THE opening of the new Marks and Spencer store in Llandudno this morning (March 16) was serenaded by members of the Maelgwn Male Voice Choir.
More than 15 representatives of the choir sang both before and after the first customers entered the new supermarket, in Parc Llandudno retail park, with renditions of such Welsh classics as “O Gymru” and “Calon Lân”.
Before moving inside to sing once the store officially opened, the choir first sang outside, next to a Ukrainian flag the group erected with a symbol of Welsh Dragon in its centre, with the words “You’ll Never Walk Alone” written at the top.
Dewi Miles, a choir member for 13 years and its chair for the last 12 motnhs, said this was a small but important gesture to show their solidarity with the people of Ukraine, following the country’s invasion by Russia on February 24.
Dewi, a former teacher at Ysgol John Bright, Llandudno said: “What we wanted to do was show our support for the people of Ukraine.
“We see the yellow and blue flag everywhere, and we thought it would be great to put a yellow and blue flag with a dragon.
“It’s just a very, very small gesture that we’re making, but if lots of people make lots of small gestures, then it’s going to turn into something that could help these people.
“We’re a small nation, and we want them to know that they’ve got our support.”
Prior to the 10am ribbon-cutting, Dewi later told the crowds: “These people have their culture, their song, their religion, their tradition, and so do we in Wales.
“The song you hear, ‘O Gymru’, is all about the beautiful tradition of Wales, and we hope that, (through) just a small flag, and us singing, and you taking notice, that somewhere, somebody (else) will take notice.”
Members of the Maelgwn Male Voice Choir were just some of the guests invited to the store’s grand opening, as well as the choir from Ysgol San Sior, a harpist from Ysgol Creuddyn, the town’s “Miss Alice”, Llandudno mayor, Cllr Harry Saville, and town crier, Billy Baxter, and many more.
Established in 1970, the Maelgwyn Male Voice Choir has held roughly 1,500 concerts, performing in such countries as Canada, the United States, Israel, France, and Holland.
The main key features from Llandudno’s newest supermarket, which replaces the town’s old M&S on Mostyn Street:
• A fresh, market-style “Foodhall”
• A 4ft cheese barge
• A “pick your own eggs” section
• “Scan and Shop”
• A 119-seat digital café, where customers can order from the new Grab and Go touch screens while enjoying barista-made drinks
• A spacious “Clothing and Home” department, offering womenswear favourites including Per Una and M&S’s activewear collection, Goodmove.