THE Year in Review continues with the high summer months of July and August.

Businesses continued to struggle amid dramatically reduced visitor numbers while top events were cancelled, but there was some good news amid the doom and gloom.

Thursday, July 2, ‘Zoo to open this month’: The Welsh Mountain Zoo was preparing to re-open to visitors for the first time on Monday, July 13. The team was busy putting social distancing measures in place across the site over recent weeks, as well as other measures such as pre-booking of tickets online, no animal experience days, the closure of indoor areas and suspension of animal demonstrations. “We can’t wait to see our friends and supporters again,” said operations director Jennifer Jesse. “We know they will all be looking forward to visiting, but we’d like to kindly ask for their understanding in the meantime whilst we prepare more information regarding our reopening over the coming weeks.”

Thursday, July 9, ‘A “phoenix” ap-piers’: As Conwy county opened up following the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, hope was rekindled that work to protect the treasured Colwyn Bay Pier would continue. After months of delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, scaffolding was set up by Kinmel Bay builders as they returned to the late Victorian landmark, dated to 1900. It included strengthening the old pier columns and installing railings on the new 45-metre truncated platform nearby. The Colwyn Victorian Pier Trust Campaign (CVPT) was in celebration having tirelessly advocated for the redevelopment. “I’m ecstatic - we’ve been waiting for so long to see this happen,” said CVPT vice-chair Pat Owen. The timetable for the project was carried forward and is scheduled to be completed early next year.

Thursday, July 16, ‘Pier is open but at a loss’: While Llandudno Pier began to welcome visitors its arcades, amusements and rides had to remain shut. Food outlets operated as takeout only but restrictions remained in place over its entertainment areas. Adam Williams, managing director of Tir Prince Leisure Group who owns Llandudno Pier, said it meant the site continued to operate at a loss. “It was like opening it for the first time but the strange part of it was that most of the businesses weren’t open,” he said. “[These are] the bits that actually keep the upkeep for the Pier like the amusements and the rides.”

Thursday, July 23, ‘Covid puts display out’: Bad news for the festive season was on the horizon as Llandudno’s annual firework display had to be cancelled for the first time since 1976. The event is said to be one of the largest displays in North Wales, attracting 19,000 people last year. A Llandudno Town Council spokesperson said: “Regardless of the many challenges faced by the council over the last 44 years, the town has always managed to put on well received displays. However, the coronavirus pandemic has brought with it so many insurmountable logistical and financial problems.”

Thursday, July 30: ‘Queen of Welsh Resorts award for Llandudno’: Llandudno staked its claim as ‘the Queen of Welsh Resorts’ after winning big at the Tripadvisor awards. Amid some gloomy post-lockdown economic forecasts for the industry, the Lawton & Lauriston Court Hotel won Top Hotel in the UK at the website’s 2020 Travellers’ Choice Awards. With more than 8.7 million businesses listed on Tripadvisor, such recognition was a shot of optimism for the town. “Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the hotel trade here in Llandudno, and of course all other businesses too,” said Llandudno Mayor Cllr Angela O’Grady. “But with such great hotels, we’re never going to struggle getting tourists back to Llandudno.”

Thursday, August 6, ‘A Lidl bit of good news’: Llandudno Junction’s new Lidl store was unveiled as customers turned up in their droves to get some of the best deals around. The Vale Road store, which was granted planning permission in 2017, has created around 40 jobs. It has also donated surplus produce to food delivery charity Crest and Ty Hapus Community Resource Centre. Robin Millar, MP for Aberconwy joined the store’s staff members to cut the ribbon to mark it official opening on the day the Pioneer went to print.

Thursday, August 13, ‘Traffic lights here to stay’: TRAFFIC lights were installed on the Black Cat roundabout as major works progressed at the Junction 19 interchange. The busy intersection where the A470 meets the A55 would see months of traffic delays with work planned to be completed at the end of September. It included drainage and ducting on the roundabout and nearby embankment and safer crossings for pedestrians and cyclists. “Work is progressing well at the Junction 19 interchange which will improve safety and will be a boost for active travel,” a Welsh Government spokesperson said at the time. The project would originally have been carried out after the summer, however low traffic levels prompted an earlier start.

Thursday, August 20, ‘Conwy Feast postponed’: Another week has meant another cancelled event in 2020 – the Gwledd Conwy Feast was postponed from October to May next year due to… you guessed it. The food festival is claimed to be one of the biggest in Wales having launched in 2004. Fears were raised last September when a reduction in public funding left it facing an uncertain future, however organisers have re-assured members of the public that they will be back once more in 2021. “We hope the spring event will give Gwledd Conwy Feast a fresh new outlook and kickstart the beginning of a great summer season,” the Gwledd Conwy Feast organisers said.

Thursday, August 27, ‘Youths jump off sea wall’: The harbourmaster for Conwy issued a stark warning after children were seen jumping and somersaulting off the sea wall by Porth Eirias. CCTV footage captured the worrying scenes which were said to have been a regular occurrence throughout the summer. “The currents here run up to six miles an hour and there are obstructions under the water, such as ropes and chains, that can snag your feet,” said harbourmaster Matthew Forbes in an appeal. “Boats are moving through the harbour all the time and they may not spot you in the water.” Sea swimmers were urged to check the area for warning signs along the Conwy coast before entering the water.