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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Book launch at Plas Newydd tomorrow


Horseshoe Falls improvement scheme appoints contractor

Denbighshire County Council have appointed a contractor to undertake improvement works at Horseshoe Falls funded by the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF).

During the first round of LUF, the council was successful in its joint application with Wrexham County Borough Council for the Clwyd South Constituency, which was supported by Simon Baynes MP. Denbighshire secured £3.8 million to invest in the communities of Llangollen, Llantysilio, Corwen and surrounding areas.

Residents and visitors will soon be able to benefit from enhancements to Horseshoe Falls through improvements to the toilet facilities and drainage, additional parking spaces and improved visitor flow between the car park and the viewing area which will enable the area to cope with increasing visitor numbers.

KM Construction have been successful in their tender for the project, with work having begun at the site earlier this week.

Part of the car park will be closed to the public while the work is carried out, which are anticipated to take approximately 10 weeks, with a two-week shutdown during the Christmas period.

Every effort will be made to keep disruption to the toilet facilities to a minimum, but there will be occasional closures while the work takes place, says the council.

Cllr Jason McLellan, Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation, said: “We are pleased to have appointed KM Construction as the contractor to complete these much-needed improvements to Horseshoe Falls and look forward to seeing them bring the plans into fruition.

“The area has seen a significant increase in visitor numbers in recent years, and hope that this project, once completed, will enhance the visitor experience for all who visit the site.” 

* Find out more about Denbighshire County Council’s Levelling Up Fund project at Horseshoe Falls here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Llangollen Food Share gains registered charity status

* Treasurer Gill Robertson on Llangollen Food Share’s stall at last Saturday's Llangollen Christmas Festival.

Volunteers at Llangollen Food Share are celebrating their official recognition as a registered charity. 

The group applied for registration earlier this year and have now received notification from the Charity Commission and HMRC that their application has been successful.

Centre Manager Steph Mitchell said: “We are all delighted by the recognition that we have gained from the Charity Commission and hope that the benefits will enable us to continue to ensure that no-one in our area goes hungry.

“Charity registration enables Llangollen Food Share to claim back income tax on donations from the public, meaning that the government will add an extra 25p to every pound donated by those who pay UK income tax. 

"Registration also gives assurance to grant funders that the charity is being run properly and that its accounts are verified externally each year."

In July Food Share stepped in to help parents provide lunches for their children when the Welsh Government free school meals emergency support ended. 

Steph added: "We knew that some children in our area would be affected when the government support ended and during school holidays we provided just over 1,350 packed lunch meals for children."

Llangollen Food Share says it continues to see an increase in demand for its services during the cost of living crisis and the challenges that increased fuel bills have brought.

As the festive season approaches the organisation expects to see its busiest Christmas ever.

“We’ll be helping many of Llangollen’s least well-off to be supported during the most expensive time of the year,” said Steph

* Learn more about Llangollen Food Share on the website

Pengwern Community Hub's calendar for December

 Pengwern Community Hub's calendar for December is:

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Farm near Glyn Ceiriog on the market for £1.8 million

* Caedicws Farm near Glyn Ceiriog is on the market for £1.8 million.

A farm near Llangollen is up for sale at £1.8 million. 

Caedicws livestock farm close to Glyn Ceiriog comprises a three-bedroom detached dwelling, a range of stone traditional buildings as well as more modern agricultural buildings and approximately 235 acres (95 ha) of agricultural land, according to agents Roger Parry & Partners. 

The farm is located in an elevated position above the Ceiriog Valley. The property is situated one mile from the village of Glyn Ceiriog.

The farmhouse is said by the agents to require renovation and but lends itself to make "the ideal farm family home, or provide an excellent tourism opportunity".

The description adds: "The farm benefits from a particularly impressive and extensive range of outbuildings which are centred around the farmyard. The courtyard range of traditional, stone-walled, farm buildings are suitable for conversion into a number of uses including residential and tourism, subject to obtaining the relevant planning consent. There’s also a machinery and implements storage building as well as multiple sheds for housing livestock.

"The land extends to 232.47 acres (94 ha) and comprises four separate blocks which are split only by the minor council highway providing excellent access to the field parcels. 

"The land is predominantly flat/gently undulating throughout, except only for one field parcel to the west of the farmyard extending to 40.78 acres (16.50hectares) being steep hill land with its own separate access to the west by Afon Ceiriog. The grassland is suitable for grazing or fodder conservation, with some parcels being suitable for an arable rotation, if desired, having previously grown corn."

