Read the most recent posts

  1. A mild start for October, but turning fresher

    Tuesday 30 September 2014, 15:45

    Derek Brockway Derek Brockway

    Little Haven by Mandy Llewellyn Little Haven by Mandy Llewellyn It's been a remarkable month with above average temperatures making the warmest September in Wales since 2006. It's also been sunnier than normal with Wales being the sunniest part of the UK. 

    This month has also been very dry. In fact it's the second driest September in Wales since records began in 1910.

    Rainfall amounts varied across the country. Hawarden in Flintshire and Eglwyswen in Pembrokeshire only had a few milimetres of rain. 

    Anglesey (RAF Valley) recorded its driest September since 1986 but at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan around 20mm was recorded. 

    Ray Garner, who runs a weather station at Llanfynydd in Carmarthenshire, recorded a total of 18.8mm in September, 19% of the expected average of 97.1mm.

    This is the lowest rainfall for any month since he started taking measurements in 1996!

    The driest September in Wales was in 1957 when only 11.7mm of rain fell. 

    The dry and warm conditions this month have been caused by the jet stream which has been positioned to the north of the UK.

    This has allowed high pressure to dominate our weather for much of the month.

    Some farmers and gardeners are desperate for rain becasue it's been...

    Read more about A mild start for October, but turning fresher

  2. From the Skerries to the Smalls, the automation of Welsh lighthouses

    Tuesday 30 September 2014, 12:52

    Phil Carradice Phil Carradice

    See all posts about:

    In September 1987 the Skerries lighthouse off the coast of Anglesey became fully automated. The lighthouse keepers were withdrawn and for the first time in 273 years the light ceased to be manned. The warning beams still shone in the darkness but there were no longer keepers on duty at the lighthouse for 24 hours every day.

    The withdrawal of lighthouse keepers from their often lonely and isolated stations was part of an automation policy by Trinity House. The process had begun as far back as 1910 and reached something of a fulfilment in the 1980s, although it did not finally conclude until the North Foreland Light in Kent was automated in 1998.

    There are over thirty lighthouses around the coast of Wales, several of them now decommissioned, running from the Point of Ayr in Clwyd to those of West and East Usk in the Bristol Channel.

    The Skerries Rock lighthouse. The Skerries Rock lighthouse. Image: Arthur C Harris / CC BY-SA 2.0

    The Skerries lighthouse was first built on the remote group of islands known as the Skerries that lie off the north-west coast of Anglesey in 1716. It was a private enterprise and like many early lights, the owners levied tolls on the passing ships in order to make their money. Trinity...

    Read more about From the Skerries to the Smalls, the automation of Welsh lighthouses

  3. New season, new faces: Welcoming B Tommy Andersson

    Tuesday 30 September 2014, 11:17

    Laura Sinnerton Laura Sinnerton

    See all posts about:

    A new season is a time for new beginnings. At our season opener in St David's Hall this Friday, where we will continue our role as Orchestra in Residence, we are delighted to introduce our new Composer-in-Association, B Tommy Andersson.

    The BBC Performing Groups are extremely committed to the creation and performance of new music. Classical music is not just the playing of scores by men and women dead for decades. It is a relevant, living, breathing, ever-evolving, ever testing-the-boundaries animal.

    B Tommy Andersson's appointment was the suggestion of our Principal Conductor, Thomas Søndergård. Since the beginning of his tenure, Thomas has brought so many incredible soloists to work with the orchestra, so I have been highly expectant of working with Mr Andersson (who will also be involved in workshops and masterclasses with students in Cardiff). 

    BBC NOW's Composer-in-Association, B Tommy Andersson BBC NOW's Composer-in-Association, B Tommy Andersson

    As our season opener draws closer, I was keen to find out a little more about our new Composer-in-Association, and so did what every self-respecting, techno savvy, nosy person would do - I looked him up online. The first thing I came across was a recording of his Horn Concerto on YouTube...

    Read more about New season, new faces: Welcoming B Tommy Andersson

  4. Being a runner on Hotel 24/7

    Monday 29 September 2014, 14:22

    Max Davies Max Davies

    Poised rather majestically above the M4, the Celtic Manor Resort has always stood for me as the first landmark of Wales. I grew up in Aberystwyth and regularly cross the Severn Bridge, either to visit my Dad in Wiltshire or to catch up with mates in Bristol. Being a runner on Hotel 24/7 was an amazing opportunity to find out what this corporate castle was all about. 

    Sadly, staying at the Celtic Manor for the duration of filming wasn’t included in the budget. Natalie, my fellow runner and I would travel from Cardiff, getting to the hotel for 9.30am and finishing around 6pm. The crew had been...

