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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Views sought on plan for 'safer and easier' travel through Brook Street area

* The areas around Brook Street covered by the new plan.

* Action points of the proposed plan.

The views of Llangollen people are being sought on a plan to make travel through the Brook Street area of town easier and safer. 

The area is part of a route that connects residents of Gwernant and pupils of Ysgol Gymraeg y Gwernant and Ysgol Bryn Collen with shops and services in the town centre.


Denbighshire Council is currently working on the scheme with Sustrans Cymru and Transport for Wales with backing from the Welsh Government’s Active Travel Fund.


This helps Welsh councils to develop, promote, and support walking, wheeling, and cycling schemes in their area. 

In March 2023, Sustrans asked local people to tell them which parts of Brook Street work well and which don’t.   

Workshops were held with children and their parents outside school gates and at the town hall with residents. There were also online and postal surveys for people who couldn’t take part in person.  

People told Sustrans they were worried about vehicles travelling too fast, that there were too many cars at school drop-off and pick-up times that roads were difficult to cross, and that the footpaths were too narrow.     

Sustrans came up with some ideas on possible ways to fix these problems, which included:


·                  Timed road closures at school pick-up and drop-off times

·                  Wider footpaths

·                  Safer crossings at junctions

·                  More and better crossing points

·                  Slowing cars and other vehicles down to 20mph


Based on these points a plan has been developed and people are again being asked to voice their opinions on it. 

Two drop-in workshops will be held during March at which everyone is welcome to join the conversation. 

In-person Workshop 1 will be held outside the gates at Ysgol Bryn -Collen/Ysgol Gymraeg y Gwernant on Thursday March 14, from 2.30-4pm, when Sustrans and Denbighshire County Council staff will be available to talk about the project, answer questions, and collect feedback.

In-person Workshop 2 will be at Llangollen Town Hall on Thursday March 14, from 6-8pm. Again, staff will be on hand to gather feedback. 

People can also take part in an online survey, which will be available until March 28. The link to it isBrook Street Active Travel Design Survey (

You can request a paper copy of the survey by emailing:, or writing to Sustrans at 1 Canal Parade, Dumballs Road, Cardiff, CF10 5BF.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The Hoosiers to join Madness in Eisteddfod show

* The Hoosiers will support Madness at the Pavilion on July 13.

Pop-rock band The Hoosiers will join pop giants Madness when they headline the Llangollen Pavilion this summer.

The Nutty Boys are bringing their legendary live show to Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod on Saturday July 13 and it is announced today they will be joined on the night by chart-topping duo The Hoosiers.

Over the past two decades, The Hoosiers have been compared to everyone from British rockers Supertramp to US pop-rock duo Sparks. 

Formed in 2003 when Irwin Sparkes (lead vocals, lead guitar) and Alan Sharland (drums, percussion, vocals) left the UK to study at university in Indianapolis, the band scored a number one hit with debut album The Trick To Life and are best known for their hits Worried about Ray, Goodbye Mr A, and Cops and Robbers.

The Hoosiers released their fifth studio album Confidence to critical acclaim last autumn and celebrated with a tour across the UK. 

* Madness are heading for the Pavilion stage. 

In 20 years they’ve embarked on multiple sold-out tours and graced stages at the likes of Glastonbury, Isle of Wight Festival and BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, with the band now preparing for a series of summer shows including their Llangollen date.

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.

They recently scored their first ever UK Number One album with the brilliant Theatre Of The Absurd Presents C'est La Vie.

The Madness date is presented as part of a new partnership between the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and Live Nation promoters Cuffe and Taylor, which will see 11 headline shows either side of and during the historic peace festival.

Global rock star Bryan Adams will kick off the stunning series of live dates before being followed by fellow rockers Simple Minds, indie heroes Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers and Suede, BRIT award-winning artist Paloma Faith, chart-topper Jess Glynne and disco legends Nile Rodgers & CHIC, while pop giants Madness will mark the summer finale.

