Awst 2004 August

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Editorial Cllr. W. R. Webb OBE * Carrog School and Kan Breizh
Obituary Llidiart y Parc 40 m.p.h. Dutch Visitors
Wellies and Wheelbarrows Rhys “The Sweep” Village Hall Lottery
Diary Health Matters Congratulations
* Cora Ventre and Steve Williams   Letters


Our comments last month about motivating the County Council regarding the road signs were seen by some as a ‘dig’ at retiring Councillor Rhys Webb. This was certainly not our intention and in fact this month we carry an article commemorating his long and distinguished career in dedicated service to the community. For as long as he was our representative, Carrog was recognised in the County Council because Councillor Rhys Webb lived here. The point we were trying to make was, that after 46 years our County representative will not live in Carrog and there cannot any longer be an automatic assumption that the County, and above, will be aware of concerns in this community. This is not in any way to undervalue our new Councillors but a total of 55 years experience in public service is hard to replace.

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Fifty Five Years of Dedicated Public Service - A Hard Act to Follow

Councillor Rhys Webb is retiring after 55 years of extremely full and unbroken public service and as probably the longest serving County Councillor in Wales with 46 years service.

He first became involved in politics in 1949 when he was elected to the Community Council of Llansantffraid Glyn Dyfrdwy, but by 1958 was standing as an independent candidate for Merioneth County Council. Having been elected, he continued to the present day as County Councillor for Edeyrnion, seeing changes to the County boundaries and County names. He always remained an Independent candidate believing it allowed him to serve his constituents best by not having to follow party lines.

During a distinguished career he became involved in a wide range of local government and charitable activities and was chairman of a number of committees including: Policy Finance and Resources, Highways Planning and Transportation, Culture Libraries and Recreation.

From 1959 to 1974 he also served on many Hospital Management Committees including the Wrexham Maelor and the old North Wales Hospital and was a member of Merioneth Health Committee.

In 1969 he was created Alderman and in 1972 became the Chairman of Merioneth County Council and in 1982 the Chairman of Clwyd County Council, shortly afterwards becoming the leader of the Independent Councillors Group.

1995 saw him elected as the first Chairman of Denbighshire County Council and Deputy Presiding officer of the Welsh Local Government Association.

He has also served on the Board of the Land Authority for Wales and North Wales Police Authority for twenty years where he became Chairman. Somehow, in between these political activities, he also managed to be:

• a Governor of Theatr Clwyd and for four years the Chair of Governors.
• since 1949 a Governor of Ysgol Carrog and since 1974 also Governor of Ysgol Dinas Bran
• for 23 years a Justice of the Peace and later Chairman of the Bench
• for four years a member of the Sports Council for Wales

Amongst his many achievements it should not be forgotten that he was instrumental in ensuring Gysgod y Gaer and the Health Centre were built in Corwen and that a grant was given for the Sports Pavillion. In 1996 he was awarded the OBE for services to the community.

Asked which aspects of his career he had most enjoyed, he picked out his fourteen years serving on the Land Authority for Wales and his twenty years on the Police Authority, an important and rewarding role

He says, “I would like to thank everyone in Edeyrnion for their support over all these years and particularly the people of Carrog and Parc but most especially my wife Valmai. Without her support, forbearance and understanding I could not have become, and remained, a Councillor for so long. I would also like to wish Nigel well and hope he finds the experience as rewarding as I have.” His one disappointment is that Corwen Common (the 14 acres around the Pavillion) was not fully sorted out before his retirement but he believes this will happen within a couple of years bringing an extension to the Railway, a better Pavillion and many other benefits.

As a highly respected Councillor, Rhys Webb put Carrog firmly on the map. As anyone having cause to contact Denbighshire County Council will know, there is rarely, if ever, a necessity to explain where Carrog is. Now, for the first time in 46 years there will be no direct link between this village and the County Council and perhaps one of the changes we will notice is when an enquiry at the County Council results in the question, “Carrog? Now where is that?” We wish both he and Valmai a long, happy and active retirement.

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* Carrog School and Kan Breizh

During Eisteddfod week pupils at Ysgol Carrog enjoyed a morning with the Breton music and dance group, ‘Kan Breizh’ from Brittany, who were staying in the Village Hall. The pupils sang songs in Welsh, English and French and the recorder group played a traditional waltz. The children were then taught the traditional Breton dances by Kan Breizh helping to cement our strong links with Brittany.

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Johnny ‘Keeper’ Evans who died on Thursday 29th July at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, aged 54 years. The son of of Gladwen and the late Albert Evans formerly of Parc Cottage. He leaves mother Gladwen, Sister Rose, Brother in law Bob and nephew Colin. The funeral was held on Friday 6th August at the Crematorium.

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Speed Limit through Parc

The following is reported by Janet Fox:

I have finally got around to chasing up the Welsh Assembly regarding the speed limit on the A5 and just received their reply dated the 3rd of August.

