Ebrill 2005 April

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Editorial Tsunami Concert 40 mph at Parc
* Urdd 1952 Carrog School Farming Life
Twinning / Plouyé Village Hall Village Hall Lottery
Snooker Wellies & Wheelbarrows St Davids
Congratulations Hope House Volunteers * Letters


We have weathered the storm of our school closing, for the time being anyway, but are now faced by a new potential threat from the change of use of St. Davids to a private hospital. This would allow for the possibility of people, from outside the local communities, and perhaps outside Wales, who have been forcibly detained because of serious sexual or violent offences to be housed there. A report of the well-attended public meeting is in this edition. The main message that came from the meeting is that a company, apparently only interested in maximising profit and with no responsibility to our communities (this affects a much wider area than Carrog alone) is only controlled by the Care Standards Inspectorate Wales, who also have no responsibility to our communities. Planning permission for change of use or for alterations to the building seems to be unnecessary.

We have suffered all along from a lack of information from Mental Health Care UK Ltd., but now seem to suffer from the same problem with the Care Standards Inspectorate Wales, neither of whom took the trouble to attend the meeting and in the case of the CSIW have failed so far to supply information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Fortunately we have Karen Sinclair A.M. on our side, who has asked for an urgent meeting with the Company and CSIW to explain our concerns and to ask for an explanation of their intentions. We were also fortunate to have Brynle Williams AM, a renowned campaigner present, and also the prospective Plaid Cymru and Conservative candidates.

We have all received our new and higher council tax bills, which are considerably higher for those who have been re-banded. Within this is a considerable proportion for policing. Can we now expect a level of policing sufficient to deal with the present mini outbreak of anti social behaviour and malicious damage?

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Our Variety Concert was a wonderful display of local talent, and an excellent night out. We were entertained firstly by our school children and then a succession of artistes, serious and humorous, professional and amateur. We also were able to christen the new Neuadd piano and radio mikes. The evening raised around £450 for the Tsunami appeal, which now stands at over £600. This appeal will remain open until the 30th April should anyone wish to contribute. All proceeds will then be sent to our targeted school.

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Probably everyone has by now noticed the new 40 mph limit, achieved through local efforts. The police will shortly be enforcing this limit so don’t embarrass yourself by being the first to be caught!

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Who will recognise the handsome little fellow on the back row and all his companions

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Congratulations to all the pupils who took part in the County Urdd Eisteddfod at Brynhyfryd School, Ruthin. Alice, Eleanor and Sioned gained third place in the Ensemble Group. Pagan gained first place with Recitation for Learners under 8 and will now go forward to the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff.

Year 6 boys joined with boys from Llantisilio and Glyndyfrdwy to play in an inter schools tournament at Bryn Collen School. All Year 6 pupils have now passed their Personal Survival Swimming Award at Corwen swimming pool.

There were 6 small ‘Bwnis’ and 1 ‘Big Bwni’ in school before Easter and we are all wondering where Anti Jan got those ears and tail from!

Years 5 and 6 pupils went to a cycling roadshow in Ruthin where they learnt about bike maintenance and had a chance to ride some very unusual bikes.Bethany and Sioned were runners up in the County Road Safety competition and received T-shirts and stickers.

The Easter service was held in church where the pupils sang Easter hymns and recited Easter poems. Three miniature Easter gardens made by the After School Club were presented to the church and the juniors made Easter pictures which will all be displayed in Corwen church.

The Welsh Language Board organised a day during which Sali Mali visited the school to sing songs with the infants and the juniors were entertained by the group Epitaph in the Village Hall.

The PTA held a very successful Craft Evening at the Village Hall with 6 different crafts on display and opportunities for all children and adults to ‘Have a Go’. The Easter Hamper prize was won by Mandy.

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FARMING LIFE by Annie Yaxley

Working outside in the clean, fresh air,
The sound of birdsong everywhere,
To the passer-by it seems, he hasn’t a care.
The farmer’s life is such a pleasant one.

Up through the night when the world’s asleep,
Trying his best from harm to keep
The newborn lambs and the labouring sheep.
The farmer’s life is such a lonely one.

Yes, lambing then shearing then harvest to do,
Mending and maintenance, the work is never through.
That passer-by just doesn’t have a clue.
The farmer’s life is such a hectic one.

There’s plenty to do to keep him fit,
Mucking out the cows then spreading it,
It seems the poor farmer’s always in the ... midst of it!
The farmer’s life is such a mucky one.

Meeting at the market, discussing trade,
Wondering what sort of prices he’s made,
He tries to keep his hopes up, there are bills to be paid.
The farmer’s life is such a troubled one.

Passports, IACS and VAT.
Insurance and taxes, it’s plain to see,
He surely needs the help of a secretary.
The farmer’s life is such a stressful one.

