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Friday, June 29, 2007

What I expect from Gordon Brown

To stop the closure of the proposed 2500 Post Offices.
The Treasury over which he had/has control must have pressurized for this decision to be taking place.

Postscript. Not very confident in his talk on Security Alert Upgrade. A million miles from TB. Lisa suggests a visit to Suzanne and Trinny. TB wore some awful ties and collars though. Why don't Labour Prime Ministers get the professionals in for grooming. TB's final interview with Will Hutton was class. To be shown on Channel 4.

Colin Bithell CC for Penyffordd in The Chronicle

In the This Week 25 years ago section. Newly elected Alyn and Deeside Chairman Colin Bithell said he would go to Japan in a last ditch attempt to woo Datsun to the area.

I've been having problems getting him to look at 2000 speeding drivers at the bottom of the road.
I expect a more positive approach by Colin if current traffic calming plans fail to stem the speeders in Chester Rd, Penyffordd which is a quarter of a mile from his quiet cul de sac.

postscript: We have Toyota best car manufacturer locally
Datsun continues to struggle.
The world of Car Manufacturers continues to Shrink.
Ford and General Motors struggling.
Daimler give away Chrysler.
Who is next?

Mark Tami MP Protests at Huge Folly - The Jubilee Tower below is an Alternative Proposal

Click here for its history
Click here for more history
Click here for further. (free pdf reader required)
Click here
or Here

A giant postcard is being proposed at the entrance to Wales. Lottery money being wasted again, my comment. Mark Tami MP suggests an alternative. The rebuilding of Moel Fammau Jubilee Tower. This is an excellent proposal. When away from home the 1st landmark I look for on my return is the peak of Moel Fammau.
Some might think this article a toadying up to my MP. I do however share his distaste along with other local people for the proposed post card.

More Money poured into Flint

I see we have no money for anything, a struggle to get traffic calming but Flint gets whatever it wants. Dave Falkner in the paper, the Acting Environment Director announcing environmental improvements. What about Penyffordd Dave? We have a speeding traffic noise issue, is that not part of our environment?

Living in Wales our nearest Hospital in England

This was always going to happen. The splitting up of UK. The Chronicle leads with a row over Welsh patients getting second class treatment at The Countess of Chester Hospital.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Have This Friend

My friends are few, probably my fault.
My friendship filter has nothing to do with position or stature.
He is South African.
He commands a very good position after struggle.
An expert in human beings, a Human Resources Director for a large European Company.

I occasionally apologise for my country's abuse of his fellow South African's.
We let in Romanian and Albanian Mafia without a hesitation.
Ex colonies have to jump through big hoops
Witness the recent Gurka incident.

I am embarrassed by my Country's continued bad manners.

Saturday it is Golf

Please do not put me in "The Golfer" box, I do not fit.

We are out 7.10 am, the weather outlook is awful, more of Monday.

His enthusiasm to play will be the same as normal.

Mine is one of being dragged out to play

By the 5th I will be thanking him for making me play.............................

The world needs 1,000,000's more like him instead of the millions of people who end up as sad emotional cripples who are unable to greet their fellow human beings with a smile and a hello.
They are sad........
Education needs to change.

To The Penyffordd Wine Society

James Martin's Strawberry Cake
Takes 5 minutes to make.

Lisa roasting the Sunflower Seeds

From nearest to farthest. Nigella's Nuts, Sunflower Seeds,
Olives and Peppadew Peppers and Jamie Oliver's Chocolate Pots.

Lisa is doing a demonstration of cooking small nibbles for social do's. She has prepared food over the previous day. There is a mix up over the opening of The Institute. We stand around chatting in an unseasonable cool wind outside. Colin has foolishly come out in a tee shirt after all its the hottest time of the year.

After a phone call that gets the "we don't have to open The Institute tonight line" there's a back down and Tony comes down. Its 15 minutes until we have the door open from turning up. Attendance tonight is in the vicinity of 20. We have 2 new members Tony and Jo, a couple from Penymynydd Rd. We are about 8 people short due to various commitments. One of our members Richard is in hospital in Belgium after a heart attack and open heart surgery. He is recovering. We are thinking of you Richard and Pauline.

Lisa and myself are doing a "Fanny and Johnny Craddock number". Everything is laid out.

We are a wine club but don't limit our evenings to everything wine.

On the menu :-
1. Nuts, done on telly by Nigella Lawson. They are served in The Union Square Cafe in New York
2. Sunflower seeds as done by our yoga teacher when we have been on a week retreat
to Bardsey Island. The sunflower seeds are lightly roasted in a pan until starting to brown then sprinkled with Tamari. An understatement to say they are moorish.
Members were asking where thay could get tamari . (Mold Health Food Shop on Earl Road)
3. Posh Olives, Olives with a twist.
4. Jamie Oliver's Chocolate Pots
5. James Martin's Strawberry Cake
and finally
6. Limoncello as done by James Martin.

During the demonstration light relief is obtained by Mandy doing naughty jokes.
Also gentle banter from Norman.

