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"The concept of the Friendship Benches supports the vision of the Town Council's Community Plan to 'ensure that Criccieth continues to be a pleasant and welcoming place for people of all ages to live because they will feel safe, and have opportunities to be healthy in body and mind, to socialise and work in a quality environment. It will also be a place which welcomes visitors.'

"The artist and Cllr. Ffion Gwyn was independently commissioned by Gwynedd Council to carry out the work and the benches were painted by a group of ten art students at the Pwllheli campus of Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor. The Town Council chose two benches that needed renovating for the project and these were repaired by Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor students at Glynllifon.

"The two benches were initially designed by Ffion Gwyn based on fasciniating stories, place names and local history and the community was consulted in an online event in March.

"The design of the bench located on the ‘Maes’ is based on the rich history of the Fairs, which have been held in Criccieth for many centuries. Sales of animals, cattle, horses, pigs and sheep, entertainment and stalls. Running through the middle of the ‘Maes’ are the river Cwrt, and the holy well, used long ago by John Rowlands for a small water bottle factory located nearby. A number of names have been added from long forgotten places. The bench is colourful and lively, and captures the buzz and pride of the students at the end of the lock period.

"The design of the bench on Marine Terrace was based on the many stories found about characters and stories associated with the beaches, cliffs and paths that stretch from the river Dwyfor to Black Rock. The names highlight well-known and forgotten ones, and it is hoped that these names will be used again as people see them on the bench. The designs are associated with folk history, and very interesting local traditions.

"More information can be found about all the stories that underpin the inspiration for the bench designs on the QR codes located on the back of both benches that can be scanned on the phone. These are linked to the People's Collection website, and show more pictures, paintings and information related to information on the Town Council’s project on Criccieth Stories, Legends and Songs. These stories are being collected by local historian Cllr. Robert. Cadwalader."

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