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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Twenty Club's radio play is a light programme of laughs

* The Twenty Club cast of My Wife's Family on stage at the Town Hall.

Llangollen Twenty Club's goes live "on-air" with its autumn production of My Wife's Family at the Town Hall from this Thursday.  

While it's quite a departure rom their normal type of play, those tuning into this clever little piece set in a 1940s recording studio are promised a more-than-light programme of laughs.

It's actually a play-within-a-play with the on-stage action set in the 1930s.

A switched-on club cast of around a dozen take their cue from the absurdities of a dysfunctional family, who come to stay at the country residence of Jack Gay - played by an extremely competent Ian Wright - much to his dismay as he detests his mother-in-law, Arabella Nagg - a fearsome Emily Swindley - who presents herself to be a force with which to be reckoned.  

As the make-believe actors gather round the old-fashioned studio microphones, battered scripts in hand, it's all about a clever interplay of words between them - usually about how awful they think their fellow family members and friends are - and that's where the humour lies.

A whole bevy of Twenty Club favourites are on parade playing characters on both levels of play.

They include Kevin Williams, John Clifford, Steve Hughes, Tracey Kempster-Jones, Caroline Anthonitsz, Bev Maier, George McGill, Mike Connolly, Jayne Dickson and Lizzie Clifford. 

It is a little dip into middle class 1930s country life but magnified and with some strange characters and lost babies and broken pianos, with the pace fast and quick-witted.

Cleverly directed by Chrissie Ashworth, production values are high with a set strongly evocative of a period radio studio, some impeccable BBC cut-glass accents and costumes bang-on for the era.  

My Wife's Family is aired at Llangollen Town Hall from Thursday November 2 to Saturday November 4 at 7.30pm with a matinee on the Saturday at 2.30pm.

Tickets are £12/£10 from: or at Llangollen Courtyard Books or The Oggie Shop.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Things come round again for Mazda rotary motor

Mazda MX 30 R-EV launch by Steve Rogers

The famed rotary engine is back but powering an electric motor not a Le Mans winning super car.

Mazda has dusted off the cobwebs and given its rotary engine a new life as an electric generator for the hybrid MX 30.

The rotary engine is renowned for it lightweight, compact design as well as being smoother than conventional piston engines and served Mazda well powering the 1967 Cosmo and several RX models.

The downside is a terrible thirst but that will not matter this time because the 830cc rotary engine is being used as an electric generator to charge the battery, so instead of driving the wheels it drives the electric motor.

Unlike its electric MX 30 sister the R-EV will never give you range anxiety because it has a 50 litre fuel tank to keep the engine running when called on to charge the batteries.

In simple terms this is a plug-in hybrid with, thanks to its lightweight construction, a better than average 53 miles electric range that can be topped up to 80 per cent in 25 minutes from a 36kWh fast charging unit, and 90 minutes using a 7.2kW home charger.

Mazda is a bit out of kilter with the rest of the car industry deciding to continue developing petrol and diesel engines alongside hybrid and electric, and given the Government’s decision to put off scrapping the combustion engine until 2035 the decision seems to be justified.

Mazda’s UK boss Jeremy Thomson told me the company is committed to becoming carbon neutral but pointed to the fact that demand for electric cars is cooling off as people worry about the the cost of electricity, battery range and the charging infrastructure which, he said, is posing a serious risk to EV uptake.

So, where are we on charging stations? Way behind target.

To date there are 44,000 but to reach the Government’s target of 300,000 by 2035 the rate of installation has to be trebled to 10,000 every three months. That sounds a tall order.

On that basis the MX-30 R-EV is a very useful addition to the range. Sales of the electric model have been slow and that is no doubt down to its low 124 mile range which does not leave much in reserve in the event of a long journey, but not a problem here.

The new model shares the same footprint as the sister car and offers something different to the opposition. It has the same pillarless design and rear hinged doors, just like a Rolls-Royce Phantom, giving it a clean profile.