A site meeting with representtives of North Wales Police and Denbighshire County Coucil, to discuss the road conditions in Llidiart y Parc, was held on the 29th January 2004. As a result of the meeting the technical, legal and administrative processing of a proposed 40 mph Speed Limit Order was started by the Welsh Assembly Government in March 2004.

Unfortuntely, delays have been encountered in dealing with legal queries as to whether a ‘derestriction’ order is in existence for the street lighting zone in Llidiart y Parc. It is hoped to resolve this query in the near future and for the Speed Limit Order to be published, in draft form, in the next 3 - 6 months. Assuming there are no objections to the draft Order then the Order is likely to come into force 2 - 3 months later. I am afraid these dates are approximate and are subject to the availability of resources and competing priorities.

Signed - N. Fenby.

Not cast in stone but getting there.

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Wellies and Wheelbarrows

I’ve come to the conclusion that the powers that be in Brussels have changed the law with regard to Welsh summers. Long hot hay days have been replaced by dull, damp and generally miserable weather and all this has been done solely to irritate one.

Arwel Bach cut my first fields last week at the beginning of what Mr. Fish (idiot) called a high, only for a mini monsoon to descend on us the minute he’d finished. So far only one field of mediocre quality hay is in the shed with the rest either lying on the field deteriorating or standing waiting to be cut. I’m sure the lads who’ve got to carry it are praying for fine weather, having endured back ache and blistered hands carrying the last lot. If they have to shift any more heavy bales I don’t think £100 per hour would get them to turn up. Over the last few weeks I’ve started selling some of this years lambs. The prices are slightly down on this time last year, but looking on the bright side I’m only a million quid short of my first million! With rain stopping play in the hay fields I decided to castrate and dehorn the calves. This usually involves a rodeo, a lot of sweating, and me being covered in bruises by the time the jobs done. This year, however, I took advantage of David Rogers good nature and borrowed his calf crate. The job was done in no time at all with minimum stress to the calves and me only getting kicked once. So, it looks like I’ll have to put a calf crate on the ever increasing list of handy things to buy some time in the future. Needless to say progress on the shed is slow and I’d rather not talk about it.

Gareth Llan.

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Rhys “The Sweep”

Now is the time to be thinking about getting your chimneys swept ready for winter to avoid damaging chimney fires. Due to the lack of chimney sweeps, Chris “Grouse” is acting as co-ordinator so that Rhys the Sweep will come to the village. If you post your name and telephone number through Chris’ door at 14, Maes y Llan, Rhys will contact you with a date and time for sweeping.

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A final reminder that the Summer Fayre/Carnival is being held on Saturday 14th August Please keep in mind the “Y Bont” Benefit Bash on Saturday 2nd October. We have one act booked but if anyone has any suggestions (which are not too expensive) as to further entertainment we will happily consider it.

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Health Matters

How to check for signs of skin cancer:

Stand in front of a full length mirror and use a hand held mirror to check your skin, remember to include the soles of your feet and top of your ears and head.

Look for any changes in a mole or the appearance of a new mole. Any moles that appear after you turn 30 should be watched carefully and shown to your doctor.

The ‘ABCDE’ rule can help you look for signs of skin cancer, when you check your skin - look for the following:

A for asymmetry: a mole that, when divided in half, does not look the same on both sides.
B for border: a mole with edges that are blurry or jagged.
C for colour: Changes in the colour of a mole, including darkening, spread of colour, loss of colour, or the appearance of multiple colours such as blue, red, white, pink, purple or grey.
D for diameter: A mole larger than 1/4 inch in diameter (size of the rubber on the end of a pencil).
E for elevation: A mole that is raised above the skin and has a rough surface. You should also watch for the following skin changes:
  • a mole that bleeds,
  • a mole that grows fast,
  • a scaly or crusted growth on the skin,
  • a sore that won’t heal,
  • a mole that itches,
  • a place on your skin that feels rough, like sandpaper.

If you notice a mole that has changed, or if you have a new mole that doesn’t look like your other moles, visit your doctor. Skin cancer can be treated successfully if treated early. Reduce your risk by following the ‘safe sun’ guidelines

1 Avoid the sun especially between 10am. And 4pm.
2 Put on sunscreen - use factor 15, rub it in well 30 minutes before going into the sun, remember the top of your ears and head if any bald areas.
3 Wear a wide brimmed hat, protective clothing and sunglasses. Sun exposure increases your risk of getting cataracts.
4 Don’t use tanning salons; they damage your skin in the same way as the sun.

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Welcome to Dutch Visitors

From 7th August the Volksuniversiteit Haarlem from Holland will be running two one week courses in English for Dutch students. They have rented the Committee room in the Neadd and are staying at various places in the Village. The course tutors picked Carrog after being extremely impressed with it during a visit here last summer.

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To Daniel Jones of Maes y Llan on gaining a 2/1 B.Eng. in Aeronautical Engineering

To Jill Lunsford on gaining her B.A. (Hons)in Ceramics

Our best wishes to them and to all the other young and not not so young people in Carrog and Parc who completed their examinations this June.

