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Friday the 30th of May 2014 saw the arrival of the Commonwealth games Queens Baton to Moel Famau. The Baton Relay will travel 190000km in 288 days before reaching the games in Glasgow. The turnout was amazing for the Baton, when looking at the number of people on Snowden (the batons stop the previous day) we were quite sceptical. Our fears were soon put to rest when the crowds began to gather and we had a busy day ahead of us.

It was also the first day selling Patchwork pate, a company in Ruthin that makes a delicious range of pates and other foods. My main duties of the day were handing out samples of the pate, I did this by verbally attacking passers by with offerings of free pate, which was always met with two responses. “oooohh free pate” or a look as if to say “what on Earth is this guy selling pate on a mountain for?” But I must say the pate was a great success and had great feedback from customers.

From my Pate stand I had a great view of the events of the day, which began with an army of ponies and horses walking past me, it was a local pony club whose member carried the baton part of the way to the Jubilee Tower.

The Baton arrived at Bwlch Pen Barras at 1pm and was followed by the quietest round of applause possible so not to cause a horse stampede. After a short speech the baton headed up the path towards the Jubilee tower. A drum group from chester awaited the arrival of the baton atop the tower they probably could be heard in chester judging how loud they were playing.
During the batons ascent to the Jubilee Tower a local nordic walker, a volunteer of the AONB took part in the relay. All contributing to a part of history, holding the baton that had been all over the globe and touched the hands of so many influential people.

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The hills are alive...

Thursday the 17th of April was the day of our official launch. After weeks of planning and inviting Guests the day was finally upon us all we needed was good weather and a strong turn out. From the beginning of the week the sun was out and the air hot, which was an unexpected occurrence, considering most of Wales was under a foot of snow a year earlier.

Thursday’s weather was not as good as the rest of the week a strong wind blew from the outset, but we were grateful there was no rain. These things are in the hands of the gods when your main office is located near the highest point of the Clwydian range, I mean we’d have to be crazy to hold our launch event here!?.

David Jones, Secretary of State for Wales would be arriving at 12 o’clock to cut the ribbon, before then we had 3 gazebos to set up which isn’t that much fun when a cold wind is making a sail out of them. Our suppliers began to arrive at 11 o’clock Bathing Beauty, Baa Stools and Tweed but Funky were all present, showcasing their products. Photographer Tash Jones arrived and began her shoot. Passers-by started taking notice of all the commotion and by the time Mountain Rescue and the RSPB had arrived, people fancied a good nose.

David Jones arrived at 12:30 and after a welcoming speech he proceeded to cut the ribbon followed by a cheer let out by the crowd. Julie raised her hand as a signal for the bells to chime for the flash mob…… nothing….. she raised her hand again. The gentleman in charge if bell ringing duties was in the middle of a conversation. Julie raised her hand a third time this time the bell ringer had noticed his cue, three chimes were hit, Julie let out a sigh of relief, I took a sip of coffee and the choir began to sing ‘The Hills are Alive’.

After the flash-mob which included girls jumping off horses and impromptu visit by nuns all singing wonderfully the crowd were treated to a demonstration from Mountain Rescue and SAR. The demonstration showed the crowd how the SAR rescue dogs would find people in need of rescue on a mountain side. Around 2 o’clock the cold wind had become too much for most people with as many people crammed into the hut as possible things started to wind down. We gave ourselves a pat on the back, all things considered it had been a successful day with a wonderful turn out.

Thanks for coming!

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