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World's fastest blind biker to raise funds for veterans

Billy Baxter is the world's fastest blind motorcyclist. Credit: Blind Veterans UK

A daredevil Army veteran living in Llandudno holds the world record for being the fastest blind motorcyclist.

And Billy Baxter is calling on bikers from across the country to rev up and support vision-impaired military veterans.

Billy set himself the challenge of getting back into motorcycling after going blind. With the help of outriders who communicate with him over radio, Billy has become the world’s first blind motorcycle stunt driver.

At Donington Park, in front of 35,000 people, he also set the new blind land-speed record of 164.87mph.

Now, Billy is calling on bikers to sign up to Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss, a 340-mile rally to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the charity which helped him regain his independence after he lost his sight.

Billy in his army years. Credit: Blind Veterans UK

A former Royal Artillery Staff Sergeant, Billy lost his sight in 1997 after a rare virus destroyed his optic nerves

"A lifelong biker, Billy says, “Biking has always been a huge part of my life – from learning to ride on a cut-down scooter in a field as a teenager to running reconnaissance missions of gun positions on a military bike when I was in the Army.

"Bikers have big hearts and the biking community has no idea how important they were to me when I was coming to terms with sight loss. The whole biking ethos – community, achievement, doing what you love, no matter what – was an integral part of my healing process."

Places for Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss are currently available for a registration fee of £15 per rider. The event kicks off in Llandudno on Saturday 26th July.

Click here to sign up for Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss.

Llandudno named in top 10 UK destinations

Llandudno has been named in the top 10 UK destinations, according to the travel website TripAdvisor.

The list of popular destinations is based on ratings from travellers.

Llandudno is the only Welsh town in the list Credit: PA

London was placed in the top spot, with Edinburgh and Torquay in second and third place.

Llandudno is in 8th place, above Leeds and Birmingham.


  1. Ian Lang

Row breaks out in Llandudno over 'disappearing sand'

A campaign has been launched in Llandudno to restore the resort's famous beach to its original glory.

Tonnes of stone and rock is being brought in to strengthen sea defences there as Conwy Council says its aim is to protect the area and its real estate.

But locals say the sea defence work has cost them their once beautiful beach - and they want their sand back.

Man jailed after taxi driver loses eye in attack

Russell Owen Thomas of Llandudno was jailed for three years. Credit: North Wales Police

A North Wales taxi driver had his left eye removed after he was attacked by a wild passenger Mold Crown Court has heard.

The victim Richard Brennan Mattison was maimed for life and now faces an uncertain future – with the possibility that he may lose the sight in his other eye.

His attacker Russell Owen Thomas, 26, of of Bodhyfryd Road in Llandudno, was jailed for three years after he admitted wounding and damaging Mr Mattison’s Fiat taxi vehicle.

Mold Crown Court heard how Thomas – who has a previous conviction for robbery – head-butted the Perspex screen protecting the driver and a jaggered piece severed his left eye.

Thomas then callously left him alone in the dark – badly injured and bleeding profusely.

Thomas had thrown £20 for the fare through the gap and £45 for the damage.

A police officer realised the enormity of the injury and called an ambulance and he was rushed to Glan Clwyd Hospital at Bodelwyddan where he remained for a week.

Judge Peter Heywood said, "You caused a catastrophic injury to this taxi driver which have blighted his life. In my view, taxi drivers working in the early hours of the morning to ensure that people get home safely are vulnerable."

Victim Richard Brennan Mattison said he's been subjected to “gangster style intimidation” and said he had been threatened with death if he gave his attacker’s name to the police.

"It's personal" say hoteliers on world's best list

Carol-Lynn and Ian Robbins, owners of Lauriston Court in Llandudno Credit: Lauriston Court Hotel

A seaside hotel in Llandudno has been named the world's thirst best bargain hotel, moving three positions up from its ranking in sixth place last year.

The Lauriston Court Hotel was also named the number one bargain hotel in the UK.

Carol-Lynn and Ian Robbins, owners of Lauriston Court, said, “We take pride in the knowledge that our guests appreciate everything we are doing and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has stayed with us over the past year for helping us to win this award.

"Winning this award is a tremendous achievement for us and the rest of the team at Lauriston Court.”

The hotel moved up from third place from last year's 6th. Credit: Lauriston Court Hotel

The results of the TripAdvisor 2014 travellers awards also listed another Llandudno hotel, The Wellington, which features in the list of best bargain hotels in Europe, ranking in ninth place.

Last year Ian and Carol-Lynn Robbins told ITV Cymru Wales it's their personal touch that's made them so successful.

"We get to know our guests really really well and that's because we've only got 11 bedrooms. Any more and I think we would really struggle because we like to make it personal".

Bod Gwynedd Bed & Breakfast, Betws-y-Coed was named one of UKs best B&Bs Credit: Bod Gwynedd B&B
Plas Dinas Country House, Bontnewydd, is Britain's 9th best B&B Credit: TripAdvisor


Llandudno hotel named world's third best bargain hotel

The hotel has moved up three positions from its ranking in sixth place last year. Credit: ITV Wales

A seaside hotel in Llandudno has been named the world's thirst best bargain hotel, moving three positions up from its ranking in sixth place last year, according to the TripAdvisor 2014 Travellers' Choice awards.

The Lauriston Court Hotel was also named the number one bargain hotel in the UK to go alongside top three placings in Europe and the World.

The results of the awards also revealed that Llandudno can celebrate not one but two success stories, with the Wellington Hotel also featuring in the list of best bargain hotels in Europe, ranking in ninth place.

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