BBC BLOGS - North East Wales Weblog

Archives for April 2010

Quote of the day, renewed hopes and good times

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 08:46 UK time, Friday, 30 April 2010

"...what can be achieved when people do rather than moan..."
- so says Adam Walton referring to a cultural revolution [of sorts] in a very different Mold from his childhood:

"If you live in a dead-end town, Mold is an excellent example of how a small handful of dedicated enthusiasts can transform the cultural landscape for the benefit of everybody. It's an empowering story of what can be achieved when people do rather than moan about what is not being done."

But Mold isn't unique in this, thanks to the work of people and groups like Cittaslow Mold and many others. Only yesterday we blogged about the reinvention of Ruthin from a number of community groups.

And then there's the £100m ambition for Rhyl's continued redevelopment, plans for Chirk's giant dragon sculpture and the organisers of Holywell's folk festival, the Cadi Ha, hope it can rival Halloween for children's attention.

So, as you can see, there is no shortage of people with big hopes for our communities.

PS. Work is already under way for the 2011 National Eisteddfod in Wrexham - but help is needed, say organisers.

Ruthin: A market town of the future?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 09:59 UK time, Thursday, 29 April 2010

If you think of Ruthin then an image of historic properties around St Peter's Square, along with the clock tower, and gaol probably come to mind.

A typical building in Ruthin by Nick Meredith, via Flickr

But those who really know Ruthin have been looking forward, not back of late, and they plan to create other ways to attract people to town and make it a better place in which to live and work.

It's all part of Ruthin Town Council's strategy, a Market Town of the Future or, as locals call it, the masterplan.

But that's not all that's going on in Ruthin.

Under the name Ruthin Forward, a community group is uniting locals, according to chairman Jeff Brimble.

"We're trying to reinvigorate community spirit and put some fun back into the community," said Jeff who runs his own business from the town.

To keep everyone updated and acting as forum for ideas there is the Ruthin Blog and separate community newsletter, Town & Around written by the Ruthin and District Civic Association.

Plus, Ruthin Craft Centre acts as a cultural hub for the town.

But it doesn't stop there either.

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Time to show off our best bits...

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 09:36 UK time, Friday, 23 April 2010

The UK's official tourism website,, has been in touch wanting to use one of our parade photos from Llangollen International Eisteddfod as part of its Love UK project.

Llangollen International Eisteddfod

They're asking via the photo sharing website Flickr for people to "show us some love and share your favourite pics of the UK" with the best being used to sell Britain to the world via the government tourist board website.

Vale of Clwyd

That's quite a responsibility, but here in north Wales we're not short of great photographers - too many to mention here - or fab spots worth visiting.

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Welsh dragon sculpture update and what the papers say...

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 09:19 UK time, Thursday, 22 April 2010

Dragon tower artistic impression There's an update from some of today's local papers saying plans for our very own Angel of the North - a 25m (82ft) bronze dragon sculpture on the Welsh border - could move a step closer to reality next week.

Meanwhile, in his Yorkshire foundry, sculptor Steve Winterburn has been working hard on a separate commission of a 10th scale version of the dragon.

And in other news, aside from locals affected by volcanic ash...

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Volcano stories: The locals coming home

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Alys - Web Team Alys - Web Team | 09:45 UK time, Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The local Press have been reporting on local people stuck overseas due to travel problems caused by ash from Iceland's erupting volcano.

Even though the flight ban has been lifted, people like singer Louisa Preece can expect delays and so her extended stay in Milan is threatening the latest production of Llangollen Operatic Society, reports the Leader.

That's not the only local event to be affected as actor Gareth David-Lloyd, who plays Ianto in the BBC's Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, has been unable to return from Australia to appear at Wrexham's Wales Comic Con, due to take place at Glyndwr University this weekend which, itself, is offering advice to students affected by the volcano.

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United concern for youth football - and other marathon efforts

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 15:05 UK time, Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Updated 08:25, Wednesday, 21 April

Wednesday sees the start of a 410-mile Walk for Change campaign by former Football League clubs like Wrexham FC concerned about funding youth football development.

When clubs lose Football League status they lose half their development funding [about £100k for Wrexham], something which concerns Wrexham manager Dean Saunders and Jez George, [@walkforchange] Cambridge United's director of football, who is leading the marathon walk over 19 days from Wrexham to Wembley via numerous Conference football clubs.