The particulars are available on Roger Parry & Partners website: Caedicws Farm, Glyn Ceiriog, Llangollen - Roger Parry & Partners

Viewing of the farm is strictly by appointment through Roger Parry & Partners. Please contact Tudor Watkins or Amy Thomas in the Welshpool office to arrange a viewing. Telephone: 01938 554499 or email:

Winter warmer event at Community Hall this Thursday


Monday, November 27, 2023

Hard to find fault with Kia's ProCeed - except maybe the name

Kia ProCeed drive by Steve Rogers

This is a bit mean but the first thing I do when reviewing a car is try and find a fault.

In years gone by you could draw up a list but it is not so easy now. There are no bad cars these days and so there shouldn’t be after more than 120 years trying to get it right.

My old English teacher gave us a good piece of advice: Make sure you get the simple things right. That mantra could be applied to the ProCeed, all the bases have been covered, although I did come across one niggle but you will have to wait until the end to find out what it is.

ProCeed is part of the Ceed family and started life as a slightly sporty three-door hatch only to be replaced in 2019 by this rather sleek estate, or shooting brake as it is badged. Its job was to add pizzaz to the range. Box ticked.

It is longer and lower than Ceed Sportswagon with a coupe style roof and steeply raked tailgate. A more dynamic chassis has spiced up handling but this is no flaming hot hatch. A Volkswagen Golf GTI it ain’t, yet it will fly around bends faster than will ever be need on public roads but at the same time road surface damage is well cushioned so this is very much a car the family can enjoy.

A midlife upgrade has seen cosmetic surgery to the front end, new light signature, snazzier grille finish and large air intakes either side of the bumper. The range has been paired down to two models and one engine, a 1.5 litre petrol turbo.

Although the emphasis is semi-sport ProCeed is a practical family car but still cool enough for the kids to quite happily pile into for a lift to school. With no boot lip and lower ride height it is arguably more practical than Sportswagon.

These days the major upgrades are centred on technology and that is the case here, from the 10.25in central touchscreen to the 12.3in digital driver’s binnacle. Drivers will enjoy the simplicity of the displays in the eyeline which impart loads of information via rotating steering wheel buttons.

Other tech upgrades bring in Kia Connect telematics with live weather updates, while journey directions can be pinged to the on board navigation from a mobile phone app, or they can be relayed to the screen using smartphone integration.

The spec is good across both models but go all in for GT-Line S and it is pamper time with heated seats front and back, powered tailgate, along with a host of other features and, of course, a safety list as long as your arm. Highlights are adaptive cruise control and cross traffic alert which can stave off a rear end shunt pulling out of a parking bay and should be a standard fitting on all cars.

Kia has not knocked it out of the park with ProCeed but nearly five years on it is still a car that is almost flawless. It is worth recording that Ceed has made Kia, even though it is no longer its top seller, but has helped the brand double sales to more than 100,000 a year since first appearing in our showrooms way back in 2006.

So what was the flaw I found in the goody two shoes ProCeed? Your thinking the name, which I agree is a naff. No, my niggle is the brake auto hold which has to be switched on every time the car is started.

Okay it is minor and hardly a deal breaker, but lots of other makes have it sorted so, just for me, put it right.

Fast facts

ProCeed GT-Line S

£32,270 (starts £26,665)

1.5 T-GDi; 157bhp. 7sp auto

0-62mph 8.8secs; 130mph

46.3mpg combined

138g/km. First tax £255

Boot: 594-1545 litres

Insurance group 19

Latest roadworks update from county council

Latest local roadworks update from Denbighshire County Council is:

Tower Bridge ABBEY ROAD 27/11/2023 08/12/2023 Gwyriad Llwybr Tynnu Camlas Llangollen i hwyluso  gwaith  atgyweirio  pont  priffyrdd / Llangollen Canal Towpath diversion to facilitate highway bridge repairs K T L CONTRACTING LTD LLANGOLLEN 

Pop giants Madness to star in Eisteddfod show

British pop giants Madness are the latest act to be heading to Llangollen next summer joining the line-up for Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. 

The Nutty Boys, who scored their first studio UK Official Charts No.1 album, Theatre Of The Absurd Presents C’est La Vie, only last Friday, will bring their legendary live show to Llangollen Pavilion on Saturday July 13. 

* Tickets go on general sale at 9am on Friday December 1st from and

Madness have chalked up 15 UK Top 10 singles – including the timeless Our House, It Must Be Love, One Step Beyond, My Girl, Wings Of A Dove and Baggy Trousers – together with 10 Top 10 albums. 

And they are now celebrating hitting the number one spot with an album for the first time. 

The pop greats, whose Llangollen date is part of a 19-date summer tour, said: "Would you Adam and Eve it?! It only took us 40 years to get there but we've just gone and ruddy scored our first Number One album with Theatre Of The Absurd Presents C'est La Vie and we thought, what better way to celebrate than to announce a summer tour!”

