Welcome to the Glyntraian Community Council blog. You can subscribe to the blog to keep fully up to date with our activities and actions on behalf of the communities that lie in our parish, including Pontfadog, Dolywern, Llwynmawr, Llechrydau and parts of Castle Mill and Bronygarth.
Happy Feet Project is Strictly for All
We have been pleased to lend support through the efforts of Cllr Robin Boston and our Community Agent, Davena Davies, to the Ceiriog Connects dance project. Funded by a Wrexham Council Inclusion Grant, Ceiriog Connects has been running a series of affordable ballroom dance classes followed by soup supper at the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall (OJMH) in Dolywern, over the past six months. The classes are led by professional ballroom dance instructor Denise Sides from Dens Dance Academy in Wrexham.
The project will host its second major dance event of 2019 on Saturday 4th May. The Ceiriog Connects Ceilidh stars the well-known 5-piece Ceilidh band, Shave the Donkey, from Cheshire.
“The band play a mix of English folk dances with a few Celtic tunes thrown in for good measure,” said Glyntraian Councillor, Robin Boston, who is leading the Ceiriog Connects project in conjunction with Davena.
Cllr Boston added: “Various scientific studies have shown dancing increases physical strength, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, improves mental awareness, helps with balance and spatial awareness, reduces stress and increases confidence. Ballroom and other contact dancing has the added advantage of physical touch, which is shown to have the positive effect of releasing oxytocin, a naturally occurring hormone with incredibly powerful health giving properties. Dancing is also good fun and a great way to meet friends new and old.
“We are very fortunate that the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall boasts an excellent large dance floor and brilliant acoustics. It’s the perfect village hall for a Ceilidh or barn dance.”
The overall aim of the programme is more than just getting healthier. The Welsh Government set out a series of objectives in its 2017 Wellbeing Statement that includes ‘creating united and connected communities which are inclusive and cohesive’.
We hope that by making our dance classes and our dance events community occasions we will go some way towards achieving the Welsh Government’s objective. We want, through this programme, to contribute to a happy, united and above all inclusive community.
Anyone wishing to be part of the group’s sessions can contact Davena Davies on 07496 597894 or email communityagentGT@glyntraian.org.uk or message through the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall Events Facebook page.
Tickets are affordably priced at £5, which includes a light supper. Book online through Eventbrite.com and searching Ceiriog Connects Ceilidh. Tickets are also available from Pontfadog Post Office and the Oswestry Ticket Office at Rowanthorn in Oswestry.
Residents Given Chance to Decide Future of Pontfadog Primary School Site
Glyntraian Community Council will host a public meeting on Thursday 11th April at 7:30pm at Ysgol Pontfadog to explore with members of the local community the potential future use of the school site after the 110-year-old village primary closes its gates for the final time in July this year.
The public consultation event follows a meeting between the Council and Wrexham County Borough Council Leader, Cllr Mark Pritchard, and education portfolio holder Cllr Phil Wynn in December 2018, at which the Local Authority leadership indicated it may consider gifting the site to the community in the long-term providing a financially viable and sustainable use can be determined.
“This is just the first in a series of community engagement events that will take place over the comings months,” said Glyntraian Community Council Chairman, Cllr Chris Futcher.
“This initial meeting is purely to kick-start the process of ideas gathering, present to residents some suggestions we’ve already received and take all comments forward into the next stage of the consultation.
“It’s important we ensure local people understand the Community Council is only the facilitator of this process and that the community has to take responsibility for any projects.”
Anyone who cannot attend the meeting can forward comments and suggestions to the Glyntraian Community Council Clerk by emailing email@example.com or call 07948 214079. Details of further public consultation meetings will be posted on the GCC Facebook page and this website.
A great success in bringing residents of the Ceiriog Valley together over the winter months came in the form of an affordable community film screening project, which saw over £1,000 donated to the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall.
The pilot project, co-financed by the Glyntraian Community Council and the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall management committee, in partnership with Arts Alive/Flicks in the Sticks, saw over 160 people aged from 11-90 years enjoy three big screen movies between December – March. Ticket prices ranged from just £3 – £5 per movie.