The core week of the festival will see a series of events celebrating the traditional Eisteddfod along with headlining shows from Welsh legends Tom Jones and Katherine Jenkins and international jazz sensation Gregory Porter.

Artistic Director of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Dave Danford said: “Saturday 13 July marks the finale of our amazing four weeks of live music this summer, and we’re so pleased to be adding The Hoosiers to our stellar line-up. Their familiar radio-friendly hits will provide the perfect curtain-raiser to Madness, as we finish Llangollen 2024 with one big party!”

* For more information and to purchase tickets go to and

Skates highlights increasing violence against teachers

Member of the Senedd Ken Skates has highlighted increasing violence against staff in Welsh schools.

During First Minister’s Questions yesterday (Tuesday), the Clwyd South MS said: “We must respect our teachers and not tolerate violence or abuse against them.”

Mr Skates met with the Wrexham Primary Headteachers' Federation late last year and will meet with local heads, Wrexham MS Lesley Griffiths and Education Minister Jeremy Miles today.

In the Senedd, he asked Mark Drakeford: “How is the Welsh Government supporting schools facing increasing instances of abuse and violence against staff?

The First Minister responded: “There is a duty on local authorities and schools to ensure schools are a safe environment for all. Recognising the impact that poor behaviour can have on the well-being of staff, we continue to fund education support's well-being services. That service provides free advice and support for schools across Wales.”

The issue was one of a number raised with Mr Skates during his November meeting with Wrexham headteachers.

Addressing the First Minister, he said: “There are various challenges in education that have been amplified and intensified as a result of the pandemic, and one is the sharp increase in abuse of teachers and teaching assistants. Attacks have become more frequent, including in primary schools.

“Do you agree that we must respect our teachers and not tolerate violence or abuse against them?”

Mr Drakeford told the Senedd: “I absolutely associate myself with what Ken Skates has just said. There is no tolerance at all by this government of abuse of public servants going about the service that they provide, and that is certainly true of teachers and others in the classroom.”

The First Minister continued: “Condemnation by itself is never sufficient though, is it? We have to look at the causes of those difficulties and we have to provide help to those who face them in the jobs that they do, and that’s the work that the Minister for Education has embarked upon.

“There’s a toolkit for senior leaders in the education services being prepared to help them to find ways of de-escalating those difficulties; to try to find a way of managing the tensions that arise in the lives of children that spill over into the classroom; to find a way of managing those things by recognising the root causes of them and finding effective ways of helping.”

After Senedd proceedings had concluded, Mr Skates said he has also made personal representations to the Education Minister regarding funding cuts.

He added: “I have also invited the Minister to meet with me and a delegation of local parents in Clwyd South so he is able to hear first-hand their concerns and the impact these measures would have on their children and local schools.

Llangollen Railway man to speak at county tourism forum

* Tom Taylor of award-winning Llangollen Railway will be a guest speaker at an online tourism forum on March 21.

A representative of Llangollen Railway will be one of the keynote speakers at one of two online forms highlighting the latest innovation and excellence in the tourism industry next month. 

The forums are to take place via Zoom on Thursday and Friday, March 21 and 22 and offer an opportunity for tourism businesses to network and share experiences, knowledge, and ideas.

Guest speakers on the Thursday forum include Tom Taylor of Llangollen Railway, winners of the Go North Wales Tourism Awards Attraction of the Year 2023, and Gwen Davies of Vale Vineyard, who will be sharing details of her journey to become the first grape farmer in the Vale of Clwyd.


Then on Friday the guest speakers are Rob Price from Ruthin Festival who are celebrating 30 years in 2024 and Gail Swan who will be telling the story behind Swans Farm Shop, a traditional hill farm and award-winning farm shop in Treuddyn.


