MOLD’S Daniel Owen Festival has been hailed a great success by organisers and their partners in literature, heritage, creative arts, spoken word and live performances.

The festival celebrates the life and work of prominent Victorian Welsh language novelist Daniel Owen, who lived in Mold.

Kevin Matthias, chairman of the festival said: “This year has been a special festival with a focus on the Mold Riots, which took place in the town 150 years ago, when Daniel Owen was working as a tailor in Mold and about to embark on a career in literature and public life.

“The festival has been an exciting collaboration between a number of local organisations including Theatr Clwyd and their amazing production of the Mold Riots; Mold and District Civic Society with new research from historian David Rowe into coal mining and it’s social and financial impact on the area; and local organisations – Walkabout Flintshire, Clwydian Ramblers, and Friends of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley who have led some excellent guided walks highlighting the fascinating heritage of the area.”

Coal featured strongly in the last two days of events during the week-long festival, with a guided walk around Leeswood, Coed Talon and Pontybodkin in places associated with the start of the Mold Riots and industrial history.

The route took in old pubs, ironworks and coal mines, with a warm welcome and refreshments at Cedron Congregational Church, Pontybodkin.

In the evening eminent local historian David Rowe delivered a lecture around coal mining, putting the Mold Riots into its historical and social context.

He covered the period before the 1860s and the thriving but incredibly dangerous coal mining industry in Flintshire, right up to World War Two and the Bevan Boys, and the decline of mining in Wales during the next three decades.

At the festival lecture on Friday evening renowned botanist Dr Goronwy Wynne illustrated the geological nature of the county as being crucial in determining what plants grow where. Having four distinct areas – the coal measures, millstone grit, limestone and the shales of the Clwydian Range – leads in part to Flintshire being home to almost 1,400 different plant species.

Kevin Matthias thanked Dr Wynne and said: “It has been a pleasure to hear you tonight and it is a fitting end to this year’s festival to finish on such a high note.

“I am extremely pleased with the way the festival has gone over the week, the events have been very well supported by the public and our partners alike.

“I’d like to thank all the volunteers who make the festival possible including our small organising team, and our wonderful sponsors.

“I think the Daniel Owen Festival is going from strength to strength, and is continuing to promote the importance of Daniel Owen as a novelist and citizen of Mold.”