It is a novel idea and worked well on the RX-8 sports coupe all those years ago but as a family car getting in and out of the back seat is a bit of a trial and six footers will be scrunching up for the lack of legroom. It’s also a bit claustrophobic because of the small amount of glass.

Inside has the premium feel we have come to expect from Mazda which has definitely upped its game in recent years. The vegan feel to the cabin is carried over from MX-30 with recycled materials. The cork linings are a nod to Mazda’s beginnings in 1920 as a cork manufacturer.

The dashboard is devoid of switches with a top mounted touchscreen taking care of main operations best dealt with by the rotary controller conveniently positioned behind the gearstick. Another screen at the base of the centre console takes care of the permanently displayed heating and ventilation controls. That works well too.

As with MX-30 the R-EV is all about driving enjoyment so expect an easy going, agile feel with a reasonably sharp uptake when the fast pedal is floored. What can throw you is the lack of engine noise, even though there is an engine under the bonnet. There is a bit of a hum, and that’s it.

It is a sophisticated set up with three drive modes one of which recharges the battery on the move but for a hassle free long drive leave it in normal and top up the fuel tank as and when. Top speed is limited to 87mph in an effort to extend the battery range and given our maximum speed limit should be enough for comfortable overtaking.

The range is split into three models, Prime-Line, Exclusive and Makoto with prices ranging from £31,250 to £36,000.

We can safely say that the arrival of R-EV will guarantee a lot more MX 30s on our roads.

Fast facts

MX-30 R-EV Makoto


Rotary 830cc + motor 168bhp

0-62mph 9.1secs; 87mph

37.2mpg combined (50mpg driven)

21g/km. First road tax £55

Insurance group 23

Boot: 332-1137


Firefighters rescue man from River Dee, says story

The Denbighshire Free Press is reporting that an injured man was rescued by firefighters from the River Dee in Llangollen.

Llangollen Fire Station said the crew got called at 5.34pm on Saturday to a man who had fallen in the river with an injury. 

* For the full story, see: Llangollen: Firefighters save man who fell into River Dee | Denbighshire Free Press

Inner Wheel hosts whist drive and light supper


Local author's new tale of blood in old Wrexham

An award-winning local author takes us back to Victorian Wrexham for his latest mystery. 

Blood Among the Threads is the 13th in David Ebsworth’s series of bestselling historical fiction novels. 

They include his popular Yale Trilogy, with many scenes also set in Wrexham in the 17th and early 18th centuries. 

In this new release, Wrexham has been hit by a series of accidental deaths which increasingly seem more than simply accidental. But can those deaths truly be linked to the huge coverlet on display at Wrexham’s magnificent 1876 Art Treasures Exhibition? And is there, literally, blood among the coverlet’s threads?

Born in Liverpool, David Ebsworth has lived in the area since 1981. 

Formerly a union organiser, he took up writing after he retired in 2009 and now writes every day without fail. 

* Author Dave Ebsworth.

His previous novels cover lesser-known episodes from the Spanish Civil War, 6th Century Britain, the 1879 Zulu War, the lives of Elihu and Catherine Yale, the 1815 Waterloo Campaign, and from the tale of a Liverpool-Welsh suffragette family during the turmoil of 1911 (The House on Hunter Street). 

In addition, he has recently published his non-fiction Wrexham Revealed, a companion for self-guided walking tours of the city’s history.

He said: "I was intrigued by all those major events which took place here in Wrexham during 1876. That was the year when the Football Association of Wales was first organised at the Wynnstay. And then, from July until November, there was the enormous Art Treasures Exhibition on the ground where Argyle Street currently stands. 

"It attracted tens of thousands of visitors from all over Britain and abroad. After that, the first National Eisteddfod ever to be held in Wrexham – and, as it turned out, a very famous one. And much more besides. It seemed to me that it would be neat to bring these things to a wider audience by using all these events as the backdrop for a murder mystery – so here it is."