Ian Lebbon, Chair of Denbighshire Destination Management Partnership, said: “The forums are a great platform for everyone in the sector to get together and share their knowledge, ideas and plans to ensure sustained future tourism growth. It’s not only for tourism businesses, but also a good opportunity for students and anyone with an interest in tourism to hear from local businesses.”


Tourism plays a vital part in Denbighshire’s economy, with a total economic impact in 2022 of £628 million. Over six million visits were made to the county with 1.64 million deciding to stay, up 56.1% in 2022, when compared with 2021 figures.


Book on the free Online Tourism Forums here:


Thursday 21 March –Innovation and Excellence (2pm-3.15pm)


Friday 22 March – Businesses with stories to tell (10.30am – 11.45am)

Roadworks alert for Dee Lane

Latest local roadworks alert from is:

Dee Lane, Llangollen, Denbighshire

01 March - 01 March

Delays likely - Diversion route

Name: Diversion 1

Location: Castle Street

Description: Streetworks / License - Streetworks

Responsibility for event: Denbighshire County Council

Current status: Planned

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Preliminary works on Newbridge Road nearing completion, says story

* The landslip which closed Newbridge Road.

Preliminary works in relation to the Newbridge Road landslip repair are nearing completion, according to a story in the Leader.  

Recent traffic diversions through Llangollen due to the long-term closure of the road have caused traffic chaos.

* For the full story, see: Wrexham: Councillor's update on Newbridge Road repair works | The Leader (

Experts explore the ancient wonders of St Collen's

* The visiting experts included, from Liverpool University’s Faculty of Archeology, Classics and Egyptology, Dr Ruth Nugent, Dr Glenn Cahilly-Bretzin, Katherine Foster and Tom Farrow, from York University, Louise Hampson. Also in the party was Tom Livingstone of T L Stonemasons, Summerhill, Wrexham.  Showing them around is Genesis project leader Sue Evans, far left.  

A team of experts interested in the many historical aspects of  Llangollen’s famous parish church visited St Collen’s earlier this week.

The ancient place of worship dating back to the seventh century has embarked on an ambitious re-ordering project, known as Genesis, which aims to make a series of sympathetic adaptions enabling it to meet the needs of the 21st century.

Last September Genesis was awarded almost £95,000 by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to kick-start the first phase of the project which includes taking away some pews to make a space for a stage platform where the church can host more plays, concerts and school nativities.

There is also a desperate need for toilet facilities and better heating and lighting to generally allow the building to have more flexibility and inclusivity, creating a community hub which can be enjoyed by a variety of local organisations and also making it more accessible to the many visitors it attracts.

This week, Genesis project leader Sue Evans welcomed a team of experts led by Dr Ruth Nugent of the University of Liverpool to the church.

And she explained: “They were interested in the many historical aspects of the building and would like to help us to offer an accurate interpretation of St Collen’s and its long history for our community.

“People who were able to join us for the community presentations we have given so far know that alongside the general re-ordering of the building, which includes the addition of a new disabled toilet and access, we are also looking to create exciting opportunities for the community to help with the research and new interpretation boards. These would be made available inside the building, online and in new leaflets.

“We aim to undertake community events where you can actively contribute to the research. For example, you might like to know more about the medieval ceiling, Bardic connections or how Virginia Woolf is connected to our church.”

Sue added: “We are fortunate to have experts on medieval carvings, stone masons, art historians, pilgrim’s experts, and church archaeologists at hand and we will be working towards creating a community project worthy of our fabulous grade I Listed building.

“T. Hughes said of St Collen’s, ‘This pell-mell vision is our own Sistine ceiling, what we got in Wales while Michelangelo was working in Rome.’

“Local people should look out for future community events where they will be able to contribute to the future of the church and see how we can create a community space for all.”

Children invited to take part in St David's Day t-shirt design comp

Denbighshire Leisure Ltd (DLL) has announced a range of activities across the county to celebrate St David’s Day, including ‘design a t-shirt’ competition for children.

