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CTC Winged Wheel Returns to Corwen

Established in 1912, and situated on the main A5 road from London, W J Astley's of Corwen are the sort of traditional ironmongers every small community deserves. Early in the last century it was awarded a cast iron CTC Winged Wheel wall plaque as a testament to its quality service as a cycle maker and repairer. Some years ago a town centre refurbishment led to the removal of the plaque as it had become a little careworn. But when approached on behalf of CTC's Chester & North Wales District Association, the current owners Iwan and Christine Astley readily agreed to the DA financing the restoration of the plaque, and its return to its original location. Notably, it is the only remaining example of a 'Repairer' sign on public display in Wales. Throughout the UK there are barely 10 in existence, some in private ownership, others in need of sensitive restoration such as this one has received.

At 12 noon Saturday 19th April 2008 a simple ceremony re-dedicated the plaque in the memory of Graham Mills. Graham lived locally and was known throughout the UK as an organiser and 'cyclist extraordinaire'. He shared the pleasure of the plaque's unearthing, but sadly did not live to see it returned to its former elegant pride of place in Corwen town centre. (see Graham Mills

Footnote; A decade ago plans were afoot for a cycle trail linking Rhyl to Dolgellau using sections of dismantled railway. The route would have passed through Corwen, transforming its tourism profile. Sadly plans for the first section from Rhyl to Ruthin (Lon Clwyd) were abandoned by Denbighshire County Council in the face of misguided opposition. Public understanding of the economic and environmental factors affecting our future has matured greatly in the past ten years. With challenges undreamt of just a few years ago, may we hope for more enlightened thinking and action in the corridors of power.


Astley's shop in Corwen: founded 1912

Almost 100 years of family service to Corwen


Corwen Communiity Council chairman welcomes speakers

Cllr Gerallt Tudor, Chairman, Corwen Community Council (centre), welcoming speakers, Roy Spilsbury CTC Cymru (left), and Mike Cross, President, Chester & North Wales DA (right)


Iwan Astley in front of his shop

Iwan Astley - hopes to see Corwen's return as a Mecca for cycling


Crowd of about 30 attend restoration ceremony

W J Astley's shop premises originally extended along the row, hence the position of the plaque


D.A. Secretary blows a hunting horn

A true welcome provided by Sue Booth, Joint Hon Sec of the DA


See also our page on the history of Winged Wheel signs