2006 February

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Editorial The Urdd Condolences
Wellies and Wheelbarrows Welcome Edwards Family Snooker
Riverside Tales Village Hall Bookings Rev. Robert Hutton
Diary Clay Pigeon Shoot Twinning Carrog and Ploueyé
* Carrog School Letters Brain Teaser !!
Village Hall Lottery Congratulations Carrog School PTFA
  County Councillor  


If last month was a little post Christmas thin, then hopefully, we can make up for it this month. Although we have felt the need to criticise certain County Council activities recently, this was not in any way a reflection on our own County Councillor and we would encourage you to read his letter detailing his activities during his first eighteen months which appears in this edition.

New to this edition is ‘Tales of the Riverside’, which one of our editors (no prizes for guessing) would like to develop into tales from various members of our community. So if you have a story to tell please get in touch with us.

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The Urdd, the Welsh League of Youth, was founded in 1922 by Sir Ifan ab Owain Edwards as an organisation for young Welsh people and in its first year had a membership of over 700 in different groups throughout the country. By 1925 it had become such an important part of the fabric of Welsh life that even in those early days of radio there was an Urdd message of Peace and Goodwill broadcast from the youth of Wales to the Youth of the World, a tradition that is still carried on today.

The organisation has always encouraged young people to travel and meet with others and operates three permanent residential centres in Bala, Llangranog and Cardiff which offer a huge range of leisure, cultural and sporting activities which are available to the now more than 50,000 members whose ages range from 8 to 25.

The Urdd has strong links with our area and in 1929 the first Urdd National Eisteddfod was held in Corwen Pavilion. This Eisteddfod is still the highlight of the Urdd year and is the culmination of a series of local and regional Eisteddfodau where members compete for the honour of finally ‘making the stage’. The ‘National’ is the biggest youth festival in Europe and is the only one of its kind in the world. There are more than 460 competitions and although Welsh is the official language, non-Welsh speakers are equally catered for.

Arts, Science, Crafts, Rock and Learners Pavilions combined with over 150 different stalls, together with concerts and competitions make for an entertaining six days! The festival alternates between North and South Wales and this year will be held in Ruthin at the end of May. In order to help with the substantial costs of staging the event local fund raising committees set targets and this year Corwen, Carrog and Glyndyfrdwy were asked to raise £7,000.

The Auction of Promises held in January in the Village Hall raised over £3,060 towards this target. Many thanks to everyone who supported the cause either by organising the night, donating promises, attending or bidding for the many items. Richard Jones, auctioneer of Corwen, presided and in his usual excellent style made sure that not a single bid was missed and that everything made its value!

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To Glenda Edwards, Maes y Llan on the sad loss of her mother Gwyneth Mair Jones of Haulfryn, Ruthin.

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Having spent a particularly frustrating couple of hours trying to move a bunch of sheep aided by Henson the wonder dog - not! I decided it was time to get some advice on dog training. With this in mind I arranged to meet John Dyke (the shepherd I used to work with at the Rhug) to put Henson through his paces and to work out where I was going wrong.

We met on a Sunday morning, and having let Henson off his lead we spent the next 10 minutes trying to get him to come back from the far end of the field where he had cornered the ewes and refused to let them go. When he did eventually return John decided to try him out for himself. This time Henson didn’t bother chasing the whole bunch; he singled out one ewe and happily ran her up and down the field. When we finally managed to retrieve him and got him loaded into the Land Rover John decided enough was enough and it was time to demonstrate his bitch (Henson’s full sister).

One whistle and she ran to the far end of the field, gathered the sheep and bought them at a steady pace back to where we were standing. Once the sheep were at our feet John whistled again and she changed direction and took the sheep to the gate. After another whistle she lay down and waited for us to open the gate and let the sheep through to the next field.

Later that day when we parted company I was convinced I’d purchased the dunce of the litter and was even more disillusioned with Henson than I had been prior to our training session.

Thankfully since then he has made some progress, although he is still managing to try my patience on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis.

