Monday, 25 April 2011

Ffestiniog Fire - again!

Another fire - that's 3 in less than 3 weeks! Thankfully we spotted it early, 300 metres down the line from Campbell's Platform. Thanks to Denis our neighbour for making us a couple of beaters - we never expected to use them so soon. So much better than hessian sacks.

The snake that fell to earth?

A curled up grass snake seemed to be dozing on the middle of our lawn. On closer inspection it turned out to be dead. No puncture wounds. Had it been dropped from on high?

Friday, 22 April 2011

Pete Waterman prefers Welsh Highland!

20th April was the official, official opening of the Welsh Highland Railway - lots of councillors and officials with the occasional mayor sporting  ceremonial bling.

A slate milestone, quarried and engraved at Llechwedd, was unveiled by Pete Waterman. It was great to have someone who was not just a celebrity but also passionate about steam trains. But is he a good judge of railway talent? Is the Welsh Highland better than the Ffestiniog?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


The crackling on Sunday 10th April was not the pork but dead bracken in flames beneath the trees, just down the line. Smoke was rising from another fire at Coed y Bleiddiau and another in the Tan y Bwlch direction. 999.

Fire brigade response is always good but rarely fast in these remote sections, about 45 minutes to an hour. With hessian sacks we managed to put it out just a few feet short of a clearing full of knee high, dead grass – if that had started it would have burned many, many acres in the foothills of Moelwyn Bach.

Hessian sacks not too good and hopefully we will get some proper beaters before the next occasion.   

It’s difficult to know for sure the cause of a fire but these 3 and others further up the line coincided with the passing of an engine called Lilla. A serial arsonist would struggle to cover the ground, unless working as part of a team, or maybe he was on board?

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ras y Moelwyn 2011

3rd Saturday of April, must be Ras y Moelwyn, the rugged alternative to the London Marathon. From Blaenau through Cwm Cwmorthin, up Moelwyn Mawr, over Craigysgafn, then Moelwyn Bach, Moel yr Hydd and steeply home. Ten and a half miles with 2,800 feet of altitude gain in about 80 minutes – some do take quite a lot longer. This is what it looks like in the middle section on Craigysgafn and below Moelwyn Bach. The speed of the runners blew away the mist!