Saturday, 16 February 2013

Taking the train to buy the papers

Half term with the trains running two per day. I walked up to Dduallt, on my way finding an old billy goat’s horn in the bracken, and flagged down the train. Five minutes later and we eventually pulled out of the station. 

Newspapers bought at the Blaenau Co-Op I looked in to the engine to ask the driver if he’d drop me at Campbell’s. This was not any old driver but my neighbour Ray who explained some complex mechanical problem that had occurred when I boarded the train at Dduallt. He borrowed the guard’s mobile and phoned ‘control’ to say they’d need to find another engine for tomorrow. Seemed an odd mix of technologies, the steam and the mobile.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Ready for Spring

An old oak has been shedding the occasional rotten branch onto the railway and the fear is that one day the whole tree might fall, causing substantial damage. Landowners are responsible and apart from putting right the physical damage, there is also the question of lost revenue which could be quite considerable in peak season.

We were very pleased to accept the railway’s kind offer to do the work for us. They arrived with wagon-mounted chipper and cherry picker and this and many other trees were sensitively pruned. All the weight of our old oak now leans away from the railway so when it eventually goes it won’t be a problem and in the meantime birds can continue to nest in it and feast on the insect life it supports.

We’ve been helping Wales get ready for Spring as well. Sue and myself somehow got ourselves selected as one of the couples to be used in the Visit Wales advertising campaign. So please don’t have too much of a shock if you see us on TV in March! Here’s what an earlier advert looked like: