Blog Match

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Llandudno has a Lifeboat Shop!

Sorry that I haven't been around for a while but we have all been working so hard to get our new Lifeboat Shop up and running!

It actually opened at the beginning of November and, now that all our volunteers are trained up and the shop is running smoothly, we are having an Official Opening on 14th December 2011. The mayor of Llandudno will cut the ribbon at 11am and declare the shop officially open for business.

It is the only High Street RNLI shop in Wales (the others are all attached to their respective boathouses) so we are a bit of a flagship and we are determined to make it work! To be fair, even though we haven't got all our signs up yet, people are finding us and we are selling more than we had expected to already.

From left to right the picture shows me, Lyn and Jean all of whom are to be found in the shop on a regular basis!

In the shop we have sweets, biscuits, toys, Christmas cards, calendars, diaries and gifts, nautical gifts, key rings, fridge magnets, pens, notepads, address books, notecards, model ships of all sizes and a range of clothes from caps to sweat shirts. That gives you a flavour of what you will find in the shop but there are other bits and pieces too and we are always getting new stock.

The address of the shop is 9, St George's Place, Llandudno and we are open every day apart from Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

So, if you are in Llandudno at any time, do drop in and see us and, of course, tell all your friends about us!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

I've played with Zoobles!

Not long after joining the postman brought me a surprise parcel which contained some Zoobles from Spinmaster which we could play with and then review.

The ones that I received were called Unga and Bunga although I understand that there are about 300 for you to collect – an excellent marketing idea!

Unga and Bunga are a ‘mama and zoobling’ which is the name for a Zooble baby and they came complete with what they call a Hapitat which, in this case, is a tree with a swing.

The Zoobles themselves are like little balls and when we placed mama on the Hapitat she popped open (courtesy of a hidden magnet) to reveal the Zoobling.

The ones that I had were very pretty, colourful and quite girly so, unless some of the others are more ‘boy orientated’ I would suggest that these would appeal to girls more so than boys.

They are available from major stores and online sites such as Amazon, Toys R Us and Tesco’s and the single ones start from £6 - £10 but there are multiple packs and other Hapitats available too.

Our Last day on the Prom in Llandudno!

Sunday 25th September 2011 will see the RNLI stall on the prom at Llandudno selling lifeboat souvenirs for the very last time - well as a full stall anyway! We will still have a smaller stall each year in August on our Emergency Services Day.

This Sunday would have been our last day this season anyway - even we aren't daft enough to stand out in the winter - but there is a reason why we won't be back next year.

We are getting a shop in town! It isn't ready yet but we should be trading by the end of October so if you have a few hours to spare and you would like to volunteer to help in the shop just let me know and I will point you in the right direction.

I will let you know all the details of the new shop once it is ready to open but in the meantime, if you want to see us in Llandudno, you'd better get a move on down to the prom on Sunday 25th!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Llandudno Lifeboat Week!

Here in Llandudno the week from 1st to the 7th August is Lifeboat Week. We don't normally have an actual Lifeboat Week but this year we are celebrating 150 years of having a lifeboat here on site.

During the week we will be getting support from a shop in town called Clare's situated in Mostyn Street. They will have one of their windows dressed with historical RNLI items and we will be selling souvenirs in the arcade outside their shop all week. Their staff are even dressing up as pirates, mermaids and sailors at the weekend to add to the general nautical theme!

The 7th August is Emergency Services Day and there will be stalls on the prom representing many of our emergency services including the fire brigade, mountain rescue, police, rescue dogs and ambulance - of course the RNLI stall will be there selling souvenirs too.

In the morning the crew are organising games on the prom and in the afternoon the All Weather Lifeboat - The Andy Pearce - will launch at about 4pm to perform a rescue exercise accompanied by the helicopter from RAF Valley (providing it isn't otherwise engaged on a shout). Believe me this is a sight worth seeing!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Mew - the RNLI Fundraising Cat!

A while ago I introduced you to our cat Mew and I told you that he is Mr February on the 2011 RNLI calendar.

