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Sunday, December 31, 2017

County lands award for young people's project


* Winners are announced by Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford at an awards ceremony.

Denbighshire County Council is celebrating after its TRAC 11-24 project was recognised with two awards.

TRAC 11-24 is a Denbighshire County Council led project that runs across the six counties in North Wales, with the regional team being based in Denbighshire.

The project supports young people aged 11-24 disengaging with education and at risk of becoming NEET (not in Education, Employment or Training).

The aim is to reduce the number of young people aged 11-24 at highest risk of becoming NEET in North Wales, through a range of interventions that will compliment but not duplicate mainstream services.

Denbighshire County Council works with local authorities Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Flintshire and Wrexham and Grwp Llandrillo Menai, Coleg Cambria and Careers Wales as joint beneficiaries and each has a delivery team which has a variety of supportive roles in each team: office staff, support mentors, counsellors, family liaison officers, engagement workers, youth workers.

The project was recognised at an awards ceremony at the European Structural and Investment Funds Annual Information Event 2017 in the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

The first award ‘ESF Projects: Best individual achievement (aged 11-24 years)’ was won by Elliw Griffiths, a project participant from the Gwynedd County, whose life has been transformed with the help and support of the project and the second ‘Outstanding Project Winners: ESF’ was won by the TRAC 11-24 Project, accepted by Regional Project Manager Sian Morgan (Denbighshire County Council).

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Restaurants invited to join food challenge

Who doesn’t enjoy Fish and chips?

Well, January will be a great time to get out to a local restaurant and enjoy the classic dish served up by our region's great chefs.

For the third year running, the tourism partnership of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham will be holding their annual food challenge, this year supporting Visit Wales’s 2018 Year of the Sea marketing theme.

The challenge aims to raise awareness of the great food scene in North East Wales, and helps boost numbers in what is a generally quieter time in the food calendar.

Eateries are encouraged to enter either a ‘Fish and Chips with a twist’ dish, or a locally sourced Surf & Turf dish (with the meat being locally sourced).

The Sea Food challenge will be running between 15th January and 11th February 2018, with the dishes advertised on the restaurant’s specials boards.

Dishes from all three counties will be judged by a panel of mystery shoppers, and the three highest scoring dishes invited to a cook off at the end of February.

Restaurants who wish to be involved can find out more on the North East Wales Facebook page, or by contacting tourism@wrexham.gov.uk. There will be a launch event on 10th January, after which the list of entrants will be published.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Snow falls on Lllangollen


Snow falling steadily in Llangollen since around 7.30 this morning (Friday) had by 9am left a covering over the town and surrounding hills.

The forecast is for the snow to turn to light rain later in the morning and the temperature to hover around the 5C mark for the rest of the day.



Railway's mid-winter event


Llangollen Railway will offer a 45 minute train service from 0930 on Saturday with a mix of steam, diesel and railcar trains to provide family fun for a mid winter event when not much else is happening.

A railway spokesperson said: “Our end of year gala finale will soon be with us on 30th and 31st Dec.

"A mixture of Steam, Diesel and Railcars will be thrown into the mix to produce an intense timetable for all to enjoy.

"Whether it be a Crack Express or a Trundling Goods, a Small Tank engine or a Burbling Diesel, we will have it all for you. All stations will be open along the line to enable you to alight from your journey and sample the wonderful delights which all our Tea Rooms have to offer.

"So jump aboard when we wave the flag and blow the whistle and set off into a Winter Wonderland along the picturesque Dee valley”
The timetable is at:

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Police boss says force faces £2.1m funding cut