DLL is inviting young artists to participate in the contest themed around What Makes You Proud to Be Welsh, aimed at children aged 11 and under. 

The designer of the winning entry will receive four tickets for SC2 Ninja TAG, and their design will be featured on t-shirts worn by DLL fitness instructors across the county, as part of our commitment to promoting Welsh culture.

Jamie Groves, Managing Director at DLL, said: "As a Welsh business it’s important to us to celebrate our Welsh culture and this year we're thrilled to work with local children to create a t-shirt that our fitness instructors will wear to show our Welsh pride. 

"This competition not only allows children to express their unique perspectives but also provides an opportunity for children to showcase their love for Wales while celebrating St. David's Day across the month of March, and this is hugely important to us as a welsh business. The Welsh-theme specials at Café R and 1891 available for St David’s Day are delicious, it’s the perfect treat for this special day."

The t-shirt design competition invites children from across Denbighshire to unleash their creativity on a blank piece of A4 paper, expressing their perspectives on Welsh identity, culture, and heritage. Entries will be accepted until midnight on Sunday, March 10, providing ample time for budding artists to craft their masterpieces.

The winning A4 poster design, which will be featured prominently on fitness instructors' t-shirts across all DLL leisure sites and DLL premium clubs on Friday, March 22 as well as the executive team of DLL all wearing the winning design. 

* To participate, children can submit their poster designs via email to or drop them off at the reception desk of their local DLL site. Entries should include the child's name, age, and contact information for parental consent.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Eisteddfod offers new Gold+ season ticket for core week concerts

* Sir Tom Jones kicks off the six core week evening concerts of 2024. 

Johns’ Boys Male Chorus.

Music fans are being given a golden opportunity to experience Llangollen Eisteddfod’s six Core Concerts in style this summer.

The Core Week of the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod opens on Tuesday July 2 with a headlining set from music legend Sir Tom Jones, who kicks off six days of evening concerts, with mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins closing the week on Sunday July 7.

Between these dates, audiences can enjoy a huge variety of evening events, featuring award-winning folk band Calan, royal harpist Alis Huws, Britain’s Got Talent favourites Johns’ Boys Male Chorus, West End and Broadway stars Kerry Ellis and John-Owen Jones, and two-time GRAMMY award-winning jazz sensation, Gregory Porter.

* Gregory Porter.

* Choir of the World is a major highlight of this year's programme.

And now, fans are being encouraged to get their hands on a Gold+ Season Ticket, giving supporters of the international peace festival the opportunity to enjoy a range of perks, including:

· Exclusive seats close to the front of the stage, at a much lower price than buying tickets for the six concerts individually

· Free souvenir programme

· No ticket commission fees

· Complimentary tea and coffee

Eisteddfod Artistic Director Dave Danford said: “Our GOLD+ Season Tickets are like gold dust – they are undoubtedly the hottest tickets in town this summer!

“They provide the complete Core Eisteddfod Week experience at the prestigious Llangollen Pavilion, with an exclusive seat closer to the front of the main stage, where the late, great Luciano Pavarotti sang an unforgettable set in 1995, and where singer Alfie Boe wowed audiences last summer.

“GOLD+ gives you unspoilt views of your favourite global stars in a unique setting. This includes our opening concert with Tom Jones on Tuesday July 2, right through to our closing concert with Katherine Jenkins, on Sunday July 7.

* Katherine Jenkins.

“Between those dates, we have a week packed full of first-class entertainment, including performances from Welsh folk superstars Calan, Britain’s Got Talent favourites Johns’ Boys Male Chorus, the Royal Harpist Alis Huws, and jazz sensation Gregory Porter. We’re also bringing two of musical theatre’s biggest stars to Llangollen with an evening featuring Kerry Ellis and John Owen-Jones.

