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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Backing small businesses on December 2

Businesses and shoppers in Llangollen are being reminded that they can take part in this year's Small Business Saturday.

The event, which will be held on December 2, Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses.

On Small Business Saturday, customers across the U.K go out and support all types of small businesses, online, in offices and in stores.

Many small businesses take part in the day by hosting events and offering discounts.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Steam engine inches out onto Abbey Road

* The engine is backed carefully out into the road and traffic waits in both directions.

* 80072 is slowly inched around parked cars.


* The engine out on Abbey Road ready for the off.

Traffic in both directions on Abbey Road was held up for a short while earlier this afternoon when a heavy loader carrying a steam engines from Llangollen Railway had to inch its way onto the roadway.

Thanks to some skillful driving and the ability of the wagon to make some tight moves, BR Standard Four tank No. 80072 eventually made it to the A539 and its onward journey.  

Call goes out for eisteddfod competitors

* The Aeolian Choir of Oakwood University, California, celebrate victory at the eisteddfod.

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is on the lookout for talented groups of singers, dancers and instrumentalists from across the globe to enter its competitions next year before the deadline of November 24.

The 2018 eisteddfod takes place from July 3-8 and successful entrants will compete for a range of prestigious titles including the Dance Champions of the World, International Acapella Group and the jewel in the crown of the festival, Choir of the World.

There are cash prizes of up to £6,000, international medals and opportunities for aspiring musical singers to win the chance of a lifetime to perform at the Gold Coast Eisteddfod in Australia.

The globally acclaimed Choir of the World competition is the grand finale to the festival, which determines the best overall choir of the event and has launched many an iconic career.

In 1955 the winning choir, from the town of Modena in Italy, included a young trainee teacher named, Luciano Pavarotti – the legendary tenor who, in 2005, added his name to the competition trophy in recognition of his appreciation of the festival and its influence on his career.

Applications for non-competitive acts are also open and community groups are being encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to perform on one of the eisteddfod’s international stages and experience the unique atmosphere of the festival. Closing date for this category is also on Friday November 24.

Eisteddfod chairman Dr Rhys Davies said: “Our competitions offer the opportunity for performers from across the globe to compete on an international stage alongside some of the world’s most talented musicians and dancers.

“With more than 20 categories to apply for there really is an opportunity for all types of performers, from all disciplines and of all ages to get involved.

“Every year we aim to extend our offer and both the Outstanding Conductor and International Acapella Group categories are exceptionally exciting additions to the syllabus. We’re looking forward to see this year’s applications.”

* For more information on all the competitions or to apply on the Eisteddfod competitors’ website visit:

To purchase tickets for the Llangollen International Eisteddfod or for more information visit:

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Have your say on support for the vulnerable

A new inquiry will look at how effective support for vulnerable people in their homes is in Wales - and Llangollen people can have their say.

The National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee will examine the Welsh Government’s Supporting People Programme, which provides grant funding to deliver services for people with learning difficulties, mental health issues, and young people with support needs.

Services are provided either through local authorities, or through third-party providers such as charities.

The programme currently supports around 67,000 people in Wales and for 2016-17 financial year has a ‘ring-fenced’ budget of almost £125 million.

However, the recent publication by the Welsh Government of the detail of its budget plans has created some uncertainty about the way in which Supporting People funding will be managed in the future and this will be taken into account as part of the committee’s work.

A report from the Wales Audit Office earlier this year found inconsistent levels of delivery in different parts of the country, due in part to inadequate guidance from the Welsh Government.

“The Supporting People Programme delivers what are undoubtedly valuable services to vulnerable people in a range of different circumstances,” said Nick Ramsay AM, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.

“However, the pace of progress is a concern and it is disappointing that the Welsh Government still does not have a good enough understanding of the programme’s overall impact some fourteen years on from its initial launch.

“We will be looking at how the programme is developing to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our society, how almost £125 million pounds is being spent, and how the effectiveness of these services and all that money is being monitored.”

* Anyone wishing to contribute to the inquiry can find more information on the Public Accounts Committee’s web pages. The consultation closes on 22 December 2017.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Early sighting of Santa on the river

* Santa waves to onlookers from his coracle on the Dee.

