1 EAGLETON NOTES: The Wales of Our Youth Revisited

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Monday, 1 August 2016

The Wales of Our Youth Revisited

Yesterday, Sunday, my brother CJ, aka Scriptor Senex, and his partner-who-drinks-tea went to Wales. Between us we have spent a lot of our lives in that country and I have particularly fond memories of youthful visits and stays. 60 years ago North Wales wasn't the half hour drive from Liverpool that it now is. River crossings (by tunnel and bridge) were a greater barrier and, of course, there were no motorways and cars were slower. None of us live in Liverpool now and the journey from the family's home on the Wirral into Wales took no time at all.

Many of our visits both for annual holidays and Sunday trips were to the area near Mold and Pantymwyn and Loggerheads in North Wales. It was accessible from Liverpool by bus and we could walk along The Leete (which until now I thought was spelt Leet) between Loggerheads and Pantymwyn or up Moel Famau.

I've walked up Moel Famau many times but my maternal Uncle Eric surpassed that to see the New Year in one year (I think they used to have a bonfire on the top) by riding his motorbike up the mountain. That was probably the late 1920s. Now there is a wide properly maintained track up the mountain: in fact there are many.

We stopped at the top of the Old Bwlch Pass:

The path up Moel Famau from the top of the Old Bwlch Pass
The Old Bwlch Pass looking down into the Vale of Clwyd with the town of Ruthin in the top right of the picture
There seemed to be as many cyclists as cars on the road
but sheep definitely outnumbered the people
Moel Famau ('the mountan with the pimple on the top' we called it) from the road between Ruthin and Denbigh.
The remains of the monument on the top of the mountain which was built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of George III in 1810.
Photographed by CJ from the same place as the previous photo was taken.

28 comments:

  1. Wish I could walk to the top of that mountain, what a lovely path.
    Great photos! Say hello to Scriptor and partner-who-loves-tea for me!

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    1. Kay you would find it a stroll after your Arabia Mountain and I'm sure that you'd love it and the views. CJ read your comment and passed it on to Jo.

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  2. This sounds great when you're outside in the country. More should be made so that we have to walk or ride. Just don't build any roads for those damn cars.

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    1. Red there are plenty of places in Britain to walk, hike, tramp and generally get exercise if you want to. Getting to them from the cities often needs a car though.

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  3. I always enjoy revisiting the places of my youth. Wish I got to do it more often. Mostly I settle for the places of my younger days. Glad you enjoyed your family day out. I like CJ's photo of the pimple, the scoops in the side of the mountain.

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    1. Pauline I have only once regretted re-visiting a place of my youth. It was a village in which my maternal uncle lived. When I returned years later it had changed beyond recognition. I drove though and kept on driving and erased the incident from my memory.

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  4. I know this area quite well. My mother hailed from the Welsh Marches, and my people owned a couple of cottages there where we always spent Christmas. When I left college I bought my first house in the area too. Walkers paradise (when it's not raining).

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    1. Cro I knew from discussions we've had on your blog that you knew the area. I've walked in the area in pouring rain on many occasions. Somehow I still managed to enjoy it. As a small child my Dad actually stopped me from being blown off Moel Famau on one particularly windy walk.

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  5. Beautiful!

    It's always interesting to revisit areas we visited when we were young. As you say, the time to get there doesn't take anywhere near a long as it used to...and many things seem smaller, shorter than they did when we were kids.

    Wonderful photos, Graham. :)

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    1. Thank you Lee. I thought that many things were smaller, shorter than they were when we were kids!

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  6. That would be a good hike up there. I'd prefer a car. Pretty scenes especially the one with sheep.

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    1. It's not that big a hike Diane. The mountain is only 1,821 ft (555 m) above sea level or 912 ft (278 m) above the surrounding countryside.

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  7. I was interested in your reference to the ruins of The Jubilee Tower and found this:-
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-21602019

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    1. Thank you YP. Whilst I knew some of the history a lot of that was completely new to me.

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    2. Thank you YP. Whilst I knew some of the information the rest was very informative.

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  8. Also live in Wirral, like John, and know the area around Loggerheads well, my late father used to lead groups of hikers around that area and I still have many old B/W photos of the happy times they all had together. As a child he used to take me walking around the area with many a jolly picnic, thanks for bringing back some happy memories.

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    1. I'm very pleased to have done so. Thanks for the comment Cath.

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  9. it Looks great but a pity you used a camera phone and not a camera Age comes o us all.

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    1. I'm assuming that you are not being deliberately insulting Adrian because I know that you'd never do that. I was using my Pentax K-3 and the weather was crap and I've done little to alter the images. The last photo by John was on his Sony bridge camera.

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  10. Wales is almost completely off my radar, as I am always only in Yorkshire when visiting England. I know this is a shame, as Wales has so much to offer; it's just quite a long way from Yorkshire, and I have no family or friends there (in Wales, I mean).
    At least I can look at it through your and John's blogs!

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    1. I hope you are having better weather than we are Meike. You are actually North of me now which makes a change.

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  11. A beautiful landscape, Graaham, reminding me of the Y9rkshire Dales and the Lake district, both dear to my heart.

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    1. Frances I've spent very little quality time in the Yorkshire Dales but spent a great deal of my teenage and early 20s in the Lake District. I used to wander the fells in the winter when there was little in the way of tourists but now the fell paths are like motorways all year round. One of the beauties of Scotland is its relative quietness up in the mountains.

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  12. A very interesting post, Graham, and great photos of a beautiful area. If I ever get back to the UK, I would love to explore more of Wales. I only saw a few sites in Wales during the weekend that my cousin (who lives in Bristol) took us around Bath, the Cotswolds and into Wales to see Chepstow Castle & Tintern Abbey.

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    1. After Australia, Liz, the places and distances seem very small.

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  13. Oh, great landscape views... I especially like the one with all the sheep! I think I would have guessed Yorkshire or Scotland rather than Wales, if I had just seen the photos without knowing where they were from. I remember Wales(from our family trips in the 70s) as being more... not sure what word I'm searching for - craggy? (narrow gauges, steep rugged rocks, waterfalls... that sort of thing)

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