High Sheriffs Awards
31st May 2017
CYAST (Children and Youth Adult Support Team)Meeting at Greenfield Business
Dave Evans, of North Wales Police/Crimebeat and I visited the Centre at the invitation of project leader, Kate Wilde, to observe a volunteer from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, giving financial and budgeting advice to four young people who are making the difficult transition from living in care to coping with independent adult life. The project runs alongside a new workbook manual that CYAST has developed that will accompany young people in care from the age of 13 and is part-funded by the High Sheriff’s charity,
25th May 2017
High Sheriffs’ Reception at the Old Bailey
My husband, David and I were invited to attend a Reception, together with all the other serving High Sheriffs and their consorts, by the Sheriffs of the City of London, Aldermen William Russell and Peter
Estlin, at the magnificent Grand Hall in the Old Bailey. This was the first time such an invitation has been arranged just for High Sheriffs and we all thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see Britain’s central criminal court first-hand. Several High Court Judges mingled with the High Sheriffs, giving us a flavour of their day-to-day work in this historic place.
20th May 2017
Llandudno Citizenship Ceremony
Today I attended my first citizenship ceremony at the fourth centre for Clwyd in the Conwy Suite at Llandudno Town Hall. I was greeted warmly by Suzanne Fisher, County Registrar and her able assistant,
Haydyn. This was the largest group of new citizens I have met thus far and their places of birth ranged from Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, The Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Pakistan and India. I was so pleased to have an opportunity to talk to them all after the ceremony and hear about their interesting journeys to taking up British citizenship.
19th May 2017
Rural North Flintshire Community Hub – Launch Event
I visited Trelogan Community Centre with my husband, David, at the invitation of the North Wales Energy Advice
Centre. This was the launch event for the Rural North Flintshire Community Hub to highlight the advice and support that NWEAC can offer to help combat fuel poverty which is rife in this particular part of
Clwyd. Very informative and interesting presentations were made by Steve Woosey, Michele Jones and Laura Bellis of
NWEAC, followed by Jo Seymour, Flintshire County Council Environmental Health Officer, Chris
Ablett, Youth Volunteering Development officer of Flintshire Local Voluntary Council, Neil Pringle, Community Fund Manager for Gwynt y Mor and Silas Jones of
Cadwyn, the Rural Development Agency. The meeting was very well attended and I think we all learned a great deal about the benefits of various agencies working together to support vulnerable households in
19th May 2017
Visit to Primary School Ysgol Frongoch, Denbigh in Bloom
I was accompanied by Dave Evans of North Wales Police where we were greeted by an incredibly enthusiastic set of young gardeners aged from 6-11 who have been nurturing new plants at school in preparation for re-locating them around Denbigh town to enhance the appearance of the focal parts of the town
centre. This project teaches the children about the environment and gives them pride in their surroundings. A really heart-warming experience.
18th May 2017
Crime Commissioner of Clwyd’s Award Ceremony, Kinmel Manor, Abergele
Together with my husband, David, I attended this event, hosted by Arfon Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner of Clwyd who was marking the completion of his first year in office and celebrating and publicising some of the amazing work carried out within the communities of North Wales.
I was invited to introduce Hannah Mart, who was the incredibly worthy winner of the Victims’ Champion Award. Through Hannah’s sterling work as a Children and Young People Sexual Violence Advisor, in collaboration with North Wales Police, she has set up the Young Women’s Support Groups. The aim of the groups is to provide a supportive environment and to build resilience through shared education such as the STAR Project that encourages Safety, Trust and Respect and thereby aims to build young victims’ self-esteem and confidence levels.
Other awards presented were the People’s Award to Tanya Jones of Rough Sleepers Intervention Team,
Wrexham, the Community Champion Award to Caru Amlwych, the Rehabilitation Award to Zoe Davies, the Drug Intervention Award to ARCH Kaleidoscope, the Equality and Diversity Award to RainbowBiz Ltd, the Young People’s Award to Daniel Roberts, the Outstanding Achievement Award to ARC Communities, the Welsh Language Champion Award to GISDA of Blaenau Ffestiniog and, finally, the Anti-Slavery Champion Award to BAWSO of
17th May 2017
Dinner for High Court Judge
Dinner at Cerrigllwydion Hall for Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, who was sitting at Mold Crown Court. The guests were Under-Sheriff Henry Wilson and his wife Caroline, High Sheriff of Clwyd in Nomination for 2018 Lady Elizabeth Hanmer and her husband Sir Guy, High Sheriff of Gwynedd Professor Sian Hope, Former High Sheriff of Clwyd 2002 Commander John Bradshaw and his wife Frances, Former High Sheriff of Clwyd 2012 Henry Dixon, Mr and Mrs Mark Ferranti and His Honour Ian and Mrs Trigger.
