater economic, social and environmental benefits for this part of North East Wales and North Shropshire.

All partners will need to support the plan. Subject to approval from all partners, it will then be submitted to Welsh Government Ministers, the UK Government’s Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Cabinet Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said: “The site has great historic significance and is one of the region’s key tourism attractions. 

“Denbighshire is proud to be a key partner on the management board and values having such a major landscape attraction in our corner of North East Wales.

“There is a clear vision in place for managing the site.  We want people to continue to enjoy, value and appreciate the site and its historic and industrial past. There is also a lot of emphasis in the Action Plan on how all partners will work together to safeguard this important site for future generations."

Vicar aims to set up music hall branch in Llangollen

* Father Lee Taylor during an old time music hall performance.

Llangollen’s showbiz-loving vicar is aiming to set up a North Wales branch of the British Music Hall Society based in the town.

A big fan of the music hall since he was a youngster, Father Lee Taylor is a keen member of the society and also a frequent performer of the style of sing-along music which was popular around the end of the Victorian era and into the 20th century.

The vicar of St Collen’s and three other churches in the Valle Crucis Area, Father Lee now wants to set up a new branch based in Llangollen where fellow enthusiasts from right across the region can come together to celebrate their love of vintage songs like Down at the Old Bull and Bush and Champagne Charlie.

He said: “I’m a massive fan of music hall which was where the masses went for a good night out well before the days of TV and radio.

“I’ve been a member of the society for quite a few years and its stated aim is to cherish the entertainment jewels of the past.

“It’s supported by lots of famous people, such as the former Prime Minister Sir John Major, whose father Tom was a music hall and circus performer, the actress Dame Patricia Routledge and Ken Dodd’s widow, Lady Anne.”

Father Lee himself has been known to tread the boards doing comic songs and patter from the great days of music hall, particularly those involving vicars.

“I perform old songs like The Vicar and I Will Be There and, in fact, that’s one of the ones I’ll be doing when I do a guest performance for the local Ladies’ Fellowship in August,” he said.

“On Saturday, September 21 I’ve organised a coach trip from Llangollen to the world-famous City Varieties Theatre in Leeds, known as the home of music hall after years of staging the show, The Good Old Days. We still have a number of places left on coach.

“I’d love to start a North Wales branch of the society which would probably meet monthly in Llangollen. We’d have talks on the music hall, perhaps from experts and maybe people who saw it.
“We’d also show video clips of performances and have sing-alongs which I’d accompany on the piano.

“If we attracted the right kind of talented people we might even organise some music hall performances in local venues like church halls and pubs.”

* If you’re interested in joining a local branch of the British Music Hall Society, or joining the Leeds trip in September, email Father Lee on:

Monday, June 24, 2019

Kia with a 170mph sting in the tail

* The new Kia Stinger.

Kia Stinger road test by Steve |Rogers

A Kia capable of 170mph. We are having a laugh aren't we?

Nope, the Korean company that has won over the Brits with hatchbacks and crossovers has moved into the fast lane with a sports saloon destined to challenge the sporting hierarchy that is BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar.

Enter the Stinger - what a great name for a grand tourer - the quickest and boldest car ever to come off a Kia production line. New territory it may be but Stinger is no flash in the pan attempt to take on the establishment.

Stinger has been six years in the making and Kia waited until they had the right people in place before finally going for it. The final act was poaching Albert Biermann from BMWs M Sport division to make sure Stinger's engine and chassis were on the money.

The result is pure eye candy. People stand and stare and can't quite take in that this beauty is a Kia and who can blame them when the staple so far has been Ceed hatchback and Sportage crossover.

As a package Stinger is out there on its own stacked with kit making it serious value for money. Most of the standard features would be options on its German rivals. And while the German trio still feel a bit more special Stinger's cabin is a cut above anything we have seen before from Kia.

That's all very well but the real key to Stinger's success will be down to performance and handling. Biermann's task was to engineer a rear wheel drive grand tourer that was sharp and quick but not so brutal that you finished your journey thinking you had just climbed out of a rally car.

To that end he has succeeded. Stinger is as sound as a pound when pushed hard with quick steering and strong dynamics yet the level of comfort is rather better than might be expected. There are the usual electronic settings for different ride modes and even one that tailors everything to the driver's needs. I tried that but couldn't feel any difference.

The ultimate Stinger is powered by a 3.3 litre V6 with two other engine options, a 2-litre diesel or 2-litre petrol which is the subject of this road test. Logic would tell you to go the whole hog and buy the V6 rather than settle for second best yet I was more than satisfied with 'second best'.

The direct injection petrol musters 230bhp and responds more than adequately when asked put to the task through an eight speed automatic box with shifter paddles. Throttle response is swift accelerating Stinger to sixty in around seven seconds and there is enough mid range punch to set the adrenalin flowing.

Where Stinger leaves its rivals standing is on specification. It wants for nothing with a full suite of safety features which are important elements these days, and all the luxury items we crave. So if your wish list includes heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outer rear seats, sharp 360 degree view monitor, head up display, auto dipping headlights along with navigation and voice control then look no further.

I could only find one minor irritation. The centre mounted touch screen is a bit of a stretch for the driver and would be far better if selections could be made with a rotary controller in the centre console.

Whichever way you look at it Stinger is a wild card entry into the world of sports saloons, here to challenge the sporting hierarchy that is BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar. For a first effort it is a resounding success - BMW would have been over the moon if its first M5 was this good, yet Kia's UK sales hopes are modest at around 1,800 a year.

Badge snobbery counts for a lot when it comes to speed machines so expecting Audi, Merc or BMW loving Brits to swap in their droves isn't going to happen - yet. But happen it will because Stinger can will make it to the premier division, it just needs a bit more time.

Key facts
Stinger GT Line S
2-litre GDi 242bhp
0-60mph 5.8secs; 145mph
29.4mpg combined
191g/km. 1st year road tax £1,280

New Oak Street gallery has successful opening

* The newly-opened gallery showcasing work including pictures by owner Karl Young.

The official opening of the new Oak Street Gallery in Llangollen on Saturday evening went very well, according to its owner. 

Karl Young said: "It was a beautiful summer's evening, which helped because the crowd who came to the opening was able to extend out into the street. 

"I want to thank everyone who came and made it a memorable evening."

The opening exhibition, which will run from Wednesday to Sunday until July 27, features a number of pictures by Karl who is an artist himself.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Crowds flock to new Corwen food festival

* A general view of the food festival, with the new station in the background. 

Thanks to glorious weather, the first Corwen food festival brought out the crowds yesterday (Saturday).

Based on the old Pavilion site and organised by Anglesey Events, it included a host of stalls showcasing products from a wide area of North Wales.

George Jones, spokesman for Llangollen Railway whose project to open a new station in the area is rapidly nearing completion and who took these pictures, said: "The station development formed an impressive backdrop and it was generally agreed that at future events the arrival of a steam train would make a dramatic entrance. 

"The potential for the site was clearly demonstrated and for once the town's car park was full - and free.

"The event attracted a variety of stalls featuring craft and heritage sales, as well as traditional and exotic food and drink.

"The group performing in the morning was the Magee Bros, from Holyhead with a mix of Welsh, English and Irish songs."

* The Magee Bros on stage at the festival.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

County provides opportunities for work placements

A new work placement scheme is being introduced by Denbighshire County Council to help unemployed people get back to the world of work.

The Work Start scheme will be offering 15 paid work placements, at 16-30 hours a week work for a period of three months.  

There will also be 15 unpaid placements available, lasting six to eight weeks.  

These jobs will be wide-ranging potentially leading to a permanent position for the right candidate and will be available in the council’s main services.

The scheme is part of the Working Denbighshire project, which helps people get into work by providing support and guidance with a range of issues, including: motivation and confidence; one to one advice and guidance; training opportunities; volunteering; CV writing; work experience; interview techniques; applying for jobs; personal finances; caring responsibilities and  anything else that is preventing you getting into education, employment or training 

This scheme is available to existing and new participants of the Working Denbighshire scheme which means you will receive the support necessary to guide you through your placement.

People are encouraged to keep an eye on Denbighshire’s website and social media accounts for details of when the placements become available.

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE,  said: “This is a great opportunity for individuals out of work to gain some valuable experience and support that will get them onto a career ladder and improve their prospects of gaining further employment in the future.

“Whilst there is no guarantee of a job with the council, it could be the best stepping stone ever into a brand new career or a change in direction. All placements will be closely monitored, to make sure all individuals taking part maximise the opportunity to gain as much as possible from the experience”.

* To find out more about the programme, contact the team, on 01824  706489. Further details about the Working Denbighshire scheme can be found at:

Friday, June 21, 2019

Local groups meet to pool ideas at world cafe event

* Above and below: the groups discuss matters of mutual interest during the meeting.  

