here we go again ("To begin . . . at the beginning . . ."). Well, no,
not at the beginning. Just where I left off a couple of entries
ago. It was my intent then, and is my intent now, to publish a few
details of some of the trips which we’ve taken over the past week or
so. You’ve heard about the meanderings at Pont-rhyd-y-groes and the
Miners’ Bridge. Now read on . . .
On Thursday last, 12th August, I decided that a trip to Rhayader would
be in order so that I could take a few photos there for next month’s
‘Cambrian Media’. Rosie agreed, so we included a drive through Cwm
Elan in our itinerary
So glad we did so: we haven’t been round the Elan Valley dams for a
while (at least not stopping and starting to take in the views and to
wander a little). Indeed, I could not see much which had changed since
my first visit there in the 1950s. How could one improve on scenes of
this beauty? Mind you, the roads are much better surfaced these
days! That includes the Cwmystwyth to Rhayader road. Very little grass growing in the middle of these roads in these motor-car ridden times.
The only dam we didn’t visit was the Claerwen. Tom Evans, Dolcoion (in Rhos-y-Gell) was a great fan of Royalty and took us to the Claerwen way back then when it had just been opened by the then-Princess Elizabeth. Happy days, and all in black & white. When Tom first took us there – me, Mom & Dad, Joan & Doug and cousin Susan – the sheep were just about used to seeing people in these then-remote places. When Rosie and I visited the Claerwen (in the old Plastic Pig) while Liz stayed with Doug & Joan in Minffordd, Rhos-y-Gell, in 1976, the sheep used to beg for scraps of food from visitors. They would rear up and put their front hooves on one’s chest to take the titbits!
It was from the Cwmystwyth road in ’76, too, that we spotted the hippy-camp just down at the top of the nearest reservoir. That gloriously long, hot Summer encouraged many of them to wander around "sky-clad". On seeing the naked hippies, little Liz asked "Are they boys or girls?" – "Dunno," I answered, "They haven’t got any clothes on . . ."
Back to last Thursday’s jaunt!
And here’s a pic of the small Catholic church in Cwm Elan, build for the foreign workers who came here to work on the dam-bulding.
We drove from the dams – chatting away like two old biddies, of course – about the lovely scenery, of course – and into Cwmdauddwr, which is now a "suburb" of Rhayader. It was my aim to have a proper look at Cwmdauddwr, for – except for flyering the place when we ran our Kleenezee business – neither of us had really looked round the tiny village.
It was an interesting look round – and I will say more about it, and our journey beyond Rhayader, in my next entry . . . well, that’s the current plan!