Blood Among the Threads by David Ebsworth is due to be published on November 1.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Latest local roadworks alerts

Latest local roadworks alert from are:


Junction With A5 At Bryn Derwen Terrace to River Dee Junction, Corwen, Denbighshire

29 October - 03 November


Delays likely - Diversion route


Name: Diversion


Location: Junction With A5 At Bryn Derwen Terrace To River Dee Junction


Description: Streetworks / License - Streetworks


Responsibility for event: Denbighshire County Council


Current status: Planned


Brook Street, Llangollen, Denbighshire

30 October - 01 November


Delays likely - Road closure


Name: Brook Street, Llangollen


Location: Brook Street


Description: Streetworks / License - Streetworks


Responsibility for event: Denbighshire County Council


Current status: Planned


Brook Street, Llangollen, Denbighshire

30 October - 01 November


Delays likely - Diversion route


Name: Diversion


Location: Brook Street


Description: Streetworks / License - Streetworks


Responsibility for event: Denbighshire County Council


Current status: Planned 





Saturday, October 28, 2023

Councillor clarifies if Llangollen people can use Plas Madoc tip

* Plas Madoc waste recycling centre.

Llangollen county councillor Karen Edwards has clarified whether Llangollen people are yet able to use the Plas Madoc waste recycling site in neighbouring Wrexham.

Last month llanblogger revealed that Denbighshire County Council had negotiated a deal with neighbouring Wrexham which runs it enabling locals to use the tip rather than having to take a 32-mile round trip to Ruthin or use the pop-up facility being offered for the past few years at the Pavilion car park.

Officials said the new arrangement could start from this month but llanblogger understands a number of people have been turned away when they have tried to leave their waste at Plas Madoc.

This has been due to industrial action by refuse collection staff in Wrexham.

Questions about the situation have been raised on social media which turned into a debate on Facebook yesterday.

This has prompted a response from Cllr Edwards who said: “Having seen recent comments from residents I would like to clarify the latest position regarding the use of Plas Madoc waste recycling facility by Llangollen residents.

“Whilst I’m aware that people have commenced using the facility I can only stress that it is not yet officially open to the Denbighshire County Council residents and people who choose to use the facility do so at the risk of being turned away.

“I reiterate that the reason for the short delay is due to a request from Wrexham County Borough Council.”

The breakthrough in local people being able to use Plas Madoc came after an intensive campaign led by Llangollen’s Phil Jones spearheaded by a petition of over a thousand signatures.

The agreement between Denbighshire and Wrexham will provide:

  • Increased number of available booking slots 208 a month initially as opposed to current 128 available for residents of Llangollen (will be subject to constant review dependant on demand) .
  • More flexibility providing booking slots every day, not just between 9 and 11am on third and fourth Saturday of each month.
  • Plas Madoc HWRC is a managed site ensuring the health and safety of all its users as a controlled environment.
  • Plas Madoc HWRC has the capacity to increase recycling rates, through the process of checking and removing recyclable items that have been placed in the residual waste stream.
  • Initially residents will be able to take residual and green waste and we are working with Wrexham to provide additional streams once the relevant processes are in place.
  • Residents who turn up with chargeable waste will be turned away as the case at Denbighshire’s own sites
  • As now residents with bulky items can either take them to one of the DCC HWRC sites listed on our website or use the bulky collection service provided by the council.
  • The financial costs for the new service is in line with the exiting budget for the Llangollen pop-up service whilst providing an improved service and ensuring all material is treated and recorded in accordance with legislation. 


Friday, October 27, 2023

Son gives details of John Evans's funeral

* John Evans whose funeral is on November 3.

Details of the funeral of John Evans – known as the “Voice of the Eisteddfod” – who died last week have been given on social media by his son.

For many years John – also affectionately known as “John the Voice” - was stage manager and an announcer at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. 

He was also a regular performer with Llangollen Operatic Society for which he took many leading roles and had sung with the famous Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir. 

John died on Friday October 20 after a short illness and news of his death sparked many glowing tributes on llanblogger and social media from the large number of people who knew him.

Earlier today his son, Adam Gaunt-Evans, gave details of the funeral arrangements on the eisteddfod volunteers’ Facebook page.

He said: “For anyone who knows and wants to pay their respects to Dad - his funeral will be at Pentre Bychan Crematorium, Rhostyllen, Wrexham next Friday 3rd November, at 12pm.

“This will be followed by a gathering (and hopefully some singing) at the Hand Hotel, Llangollen, from 1.15pm.

“Please share these details with anyone who might not see this post. We're very sad, obviously, but also looking forward to welcoming people next week to celebrate John's life with us.” 

John, a native of Acrefair, was former Stage Manager at the Eisteddfod, a past member of the Standing Board, past Chair of the Music and Staging Committee and a member of Grounds Committee.

He was also a proud competitor when he sang with the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir.

John’s fellow Eisteddfod volunteers have spoken fondly of his sometimes wicked sense of humour and of his dedication to the festival. 

His beloved Stage Crew shared many happy memories, in particular Mark Jones, John’s successor as Stage Manager. 

He said: “You just expect some people to be around forever. John was that, almost parental. I’ve a lot to owe to him dragging me up to the side of stage all those years ago, when he found me photocopying in the music office; he learnt that I was more interested in the technical side and it’s opened up more doors for me than could be imagined. 

He added: ‘There isn’t much that could be safely printed when it comes to tales of John but his character will always live on and his company will be greatly missed.” 

'Major disruptions' at Loggerheads due to Storm Babet

Loggerheads Country Park is experiencing major disruptions in the aftermath of Storm Babet.

Denbighshire County Council says it is working hard to carry out repairs to the site which has sustained significant damage due to flooding - the worst the site has experienced since 2000.

Some areas, including various footpaths and buildings, will remain closed until further notice, with a number of events having to be postponed or cancelled as a result.

The café has already been able to reopen while the Visitor Centre is aiming to partially open soon.

The council is advising those who are hoping to visit Loggerheads Country Park during half term to expect "significant disruptions" to usual services and walking routes at the site.

Cllr Win Mullen-James, Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, said: “It is sad to see the devastating impacts that the recent storm has had on Loggerheads Country Park, as well as other parts of Denbighshire. This news may be disappointing for anyone wishing to visit the site over the half term, and we advise that anyone who has made plans to do so expect some disruption to the norm while various repair work is undertaken.

“I would like to thank the team who are working tirelessly to undertake the necessary repairs to allow the areas which are currently still closed to re-open safely to the public as soon as possible. In the meantime, we would wish that anyone visiting this location is still able to enjoy the beauty of the park.”

Go-slow protests planned tomorrow against Wales 20mph limit

A series of 'go-slow' protests are set to take place tomorrow (Saturday) in opposition to the 20mph speed limit in Wales, according to a story on Wales Online. 

The events - including convoys going to and from Wrexham - are part of what campaigners are dubbing 'National Convoy Day', organised by people chiefly opposed to London's Ultra Low Emission Zone.

  • * Wrexham to Bangor Services: Meet at Sainsbury’s car park, from 10am for 10.30am departure.

* For the full story, see: Multiple 'go-slow' protests planned over Wales' 20mph speed limit - Wales Online

MS hails new Wales social housing quality standard

The biggest changes to social housing standards in Wales more than 20 years present ‘a huge opportunity in employment terms’, says a former Economy Minister. 

Clwyd South MS Ken Skates lauded the announcement of a new Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) by Climate Change Minister Julie James in the Senedd on Tuesday.

“This is a bold and progressive standard that sets ambitious targets to make a difference to the overall quality of people’s lives, raises the bar for social housing and reflects the voice of tenants in Wales,” said the Minister. 

And Mr Skates believes the ‘outstanding’ plans, which were welcomed by all parties, provide Welsh businesses with a golden opportunity. 

He said: “Minister, I'd like to thank you for this outstanding statement. It contains huge ambition, which is very welcome indeed. 

“And it is true that the scale of the challenge is extensive, but it's also a huge opportunity in employment and economic terms. So, will you be working with the Economy Minister in looking at how we maximise the economic and employment benefits of the investment that you'll be making into social housing?” 

He continued: “The extra money is a significant sum. How do you anticipate ensuring that as much of that investment as possible remains with Welsh firms, who will be procured to undertake the work of upgrading social housing?” 

The Minister said her department would work alongside Economy Minister Vaughan Gething on an apprenticeship programme, and promised: “We will be making sure that as much of the Welsh pound stays in the Welsh economy as possible.” 

She added: “We work with our RSLs (Registered Social Landlords) and our stock-holding councils to make sure that they get the benefit of that. Many of our stock-holding councils, of course, still have direct labour organisations that benefit from that, so they will be able to directly take on both new craftspeople and, indeed, apprentices. 

“So, I think you're right. This is not only a great opportunity for the tenants – it’s actually a real economic investment in the future.” 

The original WHQS was introduced in 2002. Since then the Welsh Government, together with partners, has invested billions of pounds to improve and maintain the quality of social homes. 

The WHQS 2023 sets out a new and challenging set of standards for social landlords to meet which the Minister said ‘will address decarbonisation in the social housing stock, ensure that homes are of a higher quality, affordable to heat and fit for the 21st century and beyond’. 

Funding in the region of £270m is already available to help social landlords, with an additional £140m earmarked for the current financial year and next. 

The Minister said: “What we learn from upgrading the 230,000 social homes in Wales will drive how we as a nation tackle decarbonising the 1.2m privately owned homes in Wales. The challenge of retrofitting the existing housing stock is vast. Every single house has a different history, and therefore our mission is to reduce carbon emissions home by home, and street by street.” 

To social landlords, she added: “It would be easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of the challenge of upgrading social housing. We have done it before, and together we can do it again. We need to be pragmatic and rise to the challenge – Welsh tenants are counting on us.”

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Details revealed of town's Remembrance services

Llangollen Town Council has given details of this year's Llangollen Remembers services in Centenary Square on Sunday October 29, Saturday November 11 and Sunday November 12:

* On Remembrance Sunday, November 12, Llangollen RAFA Club is hosting a curry lunch with music by Chris Sims, between 12noon and 5pm. 

Pengwern Community Hub's November timetable

The November timetable at Pengwern Community Hub is:

Project co-ordinator Jen Naylor said: "As the days get shorter and colder, if you or someone you know is finding life is challenging, don’t struggle on your own, reach out and if we can’t help you ourselves, we will look for someone who can. Our centres are lovely and warm and welcoming!

"We are also looking forward to two Warmer Winter Wellbeing days in Corwen (27th November) and Llangollen, St Collen’s Community Hall (30th November) with lots of lovely stuff to ease you in to winter gently, more information to follow on these but save the dates."

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Eisteddfod to host two special Christmas concerts

* The NEW Sinfonia orchestra stars at the Christmas concerts.

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is continuing its partnership with North Wales professional orchestra NEW Sinfonia to stage two Christmas concerts promoting peace.

In aid of a refugee charity and the Eisteddfod itself, these will be in the Pavilion on Saturday December 23, at 12.30pm and 3.30pm, and also feature performances by New Voices, an inclusive creative vocal ensemble that brings together people from all walks of life united in their passion for singing and building a sense of community.

Refugees from Ukraine will lead, sing and perform alongside NEW Sinfonia.

Each concert will culminate with a performance of the iconic festive film, The Snowman, with the music performed live by NEW Sinfonia.

The special concerts have the twin aim of providing a magical experience for families at Christmas together with a message of peace and reconciliation.   

They follow on from the critically-acclaimed White Flower (Lleisiau Llan) concert at the Eisteddfod in July.

Robert Guy, NEW Sinfonia's co-artistic director, said: “Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod has long been the cornerstone of the cultural landscape in North Wales and we believe our organisations are naturally placed to work together promoting peace.  

"We are also continuing our work with refugees from Ukraine who will be leading our performances which we hope will be truly magical.  

"This concert will be truly breath-taking and we can’t wait to present The Snowman like people in Llangollen haven’t seen before.”

Eisteddfod life vice-president Keith Potts said: “The White Flower concert in July was amazing and promoted our ethos of peace and reconciliation.  

"This message is as relevant as it was when we started our Eisteddfod in 1947.  

"We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with NEW Sinfonia this Christmas.  

"These concerts are not to be missed and we believe people will have a magical experience whilst remembering those who are don’t enjoy the peace we do in the UK.”

* For tickets to either concert, go to:

Further work on Castle Street junction planned, says councillor

Llangollen county councillor Karen Edwards has given an update on the latest improvements planned for the Castle Street/A5 junction.

Cllr Edwards has been given the details by an officer of the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent who explained that following a review of the new signals arrangement, proposed measures to alleviate some of the issues that were being experienced after the new-look junction was completed have now been put together in a package of additional works. 

These will include: 

* Removal of the signal head that is currently "bagged" 

* Installation of additional above-ground detection equipment to replace the carriageway loops. This is designed to better detect when traffic is in the mouth of the junction, waiting to turn right into Castle Street

* Altering the phasing of the lights so a Castle Street green signal follows the A5 and then the pedestrian stage follows Castle Street

* Complete surfacing works to remove existing high friction surfacing beyond the westbound A5 stop line

The officer also told Cllr Edwards that another issue raised recently by several members of the public is the congestion on Castle Street that backs up to the A5 junction when delivery vehicles are parked in the loading bay outside the Spar. 

"They state that they are frequently caught in the middle of the junction trying to turn right into Castle Street but have nowhere to go because there is a queue of traffic waiting to pass the loading bay," he said.

Skates urges families to apply for grant towards school costs

Members of the Senedd are urging families on low incomes to apply for a Welsh Government grant of up to £200 towards school costs. 

The School Essentials Grant can provide up to £200 to help families on lower incomes with things such as school uniforms, shoes, bags and sports kit. 

Last year the grant helped 100,055 children in Wales, including almost 7,500 across Wrexham and Denbighshire. 

Ken Skates, whose Clwyd South constituency includes Wrexham and Denbighshire, said: “Families who receive certain benefits can claim £125 per child per year to help with school costs and, because of the extra cost families might face when their children start secondary school, £200 is available for pupils going into Year 7. 

“Families of children receiving Free School Meals should still check their eligibility for the School Essentials Grant, but you must register your eligibility for the grant through your local council – you won’t get it automatically. The school will also get extra funding through the Pupil Development Grant, which is used to provide extra help for children from lower income homes.” 

Welsh Government figures show that 4,272 families benefited from the scheme last year, in addition to 3,197 in Denbighshire. 

Clare Stephens, deputy headteacher at St Anne’s Catholic Primary School in Wrexham, said: “The School Essentials Grant can be a lifeline for our learners. It helps make sure children come to school with the equipment and uniform they need to learn.

“When families check their eligibility for support like this, it helps schools get more funding which has a really positive impact on our learners. I would urge anyone who thinks they might be eligible to check with their local authority now and apply for support.” 

* The grant is currently open and will close on May 31. You can find out if you are eligible and claim support by visiting

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Tributes paid to John Evans, Voice of the Eisteddfod

* John Evans in his familiar role of stage manager at the Eisteddfod.

A key figure with the Llangollen Eisteddfod who was also well-known for his appearances on the local amateur stage has died after a short illness. 

For many years John Evans – affectionately known as “John the Voice” - was stage manager and an announcer at the eisteddfod. 

He was also a regular performer with Llangollen Operatic Society for which he took many leading roles and had sung with the famous Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir. 