“Alongside these big names, we’ve made it a priority to remain true to our Eisteddfod heritage, with our popular daytime competitions, featuring an array of international competitors, all travelling to Llangollen to celebrate peace, music and our rich and diverse cultures.

“The finals of some of these competitions are being included in the Wednesday and Thursday evening concerts for the first time, and our Choir of the World competition on the Saturday evening marks the culmination of our competitive schedule.

“We’ve increased the range of Season Tickets this year, to give our loyal audiences more choice, and to ensure that affordable options are available to all, too. We’re looking forward to welcoming music-lovers back to Llangollen in large numbers this summer.”

* To book GOLD+ Season Tickets, or any of our other Season Tickets and for more information about the Core Eisteddfod Week concerts and best-ever full summer line-up, call the Box Office on 01978 862001.

* Award-winning folk band Calan.

Spanish firecracker is a wolf in sheep's clothing

Cupra Ateca drive by Steve Rogers

Come the day when the only new cars are electric there will still be plenty of used firecracker motors to satisfy the petrol heads.

And here is one of them, the hotshot Cupra Ateca. It might look ordinary but under that modest exterior lies a mean machine with a more than solid pedigree.

But isn't this family SUV a Seat? Well, yes and no. Seat set up a stand-alone sports brand in 2018 and Ateca was the first to wear the Cupra badge.

Cupra is growing into a serious sports brand and shares the company's high-tech racing division factory next to Seat's Barcelona HQ. Convincing stuff.

Yes, it is an Ateca, the SUV we have come to love, but this one growls. As part of the Volkswagen group Cupra was able to raid the engine store and come away with the well proven, 300bhp 2-litre turbo, the same as you will find in a Golf R and Audi SQ3, and mated with the razor sharp seven speed double clutch automatic gearbox. And it has steering wheel paddle shifters. Oh joy!

The car is very much a wolf in sheep's clothing and is certainly not dressed to impress. It has quad tailpipes but there is little else to distinguish it from a bog standard Ateca, apart from the zany Cupra badge and copper alloys, a £1,135 extra.

Less obvious but a significant part of Cupra's fun factor is the slightly lowered stance and beefed up suspension. Thrown in with the all wheel drive and you have a boxy SUV that will give a hot hatch more than a run for its money.

For a more racier body you could look at the Formentor which is pure Cupra, sitting lower to the ground than Ateca, and with more style.

The Cupra Ateca range has been expanded to take in less powerful engines, all of which are available in the cheaper Seat Ateca, but look to Cupra for the big horsepower.

With a sprint to sixty taking less than five seconds and a virtually unusable 155mph top speed, this is one quick motor with solid handling to harness the power. It is also surprisingly comfortable given it sports pedigree and is good at stifling the effects of our awful road surfaces.

This should be fairly obvious but I will mention it anyway. If low running costs and economy are on the wish list then this is not the car for you. About 30mpg is the going rate with may be 35/36mpg tops in slow moving traffic. Exploit that performance and you are quickly into the twenties.

Ateca has always been an excellent family choice and the same applies to Cupra for those wanting adrenalin rush performance. There is ample room for five adults, although the transmission tunnel is a hindrance for the middle seat passenger, while the big boot will cope with all the holiday luggage.

By today's standards the Cupra interior, which virtually mirrors the Seat model, shares the same bland look and looks outdated compared with the wow, wow Peugeot 3008 rival.

Yet it is one of the most user friendly fuss free layouts I have come across, an easy to master central touch screen and clear, physical switches for the heating. The digital driver's binnacle has a choice of three layouts and is faultless.

As for the price, well it can't be sugar coated, it is jaw dropping. My teenage great niece posed the question and gave a critical critique from her front seat ending with 'this car doesn't shout £50,000 to me'.

With the flash copper alloys and a sun roof at £1,210, my VZ2 model was within touching reach of the half century at £49,675. It is well equipped and with a raft of safety features, and of course it is all wheel drive.

