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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Old Armoury opens its doors on Sunday

* The Old Armoury is open to the public on Sunday.

LLANGOLLEN’S historic Old Armoury will be throwing open its doors to the public this Sunday, July 27.
Sue Hargreaves bought the empty and rundown building, dating back to 1834, two years ago and since embarked on an extensive renovation programme which has seen her introduce displays giving a flavour of its past uses as a lock-up jail and a police station.

It comprises the lock-up, the armoury shop and the old town hall/drill hall above.

Sue has now gifted the ownership of the building, which stands between Hill Street and the A5, to the Armoury Conservation Trust which has pledged to ensure that the lock-up and old town hall will be restored in a way that respects their status as heritage assets to the town.   

The trust will now seek external funding for future development of the building and also make sure that it is used only for the public and community benefit, as an accessible heritage site and venue for educational, artistic and community purposes.

Trust member Rachel Morris said: “The Armoury Conservation Trust is extremely grateful for all the letters of support it has received from local people and organisations, in preparation for an application for funding to help restore the building. 

“By way of thanks, and for people who are interested in seeing and learning more about this historic building and its journey, an open day with light refreshments is being held there from 2.30pm on Sunday.

“A new display about crime and policing can be viewed, as well as the plans for the building's development. All of the people of Llangollen and their friends are welcome.”

When Sue Hargreaves acquired it, the building was in a poor condition and volunteers from Llangollen’s Tidy Town Team stepped in to clear it up and strip it back to basics.

Sue then decided to recreate, as faithfully as possible, the building’s earliest days as a lock-up and police station.

By September 2012 the building was ready to be shown off to the public during Denbighshire’s Open Doors history event when it attracted 300 visitors on just two afternoons.

Old Armoury facts

·   The building was designed by the county architect for Denbighshire and is the only known building in Llangollen constructed from limestone.

·    Its first “keeper” was a David Davies who lived in Chapel Street.

·   In 1871 the building was sold to local solicitor Charles Richards, with the purchase price apparently being less than the original cost of construction. In 1879 it became a base for the 9th Denbighshire Rifle Volunteers, which is why the drill hall was built above both the former lock-up/police station and the adjacent shop. It was at this time it became known as the armoury.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

999 timewasters putting lives at risk

THE Welsh Ambulance Service is reminding people not to call 999 unless it is a genuine emergency.

The service took 31,219 non-urgent calls in the last 12 months, only
670 of which required an ambulance and just three of which resulted in a patient being taken to hospital.
They include a woman who dialled 999 to ask if the green part of a potato was poisonous and a caller whose daughter had drunk water from a dog’s bowl.

woman called 999 because her boiler had broken and she had no credit to call the gas board, while one man said he needed an ambulance because he had a ring stuck on his finger.

One woman had fallen out with her brother and called 999 for advice.

The Trust is urging people to choose the appropriate service for their healthcare needs so that call takers and ambulance crews are not tied up unnecessarily when a call to a genuine emergency comes in.

Richard Lee, Head of Clinical Services at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We don’t want to deter anyone from calling 999, but we want them to think twice before they do. Sadly, we still receive a significant number of inappropriate calls that do not require an ambulance response.

“When people misuse the service it means our precious time is being taken away from someone who really does need our help. During peak periods, like the summer, every non-essential call has the potential to delay a response to a serious emergency.

“Please remember only to dial 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk – let’s keep our emergency ambulances for emergencies.”

The thousands of non-urgent calls received via 999 last year include:
-          A man who dialled 999 because he had a fly in his ear (Milford Haven, June 2014)
-          A woman who had eaten cherries and felt constipated (Porth, August 2013)
-          A man who had discovered a bruise on his foot (Tywyn, November 2013)
-          A woman who asked whether the green part of a potato was poisonous (Bangor, November 2013)
-          A man with a ring stuck on his finger (Burry Port, June 2014)
-          A woman whose boiler had broken and had no credit to call the gas board (Swansea, October 2013)
-          A woman who dropped a television remote and needed someone to pick it up (Llandudno, December 2013)
-          A woman who didn’t have enough money to buy a train ticket (Newport, March 2014)
-          A man with a cotton bud stuck in his ear (Bridgend, August 2013)
-          A mother whose daughter had drunk water from a dog bowl (Swansea, December 2013)
-          A woman who was intoxicated and needed a lift home (St Asaph, April 2014)
-          A woman who needed advice because she had fallen out with her brother (Hereford, November 2013)
-          A man with blisters on his foot (Penmaenmawr, January 2014)
-          A woman with a cast on her leg and wanted it taken off (Tredegar, January 2014)
The emergency healthcare system across Wales is facing unparalleled pressure,” said Richard Lee.

“We are asking the public to support NHS Wales’ ‘Choose Well’ campaign to ensure busy emergency services are available for those who need them most urgently. If you think you need medical attention, but not necessarily in the form of an ambulance, there are a host of other options you can consider.”

For advice and treatment of most illnesses, visit your GP, or contact NHS Direct Wales, the health advice and information service available 24 hours a day, every day, if you are feeling unwell and are unsure what to do.

“Using this service instead of dialling 999 inappropriately will free up the valuable time of emergency call handlers, and of ambulance crews whose job is to deal with the most serious and time-critical of incidents,” said Richard.

Website users can get tailored advice on an illness or ailment by using more than a dozen symptom checkers, including the Stings Symptom Checker, Sunburn Symptom Checker, Hay Fever Symptom Checker and Mole Symptom Checker or take the Choose Well Quiz to test their knowledge on the different available healthcare services.

