Newsletter March 2013

Colwyn Bay Waterfront Project
18th and 19th May

A multi-million pound Waterfront Project in Colwyn Bay, which includes a new coastal defence scheme, Porth Eirias (new water sports centre) and enhanced link from the town to the promenade will be opened to the public on the weekend of 18th and 19th May 2013, in an event which will coincide with the popular local Prom Day called ‘Prom Xtra’. The event will allow the public a first opportunity to visit Porth Eirias and the new beach which is scheduled to be installed over the coming months.
The design for the new facility is to create interest, tourism and income to the area using the coastline. The project includes a striking triangular four-level tower overlooking the sea; three interconnecting concrete drum buildings, providing water-sport facilities and an elevated promenade sheltering a cafe beneath. The promenade at Colwyn Bay has hardly been altered since its hey-day and so the project has come as a welcome change by local residence.
The waterfront plans are part of the Conwy County Council-led Baylife Project to regenerate Colwyn Bay using millions of pounds of European and Assembly strategic regeneration areas funds.
The designs were displayed at Colwyn Leisure Centre at Eirias Park, but are still available to view online at

Chester Food & Drink Festival 2013

30th March to 03rd April

It will be the 12th festival in 2013 and it is looking like being the biggest and best yet. 2012 saw the 11th Anniversary and the organisers were ecstatic with the number of people who came along to support Chester and Cheshire, some 27,000 people attended across the three days! But, with the chef demonstrations, kids’ workshops, CamperFest and over 120 exhibitors there will be attending, it’s sure to be a brilliant weekend!
The Restaurant Garden will be back again this year where around 15 Chester & Cheshire restaurants will be showcasing their food delights!
CamperFest returns, and for those who like to camp or enjoy caravanning, then all are welcome at this year’s festival. Kids of all ages will love the cooking workshops, allowing them to get stuck in and messy as they learn all about food.
And there is more…. ‘Twice the size’ Lifestyle section, competitions, events throughout the city and the annual cheese rolling event, there is plenty to gorge yourselves on this April in Chester
The chosen charity for this year is The Academy of Culinary Arts which is a long-term charitable project that focuses on developing an essential understanding of ‘taste’ and teaches children about the pleasures of eating, the provenance of ingredients and the processes by which raw materials are turned into foods.

European Union Grundtvig Project: Learn About Art and Get in the Game!

Conlan School is proudly involved in a Grundtvig adult learning project. The aim is to get adults interested in art to become art guides, in English, within the two year timescale of the project. This will also involve adults working with young people in order to further understanding between the generations. There are also elements of computing and information technology to be included too.
Our group involves partners from several European countries:

  • Conlan School, England
  • Casa Language School, Germany
  • ICT Tosi, Italy
  • Kultur Sanat Egitim Akademi Dernegi, Turkey
  • Pontydysgu/Pontypridd Town Council, Wales

On 4th February 2013 we had our second meeting (the first was in Bremen in November 2012) held at Conlan’s school in Chester. This took place over two days, and during this time the group were able to make important progress in a number of areas, especially in clarifying the direction and aims of the project and arranging the future meetings.

The group also took part in an Adult Learning Seminar and Workshop which we organized with the help of Clare Latham of Cheshire West and Chester Council. Finally the group visited both Chester and Liverpool to discover their architectural, artistic and culinary delights.
The group also agreed the programme of activities for the next meeting, which will take place in June 2013 with our Welsh colleagues in Pontypridd.

Phrase of the Month: "Wild goose chase"

A hopeless quest.
This phrase is old and appears to be one of the many phrases introduced to the language by Shakespeare. The first recorded citation is from Romeo and Juliet, 1592:

Romeo: Switch and spurs, switch and spurs; or I'll cry a match.
Mercutio: Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five.

Our current use of the phrase alludes to an undertaking which will probably prove to be fruitless - and it's hard to imagine anything more doomed to failure than an attempt to catch a wild goose by chasing after it. Our understanding of the term differs from that in use in Shakespeare's day. The earlier meaning related not to hunting but to horse racing. A 'wild goose chase' was a chase in which horses followed a lead horse at a set distance, mimicking wild geese flying in formation. The equine connection was referred to in another early citation, just ten years after Shakespeare - Nicholas Breton's The Mother's Blessing, 1602:

"Esteeme a horse, according to his pace, But loose no wagers on a wilde goose chase."

That meaning had been lost by the 19th century. In Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1811, he defines the term much the way we do today:

"A tedious uncertain pursuit, like the following a flock of wild geese, who are remarkably shy."