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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Plas Madoc campaign gathers pace with race night

A pub will host a race night as part of the on-going fundraising campaign to save Plas Madoc Leisure Centre. 
 
The volunteer-run Splash Community Trust will hold the event at the Old Black Horse in Rhostyllen on Friday, June 27, following a recent successful money-spinner. 
 
The well-attended quiz night at Flexsys in Acrefair on Friday (May 23) generated nearly £600, and trust director Greg Ogden is hoping the next few events will be just as fruitful. 
 
Greg, who lives in Trevor said: “The trust would like to thank Keith and Wendy at the pub for contacting us to offer the Old Black Horse as a venue free of charge. It’s a fantastic gesture which will really help us raise as much as possible. 
 
“As well as cash prizes on the night, we will be giving away bottles of wine to the ‘owners’ of each winning horse – it should be another great night. We are now looking for individuals and local businesses to sponsor each of the eight races, so I would ask people to once again show their support for a wonderful community cause.” 
 
Greg added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to quash some of the rumours that Plas Madoc has closed forever and reiterate that the dream is very much alive. We are committed to the centre being once again at the heart of the community and beyond.” 
 
The race night will start at 8pm. To sponsor a race or buy a horse for the night, contact Jenny Miller on 07921 659099 
 
Another upcoming Plas Madoc fundraiser is the fun day at The Duke of Wellington pub in Acrefair on Sunday, June 15, when local band The New Foos will be playing from 3pm. 
 
Greg said: I’d like to thank Shauny, the landlady, who as well as hosting the event is supplying a bottle of whiskey for a raffle. There will also be a bouncy castle, face painting, a barbecue and a sweets stall, while the other raffle prizes include a night at The Wild Pheasant in Llangollen and a meal for two at The Cornmill. 
 
Before that, there is also an event at Queen's Square in Wrexham on Saturday, June 7, with two local bands playing – Tiny Wooden Angels and The Uninvited – from 4pm-8pm. 
 
The Splash Community Trust now has a PayPal account through which donations can be made. If you want to contribute, type the web address https://t.co/VlqCYUVROU into your internet browser. Alternatively, you can contact Jenny direct. 
 
The trust is also working on a new website, which is coming soon and will include a ‘donate’ button so supporters can boost the coffers at the click of a button.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

US cruise ship party rides on Llan Railway


* Some of the cruise ship passengers get a close-up
look the steam locomotive Jessie before taking their
seats for the trip to Carrog.
 
OVER 100 passengers from an American cruise liner stopped off at Llangollen Railway yesterday (Thursday) morning.
 
They were from the ship Ruby Princess (pictured right) which was making a one-day call at Liverpool's Cruise Liner Terminal, and were the first escorted coach party of the new season to take a circular tour of north east Wales.
 
Driven over by coach from Merseyside via Mold, Ruthin and the Horseshoe Pass, the visitors arrived at the station in time to join the 10.50am steam train departure from Llangollen to Carrog.
 
After lunch at the Wild Pheasant Hotel in Llangollen, they spent the afternoon at Chirk Castle before heading back to Liverpool in time to sail away on the next leg of a round-Britain cruise which started in Southampton.

Similar visits to Llangollen Station by other tour groups are planned as part of a full programme of escorted tours.
 
George Jones, for Llangollen Railway, said: "The visitors were from various parts of the USA and were quite taken with the Welsh countryside, even on a damp day when the mist was on the hills.
 
“The ride on the steam train through the Dee Valley was a memorable part of their great day out." 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Baton visits county tomorrow

Denbighshire is counting down the hours until the Queen's Baton makes it much-awaited visit to the county tomorrow (Friday, May 30).

A host of events are being arranged throughout the day to welcome the Baton to Denbighshire, only one of a handful of counties selected throughout the whole of Wales.