They can learn more about their general health through the A-Z Encyclopaedia and even search for GPs, dentists, pharmacies or support groups in their area.

And if they still cannot find the answer to their question, or need advice about long-term conditions or help with health costs, they can email their query to the team of health information specialists via the Ask Us Your Health Question section of the website.

Alternatively, anyone concerned about their health can call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for over the phone advice from Health Information Advisers, Nurse Advisers and Dental Health Advisers.

If the problem is very serious, advisers can arrange for an ambulance on the caller’s behalf.

Treatment for minor injuries, such as cuts, bites, stings and muscle and joint injuries, can be provided at your local Minor Injuries Unit, where there is no need for an appointment.

The Welsh Ambulance Service is working hard to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and support care close to patients’ homes.

Since September 2012, more than 5,270 patients, including non-injured fallers, and people who have suffered an epileptic and hypoglycaemic attack, have been referred on an Alternative Care Pathways instead of having to go into hospital.

Advanced Paramedic Practitioners (APPs) also provide a wider range of specialist healthcare at the scene of an incident or at a patient’s home.

Approximately 20 APPs operate throughout Wales with a further 19 currently in education and training, and latest figures show that around 50 per cent of patients seen by an APP are treated at scene or at home.

In addition, the Trust supports the discharge and transfer of patients out of hours to release beds in hospitals which in turn supports the improvement of patient flow in the emergency departments.

Llan man married in Morfa Nefyn

llanblogger reader Mike Connolly has sent in this picture showing the wedding of his friend Paul Young to Alison in Morfa Nefyn on the Lleyn Peninsula.

They were married on Saturday at the beautiful St Beuno’s Church, Pistyll, Nefyn, with a good few supporters from Llangollen there to join them on the happy day, and after a honeymoon in Ireland they will live in Pwllglas, near Ruthin.

Paul, a forensic musicologist (MA Cantab), is well known in Llangollen as an accomplished musician and as well as being a highly respected private music teacher, he has also acted as musical director for a number events in Llangollen.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Denbighshire welcomes older people's rights deal

Denbighshire County Council has welcomed news that Wales has become the first country in the world to adopt the Declaration of the Rights of Older People - hailing it as a major step in the right direction.

The Welsh Government's Declaration will help older people understand their rights more effectively and how they relate to current equality and human rights laws in Wales.

It will help those responsible for the development and delivery of public services, by making clear how they can support and engage effectively with older people across Wales.

Earlier this year, Denbighshire County Council signed a pledge to take forward work based on the World Health Organisation and the United Nations' principles to make their communities more age friendly.

The pledge, known as the Dublin Declaration due to Ireland's presidency of the EU, highlights the need to create age friendly places, with a key focus on promoting awareness of older people, their rights, needs and potentials, as well as highlighting the positive social, economic and cultural contribution made by them.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Denbighshire's Cabinet Lead Member for Social Care, Adults and Children's Services, said: “There is clearly more focus on the rights of older people than ever before, and rightly so.

"Older people have an extremely valuable contribution to make in all walks of life and we must continue to celebrate this contribution.

"We must support and engage properly with our older people and making sure they have a strong voice in how we deliver public services, but also about their rights as individuals.

"This Declaration is very much a step in the right direction."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

River Lodge demolition reaches final stages

llanblogger reader Phil Meyers has sent in these pictures showing the demolition of the former River Lodge in Mill Street in its final stages.

Contractors are understood to be making a start early next month on the £5 million new health centre to be built on the site.

Friday, July 18, 2014

County says "Don't forget North Wales"

Denbighshire County Council says it recognises the need for investment for the transport infrastructure in South East Wales, as announced by the Welsh Government this week - but is asking what are the plans for the North Wales region.

The Council's comments follow an announcement by Transport  Minister Edwina Hart of  a £1 billion investment in a relief road for the M4 motorway in the Newport area.

Whilst the Council recognises the need for investment in the heavily populated areas of the South East, it wants some reassurances that funding could also be made available for infrastructure projects in North Wales too. 

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: "There are two transport infrastructure issues that need addressing in North Wales.

"The A55 arterial route across the region is a vital road connection from east to west and there is a desperate need to invest in improving its condition. It is one of the main road networks connecting Wales with Ireland and is an important part of the infrastructure from an economic benefit perspective.

"There is also a strong need for modernising the rail network linking North Wales with other regions. 

"The North Wales region has commissioned a study to quantify the benefits of modernising the rail network and early indications are that there would be significant benefits.  We would urge the Welsh Government and Westminster to consider the findings when they become available.

"The North Wales main line is a key economic asset, with the potential to significantly enhance accessibility for the whole of the region.  Better rail connectivity would help address the economic and social challenges. It would also assist the tourism industry - we need the infrastructure in place to make our region a lot more accessible to visitors.

"We currently have good connectivity to London, and Cardiff to a certain extent.  However there are weaknesses in services from North Wales to Manchester, Liverpoool and the regional airports and this needs to be addressed. 

"We have also been keeping a watching brief on the Chancellor's proposal to create a high speed rail link between Manchester and Leeds, which could be a catalyst for economic growth for the North West of England. However, North Wales needs to capitalise on existing opportunities in the north west so it's vitally important that fast regular rail services are developed beyond the current service level now. 

"Whilst we recognise the need for investment in South Wales, we must not become the forgotten region in the North."

New Deepcut inquest ordered

The BBC is reporting this morning that a new inquest has been ordered into the death of soldier Pte Cheryl James at Deepcut barracks in Surrey.

The 18-year-old from Denbighshire, who grew up in Llangollen, died in November 1995. The High Court ordered a fresh inquest after a challenge by her family.

See the full story at:"