17th May 2017
Crimebeat Meeting, St Asaph
Constructive meeting with David Evans, Project Manager of PACT and Crimebeat from North Wales Police and the rest of the committee to discuss applications for funding.
16th May 2017
Garden Party at Buckingham Palace
Lunch with High Sheriff of Shropshire, Charles Lillis and his wife Veronica and High Sheriff of Cheshire, Sarah
Callendar- Beckett, her husband Peter and son Peregrine, followed by a glorious walk through gardens from Buckingham Palace which the seven of us entered from the Grosvenor Gate. Despite having driven around the perimeter of the Palace grounds on countless occasions I have never had the opportunity to view the gardens or Palace from the rear before and they both truly lived up to expectation, especially as we were lucky enough to enjoy the only sunny day in London that week. No umbrellas required despite the many being carried!
Members of the royal family attending included Her Majesty the Queen, Prince Philip, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Kent, Princess Beatrice and numerous courtiers.
Afternoon tea was a lovely treat and we encountered a number of fellow North Walians amongst the throng of 7,000 people, including Ann Davies, Chair of Denbigh County Council and Mark Hudson,representing the Duchy of Lancaster and Sue, his wife, a former High Sheriff of
11th May 2017
CB1 North Wales Annual Dinner, Chester St David’s Hotel, Ewloe
I was delighted to join the CEO of Prince’s Wales Trust in Wales, Philip Jones, together with three senior members of his excellent team, Helen, Rhian and
Sian, on their table at this impressive event, held at St David’s Hotel on
Deeside. We were addressed by many inspiring speakers, including the war hero, Simon Weston, CBI President Paul
Drechsler, Sacha Davies of Horizon Nuclear Power, Tracey North and Michael
Plaut,Chairs of CBI Wales. The Prince’s Trust in Wales are working hard to raise the aspirations of young people in Wales and thereby helping them to build the future of Wales.
11th May 2017
Denbighshire Citizenship Ceremony
I was delighted to be invited to the Denbighshire Citizenship Ceremony today which took place at Ruthin Town Hall. Superintendent Registrar, Nerys Ellis, presided over the ceremony and both the outgoing Chair of Denbigh County Council, Ann Davies and I said a few words to welcome our four newest citizens who originally hailed from North Iraq and The Philippines.
10th May 2017
Wrexham Citizenship Ceremony
My second Citizenship Ceremony took place at Wrexham’s Guildhall. On this occasion there were four new citizens together with their friends and family who attended. Officiating were Superintendent Registrar, Ruth Cooke and her able team. The Mayor and Mayoress of Wrexham and I were very pleased to play a part in the new citizens’ special day, the youngest of whom was only 8 months old.
27th April 2017
Flintshire Citizenship Ceremony
My first Citizenship Ceremony at Mold’s historic Llwynegrin Hall where the Vice-Chair of Flintshire County Council, Mr Brian Lloyd, and I together with Superintendent Registrar, Noelle Baston, witnessed nine new British citizens take their oaths and swear allegiance to the crown. Their countries of birth ranged from Turkey, to Poland, to India and it was positively inspirational to hear their stories of the long road to gaining citizenship.
8th April 2017
Declaration Ceremony at St Saeren’s Church, Llanynys
I was blessed with the sunniest day of the year thus far to hold my Declaration Ceremony at the beautiful ancient parish church of St Saeren’s,
Llanynys, presided over by the High Sheriff’s Chaplain, Rev’d Philip Chew. This was followed by a wonderful reception at our home, Cerrigllwydion Hall, Llandyrnog in the Vale of
Clwyd, which has been a family home for several generations.
My distinguished guests included the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, Mr Harry Fetherstonhaugh
OBE, Judges Rhys Rowlands and Roger Dutton, Former Judge and now Lay Reader Ian Trigger, the Bishop of St
Asaph, together with numerous past High Sheriffs of Clwyd and their spouses. The High Sheriffs of
Gwynedd, Cheshire and Shropshire were also in attendance. Magistrate Susanne Dixon witnessed the signing of the Declaration and Mr Jim O’Toole, the outgoing High Sheriff and Mr Henry Wilson, the Under-Sheriff, also participated in the formal part of the ceremony. The service was accompanied by a majestic musical programme which showcased the local musical talent we have here in Clwyd and created a very special ambience.
