BBC BLOGS - North East Wales Weblog

Archives for June 2009

Now for complaints about being too Welsh!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 11:32 UK time, Thursday, 25 June 2009

[Is that even possible?]

You may have heard about the debate to 'make Wrexham more Welsh'.

But did you hear the one about complaints that a Welsh choir's concert had too much Welsh?!

Meanwhile, there's a 'meeting to hear Polish concerns' in Corwen tonight - not that police are aware of any problems but they want the Polish community to know there is support if they feel they need it.

This all serves to prove the expression you can't please everyone...

Natural selection on the roof of Wrexham police station

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:11 UK time, Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Local photographer 'Werdna1730' has taken a collection of photos showing the family of peregrine falcons nesting on the roof of Wrexham Police Station.

Click the photo and you'll be able to view them all but please note that some shots aren't for the faint hearted as they highlight an amazing wildlife story of life - and death - in urban Wrexham.

I mean, have you heard the peregrines' calls to eachother high above as you walk over to Waterworld car park? Eerie!

Although Werdna1730 has probably taken his pictures with a telephoto lense, you can clearly see the birds with the naked eye too - but not nearly in as much detail. Although these birds have been in Wrexham since 2002, they're still as captivating as ever - or is that just me?

Softly does it - new-look site launched

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 11:34 UK time, Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Today we're launching the new-look site.

For regular site users and contributors it means we can make better use of things like your excellent photos for use in our galleries.

And, using feeds, you can now be notified when we've uploaded new things right across our site.

rss icon Just click the orange RSS icon at the top [right] of our pages for the homepage, Things to do, People & Places, Nature & Outdoors, History, Religion & Ethics, Arts & Culture, Music, and TV & Radio.

If you click the RSS icon it will look like this. Then, you paste that url into your feedreader [we use Google Reader] and every time the website is updated you will automatically be notified. Easy!

For us - the BBC Local team - the changes behind the scenes mean we're now integrated with BBC News online.

That allows us to utilise tools and components of the BBC's news content production system we weren't previously able to access so we can do things like edit photos on the fly, upload audio and video in seconds and get them on the web much, much quicker. Basically, less production time means more time to create the stories you want to read.

So, hopefully, you'll like what you see and understand the reasons behind the changes.

For info, we are aware of a couple of bugs with the new site but feel free to let us know if you spot anything.

Also, please note that this isn't the end of the updates being made to the site - so we're calling today's changes a soft launch.

We'll keep you posted.

Fancy a spot of outdoor swimming - in Wrexham?!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 12:58 UK time, Friday, 19 June 2009

Now if you'd said the Lake District I would have hardly flinched, but the thought of getting your kit off by a lakeside in Wrexham just doesn't seem right.

Today's Telegraph lists the top 50 places to swim outdoors and, at number nine, is Hanmer Mere, Hanmer, on the Wrexham-Shropshire border.

The supporting text reads: "A pleasing plunge in water that can touch 20C in August. Follow the path through woodland on the eastern side of the lake to reach a sandy bay. The water is clean, though footwear is recommended due to some debris on the bottom. Was popular with troops stationed here in the First World War."

Now, whilst I wasn't aware of Hanmer Mere as a place to swim, I have heard the old quarry pool at Moel y Faen on the Horsehoe Pass, near Llangollen, is used by members of the Welsh Wild Swimming Association - to go skinny dipping.

[Thanks to Christian Edwards for the tip]

Site changes [pt.6]

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:37 UK time, Thursday, 18 June 2009


I just wanted to give you a glimpse of one of the changes we're making to the site which, I hope you'll agree, will be a big improvement - and that's the use of your photos and artwork.

Just take a look at this stunning portrait called 'Progress' by Wrexham-based artist Jonathan Brier. What better way to show it off than to use it in a size in which you can fully appreciate the work.

[We're going to be showcasing more local artists' work in our new Arts and Culture section - more of that to come soon.]

Anyway, I've mentioned previously about the other types of picture galleries we'll be using on our new-look site.

The other thing to mention is the decision not to continue with the podcast, as we highlighted last week.

BBC bosses say: "It has provided a solid service to listeners for the last 18 months, but as we look for new ways to provide value for our listeners we feel we can better provide local stories and content for north east Wales using other means."

And finally, behind the scenes, things are going well with the migration to the new service which we're due to launch very soon now.