The headlining show is the latest to be announced as part of a new partnership between Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and Live Nation promoters Cuffe and Taylor. 

Madness join indie heroes Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers and Suede, BRIT award-winning artist Paloma Faith, chart-topper Jess Glynne anddisco legends Nile Rodgers & CHIC among the artists to be announced so far for the iconic peace festival in 2024. 

Lead Programmer & Production Manager of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Dave Danford, said“Madness are a band that we’ve long wanted to bring to North Wales. Our partnership with Cuffe and Taylor has made this happen, and bringing the Nutty Boys to town will continue the buzz around our festival of peace. With more announcements on the way, it’s clear that Llangollen will be the place to be next summer.”

Cuffe and Taylor co-founder Peter Taylor added:“As a live act Madness present the epitome of fun and they have this amazing ability to bring audiences together for your best night out. This will be a night to remember in the Llangollen Pavilion.”

Chance to become a citizen scientist at training session

* A citizen scientist analyses samples from the River Dee.

The Welsh Dee Trust is hosting a hands-on training event in Llangollen to learn everything you need to know to become a Smartrivers citizen scientist.

The session takes place from 10 am-4 pm on tomorrow (Tuesday, November 28) at St Collen's Community Hall, off Regent Street.

As a SmartRivers citizen scientist, you will analyse, to species level, samples of aquatic invertebrates collected in the river Dee catchment.

Collecting this data helps the Trust to detect failing river health, including pressures from pollution, water abstraction and invasive species. 

This will have a positive impact on the management of our rivers, by pinpointing water quality pressures and monitoring the impact of our work over time.

This training event run by Welsh Dee Trust will teach everything you need to know about invertebrate identification and no prior experience is necessary.

Once trained this is an ongoing role with regular ID sessions held year-round, particularly over summer (following sampling in spring) and winter (following sampling in autumn). Each session runs from approximately 10am to 4pm, and the Trust would like you to try to commit to attending at least 6 sessions a year.

They say the ID sessions also have a friendly and fun atmosphere, where you can socialise with like-minded people and learn from your peers. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.

Answers to the sweetly successful gingerbread treasure hunt

* Strictly gingerbread dancers.

Organisers of last Saturday's Llangollen Christmas Festival have supplied the answers to their highly successful treasure hunt in which children were asked to pinpoint the locations of a host of brilliantly-crafted gingerbread characters to pick up small prizes. 

The sweet figures, some of which are pictured here, were positioned in various shops and other points around the town centre.

A spokesperson said: "We had 190 players. All the little kids I asked reckoned the gingerbread folk were great, so we've now got a hard act to follow next year. 

"And some kids were still searching for them yesterday morning. 

"We're now looking for theme ideas for next year's treasure hunt, so we'd be glad of any feedback people might have."

* The answers to where which of the 21 gingerbread folk were located around the town.

* Bathnight for a Gingerbread character.

* Gingerbread wizardry.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Historian to give talk on Llantysilio graveyard project

An illustrated talk by local historian David Crane about some of the fascinating discoveries that have been made during the Llantysilio graveyard project will be given at the Conquering Hero Community Centre in Rhewl on Tuesday December 5 at 7pm.

Llantysilio Church have been running a programme, funded by by the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB’s Sustainable Development Fund, to investigate the history of the church and the graveyard, and the stories of some of the people that are buried there. 

From the very poor to the very rich, the bizarre to the heroic, the stories reveal details of some of the fascinating people that have lived in our area over the centuries. 

David Crane said: "We will also be introducing the next phase of the programme, where we will be collecting stories and memories from as many people as possible about Llantysilio Church and the people and houses in the area.

"Come and discover some of the extraordinary tales of the people who have lived in Llantysilio over the years."

Entrance is free and refreshments will be provided.

Tickets available soon for Cancer Research UK Christmas quiz

For the seventeenth year organisers will be producing a Christmas quiz on behalf of Cancer Research UK.  

They say that once again it should be fun for all the family and you might well consider including it in Christmas cards to friends.  

From December 1 copies (£1) will be obtainable from the Tourist Information Centre in Castle Street. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Action-packed Christmas festival warms up a chilly winter day

* Joan Fell, 99, the most senior resident of the Old Vicarage care home switches on the Christmas lights assisted by Lee Todd, president of Vale of Llangollen Rotary.

* A massive fireworks display came as the grand finale to the Christmas Festival.

The weather stayed bright but chilly for the opening stages of the annual Llangollen Christmas Festival.

Stalls along Market did a brisk early trade while crowds gathered around Centenary Square to watch a full programme of entertainment, including the Silver Band singing groups.

