1 EAGLETON NOTES: Retreat

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Thursday, 20 October 2016

Retreat

On Tuesday CJ, Jo and I went to Wales; to a place that has been special to me since my childhood; to a place that I used to go in my late teens to escape from the world. 

I first went to the Glyn Valley as a toddler. I remember two holidays in Glyn Ceiriog when I was very young - one in a house we rented and one in my Uncle's caravan - and my brother recalls one. As his memory of these things is invariably more accurate than mine it seems that the caravan holiday was when I was older because my brother recalls that holiday. Nevertheless as I only have one picture of me and my Uncle's caravan that's the one you're getting! Where it was actually taken is anyone's guess. My mother's brother is on the left and my Dad is holding me.


About then and on many visits to the valley after that I became acquainted with the small village of Llanarmon Dyffryn-Ceiriog with its two hotels The Hand and The West Arms



I'm not sure whether I've ever been into The Hand. I first recall staying at The West Arms when I was about 17. I rode out there on The Hypogryph


The Hippogryph was my steed for several years: we went all over The Lake District (where the above photo was taken), Wales and I popped up and down to London after work on a Friday (which astonishes me looking back). 

The West Arms was a wonderful retreat from the 'real world' for me.

On Tuesday we went for lunch and it was like going into a time warp. I walked into a place that has hardly altered (in my memory at least) in over half a century. 








Perhaps one difference was the food. I don't recall the food from the early sixties but I do recall the lunch we had on Tuesday.  I had whole prawn scampi with home made tartare sauce and perfect crisp on the outside and fluffy inside chips. This was not pub grub. 

I hope that one day I will make the journey from the Outer Hebrides to Llanarmon once again and spend some time at The West Arms in the Land of My Fathers.

24 comments:

  1. What wonderful memories, Mr. Edwards. And the pictures! I can well imagine that it is the same as in yesteryear.

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  2. I just looked at the pictures again.....especially the first one. Why did that little boy (you) have a shirt and tie on when he was on a pleasure camping trip?

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    1. Thank you Mrs Thyme. I don't really know the answer to why I had a shirt and tie on but I seem to recall that I was dressed like that with my school tie most of the time once I'd started school. I probably liked it. I wore a collar and tie most of my life and most of the time until I retired from public service in 1995. Thereafter I wore a tie only on more formal occasions.

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  3. I'm glad you found things similar to what you remember.

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    1. Yes Red sometimes things change so much and ruin the memory.

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  4. I know that part of the world very well, Glyn Ceiriog was not very far from where my people had a couple of cottages (why 2, I have no idea). Some of the pubs near us didn't even have a bar, just a front room with a fire, and someone who brought your beer from a back room. Wonderful.

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    1. Cro I don't recall much apart from things that happened on my holidays until I was nearly 20 and since then changes have been incremental. My maternal uncle (in the black and white picture) eventually lived in the valley for some years after he retired.

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  5. Like Peace Thyme Garden and Weather Station, I noticed you wearing a shirt and tie, but unlike her, I wasn't wondering; in those days, people generally dressed up when they went visiting someone or somewhere, didn't they, and maybe the caravan wasn't stationed out camping somewhere but at your uncle's place and you all went to have a look or so.
    Anyway, this was a lovely little walk down memory lane with you, and the comfy settees around the fireplace (not the leather ones, the ones in the picture before that) look soooo inviting!

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    1. Meike we were actually on holiday there and I think I just always wore a collar and tie once I started school. You are right though that the general rule was that one 'dressed up' for visits.

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  6. My own family were frequent visitors to Wales during my childhood and beyond. Something that I kept up during my life in the UK and beyond Ruthin, Pen -Y-Cae and Bala became the places which attracted me in later years, by which time I left off the dreadful tie! Thank you for sharing and reviving my own memories.

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    1. It's a pleasure Heron. It's funny how the tie is regarded by people. I love(d) my ties although I rarely wear one nowadays.

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  7. It's easy to tell that that cute little boy is a smaller version of you. I wonder why he's putting his hands together like that and why was he wearing a tie? Perhaps he had only just got back from the office. It certainly is hard to imagine you journeying on The Hypogryph from London to Wales - just for a weekend.

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    1. YP I used to leave my job in Liverpool and travel all over the place on The Hypogryph at weekends. How I managed to go down the A5 to London after work astonishes me but I did it quite often to visit friends there.

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  8. How fascinating to revisit a place that seems more or less untouched by time. A ti(e)dy little boy is my reflection too... But you were way ahead of Harry Potter riding a Hippogryph, it seems! :)

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    1. Oddly, Monica, I didn't recall that HP rode a Hippogryph (thanks for pointing out that I misspelt it).

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    2. Not up to me really how you spell your own vehicle ;) Harry P rode a hippogriff (I think with 'iff' at the end) in the 3rd book. (And my phone today does not let me comment as DawnTreader.)

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    3. Sorry about the twin comment (of which I've now removed one). There are obviously still Multiple Reasons why I should not try blog commenting from my phone but wait until I'm on the computer!

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    4. Monica you are not the only one having problems with the name that appears on the blog. I think it must be something to do with the signing into the comments process.

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  9. A lovely romp down memory lane. Not much lasts that long in this country.

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    1. Diane I'm not sure much lasts that long in this country any more either.

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  10. I love that first photo GB.

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    1. Thank you Helen. I'd missed your comment - sorry. After all you were rather busy just then!

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  11. What lovely memories for you.
    I think I would enjoy traveling around in a caravan...my free spirit nature would be so happy.

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    1. Virginia caravanning used to be great fun and give lots of freedom and was relatively inexpensive but these days so much planning and pre-booking of expensive sites is involved that, for me, a lot of the fun is taken out of it.

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