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Sunday, July 31, 2022

BBC films Songs of Praise at St Collen's

 * The crew filming inside the church.

* Congregation members get ready for the next hymns (above and below).

                           * Filming continues in the church grounds.

It was 'lights, camera, action' at St Collen's this lunchtime.

A film crew were at the church to shoot sequences for the BBC's Songs of Praise programme centred around the regular Hymns & Pimms musical sessions which vicar Father Lee Taylor began hosting during the 2020 lockdown.

Members of the congregation were shown singing a number of well-known hymns ending with the well-known Calon Lan in the original Welsh.

Later it was time for glasses of Pimms to be served outside in the church grounds. 

The Songs of Praise episode featuring St Collen's is due to be shown later this year. 

Feast of top-class rugby planned for Llan

The Royal Marines Charity has announced that it will be playing two high profile games against the cream of North Wales rugby in Llangollen on Saturday August 20. 

As well as treating local fans and visitors to two top quality games of rugby and the chance to meet RFU "royalty" in Ryan Jones (MBE) and Peter Rogers, organisers are hoping to raise much-needed funds for The Royal Marines Charity, as well as making a donation to the Ifan Phillips fund. 

Organising committee member and MD of local business Linguassist Graham Paton - himself an ex Royal Marine - said: “We are extremely excited to be hosting this event and to be able to show off the delights of Llangollen to such a wide ranging audience. I am sure that the town will get behind the whole event and we look forward to welcoming everyone." 

First up on the day at Llangollen Tower Fields will be Royal Marines Veterans v North Wales Barbarians, with kick-off scheduled for 2pm. 

Following this game will be the  highly competitive Royal Marine Corps v R.G.C Senior Academy. 

Attendance is free, with the organisers selling programmes for the match, which will include a raffle ticket where the winner has a pair of tickets for any Wales Autumn International match at Cardiff later this year. 

The fun doesn’t end there, because in the evening there will be a chance to party with the players at the pavilion building and enjoy live music from local bands, a hog roast and a full bar. 

Tickets for the evening event are £10 per person and again all money raised will be going to the RMA and Ifan Phillips fund.

Former International Rugby Union Players include:

* Ryan Jones – A legend of the Welsh game, Ryan is one of a small group of Welsh players to have won three Grand Slams, in 2005 , as captain in 2008 and again in 2021. In addition to a hugely successful playing career, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2021 Birthday Honours. 

* Peter Rogers – Peter is a former WRU who played prop. Rogers attained 18 caps for Wales and during a successful playing career, also turned out for Bridgend RFC, Maesteg RFC, London Irish, Newport RFC & Cardiff RFC.

Other attractions include:

* Weapons Display – For the first time in Llangollen, the Royal Marines will be allowing the public to get up close and personal with a range of cutting-edge weaponry.

* Party with the players – There will be hot food, live music, drinks and a family friendly atmosphere in the post-match party being held at the Pavilion building, tickets £10 per person and all ages are welcome.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Green guide looks at helping town’s environment

A new 'green guide' aims to generate ideas for improving Llangollen's environment.

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has published an illustrated guide to the town's Green Infrastructure (GI) opportunities.

Following on from the AONB’s 2021 publication, ‘Landscape and Nature Recovery in a Changing Climate’, the new guide looks at opportunities for adding to the existing GI network in Llangollen to managing, mitigating, and adapting to the threats posed by climate change.

Developed in consultation with the local community and led by the AONB’s climate change lead officer, the guide identifies six well known locations in the town and how they would benefit from GI additions.

Each of the locations are linked together by a GI route which is a mainly traffic free green corridor which should encourage active travel.

The guide looks at the existing situation in the town, sets out the basic principles necessary to provide a joined-up network of green spaces which benefit the local ecosystem and recommends improvements for discussion which would realise the GI objectives.

These include ecological improvements like tree and wildflower meadow planting and improved facilities such as path and signage improvements and sustainable drainage systems.

Cllr Win-Mullen James, Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, said: “This fantastic publication marks the start of a longer-term objective of creating a more sustainable Llangollen. 

"Apart from the council, Natural Resources Wales NRW and the AONB, several local organisations and businesses have already signalled their support for the guide, including the town council and Llangollen Friends of the Earth.

“It’s also good to see Ysgol Dinas Bran pledging its full support as the involvement of the next generations is essential.