Santa has been seen out on the River Dee on the lead up to Llangollen Christmas Festival on Saturday November 25.

He was spotted at the Horseshoe Falls in a coracle.

“I thought that I’d use the river to get into Llangollen this year, the coracle was most enjoyable and
relaxing but a little slow.” Santa said.

He has also tried an inflatable with some of his elves (pictured below) but decided that experience was far too scary.

“I think I’ll stick with the sleigh and my reindeer,” Santa added, “it’s fast, manoeuvrable and
best of all magic.”

The Christmas Festival, which is expected to attract at least 2,000 people, will feature a parade,
street stalls, raffles, a grotto, an appearance by Llangollen Silver Band, and local choirs and
singers and the ceremonial switch-on of the Christmas lights.

This year the festival also features Llangollen Good Grub Club and an additional stage organised by Llangollen Woman’s Festival.

The big parade starts from Mill Street car park at 1pm and later SiƓn Corn will be on hand to meet
young visitors in his grotto inside the Town Hall.

Entertainment will this year be centred on the steps of the library and tourist information centre as
well as the Town Hall and Market Street.

Proceeds from the event will once again be donated to Wales Air Ambulance.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Free after 3 parking for Christmas

Shoppers in Denbighshire will be getting a helping hand this festive period.

Denbighshire County Council is providing free car parking in all of its town centre car parks after 3pm from the end of November and throughout December.

Free After 3 aims to support Denbighshire’s town centres and encourage shoppers to take advantage of the wide range of traders on the county’s high streets.

The scheme provides free parking in all Council-operated pay and display car parks in town centres after 3pm every day between November 21 and December 31.

As well as offering free parking after 3pm, the Council is encouraging shoppers and businesses to take advantage of the #LoveLiveLocal campaign and share pictures of products, offers and deals available on the county’s high streets on social media.

To find a list of all the car parks included visit

Car parks included in the scheme are Corwen, Green Lane; Denbigh, Vale St, Post Office Lane, Factory Ward and the Multi-Storey; Ruthin, Market Street, Dog Lane, Troed y Rhiw, Park Road, Rhos Street; Llangollen, Brook Street, East Street, Hall Street, Market Street, Mill Street, International Pavilion;  Prestatyn , Fern Avenue, Lower High Street, Kings Avenue, Railway Station; Rhuddlan, Parliament Street; St Asaph, Bowling Green; Rhyl , Morley Road, Morfa Hall (disabled bays), West Kinmel Street and Sky Tower.

County launches Christmas shopping film

* Bernadette O' Malley from State of Distress in Ruthin.

Encouraging shoppers to use their local high streets this Christmas is the message behind a new video.

Denbighshire County Council has produced its second festive shopping clip to showcase the wide range of products available on the county’s high streets.

The two-minute video features a host of the county’s traders highlighting what is available in Denbighshire.

The clip will be released on November 24 and will be available on the council’s social media platforms.

Bernadette O' Malley, who has run State of Distress in Ruthin for the past two years, features in the clip.

She said: “Shopping locally means money gets invested back into the area and means there is more in towns for people to come and see.

“Shoppers get to see a product physically and they get the interaction with the shopkeeper. We offer personalised gifts and work with local craftsmen and women to produce unique and bespoke gifts.

“You get to take advantage of knowledgeable staff who offer great customer service to help you find what you are looking for.

“It was a good experience to be involved in the Christmas video and help encourage people to see what is on offer in Denbighshire.

“I would encourage people to see what is on their local high streets, there is a lot more than they think and they could find things they might not have been looking for.”

The video was produced as part of the #LoveLiveLocal campaign which supports local traders by encouraging customers and businesses to post pictures of great products and experiences on social media.

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: “The aim of the video is to showcase the wealth of local businesses we have here in the county. We have great small businesses who have got everything you need from bespoke gifts to everyday essentials and delicious produce to help celebrate Christmas.

 “The aim of the film is to inspire local people in Denbighshire to visit their local high streets before shopping online or visiting shops outside of the county. Money spent locally stays in the local economy and benefits everyone in Denbighshire. This clip is part of our work on developing the local economy by supporting high street businesses.”