For many years Leanne Michael was a regular on the Arts Centre stage but she has gone on to forge herself an extremely successful career on stage, screen and stadia all over the world. Huw caught up with her in the Grail café to find out more.

So Leanne, tell me a bit about yourself. I was born and raised in Aberystwyth. My Dad, John Michael, was a Print Manager at Cambrian News/Printers, and my Mum, Christine Michael, a Local Government Officer, who continues to work at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre Dance School. I attended Plascrug primary and Penglais secondary schools. I now live in London as a professional dancer and actress, with my husband and daughter.

It’s the welcome time of year when the wonderful Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival returns to Aberystwyth Arts Centre. This year is particularly special, as the festival now expands to two days of programming at the cinema, offering even more chances to see a diverse range of animated films from Japan, including the latest film from Mamoru Hosoda.

Cymraeg yn dilyn.

Wales celebrated the first Shwmae Su’mae day on October 15, 2013 ‘to promote the idea of starting every conversation with shwmae, su’mae or shwdi’!

The broader aim of the day was ‘to show that the Welsh language belongs to us all – fluent speakers, learners or those shy about their Welsh’. It’s also an opportunity to take your first steps towards being a Welsh speaker.

In our December 2016 edition we featured Alana Spencer on the front cover and during that month she was crowned the winner of BBC1’s The Apprentice, by Lord Sugar.

Almost two years later, Huw caught up with her to find out how life has changed since that moment and why she’s chosen to make Aberystwyth her permanent home.

Did you know that the Aberystwyth area is recognised by the United Nations as a site of excellence and innovation in sustainable development? ’Biosffer Dyfi Biosphere’ has had this accolade since 2009, and is the only such area in Wales. Since then businesses, academics and many others have started to work together to take advantage of the opportunities arising from this status. Now the locally-led Partnership responsible for the initiative is asking whether the area should be expanded.

From Tregaron to Tierra del Fuego – the global reach of Aberystwyth Geography and Earth Sciences

One hundred years ago this summer, the then University College of Wales admitted the first students to its new degree scheme in Geography. The students were amongst the very first in Britain to study Geography as a degree, only Glasgow and Liverpool universities having offered the subject before Aberystwyth. Among their number was the poet Iorwerth Peate, whose
later involvement in establishing the St Fagan’s Folk Museum reflected the enduring influence of Aberystwyth’s founding Professor of Geography, H.J. Fleure, a polymath whose interests ranged across human and physical geography, anthropology, archaeology and zoology.

Just before Christmas last year I was asked to don a Santa outfit by Red at The Grail café. With some trepidation I walked downstairs into a beautifully prepared ‘grotto’ where a room full of expectant children sat with their eyes agog. I’d never done this sort of thing before, so broke the ice with a question about what the kids were getting for Christmas. Quick as a flash a cross-legged boy at the front of crowd said “I’m getting a train. I love trains.”

In our August 2016 edition we caught up with Medina Rees on the  verge of her move to the site of the old Talbot Hotel on Market Street.
Eighteen months later Huw met up with her again to find out how life has been since the relocation.

Aberystwyth Rotary Club celebrates its 70th birthday next month. Huw has caught up with this year’s Club President, Martin Davies, to find out more.

Aberystwyth born Sophie Francis was schooled at Cwmpadarn and Penglais, is 23 years old and after working in hospitality since she was a Saturday girl seven years ago, her love of animals led her to open Aber’s 1st dog friendly café, Sophie Bach on Cambrian Place.

For over three decades Rachel’s Dairy and latterly, Rachel’s Organic, has been a source of great pride for the people of Dolybont, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion and Wales. We all love the yoghurt – but who is Rachel? We sent Huw to Brynllys Farm just outside Borth to find out.

So Rachel, thank you so much for speaking to us! To get the ball rolling, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself? I am 71 years old and except for 2 years (one year at school in Belfast and one year in Bracknell following my marriage to Gareth), I have lived all my life on the family organic farm, Brynllys. From a very early age I only ever wanted to be a farmer.

APPRENTICESHIPS are a popular choice amongst people who want to begin or perhaps change their career, gaining valuable skills that employers need alongside gaining an accredited qualification.
The Welsh Government pays for the apprentice’s training costs, meaning employers only need pay the wage, and more businesses are being encouraged to come on board to help build tomorrow’s highly skilled workforce.

For nearly five decades, Rhiannon Jewellery has been a focal point for tourists and locals alike in the town of Tregaron and, more recently, in Aberystwyth. But who is Rhiannon? We sent Huw to meet Rhiannon Evans herself to find out!

Just over 12 months ago, Huw went to see Modlen Osborne Jones, the manager of Glan Y Mor, to find out about what they had to offer to both holidaymakers and locals alike. A few weeks’ ago, with the stunning Clarach sunset as a backdrop, Huw visited Modlen once again to see how things have changed in one of the jewels in the Cardigan Bay crown.

So Modlen, last time we featured you was in April 2016. A lot seems to have changed round here since then?! Yes, yes there has!! I feel if the park never changed, then we wouldn’t move with the times! The main visible changes we have had is….black and gold bilingual park signage as we did say in our last interview that the next step was to promote welsh awareness. There has also been an extension on the soft play area (which has been very popular), a new steam room and whirlpool fitted inside the main indoor pool.

Only nine miles from Aberystwyth lies Penrhos Park. Probably best known for its golf course, this family owned and run leisure complex offers much, much more and Huw recently caught up with the one and only John Pugh-Evans to find out about Penrhos’ history, the family that run it and, of course, that iconic 17th hole!

So John, good to see you as always! Now I understand that Penrhos Park enjoyed a rather large birthday recently?

Yes, we’ve recently celebrated twenty-five years at the golf club. We held a golf day for our members and booked X-Factor star Joe Wheelan as entertainment. It was a great day. We also celebrated 50 years at the caravan site last year so I think we’re all partied out!

Nia Marshalsay is a well-known and well-respected model from Aberystwyth but is now turning her hand to presenting a TV show about horses. Huw recently caught up with her and was champing at the bit to find out more.

So Nia, tell me a bit about yourself growing up. I was born in Pontypool and moved to Llanddeiniol with my family when I was three. I went to Myfenydd primary school and then onto Penweddig. Neither Mum nor Dad spoke Welsh but felt it was very important that my sister and I attended Welsh schools. I didn’t realise I would be so grateful for this later on in my life. We are a very ‘outdoorsy’ family and I can’t remember my life before horses!

Do you want to learn some new skills, harness your digital creativity or increase your personal or team effectiveness at work? Then maybe Dysgu Bro Ceredigion can help you.

Aberystwyth Business Club is a dynamic and active group of passionate business people who operate in the town of Aberystwyth.

Bryan Pugh Jones was recently appointed as an Honorary Life Governor of the RNLI due to his devoted service to Aberystwyth Lifeboat station. Born on the 5th May 1941 Bryan decided to join the Aberystwyth Lifeboat in 1958 at the age of 17 and has been part of the station ever since.

As we are well into winter have you ever wondered, what is happening to the Honeybee?
Well, it depends...

Are you a budding Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese? From camera operating to directing your own films, Coleg Ceredigion’s Level 3 Creative Media Production course could be the stepping stone that you need to turn those dreams into a reality. Based on our Aberystwyth Campus, the close-knit team of tutors are all highly qualified both academically and vocationally. The Creative Media Production department has excellent facilities and staff all have the professional experience to be able to teach the skills required to use a variety of high specification equipment and software, including industry standard broadcast quality cameras, professional full frame DSLRs, 4K action cameras, purpose built editing suites and 3D animation software that is the same as used in Hollywood film. The course is structured entirely around professional standards to create a student experience that instils an ethos based on professional values.









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