The baton relay routes and associated events are:

Rhyl Harbour  (9am-4pm)

The baton is welcomed into Denbighshire during the official opening of Rhyl Harbour.  At the beginning of the event, families will be able to enjoy a festival of colour and activities, including face painting, a treasure trail, bouncy castle, food, demonstrations from rescue services, kite surfing, watersports on Marine Lake and so much more.  For further details visit www.loverhyl.co.uk .  The baton  will be present between 9am and 9.30am

Rhyl Harbour to marsh tracks baton relay (9.30am-10.00am)

Six local baton bearers, Michael Kitchin, Nathan Montgomery, Callum Perrin, Jamie Turley, James Morgan, and Tracey Jones will carry the baton between the two Rhyl events. Starting from the harbour at 9.30am, around Marine Lake to promote water sport activities, over the railway footbridge and along the countryside services path at Glan Morfa and into the Marsh tracks cycling centre on Marsh Road.

Marsh Tracks, Rhyl,  (10am-4pm)

Free BMX and Road cycling bike hire and coaching, mountain bike track open as usual. Street games activities such as  football, rugby, ultimate frisbee, athletics, dance and more! Test your power against Team GB cyclists scores on the watt bikes leader board and recuperate with FREE drinks supplied by Asda (until stocks last) and food available to buy on- site from the taste academy, Rhyl. The baton will be there between 10am and 11am.

Moel Famau (12 noon – 4pm)

The baton arrives on horseback, walking groups will relay the baton to the peak of Moel Famau, come and join in and see the views across the Clwydian Range whilst listening to a live band performance at the summit too! Fell runners will take the baton back down. The baton will be there between 1pm and 3pm.

Ruthin Family FUN day, Cae Ddol (12-5pm)

An afternoon on activities for the whole family. Come down to Cae Ddol and join in and watch the battle of the bands, local sport fixtures, bouncy castles, face painting and sporting taster sessions from local clubs such as rugby league, netball, athletics, football, fun fitness boot camps, tennis, golf and bowls.  The baton will be there between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

Coed Llandegla Forest (9am – 8pm), Oneplanet Adventure site

Fun open day for mountain bike enthusiasts, all mountain bike tracks open as normal. Go-Race events organised by Welsh Cycling throughout the day, test your power against Team GB cyclists scores on the watt bikes leader board. Live music and entertainment from 6pm for the official baton handover event. The baton is there between  5pm and 6pm

Pol Wong speaks out over River Lodge controversy


* The derelict River Lodge.

Pol Wong, leader of the Powys Fadog community group which once had hopes of developing the former River Lodge now destined to be bulldozed to make way for Llangollen's new £5 million health centre, features in an article in the online newspaper Daily Wales on the latest aspect of the controversy that has surrounded the building.

See it at: "http://dailywales.net/2014/05/28/tories-urged-to-provide-real-scrutiny-of-government/"

Service planned for Valle Crucis Abbey

St Collen's Church has asked us to publish the poster below for its forthcoming Pentecost Service ...
 
 

Llan adventure firm wins top accolade

ProAdventure Activities Ltd, the Llangollen-based adventure activity and training not-for-profit company, has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award, having been number one attraction on Tripadvisor in the town for two years.

The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. 

Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website. 

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings. 

Businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recency of reviews. Additional criteria include a business’ tenure and popularity ranking on the site. 

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at ProAdventure and we’d like to thank all of our past student and customers who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Peter Carol, founder and managing director of ProAdventure Activities Ltd.

“There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by one’s customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”

Marc Charron, president of TripAdvisor for Business, said: “TripAdvisor is pleased to honour exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence.

“The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.

“From Australia to Zimbabwe, we want to applaud exceptional hospitality businesses for offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience.” 

ProAdventure provides activities and training to groups, companies, families and individuals.

Along with running its canoe school and instructor training programmes, it also provide rock climbing, abseiling, bushcraft and first aid training and other activities including archery and axe throwing. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

£5 million due to be approved for new health centre

 
* An artist's impression of the new health centre.
 
Health Minister Mark Drakeford is due announce tomorrow (Thursday) a £5m investment for a new primary care centre in Llangollen, which will provide health and social care services in the heart of the community.
 
The new centre will also be a base for voluntary services – bringing care closer to people’s homes – while also improving the training and the recruitment and retention of staff.  
Patients will have access to more services locally, including pain management, community-based heart failure services and diabetic retinopathy. Community mental health and social services teams will be based at the new centre.
 