Sky Sports' Soccer Am presenter Max Rushden [@maxrushden] is also walking the first 20-mile leg today to help raise publicity for the campaign which includes a 700+ name petition.

Jez and co head out from Wrexham en route to Crewe - where Dean's son plays for a youth development team - and hopes to arrive before 4pm. You can follow his route via Google Maps.

Meanwhile, Hawarden's homegrown footballing star, former Wales captain Gary Speed, is running the London Marathon [25 April] for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in memory of his former boss.

Among others on the start line will be Wrexham dental surgeon Adrian Thorp and Chris Speed from Connah's Quay, who's running in memory of Wepre Rangers goalkeeper David Gellett who died as he was warming up for a football match.

And spare a thought next week for nine friends from Wrexham who decided they needed a challenge and, after a year of training in the saddle, embark on a six-day 600 mile Tour de Cymru to raise cash for separate causes close to their hearts.

Local stories in the press this week

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 11:13 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

Young soccer star scores for grandad - Leader
When 65-year-old Barry Carter, of Brynteg, Wrexham, died after a battle with leukaemia, grandson Gary Ray, 13, wanted to do something special to commemorate his life.

Schoolgirl battles back to help children with cancer - Denbighshire Visitor
Brave Anna, 12, from Corwen, who was once given only months to live, now provides support for other children battling cancer.

Gym the tonic for 90 year old heart-op patient - Rhyl Journal
Bill Moore celebrated his 90th birthday by being awarded lifetime membership to his favourite fitness centre - by his 96-year-old gym buddy!

Fight against 'dumping ground of Wales' in Deeside - Daily Post
Community leaders in Connah's Quay plan to fight proposals for a residual waste plant - rubbish that can't be composted - at Deeside Industrial Park.

Vigil for Johnstown man left fighting for life - Leader
Villagers in Johnstown, Wrexham, say they have been badly affected by an incident in which a popular resident suffered serious injuries at a bar in Chester.

Caring Mary Journal's Mum of the Year - Rhyl Journal
Mum-of-three Mary Banim, who has been battling with lymphoma for 20 years and cares for her husband John, 63, who suffers from cancer of the oesophagus, wins Mum of the Year.

Broughton residents suffering 'life of hell' - Leader
Residents whose houses are next to major roadworks on the A55 at Broughton claim their lives have been made hell by six months of noise and dust.

Flintshire to spend more on pothole repairs - Chronicle
Flintshire Council has spent about £400,000 on fixing the county's weather-beaten roads after the winter cold snap - and the figure is to rise.
- Wrexham council to borrow £1.6m to mend potholes - BBC News

[If you want daily updates, follow us on Twitter or use our Google Reader]

Break a leg boys! I Am Austin's 15 mins of fame rolls on

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 14:56 UK time, Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Mitch and Adam, aka Deeside band I Am Austin

It has been a big week for Deeside band I Am Austin, aka Mitch and Adam, as they've been filming for their starring role on the new Channel 4 TV show, Evo Music Rooms which goes out this week.

For a while we've been following their antics.

But you get to see the best of the boys - and their local fans at McLean's (The Pentre Club) - via the films made for the show.

There's a chat with industry experts, and a session with vocal coach Mary Hammond.

Elsewhere, Mitch has been talking on Adam Walton's Sunday music show.

And they've been front page news on

So, how do the boys think it's going?

"I've been smiling every day which is why my face hurts," says Mitch.

Election coverage, comments and constituency info

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 14:12 UK time, Monday, 12 April 2010

Jeremy Vine and guests in BBC Wales' Wrexham studio

You can follow online the BBC's live coverage of the General Election 2010, or Have Your Say, and find out about local constituency information:
- Alyn & Deeside
- Delyn
- Clwyd South
- Clwyd West
- Vale of Clwyd
- Wrexham

Constituency coverage, so far, includes interviews with Delyn's candidates.

Plus, 10 community groups across Wales, including Denbigh Archive Group, Gresford Karate Club and Soroptomists International Rhyl have agreed to help BBC Wales' election coverage by sharing their thoughts during the election campaign.

