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Monday, October 20, 2014

Dobson & Crowther factory nears completion

* llanblogger reader Mike Edwards has kindly sent in this picture of the new Dobson & Crowther factory at Cilmedw in Llangollen which is now nearing completion.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Friends create red hot chilli business

* Living dangerously: Dominic Haynes and Llyr Jones.
Two friends have turned their love of chilli peppers into a red hot business - after donning face masks and protective clothing to get it going.
Dominic Haynes and Llyr Jones, who launched their enterprise after being made redundant, came up the idea of creating a chilli jam while sat in their local pub.
They had to wear protective gear to create their first jars of jam in Dominic’s kitchen using ghost chillies – judged one of the hottest varieties in the world.
Their Dangerous Food Company is now going from strength to strength, winning a Great Taste award in September, and will be unveiling their latest products at Hamper Llangollen food festival this weekend, October 18-19.
Supported by rural development agency Cadwyn Clwyd, the event in Llangollen’s Royal Pavilion is recognised as one of the UK's top 10 food festivals.
Cadwyn Clwyd’s contribution comes via the Rural Development Fund for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government.
This year’s festival sees a quartet of Wales’s best chefs take a starring role. Graham Tinsley, executive chef at Carden Park in Cheshire and Conwy’s Castle Hotel, will be cooking up a Welsh feast with Mike Evans, hospitality lecturer at Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos on Sea, and Dion Jones, one of Europe’s finest young chefs.
The ever popular Dai Chef, now the resident chef at Bodnant Welsh Food, the centre of excellence for Welsh food in the Conwy Valley will be there too.
The two 31-year-olds, who live just 80 yards apart in St Asaph, were both working for an Irish dairy company when they came up with the idea of combining chillies with British fruits to make a spicy relish to go with cooked meats, cheese, fish and vegetarian dishes, explained Dominic, from St Asaph.
“We were pitching the idea to Asda about a ready-made chilli jam to go with cheese but we didn’t really think the variety was very good. So we were sat in the pub talking about it and decided that we could make our own.
“It took us 38 attempts at making it – some of them definitely not fit for human consumption - before we finally came up with a version that we liked and started to trial it with our friends.
“Then we were both made redundant so we decided to start up in business together, as we’d already worked together for 10 years. At first we made it in my kitchen -although it had just been refitted after the floods. However, making vast quantities of chilli jam in a tiny kitchen in a cottage did have some drawbacks, particularly the smell.
“Now we have a base in St Asaph, at the Old Courthouse, and the jams are made at Patchwork Foods in Ruthin for us, as we needed a food production base that met strict criteria.
“The staff still have to wear protective clothing though, especially when they make the ghost chilli variety, as it’s so hot.
“We have met some officials in the food industry who find it difficult to understand how our products are classed as a jam. However, we can call jam that because of the fruit and the sugar content.”
They now make around 1,000 jars a week of their jams, in five varieties, all of which will be on sale at Hamper Llangollen food festival  - red chilli with a hint of lime, jalapeƱo with bramley apple, habanero with mango, bird’s eye with morello cherry, and the hottest: ghost chilli with blueberry.
Ghost chillies, also known as bhut jolokia, measure up to 1.5million on the Scoville scale – the universally accepted gauge of hotness – making it one of the hottest chillies available.
Dominic, a former pupil of Blessed Edward School, Rhyl, concentrates on business development and marketing for the company while Llyr, who grew up in Bala, looks after the production side. They are planning to expand by taking on a new part-time worker to help them at food festivals and other events.
The Dangerous Food Company’s jams are on sale at 20 outlets in North Wales, including Tweedmill Shopping Outlet’s new Farm Shop along with Bodnant Welsh Food Centre and local farmers’ markets. They are also available to buy online at
Helen Roberts, from Cadwyn Clwyd, said: “Hamper Llangollen will be a great showcase for a wide variety of food and drink producers, all of which are helping to boost the economy of this part of North Wales.
“The Dangerous Food Company is a wonderful example of how two friends can create their own business, putting their dreams into action, and we are delighted to be able to bring their products to the attention of the thousands of people who will be visiting Llangollen later this month.”
For more information about Hamper Llangollen 2014 visit

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dog fouling campaign collars 51 owners

Denbighshire County Council's campaign to tackle dog fouling in the county continues, with a total of 51 fixed penalty tickets issued in the last two months to people who allow their dogs to foul in public.

