News & General

Anglesey chef wows judges on Great British Menu:

Anglesey chef Ellis Barrie has made it through to represent the North-West in the final of BBC’s The Great British Menu.

Barrie, who owns the Marram Grass restaurant  in Newborough with brother Liam, scored 10 out of 10 with his fish course on the show.  His “You cannot be sea-rious” dish featured sea bass confit in pork fat with barbecue cauliflower puree and Menai mussels.  Judge Daniel Clifford said Ellis has “real talent” and that he’d never tasted a dish like it!

He is now in line for a chance to cook for a special banquet at Wimbledon to celebrate its 140th year this July.

Well worth a visit, you can try and book a table at the Maron Grass (01248 440077) but I wouldn’t hold your breath for a booking this summer!

NCI Rhoscolyn Visit to the Holyhead Lifeboat – John David Geary reports

At this time of year, when the spring seas and coastal path are relatively quiet, the members of the Rhoscolyn NCI team take part in training exercises to brush up on skills such as operating VHF radios, map and chart work, weather forecasting and first aid. These exercises help to train our new volunteer watch keepers, allows established watch keepers to retain and enhance their skill levels and prepares everybody for our annual declared facility status re-assessment. The latter took place this year on Sunday 28th May and was a huge success, thereby cementing the place of NCI Rhoscolyn as accredited members of the national search and rescue community.

This year our training officer, Jo Jones, also decided that we should improve our relationship with other local search and rescue organisations that we hear all too frequently as anonymous voices on our radios. Visits, often reported in these pages, have therefore been organised to the operations room of Holyhead Coastguard, the RNLI at Trearddur Bay, the coastguard and medevac helicopters based at Caernarfon Airport and, most recently, to the RNLI lifeboat based in Holyhead’s marina complex.

The six NCI watch keepers lined up with the cox at the start of their trip. Picture John Geary

Thus it was that on Sunday 21st May six NCI Rhoscolyn watch keepers, Jon Mossman, John Dolan, Tim Hopper, John Geary and Georgina and Dave Roberts, boarded the Holyhead lifeboat, named Christopher Pearce, for an educational trip round South Stack and on to Silver Bay.  At 17 metres in length, weighing in at 40 tons, powered by two 1,250 horsepower diesel engines that can drive the boat at 25 knots, and capable of rescuing and handling up to 124 individuals, the lifeboat was most impressive. Everybody felt honoured and privileged to be allowed to travel with her crew who were themselves on a training trip.

The lifeboat carries a Y-class inflatable RIB that can be deployed by an on-board crane for use in shallow water and confined spaces, and the crew, as part of their training, used electronic and paper charts and depth gauges to determine how close they could get to the shore at Silver Bay before notionally anchoring and launching the inflatable. As you can see from the photograph they were pretty close to the rocks!

All in all this was an interesting and informative visit and we are most grateful to the cox and his crew for taking us to sea with them. A similar visit for six more watch keepers is planned for Sunday 4th June.

For a full description on the RNLI’s Severn Class Lifeboat (pictured in the side bar) visit:

And if you think you would like to become involved with the NCI, and learn some of these skills, please talk to our station manager, John Wilson, who can be contacted on 01407 740575.