Earlier this year we had a request for more cat pictures for the 2012 calendar and I sent in a few of Mew  hut heard nothing so I assumed his fame was to be short lived.

We have now received our Christmas cards and calendars to sell on the stall and guess what? Now if you can't guess what I am going to say next you really aren't concentrating are you? LOL!

Yes - that's right - he's there again! This time he's Mr June with a cropped version of the above photograph.

So he is officially a fund raising cat! We sell souvenirs from a stall on the prom every Sunday here in Llandudno and I proudly show people the picture and say - that's my cat!!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

RNLI Sblash Llandudno Sea Swim

I am pleased to report that the choir concert last weekend was a great success and about £500 was raised for the RNLI overall.

On Saturday 18th June 2011 there is an altogether different event - again run by the RNLI - and this time it is a sea swim in Llandudno Bay. This beach has Blue Flag status so the water is clean and safe to swim in!

Swimmers can do one lap of the course which is 750m or two laps for 1,500m at the same time familiarising themselves with the swimming course for the Triathlon which will take place here next month.

The race will start at 11am and entrants are encouraged to raise money for the RNLI through sponsorship.

More details can be found at

Of course the RNLI stall selling souvenirs will be on the prom on Sunday so you can treat yourself and help the lifeboats at the same time - see you there!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Don't Feed the Seagulls - They'll Help Themselves!

As you will have realised from my writings Llandudno is a lovely place to live or just to visit with our beautiful beaches and many sights to see.

BUT there is a problem here - you may well get mugged - especially if are carrying food!

The muggers in question are gulls but, don't panic, they can be avoided by taking a few simple precautions.

Don't walk along the prom with food in your outstretched hand that's just asking for trouble. The gulls will swoop down over your head and take it right out of your hand - I know from experience! If you have an ice cream or a sandwich hold it near to your body. This makes it very difficult for the gull to swoop.

If you are eating fish and chips or a picnic sit somewhere such as one of the shelters along the prom or sit under trees - anywhere that makes it difficult for the gulls to swoop.

It is also worth mentioning that these birds are big and can be very frightening if they swoop on small children.

At the weekend my sister and brother in law were here and after a walk we stopped for a drink sitting outside a local pub. The tables where people had been eating were not cleared quickly and this was the result. All credit to my sister, Helen, for the excellent photographs by the way!

There are signs around the town reminding you not to feed the seagulls but as you can see you don't have to feed them - they will help themselves!

As I say just be aware that they have grown to associate people with food and will attempt to steal it from you if you don't take care. When we are working on the prom on Sundays we often see people having their chips stolen!

Be warned but don't be too scared just take precautions and you will be fine!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

England meets Wales with much singing!

On Saturday 11th June 2011 there will be an evening of music in The Town Hall, Llandudno.

The Dalesmen Male Voice Choir from Derbyshire have very kindly offered to perform in aid of the RNLI and the Penrhyn Welsh Male Voice Choir will be joining them - hence the tag line England meets Wales!

It promises to be a wonderful evening so if you fancy hearing some traditional male voice choir music The Town Hall in Lloyd Street, Llandudno is the place to be on Saturday 11th June 2011.

Admission costs just £5 and the doors open at 7pm with the performance beginning at 7.30pm.

There will also be RNLI souvenirs on sale.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Get your feet nibbled - it's lovely!

In the Victoria Centre here in Llandudno a new shop opened last year and it is a place where people sit with their feet in tanks of water whilst little fish nibble at them! Let me explain.....

The little fish are actually Garra Rufa fish which are also known as doctor fish and they actually feed on dead skin leaving the healthy skin alone.

This process can help to heal skin conditions such as Psoriasis and eczema and it also makes for a lovely pedicure.

The place that I went to is a shop called Neat Feet and I think the treatment cost £10 for 10 minutes and £15 for 20 minutes. I may be slightly out on the prices as we went last December and my memory isn't what it might be. It has probably gone up a bit since then too.

My husband bought me a treatment as part of my birthday present but, since my sister and her partner were staying with us at the time, he decided to buy them a treatment each as part of their Christmas present and of course he treated himself too.

When he purchased the vouchers he was told that we must not put any creams on our feet when we were going for the treatment and there must not be any open wounds on our feet.

We went and looked into the shop first where we could see all the tanks and clients in full view of all the shoppers walking past. If you are shy about people watching you this is not the place for you!

We went in and registered and were sat at the four tanks next to one another so we could chat as we had the treatment. We took off our coats as it was nice and warm in the shop.

The first thing that we had to do was to take off our shoes and socks and then wash our feet in a foot spa to make sure that they were nice and clean.

We then swung round on our seats to put our feet in the tanks and were given timers which were set for the ten minutes that we had paid for.

The water in the tank is about a foot deep and is nice and warm and there are about twenty to thirty little fish swimming around just waiting for feet to nibble! The tank is the size of a small tropical fish tank and it is cleaned between each session so there is no problem with hygiene.

There is a filter in the tank so that the water is constantly being cleaned thus making sure that there is no cross contamination form one person to another.

Now I was expecting to have problems with this as I am very ticklish on my feet but I was fine. I put my feet in the water and relaxed while the fish got on with my pedicure.

I could feel them nibbling and it was a tickly feeling but not so much that it made me want to laugh - it was actually extremely relaxing. The fish collect round your feet, concentrating on the dry skin and they nibble constantly so you get your money's worth.

When the time is up and the timer rings you have to remove your feet from the tank and dry them on the fluffy white towels provided. Then you put your shoes and socks back on and off you go with feet that feel lovely!

I had no pre existing problems with my feet apart from a bit of dry skin and I loved the whole experience. My feet felt really comfortable when it was all over and seemed almost tingly but in a nice way. It was like wearing soft slippers and it lasted for a couple of days although the benefits are said to last for a few months.

It didn't bother any of us that we could be seen through the shop windows and, as far as I am concerned, I was happy for anyone to watch as it was all good advertising for the new business. We were obviously all enjoying the experience as we chatted and laughed together so I hope that we were a good advert for them!

In conclusion I would say that this is something I would love to do regularly if I could afford it but I am afraid that my money has to be spent on more important things at the moment. However I would recommend that you have a go - we all loved it!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Great Orme - God's Work at its Best!

As this blog is all about Llandudno and its various attractions I thought I would start with the one closest to my heart – The Great Orme – as I actually live there!
Just to give you a bit of background before we start The Great Orme is a headland 2 miles long, 1 mile wide and which rises to 207 metres above sea level at its highest point.

It was formed 300 million years ago on a tropical seabed and is made from Carboniferous Limestone, which was subject to later volcanic activity causing it to rise and crack forming the headland that we see today.

The Great Orme lies at the north end of Llandudno in North Wales with the North Shore and main part of the town to its right and the quieter more residential West Shore to its left, viewed looking from land out to sea.

The Great Orme has been designated a Special Area of Conservation, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Heritage Coast, and it is managed as a Country Park and Local Nature Reserve by Conwy Countryside Service.
The Orme is home to a herd of feral Kashmir goats, which are a pure breed dating back to the 1890's and they can be seen roaming about eating everything they can find!

There are gardens on the slopes of the Great Orme, the main one being Happy Valley, which is clearly visible from the beach and the pier.

Haulfre Gardens form the first part of Invalids Walk on the west side of the Orme. This is so called because it is a gentle sloping path across the face the Orme from the gardens down to the West Shore and can easily be negotiated by almost anyone. There are also plenty of benches along the way where you can sit and look at the magnificent views of West Shore beach with Conwy Castle and Anglesey in the background.

For the more active walkers amongst you there are numerous paths, which lead right up to the summit of the Orme. The Summit Path starts from Happy Valley and goes in an arc past the 13th century church of St Tudno's, where there are open air services every Sunday during the summer, and the Zig Zag Summit Path starts from either Haulfre Gardens or from part way along the Invalids Walk. There are numerous other paths including a nature trail, an historical trail and the Monk's Path, which it is said remains green and fertile even when the weather is very dry! 

