Free video workshop in Rhyl for charities

When I’m not producing the AbergelePost website, one of the things I do is to sit on the Wales advisory panel of the Media Trust and Community Channel’s Do Something Brilliant Cymru / Wales group. Steve Lloyd of DSB is delivering free video photography and editing training for local charities in Rhyl later this year. Here’s his press release with all the details:

“Media Trust and Community Channel are working with Big Lottery Fund on a campaign to celebrate the incredible work of projects across the country.

“Would you like to Do Something Brilliant and get free video production training from Media Trust, the UK’s leading communications charity?

“The introductory workshops are designed to help charities and community groups understand how they can turn their stories into short films and will cover planning, scripting, recording and editing. Each training course is open to a limited number of organisations and up to two people from each organisation.

“There is a free one-day training workshop on Wednesday 13th April at WCVA, Morfa Hall, Rhyl.

“If you would like to find out more, or apply for a place, then please contact: Steve Lloyd, Community Outreach Manager, Cymru / Wales:
07972 280830. ”

If you’d like to make a local site like this…

I’ve heard three pieces of news this month which will be of interest if you think you may like to make a local website like

1. Starting in April 2014, Cardiff University is offering a free five-week Community Journalism online course. It’s called a MOOC, which stands for massive open online course. Cardiff University’s is the first ever community journalism MOOC. It’s led by Richard Sambrook who was editor of BBC News Online at the time when I worked as a content producer with BBC Cymru Wales Online. You can sign up for this course via the provider Future Learn, which is the Open University’s MOOC brand. I first heard of MOOCs though my interest in digital storytelling. The #ds106 course was a pioneer in this field. I’ve signed up for a computational linguistics MOOC by the University of Lancaster which begins next week.

2. Existing to help local organisations with communications, the Local360Network offers training and support to get local news sites and other local websites to get publishing regularly. I heard of this from Andy Smith, a former BBC colleague who trained me to use BBC News’s content management system many moons ago. He’d like to see more local journalism being published around the UK, and says:

“Local360 Network (is) a UK-wide community of citizen journalists, community reporters and local storytellers, providing the tools, skills and connections to get more from local news.”

Andy wants to “expand the existing network and to try and find local groups that may benefit from the opportunity of joining the Local360 Network.  I was wondering if you had any local groups or organisations you were in contact with that may benefit from getting involved.”

Feel free to contact the Local360Network directly if you’d like to find out more.

3. #DoSomethingBrilliant is a project I’m going to be learning more about soon following an invitation from a third former BBC colleague and experienced radio broadcaster Steve Lloyd. It’s a collaboration between the Media Trust and Community Channel, funded by Big Lottery Fund.

You can find out more about these three exciting projects by following the links above.

And remember, we always welcome contributions to; do get in touch if you’ve got a story to share.


This Little Piggy

Abergele is know as a market town because there used to be a livestock market here every Monday in the 1960s and 70s.

The town filled up with land rovers, tractors and trailers and farmers wearing flat tweed caps and holding shepherd’s crocks.

The market tradition is one that stretched back in time and there are old postcards that show that livestock trading used to take place on the main Market Street itself.

As you look today at Abergele Tesco, it’s hard to imagine that site was once full of corrugated iron sheds and animal pens, with the sounds and smells of prime Welsh livestock.

The sound of piglets squealing still sends a shiver down my spine. I’m back there now. I feel my hand being held tightly by my dad’s hand as he takes me there to see the pig sale.

“Gees, gees, gees!” he’d shoo some piglets out of our way. The smell’s overpowering. The auctioneer is pacing along planks placed between the pens, selling animals to the highest bidders.

The next time you buy a pack of shrink-wrapped pork at Tesco’s Abergele, remember that on this site, pigs once did squeal.

Abergele Livestock Market. Painted in 1969 by Harry Gee.
Abergele Livestock Market. Painted in 1969 by Harry Gee.

What used to go on at Cae Stalwyn, Abergele.

Here’s a short digital story I’ve just made about the old Abergele Show. It was Brian Haynes – my dad’s neighbour – who told me about the ‘swimming’ of horses from boats from Ireland anchored off Pensarn beach.

(If the embedded video won’t play, here’s a link to it on

New feature – see who’s planning a new extension in Abergele

I’ve just added a new feature to this website. If you click on the Planning Applications link in the black strip beneath the banner, you’ll see a map of Abergele with dots showing where applications have been made to build an extension, change business use, apply for some other kind of formal consent.

The data has been ‘scraped’ from the Conwy Council website and the technology used to build this map comes from Inspiration came from two conferences I attended earlier this year:

Hacks and Hackers, in conjunction with ScraperWiki
Talk About Local 2011

To get more info about individual applications, click on the link at the bottom of the big map for a text link of every application, each of which links through to the source document on the Conwy Planning site.