Through the winter months the farming pace slows down with the main emphasis being on feeding the animals. This allows time for any outstanding maintenance work to be undertaken, especially in the Llan. At one point in time between Christmas and New Year we had three tractors in dry dock in three different states of disrepair - things weren’t looking good. However with some engineering know how and a bit of luck combined with a damn big hammer and a lot of bad language we managed to fix them and get the Llan farm show back on the road.

With the ewes having been scanned over Christmas I’ve split them into their bunches ready for lambing. On the whole they look quite well although I’ve noticed a number of them starting to loose condition this last week. I am assuming these are the older ewes that I should have culled at the end of the summer but didn’t because I thought I’d squeeze another year out of them.

It’s always the same, at the end of the summer they look quite well, I keep them and if they manage to get in lamb it takes a fortune in meal to keep them going, only for them to produce a lamb the size of a gerbil which usually requires me to feed it because its mother has no milk.

I know this appears to be a negative outlook but having worked with sheep for years I have finally come to realise they spend their whole lives dreaming up ways to let the shepherd down when lambing time comes around. Just when you think you’ve seen every disaster possible, along comes another one just to keep you on your toes.

Gareth Llan
© Copyright Gareth Bryan.

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To new village residents Paul, Lorraine and Hollie Edwards who have now moved to live in The Old Post Office.

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10/01/06 Carrog 2 - Corwen B 4
17/01/06 Carrog 6 - Cerrig B Nil

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I was recently using my elderly metal detector in the garden of Dewis Dyddyn and was finding the usual assortment of bed knobs and frames and other rusty, discarded, household items when I took to musing upon how I gained the skill to use the machine.

In 1972, having been accepted into the police service, I suddenly had three months free before commencing training and having a desire to improve my language skills I decided to find a job in Germany. I enlisted the help of my friend living in the particularly beautiful area of the Eifel and within a few days he had telephoned to say I would be working with mines and the job was available immediately. I set off with a mental picture of working underground.

My first meeting with my boss quickly disillusioned me of this, as he handed me several manuals all written in English; and all to do with the identification and handling of British and American bombs and land mines. Unlikely as it sounds they seemed to think the reading of these manuals would allow me to become something of an expert.

This borderland area of Germany had seen some of the heaviest fighting of both World Wars and many of the forests now ready for harvesting could not be entered because of the considerable amount of unexploded ordinance. Our work consisted of marking out long corridors through the forests and systematically sweeping them for all metal objects. We worked in pairs with one person using the detector and the other digging up the object with the aid of tool similar to a mattock. This sounds crude but with practice it became a sensitive tool, allowing for the removal of as much or as little earth as required. Most of the time we dug up shrapnel, shell and bullet cases, small ordinance such as unexploded hand grenades and sometimes cases of ammunition with machine gun belts still nestling in grease.

On other occasions we found a complete British tank which had disappeared into a boggy area, a complete (and still working) grenade launcher, some very large bombs and most poignantly of all many bodies. These were sometimes complete skeletons with vestiges of uniform and at other times a number of bones, sometimes in fragments. Most memorable was the day we found a soldier slumped in a slit trench still wearing his steel helmet. In the helmet, still clearly visible, was a jagged hole, in his skull was the corresponding hole and inside his skull still lodged the piece of shrapnel which had killed him. The remains, regardless of nation, were treated with great respect and taken away for possible identification and then burial.

I was reassured to learn that no one had been killed for thirteen years doing this work. My comment about how lucky that was went unappreciated.

Only on one occasion did my ability to recognise land mines come into play. One particular model (American I believe) was held in some dread. It consisted of a hinged lid, looking for all the world like the top of an old Primus stove, which when trodden upon flipped over, allowing a spring loaded grenade to be projected to the height of a mans crutch, before exploding. My partner was using the detector and having dug up mainly large bomb shrapnel all day I swung the mattock with a degree of carelessness, only to see a lid looking for all the world like the top of a Primus flip over.

Both myself and my partner made 100 yards down a very steep mountainside in, I believe, under 2 seconds, only to look at each other rather sheepishly as we realised that even this speed of exit would not have been enough if the mine was going to explode. Under the somewhat amused stares of our fellow workers we returned and now with some considerable, but unnecessary, delicacy dug out a Primus stove.