A gofer, a fetcher, a carrier of hay,
A midwife at lambing without any pay.
Cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking - four meals a day
The farmer’s wife is such a patient one.

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There will be a twinning meeting on Monday 11th April regarding general matters and the proposed visit to Plouyé in August. Please do not forget, the meeting is open to every member of the community.

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We at last have our new piano, the purchase of which was only made possible by a bequest from the late Mrs. Fanning, a long time resident and friend of the village, and those who contributed to Village Hall Piano Fund,

The Village Hall committee will be holding its AGM and Election of Officers on Mon. 25th. April at 7.00 p.m. This is an open meeting for everyone to come along and have their say about our community hall and how we use it.

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1St Prize No. 34 - Chris and Dave Bentley - IOM £20
2nd Prize No. 20 - Mrs Morag Gonzales £10

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22/02/05 - Carrog 4 - Glyndyfrdwy ‘B’ 2
01/03/05 - Corwen ‘A’ 4 - Carrog 2
02/03/05 - Carrog 3 - Cerrigydruidion ‘B’ 3
08/03/05 - Carrog 4 - Glyndyfrdwy ‘A’ 2

10/03/05 - Team Knockout Semi-final.
Corwen ‘C’ 208 - Carrog 227.
Carrog winning by 19 points.

Carrog are through to the final to be held on 24th April at Corwen British Legion against winners of Llandrillo ‘A’ and Ysbyty Ifan.

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Sheep are awkward animals and never more so than at lambing time. No matter what you do to try and improve their lot they simply don’t appreciate it. You feed them all winter and try to get them in peak condition to rear a lamb and yet they still manage to let you down. Yesterday a ewe that looked like the side of a house managed to produce two gerbil sized lambs and although she loved them dearly, when I penned them up she had sat on one and killed it within the hour. To add insult to injury 24 hours later her other lamb had decided to learn to swim in the water bowl and by the time he’d realised it wasn’t a good idea it was too late. When I arrived on the scene, mother was quite happily munching on her hay and didn’t seem the least bit fazed by her young families passing.

Going around the lambing fields first thing in the morning can either be a pleasant jaunt looking at freshly born lambs with proud mothers standing guard over them, or it can be an absolute nightmare with disasters in every corner and under every hedge.

Having caught a ewe with a lamb’s swollen head sticking out of her the other morning, I delivered the lamb and managed to keep it alive. As the ewe had had a rough time I stopped with her ’til she got up and started licking the lamb, then being the naive lad that I am, I backed away quietly thinking everything would be OK. Unfortunately the minute I stepped she saw her chance and took off at full pelt and abandoned her lamb. As I gave chase I came to the conclusion she must have been watching the rugby as she was side stepping like Shane Williams every time I got close to her. However, what she didn’t realise is that I too had been watching the rugby and in a last desperate bid to catch her I put in a Gavin Henson style tackle and the natural order was restored.

When I eventually penned the ewe and lamb in the shed mother hated daughter, daughter hated mother, and both mother and daughter hated me.

Whilst the sheep have been doing their level best to send me round the twist, the cattle on the other hand have been a calming influence. All you have to do is put some straw under them, throw some feed in front of them and they are happy. The only down side is the barrows full of muck that have to come from the sheds every day and the muck encrusted tails that whack me round the head at every given opportunity. (I suppose they deserve some entertainment for listening to my grumbling at feeding times).

Oh, and the security system has been abandoned as a failure with one half of the team being carried off by the fox!

Gareth Llan.
© Copyright Gareth Bryan - 2005.

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A well attended public meeting was held on the evening of Friday 18th March regarding the application by Mental Health Care UK to change the status of St Davids to that of private hospital. Also present were AMs Karen Sinclair and Brynle Williams, Tom Biggins and Mark Strong, the Conservative and Plaid Cymru candidates, Nigel Roberts, County Councillor and the Community Councillors. The meeting was chaired by Gerallt Tudor, Chair of the Community Council.

Professor David Jones outlined the present position, pointing out that local communities have lived side by side with St Davids since its change to a residential home for young adults 8 or 9 years ago but communities are now anxious to find out what is happening in view of the application for a change of status. There has been a lot of work going on and many of the former residents have left. The main problem for all local communities has been the lack of information forthcoming from either the Company or the Care Standards Inspectorate Wales, and this continues to be the situation, with neither represented at the meeting, although apologies were sent from the CSIW. However, the Care Standards Inspectorate Wales has no responsibility to communities and is only answerable to the Assembly.

Deborah Russell of the CSIW has confirmed an application has been received for a change of status to an independent hospital for the mentally ill.