“This is a great opportunity to spark discussion and action on green infrastructure from both a community grass roots level, and strategic level and we look forward to hearing the outcomes driven by this document.”

Printed versions of the guide are available from the AONB's Llangollen office at Y Capel, Castle Street, LL20 8NU, and also the Loggerheads Country Park office.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Inspectors survey for serious tree disease in Llangollen

* A tree with Ash Dieback.

Members of the county council's tree inspection team are currently in the town surveying Ash Dieback, a disease that may kill up to 90% of the Common Ash (Fraxinus Exclesior) in Denbighshire. 

In a note to local county councillor Karen Edwards, which she has sent to llanblogger, tree inspector Tom Hiles says: "As these trees deteriorate some will present an unacceptable level of risk to life or property and will require felling.

"The survey season is from June to October, when the tree canopy is in leaf, and the inspectors are focusing on the primary highways and council property. 

"As an Ash dominated area, your ward is a priority for the survey team. Each member of the team has a DCC van with the usual logos which will probably be parked in laybys or by the road.

"All the data collected will inform an action plan, due to be published before the end of this financial year, which will outline the council’s response. 

"Ultimately, as many of the trees adjacent to the highway are in private ownership, the council will start to issue notice, under Section 154 of the Highways Act, requiring landowners to fell trees that have become unsafe."

Railway gets programme of summer events underway

Gill Britten will be running 'pop-up' heritage skills workshops at Llangollen Station every Saturday throughout the summer.

These are linked to the industrial history of the Dee Valley and activities will focus on topics such as working with wool, brass rubbing using railway signage and slate painting.

This Saturday, July 30, the workshops begin with working with wool.

The activities are free to take part in and will be located on Platform 2. 

The aim is to give people the chance to learn a bit about how local industries were revolutionised by the coming of the railways with hands-on exhibits and activities.

* On Wednesday, August 24, Peter Dickinson will give a talk called Steaming Through North Wales at Llangollen Museum, starting at 7pm.

It is described as a nostalgic trip by train from Ruabon through Llangollen and Corwen to the Cambrian Coast.

No advance booking is necessary.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Campaigners welcome improved safety measures at Ruabon roundabout

Local campaigners have welcomed a promise to improve safety at a roundabout used by many Llangollen people which was the scene of a recent accident. 

Member of the Senedd Ken Skates (pictured) and Ruabon councillor Dana Davies both wrote to the council to call for action at the Aldi roundabout linking Ruabon, Acrefair and Rhosymedre to the A483 dual carriageway, which residents had branded dangerous. 

The Labour pair wanted new, improved road marking and signage to avoid the ‘confusion’ causing regular near misses – and Wrexham Council has now agreed. 

In an email, received by Mr Skates on Wednesday (July 27), the council said: “Following a recent site meeting with the Local Member it has been agreed that arrows which were on the road surface on the approach to the roundabout on the A539 travelling towards Llangollen would be replaced along with an advance road sign at the start of the short distance of dual carriageway.  

“This will mean that vehicles approaching the roundabout heading for Llangollen on the A539 will be in lane two along with right turning traffic going into the village of Ruabon on the B5605. This should then reduce any conflict with vehicles in lane one which is taking place at the moment. 

“I will also be looking at speeds of vehicles arriving at the roundabout especially from Ty-y-Fron area of the A539 where there is an allegation of vehicular speed.” 

Mr Skates previously said a number of his constituents had contacted him on the issue saying measures are needed to make it clear to drivers which lane they should be in. 

Mr Skates, MS for Clwyd South, said: “I’m pleased the council has responded so positively to the request Dana and I made, and I hope this will help clear up any confusion for drivers and make the area safer. This is something I’ve been contacted about regularly. 

“I’m also very pleased that the council has agreed to look again at the issue of speeding on the approach to the roundabout from the A483, which is another issue Dana and I have raised previously on behalf of residents.” 

Cllr Davies first raised the issue with Wrexham Council earlier this year – months before the recent crash reported by local media. 

She said: “I’m pleased the council is now taking action to make the area safer. The roundabout has become a nightmare and I hope this will remove any confusion for drivers around what lane they should be in. 

“I also hope the promise to look at the speeding issue results in something permanent being done on that front, as it would go a long way to reducing noise pollution for nearby residents as well as further improving road safety.” 

With the support of local residents, Mr Skates and Cllr Davies were previously successful in helping to stop ‘boy racers’ congregating on the Aldi car park late at night after the company agreed to install a security barrier restricting out of hours access.


Llangollen Twenty Club returns to Dibley for its next show

Llangollen Twenty Club has announce its November 2022 production of Vicar of Dibley Christmas Special.

The show will be performed in Llangollen Town Hall from Wednesday-Saturday, November 16-19, including a matinee on the Saturday. 

The society is holding open auditions in the RAFA Club, Llangollen next Tuesday, August 9 and audition material, including characterisations, general information and the all important audition pieces are available, either online via the email address:, or by contacting Sian Glynne Jones at Courtyard Books, or Chrissie Ashworth on 07970 449843.

A Twenty Club spokesperson said: "This very funny, beautifully written play brings out the best of the eccentric, frankly dysfunctional folk who live in the rural fictional setting of Dibley, led by the fun loving, curvaceous, bubbly vicar, Geraldine Granger.  

"Nothing ever quite goes to plan however hard she tries, hampered by the wacky villagers!

"Do come along to audition, if you are interested in learning more. The last time the club staged a Vicar of Dibley play was way back in 2017 when we played to full houses.

"Covid has delayed this production and the society welcomes a return to putting on two plays per year."

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Latest Citizens Advice column

Here is the latest column from Denbighshire Citizens Advice:

Q: I’m due to fly to Spain during the school summer holidays. After hearing about all the problems at airports, I’m really worried. My family have been looking forward to this and it’s cost us a lot of money. What do we do if our flight is cancelled or delayed? 

A: A lot of people will be worried after seeing the recent news about flights. If you face issues, the Citizens Advice website has lots of information about what to do when your flight is delayed or cancelled. 

If you’re already at the airport when they announce the delay, the airline should give you food and drink, access to phone calls and emails. You should also get accommodation if you’re delayed overnight (including journeys to and from the airport). 

Your airline might offer you vouchers to pay for these or advise you to keep receipts to claim back expenses later. They will only refund ‘reasonable’ expenses, not expensive meals or luxury hotels. 

What counts as a long enough delay to get this help depends on how long your flight is. A short flight only needs to be delayed two hours, whereas a flight of more than 3,500km needs to be more than four hours. Full details are on the Citizens Advice website

It’s worth knowing that if your flight is delayed for more than five hours, you don’t have to take it. The airline legally has to give you a full refund for that flight (and any onward flights and return flights if you’re part-way through a connecting journey). Talk to someone from the airline as soon as you decide you don’t want to fly. 

If your flight is cancelled altogether, you’ve a legal right to either a full refund or a replacement flight to get you to your destination. The refund includes any onward flights and money for a return flight if you’re part-way through a connecting journey. Ask about this at the airport if you can. 

Don’t just rebook another flight yourself - check with the airline first because it’s their responsibility to sort out your replacement. If you do have to rebook it yourself, keep any receipts and evidence of why the airline couldn’t do this for you, for example screenshots of live chats. If the cancellation ends up delaying you getting to your holiday by two or more hours, you’re entitled to help with costs. 

Check if you’re entitled to compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight. Again, this will depend on how long the delay was, the distance, and whether it’s the airline’s fault.

The Citizens Advice website has details on claiming compensation for delays or cancellations from the airline. You might also be able to claim from your travel insurance – check if your policy covers this. 

If you have a problem with an airline and you’re not sure what to do, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 0808 223 1133 or talk to an adviser online through the Citizens Advice website.

Llangollen organisations back regional Borrow Bus project

* The North East Wales Borrow Bus.

Organisations in Llangollen are backing a scheme to help households across North East Wales help save money and to reduce local levels of waste. 

The Lottery-funded Borrow Bus project is led by reSource, a community interest company based in Ruthin, working in partnership with Drosi Bikes  of Llangollen.

Also involved are the Pengwern Community Hub and Friends of the Earth Llangollen.

According to the scheme's sponsors, the aim is for the bus to travel around North East Wales making it easy for people to share and borrow household and garden items that are used infrequently, so encouraging a local circular economy. 

Over time it would increasingly attend complementary events such as repair cafés, community festivals etc.

To learn more about how the local community and how they could benefit from the project organisers are asking people in the areas involved, including Llangollen, to take part in a survey.

They say this will only take five minutes to complete with responses needed no later than August 19.

All entries registering for a mailing list will be entered into a draw for a £50 voucher.

Organisers add: "All responses are confidential. No individual named person or data is shared without their explicit agreement."

New bench is installed at popular viewing point

* The new bench at the viewing point.

A popular view point from which to see the mighty Pontcysyllte Aqueduct has been given a new lease of life at Trevor Basin.

The vegetation in the foreground has been maintained at a lower height so that the view of the aqueduct is revealed in all its glory and a rustic bench installed.

The bench is made from the trunk of a mighty elm tree that had to be felled for safety reasons at Plas Newydd in Llangollen 3 years ago.

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund through the Our Picturesque Landscape Project the volunteers that took part were taught the skills involved and can now proudly sit and absorb the views.

Councillor Win Mullen James, Cabinet Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, said:  “Many visitors and local people stop to look at the stunning view from this point and now they can sit and spend time enjoying the picturesque landscape. We would like to thanks the National Lottery Heritage Fund for making this possible”.

Our Picturesque Landscape Project centres on the landscape of the Dee Valley and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site. It takes the theme of inspirational journeys that have been, and continue to be, a feature of the area which is cut by the canal, Telford's A5 and the River Dee. Visitors have drawn inspiration from this beautiful valley in art and poetry since the 18th century and it continues to draw tourists in search of the sublime.

This landscape is under growing pressure with high numbers of visitors drawn to what are often our most fragile sites. The communities on its doorstep, born from the industrial endeavours that shaped it, are now less connected to the benefits the landscape offers. The five year project will invest in the resilience of key visitor sites and engage communities in its appreciation and management while reinterpreting this rich landscape for a new generation.

Projects have been developed under 3 themes -Conserving the Picturesque Landscape, Accessing the Picturesque Landscape and People and the Picturesque.

Our Picturesque Landscape Project is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. It is a partnership project developed by theClwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Pontcysyllte Aqueductand Canal World Heritage Site, Denbighshire County Council, Wrexham County Borough Council, Shropshire Council, The Canal & River Trust, Natural Resources Wales, Cadw,Cadwyn Clwyd, Aqueducks (Friends of the World Heritage Site) and the Friends of theClwydian Range and Dee Valley.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Denbighshire calls or hosts for Ukrainian refugees

Denbighshire County Council is calling on people living in the county to get in touch with the Welsh Government if they can offer a home for those resettling in the UK as a result of the atrocities in Ukraine.

The council has worked closely with Welsh Government to welcome families and individuals to Denbighshire and teams from the Council have been working to carry out checks at properties put forward as a sanctuary. 

Teams are also working to support people’s health and well-being needs, as well as supporting families to find places in school for their children.

Welsh Government has now renewed its call for more hosts that can offer a home to come forward and Denbighshire County Council is supporting them to share information and reach local communities.

To offer a home in Wales for refugees from Ukraine you must:

  1. live or own residential property in Wales
  2. have not been matched with guests from Ukraine
  3. be able to offer a spare room or separate home for at least 6 months
  4. have leave to remain in the UK for at least 6 months
  5. not have a criminal record

Councillor Rhys Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “Denbighshire has a long history of accommodating and supporting refugees and over the last five years the Council has resettled 25 families, made up of 95 individuals, predominantly in response to the refugee crisis in Syria and Afghanistan.

“We are pleased to have been able to welcome families and individuals arriving in Denbighshire from Ukraine over recent weeks and that work continues.

“The Council is working to ensure the relevant support is available for families once they arrive in Denbighshire, this includes our education team processing applications for school places.

“Through Home Office funding, we are well placed to provide the necessary support and have a working group to manage the programme, as well as a dedicated team working directly with families, and additional support from partners in the third sector and from local volunteer groups.

“A number of Denbighshire residents have come forward to offer accommodation to those who have been forced to leave Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict and on behalf of the Council I would like to thank them for their generosity.

“However, we need those individuals or families who can provide a home to get in touch with the Welsh Government

* If anyone has any enquiries, or would like to offer accommodation, they should visit:

Llangollen company pledges support to veterans' charity

* Jason Rickwood and Hugh Luckock.

An outdoor adventure and activities company in Llangollen has pledged its support to veterans’ charity, Launchpad.

