Rhuthun 1998 - 2004
Our second Medieval banquet at Ruthin Castle - Pierre and Marie-Claire Guezennec were crowned Baron and Baroness
As our contribution to the 1999 Rhuthun Festival we arranged for Bagad Brieg to participate and, as always, they were much appreciated by a very large gathering on the square. Having welcomed them with a meal at the Rugby Club on the Thursday evening we laid on various diversions for Friday. Llysfasi College kindly entertained them in the morning and gave them lunch. They had a trip on the Llangollen Railway in the afternoon, having first performed on the platform at Llangollen. Then in the evening those who felt so inclined had the opportunity to attend the concert at Capel y Tabernacl. After Saturday's festivities and before a very late departure for home the Castle Hotel did them proud with a buffet supper. Once again a sincere thank you to all who helped to make the Bagad's visit a success, especially those of you who gave them accommodation. Being the holiday period it was quite a problem finding homes for them all and many of you put yourselves to considerable trouble. Thanks again!
At the end of May almost 50 visitors from Briec came to stay in Rhuthun. Unfortunately, as usual, the visit was brief from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon but a lot was done in that time.On the first afternoon those visitors who were not familiar with Rhuthun went on a guided tour of the town whilst the others visited Llysfasi. Then the guests and hosts had dinner together and the rest of the evening. Although they had spent the previous night at sea several of them had the energy to visit local taverns - you can't keep a good Breton down.
The next day was spent in Snowdonia.The tour around the electric powwer station Donorwig under Electric Mountain made a strong impact oln our visitors. The meal in Llanberis was not a good advertisement for local cooking but the sun was shining on the way home and the brilliant views of the mountains and the blue sea (yes blue!) made up for the food that was less than 'gastronomique'. There was scarsely time to shower and change before we were off to the Town Hall for a Breton evening. The doors were open for the people of the town to come and enjoy cider and 'crempog' (pancakes) prepared by our guests on utencils that they had brought all the way from Briec. Houndreds came to try the food and a large number stayed tojoin in the dancing. We had Breton dancing lead by Sklerigen Glas and Welsh dancing under the able leadership of Ann Lloyd. This night will be known for many a years as the 'night of a thousand crempogs'.
Sunday was free for people to relax apart from the members of the two committees who held a joint meeting to plan for next year. The our guests and a number of hosts had a farewell meal in Ruthin Castle before they left for home. The general concensus was that the visit was a great success and enjoyed by all.
In September 2002 it was the turn of a Briec party to visit us. No problem fínding things for them to do. They said they wanted to walk and walk they certainly did. We tested them out on Moel Famau. Piece of cake! Hardly a pause to take in the view then on to Cilcain for lunch and Loggerheads for tea. On subsequent days we split them into two groups so that the walks could of varied diffîculty; for example while some charged up and down Snowdcai, others did a more leisurely circuit around Beddgelert. This year Ruthin Town Council very kindly gave us a contribution to the Association's funds and we made the most of the opportunity to keep our energetic visitors well fed. All agreed that Ruthin's restaureurs did them proud. The Mayor held a reception and cai the one 'rest day' the County Council generously chipped in with a conducted tour of the Old Gaol complete with buffet lunch. To crown it all we were in the middle of an Indian Summer. Can you still remember it?
As in previous years some young people crossed the Channel in each direction for a short work experience - three from Briec and one from Ruthin. Also pen-friend relationships have blossomed among fifth year pupils at Ruthin's primary schools. This is a particularly welcome development, which we hope will lead to links being established between whole faniilies and a consequent broadening of our overall twinning relationship.
For the walkers from Briec, the highlight was the ascent of Snowdon by the Pyg track, descending Bwlch Main and the lower Watkin path to Nant Gwynant.
This year it was Briec's turn to visit us and a party of 45 people from Briec, including the Mayor and 25 who were visiting Rhuthun for the first time duly arrived at Canolfan Awelon on the evening of Wednesday, 19 May. They were welcomed by Gruff Hughes, the Chairman of the Ruthin Twinning Association, and enjoyed light refreshments before meeting their hosts for the next four nights. The Committee was very pleased that this year we had seven new host families.
On Thursday the party visited Ewe-phoria in Llangwm where they were given a presentation on breeds of sheep, watched a sheep shearing demonstration and saw a sheepdog at work gathering and sorting sheep. This was followed by an excellent meal of Welsh Lamb, of course!! After lunch the party visited the Brenig Reservoir where they had the choice of visiting the exhibition centre or walking across the dam and up to the top end of the lake to meet the coach. A large number chose the second option. On returning to Ruthin the members of the Briec and Rhuthun Committees held a short joint meeting to discuss various aspects of twinning. Evening meals were provided by the hosts.
Friday saw the party leave for a visit to Chirk Castle and gardens where we enjoyed a picnic lunch before taking the coach to Froncysyllte. Again the party was offered the choice of either staying on the coach, walking across the aqueduct and then returning to Llangollen by coach or walking across the aqueduct and then to Llangollen along the canal towpath. This time a smaller number chose to do the walk! Friday evening the committee entertained the party to dinner at Ye Olde Anchor Inn.
On Saturday morning the first time visitors were given a guided walk around Rhuthun before spending the afternoon with their hosts. Saturday evening the party were entertained to a meal and entertainment by Côr Rhuthun at Clawddnewydd. This was the choir's way of thanking the people of Briec for the warm welcome they had received when they visited them last year and it was a fantastic evening.
Following the renaming of a square in Briec last year the Ruthin Committee had arranged with the Town Council and the County Council for the roundabout near the Craft Centre to be officially named the Briec Roundabout by the Mayors of Rhuthun and Briec. This was followed by a Civic Reception by the Mayor of Ruthin and lunch at Ruthin Castle provided by the committee. After lunch the party departed from Ruthin Castle after what everyone agreed was one of the best visits yet by a party from Briec to Rhuthun.
On the return journey across the Channel they met different twinning associations from Brittany that had also been visiting their Welsh partners - Plogonnec (Llandysul), Plonéur-Lanvern (Llandybïe), Plouvien (Tregaron) and Plougastel (??) - and spent some happy time with them in the bar.