More treatment sessions will also be able to take place at the centre as nurse practitioners and GP registrars will no longer need to share a room as they do currently.
 
It will be supported by an enhanced  care at home service which provides care for people who might otherwise need to go into hospital. The patient’s GP practice will decide, with the patient and their family, whether they can be safely cared for at home with extra help from nurses, therapists, social workers and voluntary organisations. Care will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
 
        Professor Drakeford said: “The new primary care centre will provide an expanded and enhanced service for the people of Llangollen.  It will bring a number of services together in one place and will be a base for social services.
 
        “Importantly, it will also support the development of an enhanced care at home service, helping more people to be cared for at home and avoiding unnecessary admissions to hospital. 
 
        “This is an exciting development for Llangollen and will mean more services available on the community’s doorstep.  It will result in an enhanced local health service and I look forward to seeing the start of work on the centre.
 
        "This scheme, and investment by the Welsh Government, demonstrates our determination to deliver on the pledges made as part of the process of changing healthcare in North Wales."
 
Dr Peter Higson, chairman of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board,said: "We are delighted this important scheme has been given the green light. 
 
"Our plans for Llangollen will increase the range of services we can offer in the town, and provide a base for our teams who are delivering more and more care to patients in their own homes.  The extra space and improved facilities will enhance the experience of patients attending the new health centre and opens up new opportunities for colleagues from the health, social care and the voluntary sector to work together.”
 
The Welsh Government says work on the new centre is expected to begin in June this year with completion by June 2015. 
 
The centre will be on site of the former River Lodge hotel in the town. 
 
The additional services available at the centre will include pain management, community based heart failure, diabetic retinopathy, group physiotherapy, a range of outpatients clinics such as gastro, surgery and mental health, and children’s brain injury and speech therapy clinics.  

Act FAST is you suspect a stroke

THE Welsh Ambulance Service is reminding members of the public to act ‘FAST’ if they suspect they or someone they know is having a stroke.

The FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time)
test is a simple but important method of helping people to recognise the tell-tale signs of a stroke.
 
It involves checking a person’s face for signs of weakness or facial droop, their arms for weakness, and their speech for slurring, or difficulty speaking.

Time is of the essence, so if any or all of these signs are present, it is important to dial 999.

Stroke is most often caused by a blood clot in the brain and can lead to long-term paralysis, memory loss and problems with speech and vision. In the most severe cases, strokes can be fatal.

In April 2014, the
Welsh Ambulance Service took 1,218 emergency calls across Wales for patients with suspected stroke, compared to 1,206 in April 2013 and 1,015 in April 2012.

Chris Moore, the Trust’s Clinical Support Lead, said: “A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention, and recognising the signs of a stroke and dialling 999 quickly for an ambulance is crucial.

“The quicker the patient arrives at a specialist stroke unit, the quicker they will receive the right treatment and the more likely they are to make a better recovery. If you suspect a stroke, always dial 999.”

The Welsh Ambulance Service treats stroke as a medical emergency and works collaboratively with hospitals across Wales to ensure suspected stroke patients are seen quickly.

Whenever a stroke is suspected by ambulance crews, the hospital is contacted to alert them of the patient’s condition and the estimated time of arrival, with the aim of ensuring the patient receives the right care quickly.

May is Action on Stroke Month, and the Stroke Association is raising awareness of the risks of a ‘mini-stroke’ (a TIA, or transient ischaemic attack).

Every year, around 46,000 people in the UK have a TIA for the first time.

The symptoms of TIA are the same as stroke, but may only last for a few minutes and will have completely gone within 24 hours. After that, people appear to return to normal.

A UK-wide survey of people who had a TIA in the past five years has revealed that more than a third of them (37 per cent) dismissed it as a ‘funny turn.’

Only one in five people (22 per cent) experiencing symptoms of a TIA rang 999, and almost half of people (47 per cent) said the symptoms did not feel like an emergency.

A fifth of people (20 per cent) went on to have a major stroke.

Ana Palazon, Director Cymru for the Stroke Association, said: “The greatest risk of having a stroke is within the first few days after a mini-stroke, but because the symptoms are brief or mild, for many people it doesn’t feel like an emergency.