Site changes [pt.5]

Look out for our Russell [Crowe] in Wrexham

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 09:29 UK time, Monday, 15 June 2009

Russell CroweJust imagine walking over the zebra crossing from Wrexham's Waterworld car park and spotting a familiar face reading the noticeboard outside the Chester Street Baptist Chapel.

All the way into town you'll be thinking, 'I know that face!' Who is that guy? A distant relation, an old school friend or colleague. Where have I seen him before?'

Well, I'm not saying he's coming, I'm just giving you the heads up in case as the person in question could - possibly - be Hollywood actor Russell Crowe.

Why or what, you may ask, was he doing in Wrexham?

Well, I was reading this morning that he's filming a movie in Pembrokeshire.

So, fingers crossed, he pops up here to find out about the Crowe family Welsh and Wrexham ties such as the Baptist chapel where his ancestors - Russell's great grandparents, Fred and Kezia and 12 of their 13 children, received a send off before emigrating to Canada in June 1925.

The couple's son John, Russell's grandfather, stayed in Wrexham to run the family veg business, Crofruit, and the rest, as they say, is history...

Podcast [12-06-09]

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Alys - Web Team Alys - Web Team | 15:13 UK time, Friday, 12 June 2009

Podcast - NE Wales Update
uploaded 1pm Fridays
Coming up this week - in what will be our last NE Wales Update podcast - we get local reaction to Labour's hammering in the European elections; hear how jobs have been saved at Llandyrnog creamery and speak to friends of racing star Tom Pryce, who's being honoured in his home town of Ruthin.

Sarah Easedale hops on the bus to see the latest technology which will enable parents to track their children on their way to school; the village of Whitford celebratres the life of its most famous son and we report on the advances students at Glyndwr University in Wrexham are making to help elderly people stay in their own homes longer.

Thieves steal from police and other links [12-06-09]

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 09:20 UK time, Friday, 12 June 2009

Thieves steal from North Wales Police - Daily Post
Police helmets, signs, handcuffs, and body armour are just some of the items stolen from police.

Vaughan family buy Chester City - BBC News
Chester City have been bought from their administrators by the Vaughan family, including former City chairman Stephen Vaughan. This is what Chester fans think - but no word yet from Wrexhm fans.

Welsh MPs' expenses in detail - BBC News
Find out what, if anything, your MP claimed.

These are some of the stories we're following and highlight on our shared reader [what's this?] or which you can follow via

Crumbling buildings and high hopes

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 15:18 UK time, Wednesday, 10 June 2009

There's a very obvious thread among all the stories making the headlines at the moment.

Read the rest of this entry

Site changes [pt.5]

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 15:06 UK time, Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Take a look at BBC Memoryshare which has just had a makeover and you'll find it a good place to share recollections.

I point it out because we won't be carrying on with the comments form at the foot of our local history pages as we move to the new site.

A bonus for contributors is that comments are uploaded immediately and, therefore, you don't have to wait for us to upload them as currently happens in our local history sections.

More: Site changes [pt.4]

Newsletter [03-06-09]

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 11:27 UK time, Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Copy of weekly newsletter sent to subscribers via email
UPDATES: - Big change ahead - News round-up - Fans' views on Wrexham FC's £1m losses - Festival fun - Rhyl Prom master plan - Town Talk - And more

Read the rest of this entry

No! to £17m retail park plan

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 11:56 UK time, Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Do we need more supermarkets? - That's the question we've been posing recently.

And last night councillors at Wrexham Council voted 'no' - albeit by the narrowest of margins - when it came to deciding the fate of £17 million plans that included a new Sainsbury's store in Ruabon.

Tag: shops

3 days of live music + 1 'Big Day' = a great weekend

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:32 UK time, Tuesday, 2 June 2009

- and let's hope the sun continues to shine

Two massive events are being held in Wrexham this weekend with the Big Day Out and a live music festival at Bellevue Park.

One Big Day is being held on Queen's Square and Llwyn Isaf with plenty to do, including a Nintendo Wii and Guitar Hero Challenge and a Parkour demo by a local group.

Meanwhile, local bands appearing on the Bellevue bandstand include Polly Mackey & The Pleasure Principle, Gallops, The Roseville Band, Mother of Six, and Craig Williams among others.

By the way, there are public photo groups on for Wrexham Music Scene and North Wales Street Scenes so if you're at any of the events with your camera then you could consider adding a picture to the galleries.


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