A range of local groups and organisations were represented at a World Cafe event hosted by Llangollen Town Council's Cittaslow Committee at the Town Hall yesterday (Thursday) evening.

The aim of the meeting was to find ways of them co-operating and sharing ideas which would benefit the town and their own aims.

Along with members of the committee, they split into discussion groups to deal with topics of mutual concern such as marketing and publicity, networking and partnership, funding, training advocacy.

This was a follow-up session to similar, previous meetings organised by Cittaslow.

Vicar plans major celebration of town's patron saint

* The carving of St Collen which will take
 pride of place during the celebration on August 4.
Llangollen vicar Father Lee Taylor is planning a major event in August to celebrate the town's patron saint.

Father Lee has commissioned local artist Christian Lancaster to carve an image of St Collen, whom Llangollen is also named after, and it's the first one ever done of a Welsh saint, he believes.      

The statue will be dedicated and blessed during a service at St John's Church in Abbey Road on Sunday August 4, starting at 10.30am.

The blessing will be followed by a colourful procession through the town up to St Collen's Church for a celebratory mass and refreshments afterwards. 

Father Lee said: "The saint will be carried aloft on a carrier with wreaths of flowers.

"Llangollen Silver Band, a choir and local dignitaries and representatives from the town will join in the procession. It will be an important day for the town."

Saint Collen was a 7th-century monk who is said to have arrived in Llangollen by coracle and founded a church beside the river. 
As there are no other churches in Wales dedicated to St Collen, it is possible that this St Collen may also have connections in both Colan, Cornwall, where Colan Church is dedicated to him, and Langolen in Brittany.
St Collen died on May 21, probably sometime in the early 7th century. He was buried in his chapel. 
For centuries it was known as the 'Old Church' and stood immediately to the west of the present medieval church of St Collen in Llangollen.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Man arrested on suspicion of firearms offences

North Wales Police have just posted on social media ...

Please do not be alarmed if you saw firearms officers in #Llangollen earlier.

A man has been arrested by the canal footpath and is on his way to custody after being arrested on suspicion of firearms offences.

Project aims to knit the wool back into Llan

* Gill Britten, right, and Cath Jones 
at the Gwlangollen spinning wheel.

A new project aims to put the wool back into Llangollen.

Gwlangollen sets out to bring together wool producers and users.

Through the use of traditional craft skills, suitable fleece are processed to produce unique, handmade, soft furnishings and gifts to be sold locally.

The project has achieved this by bringing together fleece producers who are interested in developing the necessary skills to process some of their own fleece, competent crafters who can pass on their skills to others, and volunteers who enjoy learning and making together.

Project spokeswoman Gill Britten said: "Shearing is an animal welfare issue which producers need to comply with. Historically fleece has been sold to the Wool Marketing Board (WMB). 

"In the past, the sale of fleece used to cover the annual farm rent. Today farmers are often receiving less than the cost of shearing and transportation costs to their nearest WMB depot.

"Gwlangollen has a keen awareness of the challenges faced by Welsh hill farmers and small holders, through rural and digital isolation, onerous workloads and often financial hardship." 

She explains that to date the project's research and development has been about:

The preservation and passing on the heritage craft skills connected with the local woollen industry to the next generation

Exploring the wider potential of locally produced fleece

Documenting the history of the woollen industry in Llangollen and its impact on the development of the town

Gill added: "We work closely with Lilly Rose Interiors in Llangollen. Jan markets our goods and ensures they comply with health and safety regulations and quality control. A ready market for our products has already been demonstrated. The project complies with Llangollen Town Council’s Cittaslow principles.

"Our supporters include crafters who are proficient in every aspect of using wool. Most are willing to pass on their skills either on a 1:1 or small group basis.

"Anyone interested, would be most welcome to join a Maker Day drop-in held every Friday from 10am-4pm at Pentredwr Community Centre. 

"Our next free event is our fleece sale and weaving event Saturday June 29, from 1-4pm, at Pentredwr Community Centre.

"It is your opportunity to see weaving demonstrations, or buy some fleece, talk to the producers and crafters. It's also a great networking opportunity and maybe the chance to try something new. Refreshments will be available.

"In order to develop, we are desperate for an affordable workshop, with a small area of outside space somewhere in Llangollen. We are very keen to contribute to the visitor experience of the town. If anyone has a creative suggestion to make, please do contact me on 07871 774651."