“Too many mini-stroke patients delay calling 999 when their symptoms start, often waiting instead for a GP appointment, or if they have visual problems visiting their optician for advice.

“When the symptoms start, you should call 999 and say you may be having a stroke. Urgently investigating and treating people who have a TIA or mini-stroke could reduce their risk of having another stroke by 80 per cent.”

The Welsh Ambulance Service has joined forces with the Stroke Association to design brand new FAST-themed posters for display on the side of emergency ambulances and rapid response cars.

The new posters are currently in production, and are expected to take their place on Trust vehicles in the coming weeks.

Visit www.stroke.org.uk/FAST for more information on the FAST campaign and on TIA.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Police seek witnesses to Oswestry death incident

Police are appealing for witnesses after a lorry driver was killed in a road incident in Oswestry town centre early today.

Police are investigating the circumstances of the incident which happened in Smithfield Street shortly before 7am.

No other vehicle is believed to have been involved.

A West Mercia Police spokesperson said: “The man was driving a delivery vehicle which is thought to have come into contact with a car park barrier.

“We are still investigating exactly what happened and are appealing for witnesses to contact Oswestry police station on 101.

“At this stage, we do not think any other vehicle was involved.  The driver, who is thought to be in his sixties, was the only person in the lorry.”

A post mortem is being arranged and an inquest will be opened in due course.

The Health and Safety Executive has also been informed.

Smithfield Street was closed for several hours while the emergency services worked at the scene.

AM calls for extension of Blue Badge scheme

North Wales Assembly Mark Isherwood is keen to extend the ‘Blue Badge’ Parking for Disabled People scheme to include people requiring temporary Blue Badges.
 
Speaking in the Assembly Chamber this week, Mr Isherwood told the Transport Minister that measures could be put in place to prevent blue badges being recycled, enabling temporary badges to be issued.
 
He said: “After I wrote to you last December on behalf of a constituent who was advocating a temporary blue badge, after she had injured herself and was in a wheelchair for a number of weeks and was suffering access problems accordingly, you replied helpfully by referring to the Blue Badge Review Group and stated that it had identified obstacles to temporary badges, such as recovering the badge when it was no longer required and the consequent potential for abuse.
 
“What consideration has been given, or will or could be given, to temporary badges being provided with dates of duration or expiry or renewal dates on them so that they could not be recycled in that way?”
 
The Minister said she would forward Mr Isherwood’s contribution to her officials for discussion.
 
She said: “We have to get this scheme right and it has to be implemented fairly across Wales.”

Monday, May 26, 2014

UKIP runner-up in Wales Euro contests

UKIP were runners-up to Labour in the European elections in Wales.

For the full story see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-27548508



Election results by party
 
Party nameVotes% of votes
UK Independence Party656327%
Conservative598725%
Labour558723%
Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales394416%
The Green Party8353%
Liberal Democrats6753%
British National Party219< 1%
Britain First215< 1%
Socialist Labour Party139< 1%
No2EU78< 1%
The Socialist Party of Great Britain36< 1%
Turnout:
32%
Election results graph
 

Campaign aims to attract more foster carers

A campaign aimed at attracting more foster carers for children and young people has been launched by Denbighshire County Council.

The 'Love Fostering' campaign is a multi-media campaign that includes a new information website, promotional banners and booklets. The campaign aims to increase the number of applications and enquiries received about fostering in the county and to promote the benefits of fostering county-wide.

Staff from the Council's Fostering team will also be out and about in events around the county over the coming months, promoting the benefits of fostering and encourage people to consider making a difference to the life of a child or children in Denbighshire.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Cabinet Lead Member for Social Care, Adult and Children's Services, said: "Fostering is a way of offering children and young people a home, someone to care for them while their own family are unable to look after them, This can be for a variety of reasons, including neglect, illness or family breakdown.

"Foster carers in Denbighshire are asked to provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment, either short or long term. while helping children and young people to keep in contact with their families and friends.  This can mean anything from one night to a number of years or permanent, depending on the children's needs.