This means they can care for people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 who are a danger to themselves or to others. People who are detained by order of the courts under section 37 of the Act are normally lodged in institutions such as Broadmoor or Rampton. However, the Government want to move patients from these big institutions into smaller units with the intention of reintegrating them into their community. It is unlikely patients detained at St. Davids would be from our communities but more likely from communities outside our area and possibly hundreds of miles away.

According to Denbighshire County Council and the CSIW no planning permission is required for the change of status, but would be required for building work. CSIW is not required or expected to consult with the public and there is no means of appeal by the public against a decision of the CSIW, although organisations applying to them may appeal against their decision. Concern were also expressed over the following matters. The legislation which created this situation was secondary legislation for which the Assembly is responsible. Mental Health Care UK have already experienced difficulty in recruiting staff and have recently had to recruit suitably qualified staff from the Philippines. Several people spoke of the high turnover of staff at St. David’s and expressed doubt that staff qualified to cope with possibly difficult patients could be recruited to rural areas.

There has so far been no response by the CSIW to an application under the Freedom of Information Act. There was also considerable concern over the effect upon the school and upon tourism.

Brynle Williams, AM, said that any place housing detained patients was a cause for concern and there was something seriously amiss in the situation.

Mark Strong, Plaid Cymru said he was very concerned over the policy, which seemed to use stealth to move patients from cities into the back yards of rural communities. He felt this was morally wrong.

Karen Sinclair, AM, who has taken a major interest in the application since it first came to light said she had been assured by the CSIW that no application had been completed on St Davids, but she promised she would urgently arrange a meeting with both Mental Health Care UK and the CSIW, with Professor David Jones attending. Another public meeting will be held in two to three weeks time.

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To Jamie Lea, Catherine Lloyd and Rhys Yaxley on completing their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. After 12 months of hard work, they attended a presentation evening at the Rhyl Pavilion to collect their certificates. Well done to all three of you.

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Corwen and District Support Group for Nightingale House Hospice need two representatives from Carrog to join the Fund Raising Committee. If you are interested in helping to support this very worthwhile cause please ring Mrs. E. Williams on 412521

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We are sure you are all aware by now that Anna has been unwell for a couple of months. After suffering a severe nosebleed she was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow problem, caused by a chromosome disorder called Monosomey 7, which has left her bone marrow not producing blood cells.

As her blood cells continue to drop she will require blood transfusions to keep her topped up. And despite a few nose bleeds Anna remains quite well, although her condition will become more severe as time goes by. The only cure for Anna is a bone marrow transplant and Alder Hey Hospital is searching for a donor with a matching bone marrow to Anna.

All this as you can imagine has devastated us, but we remain hopeful of a positive outcome. The response we have had from friends and family has been fantastic. Anna has had so many cards and presents, some from people we don’t even know, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all.

Many people have offered to help in so many different ways, which we really appreciate, but the biggest and best way anyone can help Anna is to join the bone marrow register. This is important because one more person on the register is one more chance Anna has and one more chance for other children trying to find a match.

Everyone between the age of 18 and 40 can go on the register and all it takes is a small blood test.

The Anthony Nolan Trust has very kindly arranged a recruitment session at Anna’s school Ysgol Caer Drewyn Corwen on Monday 18th April between 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Please please try and attend. It will make a difference and a thimble of blood is surely a small price to pay to find a match.

Anna’s consultant Dr Russell Keenan has said there is a good chance of finding a match in this area.

You can also register on the Blood Transfusion Service register by calling 0800 252266.

Many Thanks, Eddie, Sian, Joe and, of course, Anna.

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‘I should like to thank everyone who was so kind as to ask after me, send cards and best wishes whilst I was in hospital.’

Beryl Hindley.

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The Board of Governors has been informed that DCC representatives would like to visit the school on 24th May to meet with teachers, governors, parents and community members.

While we are pleased that we will have this opportunity to show off our school and its community, issues remain about the consultation process itself.

In the meantime, the Board are working towards the specific goals of:
• promoting the school (developing a new prospectus and updating the official school web site)
• identifying the school’s strengths and weaknesses as perceived by parents
• investigating the impact of becoming bilingual
• addressing communication issues.

Carrog School Action Committee The Carrog School Action Committee has been extremely busy, generating ideas and putting specific plans into action (you should have received the minutes of the first meeting with this issue of Y Bont).

The committee has also linked up with representatives from other schools threatened with closure to form the Denbighshire Schools’ Forum - a group with the mission of acting as Ôa buffer between Councils and Schools and to set an agenda for solving the Council’s problems’.

The next meeting of the Carrog School Action Committee will be on Tuesday 12th April at 7 p.m., and everyone is welcome.

If you can’t get to the meeting, stay informed via the Action Committee web site - log on to and watch the campaign grow!

Seen the web site? Get the T-shirt!


Dr Sarah Smith.
Chair of the Board of Governors of Ysgol Carrog

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