A police boss has accused the Government of trying to con the public with its claims of a £450 million boost to police funding – with the North Wales force facing a real terms cut of £2.1 million.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones (pictured) says the standstill budget imposed on forces across the country instead amounts to a three per cent cut because of inflation.
Mr Jones, a former police inspector himself, said that £270 million of the £450 million claimed increase was accounted for by the Government allowing forces across the country to levy higher precepts on Council Tax payers.
The remaining £180 million is accounted for by the Home Office increasing central allocations, or top-slicing, by approximately £130m to £945m the cash which supports programmes such as digital technology; armed officers; and bodies such as the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary as well as an extra £50m for counter-terrorism.
According to Mr Jones, the latest financial blow comes on top of the 20 per cent North Wales Police has had axed from its budget since 2012.
He said: “The fact is that although we are not seeing our central funding cut as it has been for the past seven years, we aren’t seeing it increased either and at a time of inflation that amounts to a real terms cut.”
North Wales Police will see it central funding frozen at last year’s level of £71.7 million and Mr Jones added: “When you take into account inflation that means a £2.1 million real terms cut.
“This is the first year since 2010/11 that the government grant has not been cut and although the provisional settlement is not as bad as I feared it might be, it does not reflect that the force is now spending almost £30m per year less than if these cuts had not been imposed.
“I am also disappointed that although the government has approved an additional one per cent pay increase for our hard-working police officers, no additional funding is forthcoming to meet this cost.
“That means we now face hard decisions on whether to implement further cuts in order to fund the pay rise or to increase Council Tax by up to £12 per property which of course hits our hard-pressed constituents.
“At the same time we have to set priorities, identify emerging needs and ensure that North Wales Police is able to attract the highest calibre candidates.
“We live in challenging times and that is true of policing as well as other areas of society.
“The level of the precept is crucial to the effectiveness of the force in keeping North Wales a safe place to live, work and visit and setting it is one of my principal responsibilities.
“Policing budgets have been under pressure for a number of years and this will certainly continue to be the case with over £7 million in cuts to the budget due by 2020.
“I hold regular discussions with the Chief Constable about his plans and the level of budget he requires to implement those plans, in line with my own Police and Crime Plan and its priorities.”
“Those priorities include the concentrating resources on harm reduction in relation to the most vulnerable people, while at the same time there is increased reporting of domestic violence because of more sympathetic and improved responses to such complaints and the return of modern slavery to the agenda.2
Mr Jones added: “Policing is under great pressure from new demands being placed upon it – who would have thought that the majority of crime in North Wales is now being committed online rather than on the street.
“Despite these increased demands there remains uncertainty over what North Wales Police will receive in the years to come but the need to meet these spending challenges has to be balanced by the recognition that many people find it difficult to find even a small amount of additional money.”

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Travellers tuck into railway's Mince Pie Specials



The festive season continues at Llangollen Railway with the beginning of the season for the Mince Pie Specials trains running from Boxing Day.

Trains between Llangollen and Carrog offered visitors a ride along the Dee Valley with mince pies and festive drink being served for adults and chocie bar and fruit drink for children.

On a blue sky day, it was a chance to see the wintry Welsh countryside at its best and perhaps enjoy various walks from the local stations.

Trains continue until Friday, when the weekend offers a special timetable of frequent trains during the Winter Warmer gala.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Facelift planned for Llan council homes

The start of 2018 will make an exciting chapter for 100 council homes in Llangollen, Ruthin and Rhyl as a major improvements programme is due to get underway.

The work to improve the homes includes roofing, replacement windows, doors and fascias, together with widespread refurbishment of brickwork and rendering.

Residents can stay in their properties whilst the work takes place, to avoid any inconvenience.

The Council has commissioned Torus Property Solutions to carry out the works.

Councillor Tony Thomas, Cabinet Lead Member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said: “This is an exciting time for residents in these properties as they will benefit from the work

“This project is one part of a much wider programme of investment in our properties across the county.  We want our residents to live in high quality and safe accommodation which is also better insulated and we firmly believe that investing in the properties will improve the quality of life for individuals and families.

“We look forward to seeing the work progress in the New Year and I’m sure that the residents will be delighted with the end result."

Torus Property Solutions director, Wayne Booth, said: “We are thrilled to have won this significant work for Denbighshire County Council and can’t wait to get started.

“Work like this doesn’t just transform homes, it helps revitalise estates and improve the wellbeing of residents. We’re proud to be a part of it.”

Work on the mix of flats, detached and semi-detached homes, terraced houses and bungalows is expected to begin on January 8.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

What bus changes mean to local passengers


* People going to Llangollen Railway
are affected by the D Jones bus situation.
The cessation of trading by D Jones reduces the Wrexham/Llangollen bus service to a 40 minutes frequency by Arriva Cymru.

This has implications for people arriving by train at Ruabon and Llangollen Railway has posted the following Facebook message which has been appreciated by visitors.

