by Paulina Pejka, Wrexham Rep:
As the Society’s new Wrexham Rep I am obliged to keep you informed as to what is happening in the place so closely tied with the Society and its history. (No, really, I am obliged – I’ve been mandated to do so for not showing up to the committee meeting despite
saying that I will). So, in a few words, let me summarise some of the most important recent events:
One of Britain’s oldest oaks is no more
On Wednesday, the 17th of April, the Pontfadog Oak, which had been growing in Chirk, Wrexham, since 802, fell by gale force winds. It was the oldest oak in Wales and probably the oldest in Northern Europe; the girth of its hollow trunk measured an impressive 42ft 5in. The Tree Officer for Wrexham, Moray Simpson, said he was “absolutely gutted” and called for parts of the “iconic tree” to be saved to “show future generations what we had and what was lost due to the nation not doing enough”. The Society would like to express most
sincere condolences to the oak’s family, friends and owner. Pontfadog was the finest of them all and we are sure many a generation of oaks benefitted from his extensive wisdom and life experience.
Wrexham teenager injured in coach crash
On Tuesday, the 16th of April, a coach crashed and burst into flames in the French Alps. The driver died, while three Britons were severely injured – among them Catrin Pugh, 19, from Rossett, Wrexham. Our thoughts go to her and her family, as well as all the others
who suffered in any way due to this terrible accident.
According to the North Wales Police, compared to last year, the number of crime victims has dropped in Wrexham by over 800. Figures up to the end of March revealed that the county has seen a 10% drop in overall crime, with a significant fall of 7.5% in domestic
burglaries and anti-social behaviour. There was also a reduction in the number of incidents of violence with and without injury, while shoplifting fell by 9.7%. As the Acting Supt. Alex Gross reassures, “Wrexham remains one of the safest places in Britain to live”.
Two sites named for a new prison
Wrexham Council has put forward two potential sites for a new prison in North-East Wales: a former Firestone factory site, owned by the Welsh Government, and the privately owned Kingmoor Park, both situated on Wrexham’s Industrial Estate. They are now in the
running to be considered by the Ministry of Justice. As well as bringing economic advantages locally, Wrexham Council’s leader, Neil Rogers, believes that it would also be a benefit to prisoners “who come from the surrounding area who will be able to see family and friends more often”.