On her Facebook page his daughter Rebecca McBain said: My brother, sister and I are heartbroken to announce the unexpected death of our dear Dad, John Evans, on Friday 20th October, after a short illness. 

“He was known by so many, especially for his voice, his willingness to help and his ability to chat to absolutely anyone, on any subject. 

“His passion for Wales, Welsh culture, music, nature, jokes, stories and people made him a joy to be with. 

“He will be most missed by us and his five grandchildren, whom he adored. 

“His friends and extended family will be warmly invited to a service to celebrate his life, once details are confirmed. 

“We realise he will have been many things to many people and we welcome any stories you have of Dad, to collect and share with photos at his service. If you want to message me with a memory, please do.” 

The Eisteddfod family at Llangollen say they have been deeply saddened to learn of the death of John Evans, whom they knew affectionately as “The Voice of Llangollen Eisteddfod”. 

* Celebrating another successful Eisteddfod with fellow volunteers Justine Bradey, left, and Louisa Jones.

They said in a tribute: “John, a native of Acrefair, was former Stage Manager at the Eisteddfod, a past member of the Standing Board, past Chair of the Music and Staging Committee and a member of Grounds Committee. He was also a proud competitor when he sang with the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir. His contribution to the smooth running of the Eisteddfod was immense.” 

John’s fellow Eisteddfod volunteers have spoken fondly of his sometimes wicked sense of humour and of his dedication to the festival. 

His beloved Stage Crew have shared many happy memories, in particular Mark Jones, John’s successor as Stage Manager. 

He said: “You just expect some people to be around forever. John was that, almost parental. I’ve a lot to owe to him dragging me up to the side of stage all those years ago, when he found me photocopying in the music office; he learnt that I was more interested in the technical side and it’s opened up more doors for me than could be imagined. 

He added: ‘There isn’t much that could be safely printed when it comes to tales of John but his character will always live on and his company will be greatly missed.” 

Elen Roberts remembers John when his family had the garage in Acrefair, where his first nickname, ‘John 4Star’ originated. 

She recalls that every visit to the garage with her family would result in John grabbing a bag of sweets for her and her sister. 

She said: “He remained a big kid at heart right to the end, with his usual unprintable jokes!” 

Tracey and Mike Jones also have great memories of John, particularly as “John the Voice” telling people to take out our mobile phones and find the little button which turns it off. 

“He was the one we sent for to quieten the drums on the outside stages when they were affecting competitions inside the Pavilion!” 

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees at the Eisteddfod, long-time friend and Eisteddfod colleague, Allison Davies said: “We are terribly sad to hear this news of John. He gave a lifetime of support to music and to our Eisteddfod. We have only survived through some difficult periods because of volunteers like John. He will be sorely missed by everyone and I know that his contribution to the Llangollen Eisteddfod will be remembered for years to come. Our thoughts are with John’s family at this time.” 

Also paying tribute Tracey Jones, vice chair of Llangollen Operatic Society, said: “I joined Operatic myself at the age of 18 and at the time was working at The Grapes alongside the man who became to be known to me as John (4 Star) and John The Voice. 

“My second show with Llangollen Operatic was the phenomenal Show Boat. John took a fancy to joining us all on stage for this. He was cast in the role of Joe who sings the showstopper ‘Ole Man River’. John's performance really did bring the house down. He went on in later years to take roles in Maria Marten and the Red Barn, Hot Mikado and our centenary production of HMS Pinafore. 

“John's cheeky fun persona will always be remembered, with his endless tales and unrepeatable stories. I personally recall our trip to Waterford, Ireland via bus and ferry in the autumn of 1997. We were competing in the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera with our production of La Vie Parisienne. With hilarious encounters in the soft play area on the ferry travelling out to bursting into song in a Southern Ireland pub, so many jokes told during that long weekend. 

“We will miss him greatly and imagine he has already taken his place alongside our friends on that Stage in the Sky. Rest well John.”