Once we declared an area safe the foresters would move in and begin cutting, and we like modern day travellers with a caravan of huts, vehicles and people would move on to the next area to be cleared.

After I joined the Police Service I gained in two ways from my experience - firstly I was paid an extra allowance as a German speaker and secondly, for a few years, I was always the one sent on bomb courses.

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The Village Hall operates on a “First Come, First Served” basis so please remember that if anyone wishes to book the Village Hall then it is essential to check that the date required is available and to complete a Booking Form from the Booking Secretary, Mrs. Janice Sheasby. In the event that there is already a booking for the required occasion (i.e., regular Friday Youth Club meetings) then it is the responsibility of the hirer to negotiate any changes.

There is also an upstairs Meeting Room for small functions which can be used at the same time as the main hall is in use.

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Our Ruthin correspondent, Nia Morris, has now shed more light on the matter. In her research she discovered a report of the inquest in the Cambrian News and Farmers Gazette for February 4th. 1910.

“Mr. Guthrie Jones, Coroner stated that the deceased was a clergyman, formerly holding a Staffordshire living, but who had retired and taken up residence in the Corwen area. Deceased was eighty years of age. On Saturday his son had cut his head seriously while skating and his father had set out to walk to Corwen to obtain medical assistance, the weather being cold and wintry. His body was found by Robert Jones of Corwen, lying dead on the snow on the road near Rhagatt and was taken home. Dr. Edwards of Corwen said that death was due to syncope accelerated by shock and the jury returned a verdict to that effect.”

Recent complaints about the cold 2006 January should be read in conjunction with the above!

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A reminder to all our readers that Tina’s Shop and Post Office is open at the Village Hall every Tuesday and Thursday between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 noon. Tina also delivers daily newspapers in Carrog and Llidiart y Parc. And if you want that something extra from the shop then ring Tina on 01490 430221.

St. David’s Day Concert
To be held at the Village Hall, Carrog at 2.00 p.m. on March 1st. All are welcome - Refreshments and Raffle


Table Top Sale
Tues 7th. March at 3.15 p.m. in school.

Body Shop Party
Mon. 13th. March at 7.00 p.m. in the Neuadd

Cake Stall
Sat. 25th. March at 10.00 a.m. at Corwen Square

Carrog Carnival
Saturday 27th May will be the new date for the Carnival - the Carnival Committee would be grateful if you can all make a note of this.

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The Carrog Clay Pigeon Shoot held its annual Christmas Shoot on Boxing Day on Llan Farm Shooting Ground.

The Open Competition was won by Tony “Taxi” with Alan “Boxer”, Dai “Butch” and Steven Davies in 2nd., 3rd., and 4th. places.

The Novice Competition was won by Keith Lloyd with Ian Lebbon, David Lloyd and Matte Pierce in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places.

Many thanks to all who attended and made the day such a success.

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The children are busy preparing for the local Urdd Eisteddfod which will be held in Llangollen on March 11th.

Amber and Rachael have attended the Welsh (Second Language) writing squad in Corwen to enhance their skills.

On 26th. January the school held a Holocaust Service when all pupils listened to readings from Ann Frank’s Diary and held a one minute silence to remember all those who had suffered.

P.C. Chris Davies, the School Liaison Officer is continuing with his lessons about safety in school and the home.

Pen y Pigyn in Corwen has recently undergone extensive clearance and is now to be replanted with native hardwood species. On February 7th Carrog schoolchildren have been invited by the Forestry Commission to join in planting some of the new trees for the future.

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Our friends from Plouyé are arriving for a four day visit on Thursday 25 May. It is proposed to restore the garden in front of the Village Hall as Plouyé Corner, in much the same way as a Carrog Corner exists there. It is hoped that the garden will be ready for opening at the welcoming ceremony.

The plan is for the layout to remain essentially as it is at the moment as a tribute to the work of Grenville Teague, with the possible addition of seating and fencing. Many of the present plants are overgrown or need replacing, so donations of any plants or cuttings, particularly perennials, would be very welcome.

If any member of the community can help in any way - perhaps by sponsoring a plant tub, a hanging basket or a bench, the making of a plaque to name the area, supplying a short length of picket fencing, a bag of compost or slate chippings - or if you are willing to offer an hour or two’s labour please contact 430625 or 430644.

