Penrhyn Male Voice Choir

When it came to launching the issue of shares in their £1.25million community hydro scheme the 230 villagers of Abergwyngregyn decided to do it with a flourish. They engaged the services of Sid Madge from Mad Hen to teach them about branding, marketing and finding innovative ways of reaching out to potential share holders. Jacqui Bugden, one of the volunteer directors of the scheme, says, “What we enjoyed about working with Sid Madge was that he gave us a professional face but he made sure it was still our face, still our village, still our hydro. And he taught us how to present ourselves to the world.”

The annual village fête grew into a festival of music, crafts and activities that attracted an estimated 1000 visitors to this beautiful valley in one day. Farmers gave up fields for parking, marquees and the duck race. Villagers gave hours of their time for weeks before and on the day. Local businesses and suppliers provided stands, prizes, activities and donations.

Adele Thackray, Event Manager for the day, said, “From my perspective as an event organiser the whole village pulled together as a team effort on the day which was fantastic to see, the event management plan was a success and everyone from the fantastic work that went into bunting to the village fete to the car park management to staffing the shares marquee was brilliantly done.” Ian Crystal, in charge of crowd management, said, “Every week we welcome hundreds of visitors to see our waterfall. To have 1000 of them in one day was a challenge, but my team of stewards saw what was needed to keep the event flowing and just went off and did it.”

The organisation of the event was praised by North Wales Police, who said, “In credit to you and your stewards the day was well organised and had a wide array of activities ongoing which was great to see for such a small village. The day was successful for us, we were able to provide crime prevention advice to the masses along with engaging with the younger generation and allowing them to view our kit etc.”

Natural Resources Wales, Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue, Air Ambulance, National Trust, St John’s Ambulance, all found the day a way to showcase the service they offer. North Wales Wildlife Trust said, “The day was certainly a huge success. We spoke to lots of people, plenty of children did the quiz, colouring and had a go at the tombola. And we recruited new member so very satisfactory. Keep us informed for dates for next year.”

Conwy Land Rover played a pivotal role in the day, giving the use of three vehicles and drivers for the day providing off road trips up into the mountains to the intake site of the new hydro. Jason Ashley of Conwy Land Rover said, “Our team really enjoyed the day which gave us the opportunity to show case the capability of our cars, something we don’t get to do often enough. It has been fantastic for us to work with such an exciting community project and yes we would be delighted to return next year.”

Land Rover also sponsored the main marquee where local musicians performed for 7 hours – music ranging from folk to rock to classical to male voice choir, and even medieval music from a medieval encampment. Hywel Thomas, a director of the hydro and a member of the Penrhyn Male Voice Choir said, “It was moving to be singing in a field in the middle of my own village, knowing it was all helping our plans for our community hydro.”


Iolo Williams, television presenter of many nature series including BBCs Springwatch and Iolo’s Great Welsh Parks formally launched the share issue and spent the day engaging with everything that was going on, including jumping into the Aber River to assist with the duck race, and being a judge at the village fête, which had a record attendance.

Gavin Gatehouse, chair of the hydro scheme said, “Aber Dabba Doo announced the arrival of our IPS, Ynni Anafon Energy Cyf, on the community hydro scene. Many of our visitors on the day came to the Share Issue tent to find out more about us, the biggest UK community scheme outside Scotland. Within eleven days of the launch, £115,900 had already been received in share applications.”


The village is in Showdonia National Park, at junction 13 of the A55. There is free parking at the bottom of the village and paid parking nearer the falls.


Twitter           @Anafon_Hydro                                                         Facebook                         Ynni Anafon Energy Cyf