The project was part of the Council’s efforts to tackle rural isolation and loneliness over the winter months and develop a strong cohesive community as part of our commitment to the Welsh government’s Wellbeing agenda. It was led by Cllr Jools Payne and enthusiastically supported by a young journalist from Dolywern, the Double.LL Magazine editor, Holly Payne. Holly devoted over 40 volunteering hours in organising and promoting all three screening events.
The feedback from those who came was overwhelmingly excellent. Good attendance figures over the three screenings, and solid support from several local volunteers who ran the bar and catering, provided ample evidence of a clear appetite for a sustainable film club at this venue going forward.
Thanks also go to our Community Agent, Davena Davies, who along with Cllr Graham Barrow put on a superb Welsh Cawl Supper for the final St David’s Day screening on 1st March, which attracted 40 diners before the movie and 70 film goers.
It is hoped the hall’s management committee will use the profits donated to the OJMH to support a potential bid to Arts Council Wales for the hall to purchase its own digital screening and projection equipment. The item will be included on the Agenda at the management committee’s meeting on Monday 13th May after the AGM.
Members of the public can attend the meeting and voice their opinion on whether the Oliver Jones Film Club has a future. Updates can be found on the Oliver Jones Film Club Facebook page.
Glyntraian Community Council’s Community Agent, Davena Davies, can often be found at the Council’s inclusive Monday Coffee Club. The club runs from 10:00 – 12noon at the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall, Dolywern. It is a lovely, friendly club where you can connect with other members of the community and enjoy a delicious light breakfast or snack for just a modest donation towards the cost.
Scrumptious scrambled eggs from local happy hens, hot buttered crumpets or a couple of rounds of toast and jam, enjoyable conversation and a lovely cuppa. There’s no better way to start the week than in the company of our friendly volunteers.
The Monday Coffee Club is an important tool in the Council’s bid to look after the wellbeing of our older residents and tackle loneliness and isolation.
Glyntraian Council Chairman, Cllr Chris Futcher, runs a computer club every Wednesday at the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall, Dolywern. The club runs from 1:30 – 3:30pm and is designed to help and support those who are struggling to get to grips with modern technology or just want to get the most of their mobile devices – be it a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
The cost is £3 per session.
150 Residents Pay Respects at Council’s Armistice Commemoration
Glyntraian Community Council led a series of events to mark the Armistice centenary in Pontfadog on Remembrance Sunday.
A Battle’s Over Beacon, funded by the Council, was lit at 7pm as part of a nation-wide event that saw well over 1,000 beacons lit all over the country in commemoration.
An estimated 150 members of the community attended the commemorative event. The honour of lighting the Beacon was given to 89-year-old Dick Squires, one of the oldest residents of Pontfadog and a British Army veteran.
The Beacon lighting was preceded by a haunting rendition of the Last Post played by 14-year-old Tom Maries from Pontfadog. Glyntraian Community Council Chairman, Cllr Chris Futcher, read aloud of the names of the nine local men who fell in the Great War.
Following the moving tribute, a peal of bells rang out from St John the Baptist Church in the village whilst Bethan Jones, Jan Bennet and Cllr Robin Boston read poems in Welsh and English by the Welsh Bardic poet, Hedd Wynn, and In Flanders Fields by John McCrae.
Cllr Futcher said: “It was especially heart-warming to witness all ages, from babies right through to some of the oldest members of the community, coming together to pay their respects to those local men who made the ultimate sacrifice in that most brutal of conflicts.
“The Council’s thanks go to all those who took part in the formal proceedings. Warmest thanks are also extended to the Trustees of the Glyn Valley Tramway Trust for generously granting us use of the historic tramway waiting room to host an exhibition of WWI memorabilia, much of it local and particularly poignant.
“Cllrs Robin Boston and Graham Barrow worked extremely hard to curate the items.
We are especially pleased that so many people visited the exhibition and were delighted by it. Yet more thanks go to all those who kindly loaned items of interest from or relating to family members – from official papers, photos, press cuttings and postcards to medals and notebooks. The authentic WWI German militaria generously loaned by Tom Gulliver, including the embossed WW1 German/Prussian Pickelhaube (pickel helmet), dagger, rucksack and infantryman’s tunic drew much interest. They provided a powerful reminder that the Armistice centenary commemoration was about remembering all those who lost their lives, as well as the men from our own community.”
The exhibition will be open again on Saturday 17th November between 10 – 3pm at the Glyn Valley Tramway Waiting Room, Pontfadog.