Bearded Men Adventures provides accommodation, catering, adventure and activities such as white water rafting, coasteering, river tubing, mountaineering and paddleboarding.

The company has agreed to donate 1% of their annual income from activities to the charity.

The business, which was set up in 2018 by two friends who just so happen to have bushy beards, Jason Rickwood and Hugh Luckock, caters for families, groups and individuals as well as schools, corporate businesses, stag and hen groups.

Passionate about giving back to good causes, both Jason and Hugh selected Launchpad as their chosen charity and said they admire the work that Launchpad provides to veterans.

Launchpad provides vital accommodation and support for up to 100 veterans across three houses in the North of England and helps residents to transition from military to civilian life. Bearded Men Adventures invited staff and residents from Launchpad’s Speke House in Liverpool to experience a day of outdoor adventure activities, which included white water rafting.

Jason, 36, a veteran himself, served 12 months with the Royal Engineers and most of his family have a connection with the Army including his two brothers and father. In addition to Bearded Men Adventures, he is also a Level 4 snowboarding instructor and teaches the Royal Navy snow board team during the winter months.

Hugh, 34, said: “We’ve been going for four years now and despite Covid-19 having an impact on our business, we’re really starting to see the business taking off. Supporting veterans is a great thing to do and when we found out about what Launchpad does to support those veterans who may be struggling with the transition, we wanted to support them and be part of a charity that is doing positive things.”

Jan Buckley, acting activities co-ordinator at Launchpad’s Speke House who also attended the white water rafting day last week with seven residents, said: “We are very grateful to Jason and Hugh to committing to supporting Launchpad. We had a great day out and all residents really enjoyed it. It has given everyone a boost and was good to see residents bonding together.

“Being outdoors and keeping active provides a positive and stimulating experience for our residents and is a good way for them to manage their mental health and wellbeing. Everyone who attended has been talking about it and commenting on how much fun they had.”

Bearded Men Adventures and Launchpad are exploring the possibility of a camping trip in September for residents. This will be a two-day adventure activity programme led by Bearded Men Adventures and will include wild camping and bushcraft skills.

Launchpad’s Speke House includes 50 self-contained flats and communal areas such as a lounge, kitchen/dining area, IT suite and garden. Staff work with multiple partners to support each resident on their journey to living independently.

* For more information on Bearded Men Adventures and their activities, please visit their website as:

Monday, July 25, 2022

'Visit Llangollen' Liverpool kids tell city's refugee families

* The horse-drawn boats on the canal (above) and the Oggie Shop in Castle Street are 'must see' attraction in Llangollen, say the Liverpool schoolchildren.

Messages welcoming refugee families to Liverpool from a group of the city’s schoolchildren contained a tip for them to visit Llangollen.

The letters were compiled by the Action Asylum project housed at Asylum Link Merseyside, working with two schools, The Beacon Church of England Primary and Bishop Martin Church of England Primary, as part of this year’s Refugee Week celebrations.

According to a story in The Guide, Liverpool, suggestions from the 10-year-olds included sampling local attractions such as doughnuts in Liverpool ONE and mini golf at Otterspool.

Other highlights were Bold Street’s Cat Café, the soft play centre Fantasy Land, and the city’s two football stadiums – although one girl admitted she preferred cricket.

Junior culture vultures also praised the city’s museums, the Western Approaches bunker and the Tate Gallery.

And, soon after ‘Wales welcomed the world’ at the recent Eisteddfod, one adventurous young writer recommended a 45-minute trip out to Llangollen.

Once in town, the junior travel guide suggested stopping off to see the horse-drawn barges, adding: “Make sure to go to the Llangollen Oggie Shop.”

The letters were shared with refugees studying English at Asylum Link Merseyside, who have since written back, and whose messages have been read out in the classroom.

In their letters, the schoolchildren urge the new arrivals that “there is no need to be afraid” and tell them “you’ll never walk alone”.

* To see the story, go to:

Sunday, July 24, 2022

On-the-loose cockerels offered safe new home by animal lover

* The two cockerels pictured in their place of safety.

A pair of colourful cockerels which have been seen pecking away on a grassed area close to the busy A5 on the entrance to Llangollen, worrying scores of passers-by, have been taken in by a local animal lover.

Anna Grace Richards has taken to Facebook to say that she’s offered them both a place of safety on her own land at least until their owner comes forward to claim them.