After the demonstration a few sandwiches and the nibbles. The Nuts, Sunflower Seeds and The Limoncello quickly go as does the James Martin's Strawberry Cake.

Norman has bought along a bottle of pineapple wine which he shares with the members. Tony the new member opines that "the nose" smells like "an old door"
The taste is a lot more pleasant once you get past "the old door" and you can certainly taste the pineapples. Its later admitted that the concoction had sherry added during its making.

The evening comes to a gentle close as it is mid week. Everything cleared away leaving the place as we found it. A few stragglers and the Naughty Girl's table the last out as usual.

The most difficult part being locking all the doors and having all the lights with all the heating off.

There are various "gottchas" that are guaranteed a next morning phone call.

Not all the switches in the fuse box have lights working when on, so each individual switch has to be carefully checked, all 20 of them. The central heating thermostat. members who have left coats like Hazel last night.

The kitchen light you switch off, you close the door at your peril. All the lights in the fuse box, all pointing to off ensures the light comes back on. These things you learn after "the next morning phone call"

We have also been "advised" to kick the front door
once its locked just to check its locked properly.

We don't do this as we don't want Tony Sharp's men paying a visit about drinks and noise. So we give it a gentle push.

All these things to trick you after 3 glasses of wine..................

Next Month. A Summer Barbecue on the edge of Dobshill Woods at Richard and Chris'

New members invited from Penyffordd District and Beyond to join The Penyffordd Wine Society.
Subscriptions £15 per year plus supplements for special events. Meetings normally last Wednesday in every month.
Also special days out to such places as Ludlow Food Festival, Chatsworth Country Fair and The Good Food Show at the NEC. In the past The Society has even traveled to France to visit vineyards.

Email The Penyffordd Blogger for more detail at

Peace reigns within the society................................

Bardsey Island
Nigella's Nuts
Sunflower Seeds
Chocolate Pots
Strawberry Cake

The Sparrow Hawk

To Llangollen again, twice in a week. This time the weather sunny. The Sparrow Hawk looks out of the Taxidermist's window at holiday makers on the bridge. Our garden is in the territory of a local sparrow hawk. They are not much larger than a blackbird. Their prey includes rock doves which are a larger bird.

Traffic Calming - Progress through our MP Mark Tami

Dear Mark
Thank you for the letter. The House of Commons envelope always impresses the Post Man who I think is having the day off tomorrow. (Post Man National Strike) I thank Flintshire Highways for their current efforts.
I hope Flintshire County Council will take the brakes off their reluctance to have 20mph Compulsory speed limits. We are surrounded with Counties that have have them. Merseyside, Cheshire and Wrexham.

Flintshire Highways are The Professionals myself the amateur. I will watch their efforts with interest.

I feel a Platform at the 30 mph speed limit all the way across is the best solution to stopping traffic BOTH ways. Speeding into the village and out. That part of Chester Road is a 50 - 60 mph regular occurence.

An analysis after the current efforts have been installed perhaps with Hugh Jones's magic box?

I thank you for your continued efforts in helping to keep Chester Road, Penyffordd as a Welsh Rural village environment with a By- Pass.

regards Colin

Idiot Rat Runner puts Penyffordd Horse Woman in Mortal Danger

Penyffordd Horse Woman looks down in disbelief.

A Letter I should have sent to Tarmac

cc. Councillors, Flintshire County Council, Arrive Alive, North Wales Police, Welsh Assembly, Evening Leader.

Dear Sirs,

I live in a small Welsh village near the English border. We have a purpose built By-Pass for passing traffic.
However we have your 20 ton lorries full of aggregate roaring through our quiet village at full throttle. You can appreciate that one of your lorries fully laden at full acceleration produces horrendous noise and is a danger to children, horses and OAP's in the centre of our village. (Chester Rd)

I and other members of Chester Rd Penyffordd would wish your company to become a Friend of Penyffordd with Castle Cement, Alan Morris and Springfield Building Supplies who do not use our village as a short cut.

Can you advise your local depot to use the By Pass please.

kindest regards Colin Hughes

Postscript. Or was it a Tarmac lorry.....................................................

Impatient with the Traffic Calming Plans for Chester Rd Penyffordd

A sunny morning if slightly cool. Last night at 11.00pm in a tee shirt felt like winter. This mornings rat run mostly over. I wonder whether my community councillors and county councillors who mostly live up quiet cul de sacs are up to the job.

Also from where I am sitting neither do Mark Tami MP, Carl Sargeant AM, Flintshire County Council, Arrive Alive or North Wales Police shine.

Take Rossett village , traffic sorted proper.

postscript . Mark Tami 's letter drops through letter box after lunch....................

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Big Als Limos

Big Als Limos. Click here.

ICWales Logo

Penyffordd History

Penyffordd Village in 1871

Best to start at the beginning. Can't start off with "Big Bang" so we will start with the Geology of North Wales. Flintshire is made up of Millstone Grits and Coal Measures.

Fuzzy Mutts of Penyffordd

Bound for Penyffordd Post Office Noticeboard

My thanks to Mary of the Post Office, one of Penyffordd's
nice people.