My grateful thanks to all those who contributed to make this a truly memorable occasion.
The annual swearing-in ceremony of new Magistrates at which north Wales Resident Judge Rhys Rowlands officiated in the presence of the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd was held at Mold Crown Court. Nineteen new Magistrates were present from a wide range of the County’s citizens and one serving Magistrate received a 25 years’ service award. Judge Rowlands welcomed the new Magistrates and gave them an informative and humorous insight into the life of a Magistrate.
I was again delighted to attend at the Blind Veterans U.K. Centre at Llandudno, on this occasion to present the buggies which I had raised funds for by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro last October. It was initially planned to provide a
six-seater buggy but one suitable for the sloping pathway to the Woodlands was not available. The solution was to obtain individual powered buggies that can be steered by a volunteer
carer. I’m sure the blind veterans will get great enjoyment from using the buggies both to the Woodland and also down to the promenade at
It's possible my neighbours may think I'm in jail as I never seem to be home!
I was again pleased to attend a charity ball organized by the Mayor of Prestatyn Mr Bob Murray in the Nova Centre at the town's beach. The theme of the evening was James Bond; there was a lot of costumed shaking and stirring going on throughout the evening but regrettable no
Ursula Andress lookalike strolled up from the sea.
Just as my Shrieval year is drawing to a close the season for Charity Balls is getting under way. Shame!
Nevertheless, I was delighted to be invited to attend a charity event held by the Chairman of Flintshire County Council, Mr Peter Curtis. It's well acknowledged that in these days of austerity Councils' have to "watch the pennies" wherever possible. I'm sure Chairman Curtis won't mind me describing him as an "Old Rocker" when he led by example in reducing costs by entertaining the guests with his own guitar playing and singing songs from his time in a 60's band as a "Young Rocker".
I was pleased to arrange a formal dinner held in the Oak Room at Airbus U.K. in Broughton, Flintshire attended by High Court Judges and other distinguished guests. Paul Mckinley, the Manager of the plant provided guests with a very informative history of Broughton from its establishment in 1939 to construct Wellington bombers to its present-day business of manufacturing wings for the entire family of Airbus aircraft, including the double-deck A380.
Participating in Citizenship Ceremonies has been a very enjoyable and at times emotive occasion during my term in office. The Ceremony at Wrexham on the morning of the 15th March was another "final" but no less enjoyable. On that occasion there were seven Candidates for Citizenship, including two young gentlemen who had made great efforts and dressed to impress for this important and hopefully memorable day in their lives.
In the company of the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd and the Chairman of Denbighshire County Council Mrs Anne Davies I was pleased to attend a flag raising ceremony in the town of Ruthin to mark Commonwealth Day.
On the evening of the 10th March I was very pleased to hold my High Sheriff of Clwyd Crimebeat Awards for the voluntary services of the four counties which make up the Shrieval County of Clwyd. The ceremony, held at Theatre Clwyd in Mold was attended by many distinguished guests when I presented awards to individuals and volunteer organizations from a diverse range of sectors including support for drug and alcohol abuse prevention, dangers of the Internet, medical First Responders, and helping to combat anti-social behaviour. I was also pleased to present former Welsh Fusilier Shaun Stocker with a High Sheriff's personal award for his fundraising activities on behalf of Blind Veterans U.K. (see entry below of 16th July).
The Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd Mr Harry Fetherstonhaugh OBE and Captain Brian Thorne RD RNR Chairman of the Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association for Wales held a Cadets' Awards Ceremony at Bodelwyddan Castle which I was pleased to attend. Awards were presented to Cadets and members of the three reserve forces, some of whom had been on active service overseas.
It was with some regret that I participated in the last Citizenship ceremony of my term in office for the County of Denbighshire. As usual the ceremony was held in the Town Hall of the county seat at Ruthin where five new Candidates for Citizenship swore their allegiance to H. M the Queen.
The Orial Country House Hotel in the rural Denbighshire was the setting for the City of St Asaph Mayor's annual charity ball. I was pleased to attend and to support Mayor Colin Hardie raise funds for local charitable organizations.
St Asaph Cathedral.
Llawynegrin Hall at Mold was again the setting for another Citizenship ceremony when four Candidates attended to swear their allegiance to H.M. the Queen and commence a new life as British citizens.
Visits by members of the Royal Family are always a great highlight during a Shrivel year and I was therefore delighted to be present when Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex attended the Blind Veterans Centre in Llandudno as Patron to the Charity.
‘As well as opening the new building at the Blind Veterans UK training and rehabilitation centre, Her Royal Highness also saw at first-hand some of the other services the charity offers to veterans who have lost their sight.
These included visiting the charity’s Art and Craft studio where blind veterans learn new skills to be able to produce paintings, wood works and textiles. Some of these veterans are learning these skills, and therefore a new hobby, for the first time.
Photo courtesy of Blind Veterans UK.
St Mary's church sits on the banks of the river Clwyd in the town of Rhuddlan and I was honoured to attend a choral evening arranged by the Chairman of Denbighshire County Council Mrs Anne Davies. The performance by the renowned Trelawynd Male Voice Choir (the oldest Boy Band in the World) was conducted by Ann Atkinson. It was a truly memorable evening with £10,000 being raised for two local charities. Congratulations to Anne and her staff for organizing such a wonderful event.
Spending a Sunday evening in the company of a bunch of gangsters is really not what a High Sheriff should be doing, nonetheless I was very pleased to be in the company of "The Young Uns" as they performed their version of Bugsey Malone in Llangollen Town Hall. The ages of the cast ranged from six to eighteen years and as the event had been part funded by a grant from Crimebeat I was delighted to present the cast with certificates of achievement.
The first meeting of 2017 of the Police and Community Trust (PACT) took place at North Wales Police HQ in Colwyn Bay where my counterpart High Sheriff from the neighbouring county of Gwynedd Dr Peter Harlech Jones and I gave a summary of the events to date that we had been involved with during our term in office in our respective Shrieval counties.
At the invitation of Brigadier Richmond OBE on behalf on the Army Board I attended a reception and briefing by The Army Engagement Team held at Venue Cymru in Llandudno. The evening included presentations on the measures the Army takes to engage with and maintain good relationships with the general public
I was in attendance at a meeting of the Crimebeat committee held at the North Wales Police facility at St Asaph. This was the final meeting attended by my predecessor Mrs Janet Evans; the committee offered their thanks to Mrs Evans for the sterling work she had carried out in the three years she had been a member.
It was the turn of Flintshire to hold a Citizenship Ceremony at Llynegrin Hall in Mold when seven Candidates attended to become British Citizens.
A meeting of the Clwyd High Sheriff’s Advisory Panel was held at my home when the main agenda items were the arrangements for a Proclamation and consideration of candidates for the position of High Sheriff in 2021/2022.
I again participated in a Citizenship Ceremony held at the Civic Centre in the town of Wrexham. Seven Candidates attended the ceremony.
The Mayor of Rhuddlan invited me to attend a charity masquerade ball to raise funds for “Lukes Fund”. Luke is a teenager who in a very admirable way is coping with the consequences of a stroke which has left him paralysed from the waist down.
The town of Ruthin in Denbighshire was the venue for another Citizenship Ceremony in which I participated.
The High Sheriff of Cheshire Mrs Kathy Cowell invited me to participate in the service to mark the beginning of the Legal Year in her county. The service was held in the beautiful and historic Chester Cathedral that included a procession from the adjacent Town Hall by Lord Lieutenants, High Sheriffs from neighbouring counties, Judges and Civic dignitaries.
I participated in a Citizenship Ceremony at Llandudno where seven candidates for British Citizenship swore their allegiance.
Rhuddlan Environment Group held their annual Halloween litter pick. The Scouts, Guides, youth volunteers and Brownies certainly collected a lot of litter down by Station Rd and Marsh Rd.The Rainbows did the library and two streets, with Cubs and Beavers doing the playing fields.
The litter pick was followed by a party for children from the local schools, which included a competition for the best costume. No prizes for guessing who was given the task of judging the costumes and choosing the winner!
I chaired a meeting of the Clwyd Crimebeat Committed at North Wales Police H.Q. in St Asaph. It is pleasing to note that the financial assistance provided by Crimebeat is making a positive difference for the young people of the county.
I attended a PACT meeting at North Wales Police H.Q. in St Asaph which included a presentation of the work being undertaken to combat
I attended a celebratory dinner for newly appointed Honorary Fellows of Glyndwr University in Wrexham.
