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Tea and cakes unite villagers

villagers
The community turned out the day it was named village of the year

Volunteers set up Cakes and Company in Froncysyllte to raise cash for local good causes. Three years later, it has become a not-for-profit company at the centre of the community, one of nine villages now part of Llangollen Canal and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct World Heritage Site.

By Julie Williams
Treasurer Julie explains more about the group which was singled out when Froncysyllte became village of year in a national competition

We rely on volunteers and a lot of the volunteers make the most scrumptious home made cakes! The money we raise now is distributed among the good causes in the village. Last month we gave £500 to 10 organisations in the village.

Cakes and Company volunteers
Julie (right) and Janet volunteer for Cakes and Company

We've had customers from the States, Canada, Australia and Europe. We have a visitors' book and we have some lovely comments from people.

We have leaflets on the tables explaining what we're about and that we're raising money for local groups and a lot of people give us donations. They're pleased to see that the village is thriving.

We've had lovely conversations with people from America, for example, and we've taken time to explain about the background and history of the area and people really do appreciate it.

We thought the cafe would just appeal to the tourists we get coming to the aqueduct but it's been a lifeline, if you like, to the local community. It's brought people together.

The older people that live in the bungalows nearby, parents with children who perhaps don't have a garden - they come down and enjoy the surroundings - and we've found that over the last couple of years it's brought the village together.

People have been helping each other out and keeping an eye on each other so it's been very good from that point of view.

10 of us walked right across the aqueduct because we saw your sign. Well worth coming!
A comment in the visitors' book

The older generation now know who the young children are so that's another good thing.

The older generation put a lot of effort into developing the community centre in the 1960s and 70s and you hear some of the older people in the village saying how glad they are we're carrying on with that work so it's given them a bit of confidence in the future of the village.

Since getting World Heritage Status we've seen an increase in visitors and people wanting to know more about the village.

There's interest in when the aqueduct was built, why it was built and what it was built of, and we've learned an awful lot about it because visitors ask us and expect us to know!

Fron is a close knit community. The village was really pleased about the World Heritage Status though I must say we were even more pleased when we had a visit from the Prince of Wales after we'd won the Calor Village of the Year competition last year. That was a highlight for Fron!




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