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Dear Editor,

On 16th December I set off for Plas Bellin with my car packed to the rafters with clothes, food and presents thanks to the generosity of people from Glyndyfrdwy, Carrog and Llidiart-y-Parc. Although staff were very busy when I arrived there, they helped me unload the car and were very grateful for all the items which had been sent. An official letter from them should be on its way soon. I was told that there were 18 families actually in residence at Plas Bellin and they are also in daily contact supporting 200 families within the community. You can imagine that they are thankful for all the help they can get. I would like to say my own thank you to everybody who contributed.

Faye Lea

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You’ve seen it in the Dailys and
The shops know that it’s all the rage
Sudoku books are everywhere,
With ranges to suit every age.

The Cryptic and the Easy Clues
Have had a drastic drop in sales.
Usurped by this numerical craze
(Sutydychi as it’s known in Wales!)

The rules are simple - fill the squares,
The columns and the lines across
With 1 - 9, but don’t repeat them.
My poor brain is at a loss!!

It’s only logic, so they say.
Of logic, I don’t have a lot.
I’m seeing numbers everywhere
I think I’ve finally lost the plot!!

Oh, bring me back my faithful crossword,
Let me doodle on my pad.
I’d much prefer an anagram
Than run the risk of going mad!!

Annie Yaxley

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January Draw

1st No. 7 Keith Jones (Parc) £20
2nd No. 3 Joan Jones £10

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Although your editors did not organise it this way both Ian and Bron and Paul and Christine have become grandparents within a month of each other. Both grandsons, Mabon Owain (6lb 8oz 01/02/06) and Frederick Luke (8lb 3oz 10/01/06) are doing well.

We suppose congratulations are also due to parents Hywel and Shelagh and Pauline and Richmond for actually making us grandparents!

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‘Crime & Punishment Season’

Thurs 16 Feb Creative writing Dr. Edmund Cusick
Thurs 2 Mar Creative writing Dr Edmund Cusick
Thurs 30 Mar A day in the life of a crime reporter - Speaker to be announced
Date to be confirmed - Bomb disposal

What is Pick ‘n Mix? A series of fun and informative evening classes
Who can go? Anyone who would like to come along*
Do I have to sign up? No - just come to the classes you fancy the sound of!
Where will it happen? At Ysgol Carrog
When will it happen? 7.30 to 9.00 pm
How much will it cost? £2.00 (£1.00 for the elderly/unwaged/students)

*Please note that none of the classes are suitable for children; some classes may be suitable for teenagers - please check before coming.

Further info? Comments? Ideas? Please contact Sarah (01490 430229) or Vicky (01490 430226)

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Since being elected to Denbighshire County Council eighteen months ago, I would like to explain the role I play as your Councillor.

For the first six months it was a very steep learning curve for me trying to learn how the Council works. The committees I sit on are Planning, and Life Long Learning scrutiny committee which looks after education, culture and leisure, and of course the Full Council.

Being a County Councillor there are many more meetings I attend, like

Crime and Disorder, South Denbighshire Partnership, Community Council and many more.

What I’ve learnt since being a Councillor is that you’ve got to fight your corner if you want to achieve anything. You can all remember school closures last year and I fought hard (as you all did) in trying to keep Carrog and Glyndyfrdwy schools open It will all start again soon, but I’ll keep the heads informed of what I know.

Other matters are the policing of the area which I bring up in the Crime and Disorder meetings.

Planning Committee is a different matter because there are planning laws, and if these are met then there is nothing I can do or say that will change the outcome, but in most cases planning officers will ask the local member for their opinion.

Many people at County ask me if I hold a surgery for people to come and bring their complaints to me, and my answer is yes, six days a week when I do the milk round.

May I take this opportunity to tell you that if you want to register a complaint, you can phone Denbighshire’s help desk on 01824 706555, you will get an enquiry number and your complaint should be seen to. If NOT then that’s the time to see me so I can follow up your complaint.

I have two and a half years left to serve you and I can assure you that I will be doing my best as I’ve done for the past eighteen months.


Nigel Roberts.

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