    Read more about Being a runner on Hotel 24/7

  5. Heading into Cardiff for a half

    Monday 29 September 2014, 13:18

    Steve Austins Steve Austins Editor, BBC Radio Wales

    See all posts about:

    Not that it was in any doubt, but Dewi Griffiths was a showman til the very last yesterday. At 10.25am, everyone turned up the radio to find out what the final ever song on A String of Pearls would be, only to hear him say "you'll have to listen to the Evening Edition to find out".

    The 8pm show is six minutes longer than the morning version (as there's no news junction at 8pm) and there has always been time to play two or three extra songs. So good thinking on Mr G's part to drive the audience to come back. Those who did heard him announce that he'd be back with A String of Christmas Pearls in December...

    Read more about Heading into Cardiff for a half

  6. Real families: Separating the myth from the truth

    Friday 26 September 2014, 15:08

    Stephen Evans Stephen Evans

    See all posts about:

    If you watch the soaps and read the tabloids, you'll have a pretty bleak view of family life.

    You might think the traditional family was in crisis. What was once a stable institution seems to be splitting apart under the weight of trendy new ways. Where once the traditional couple with a couple of kids was the common habit, now anything goes: divorce is rife and rising; old ways have been replaced by gay marriage, gay adoption, single parents (of either sex), weekend dads and a host of other un-traditional forms. 

    The family, you might think, is fractured.

    Except that it isn't. There is a lot of...

    Read more about Real families: Separating the myth from the truth

  7. On The Road for the autumn

    Thursday 25 September 2014, 13:44

    Laura Sinnerton Laura Sinnerton

    See all posts about:

    Without a doubt, autumn is my favourite season. Growing up on the cusp of the Glens of Antrim, this was always a truly idyllic time of the year as the leaves went through their seasonal metamorphosis and everywhere seemed to burn red, copper and gold.

    If one cannot be there at this time of year, I must admit that a jaunt through mid Wales will also quench one's 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' pangs. And so, I am rather looking forward to our first On The Road concerts of the 2014/2015 season as we head to St Asaph and Newtown for a weekend of concerts. 

    Our first stop will be at the North...

    Read more about On The Road for the autumn

  8. The story of Sapper D J Roach: Part 2

    Wednesday 24 September 2014, 12:59

    Cat Whiteaway Cat Whiteaway

    See all posts about:

    At the end of my last blog I finished with a single question:

    "How and when did Sapper David James Roach get injured?"

    Sapper David James Roach, 92519, Royal Engineers signed up for the duration of WW1 and told his son John all about his service; including fighting at the Somme, Ypres, Cambrai and Mametz. But John could find no confirmation of his father's service history since his service record was one of several thousand destroyed during the Blitz.

    John had his father's three campaign medals and so knew his service number. He also knew that his father had suffered badly with shell shock and had...

    Read more about The story of Sapper D J Roach: Part 2

  9. Smurfs on the breakfast shift

    Monday 22 September 2014, 11:50

    Craig Withycombe Craig Withycombe

    See all posts about:

    Craig Withycombe is the sound man for Hotel 24/7

    It was manic. Hundreds of plates, cups and hot saucepans were being stacked up in front of a team of blue-suited pot-washers. Waiters and waitresses were everywhere, bringing tray upon tray of sausages, scrambled eggs and baked beans into the restaurant. Behind me, chefs were sweating over the hot plates. It was 7.30am and the kitchen had 500 people to feed. 

    Cameraman Rob McDougal and soundman Craig Withycombe Cameraman Rob McDougal and soundman Craig Withycombe

    When I joined the Hotel 24/7 team I was told that I would be filming in the biggest kitchen at the Celtic Manor Resort. I was looking...

    Read more about Smurfs on the breakfast shift

  10. Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye

    Monday 22 September 2014, 11:34

    Steve Austins Steve Austins Editor, BBC Radio Wales

    See all posts about:

    I'm pleased to present you with your first earworm of the week. Before I left last Friday, I signed off the trail for the final edition of A String of Pearls, which uses 'Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye' as the musical bed throughout. Since then, I haven't been able to get the tune out of my head. I guarantee by the end of this note, neither will you!

    Dewi Griffiths Dewi Griffiths

    I know Dewi has been preparing for this final show for a long time. I know he knows what he wants to say; the last songs that he wants to play. So make sure that you are tuned into BBC Radio Wales at 9.30am on Sunday morning...

    Read more about Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye

About this Blog

Behind the scenes on our biggest shows, the stories you won't see on TV & highlights from Welsh history, arts and music.

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook for the latest posts.

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?

BBC Wales tweets