"Fostering can involve looking after children of all ages, from babies,. teenagers to young adults. People can choose what age range of children they are able to support and they are able to change which type of fostering they offer to children as their own circumstances change or their skills and confidence increase.

"We have some great examples of people in Denbighshire that have fostered children and they have made an enormous difference to that child's life. It can be extremely rewarding for both foster carers and the children and we will provide support and guidance every step of the way."

There are a number of differing types of fostering including general fostering (short and long term), respite care to allow other carers to take a break from their duties , short break care to support families who have children with disabilities, support care to enable families to overcome difficult periods in their lives and emergency foster care that can see children placed at very short notice.

To find out more, please visit www.lovefostering.co.uk or call 0800 7313215. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Railway happy with BBC broadcast

A BBC Radio Wales programme featuring Llangollen Railway went out at 7am this morning (Sunday).

And it's quality has won praise from railway spokesman George Jones who said: "I thought the mix of recorded interviews ran together very well to give a varied sound picture of a visit to the line and on to Corwen.

"It was well presented by the BBC team and comes over as a serious review of the operation with some lighter touches of humour.

"It was worth all the effort that went into accommodating the BBC team and providing the recorded material.

"Those who didn't hear it can still catch it through the replay which is available on the BBC I-player at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/cfocus

"It is also due to be repeated on Monday at 5.30am."

Vincent recalls the time he met Pavarotti


* Vincent Griffiths remembers turning down the chance to sing with Pavarotti. 

A FOUNDER member of the world-famous Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir has been remembering the occasion almost 60 years ago when he turned down the chance to join legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti in a sing-song around the family piano.

Vincent Griffiths, now a sprightly 82, was a young man in his early twenties when his late mother, Alice Griffiths, played host to Pavarotti and his father while they were competing at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in 1955.

Mrs Griffiths opened her home in Beech House, Froncysyllte, to Luciano and Fernando Pavarotti for a week as the Chorus Rossini from Modena in northern Italy won the male choral competition.

Vincent, one of the first members of the Fron Choir and part of its line-up for 45 years, recalled: “My mother and father, Alice and William Griffiths, offered free board every year to people performing at the Eisteddfod. Over the years they had all nationalities there and enjoyed playing host to them.

* Alice Griffiths meets Pavarotti
and his father at the Bryn Howel in 1995.
“In 1955 Pavarotti, his father and two other members of their choir were staying at the house. I’d just been married to my wife, Nesta, and we were living in nearby Newbridge and I walked over one night to my mother’s in Fron to meet their guests.

“Of course, Pavarotti wasn’t famous then but he had a fine voice and was always singing.

“He was sitting at my mother’s piano. Neither he nor his father spoke English very well but when he heard I sang with a choir too Pavarotti invited me to join him in a song.

“I politely refused. Actually, I was due to compete against him when both our choirs were in the main choral competition that Saturday but that wasn’t why I turned him down. 
 
“I was a bit shy and didn’t think my voice was very good, although I had been one of the first members of the Fron Choir from the age of 15.

“We went on talking about music for half an hour and I recall that both Pavarotti and his father were very nice chaps.”

Vincent, a retired lab worker at the Monsanto factory near his home has a son, Peter, who lives in Acrefair, two grand-daughters and three great-grandchildren.

He added: “In the main choral competition the Modena choir won the competition. Both the Pavarottis had very good voices but, to be honest, I think the best choir on the day was a group of Moravian teachers from Czechoslovakia.

* Pavarotti performs at the Eisteddfod.
“After that, of course, Pavarotti became very famous but he came back to sing as the star at the Llangollen eisteddfod 40 years later. He was staying with his father at the Bryn Howel Hotel and I took my mother, who died about 10 years ago at the age of 93, to see them.

“We didn’t have long to speak to Luciano but I think he remembered my mother. Fernando spoke to us for longer and put his arm around my mother. It was nice to have that reunion.

“On the Sunday night, when he sang at the closing concert of the eisteddfod, we had front row seats and it was a terrific performance.

“He was definitely the best tenor I have ever heard because of the clarity and power of his voice.