You can see also get the BBC's latest coverage of Wales politics and read blogs by David Cornock, parliamentary correspondent for BBC Wales, and Betsan Powys, BBC Wales' political editor.

Earlier today, BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Show was broadcast from Wrexham [listen again, 12 April] as part of a programme tour to find out what people think locally about election issues. [More info]

Tonight, Flint Town Hall hosts the first of BBC Wales' Election 2010: Wales Debates from 10.45pm, featuring an invited audience and local parliamentary candidates. [More info]

Meanwhile, yesterday's BBC1's The Politics Show Wales heard from people in Gresford, Wrexham; Prestatyn, Denbighshire, and elsewhere across north Wales. [Watch again via iplayer from 43 mins].

Note. It's worth pointing out we have strict guidelines during the elections and we ask you to follow the Special House Rules During Election Periods.

Local stories in the press this week

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Alys - Web Team Alys - Web Team | 10:27 UK time, Thursday, 8 April 2010

Rhyl taxi drivers fight back against traffic wardens - Denbighshire Visitor
Taxi drivers in Rhyl claim "over-zealous" traffic wardens are unfairly targetting them and throwing parking tickets through their windows as they drive away.

Flintshire man marks 100th birthday with sponsored run - The Leader
100-year-old Flintshire man Frank Jenn completed a 100-yard dash at Holywell Golf Club to raise money for charity.

Residents' healthcare questions to be answered - Border Counties Advertizer
A Primary Care Trust has responded to complaints from people who are struggling to understand what their health entitlements are, as many live in England and attend a doctor's surgery in Wales, and vice-versa.

Crackdown on dangerous drivers sees 200 pulled over by North Wales Police - Daily Post
A trucker who crashed on the A55 after falling asleep was one of more than 200 dangerous drivers and unsafe lorries hauled over in a crackdown by a new enforcement unit.

Flintshire Council County launches affordable homes register - Flintshire Chronicle
First-time buyers in Flintshire are set to benefit after council housing officers finished working on the county's first affordable home register. The new scheme will help develop affordable housing schemes in areas of need by providing a database of applicants.

Former Blue Peter presenter in Wrexham panto row - The Leader
Wrexham and District Pantomime Company, which has been in operation since 1906, are unhappy that Tim Vincent is to stage and star in Aladdin at the William Aston Hall in December and January. They'd planned to stage the same panto in February half-term and feel they've been upstaged.

[If you want daily updates, follow us on Twitter or use our Google Reader]

Local stories in the press this week

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Alys - Web Team Alys - Web Team | 14:05 UK time, Thursday, 1 April 2010

Denbigh museum to re-open after arson - Denbighshire Visitor
The Cae Dai Trust 50s museum hopes to re-open its doors on April 3 for the first time since fires at the venue in Lawnt last December.

Does this Wrexham road have the most speed bumps in Wales? - Daily Post
A road in Penycae, near Wrexham, has 18 speed bumps and local residents are complaining about the effect on their car spring coils.

Llangollen threatens to switch councils if supermarket plan is approved - The Leader
The Chair of Llangollen Chamber of Trade and Tourism says the chamber is ready to ask the electoral society to change the town's council so Wrexham can revoke the supermarket plans, if a planning application to build a superstore on Cilmedw Farm is passed.

Shotton Steel remembers day when 6,500 were sacked - Daily Post
This week marks the 30th anniversary of Deeside's darkest day where British Steel - after a decade battling union and political pressure - axed 6,500 jobs at Shotton Steel.

Mass sleep out to highlight homelessness - Denbighshire Free Press
Jeanette Bedson, a teacher at Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin, was joined by students and colleagues at an overnight rough sleep out in Ruthin on Friday, March 19, in memory of her brother, Steve, who was homeless for 10 years before dying at a YMCA hostel in Nottingham last year aged 51.

Mum from Wrexham reveals ordeal after E.coli coma - Daily Post
Karen Morrisroe talks about her experiences of contracting the deadly E.coli 0157 infection.

Royal Welsh goat William 'Billy' Windsor to make first public appearance - Flintshire Chronicle
The new regimental goat for the 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh is to be put through his paces at a charity event in aid of Help the Heroes at the Wild Waters Hotel in Llangollen on April 10.

[If you want daily updates, follow us on Twitter or use our Google Reader]

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