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Friends raise a glass to remember man who saved popular food festival

By Lucy Todman | Llangollen | News | Published:

A new wine is being launched to honour the memory of the man who saved the popular Llangollen Food Festival – and will be used to raise money for his favourite charity.

Colin Loughlin

Friends and colleagues were devastated by the sudden death of the “larger than life” former wine distributor, Colin Loughlin, 76 after he suffered a heart attack in February.

The red wine, appropriately called Chateau Loughlin, will be unveiled at this year’s food festival that’s being held on October 19 and 20.

The label features a colourful caricature of Colin in a mural on the side of the Llangollen pavilion where the event is held every year.

The proceeds will be used to help fund a defibrillator on a new boat, the Lady Winifred, that’s recently been launched by the Vale of Llangollen Canal Boat Trust which Colin supported for many years.

A bottle of Chateau Loughlin.

Back in 2011, Colin came to rescue of the Llangollen Food Festival and led a team of volunteers who took it over when the previous organiser pulled the plug on the event.

Since then the event has gone from strength to strength and has been named as one of the top 10 food festivals in the UK by both the Daily Telegraph and Independent newspapers.

His contribution as the chair of the festival committee has been celebrated with a painting of him in a mural on the side of the Llangollen pavilion.

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Colin ran a wine distribution company called Whitehouse Wines in Coedpoeth before going into business with Lorraine Hughes.

Lorraine continued to run the business after Colin retired five years ago, before stepping down as festival committee chair in 2016.

She said: “Colin was larger than life and loved telling stories and listening to stories.

“He was the force behind the Llangollen Food Festival and we were all grateful when he returned and started attending committee meetings again a couple of years ago after resigning the chair in 2016.”

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Fellow committee member Pip Gale, who also runs Gales Wine Bar in Llangollen, sourced the Chateau Loughlin wine.

Pip said: “I first met Colin many years ago when he was a wine distributor and I bought wine from him.

“He is much missed still, and it was one of the biggest honours to be asked by him personally to join the committee for the food festival, and this does feel like a way to pay back all of the work that he put into that festival, and all of the work he did for me.

“If people like it at the food festival we will have it here at Gales afterwards and raise more money for the Canal Boat Trust.”

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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