You can make an argument that this car is decent value for money. This sort of performance in a similar sized Porsche Macan would be upwards of 60 grand. Okay, it has that magical name, but the Cupra is nevertheless something to ponder and emphasises my point that this will be a hell of a second hand buy in years to come.

Fast facts

Cupra Ateca VZ2 4 Drive

£46,700 (starts £36,045)

2-litre TSI 296bhp

7sp DSG automatic

0-62mph 4.9secs; 155mph

31.7mpg combined

202g/km. 1st tax £1,565

Insurance group 31

Boot 485 litres

Country Market sets out its stalls again for 2024

Llangollen Country Market is re-opening for business for 2024 on Friday, March 8, from 11am-2pm, at the Memorial Hall in Market Street.

For the rest of the year it will be based there on the second and last Friday of each month.

On sale will be a wide range of home-baked goods, like cakes, jams, preserves and honey. 

Also on offer will be home-grown seasonal fruit, veg and plants, along with hand-made crafts, jewellery, walking sticks and other goods. All sellers live locally. 

Currently Wrexham Country Market is also joining in selling their goods too. 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Inner Wheel looking for help with knitting for Ukrainian children

Members of Llangollen Inner Wheel have been knitting blankets for the Hamlin Fistula Hospitals in Ethiopia (see picture above).

And so far they have about a dozen blankets ready to send.

Spokesperson Eileen Dart said: "We have become aware of the need of knitted items for children in Ukraine and would like to turn our skills to help the people of Ukraine. 

"We would like to open our knitting group to any knitters in Llangollen, not just members of Inner Wheel, who would like to join us in this endeavour."

* Anyone who wishes to help, can email:

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Roll-out of county's new recycling containers begins next week

                                                  * The new-look recyling Trolibox. 

Denbighshire County Council last week announced a new recycling and waste service which will start on Monday, June 3.

As part of this new service, residents in the county who currently have wheelie bins will receive a new Trolibocs to recycle paper, glass, plastic, tins and food cartons and a weighted hessian bag to recycle cardboard. 

Those residents currently recycling with single use pink sacks will receive new weighted reusable hessian bags.

The council must deliver these containers to over 45,000 households throughout the county, while continuing to deliver the current recycling and waste collection service. Therefore, this process starts early with the first local containers being delivered from next week.

* In Llangollen delivery will take place from February 26-28 and from March 1-8. 

* In Llantysilio it will be on March 8 and in Corwen from February 23- 28.

Paul Jackson, Head of Highways and Environmental Services said: “We will be delivering containers to residents between 23 February and 17 May. We know that this is early and that some residents will have to store additional containers for considerable time before the new service starts. 

"However, this is the only way to ensure all residents have received their containers in good time before the service begins on June 3. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience, but we hope that residents understand that this is unavoidable.”

The delivery schedule for the new enquiries is on the council’s website on  All container delivery schedules are approximate, and dates are subject to change, says the council.

As well as new containers, residents will receive an information pack explaining the changes in detail, showing what type of household items should go in which container and how to present containers on collection day. These packs will be in the top box of the Trolibocs or in the reusable hessian bag for cardboard and should be kept safe.

Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for the Environment and Transport. said: “This new recycling system has many benefits for residents and the county. 

"It is better for the environment as it will lead to increased recycling rates; it will be cheaper to run than the current service providing better value for money; it is also good for the local economy leading to the creation of 27 new jobs plus the economic benefits of expanding four local businesses on the Colomendy Industrial Estate in Denbigh.

“This is a collective effort between our Waste and Recycling Team and the people of Denbighshire and I would like to say thank you, as your recycling is making a big difference.”

What’s changing?

* Recycling and cardboard collected weekly.

* 250 litres of recycling collected weekly instead of 240 litres collected fortnightly.

* Non-recycling collected every four weeks in a larger 240 litre bin (weekly if waste is collected in reusable weighted bags).