"Information regarding the change in Bus Services to Llangollen:

"Visitors coming by train to Ruabon for buses to Llangollen should be aware D Jones & Son, which operated route 5 Wrexham to Llangollen, has ceased trading w.e.f 17/12/17.

"Onward journeys to Llangollen will need to be by Arriva Cymru route 5 which does not call at Ruabon station. Travellers must walk down Station Road to board the Arriva bus in Bridge St for what is a 40 minute frequency service. 

"The two-hourly T3 Traws Cymru bus will continue to call at the station but with poor times for train connections.

"Awareness of this change will save those who don't know the local circumstances a frustrating wait outside the station when the former 20 minute service doesn't appear."

Friday, December 22, 2017

Chat show slot in Llan's Snow White panto



* The chat show scene in this year's Llan panto.

A tabloid style TV chat show will attempt to heal the rift between Snow White and her evil step-mother as part of this year’s Llangollen Pantomime.

The modern twist on the traditional story of Snow White will bring the fairy tale character to the sofa of The Christopher Cornmill Show, in an episode entitled My stepmother tried to kill me.
It’s all part of the 35th annual pantomime produced by a cast of 30 young people and adults from the town, taking place at Llangollen Pavilion from January 18-22. 
The debut director of this year’s production, Justine Bradey, from Llangollen, said: “The TV sketch at the end of the show is inspired by day time TV and will add an extra dimension to this year’s production.

“It’s all family friendly and one of a number of twists in the story.  Our Snow White is a much feistier character than the traditional story and Girl Power wins the day. 
"But it will still feel like a good old-fashioned pantomime with Nanny Nik-Nak as the dame, Prince Rupert in tights and the wicked queen, Evelyn. 
“All the cast and crew are working really hard to make this an unforgettable production.”
As part of this year’s show, a local documentary maker Joe Pemberton is producing a film on the Making of Snow White. 
Joe, from Acrefair, is filming rehearsals and will put together a behind the scenes movie.  He will also film the entire pantomime, creating a memento for all involved.
The music in this year’s pantomime will be performed by a six-piece live band. 
The songs span the decades with the Beatles, Queen, Wham and a specially written lyric for the Gloria Gaynor classic  I will Survive.
There are two matinee performances, on Saturday and Sunday.  Tickets are available from  Jades Hair, Gwyn Butcher's  and online at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/llangollenpanto 

* Celyn Orton-Jones plays Snow White.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Nature presenter backs community garden campaign



* Community gardeners gather on their plot during the recent snow.

Nature presenter Iolo Williams has added his voice to those opposed to the closure of Llangollen Community garden.

The garden has been threatened by a deal between a developer and the landowner, Denbighshire County council. 

Iolo is one of Wales’ most renowned naturalists and wildlife presenters. He has worked in conservation for over 30 years and has presented many nature and wildlife series for the BBC and S4C.  

He said: “Resources such as this play a vital role in local communities and can engender a lifelong passion for gardening and wildlife. Indeed my own passion was encouraged by my grandfather who took me to work with him in a local community garden.

"In these times when mental health and weight issues are becoming an increasing problem, community gardens have an important role to play and it would be a travesty if the garden at Llangollen was closed.” 

Last month Denbighshire County Council’s Asset Management Group decided to gift the 0.5-acre plot for housing on the basis that the developer will carry out works to nearby Plas Newydd.

Founders of the garden, which was established in 2012, say they received just four days’ notice ahead of the decision, which is due to be ratified on January 11. 

Garden campaigners claim that following the initial decision in November it has now emerged that the land was originally bought by Denbighshire County Council in order to enhance and protect the neighbouring heritage attraction, Plas Newydd. The initial purchase was majority funded by the Heritage Lottery fund, they say. 

Gardener Warren Davies said: “We have worked hard to create a community resource which is open to all, at no cost to the council, but it seems the council is willing to destroy that.  

Amid claims by Denbighshire council that an alternative site had been turned down, Mr Davies said: “Another site has been mentioned, but it is in private ownership and has not been negotiated by the council, or formalised in any way. It also appears to be one tenth of the size of the current garden." 

The community garden is free to attend and open to all, and grows fruit and vegetables as well as developing wildflower areas and nature habitats. 