To mark the start of the Mayoral year there are many Civic Services taking place and I was very pleased to be invited by the new Mayor of Saltney Town Council, Councillor Carol Gregory to her Service at the Methodist Church in the town.
There are no prisons in north Wales (a new prison is due to open in Wrexham early next year) and hence it is customary for the High Sheriffs of Clwyd and Gwynedd to visit HMP Styll Women’s Prison in Manchester and HMP Altcourse Men’s prison in Liverpool where offenders from our region serve their sentences.
With the H.S. of Gwynedd I visited HMP Altcourse which houses all categories of offenders. We were particularly impressed with how inmates are taught new skills such as welding which they then use to produce components for a local furniture factory.
5th – 16th October
I have chosen to support three charities during my year in office, one of them being Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstans) and their Centre at Llandudno. On the 5th October I set out for Tanzania to climb Mt Kilimanjaro with the aim to raise £8,000 to buy a modified golf buggy for use at Llandudno. The six seat buggy will enable blind veterans with restricted mobility to visit a woodland at the Centre where they will “bird watch” by identifying the birds by their song
I’m pleased to report that after an eight day climb I successfully reached the summit early on the morning of 15th October. I’m also pleased to report that my fundraising target of £8,000 was exceeded and would like to thank all the people who gave their generous support to this very worthy cause.
I participated in a Citizenship Ceremony at Llandudno Town Hall when seven people, including a family of four from South Africa became British Citizens.
The Motivational Preparation College for Training (MPCT) is a wonderful organization which in conjunction with Glyndwr University in Wrexham provides career and military training for young people between 16 and 19 years of age. The event was an annual Awards Ceremony which was preceded by a demonstration of the skills being taught by the MPCT. I was honoured to be asked to present certificates to the Cadets, including an award to the Cadet of the Year.
Abergele is a market town in the north of Denbighshire and I was pleased to accept an invitation from the new Mayor of the Town Council Cllr. John McLennan to his Civic Service in the town’s St Michael’s Church.
I again attended a Citizenship ceremony atLlynegrin Hall Mold in Flintshire when 8 people swore their allegiance and became British Citizens.
Dr Peter Harlech Jones, High Sheriff of neighbouring Gwynedd and myself made a visit to HMP Styll in Manchester. HMP Styll is a woman’s prison which houses women convicted in the courts of north Wales. The prison regime was not what either of us had anticipated as the atmosphere, although well disciplined, was much more relaxed than expected. Of particular interest was the Mother and Baby unit where mothers can have their baby with them until the child is 18 months old.
I was given the opportunity to accompany members of North Wales Police on an evening patrol of Prestatyn and the surrounding areas. I was greatly impressed by the knowledge the Constable and PCSO on the patrol had of their beat and how they were able to easily identify “Persons of Interest”. I hadn’t previously appreciated the immediate improvement in behaviour of other car drivers‘ when a police car appears!
The Royal Air Force holds an annual reception at RAF Valley in Anglesey and I was delighted to accept an invitation from the Commanding Officer Group Captain Braid. Also attending was Dr Peter Harlech Jones, High Sheriff of Gwynedd.
RAF Valley is a training establishment and it was an interesting to meet aircrew under instruction from a wide variety of countries. Regrettable a planned flypast by Tornado aircraft had to be cancelled due to very poor weather conditions.
A Citizenship ceremony was held at Ruthin in Denbighshire in which I was pleased to participate. On that occasion, there were 5 candidates to be welcomed as new British Citizens.
Having started my career in the Merchant Navy I was very pleased to be invited to participate in a flag raising ceremony at the offices of Denbighshire C.C. in
Ruthin. The ceremony was led by Mrs Ann Davies, Chairman of the Council and was attended by past and serving members of the Merchant Navy.
I was honoured to attend the naming ceremony of a new lifeboat “Lady Barbara” at the RNLI lifeboat station adjacent to Flint castle. The new inshore lifeboat with a three-man crew replaces an earlier version of the same type of craft that has served well in assisting in numerous lifesaving incidents in the Dee estuary.
I accepted an invitation to meet Mrs Helen Paterson, CEO of Wrexham CBC. It was interesting to learn of the issues faced by the Council in delivering social care, particularly to young people from homes where there are domestic abuse and drug and alcohol issues.
I participated in another Citizenship ceremony at Llandudno. On this occasion there were seven Candidates for Citizenship.