This is higher than the total number of tickets issued in the whole of last year and is the result of more patrolling of locations where dog fouling has reported to be a problem, according to the council.

Councillor David Smith, Cabinet Lead Member for Environment, said: "The increase in the number of fixed penalty notices issued for dog fouling shows how committed we are as a Council to try and stamp out this problem.

"The majority of dog owners act responsibly and clean up after their animals and we would like to thank them for acting so responsibly. However, there are some individuals who think it is acceptable to allow their dogs to foul in public without clearing the mess.  This is the kind of behaviour that we will not tolerate.

Emlyn Jones, Denbighshire's Public Protection Manager, said: "Residents in Denbighshire have told us that dog fouling is one of the biggest issues that concern them and the Council is listening to their concerns.

"We have launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of dog fouling to people's health, as well as the visual and environmental impact and want to see a change in perceptions and hopefully change the behaviour of those small number of people who act anti-socially."

To report issues of dog fouling, please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 01824 706100 (Welsh Language line), 01824 706101 (English language line) or visit the website:

Service for bereaved at St John's

Service of Remembrance  for the Recently Bereaved 
St John’s Church Abbey Road 
2nd November at 5pm 
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.                              Ecclesiastes 3 

Llan chalet fire in the news

The Oswestry Advertizer is reporting on its website today details of a fire which it says broke out at a chalet in Llangollen.

For the full story see:

Railway hosts weekend carriage convention

Around 40 delegates from across Britain will be at Llangollen Railway for the 15th annual Carriage Convention being hosted there this weekend, October 18 and 19.

This is the first time the Carriage Convention has been held in Wales and many of the diverse groups involved with carriage restoration at the various heritage railways and museums in Britain will be represented.
The gathering will bring together the vast knowledge and experience of those working to preserve the wide variety of heritage carriages which exist in operational condition, or as museum exhibits, and others in course of restoration.

During the course of the convention Llangollen Railway intends to provide practical demonstrations of work on rail vehicles, including panel welding and body repairs, mechanical maintenance and wood manufacturing in the railway’s workshops.

Delegates will give talks on the many varied aspects of carriage restoration and illustrate the work they are involved in with their project for the promotion and interest to others.
The exchange of information will help those looking for assistance with their own challenging restoration project who may benefit from applying new technology to the solution for a repair of obsolete equipment, as pioneered by others.

A carriage parts sales stand will provide for the many hard-to-find items needed to complete a restoration project from obsolete screws to full size vehicles and a mini car boot sale on Sunday morning will cater for those who bring parts for sale.

The convention will provide a full tour of the engineering workshops at the Llangollen Railway which is the home for such new build locomotive projects as the Patriot ‘The Unknown Warrior’, ‘Betton Grange’, the ‘Night Owl’ and the recently announced B17 ‘Sandringham’.
The carriage workshop was the location for the acclaimed restoration of the Great Western Steam Railmotor and Trailer as operational at the Didcot Railway Centre, as per picture below.

Restoration projects completed at Llangollen Railway will be on show and will include the Wickham railcar, the Southern Railway Elephant Van, the London North Eastern Railway Thompson Brake Third coach and the former Kings Cross Suburban Coach set, as well as other projects which are underway.

A convivial Saturday evening will be offered with a trip on the Llangollen Railway’s Real Ale Train which operates with the restored Elizabethan Buffet coach.

Llangollen Railway director, Peter Lund, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this national event and look forward to meeting delegates from a wide range of participating railways and museums.
"We want to make this weekend a very useful occasion for all delegates. By bringing people together to share their experiences, and to view our own projects, we hope to promote the important work of continuing to provide historic railway vehicles for the enjoyment of the many people who visit heritage railways.”