You can also drive up to the top of the Great Orme by one of two routes; either directly from the town via a road next to the Empire Hotel or by taking the Marine Drive around the base of the Orme and bearing left about halfway round. This takes you a less direct route past St Tudno's Church.

I will just say that if you use the Marine Drive around the base, which is a one-way road from the North Shore all the way round to the West Shore it is a toll road and will cost you £2.50. The cost does however cover parking at the car park next to the Summit Complex.
Half way round the Marine Drive is the Rest and Be Thankful Café. I can assure you that when you walk the four and a half miles around Marine Drive you do 'rest and be thankful' when you get there!

There is a local bus service, which runs from the town up to the summit and a scenic tour bus, which is an old single decked boneshaker doing tours around Marine Drive.

Another way to get to the top of the Orme is by using the Victorian Tramway, which travels from a stop in town up to the summit in two separate stretches - you change trams halfway up. These open sided trams provide an amazing ride at an incredibly steep angle.

The final way to reach the top of the Great Orme is by catching the cable car in Happy Valley, which takes you to a point next to the Summit Complex at the top. The cars carry two people at a time and are the open sided sort so they do only run when the weather is appropriate, but they are well worth a try.
At the top of the Orme there is a pay and display car park and a Summit Complex, which consists of a visitor centre, café/restaurant where you can get all sorts of snacks and meals, a small shop, a pub and a small amusement arcade. There is also a Crazy Golf course and a good play area for the children with climbing frames, slides, swings etc., all set in a fenced off area to keep the children safe.

Apart from the goats that I have already mentioned The Great Orme is home to wide range of wildlife including guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills, ravens and little owls, as well as butterflies by the 'cloud' and numerous rare species of plants.

The other main attraction on the Great Orme is the Bronze Age Copper Mines, which are located next to the Halfway Tram station.
All over the Orme there are relics of the past inhabitants from stone circles to fossils and hill forts to previously inhabited caves, all ready to explore providing you take care both with the countryside itself and your own safety on the paths and climbs.

I can only say that words cannot express the beauty, splendour and majesty of the Great Orme so you'll have to come and see this wonderful example of God's work for yourself.

One final comment, if you are visiting, do remember that being a seaside town all things are seasonal and the attractions on the Orme are mainly open from Easter until October each year.

Memories of Bank Holiday Weekends

Well, with two consecutive Bank Holiday weekends, we ended up working 5 days out of 10 on the promenade selling RNLI souvenirs! We had sunshine for all of the five days although the wind was keen and cold at times.

We begin at 9am by fetching all the tables out of the van. putting them together and pinning RNLI flags around the front. The flags are hoisted on the caravan too so people can see us from a distance.

We then unload a huge amount of stock - well we did on day one but this had diminished considerably by day five - and arrange it ready for sale. We usually have between one and three of each item on the tables depending on the size and nature of the souvenir and as they are sold I constantly restock from the boxes in the van. This means that I am on my feet from 9am until 6pm when everything is packed away! It is certainly a good workout I can tell you!

Of course for the three days of the May Bank Holiday the Victorian Extravaganza was taking place so there was a parade each day at noon which brought lots of customers to our stall as it passed and we were entertained by the music from the stage which was set up just along the prom too.

Our boat - The Andy Pearce - is on the slipway ready for launch whilst the stall is in place so that members of the public get the chance to see her and see just what their donations are used for.

As it is our 150th anniversary of the lifeboat here in Llandudno in 2011 I will tell you more about the history of the boats and the events scheduled for later in the year in subsequent posts.

For now I will sign off by saying thank you to all who made our efforts so worthwhile by buying our souvenirs and remind you all that we will be on the prom every Sunday (weather permitting) until the end of September.

Friday, 29 April 2011

A Royal Day and an Extravaganza!

Well the 25th Victorian Extravaganza here in Llandudno has begun a day early this year as we have an extra Bank Holiday for the Royal Wedding.

The weather is looking good for the weekend so it should be a good one!