* Weekly collection of small electrical items and household batteries

* Four weekly textiles collection

* Weekly collection of absorbent hygiene products (e.g., nappies, wipes, incontinence pads and disposable bed pans and liners). This is a free service, but residents will need to register by 1 March for this first round of registration. Another round will open in the autumn.

What’s staying the same?

* Weekly food waste collection.

* Garden waste collection every two weeks (chargeable service).

Friday, February 23, 2024

It's full steam ahead for Llangollen Railway in 2024 season

      * Steam locomotive 7754 which will star at the Branchline Gala in April. 

After its sold-out Santa Special season finished at Christmas, staff and volunteers at Llangollen Railway have been working flat-out behind the scenes to get the heritage attraction ready for a busy 2024. 

The Branchline Gala on April 12-14 will see four steam locomotives in use on the railway for the first time in many years.

This will be another significant achievement alongside the railway's two recent success in major industry awards - the Heritage Railway Infrastructure Award and Go North Wales Tourism Awards Attraction of the Year for 2023 title.

Press officer Terry Pickthall said: "Our track gang have also made incredible progress on relaying the line through the 689-yard long Berwyn tunnel, toiling away in the dark, damp and cold to get trains running back to Corwen. 

"Our Branchline Gala will see 1930-built Great Western pannier tank No 7754 formally rededicated to traffic after a restoration that has taken nearly 20 years and was largely completed using volunteer labour. 

"Great Western heavy freight locomotive No 3802 should also be back in steam for the first time in over two years following comprehensive overhaul work. 

"Harking back to the railway’s first trains in the early 1980’s, ex-Longbridge car factory tank engine Austin 1 is about to have a new axle bearing fitted in order to take part in the gala. This large, brass component has been lovingly made from scratch in-house by our machine shop volunteers and requires the locomotive to be lifted with a 50-tonne crane, twice. 

"The crane itself has been saved thanks to donations from our supporters and the kindness of a scrap merchant, who had originally purchased it at the auction of railway assets back in 2021. We were able to buy it back, a bit at a time. 

"Finally ex-Bold colliery Austerity loco No 68067  - one of the last steam engines to work in British industry - will be operating her last trains with us before heading off for hire to another railway."

He added : “A diesel locomotive and railcar will also take part, with Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Sulzer Type 2 (Class 26) diesel No 5310 helping work a Glyndyfrdwy-Corwen steam shuttle service. These trains help add to a real early 1960's feel for the event. 

"Austin No 1 will be hauling a short rake of passenger-carrying brake vans, which provide a unique travelling experience and hark back to the early days of railway preservation. 

"As well as our usual excellent catering facilities at Llangollen station, the volunteers who look after Glyndyfrdwy Station will be opening their station café and Porters Bar, making this usually quiet wayside station a bustling hub to visit for a brew, pint, butty or cake whilst watching trains cross, come and go.”

Robin Crowley, volunteer coordinator, said: “Volunteers are our lifeblood and we’re always looking to grow our team, with a busy and ambitious programme of events planned for 2024. 

"We will be running a series of new volunteer open days through the year, which give folk the chance to visit the railway and get a taste of what is involved in being a volunteer. 

"Our first Open Day will run on Saturday 2nd March and details on how to attend are on both our website and Facebook pages."

Llangollen Railway continues to make a spectacular recovery from the collapse of its PLC operating company in 2021. 

As well as winning two national awards, the railway has also secured two substantial UK Government Levelling Up grants. 

One funded the construction of the spectacular Corwen station canopy in January 2023. The other, from the Shared Prosperity Fund. has fully financed four new staff posts at the railway to develop volunteer recruitment, retention and training, environmental and climate change strategy and the wider visitor experience. 

The railway also recently announced a partnership with nearby Wrexham University, with research staff and students from the University’s Engineering, Environmental Management and Business departments looking to support the railway’s ambitious development plans.