The garden regularly hosts free events such as storytelling evenings, visits from local children's groups, Welsh language sessions, and bonfires. 

The community garden group have set up a petition on their website which so far over 300 people have signed, and has more information about the group on Facebook. 

* Denbighshire County Council told llanblogger in response to its last story on the garden:  
“The council has also committed to providing a revised report for the next meeting of the Asset Management Group in January, when this group will review the decision made at the November meeting, reflecting on the additional information and supporting documentation provided by the Community Garden."

The council said yesterday that it doesn't wish to add to this comment.



Wednesday, December 20, 2017

MP wins ATM cashpoint commitment

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones has secured a commitment that all Post Office ATM cashpoint machines will stay free-to-use.

Ms Jones today (Wednesday) met in Parliament with Post Office Corporate Affairs Director Patrick Bourke and Director of Banking Services, Martin Kearsley.

Later, the MP (pictured) said: "I am concerned that as the banks consult on their cash machines and the Links network, we could be left in a position where fewer of the UK's 70,000 Links cashpoint machines are free to use. I personally believe the Government should legislate on this issue, but if it doesn't, small towns and villages could be hit really hard.

"For that reason, I asked to meet with senior Post Office directors to discuss their  take on the situation. Their commitment to free-to-use machines is welcome.

"Also welcome is the fact that the Post Office is starting to work with Credit Unions and developing new technologies to do so.

"This is really good news - as it means that in case of emergencies, say boilers or cookers breaking down, many Credit Union account holders will be able to access cash fast through the local Post Office. That is so much better than having to go to Bright House or high-interest loan companies."

She added: "As someone who made representations to the Government's Banking Protocol about the need to standardise access to bank accounts, I am also pleased to see that 99% of all UK consumer banking customers – and 95% of all small business banking customers –  can now access basic banking services, such as cash withdrawal, cash deposit and cheque deposits through the Post Office. That means locally that people don't have to go to Wrexham for their everyday banking needs."

Ms Jones also raised issues relating to how charities, community groups and local churches can use the Post Office for everyday banking, and discussed particular problems concerning access to Post Office services in the Maelor villages.


Police boss calls for legal clampdown on "upskirting"

A police boss is calling for tough new legislation to punish the sexually intrusive practice of upskirting.

According to North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, secretly photographing underneath a woman's clothing without her consent should be a sexual offence.


The perverts who take the pictures often make things even more distressing for the victims by uploading the images onto the internet.

An online campaign by one victim, London writer Gina Martin, 25, has already amassed more than 70,000 signatures.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, of which Mr Jones is a member, has also spoken out against the "invasive and appalling practice". The UK Government is being urged to criminalise the behaviour and introduce legislation in the forthcoming Courts Bill to update the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Mr Jones (pictured) said: "There should certainly be new legislation so that the law can catch up with the new problems of the here and now. As things stand there is a gap in the law.

"Upskirting appears to be a growing problem and it is something that we should act upon to make sure that it is punished appropriately.

"It is a classic example of misogyny in a public place and there is no room in society for this form of totally inappropriate behaviour.

"What makes things even worse is that the perpetrator often compounds these acts by up-loading these images onto the internet.
"Voyeurism is already classed as an offence and there is no reason in my view why upskirting should not be treated in exactly the same way.

"By creating a specific sexual offence covering the practice of 'upskirting' we will be providing the police with more of the tools they need to help bring perpetrators of these appalling acts to justice.
“Making this a specific sexual offence would mean proper recognition of the intent of the perpetrator and the real distress and sense of violation caused to the victim. In addition, it would allow for the range of sentencing and disposal options that are available in respect of sexual offences.

“Updating the law would also raise the public's awareness of this deviant behaviour, give the police more clarity about what action they can take to purse prosecutions whilst at the same time it would send a clear message that these acts are totally unacceptable.
"I am calling on the Government to act swiftly and decisively to ensure that justice is no longer denied to the victims already suffering from this disgraceful practice. The Justice Secretary should look to include measures in the forthcoming Courts Bill to tackle this appalling practice and update the law to protect victims.

"Quite simply, this is sexual offending and should be treated as such."