From Llangollen to the Back of Wrexham - The Short Cut

On Monday we took a shortcut past Bangor on Dee which was a bad move. BOD should be avoided when we have lots of rain. I think its got what's called a flood plain, a bad place to build houses or roads at land level. If I bought a flat near the roundabout in Mold I think I would plump for the top floor. Of course these flash floods are a symptom of global warming.
How long before denying global warming will give you social exclusion and a possible jail sentence. Has society moved on since Galileo was told to stop telling people the Earth went around The Sun and not vice versa? We shall see.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quote of the Day

"The snake soup was terrific but I am not sure I could eat cockerels'
testicles every day" - Lord Patten reminisces on his days as governor of Hong Kong.

More Glasto Photos

This is what 3 days at Glastonbury does to you. Zane
and Edith who I think are Radio 1 dj's are zombified.
These 2 must have been staying in reasonable
accommodation. Spare a thought for those who stayed
for 4 days in a tent in a bog. Mud up to the knees
and a final big soaking on the final night.
Work next day? I think not!

Roger Daltrey of The Who

Pete Townsend was his normal brilliant best. Seems to
have recovered from this Internet Research issues.
Baba O'Reilly and Won't Get Fooled Again refuse to
become dated.
It was good to see Pete's brother playing with the band.
He has lived in his brothers shadow forever.

Roger Daltrey's voice was well below his best.
The Who had played the previous day at Knowsley. I have a friend
whose son is part of a group that played Knowsley as a
supporting band. Two of their parents stumped up
£2500 each for the privilege of being a support band for
two evenings. Its tough to break through..................

A little mud wresting for fans standing in the mud.
The lady won.

The man himself in between puffs on his cigarette.

Kate Moss watching Pete Doherty, Baby Shambles.

Nice legs....... Rufus Wainright

Our duck enjoying the wet weather yesterday

The view from out my office window. The duck is plastic......

Chester Rd Penyffordd Commercial Speeder Award Today

Goes to : -

Palmer & Harvey and Arriva Bus Company ( Mold Bus)
Both at about 13.10 hrs doing 40 - 50 mph in our 30mph village.

Penyffordd Woman Drink Drive

In The Evening Leader. A woman crashes her car at the Church, Penymynydd Rd, Penyffordd goes home then phones up the Police up to admit it. They come straight around give her a Breathalyser and she is more than twice the limit. Reported to have had a glass of wine after accident to steady nerves. Over twice the limit, I think it was over a bottle..........

I think a better course of action would have been to not call the Police, buy a Breathalyser on EBAY and don't drive the car when over the limit. Or Click here. Twenty months off the road, this will be a time to see how many proper friends this lady has. The wheat from the chaff will be well sorted.

Not wishing to bite the hand that feeds but that last time I looked which was yesterday the Church was in Penymynydd NOT Penyffordd.
A common complaint made by many. I live in X Penymynydd Rd, Penyffordd, there is also X Penymynydd Rd, Penymynydd!

Talking of Penymynydd Rd, Penymynydd which perhaps the above lady should not have been driving in, not a lot of people in Penyffordd and Penymynydd know that the road above is Limited Access, Local motorists who do not live in that part of the road use it as a short cut. The shift workers race up there at 6.00 am in the morning, its a confined space and it is very noisy. Later on at 8.30 - 9.00am it is used as a route to school for Penymynydd Primary School, its a narrow lane. Motorists use this as a short cut because Penymynydd Roundabout gets blocked with traffic going to work (Its not fit for purpose)
The speeding motorists (robots) and walking children in a confined lane are not a good mixture.

Penyffordd Community Council after pressure from that part of the community have directed the Police to use their powers to prosecute the short cutters. Its going to be a £60 fine villagers!

Meanwhile the local rat run at full pace here at Chester Rd, Penyffordd. Charles Hughes and his Highways Team continue their plans for traffic calming for our Welsh Rural village. I keep mentioning the rural village bit as the Welsh Assembly has decreed under Welsh Law that we are to be protected. More about that again.

Our Blood Pressure Monitor bought on EBAY arrives

Last night we both tried out our new purchase. We were looking at the old fashioned mercury ones they are around on EBAY. In the end we chose a digital one for the upper arm which are more accurate than the wrist variety. About £20 post paid.

The bad news is we both have mild hypertension.
Must be the speeding traffic or the red wine...............
Do I have a human rights issue?
Should I get in touch with Klaus...............?

We tried it before reading the instructions and are thinking that the readings will come down when applied as per instructions. I somehow think not. So do we take personal responsibility of our own health or do we book an appointment at the doctors for a bottle of that new wonder drug statins.
More on those later.

False Alarm........................
Readings more normal when instructions followed.
A celebration of the red grape is required.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Listing in the North Wales Index

A big thank you to the North Wales Index for listing The Struggle.
Click here for all things North Wales.

Click here to see where they have put the site.

or below.