Most people will recognise the term “at Loggerheads” but perhaps few will realise that there is actually a place named Loggerheads, and that it’s in north Wales! Loggerheads lies just south of the town of Mold with a very extensive and scenic Country Park.
I had the pleasure of attending another Clwyd Crimebeat project which involved a dozen teenagers participating in a team building weekend. Funds from Clwyd Crimebeat had been used to pay for a day of raft building which was supervised by PCSO’s and volunteer officers from North Wales Police. The teenagers had a great time with competitive paddling around the lake. What a pity I wasn’t allowed to join in the fun!
The school summer holidays are an obvious time for outdoor pursuits funded by Clwyd
Crimebeat. I attended at the Marine Lake in Rhyl to see 18 young people on another one-day raft building and racing event similar to that which I had attended earlier in the week at Loggerheads. I’m always greatly impressed by the enthusiasm of the participants in these outdoor activities; not a cell phone to be seen!
My day job is managing The Port of Mostyn from where the wings for the Airbus A380 aircraft (often referred to as the
“Superjumbo”) are shipped to Bordeaux in France.
Cadets from T.S. Tuscan in Connah’s Quay were the Guard of Honour at my Declaration ceremony in April so I was very pleased to welcome them to the Port. Their visit included a trip out on the Port’s pilot cutter to see the Pilot boarding the French flagged ship Cuidad De Cadiz which was calling to load a set of wings. When the ship was in berth they were also able to observe the massive wings (50m in length and 13m wide) being loaded on board.
In the company of Dr Peter Harlech Jones, High Sheriff of Gwynedd, local politicians and other dignitaries I attended an awards presentation to Community Cadets and Dragons at Colwyn Bay. The awards were made following competitions held earlier in the day between the various Cadets. It came as no surprise that the Army Cadets won most of the competitions against the more junior and inexperienced Community Cadets!
The town of Rhuddlan on the banks of the river Clwyd is famous for its castle built from 1277 by King Edward 1. I was delighted to visit Rhuddlan to attendthe Civic Service of Mrs Ann Davies the newly elected Chairman of Denbighshire County Council. The service was held in Ebeneser Chapel in the centre of the town and followed by lunch at the church hall.
Llangollen in Denbighshire is the home of an annual International Musical Eisteddfod and I was pleased to be a guest of Denbighshire C.C. who sponsored the musical Carmen. It was a wonderful and lively performance with an international and Welsh cast accompanied by local singers who showed great talent.
The installation ceremony for the new Vice Chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University Professor Maria Hinfelaar was held at the University on the afternoon of the 7th July and I was very pleased to be invited to participate in the academic procession. After working in several countries during her career Maria now speaks seven languages. Little wonder that within just three months of moving to Wales the attendees were greatly impressed when the good Professor delivered her address in Welsh! The installation ceremony was followed that evening by a celebratory dinner.
I was again pleased to participate in a Citizenship ceremony at the Guildhall in Wrexham where eight candidates attended to become citizens of the United Kingdom. On this occasion I was accompanied by Mrs Charlotte Howard, High Sheriff of Clwyd in Nomination who will succeed me next year. Mrs Howard was keen to know what to expect during her own term in office. She’s not being deterred from taking up the post!
A regular meeting of the Clwyd Crimebeat Committee was held in the afternoon of the 13th July. On this occasion nine grants were made to organizations that had applied for funding for various youth projects. In most cases the results of the projects match the application aspirations.
The Shrieval County of Clwyd encompasses the administrative counties of
Flintshire, Wrexham, Denbighshire and Conwy and each county holds its own Citizenship ceremony, hence why I attended two ceremonies in the same week. The second ceremony of the week was at Ruthin in Denbighshire where five Candidates, four of them from the same family, swore their allegiance to become citizens of the United Kingdom.
Blind Veterans U.K. is one of my chosen charities for my year in office and I had the great pleasure to accompany Sean Stocker, formerly of Royal Welsh Fusiliers’ on the Prestatyn to Rhyl sector of his 100 mile “Prom Walk” to raise funds for fellow blind veterans.
Sean lost both his legs and his sight in Afghanistan and has overcome not just his severe injuries, he has also set himself on a course of rehabilitation and learning to help him lead a normal independent life again. He is a truly inspirational young man.
One of the schools that have benefited from grants from ClwydCrimebeat is YsgolDeniol in Marchwiel near
Wrexham. The funding they received enabled 30 pupils to participate in a daylong visit to Dangerpoint near Prestatyn where they experienced many displays and interactive programmes to help them become aware of hazards in their homes, at play and in leisure activities.
Four years ago the Royal Welsh Fusiliers were given the Freedom of the town of Llandudno and on the 23rd July they returned to give a Re-affirmation parade under the command of Lt. Colonel Clayton. In fine weather and watched by many hundreds of townsfolk and holiday makers the troops paraded along Llandudno’s Victorian promenade. Together with the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd and the Chairman of Conwy Council I had the great pleasure of inspecting the troops and hearing of their individual experiences while serving overseas.
It’s always a pleasure to see at first-hand the projects funded by Clwyd Crimebeat and my visit to the village of Hope near Wrexham to see the “Beat-it-in-Hope” one-day event was no exception. This was a project aimed at warning children about the dangers of being drawn into the drug and alcohol culture. It was very well supported by the local PCSO’s and also by the charity Groundwork.
I had the pleasure to meet with Mr Colin Everett, CEO of Flintshire County Council. Colin is also the Clerk of the Lieutenancy in the (preserved) County of Clwyd and is extremely supportive of the High Sheriff’s office.
I had the pleasure to attend at The Cup Cake in Ruthin where a fundraising event was being held in support of Ruthin First Responders. The theme was linked to celebrations for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday and was a great success.
Later that day I attended the Caerwys Agricultural Show which is an annual event that is a showcase for the local farming community to display their talents. One of the highlights of the event for me was to inspect many of the vintage cars, tractors and steam engines on display. Another highlight was to present prizes to the winners of the livestock competitions, that’s a lot of bull!
About five miles to the west of Chester is the village of Sealand, not a place known to the wider population but its fame comes from the fact that it was at Sealand where the Royal Flying Corp was formed 100 years ago; as we know, the RFC became the RAF.
I was delighted to be invited to a service held in St Bartholomew’s Church in Sealand to celebrate this 100 year milestone. The local
M.P, Welsh Assembly Member and many members of the local community, many of whom had an association with RAF Sealand also participated.
I accepted an invitation to visit Blind Veterans U.K. (formerly St Dunstan’s) in
Llandudno. The centre is set in beautiful grounds at Craig y Don on the fringe of the town where ex service personnel participate in rehabilitation activities designed to help restore their confidence after the trauma of losing their sight. Many of the veterans stay at the centre for a couple of weeks to learn new skills to help them return to independent living in the community. Their motto is “Life Beyond Sight Loss” and is very fitting for the work they do; it’s a truly inspirational place.
Along with my neighbouring High Sheriff of Gwynnedd Dr Peter Harlech Jones I was a guest of the Chairman of Denbighshire County Council at the north Wales Armed Forces Day. The ceremony included a service to commemorate the fallen of both World Wars and was followed by a display by the RAF’s Falcons parachute team and a flypast by a Spitfire. The event was held in the grounds of Bodelwyddan Castle and was attended by about 8,000 members of the public in glorious weather.
I was pleased to be invited to the launch of the North Wales International Musical Festival at St Asaph Cathedral (the smallest cathedral in the U.K.) for a performance of the work of local composer John
Hoskin. John conducted the New Sinfonia and the St Asaph Festival Choral Society in the world premiere of his Missa pro
defunctis. The performance received a warm reception from the audience.
A celebratory lunch to mark 25 years of Groundwork in Action in north Wales was held at Llyndir Hall Hotel near Wrexham at which awards were made to young volunteers.
I attended a committee meeting of Dangerpoint at the north Wales Fire Service in St
Asaph. Dangerpoint is an organization based at premises in Talacre in Flintshire that provides various scenarios to educate children about the hazards in and around the home, when using public transport and during outdoor activities. The organization is funded by donations from individuals and businesses; during 2015 more than 6,000 children visited
I attended a meeting of the Police and Community Trust (PACT) at the North Wales Police H.Q. in Colwyn Bay where a presentation of the work that the section which deals with Vulnerable Persons was given.