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas music at Methodist Church


Update on D Jones bus company closure


Wrexham.com has a further update on the story of the local bus company closure ...

http://www.wrexham.com/news/further-update-from-wrexham-council-after-collapse-of-d-jones-son-buses-142128.html

Monday, December 18, 2017

Churches stage annual carol service


* Members of Llangollen Youth Choir perform at the carol concert last night.

Churches of various denominations in Llangollen came together for their annual carol service at the Town Hall yesterday (Sunday) evening.

Led by the Rev Phil Poole of the Methodist Church and the Rev Andrew Sully of St Collen's Parish Church, the evening featured a selection of traditional carols, all accompanied by Llangollen Silver Band.

The band performed a number of Christmas numbers, including Tannenbaum and Stop the Cavalry popularised by Joan Lewie in the 1980s.

Also singing some seasonal songs were members of Llangollen Youth Choir conducted by Elen Mair Roberts.

Musical items were interspersed with readings for a number of people including Town Mayor, Cllr Sheena Burrell.

Refreshments were provided and a retiring collection was taken in aid of the charity Embrace the Middle East.

During the evening results were announced of the Christmas tree competition staged at the Methodist Church and voted for by members of the public.

The two winners were the trees created by the town's New Dot community cinema and Llangollen Gardening Club.  

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Disruption 'inevitable" after bus company ceases trading

A council leader says disruption is inevitable after a bus company serving Llangollen ceased trading.

For the full story, see: http://www.chesterstandard.co.uk/home/2017/12/16/gallery/disruption-inevitable-after-wrexham-bus-firm-announces-it-is-to-cease-trading-102447/

Stiwt panto has everything to make it a hit

With its larger-than-life dame, frenetic comic lead and extra-nasty villain the Stiwt panto couldn’t fail to be a smash-hit.

Add in a sweet principal girl, the mother of all a fairy godmothers and a posse of super-cute oversized puppets and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs should be pulling in the crowd this festive season.

Audience participation is always a key ingredient and the huge gang of kids packing the aisles at the lovely old Rhos theatre were hooked right from the start by Dame Debbie, forcefully delivered by the towering James Humphreys, who dared them not to scream along with the action.
Standing what appeared to be about seven feet high, if there’s a taller dame in any panto in the land this season, I’d be surprised. And his comedic talent measured up to every inch of his height.

Another character who develops that essential love/hate rapport with the crowd is Michael Jenkins as the Wicked Queen’s sneering side-kick, Henchman. A Stiwt panto stalwart, he steps out of his jackboots to direct the whole show and it’s largely down to him that the whole thing is so zingy and tight.

If the dame is extra tall, then Muddles the comic lead is the exact opposite. But what Kyle Corrin may lack in stature he certainly makes up for in sheer exuberance.
A ball of explosive energy, he fires off jokes machine-gun style and never gives the kids out front a minute’s peace. They love him for it as you can hear from the crescendo of cheers which greets his many appearances on stage.

As has become the practice with the LHK Productions-created pantos here, there has to be high-profile addition to the cast. This time there’s two – Eastenders’ Tony Discipline as the dashing hero Prince Valiant and Big Brother’s Mark Byron as the very camp Fairy Godmother.  Both are perfect in their roles.
The programme biogs don’t mention if Megan Ashley has played in any previous pantos, so this may be her first. But so competently did she handle the part of Snow White, with just the right level of sweetness, that it certainly won’t be her last.

The other lady involved is Cerys Buck. On stage she turned in a very neat Wicked Queen and off-stage she was the choreographer behind some fast-moving dance routines involving a host of talented local youngsters.
Two teams of kids take it in turn to don the clever costumes of the Seven Dwarfs. They look adorable and are yet another crowd pleaser.

There’s recently been some media fuss about at least one professional panto using a script that’s a little near the knuckle for an audience largely comprising kids.
Innuendo has long been a tradition with this type of show but the trick is to make sure things don’t tumble too far over the watershed.

This one has a bit of naughtiness, especially from Dame Debbie, but there’s definitely nothing too strong or offensive and it's all delivered in the best possible taste.
This spectacular show, packed with humour, music and an abundance of colour, is sure to delight the whole family and is on at the Stiwt until New Year’s Eve. Box office: 01978 841300.      

Saturday, December 16, 2017

AM calls for more domestic abuse support

North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has called for more support for both male and female victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.  