Art & Culture
Art, Crafts, Events, History, Languages, Music, Performance, Photography, Spiritual, Theatre and Cinema, Welsh Language, Written

Building & Construction, Business Accommodation, Business Services, Business Supplies, Business Support, Farming & Agriculture, Materials & Manufacturing

Computers & Technology
Computer Sales, Computer Services, Computer Support, Internet

Government Representatives, Local Government, National Government, Political Analysis

Health & Medical
Complementary Therapies, Conventional Medicine, Fitness, Health Products, Health Support & Promotion, Medical Industry & Services

House & Home
Bathroom, Bedroom, Finance, Furniture, Garden, Heating,Lighting & Refrigeration, Home Improvements, Household Electrical, Housework, Kitchen, Moving House, Property, Residents' Groups, Soft Furnishings & Decoration

Leisure & Recreation
Clubs & Societies, Food & Drink, Hobbies & Pastimes, Sport & Activity

Lifestyle & Personal
Adult Sites, Alternative Lifestyles, Babies & Children, Beauty & Makeup, Charities & Voluntary Work, Clothing & Fashion, Community Action, Death & Bereavement, Education & Employment, Elderly People, Finding a Partner, Having a Party or Night Out, Marriage, Personal Improvement, Shopping & Retail, Support & Advice, Tracing Friends & Family

Media & Communication
Internet, Magazines, News, Online Discussion, Publishing, Radio, Telephone & Mobile Phone, Television & Video, Theatre and Cinema, Weather

Natural World
Animals, Conservation, Great Outdoors, Human & Animal, Plantlife

Eating Out, Holiday Accommodation, Tourist Attractions

Transport & Travel
Aircraft, Public Transport, Railway, Road, Transport & Travel Services, Unpowered Transport, Water & Sea Travel

North Wales

Talking to Myself?

If you click on the image you can see how things are progressing. Over 1070 visits, 3188 page views.

Visits from USA, Mexico,South America, Saudi Arabia, Spain, France, Germany, India, Egypt, China and Greece. Plus a few from the UK. Not that those abroad can help me with The Crusade. I suppose The President of The EU could help. I wonder if he has an email address..........................

A Mention in The Evening Leader

Fame at last. A quote in the Leader Blogs. A legend in my own bedroom.
Blogs are theoretically a useful tool for local newspapers like

The Evening Leader.

Click here.

As are newspapers for bloggers who can collect news items on their favoured subjects. The Evening Leader can see the future. Their management team can see which way news is developing.

I must have sent in 10 emails / letters about speeding in Chester Rd to The Chronicle without even a reply.
I know its a boring subject but hey there's been too much Holywell Town centre of late.
I've sent emails to all their reporters. I can see why George Tattum doesn't return emails he's an old fashioned reporter from the 20th Century, George must hate blogs.
In the last email I said give me a reply if only to say I talk pants.

Ms Sly Bailey Chief Executive of Trinity Mirror has an uphill struggle with The Chronicle.
I see Trinity Mirror are buying up Internet Operations every year. That's the way its going Chronicle.
The Evening Leader took 3 minutes to respond to my 1st email.................................

Meanwhile a very wet Chester Rd, Penyffordd is bombarded by the home bound rat run racers.
Flintshire Highways Department continue in their defence of Penyffordd against 2000 daily speeders.

Those Nice Blue Signs..............................

To help protect village communities by the many unthoughtful idiot speeding drivers who's only thought is getting to their destination. We villages don't want you!

Driving Behaviour

Its been pouring down for a while here in Chester Rd, Penyffordd. There will be a good deal of surface water on poorly engineered or poorly maintained roads. A few surprise deep puddles when you come around a corner at speed. I do not have to go out early thank the Lord. How many of you have had tailgaiters or pushers this morning behind you in these poor weather conditions.
Idiots who are too close to the back of your pride and joy which you clean and polish every Sunday
I get Tailgaiters and Pushers everyday. I'm starting a website to report company employees.

Driving manners have declined. I regularly get young women and men tailgaiting me at 60 mph and on their mobiles when I am on an A road with little overtaking capability and 10 vehicles in front.
They drive like playing computer games, close and fast. Your car explodes on the screen and you start again.
A young lady in her car went through a hedge into a pond just a few miles outside the Flintshire border last week probably doing make up or on the mobile at speed.
A very brave young man waded into the pond and levered the door of her car open.
This young lady was very close to not being able to start again.
Arrive Alive, Flintshire County Council and the Chief Constable were quite close to not having their day on the front page.

Arrive Alive's Policy of being Fair to the Driving Public

As the Safety Partnerships have to have Public Support for their commendable traffic calming measures they have rules their operatives have to abide by. There are a couple of websites that hate speed cameras and are calling for a review. They also have photos of camera vans that are in places they perceive to be revenue raising in nature.