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* Cora Ventre and Steve Williams

To Cora Ventre and Steve Williams, who were married at St. Marcella’s Church, Denbigh on Saturday 17th July followed by a reception at the Oriel House Hotel, St. Asaph. The bridesmaids were Claire Ventre, Hawys Lebbon, Louisa Brazier and Laura Williams.

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Village Hall Lottery Winners - July

1st No. 28 Mr and Mrs A. Jones, Maes y Llan - £20

2nd - No. 19 Mr. B. Hughes, Llidiart y Parc - £10

If you have not already signed up for the lottery and would like to do so, contact David Jones on 430636

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All letters must be accompanied by name and address of the writers. Opinions expressed in letters to “Y Bont” are purely those of the writers, however the editors reserve the right to edit letters submitted.

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Dear Editor

With regard to July issue “A Village is for life, not just for Christmas” I agree with the writer with regard to Carrog being a beautiful place to live. Also that Holiday homes within the village could be better utilised to house permanent residents. Unfortunately, holiday homes are a fact of life in country areas such as ours, whether in Wales, England or indeed villages on the Continent. Although this situation is difficult to alter, there are actions that local councils could take. One being to double the council tax on homes that are not occupied for a certain number of weeks in a year. The amount charged over the normal tax rate could then be donated to the village to contribute to the upkeep of the village hall etc.

It is difficult to believe, however, that 11 houses would necessarily mean 22 adults and 22 children. Even if this was the case, it is debatable that these people would make a great difference to the local traders. The post office was a going concern until a few months ago. Many things have contributed to its closure. More people are now able to travel to local towns and shop at supermarkets than years ago and pensions may now be paid into bank accounts. These are just two reasons. Maybe there were other reasons. The local pub now has a far better summer trade than a few years ago with the coming of the Steam Railway and the opening of the Camp site. Yes, the winter months are quiet. But maybe local trade could be encouraged in the close season by restarting the darts and pool teams. What about the Wednesday quiz night starting up again? There are many ways to encourage trade in the winter. 11 more families are not necessarily the answer.

And would 11 more families automatically mean larger congregations in the church or the chapels? Congregations have been falling for years. One reason could be that these places of worship have not changed in recent times, and not enough is done to encourage the younger generation to become members. Consequently, members are getting older, and congregations smaller.

No, I don’t feel that the village would be saved by turning holiday homes into permanent residences. More to the point, one way to save the local amenities, such as the shop and pub and places of worship (although too late for the shop) and to make sure Carrog does not become just a faceless village, is for the present local community to use them. After all the population of this village is, I believe, approaching 400.

If you feel, for any reason, these places that you quite rightly described as “beating hearts of the community”, are not providing the service that you would like, then make your suggestions to the proprietors. Or perhaps you have suggestions for events you would like to see take place in the local pub in the winter, I’m sure they would only be too pleased to listen.

One final point. Yes, we do need new housing in the village, and I agree that Caer Efail is a beautiful meadow. It will be a shame to see it go if the proposed plans go ahead. But what other choice is there (other than reclaim the holiday homes)? Maybe there was opposition to the building of Maes Y Llan. Or the other houses that have been built in the village in the last 50 or so years. We need to keep our young people in the village, without them there is no next generation and therefore no School, Church, Village Hall, or Pub. The only way to keep them is to provide places for them to live.

Eric Lea.

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Dear Editor,

Ref. your remarks re the lack of support from the community. I agree we are a lazy lot; but I’m sure everyone must support Llidiart Y Fare’s request for a speed limit on the A5. Also the weight restriction on Carrog Bridge. In spite of the contractors good job we don’t want a repeat performance however quick and competent. With regard to the housing situation, the remarks in “A village is for life not just for Christmas” I am unable to think of the 11 holiday homes mentioned, but I do agree it would be preferable to utilise any existing houses rather than build on such an unsuitable site, and we could still hope that the occupants might utilise the Village shop if we are fortunate enough to get one!

Beryl M. Hindley.

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The Dee Valley Way

This year has been a particularly busy one for me. Last April I began work on the Dee Valley Way. This is a 15 mile route along the Llantysilio Mountains from Llangollen to Corwen and takes in rural villages along the way. The project was initiated by the local Business Action Group and they were lucky in getting funds from Cadwyn Clwyd and Adfywio. The walk passes through Carrog, I’m sure many of you have seen the signs going up, and it is hoped that local businesses will benefit from walkers using the path. However, the walk isn’t just for tourists. It is also a chance for locals to enjoy the stunning views and spectacular wildlife the valley has to offer.

There will be a leaflet to accompany the walk, which should be completed over the coming months, and there will also be an opportunity to complete a 10 mile revised route led by myself as part of the walking festival on Sunday 19th September.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the village for their support for the project.

Samantha Williams

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Please submit your articles or letters to:
or telephone 430397 or 430558 or 430625

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