Monthly Archives: April 2012

29 April 2012

Press reports this week have said that a new lifeboat has been approved for Llandudno and it is possible that a new boat house may be built in Craig y Don.  This is because the current location in Lloyd street is considered unsuitable.

The boat will be a Shannon Class craft, which is bigger, has a higher top speed and longer range than the current one.

The photo above was taken in 2011 during trials of a new launching and recovery unit.  The tracked vehicle proved to be very effective at the challenging task of moving a heavy load over the pebbles on the beach.  The trials proved that a Craig y Don boat house was a viable option.

The majority of lifeboats in the UK and republic of Ireland are provided by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).  They rely on a team of 40,000 volunteers and donations from the general public to perform a vital role in rescue, as well as promoting safety at sea.


Plans are well under way for the Jubilee Big Lunch to be held in the park on 3 June. Put the date in your diary!

Llandudno to get new lifeboat but boathouse issue needs to be resolved first

North Wales Weekly News 26 April 2012

A NEW state-of-the-art water jet powered all-weather lifeboat for Llandudno has been approved by the RNLI.

The Shannon class craft, which is bigger, has a higher top speed and longer search range than the resort’s existing Mersey class boat, could be in service by the end of 2015.

But before that happens the issue of a boathouse big enough to house it needs to be resolved.

The current boat house in Lloyd Street is too small to accommodate the new boat and it’s important a new location is agreed soon.

“It has been well documented that Llandudno’s current boathouse is not suitable to house the slightly larger lifeboat which will succeed the existing Mersey class lifeboat,” said RNLI divisional inspector Colin Williams.

“A boathouse in the town centre presents obvious problems, so we continue to seek alternative sites to enable us to continue saving lives at sea off the North Wales coast in the quickest and safest possible way.”

Llandudno RNLI press officer Alan Sharp said: “RNLI Llandudno is regarded as an essential part of the search and rescue coverage of the Irish Sea, and everyone involved with the RNLI in Llandudno is delighted at this news.”

The idea of building a new lifeboat station was first mooted more than 10 years ago, but plans to build it close to the pier were rejected by planners after strong objections from hoteliers and conservationists.

They said the building would detract from the beauty of the North Shore, and the Grade II listed pier.

But last year the RNLI carried out successful trials of a new lifeboat launching and recovery unit at a site close to the paddling pool between Craig y Don and Craigside.

Previously the Craig y Don area had been discounted because of the difficulties launching in adverse weather conditions ,but it’s believed the new equipment will overcome this.

The rig has been designed to launch and recover the next generation of fast carriage-launched all-weather lifeboats on different types of terrain.

Among the chief opponents to the idea of a new boathouse close to the pier were conservation group Save Our Promenade, but spokesman John Lawson-Reay said they would look favourably on plans to build it at Craig y Don provided it was designed to blend in with the surrounding area.

“A site between Craig y Don and Craigside would be away from the town’s conservation area, and could be less visually intrusive provided the RNLI comes up with an acceptable design,” he said.


Fashion show

North Wales Weekly News 26 April 2012

DEVA Fashion Designers in Craig y Don held a charity fashion show at Deganwy Quay Hotel recently, raising money for Aberconwy Women’s Aid.

Local businesses sponsored it, and the show raised £1,800 for the charity.

22 April 2012

On Monday a section of the A470 between Llandudno and Llandudno Junction was officially unveiled as The Royal Welsh Way.  The ceremony was held in fields close to where the Prince of Wales inspected a predecessor regiment in 1915 during World War I.

The Royal Welsh are Wales’ Infantry Regiment, consisting of two regular and one reserve (TA) battalions. It was formed in 2006 from The Royal Welch Fusiliers, The Royal Regiment of Wales and The Royal Welsh Regiment (TA).

The regiment has deployed on operations all over the world in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and the Falkland Islands.  Their role typically includes anti-terrorist patrolling, convoy protection, peace keeping and the training of local forces. The 1st Battalion Royal Welsh are deploying to Afghanistan later this month.

The Royal Welsh enjoys strong ties with the local area.  Conwy council approved the naming of the road following a four-month Facebook campaign by residents. Plans are already in place to extend the renamed stretch of road.


Plans are well under way for the Jubilee Big Lunch to be held in the park on 3 June. Put the date in your diary!

In the company of Ruth Lloyd-Williams – Blazing a trail for She-power in the world of business

Daily Post 18 April 2012

LIKE the best brainwaves, it began around the kitchen table – but now a tiny networking group aimed at helping women into business is a business in its own right. Network She has now notched up its first half decade – and five years on, has left the kitchen table well and truly behind.

Its founder Ruth Lloyd-Williams has now acquired office premises in Craig-y-Don and taken on two part-time workers: Julie Jones, office and accounts manager, and Jo Harrison, network coordinator, dealing with events and advertising.

Ruth hopes these positions will become full time before long.

At its inception Network She was about pulling together and supporting female entrepreneurs in North Wales and supporting rural businesses.

Ruth never thought there would be any demand for it anywhere else.

But when women started to turn up at her meetings from as far afield as Warrington, she realised that the need was there across a much wider radius.

And now the group is setting up in Liverpool.

It is, says Ruth, “an exciting time” and she and the team are “thrilled” to be branching out into Merseyside.

Network She is about helping women succeed in the traditionally male-dominated world of business.

“We create opportunities for women to meet to develop themselves and their business,” Ruth told Business Post.

“We put on events and well structured workshops which look at business services and information that is pertinent to what they do.

“We also put on social events – there’s something there for everybody to get involved in.”

She added: “We do it on a flexible basis, so that they can come as and when they like.

“We give women the flexibility to dip in and out when they can.

“It might be that they need opportunity to increase their own confidence and bring themselves out into an environment where they can learn how to expand and develop their business’s social aspect.”

Does Network She help businesswomen ultimately to become more successful and reap higher profits?

“We know that from feedback we get,” replies Ruth.

“People have told us that had they not joined they would never have met their customer base or have the confidence to take that next step with their business, they wouldn’t have thought of that missed opportunity.

Members come in all shapes and sizes.

The latest recruit is just 18 and poised to start her business in May.

Others might be semi-retired but wanting to keep their links with the business community and some are women who want to get out of their current jobs and try their hand at something different.

Membership is via a one-off fee and Network She acts “as a funnel” channelling the information women need as they seek to make it in the business world.

But in an age of equality and laws in place barring sex discrimination, is a group specifically for women rather an outdated concept?

“The only people who say that are blokes!” retorts Ruth.

“Some men will say there is nothing specifically for us but I’d say, have you never been to the Masons, the Rotary, the Lions, and the golf club?

“There is a massive amount out there, and a lot of the networking groups that were there four or five years ago were very male dominated.

“There is a gender issue as far as networking is concerned, and the age question, an awful lot of people won’t get involved in formal networking who are 25 or under because they don’t think they will get taken seriously.

“Also we don’t say ‘no’ to guys, if they want to come to our events they are more than welcome and a lot of them do because there is a room full of their target market.

“When did you last wake up and say I need a new kitchen – you didn’t, but there’s a room full of 40 women who want one.”

Ruth Lloyd-Williams, who combines a full-time job with running Network-She, first realised the need for a women’s networking group when she saw the difficulties her own daughter was having in the wedding industry.

“She is only 25 but when she started four years ago, she found it very difficult to get in front of her customer base,” said Ruth.

“I was talking to the conference and banqueting manager at the Ramada Plaza in Wrexham explaining how difficult it was for Rhian to do that and she said to me ‘have you ever tried networking?’ and I was amazed to find that people did it on a formal basis.

“I couldn’t get my head round it. Why would you need to do that?”

She added: “Once you start to get your head round it, once you get into it, you realise that it is a great, cost-effective way to promote your business.”

The high point of the year for the ladies of Network She is their glittering awards night, held each November amid great fanfare and publicity when North Wales women’s achievements are showcased and celebrated.

They also have produce a glossy magazine with a circulation of 10,000 twice a year which tells the stories of high-achieving women across the region.

Network She is about giving something back as well as succeeding – it supports numerous charities through sponsorship and promotion.

Now Ruth says the hope is to carry she-power across the border and help spread the word even wider still.

Network She’s next event is Celebrating Women in Rural Business on May 2.

It will be held at the Alison Bradley Gallery, Betws y Coed, from 6pm.

For more information or to find out more about the group, log on to or call 0845 0095081.

15 April 2012

It has been suggested that a ‘Thermoplastic’ ground markings would add a bit of colour to the play area in the park and appeal to younger children.  This has been identified as a suitable feature to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The designs come pre-formed and are made from the same material that is used to mark roads. They are very durable and environmentally friendly, being non-toxic and free of lead and chromates.