“With the Fron choir, which I left about 20 years ago, I sang second tenor and then first bass. I must have competed at Llangollen at least 30 times over the years from 1948 and it was always a highlight for us.”

In 1955 larger-than-life Pavarotti was a slim 19-year-old trainee teacher who had joined the choir because his father, a baker, was a stalwart member of the chorus.

The moment the Modena choir won the male choral competition and the visit to Llangollen left an indelible impression on him and he often spoke of it.

The experience also helped shape his destiny and he once famously said that if he could win the first prize with a small choir from Modena, he could do anything.

Four decades after the 1955 appearance Pavarotti would still enquire earnestly about the lady in whose home he had been a guest.

He once said of his time boarding with the Griffiths family in Fron: “I remember well the house I stayed in. All the way from Italy, I was exercising my English. But when we are brought to the house in Llangollen and meet the family, I understand not a word. 
 
“I did not know there was such a language as Welsh. Even now I think how lucky they don’t write operas in such a language for me to sing. I would be out of work. It is impossible for us Italians to learn.”

Pavarotti said many times that he wanted to go back to Llangollen one day and that desire was fulfilled in 1995 when he made a triumphant return to headline at that year’s eisteddfod, marking the 40th anniversary of his first visit to north Wales.

He accepted an invitation to be President of the Day, on condition that his father could share the Day Presidency with him, so for the first and only time, the Eisteddfod had two joint Presidents of the Day.

On the Friday of the festival he fought his way to the stage through adoring crowds to tell a packed house: "Forty years ago, my God it seems to be just yesterday for me. I have done so many things. 
 
“I always say that to the journalists when they ask me what is a day more memorable in my life, and I always say that it is when I won this competition because it was with all my friends. With me at that time there was a person that I would like to have the privilege to introduce: my Father.”

To much applause, Fernando Pavarotti walked on stage to join his son, and Pavarotti Jnr declared: "He is stronger than me he has a voice more brilliant than mine - at least that’s what he thinks

His father, who spoke no English, then came on stage and charmed the audience by putting his hands together and bowing to them with a beaming smile on his face.

Another giant of the world of opera, Wales’s own Bryn Terfel, will headline a spectacular curtain-raiser to this year’s International Musical Eisteddfod when he leads an all-Welsh cast, which also includes Wynne Evans, in a performance of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway smash Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street on Monday, July 6.

It begins six tremendous days at Llangollen which kicks off on Tuesday with the Parade and a galaxy of international talent at the Carnival of Nations concert.

It will showcase spectacular circus acts from across the globe including Cirque du Soleil's Bruce Bilodeau, acrobats from the Chinese State Circus and Spellbound, winners of Britain's Got Talent.

The following night will see the return of Karl Jenkins, the highest selling classical composer alive today, with the world premiere of his latest masterpiece, Adiemus Colores. 
 
He will conduct his Latin American themed work with American tenor Noah Stewart, Venezuelan trumpeter Pacho Flores and Latvian accordion player Ksenija Sidorova to the accompaniment of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod Orchestra.

The multi-award winning Dutch jazz singer Caro Emerald will be making her Llangollen debut on the Thursday evening.  Earlier this year her second studio album, The Shocking Miss Emerald, went to No 1 in the UK album chart.

The Friday night concert, Spirit of Unity, will feature the Cape Town Opera, Africa’s premiere opera company, famed for their "vibrant vocalism and high-octane stage performances". 
 
Appearing with them will be Wales’ representative in Cardiff Singer of the World, Gary Griffiths, the Wales Millennium Centre Only Kidz Aloud Chorus under the baton of celebrity conductor Tim Rhys Evans and British Sinfonietta, one of the UK's leading independent professional orchestras.

The Choir of the World competition on the Saturday night is the blue riband event of the week-long festival and remains one of the foremost choral competitions in the international choral calendar.

Saturday will also feature a competition to find the dance champions of 2014 and to top the evening off Richard and Adam, who shot to fame on Britain’s Got Talent, will appear as special guests.

Bringing the house down on Sunday night will be legendary British rockers Status Quo who released the first of their 100 singles almost 50 years ago and are still Rocking All Over The World.

* To book tickets and for more details on the 2014 festival go to the website at www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk