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Clwyd

County News

2017/2018

September 2017

28th September
Glyndwr University Court Meeting, Wrexham


In my role as current High Sheriff of Clwyd I was invited to join the University Court to attend their third such meeting which is intended to provide a channel of communication between the University and the wider community it serves. It provides an opportunity for the University to inform attendees of the current and future work of the University and, in turn, it benefits from gaining a better understanding of the needs of the organizations and the interests they represent and establishing a network of critical friends. Membership of the court comprise representation from The Lieutenancy and Shrievalty, AMs and MPs, Faith communities, HE, FE and schools, Public sector organizations, local Government, Business and Industry, the Media, Arts and Creative Industries, the third sector and senior members of the University staff. Both the Chancellor Trevor Jones and the Vice-Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar gave excellent presentations and then opened up the meeting to general debate which was lively and innovative and gave all attendees plenty of food for thought about the future of our thriving community.



26th September
Dangerpoint AGM at North Wales Fire and Rescue Headquarters


This was my second visit to a Trustees meeting and it was very encouraging to see that the Dangerpoint Centre is thriving, ably headed up by Centre ManagerJulie Evans and her fantastic team. Hundreds of schoolchildren from Clwyd, Gwynedd and Cheshire pass through their doors every term and learn about the potential dangers that surround us in the home, workplace and countryside.



26th September
Meeting at Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council


This took place with Chief Executive Office Helen Wilkinson and Dave Evans of North Wales Police who manages the Crimebeat and PACT Trusts to put plans into place for the forthcoming High Sheriff’s Awards Ceremony that will take place on March 16th 2018.

25th September
Meeting with Dr Helen Paterson, CEO of Wrexham CC


I attended a second enjoyable and instructive meeting with Helen who is, sadly, leaving us for pastures new in November. It will be Wrexham’s loss as she has made a major contribution to community and civic life in the area during her 6 years’ tenure.



24th September
Welsh National Opera Concert at St Asaph Cathedral


We were invited by Ruth Evans, Producer for WNO and her wonderful team, to attend the performance of the Magnificat in four different versions, by J S Bach, William Mathias, Paul Mealor and Oliver Tarney. The concert formed part of the 45th North Wales International Music Festival.

The choral singing by the Festival Community Chorus was unbelievably accomplished and brilliant Conductor Robert Guy led a range of hugely talented young musicians in his New Sinfonia Orchestra. Stars from the WNO were Soprano Katy Thomson, Mezzo Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, Tenor Huw Llywelyn and Baritone Dyfed Wyn Evans. An added dimension was brought to the evening by Bishop Gregory Cameron who interviewed Paul Mealor, Oliver Tarney and Rhiannon Mathias about the creative process as part of the concert.

       

22nd September
Citizens Advice Denbighshire AGM


I met Lesley Powell, Chief Executive Officer, of Citizens Advice Denbighshire some months ago and she was kind enough to invite me to address the staff and volunteers at their AGM at the New Pavilion in Rhewl and to present some certificates to those who had gone the extra mile in their work over the past year. I was warmly greeted by Trustee Board Chair, Alastair Morgan, on arrival and it was altogether an extremely enjoyable and informative morning. I was so impressed by the professional and enthusiastic outlook of the whole organization. The staggering sum of £440,000 is the monetary value of the time given by volunteers in the Citizens Advice offices in Denbighshire this year! In all 7054 clients with 8901 enquiries were helped, 360 households were lifted out of fuel poverty and 65 clients facing repossession received help in court. The list goes on.

   

21st September
Crimebeat Meeting, St Asaph


I attended another constructive meeting with my fellow committee members to discuss Crimebeat projects throughout the county in Rhyl, Prestatyn, Abergele, Mold, Holywell, Wrexham and other areas in need of support.




20th September
Royal Visit by The Earl of Wessex, Theatr Clwyd


We were honoured to receive a private visit to Clwyd by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex today. His day comprised visits to Deeside College, Soughton Hall and Theatr Clwyd and I was delighted to attend the latter event together with my husband David. In attendance were the Lord Lieutenant, Harry Fetherstonthaugh, Brian Lloyd, Chair of Flintshire County Council and his wife Jean, David Hanson, MP for Delyn and all the theatre staff, ranging from Tamara Harvey, Artistic Director and Liam Evans-Ford, Executive Director, on the management side to the costume makers and actors who were in practice for forthcoming performances of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Uncle Vanya.



13th September
Wrexham Citizenship Ceremony at the Guildhall


There were a range of new citizens from France, The Philippines, India, Poland and the first candidate ever in Wrexham from Eritrea taking their oaths of allegiance today. Mayor John Pritchard of Wrexham Council and his Mayoress wife Ann were in attendance together with Andy Williams, Deputy Mayor and Ruth Cook, county Registrar.







9th September
Llandudno Citizenship Ceremony


Today’s ceremony took place in the smaller council chamber as there were only three candidates. All originally from the Philippines, they were delightful company and Brian Cossey, the Chair of Conwy County Council, Suzanne Fisher and her deputy Haydn and I chatted to them at length after the official proceedings had taken place to learn about their long journey to becoming British citizens.



7th September
Celebrations to welcome the Commonwealth Games Baton in Flintshire


In April 2018 the Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast, Australia and we were invited to join Flintshire’s celebrations to help raise the profile of the games. Hosted by Colin Everett, Chief Executive Officer of Flintshire County Council and Aaron Shotton, Leader of the Council, we gathered together to welcome The Queen’s Baton at Theatr Clwyd on its relay journey from Buckingham Palace to Australia. The relay will span 388 days, 71 countries and more than 200,000 miles before reaching the Gold Coast.

Many athletes including our very own Jade Jones were in attendance and the air was buzzing with excitement despite the slightly inclement autumn drizzle. Afterwards there were music and refreshments in the Theatre for all attendees.



7th September
Ruthin Citizenship Ceremony


A small but nonetheless just as special ceremony took place today in Ruthin Registry Office for three new British citizens.

2nd September
Freedom Ceremony in Ruthin for the Royal Welsh 1st Battalion


In June 2011 Denbighshire County Council awarded the Freedom of the County to the Royal Welsh Regiment in recognition of the eminent services rendered to the County and for their courage and bravery in the execution of their duty, both at home and overseas. Today the Battalion returned to Denbighshire and marched from the Cenotaph on Wynnstay Road through the streets of Ruthin with a magnificent Parade taking place in the Town Square. It was led by Major James Waters and CSM Stephen Smith and the crowds especially enjoyed watching the Regimental Goat who took pride of place. It was a wonderful atmospheric occasion as the streets were brimming with cheering onlookers.

The inspection took place in front of Councillor Pete Prendergast, Chairman of Denbighshire County Council, Colonel Nick Lock OBE, Colonel of the Regiment’s Representative, Colonel John Williams MC Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, Councillor Jim Bryan, Mayor of Ruthin and Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire County Council. We were all treated to refreshments in the splendid surroundings of the Assembly Rooms at the Town Hall afterwards.

  


July 2017

29th July 2017
Bishop of St Asaph Reception and Charity Performance at St Asaph Cathedral

Our host for this glorious event was The Right Reverend Dr Gregory Cameron who invited my husband David and I amongst many others to a Reception and Opera Through the Ages Charity performance to benefit the foundation and work of The Guardians of St Asaph and St Kentigern Hospice Others present included Lord Barry Jones and his wife, Lady Janet Jones, MP David Jones and his wife Sarah and previous High Sheriffs of Clwyd, David Meredith-Jones and Jim O’Toole.

We were treated to a wonderful production, arranged by Conductor John Hosking who lead the two solo Sopranos, Helena Leonard and Olivia Hunt, the St Asaph Cathedral Voluntary Choir and Graham Eccles on the Organ. The acoustics in the Cathedral are perfect for a performance such as this and it was a really beautiful evening.

The Bishop of St Asaph talked to us about the Guardians who give support to the Cathedral to preserve, maintain and develop its music, heritage and welcome to visitors and raise additional funds for the work of St Kentigern Hospice. I would definitely like to spread the word about their work and encourage others to sign up as members.



29th July 2017
Llandudno Citizenship Ceremony

This was my second visit to Llandudno Town Hall and we welcomed three new British citizens who originally hailed from Germany, South Africa and America. It was a lovely ceremony conducted by County Registrar Suzanne Fisher and her deputy Haydn Oliver. Brian Cossey, Chair or Conwy Borough Council and I were invited to say a few words.



27th July 2017
PACT Meeting, Colwyn Bay

Unfortunately the meeting took place at the same time as the Prince’s Trust Presentation so I had no alternative but to offer my apologies.



27th July 2017
Prince’s Trust Presentation at North Wales Training, Colwyn Bay

I was particularly pleased to be invited to attend the presentation event for the second Team Programme by the Prince’s Trust in Wales as I am supporting this incredibly worthwhile charity during my year of office.

There was an introduction by Adam Gough, Prince’s Trust Team Leader, North Wales Training, followed by very personal and moving words delivered by three of the young people who had completed the course. This was an opportunity to find out what activities the learners had carried out, how they have developed as a team and individuals and to celebrate their success. All the participants then received their certificates that were presented by Ash Dykes, explorer and extreme athlete.

  

23rd July 2017
Civic Ceremony for Chair of Flintshire County Council

My husband and I were invited to attend the civic service for Councillor Brian Lloyd, Chairman of Flintshire County Council at the majestic St Mary’s Church in Mold. Chief Executive of Flintshire County Council, Mr Colin Everett, read the first lesson and The Rt Hon Lord Jones read the second. The memorable service was conducted by the Reverend Kevin Horswell, Vicar of Mold.



20th July 2017
Ruthin Citizenship Ceremony

This was my second ceremony in Ruthin and was attended by Pete Prendergast, Chair of Denbighshire County Council together with the Deputy Registrar and her assistant. Two people swore their oaths of allegiance to Queen and Country on this occasion, one originally from France and the other from Bangladesh.



17th July 2017
Visit to Ysgol y Grango, Wrexham

Dave Evans, Crimebeat/PACT Project Manager and I visited the school to make a presentation on behalf of Crimebeat to 7 young people who have distinguished themselves on the Attendance Programme which involved Youth Work in Education, Wrexham Football Club and the Youth Justice System. The recipients of the awards benefited from the programme by developing a more positive attitude towards learning and achieving and their school attendance record improved significantly. Dave and I were welcomed by Head Teacher, Stephen Garthwaite, PC Kim Jones, the School Community Police Officer, Debra Kennedy, Youth Worker and Julia Williams, Attendance Officer together with the school librarian and family members of the award winners.

  

14th July 2017
Garden Party hosted by The High Sheriff of Herefordshire

We were invited by The Reverend Lady Lisvane, High Sheriff of Herefordshire and her husband Lord Lisvane to a gathering of other High Sheriffs and local friends and family in their beautiful garden in Blakemere. It was wonderful to see Sue Thompson High Sheriff of Powys, Stephen Betts High Sheriff of Worcestershire, Andrew Tabor High Sheriff of Gloucestershire and their other halves again and to meet Mark Davies High Sheriff of Warwickshire for the first time.

14th July 2017
Summer Tour by HRH The Prince of Wales to Clwyd

As part of the civic line-up my husband David and I were invited to attend the two venues in Clwyd that His Royal Highness was visiting during his annual Visit Wales week. Our first port of call was the splendid HQ of Call Centre Moneypenny in Wrexham. In attendance, was Lloyd Fitzhugh, Deputy Lord Lieutenant, AM Leslie Griffiths, Councillor John Pritchard, Mayor of Wrexham Council and his wife Mrs Ann Pritchard, Edward Reeves and Rachel Clacher, co-founders of this hugely successful company, the MD Joanna Swash and numerous Moneypenny employees. The Prince was enthusiastically received by flag-waving schoolchildren along the route from car to entrance.



A quick dash westwards along the A55 took us to our next destination at Llaeth-y-Llan, near Henllan on the Denbighshire/Conwy border where we were royally entertained, in every sense, by Gareth and Falmai Roberts and their family who have built up a thriving yoghurt-making business on their dairy farm over several decades since 1980. His Royal Highness was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, Henry Fetherstonhaugh, and given a tour of the new production facility. The pupils of Llannefydd Junior School sang Welsh songs with gusto and waved their flags and those in attendance included the Right Honourable David Jones MP for Clwyd West, Darren Millar AM for Clwyd West, Brian Cossey Chair of Conwy Council, many staff on the production, accounts, transport and quality sides of the dairy together with numerous family friends and local villagers. A veritable feast of home-made sandwiches, cakes and scones were enjoyed by us all. The prince then departed by helicopter to RAF Valley in Anglesey.

  

13th July 2017
Dinner with Mr Justice Lewis, Presiding Judge of the Welsh Circuit.

My husband David and I were delighted to meet Mr Justice Lewis in Chester. Our original date of 11th July was postponed because the murder case in Mold Crown Court he was overseeing came to an earlier end than expected and the detailed summing-up needed to be prepared. The jury had reached their verdict earlier that day and it was incredibly interesting to learn about the results of the case.

12th July 2017
Visit to Berwyn Prison

The High Sheriff Chaplain Reverend Philip Chew and I were invited to tour the new prison by Superintendent Jason Devenport who is seconded to the prison from North Wales Police and to meet Russ Trent, the inspirational Governor, who is doing sterling work to support the men during their sentences and to create the best rehabilitation opportunities possible. He believes the unique environment at Berwyn will give the men a chance to turn their lives around and therefore reduce crime in the community.



We toured the Visits Hall, the Men’s Reception Area, Coleg Berwyn (in partnership with Novus Cambria) the Kitchen, Ogwen House and the Multi Faith Centre. I was particularly interested to meet Sian Rowlands, Assistant Librarian and to talk to her about books provision, both print and audio, and to see the wide range of materials available in the well-used and modern library. There are plans to expand the area as it is so popular which is very good news. I am very grateful indeed to Jason for giving us so much of his time and for answering our numerous questions in such detail. His enthusiasm and commitment to the job are truly admirable.

12th July 2017
Citizenship Ceremony, Wrexham Guildhall

I attended my second ceremony in Wrexham and was warmly greeted by the Mayor and Mayoress of Wrexham Council, John and Ann Pritchard and Ruth Cooke, county Registrar and her able team. I was pleased to meet Andy Williams, Deputy Mayor, for the first time and to hear about his day job with Wrexham Fire Brigade and his voluntary work as a first responder. We welcomed two families as new British citizens and, as always, it was particularly pleasing to see how much the children enjoyed the ceremony.



4th July 2017
Visit to meet a group of police cadets at Llandrillo College




As part of the High Sheriff’s Crimebeat project we funded a team-building/leadership weekend camp at Tatton Park Scout Campus in Cheshire on 14th, 15th and 16th July and I was invited by West Conwy Cadet Leader, PCSO Chris Perkins, to meet a group of the police cadets who will be attending camp and to hear a fascinating talk and slide show about mountain rescue from the leader of Ogwen Valley Search & Rescue.



3rd July 2017
Chairman of Denbighshire County Council’s Sponsored Concert at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod

My husband David and I were invited to the 70th Anniversary Opening Concert by Councillor Pete Prendergast, Chairman of Denbighshire County Council. We attended the drinks reception in the Royal Pavilion prior to the concert and had the privilege of hearing Terry Waite CBE speak about how individuals and choirs have come together from all parts of the word to sing, dance and perform and in so doing have brought a message of peace and harmony to thousands over the past 70 years.



The glorious uplifting concert was a celebration of brass and voices under the leadership of Conductor OwainArwel Hughes CBE and the musicians included Soprano MeinirWyn Roberts, Euphonium Soloist David Childs, the world class Cory Brass Band together with the Canoldir, Fron, Rhos and Colne Valley Male Voice Choirs. It was a really wonderful and memorable evening.

3rd July 2017
Visit to Mold Crown Court

I was invited by Mr Justice Lewis, Presiding Judge of the Wales Circuit, to sit with him to observe proceedings in the trial of Stephen Hough. The case largely hinged on new DNA evidence that had come to light since 1976 when the crime originally took place. We listened to the evidence of a number of scientists about the collection, labelling and storage of DNA and it was a fascinating morning for me. I was very grateful to His Honour for allowing me to join him as it was my first experience of seeing how a High Court works in practice.



June 2017

30th June 2017
RAF Valley Annual Reception, Anglesey

My husband, David, and I went to the very well-attended reception which was hosted in the Officers’ Mess by the Station Commander, Group Captain Nick Tucker-Lowe and other Officers of Royal Air Force Valley. After meeting numerous Air Force crew from the UK and overseas, plus what seemed to be almost the whole of Anglesey’s population, we were entertained by a RAF band from the Midlands who had battled the Friday evening M6 traffic to reach us just in time for the reception. We then enjoyed a majestic march-past.

The work undertaken at RAF Valley is fascinating, in terms of training aircrew and saving lives. All the RAF’s future fast jet combat pilots pass through the Station, flying first the Hawk T Mk2 and then graduating to flying the Tornado, Typhoon and F35 Lightning 11. RAF Valley also supports a training programme for mountainous and maritime operations worldwide.

  

26th June 2017
Meeting with Iwan Davies, CEO of Conwy County Council

We met in the splendid council office in Bodlondeb, overlooking magnificent Conwy Castle. Iwan was the Returning Officer at Clwyd West Count on Election night and it was a pleasure to meet him again to hear all about the important work carried out by the Council in the Conwy area which has its higher share than average of older people hence the ongoing challenge to provide good social care in collaboration with the NHS. Also, I was very interested to learn about some smaller libraries becoming community-run with the help and support of the council to provide not just the usual library services but also help for those who need access to a computer and advice in order to complete complicated application forms and other paperwork.

22nd June 2017
Citizenship Ceremony at Mold

This was my second ceremony at Mold’s historic Llwynegrin Hall and today Brian Lloyd, Chair of Flintshire County Council, Noelle Baston, County Registrar and I welcomed 4 new British citizens whose countries of birth were Australia, Nigeria, and two from Thailand.



21st June 2017
Armed Forces Day and National Reserves Day, County Hall, Ruthin

The Chairman of Denbighshire County Council, Peter Prendergast extended an invitation to Henry Fetherstonhaugh, The Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, myself, a number of senior council members, a serving Royal Navy Reservist whose day job is with the Council and a former Reservist who now works for the council but spent time in the Reserve Army whilst studying at Liverpool University. The Chairman praised the armed forces in this commemorative week, prayers were said and then two flags were raised to celebrate the occasion.

19th June 2017
Luncheon at Cardiff Civil and Family Justice Centre, Cardiff

All 8 High Sheriffs of Wales were invited to attend lunch in Cardiff by His Honour Judge Robert Harrison, the Designated Civil Judge for Wales. The purpose of the gathering was to introduce us to the Senior Civil and Family Court Judges who work in the 17 courts of the Cardiff Civil and Family Justice Centre. In our role as High Sheriffs we entertain the High Court Judges who sit in our own county’s Crown Court but the majority try criminal cases so it was really interesting to meet a wider range of the judiciary. In attendance were Mr Justice Francis, His Honour Judge Andrew Keyser QC (TCC and Mercantile Judge), His Honour Judge MilwynJarman QC (Chancery Judge) and Her Honour Judge Mererid Edwards (Family Circuit Judge) together with District Judge Hywel James (Civil and Family) and District Judge David Crowley (Civil and Family).

My day was made especially memorable as I decided to fly there and back from Valley Airport in Anglesey to Cardiff on the Welsh Government-subsidised service, run by Eastern Airline, and the 40-minute flight each way was the height of luxury with the most spectacular views across the whole of Wales for the entire duration of the flight as the weather was so good.

  

17th June 2017
Armed Forces Day Celebrations, Caernarfon

It was the county of Gwynedd’s turn to highlight and honour the work of our armed forces and my husband, David and I were very pleased to be invited by Gwynedd Council to attend this prestigious event which took place within the medieval town of Caernarfon and the Victoria Dock. First we attended the Drum Head Service in the town square which was led by The Rev Canon Roger Donaldson and The Reverend Marcus Robinson and Her Majesty’s Band of the Royal Marines, Collingwood. The huge crowd was welcomed by Honorary President and former MP, ElfynLlwyd, and we enjoyed the moving service on what proved to be the hottest day of the year so far. The service concluded with the Last Post and a minute’s silence to honour the fallen and then the British and Welsh National Anthems.

As part of Edmund Bailey, the Lord Lieutenant of Gwynedd’s party, we then witnessed the magnificent parade by representatives from all branches of the armed forces from the steps of the castle, followed by more wonderful military band music within the walls of the castle itself. This atmospheric and uplifting spectacle was rounded off by a light lunch at the historic Royal Welsh Yacht Club from where we could view the boat races and general festivities on the front.

Our party also included Professor Sian Hope, High Sheriff of Gwynedd, Cllr Annwen Daniels, Chair of Gwynedd Council, Cllr Ioan Thomas, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Armed Forces and also Mayor of Caernarfon, Dilwyn Williams, Chief Executive of Gwynedd Council, Rear-Admiral Keith Beckett RN, Colonel F S Acton Deputy Commander of the Reserves and Air Commodore Adrian Williams, Air Officer Wales.

   

15th June 2017
The Guildhall, Wrexham County Council, Wrexham

I was invited to meet Dr Helen Paterson, Chief Executive of Wrexham Country Council, at the Council offices to hear about her particular areas of interest and talk about ways in which we could collaborate to further our shared interests in education and help to improve literacy skills among the young people of North-East Wales.

13th June 2017
Schools Visit to Dangerpoint, Talacre, Flintshire

At the invitation of Julie Evans, Manager of this purpose-built safety centre that helps teach children and young people how to stay safe in a variety of different scenarios, Professor Sian Hope, High Sheriff of Gwynedd, and I attended a school session all morning. I had heard marvellous reports about the centre from previous High Sheriffs, including Nick Bankes, one of their keenest supporters but sadly no longer with us. It definitely lived up to expectation and deserves to be far better known not just across Clwyd but further afield in Gwynedd, Cheshire and beyond. Julie and her able team are doing sterling work in preventing all manner of disasters in the home, workplace, school, beaches, sea, rivers, railways and so on. The children enjoyed learning much from the set pieces and from the friendly ‘cartoon’ character K-OS who answered many of their questions in a fun but informative way.

Later that day, Sian and I attended a Trustees’ Meeting for Dangerpoint at the North Wales Fire and Rescue Centre in St Asaph Business Park. There we heard much more about fund-raising efforts for this extremely worthwhile charity.

  

12th June 2017
Denbighshire Volunteers Celebration Event, Ruthin

Following on from my visit to the Naylor Leyland Centre on 5th June, I returned to the office to participate in a gathering of third sector professionals to hear them speak about their amazing work in the community and to celebrate the ongoing work of some wonderful volunteers.



8th June 2017
General Election, Clwyd West Count, Venue Cymru, Llandudno

It is protocol for High Sheriffs to act as Returning Officers at General Elections if they so wish. In this instance, I opted to attend two Counts instead in order to gain a greater knowledge of how the system works. My first visit was to the Clwyd West Count in Llandudno where Iwan Davies, Chief Executive of Conwy Council, was the Returning Officer. Despite his busy schedule he very kindly took time away from his important role to introduce my husband, David and I to some of his key colleagues at the council who were supporting him in ensuring the Count was completed in the most efficient and timely way. I found it very interesting to see a number of marked ballot papers that were placed in various baskets for legal advisers to make the decision as to whether they were spoiled or valid. The Aberconwy Count was under way on the other side of the large hall and there was a dividing line between the two Counts.

  

8th June 2017
Vale of Clwyd Count at Denbigh Leisure Centre

We drove straight from Llandudno to Denbigh and arrived shortly before midnight to be told that the Declaration was likely to take place around 1.30am. We were all anticipating a closely-run competition between the Labour and Conservative candidates and we hoped there would be no need for a re-count. Mohammed Mehmet, Chief Executive of Denbighshire County Council, and his able team of council staff and volunteers did a brilliant job though and the result was duly declared at the anticipated time with Labour’s Chris Ruane edging ahead of Dr James Davies, the Conservation candidate, on this occasion. It was very exciting to watch a live Declaration for the first time.

  

7th June 2017
High Sheriffs’ Dinner at the Inner Temple, London

All 55 serving High Sheriffs of England and Wales and their partners were invited to dinner at the historic Inner Temple by the Treasurer, David Pittaway QC. The dinner was preceded by Choral Evensong in the Temple Church with the most wonderful music provided by The Temple Church Choir and Roger Sayer, their Director of Music. My consort for the evening was my daughter, Eleanor, a family law barrister, who is a tenant at Harcourt Chambers, a stone’s throw from Temple Church and Inner Temple. She herself is a member of Gray’s Inn so she enjoyed the visit to another Inn as a guest. The 8 Welsh High Sheriffs were all in attendance and we were able to congregate together for a few group photographs before being ushered into dinner.