A hopscotch theme has been selected. The company that supplies them ( has a number of options to choose from, as shown above.  They will supply and install.  Which do you like?

A set of coloured boxes showing the alphabet will be arranged around the hopscotch, adding further colour and educational value.  Text will be added to record the fact that they have been installed to mark the jubilee.  All will be installed on a patch of tarmac near the old slide.


Don’t forget the lunch-time picnic to celebrate the jubilee on Sunday 3 June from midday in the park.  Everyone welcome.

8 April 2012

A bid by the Friends of the park to improve the local environment has been given a boost thanks to a cash injection from Keep Wales Tidy.

The money is being used to buy plants to create new beds around the park.  The plants have been selected for all year interest and low maintenance. They will attract bees, insects and other wildlife.  The Friends of the park gardening group, who meet every fortnight, have already started planting.

Through the Tidy Towns Project, Keep Wales Tidy is able to offer financial assistance to community groups who have demonstrated a commitment to restoring their communities to their former glory.

The cash support has been made possible by funding from the Welsh Government Local Environmental Quality Fund and will be used by volunteer groups to help cover the costs projects.  Additional support for communities is offered by Keep Wales Tidy appointed Tidy Towns Officers who are on hand across Wales to offer help and advice on forming groups, holding events and applying for grants.


The next gardening session will be Monday 16 April at 10am.  An ideal chance for you to get involved in improving the park.

Llandudno family’s search for much loved pet

North Wales Weekly News 5 April 2012

A TEENAGE brother and sister are heartbroken after their pet dog escaped from their home over a week ago.

And they’re worried she might have been taken in by a family who don’t realise she’s a much loved pet.

“She’s a family dog and we love her. I’m really missing her and so is my brother who’s 14,” said 16-year-old Ysgol John Bright pupil Ashleigh Roberts.

One-year-old Border collie Jessie got out of the family’s former home in Penrhyn Bay on March 16 after jumping out of an open window.

She was last seen on the day of her disappearance at a newsagent’s shop in Trafford Park in Penrhyn Bay at 4pm. It’s believed she was with two teenage boys with dark hair who went into the shop asking for water for her and they also borrowed a lead saying they were taking her to the RSPCA. She never arrived there.

“I have seen the CCTV at the newsagents and I’m sure it’s Jessie. The two boys said they’d found her and asked to borrow a lead saying they would bring it back the next day but they never did.

“She’s so cute they may have decided they wanted to keep her.

“Jessie’s identity tag had come off because that has been returned to us after someone found it in Craig-y-Don. We’ve also had a message that she was seen with two boys in Craig-y-Don park. If anyone has seen her or knows where she is, please contact us,” pleaded Ashleigh.

The family, who now live in Conway Road, Llandudno, have put posters up around the area asking for Jessie’s return and have scoured the streets looking for her.

“We have had calls from people saying they’ve seen her but when we’ve got there she wasn’t there. We’ll keep looking though,” added Ashleigh.

She can be contacted on 07825 662329.

Friends pay tribute after Ben’s body is found in woodland

North Wales Pioneer 4 April 2012

TRIBUTES have flooded in for Ben Steen, a Craig y Don man whose body was found in woodland near St David’s College on Sunday, after he went missing on Friday March 23.

Ben, a former pupil of Ysgol John Bright and Ysgol Craig y Don, worked for his stepfather’s removal company Bill Jones Removals, and played darts for the Conservative Club on Mostyn Street.

Ben’s older sister Becky, 28, paid tribute to her younger brother, describing him as “a jack the lad”, known for his “cheeky smile”.

She added: “We’ll miss him.”

A Facebook group set up to find Ben, called Bring Ben Steen Home, had more than 1000 members by Monday afternoon, many of whom left tributes to their friend.

Becky wrote: “He was the best little brother in the world and I love and miss him so much and miss his cheeky smile!!! Thank you again everyone. Goodnight and godbless you all.”

On Ben’s own Facebook page, Antony Hanson wrote: “RIP Ben such a shame!! The laffs we used to have squabbling on the dinner table in primary!!! Love to all ur family!!!”

Ben leaves Becky, mother Dana, 53, father Mike, 59 and stepfather Bill Jones, 63.

North Wales Police confirmed they found the body of a man in Maelgwyn Woods on Sunday, April 1, and that no suspicious circumstances were linked to the death.