At 1pm the event officially kicked off with the big parade which started from the Eisteddfod field and went along Castle Street and Oak Street to the Town Hall where Mayor Cllr Paul Kiddie and town crier Austin "Chem" Cheminais were waiting to warmly welcome Sion Corn to his grotto upstairs, which was later thronged by youngsters and their parents clamouring to have an audience with the grand old man.

The Madrigals singing group performed carols from the gallery of the Museum in Parade Street while, back in the square, a huge crowd gathered to hear the choir from Ysgol Y Gwernant do their own kind of carolling.

As darkness fell attention again focused on the square where the town's Christmas lights were officially switched on by Joan Fell, 99, most senior resident of the Old Vicarage care home, assisted by Lee Todd, president of Vale of Llangollen Rotary.

As has become traditional, the whole action-packed day was brought to a fitting close with a firework display watched by the delighted crowd. 

* Scout scooter riders take parade in the festival parade early in the afternoon.  

* Sion Corn waves to the crowds lining the bridge.

* Town crier Chem rings his bell to announce the parade is coming through.

* One of the many tractors which took part.

* A gleaming vintage car carried the Mayor and Mayoress. 

* Hope House children's hospices had a strong presence. 

* A decorated dog is led along the bridge.

* Drosi Bikes' contingent comes cycling through.

* Another vintage car - a Bullnose Morris - delights onlookers. 

* Volunteers from Llangollen Railway stride out.

* The Grinch at the wheel of his special vehicle.

* Llangollen Operatic members show off costumes they'll be wearing at this evening's Frozen singalong at the Town Hall. 

* Puttering along in a tuk-tuk.

* A game of hoopla on the hoof.

* Another elaborately-costumed character in the parade.

* A bit of stilt walking.

* A duo of lovely little ponies.

* Sion Corn is welcomed to the Town Hall by town crier Chem, left, and the Mayor, Cllr Paul Keddie.

* Llangollen Pantomime Group sing in the square.

* Llangollen Silver Band present their seasonal programme.

* Ysgol Clywedog's street band bang away. 

* Madrigals sing carols from the Museum gallery.

 * A huge crowd watches Ysgol Y Gwernant sing in the square.

* Chris Burton rounds off the day's entertainment by singing in the square.

* Market Street stalls were open early.

* John Palmer, one of the hard-working festival organisers, takes a break with his bike.

* A magic roundabout in Market Street.

* The Snowman, who will appear in a special Eisteddfod Christmas show at the Pavilion on December 23, meets young fans in Market Street.

* The Eisteddfod floral committee's stall in Market Street overflows with some great seasonal greenery.

Town to get lit up by illuminated tractor run

* Last year's tractor run goes through the town centre.

Vale of Llangollen Rotary and the Llangollen Young Farmers Club are gearing up for the second annual Llangollen Illuminated Tractor Run on December 3. 

Building on the success of last year's event, organisers say this year's event will be even more spectacular, featuring an extended route and a convoy of brightly lit tractors.

Starting at 5 pm from The Pavilion in Llangollen, the tractors will embark on a picturesque journey through Llangollen, Trevor, Acrefair, Plas Madoc, Ruabon, Rhosllanerchrugog, Rhostyllen, Bersham, Wrexham, Morrison's car park (for a 45-minute stop), Bersham, Minera, Bwlchgwyn, Llandegla, Horseshoe Pass, and finishing back at Llangollen.

The route is carefully curated to spread the festive cheer across the region.

Before the spectacle begins, from 4 pm to 5 pm, all tractors will be on display at The Pavilion, offering the public the chance to get up close and personal. 

Father Christmas himself will be present for photo opportunities and chats with the little ones.

The grand old man in red will then join the tractors on their journey, adding an extra dash of magic to the evening.

This year the event aims to raise funds for three worthy causes - The Teenage Cancer Trust, Nightingale Hope Hospice, and a community defibrillator. 

Volunteers, identifiable by their high-visibility vests and badges, will line the route with collection buckets, offering everyone who comes the opportunity to contribute to these good causes.

To make donations even more accessible, the organizing committee has set up an online fundraising page at

For those planning to attend, the Llangollen Illuminated Tractor Run's Facebook page ( will provide a live tractor tracker link on the day, showing spectators the tractors' progress along the route, so they won’t miss the convoy of tractors.

Last year's event drew hundreds of spectators who not only enjoyed the spectacle but also contributed to the cause. 

The organizing team has worked tirelessly throughout the year to make this year's run bigger and better, even placing informational posters with QR codes along the new route for easy mobile donations.

* The 40th tractor has just registered for Llangollen's Illuminated Run.

The tractor is from Rea Valley Tractors Ltd Denbigh Depot whose staff have signed up for seven separate tractor runs around the area of which Llangollen will be their first.

Event director Aled Morris said everyone was delighted to pass the unofficial target of 40 with the run now well on its way to its maximum 50 entries.