  

5th June 2017
Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council, Ruthin

I was asked to a stunning photographic exhibition entitled ‘We Can….’ at the Naylor Leyland Centre in Ruthin by Helen Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer of Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council. The aim of the project was to encourage people to look at the person behind various conditions and to break down barriers and ultimately reduce isolation and fear of the unknown. Each person who took part has a learning disability and all are studying at college in the hope of one day finding employment. This was one of a number of varied events which formed part of the Volunteers Week celebrations.

  

1st June 2017
Youth Volunteering Awards Presentation at Ruthin School

I was invited by Gerry Frobisher, the Youth Lead Volunteering and Wellbeing Development Officer at Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council, who is also the Mayor of Prestatyn, to attend and present certificates at this event together with Roy Tickle, the Mayor of Denbigh, Jim Bryan, the Mayor of Ruthin and Peter Prendergast, Chair of Denbigh County Council. Unfortunately I was unable to attend a further event to celebrate the work of young volunteers at YsgolClawdd Offa Prestatyn the following evening. Thursday’s event was extremely well attended by the students who had carried out thousands of hours between them of community and school-based volunteering and many of their friends and family.



May 2017

31st May 2017
CYAST (Children and Youth Adult Support Team)Meeting at Greenfield Business Centre, Holywell


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, Crimebeat. 

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 Flintshire.



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 Wrexham.

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 Clwyd.

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.


April 2017

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.

 


2016/2017

March 2017

31st March
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.



29th March
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 Llandudno.



18th March
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.



17th March
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". 



15th March
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. 



15th March
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.



13th March
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.



10th March
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).



9th March
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. 



9th March
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. 



3rd March
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.

2nd March
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.


February 2017

28th February
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.

26th February
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.



19th February.
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.



9th February
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. 



9th February 
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



1st February
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.



November 2016

17th November
It was the turn of Flintshire to hold a Citizenship Ceremony at Llynegrin Hall in Mold when seven Candidates attended to become British Citizens.

16th November
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.

16th November
I again participated in a Citizenship Ceremony held at the Civic Centre in the town of Wrexham. Seven Candidates attended the ceremony.

12th November
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.


10th November
The town of Ruthin in Denbighshire was the venue for another Citizenship Ceremony in which I participated.

6th November
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.



5th November
I participated in a Citizenship Ceremony at Llandudno where seven candidates for British Citizenship swore their allegiance.


October 2016

29th October
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!



28th October
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.


27th October
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 cybercrime.



27th October
I attended a celebratory dinner for newly appointed Honorary Fellows of Glyndwr University in Wrexham.
23rd October
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.

26th October
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.





1st October
I participated in a Citizenship Ceremony at Llandudno Town Hall when seven people, including a family of four from South Africa became British Citizens. 


September 2016

28th September
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.



25th September
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.

22nd September
I again attended a Citizenship ceremony atLlynegrin Hall Mold in Flintshire when 8 people swore their allegiance and became British Citizens.

13th September.
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.



10th September
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!



9th September
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.



8th September
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.



2nd September
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.



4th September
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. 


August 2016

10th August
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.



13th August
I participated in another Citizenship ceremony at Llandudno. On this occasion there were seven Candidates for Citizenship. 


14th August
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!



18th August
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!



24th August
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.



July 2016

2nd July
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!




3rd July
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.



5th July
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.



7th July
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.



13th July
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!

13th July
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. 



14th July
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.


16th July 
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. 



18th July
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.



23rd July
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.



28th July
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.



June 2016

9th June
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.



11th June 
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. 



11th June 
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! 



12th June
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.



15th June
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.



18th June 
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.



19th June
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.



20th June 
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. 



21st June 
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 Dangerpoint. 



23rd June
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.

 


May 2016

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 millimetre!



11th May
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.



12th May
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!



13th May 
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.



19th May 
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.



25th May
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).


April 2016

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.



Click here to view the Clwyd News published in the Summer 2017 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

Click here to view the Clwyd News published in the Summer 2014 edition of The High Sheriff magazine 

 

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