Speaking in a debate on the ‘The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Annual Review 2016-2017’, Mr Isherwood (pictured) emphasised the shortage of refuges for male victims in Wales, referring to the fact that Flintshire men’s refuge is struggling to meet demand, and the need for more perpetrator programmes.  
He said: “Working alongside Plaid Cymru’s Jocelyn Davies and Liberal Democrat Peter Black, I was one of the three AMs in the last Assembly who took the Welsh Government to the line over passage of the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act (Wales) 2015.

“We will therefore be supporting amendment 1 (‘Regrets that the Equality and Human Right’s Commission’s aim of eliminating violence in the community is hampered by the lack of progress in implementation of the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act (Wales) 2015’), and, in this context, I also move amendment 2, noting that the Commission’s aim of eliminating violence in the community requires implementation of the wider Welsh Government pledges made during the passage of the Act. Welsh Women's Aid are now concerned about the lack of Health Budget being invested in specialist Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence providers.

“I moved amendments then calling for national and local strategies to meet the gender-specific needs of women and men. The Stage 1 committee report recommended that Welsh Ministers should ensure that services are tailored to the specific needs of men and women respectively. The Minister then opposed these amendments, stating that this will already be taken into consideration by authorities in the preparation and implementation of national and local strategies.

“In emphasising that women and girls are disproportionately impacted by violence, the Domestic Abuse Safety Unit in Shotton also provides a gender-neutral service, because they say that domestic abuse and sexual violence affect both genders.

“When I visited them recently, they told me that their male refuge received five referrals for just two spaces on its first day, that it had been full ever since and that they are currently operating waiting lists. I understand it's the only male refuge in North Wales, currently funded by the Council, supporting victims until next March, with funding for female victims supported only one year more. A written Welsh Government response to me last month stated that a 2015 survey showed 274 refuge spaces across Wales, of which four in Montgomery were provided for males.”

He added: “I moved then amendments calling for the National Strategy to include provision of at least one perpetrator programme. As Relate Cymru had told Committee, ‘90 per cent of the partners they questioned some time after the end of their programme said 'that there had been a complete stop in violence and intimidation by their partner’. The Minister responded that he did not consider my amendments appropriate, but had jointly funded research to help inform future responses to perpetrators. Well, as reiterated at the last meeting of the Cross Party Group on Violence against Women and Children, Relate's programme ‘Choose 2 Change’ is the only current Respect-accredited programme in Wales.”

Mr Isherwood also moved Amendment 3, “noting the increase in reported hate crime in Wales” and Amendment 4, noting that the EHRC’s efforts to ensure that equality and human rights are embedded in work taken forward under the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act, detailed in their Annual Review, will require the “real and meaningful dialogue between communities, individuals and their public services” called for by the Future Generations Commissioner in her Draft Strategic Plan. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Eisteddfod's December update


It has been a busy month in the Eisteddfod office not least because we have been able to launch the main 2018 concert strand and tickets go on sale at 9.30 am today, Thursday December 14.
 
I am delighted that our new Music Director Vicky Yannoula has been able to secure a star-studded concert line-up, featuring performances from best-selling artist, Alfie Boe, prolific recording artist, Van Morrison, renowned baroque instrumental group, Red Priest, and award winning Welsh folk band, Calan.

The concert series offers something for everyone and reflects the musical excellence and diversity that is at the heart of the Eisteddfod. 

Tickets will be available online at www.llangollen.net or via the box office on 01978 862 001 and we would recommend that you buy early to get the best seats. 


Full details of the line-up are: 

Alfie Boe in Concert – Tuesday July 3

The 2018 event will open with one of Britain’s biggest selling, most popular and best loved vocalists of a generation, Alfie Boe. The hugely successful recording artist and West End, Broadway sensation will be joined by his ensemble of stellar musicians, and will performs songs from his iconic, chart-topping albums.

The Classical Collection  - Wednesday July 4

This evening will encapsulate the magic of two of our favourite instruments – the piano and the human voice, featuring our new Music Director, and the International Voice of the Future final.


International Celebration with special guests Calan – Thursday July 5

Celebrate the colour, sound and diversity of our international competitors, along with award winning band, Calan who will set feet tapping with their quirky interpretation of Welsh folk music. 