10th May 2016
On what must have been the wettest day in May I attended the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, the day of the Chinese whispers! Despite the rain my consort and I had a very enjoyable day. Her Majesty was in her usual good form, a true inspiration to everyone present. As many will know, the arrangements for the garden parties are carried out with military precision, even the sandwiches were space to the exact
Wrexham is one of the four counties in the jurisdiction of the High Sheriff of Clwyd and it was my pleasure to attend my first Citizenship ceremony at Wrexham Civic Centre when nine Candidates became U.K. citizens. Many of the Candidates were of eastern European origin in keeping with the large number of people from that region who are attracted to north east Wales by the work opportunities in its many large manufacturing plants.
Denbighshire is another one of the counties in the High Sheriff of Clwyd jurisdiction and I attended my first Citizenship ceremony held in Ruthin Town Hall. Ruthin is a market town and the administrative centre of the County of Denbighshire. It is steeped in history and scandal and famous for its castle and jail, a place my predecessor High Sheriffs would no doubt have visited on many occasions. On my visit however, as the photograph shows, the High Sheriff was left holding the baby!
One of my chosen charities is the Saint Kentigern Hospice in St Asaph, Denbighshire, a place very dear to my heart. Not being superstitious, on Friday the 13th May I held a charity dinner at College Cambria in Oakenholt, Flintshire to raise money to fund a Hospice nurse to undertake studies leading to an Advanced Nursing Practitioner qualification.
The event was attended by 160 guests and whereas my target was to raise £7,500, I was delighted that on the night the amount raised was £13,200. No doubt the Hospice will make good use of the additional funds. This result was made possible by the generosity of my friends and business colleagues and I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for their support.
I returned to Mold in Flintshire for my second Citizenship ceremony in that county. It was a pleasure to welcome the Candidates; for many of them it had been a long journey to U.K. Citizenship.
One of the awards granted by our Crimebeat committee was to the Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Team of “Flintshire Sorted” that enabled students from local High Schools to make a fifteen minute video about the perils of being drawn into a drug and alcohol culture. The premiere was held at County Hall in Mold and the students will take the video to other high schools in the region to spread the word (as they put it).
16th April 2016 - Citizenship Ceremony at Llandudno.
The town of Llandudno in Conwy lies nestled in a bay between the Great Orme and Little Orme headlands on the westerly border of the Clwyd Shrievalty. Citizenship ceremonies are held on Saturday mornings and on the 16th April I had the privilege to welcome thirteen new citizens to the venue at Llandudno Town Hall. Perhaps the most impressive of the candidates for Citizenship was the young
lady (pictured) who announced she would not only make her Affirmation in Welsh but she also sang the Welsh anthem at the closing of the ceremony!
12th April 2016 - Dinner with High Court Judge Mr Justice Alastair MacDonald.
On the 12th April I had the pleasure of entertaining Mr Justice MacDonald at Soughton Hall close to Mold Crown Court where he was sitting at the time. It was my first such endeavour as High Sheriff and I’m grateful to Justice MacDonald and my other guests for making it such a relaxed and enjoyable evening.
7th April 2016 - Citizenship Ceremony at Mold.
The Shrieval 'patch' of the preserved County of Clwyd encompasses four counties in north Wales; Flintshire, Wrexham, Denbighshire and Conwy and throughout my year in office I will be attending Citizenship ceremonies in the main towns of all four counties. It was certainly a case of hitting the ground running when I attended my first Citizenship ceremony at Mold just five days after my Declaration.
Like so many High Sheriffs I was humbled to hear the stories of some of the nine candidates for Citizenship. No doubt there will be many more stories of the path to Citizenship to be listened to as my year progresses.
2nd April 2016 - Declaration Ceremony at Mostyn Hall.
I was delighted that Lord Gregory Mostyn opened his home Mostyn Hall for my Declaration ceremony on the 2nd April. The origins of the Hall and its occupancy by the Mostyn family date back to the 14th century and it provided a beautiful and welcoming venue for the occasion.
I was honoured by the attendance of the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd Mr Harry Fetherstonhaugh OBE and Judges Rhys Rowlands and Roger Dutton. Magistrate Mrs Julia Nash witnessed my signing of the Declaration and in attendance were Mrs Janet Evans my predecessor High Sheriff and my Under Sheriff Mr Henry Wilson.
My thanks is due to the many family and friends who travelled from throughout the U.K and from overseas to share in the occasion with me; and also to the guard of honour provided by the Sea and Royal Marine Cadets from T.S. Tucan at Connahs Quay. I’m also indebted to the staff of Mostyn Hall who provided such a wonderful service at the post-Declaration reception.
here to view the Clwyd News published in the Summer 2014
edition of The High Sheriff magazine