Vote Denbigh! That’s the clarion call from a group of business people who’ve launched a campaign to crown Denbigh as the best place in Wales.
Denbigh is one of 10 finalists competing for official recognition as Wales’ Best Place in a competition run by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Cymru.
The idea is to celebrate the nation’s most attractive and inspiring places and the role planners have played in helping protect and shape them.
More than 200 places were nominated by members of the public and that’s been whittled down by a judging panel to just 10 finalists
The group in Denbigh are urging people to cast their vote for the town before the ballot closes on September 30.
According to Peter Jones, who runs Evan Jones and Son, the electrical retailer in the town, there could be no more deserving winner of the prestigious prize.
Peter, who also works as a town guide, said: “The town actually has more listed buildings, 255 of them, than any other town in Wales.
“The town has some incredible connections to history’s great and the good. Even in Elizabethan times Denbigh was one of the top four places in the whole of Wales.
“Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the explorer who searched for and found the missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone near Lake Tanganyika, came from Denbigh and has a statue dedicated to him in the town.”
He added: “As a tour guide I’m regularly showing international travellers around Denbigh and in the last few weeks I’ve seen tourists from Spain, Germany, Australia, America and even Russia.
“Denbigh is, for many, an undiscovered little gem. In how many towns can you go to the town library or castle, pay a small deposit, and collect the keys to the town walls?
“Denbigh is the only Welsh town to have a strain of plum which is native to Wales and we have created the Denbigh plum festival which occurs on October 1 each year.
“The festival sees the Denbigh plum used to make plum chocolates, plum cakes, plum chutney and even plum vodka. Denbigh is a wonderful town and a town on the up. I’d ask everyone to give Denbigh their vote.”
Mario Kreft MBE and his wife Gill, proprietors of Pendine Park care organisation, live in Denbigh and are both backing the campaign.
Gill said: “Denbigh is such a welcoming and friendly town and really deserves this title. It’s a great town for small independent shops and businesses and with so many historical Tudor and Elizabethan buildings – it’s such a beautiful place.
“I hope everyone gets behind the campaign and votes for Denbigh. We know it’s Wales’ Best Place so let’s get our votes in!”
Mario added: “Growing up and going to school in the area, for me Denbigh is such a tolerant and caring community which is based on many years of caring for vulnerable people in our community.
“It’s an incredible beautiful town which such a rich history and I hope everyone who lives in and around Denbigh gives it their vote. Let’s really put Denbigh on the map.”
Cllr Mark Young, said: “It is fantastic news Denbigh has managed to be placed in the top 10 finalists and it’s now crucial everyone gets behind the town to put the area on the map.
“I’d ask even those that don’t live in Denbigh to do the neighbourly thing and give Denbigh your vote – even if you live in Ruthin and it’s through gritted teeth!
“This nomination has come at a great time when the town is most definitely on the up. Myddelton College opens its fabulous buildings again in September and Denbigh in bloom must be applauded for the magnificent flowers in the town.
“Denbigh Town Council has worked tirelessly with the county council to get car park charges reduced from September and to allocate nine free spaces in the town’s main Car Park.”
Ceidiog Hughes, managing director of Denbigh-based PR company Ceidiog Communication, is 100 per cent behind the campaign.
He said: “I came to live in Denbigh back in 1978 and fell in love with the place and was made to feel at home here immediately.
“Although my work takes me across the UK, I would not want to live anywhere other than Denbigh in the beautiful surroundings of the Vale of Clwyd.
“The town has a rich history and Vale Street in my opinion is the finest looking street in Wales but what makes Denbigh so special is the people and the warmth of their welcome. You can’t beat it.”
The other finalists are: Aberaeron, Ceredigion, Caernarfon, Cardiff Bay Inner Harbour, Gower, Swansea, The Hayes, Cardiff, Llandudno Promenade and High Street, Merthyr Tidfel Town centre, Snowdonia, and Tenby, Pembrokeshire National Park.
Top 10 reasons to love Denbigh
- Denbigh has a great castle and 255 listed buildings – more than any other town in Wales
- The town is the home of the Denbigh Plum, the only plum native to Wales
- Denbigh hosts the annual Boxing Day Roll-the-Barrel competition which attracts people from around the world
- The campaigning journalist and publisher, Thomas Gee, founded the influential newspaper Baner Cymru (Banner of Wales) in Denbigh in 1857 and two years later amalgamated it with Yr Amserau (The Times) to create Baner ac Amserau Cymru
- Denbigh was home to the acclaimed Welsh novelist and short story writer Kate Roberts and celebrated poets, Gwilym R Jones and Mathonwy Hughes
- The Welsh language dramatist and poet Thomas Edwards known as Twm o’r Nant was also a local man. He was famous for his anterliwtau, plays written in a poetic form
- Sir Hugh Myddelton, the sixth son of Richard Myddelton, governor of Denbigh Castle, masterminded the ambitious engineering project to bring clean water to London. His elder brother, Sir Richard Myddelton, became Mayor of London
- Medical pioneer Dr Evan Pierce, an advisor to Queen Victoria, became a local hero for his work during an outbreak of cholera in 1832
- Physicist Sir James Chadwick who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the neutron in 1932 lived in Wynne’s Parc, Denbigh
- Denbigh is the home town of television chef Bryn Williams who won the Great British Menu competition on the BBC TV programme and former darts world champion Mark Webster