In her post, which has so far attracted over 60 supportive comments, she says:Morning all. These two flamboyant fellows have been clucking about on the Maesmawr/A5 junction for a few weeks, now. 

“I'm aware that they've been discussed on here before, and it does seem as though they may have been dumped. 

“I was keen to get them away from the main road, and I think some kindly people have been feeding them as they were much happier to be approached than a couple of weeks back. 

“Hence yesterday I gathered them up and they are now happily pecking up our paddock and roosting in our old duck house. 

“I thought I better let people know, as I think they might be missed and I know I would have felt concerned if I didn't know where they'd gone! 

“This is their home if they need it, but obviously, should anyone be or know of an owner of these two lovely boys, drop me a message and I'll reunite them.” 

She adds a short video to her post to shown how contended the two birds now seem. 

Some of the comments which have been flooding in say: “This makes me so happy. What a lovely home they now have.” 

“Phew! I wondered where they'd gone. So glad they're safe.”

“Oh my! That’s amazing news! Thank you so much for offering them a lovely home! This makes me so happy Julie Francis.”

“Thank you so much for saving them, such beautiful boys, I did message quite a few rescues who said they couldn’t take any boys.”

“Anna Grace Richards I know it’s so sad, we have hens but some of the girls think they’re boys crowing. Thank you for giving them a safe space. Have been thinking about them recently so happy to know they’re safe.”

“They look very happy, I was concerned everyday coming home from work seeing them so close to the A5, well done.” 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Fringe Festival announces weekend ticket details

Llangollen Fringe Festival organisers have announced details of their weekend tickets. 


Weekend 1 

The 1
st weekend ticket covers Saturday 23rd Day and Night with Act I of A Gathering of Folk during the day and, afterwards, The Turbans in the Town Hall.  You also get to see the fabulous support band Cosmic Dog Fog in between!  Then chill out on Sunday 24th with a laid back afternoon in the Bridge End for Act II of A Gathering of Folk.  Ticket link here!

Weekend 2 

The 2
nd weekend ticket covers Friday 29th with the fabulous and amazing Talisk.  Then on Saturday 30th, why not enjoy the Fringe on the Fringe at Gales Wine Bar Marquee with a Super Saturday of music to suit all tastes, link here, then come on over to the Town Hall to see (and hear!) the Musik of Kraftwerk performed by the Ebony Steel Band.  Ticket Link here!  

The full line-up for this years festival, our 25th Birthday Edition, click here


Collen Players present their red-hot summer show

* The entire Collen Players cast on stage for the finale. All pictures by Jeanette Robinson.

* Chairman Lee Taylor Opens the proceedings.

* Sue Stokes was the first act of the night.

* Phil Robinson presents his two songs.

* Banjo man Andy Eastwood performs.

* Mike Connolly on stage.

* Musical theatre specialist Shea Ferron.

The Collen Players took to the Community Hall stage for their summer old time music hall and variety show yesterday (Friday) evening.

Once again under the skilful and sometimes cheeky chairmanship of their founder Father Lee Taylor, the cast presented a package of the kind of diverse entertainment that the regular audience has come to know and relish.

After the usual opening sing-along - including the favourite Sons of the Sea - we were back in the naughty 1890s to see Sue Stokes give a lively rendering of the old music hall number K-K-K Katy followed by a soulful Fields of Athenry.

This warmed things up suitably for Phil Robinson to remind everyone why his Victorian character had won the boozy title of Champagne Charlie before heading off to an old-time fair with I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts.

Next came the first appearance of the night of accomplished George Formby tribute act Andy Eastwood, strumming out a string of the toothy Lancashire performer's biggest hits including Little Stick of Blackpool Rock and I'm Leaning on a Lampost.  

After the interval the chairman introduced Mike Connolly showing off in song his Two Lovely Black Eyes followed by the clever Hippopotamus Song.

Reminding us that music hall/variety isn't just for those who might actually remember its glory days, young Shea Ferron bounded on to deliver two musical theatre stormer, Who I'd Be from Shrek and Stars from Les Miserables.

Back for a welcome second appearance came Andy Eastwood to swap instruments and musical styles, using the violin to play stirring themes from Dambusters March and The Great Escape before another successful Collen Players outing was rounded off with the usual rousing choruses of Down at the Old Bull and Bush led from the stage by the whole company.