It it time to take the gloves off. A public announcement in the local paper pointing out that speeding will be no longer tolerated in say Chester Rd, Penyffordd. Then a blitz of 2 or 3 days by Arrive Alive at Terrace Lane. Photos in the paper. Comments from Mr Jollyhardworker that its so unfair that he is not allowed to go thrashing through our rural village at 50mph to get to work.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Arrive Alive's Criteria for Targeting Speeding Roads and Frequency of Visits

Arrive Alive's Site says

Which roads are targeted?
All routes within the scheme are analysed and are identified as high-risk roads i.e. roads which have a significant number of collisions and casualties and where speeding is a problem. Fixed or mobile safety cameras will then monitor these roads. There are now 61 routes targeted by the Arrive Alive partnership. All these routes are publicised and signed ( No signs Penyffordd or Broughton); all vans and fixed cameras are highly visible and mobile camera locations are publicised on a weekly basis via the local media and this website under the schedule section.

The program is not about raising revenue, it’s about saving lives. Careful drivers who adhere to the speed limits will not fund the scheme; those who are caught exceeding the speed limit will not be stopped, but will be notified by post. All monies raised from the campaign can only go to fund additional cameras; members of the partnership cannot use it for any other purpose other than the Arrive Alive safety camera campaign.

Also this.

Arrive Alive Camera Van Location Schedule

Subject to changes to the guidelines governing Safety Camera Partnerships, weekly schedules will not be available from Arrive Alive from the 7th May 2007. Arrive Alive safety cameras will be deployed widely througout North Wales. Where safety cameras operate there will be permanent or portable camera signs to advise drivers. (not in Penyffordd or Broughton.)

We are here

Vounnog Hill/Chester Rd, Penyffordd
39 mph

I think we have been altered , thank you very much.
I expect we will be added to the new website.
I notice there is an Arrive Alive in South Africa. click here.
Also here in Australia. Click here.
Random cameras for Cumbria under rules change. Click here?
Rules change will allow :-
From today , mobile camera teams will be able to operate on any road and will sometimes work in pairs, with camera vans placed a mile or two apart, to catch drivers who accelerate back over the limit.

Also stated
He said that Cumbria was adopting the new policy after studying research from Queensland, Australia, which showed that random camera deployment was twice as effective at reducing crashes as focusing on well-known sites. A growing number of drivers have satellite positioning systems, which alert them when they are approaching cameras. Cumbria’s random approach means that these systems will no longer be as effective.

Cumbria carried out its own research into how drivers responded to cameras and found that 15 per cent slowed down only briefly at a camera site on a 40mph road.

Are there any Political forces at play on Arrive Alive's Targeted Area?

Traffic Calming Methods for Chester Street, Penyffordd

Proposed Methods ( I think)

1. Zebra Crossing outside the Post Office. If flat same as road will only slow traffic if someone is crossing or wanting to cross, Not Very Good. I presuming we are not having lights.
If it's on a raised platform, Very Good.
Won't go well with The Post Office if more parking space is removed. Perhaps a complete removal of yellow lines as mentioned by Mary. Traffic both sides cuts down the speeders.

2. Pro-Active Sign that warns drivers they are going too fast. To be positioned for traffic coming into the village. Not much good for the morning rat run speeding out of the village. Half Good.

3. Rumble Strips at entrance to village. If same height as Broughton just a token, No Good.
If same as Llandullas Rumble strip and stretching right across the road Good.

4. Extra Speed limit Sign. I think of little effect. No Good.

5. Arrive Alive visits. If once every blue moon, of no effect, No Good.
If stationed at Terrace Lane for 2 mornings on the run 7.15 am to 9.00am. Very Good.

peter black logo

As you can see Shirley does not have any wellies on. (Well she did The Evening Leader has them photo'd). At one point her dress came undone at the back and required assistance. Such favourites as Goldfinger, Light my Fire and Hey Big Spender were sung. The Hey Big Spender routine was class.
On the way home in her chopper there was some heavy weather and her pilot had to land on a school field. Not a favoured mode of transport for me.

Will Chester Road Penyffordd be the casualty to upset Chief Inspector Brunstrom's figures?

Three boys going to Penyffordd primary School last week. Silver BMW speeds past within a yard or two of the boys. It's on the wrong side of the road accelerating.
The second photo shows the boys running across the road between the speeding cars in the rat run.
I have had to do surgery on the images to remove the top of my rose bush. I haven't done "a Reuters Photoshop" like they did on the Lebanon War though.
I have written a letter to the school's Headmistress some time ago. Although sympathetic to my letter she seems little interested in 20 mph zones that most other schools appear to have.

Reproduced here

Mrs Patricia Williams

Penyffordd Junior School

Penymynydd Road, Penyffordd



Dear Mrs Williams,

From the above address (removed) you can see where I live. For the last month I have been trying to make our authorities see sense over the rat run we have through our village at various times of the day. It is getting faster and noisier.

My reasons are the excessive noise and speed. We have a by-pass, we should have a quiet village.

At the moment The Community Council are acting rather sluggish. They have a meeting Wednesday night where I hope a little light will appear.

I have been communicating with our excellent MP Mark Tami and Cindy Hinds CC.

Their details are on my blog

Due to Mark I think, we have had visits from Arriva Live and our also excellent Community PC Ian Millington.

I have witnessed children trying to cross the road in very dangerous circumstances in the last 6 months. On one occasion, 3 children crossing behind the bus at the bus stop.
The sight nearly made my heart stop.

As I mention in my blog in various places we have all the ingredients for a nasty accident. As I work from home and from a purely selfish point of view I do not want to be witness to a child, pensioner or horse getting knocked down.

My blog has started as a personal crusade against the Community Council over their inertia. Perhaps I expect too much in so small a time scale

The blog called Penyffordd and District is all a bit “me” at the moment. I intend to expand it so all people of Penyffordd can use it. I will publish articles on any aspect of Penyffordd life or their hobbies from children, teenagers, adults and pensioners. Articles can be written, photographic or what ever. I can also allow other people to put their own articles on. It will also be a forum on matters Penyffordd.

I am pushing for a 20 mph at Penyffordd junction on Chester Rd, your own input would be extremely welcome and valuable, carrying plenty of weight. Flint, Hope and other schools have advisory 20mph. I would wish to start with this then push for compulsory.
Sincerely Colin


A waste of time....................? The Council have persuaded her ( I think) to fill out a "Route to School" form so we can get money for a crossing outside the Post Office. I should point out I am not wishing for the above scenario just pointing out the possibilities as any Health and Safety Officer doing a risk assessment would. Between 8.30am and 9.00 am when the school children are walking to school many of whom have to cross Chester Rd there will be about a 100 speeding cars and lorries on Chester Rd many reaching 50 mph plus where these little boys are standing.

Postscript: perhaps I have been a little hasty.................................we shall see.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom and Flintshire get good figures

The Chief Constable announces that there have been no road fatalities from June 2006 to June 2007 in Flintshire . Click here.
The figures are very good. He must have been crossing his fingers for the last month.
Those pushing for his early retirement must be a little sad.
The Chief Constable praises Flintshire County Council and their partnership with Arrive Alive.

There is no need to rest on laurels though.

Chester Rd, Penyffordd is currently getting 2000 anti social speeders daily. I think this is happening across North Wales. Arrive Alive get one new enquiry a day which they are incapable of dealing with due to having no resources.
Arrive Alive have neither the manpower nor the money to deal with this problem. Neither do North Wales Police.

A new partnership between Arrive Alive and North Wales villages and communities needs to formed.

The cheapest option is a Hidden Speed Camera Initiative for villages.

A new road sign at the entrance to villages for those who wish to sign up.
Cars will then be more inclined to keep to the proper speed limit for the entire speed limit restriction.

Bikers take out extra Insurance

There will be a Helimed Ride out on June 2nd 2007 to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance. This will come in handy as they race around North Wales at the week ends.

The Grand Canyon Arizona

A platform with a glass floor that projects out over The Grand Canyon. You have to wear special shoes.

Penyffordd Rat Run. A letter from Charles Hughes Head of Engineering Flintshire County Council to my AM Carl Sargeant.

My reply:

Charles Hughes
Head of Engineering
Flintshire County Council

Dear Charles
Thank you for responding to my AM Carl Sargeant's letter which I reproduce above. I remember at the meeting you attended at Penyffordd Institute that you said " These are our roads we can do what we like with them" I hope that is an accurate recall on my behalf.

Its early Saturday morning, already I have had an 80mph motorcycle (100mph going over the hill) and dozens of cars at 50 and 60mph past my house. Chester Road which is in a Welsh Rural village with a speed limit of 30 mph, I mention for my wider audience. The road is straight and fast just what you want for a main road to feed traffic from Scotland and the North of England into Mid Wales.
But I forget we had a By-Pass built for all this passing traffic......................

The fact is Charles as you well know traffic coming up from Broughton (also the proposed A55 Warren Hall exit) will favour for historical and time saving reasons the route through the middle of the village (Chester Rd) as opposed to our purpose built BY-PASS.

Reading between the lines of the excuses made by Flintshire County Council against a Penyffordd objector to UDP Warren Hall Development I think Chester Road has been factored in to support Penyffordd By-Pass and Penymynydd roundabout at peak traffic times.
Chester Road Penyfford a rural village road that has a BY-PASS to remain part of the main traffic network to and from Mid Wales to North England and Scotland?

You say options to stop passing traffic coming through the village are not viable for enforcement reasons.

7.5 TON EXCEPT FOR ACCESS would be a start
. The signs themselves are a deterent to some and I am quite happy to video offenders, take registration numbers for the Police, risking personal injury and damage to my car. I have already stopped one local company from using the village as a short cut, another 200 to go......

As quoted earlier " The roads are ours we can do what we like with them"

You have it within your power to stop most traffic 24/7 from speeding through the village with the use of verticle platforms between the 30 speed limit and The Post Office. Outside The Post Office should be a Compulsory 20 mph Zone its a "Route to School" road.