An Evening with Van Morrison – Friday July 6

What a thrill and an honour to be welcoming Sir Van Morrison, one of the most prolific recording artists and live performers in music history - it will be an evening not to be missed.

Choir of the World with special guests Red Priest – Saturday July 7

The Eisteddfod’s competitions will reach their exciting climax as the very best performers compete for the titles of Choir of the World 2018 and the Dance Champions of the World 2018. Our special guests Baroque instrumental group, Red Priest, will captivate the audience with their technical wizardry and showmanship. 

Watch out for further announcements in the new year about the line-up for Llanfest 2018. 
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dr Rhys Davies,
Eisteddfod Chairman

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Horseshoe Pass re-opens



Denbighshire County Council says the Horseshoe Pass is now open again, although ice warnings are still in place.

Honour for local radio presenter



Calon FM presenter Jan Rawlinson has been recognised for her support for classical music.

Jan fronts Calon FM's Sunday early afternoon show Classical Crossover, which is a favourite with people in Llangollen and where she plays and promotes tracks from the classical world of music covering both national and local talent.

In recognition of encouraging the interest of classical crossover music, Jan was recently given a huge pictorial montage from classical music stalwarts, Kevin Wrapson and Nicola Heales.

The montage included photos and handwritten words of gratitude from many of artists she has played and also interviewed on her 12-2pm Sunday show.

Jan said on being presented the honour: "I'm extremely touched to receive this montage with these words of thanks from Kevin, Nicola & the artists. I'm proud to have played and interviewed so many talented artists.

"I'll be looking forward to playing all the great classical crossover music new and old throughout next year, every Sunday 12-2pm."

New Dot's 2018 screening programme

Llangollen's NEW Dot community cinema has released details of its 2018 programme ...


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Big community effort saves dog on freezing night


A massive community search effort helped save the life of a dog who went missing in sub-zero temperatures near Dinas Bran Castle in Llangollen last night (Monday).

Grateful owner Matthew Pritchard says the dog, named Andy (pictured), probably wouldn’t have survived the night as the thermometer plummeted to – 10 if he hadn’t have been found after 600 people shared a Facebook message to say he was missing and a number joined the hunt to find him.   

Matthew said: “We acquired Andy just after Christmas last year. He was already named and believed to be 12-15 months old.

“He was being trained to sniff explosive and was destined to spend his life abroad in war zones, but luckily for him he failed to make the grade.

“Although his health and sniff were excellent he had a short attention span, possibly due to his trainers believing he was a lot older than he was. We believe he was about eight months old when he came to live with us in Llangollen.

“Andy fitted in well with our family and soon we started to run canicross with him as both myself and my partner Heather like to run.

“Andy comes out running with us at every available opportunity and we’ve even entered into canicross events where he’s come home with his own medal.

“We regularly train with our local club, Run Free Fell Runners, of which Andy could be classed as the club mascot, and it was on one of these training sessions last night that he disappeared. He runs both on the lead and sometimes off the lead and has never disappeared before.”

Describing how last night’s drama unfolded, Matthew said: “Heather and the run club were half way up Dinas Bran Castle when Andy disappeared.

“After spending what seemed like ages shouting and looking for him Heather ran back home to get another head torch, a power bank for her phone and to inform me about Andy disappearance before returning back up the castle to continue the search.
"While she did this the remaining members of the Run Free Fell Runners club continued looking.
“It was at this point that I placed two posts on Facebook, one on Llangollen Notice Board and one on my personal page.
“Within an hour both posts had had over 600 shares each with over 500 comments combined. People were messaging me from all over with offers of help in searching for him.
“I even had a message from a professional drone company offering assistance. Many members of the Llan community and surrounding areas left the warmth of their own homes and gave up their valuable time to help find him.
“With the temperatures due to drop to -10 I didn’t think he’d of survived the night stuck up the castle. After just over an hour of searching he was found safe and well.”
“He’s run this route many of times with the club but we believe the deep snow must have disorientated him.
“I was overwhelmed by the amount of people concerned for Andy and the amount who helped in the search and I just can’t thank them enough.
“Andy returned home, had his tea and snuggled down in his warm bed for the evening, probably oblivious to just how many people were out looking for him.”

* Andy with the Run Free Fell Runners.




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