The good weather is bringing people out onto the beach.
Pictures taken last Thursday, 24th September around 1030 – 1100am as I was on my way back from the dentist. Yes it it going to cost €€€ to replace an old filling.
The rest, including a couple of the town and the ill-fated Oceanville resort development. at http://1drv.ms/1LzUSvr
Managed to get the pictures out of the faulty camera, which is now off for examination as it is under guarantee.
Here’s a sample – click to see full size
A few more pictures at http://1drv.ms/1PxO94h
Cricket washed out, so I went to the Shepherd Neame brewery in Faversham. It’s a nice 1hr 20 minute tour followed by some beer tasting, of course.
Shepherd Neame and its predecessors have been brewing on the same site since 1698, some say even earlier. Monks brewed in the nearby abbey (gone now) in the 12th century. Some the equipment still in use is 100 years old.
Faversham is a delightful town, with more ancient buildings per street than many. It has escaped the ravages of both war and modern development. Lots of decent pubs of course.
Well worth a visit, on a dry day!
I shall try to recover my photos from the damaged camera and disc. All being well they will appear tomorrow, Wednesday.
The not so garden of England has been thoroughly made wet today. It has not stopped raining for about 12 hours, alternating between heavy drizzle and the odd torrential five minutes thrown in every so often.
The hundreds of tourists, myself inlcuded, are thoroughly miserable. I need some beer.
Taken at 1645hrs out of my hotel window, this I think just about sums it up.
I did make a short trip to the well kept town of Faversham earlier, but it was too wet to get many decent pictures. I may try again on Friday, as I plan to go on the tour of the local brewery. Might as well get wet on the inside!
So I arrive in the historic city of Canterbury for my annual week of the final match of the cricket season. Some hope! This was one of those days. Chucks it down for 15 minutes, then sunny, repeat, all day.
Didn’t even bother going to ground, keeping in touch via modern technology.
Too wet to even take many pictures. I did then find an excuse to partake in a few pints of Shepherd Neame Masterbrew ale and I found an outdoor clothing shop with a closing down sale, so bought a pair of decent walking sandals at less than half price. Silver linings and all that!
Dark skies on and off all day.
But the cathedral tower still looked good.
On the afternoon of my tourist day here in Wales, I took a train up to the very end of the Rhondda Valley to the small town of Treherbert and the neighbouring village of Blaen-y-Cym. That village marks the literal end of the road along the valley. I enjoyed a walk through the quiet streets and up into the surrounding hills, once the scene of noisy industry, now a place to keep horses, chickens and ducks. There were also some very nice blackberries!
For around 100 years, the Rhondda was one of the centres of the Welsh coal industry. This small area alone had several mines and was criss-crossed with railway lines to take the coal down to Cardiff and the export trade.
Some collieries closed after a few years but the industry had a major role until the 1960’s when the big closures began. By 1990 most of the mines had closed. The final major closure took place in 2008 and there remain now just a few tiny operations.
Now, virtually all trace of this former industry is gone. Buildings have been demolished, landscaping has obliterated the huge waste tips and the railways were long since lifted. As local media says, the hills are once again green.
My pictures at http://1drv.ms/1XU48j9 show the land as it is now. I found this useful resource for the former collieries on South Wales – http://www.welshcoalmines.co.uk/index.html which lists every colliery he says!
You can Google for much older pictures like this and this
Next stop, the cricket at the Swalec Stadium. Day four of four is tomorrow, Saturday 12th.
Cardiff and Cardiff Bay
On Tuesday I took a walk around the city centre, then a short boat trip down the river to Cardiff Bay. Cardiff city centre is a jumble of the fairly old and brutally new, as are so many British cities.
Cardiff Bay was once the principal dock area of the city, where coal exports were a major activity for around 100 years until that ended in 1964.
Just look at the line up of coal wagons at the docks in 1927.
The docks have gradually run down further, until now there are only two operational docks with 10 – 12 shipping movements per day. Cardiff Bay is now under ‘re-generation’ and now houses the Welsh Assembly (parliament) buildings, County HQ, the International Sports Village and a large area of leisure activities and apartment blocks.
Much of the area is totally unrecognisable from even 40 years ago.
My pictures are at http://1drv.ms/1EQL0wh
These links will take you to various websites for more reading about what you are seeing.
http://coalexchange.co.uk/ – The Cardiff Bay Coal Exchange Building
http://www.sabrain.com/goatmajor – a Cardiff pub with an unusual name
http://bute-park.com/ a beautiful park in the centre of Cardiff.
http://www.internationalsportsvillage.com/ – the new complex in Cardiff Bay.
That same afternoon, I took a train to the very heart of the Rhondda Valley, once a coal mining area of the first order, now turning green again.
Those pictures tomorrow.