On to your second point about The Arrive Alive Partnership. Chester Rd, Penyffordd.
Their current actions are of no use whatsoever. If they sit on Terrace Lane from 7.15 to 9.00 am on Monday to Thursday they will be effective. Two or three mornings there on the run would kill the LOCAL speed merchants because they can't accelerate until they get to the speed limit because they would not know the van was there until reaching the speed limit. The main thrust of the Chester Rd Rat Run is from the village outwards towards Broughton. Arrive Alive's current strategy is not effective. If Northop can have Arrive Alive at 7.30 am on a Saturday morning I'm sure they can squeeze us in somewhere. ( I have a feeling politics are at play for getting the van) A block session should modify local vehicle owner behaviour for a good period. Once every blue moon with the "High Profile" bit is just a Public Relation's stunt. Looks good in The Chronicle or The Evening Leader.

As someone who helps to pay your wages and pension I take umbrage over you favouring outsiders over the villagers of Chester Rd, Penyffordd, Flintshire when we have a purpose built BY-PASS.

My final point to repeat is that you are favouring your County Road Network over Penyffordd Chester Road residents who daily have to put up with 2800 vehicles including loud lorries, pollution and dangerous speeding on a school route. I have been to Cheshire, Wrexham and Merseyside recently, all of whom have 20 mph compulsory zones.

You will of course have done projections for the vastly increased traffic levels for Chester Rd, Penyffordd after Warren Hall A55 exit and the Warren Hall Development. I think our Councillors should be shown your figures.

It is your duty under the latest Welsh Goverment Legislation to protect our Welsh rural village environment from our daily environmental insult. I await your department's traffic calming measures with interest.

Yours sincerely

Colin Hughes

ps. The Welsh Assembly's plans for the "improvement" to the A55 road network at Warren Hall may relieve traffic in Broughton. The new link will not be an improvement at all for Chester Rd, Penyffordd residents. The Welsh Assembly should pay for methods to protect our village from the coming vehicular deluge.

pps. An Arrive Alive sign at the entrance to the village from Broughton as mention we should have on their website would help. One of those nice light blue reflective POLICE SPEED CHECK AREA would be a good efficient investment of Public Money for Chester Rd, Penyffordd

Friday, June 22, 2007

Acting Chief whatever

Flintshire County Council has a couple of "acting" directors at the moment. One supposes that they are like a juggler with the spinning plates wobbling on sticks. Just keep every thing going. I see we may have a new Chief Executive shortly.............

Calculate your Carbon Footprint

Go here.

welsh political news

Penyffordd's Daily Traffic Assault in Full Flow 8.30 am

Roll on Warren Hall A55 Exit and The Warren Hall Development.
Penyffordd and its elected representatives sleep on ..............
Warren Hall will double or treble the current 2800 vehicles a day.
Over 1,000,000 cars and lorries at present.
Penyffordd a rural village sacrificed for Flintshire County Council's jewel in the Crown, Warren Hall?.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Welsh Assembly Plenary Proceedings

To Rhos-on-Sea

Where its a bit cold. Its the the longest day of the year, must be Global Warming. Give the scientists some more money.
Petrol is £1.06 a litre and the Colwyn Bay Pier is falling down. A case for compulsory purchase if privately owned or done up if owned by the Council. Perhaps there are plans afoot. The construction is an asset to the area.
On the way back we see that Hotel 70 degrees on the cliff has already fell down, helped by a builder's bulldozer. What a site for a single penthouse..................

A Letter to Carl Sargeant with regards to Traffic Calming for Penyffordd

Carl Sargeant AM
Welsh Assembly

Dear Carl
Hope you and your family are well and that you are finding your new role in The Welsh Assembly fullfilling.
Can you get someone to give FCC a poke to see where we are up to and what we are having.
At the moment I have heard nothing about calming from middle to out of village
This is a BIG bugbear. Many many cars and lorries and buses accelerate at full
power from the Post Office to out of the village as well as piling into the village.
I have emailed Charles Hughes (Head of Engineering) he is a bit shy in replying. :) He is most probably too busy.
An email reply is fine but the Postman is very impressed by the flow of Welsh Assembly and House of Commons envelopes. Soon perhaps to be joined by EU envelopes. :)

regards Colin

ps. in my opinion any system that does not stop cars doing over 30 mph, ie verticle platforms or doesn't give out speeding points is just a token.

pps I intend campaigning for 20 mph COMPULSORY outside the Post Office and for other villages in Flintshire. Wrexham have them everywhere.

cc: to website

Broadband Connection Blues

The BT Broadband has been down all morning. It went off some time 3 or 4 am. The little green light flashing forever as it tries to synchronise with BT's servers. We have been down this road before, last time it took 12 weeks to sort. We have a business connection, you pay more you are supposed to get better service. Since we have a business on The Internet we have to have a connection. Although at our level a couple of visits to an Internet Cafe a day would keep us going.
Last time it was an intermittent problem , some times on, sometimes off for 6 or 8 hours. The gremlins would make sure it worked while the BT man was at the house but would cut in once he left. In the end it was traced to the ADSL Router by me. My background is engineering so I have difficulty putting a hammer through offending equipment.

We have 4 computers networked to The Internet. I am the reluctant IT man.