There will be a parade of steam vehicles, marching bands, traction engines, people in Victorian dress and much more each day at 12 noon.

The main street in Llandudno is closed to traffic and there will be traditional stalls with old fashioned games such as Hook a Duck and Coconut Shies and also some really old one armed bandits! There are some great old fairground rides including chairoplanes (pictured), ghost train, helter skelters, gallopers and a couple of more modern ones in dodgems and waltzers.

There are various stages where there will be singers, dancers and various other acts performing.

The fun extends onto the promenade where there is usually one of the stages, a helter skelter and of course our stall selling Lifeboat souvenirs! We will be there on Saturday, Sunday and Monday so come and say 'hello' if you are in Llandudno.

We aren't on the promenade today as we are all at home watching the wedding!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Sunday Brought us Sunshine!

We have had a brilliant day today with plenty of sunshine and plenty of customers.

We sold lots more souvenirs and had plenty of laughs but I am feeling tired now after two 9 hour days!

Next week it will be three consecutive days on the prom for the May Day Bank Holiday - Saturday, Sunday and Monday so this weekend has been good practice.

I shall have to get round to emptying some collecting boxes tomorrow as I am also the Box Ssecretary for the Llandudno Lifeboat Guild!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

What Happened to the Weather?

We have had beautiful weather for the best part of a fortnight now - until today! We set up the RNLI stall on the prom and it was cloudy and quite cold for the majority of the day.

We managed to sell souvenirs but not as many as we would have hoped - lets hope for better weather and better sales tomorrow.

Despite the weather we sold plenty of buckets and spades and saw them being used on the beach - even though most people kept their woollies on!

Feeling tired now but I am sure, after a good night's sleep, I'll be ready to do it all again tomorrow!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza

I know we are just coming up to Easter but the following weekend is May Day Bank Holiday and here in Llandudno we host the Victorian Extravaganza.

The main street through the town (Mostyn Street) is closed to traffic from Friday evening until Monday afternoon and it is full of Victorian fairground rides, stalls and games. There are a couple of stages where various acts perform during the three days.

Each day at midday traction engines, steam powered vehicles and people in Victorian dress parade through the town.

The vehicles and their owners congregate down at Bodafon Field at the end of the town nearest the Little Orme where there is also a huge market and funfair. A shuttle bus runs from Bodafon Field to the Great Orme.

Of course the Lifeboat Stall is on the prom for all three days so if you are in the area come and say hello.

I didn't want to go into too much detail and make this post too wordy but if you do want some more information just go to where you will find all the details together with pictures from previous years.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

An Introduction to Mew

When we moved to our cottage on The Great Orme in Llandudno a stray cat kept coming to our door and meowing so loudly that we eventually allowed him to adopt us. We asked him what his name was and he said 'Mew' so that's his name!
If any of you think you recognise him it could be because he found fame this year (2011) as Mr February on the RNLI calendar and this is the photograph that they used.

At the moment his favourite thing is catching rabbits and eating them - six so far in the last seven days! I do feed him honestly!

I'll keep you posted on Mew's adventures as my new blog develops.

Lifeboat Fun on the Promenade!

On Easter Saturday and Sunday we will be dusting off the tables and setting up our souvenir stall on the prom at Llandudno for the first time this season.We start at about 9am by fetching out all the tables, setting them up and covering them with souvenirs to sell and finish at about 6pm by putting everything away again! So you can see it's a long day and it is hard work but it is also great fun!

We sell all sorts of things from pens and notepads to toys and teddies and from tea towels and sweets to key rings and fridge magnets so there is something to suit every budget. There are far too many things to mention here so you'll have to come along and take a look.

This year we also have a range of 150th anniversary items as we have had a lifeboat on site at Llandudno for 150 years now and I will be telling you all more about that in later posts. We have various events planned during the year too and I will keep you posted on those too.

Our lifeboat will also be on display on the slipway next to the stall ready for action if she is needed.

We do the same thing again the following weekend on Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the May Day Bank Holiday and Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza. This year we will be on the prom for 5 out of 10 days so we will be needing a rest after all that I can tell you!