A visit to PC World always brings an inward smirk though. Two people at checkout, 15 people at the technical desk. Computers are not white goods.

So I have touched nothing our end. You ring up the BT Status Line 0800 1690199. The robot male voice says there are no problems at this time........ Bloody Lies you think.

Then its onto BT Help Line. The girl has a process to go through, we have been through this one 30 times before. We like to speak to people with clear English and an understanding of our culture. Sometimes the Indian or Scottish technical people can be hard going. BT appear to have an awful lot of Scottish support staff.

So we have this merry dance. Do we have line filters, what other equipment is connected, can you turn off computer and restart, will you turn off the ADSL Router, on and on. We give up, the modem is still flashing green, we have work.

The nightmare scenario is an intermittent fault on the outside line. BT Broadband and BT Wholesale are strangers who do not appear to like one another. BT Wholesale look after the line network. BT Broadband have to get BT Wholesale to test the line. ( I think). The exchange computers have all the data on their servers, they know exactly when you are cut off and when it comes back on. They know that you have been cut off 1745 times in the last 24 hours, its all there.

Whilst out we grasp at straw ends with the help of Yellow Pages ring up 3 local companies.

1. Media Field Rhosddu. helpful but its £60 for a new asdl router
2. Chester Computer Centre, Saltney. This guy has an attitude probem, no they dont sell BT Modems which he says are cheap and cheerful but talks to us as if we are asking for rubbish.
The problem here is that we are with BT, non BT kit can attract extra fees from BT if it breaks down as it is not theirs.
Also the BT Voyager 205 ADSL router requires no CD and has a very simple set up and can be bought off Ebay for under a tenner, if you have a connection.................................
3. Proteus Computers Mold. Very good. Says it might be the filter. Perhaps a power surge. We have friends near Caerwys who are currently down after the lightning. Undo all the line filters and plug it back in. If it synchs up its the line filter which has acted as a protector for the modem.
Their web address

So we return home to try this out. Into the office the green light is steady. Its synchronising, its fixed hooray!

No it isnt, no internet but its synching but progress made I am encouraged.

Lisa phones BT again. Can we have the procedure for setting up modem? I've lost the settings I think when I did a hard reset on the back of modem with a paper clip.

So its open a browser and type in the address line and press return which brings up this. Click here.

Type in your BT Username and password and off you go , no drivers needed.

Normality returns to the household.

My thoughts. BT all along. If I had left the computers, gone out and came back lunch time everything would have been working.
BT robots says no problems
BT Help test line says no problems.

Not correct.......................................

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Romania A Third World Country?

Lisa my wife buys the Big Issue each week, she is friendly with the female side of the couple.
The couple who are muslim sell the Big Issue in Mold, they travel from Manchester each day, are going back to Romania. Male partner has a back problem that requires surgery. It will be performed within a week.
They have been advised a similar operation here in UK is a 12 month wait..............

Penyffordd or maybe Hope Guitar Man

I'm stretching the Penyffordd bit its nearer Hope. Its an old oak tree stump that's been turned into a carved statue with a guitar. Will go back and take a proper picture when the light is different.

Flintshire Evening Leader for Local News

This newspaper is switched on. Click here.

Penyffordd Police Surgeries

Police Surgeries.
War Memorial Institute, Penyffordd (every other Wednesday, 2 - 3pm)

Which Wednesday I'll post when I find out.

A warm welcome to our new Beat Manager PC Chris Pullen.

cc. Politicians, Council, Newspapers, The Chief Constable, Police Inspector Mark Pierce

Welcome Chris,

I'm sure you will find Penyffordd and Kinnerton a little quieter than Metropolitan London. Crime in our area is virtually non existent except for a one man crime industry who is retiring for a while. Our new Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been telling your bosses that he is going to get rid of all that red tape. Does that include Wales?
So now perhaps we are going to have time to deal with Chester Road's daily 2000 speeders who abuse our village environment.
regards Colin

Lawless Chester Rd, Penyffordd

Flintshire Council Environment continues to sit on its hands.
Flintshire Highways plans our Traffic Calming but does it include
traffic accelerating out of the village from the centre?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Traffic Calming a la Powys Highways Department

The road between Newtown and Machynlleth. Approaching a village, there numerous red bands across the road. Then the signs for the speed limit with a nice blue Police warning sign saying Police Speed Enforcement Area and red bands across the road at intervals in the zone reminding drivers of the speed limit. I think effective.

Email to Charles Hughes, Head of Engineering, Flintshire Highways, Flintshire County Council.

Penyffordd Neighbourhood Forum

Tuesday 19th June 2007 with our new Beat Manager PC Chris Pullen.
Turned up 6.40 the place shut. We look over the road at 8.00 and the lights are on.
Missed it.....

Community Beat Manager :
PC 443
PC 443 Chris Pullen
Email Send Email F50
Mobile 07748 241 744 Buckley
Details Chris Pullen joined the London Metropolitan Police in 1996. After transferring to North Wales in 2001, he was stationed at Flint, and was posted to Buckley CBM in March 2004.
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