Friday, 13 November 2015

The Eisteddfod, Bridge and Sainsbury’s

In contrast to the the weather forecast the morning was clear and sunny, but a little crisp.  I decided to walk back through Llangollen for another look at that chain bridge near Horseshoe Falls.

The linear canal moorings before the cafe are almost empty.  One boater informed Jan CRT had only allocated 5 winter moorings this year which was half of the previous years.

P1020130 It looks strange seeing a long line of empty moorings.

On the other side of of Llangollen is where the annual International Musical Eisteddfod is held.

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I don’t recall seeing this large permanent ‘tent’ when I walked to the Falls in 2001.  I should mention an eisteddfod is a Welsh festival of literature, music and performance.

The first official Eisteddfod took place in 1947.  I did chuckle when reading the Wikipedia comments about the first event “the Men's competition was won by the Hungarian workers’ choir, who had completed their journey to Wales by hitch-hiking when their train had been cancelled at Basle because of a French rail strike”. 

Further along the canal is the Llangollen Motor Museum

P1020135Jan is the one who is interested in music and I can’t say I’m much interested in vehicles except as a reliable form of transport.

The Chain Bridge hotel is squeezed between the canal at the rear and the River Dee in front.

P1020136From the information I could find it appears the area became popular during the Napoleonic Wars when doing the “grand tour” of Europe became fraught.  The English then started to discover their own country.  The canal became popular for both tourism and commerce with the construction of the hotel being but one of the consequences

Today I spent some time examining the bridge and the first thing I noticed was the construction is chain bar.  I’d been expecting to see something like an anchor chain.

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A close up photo shows the detail of the bar and links.

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The bars are made from strips of rectangular cross section iron bent into a loop at either end.  In the background you can see that road and rail bridge from yesterday’s post.

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What appears to be an original part of the hotel is now sandwiched between two larger and more modern wings.  At the other end of the bridge is the Llangollen Railway which is now a heritage steam railway.  One assumes many of the hotel guests would have arrived or departed by rail.

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I then did some walking in the hills behind the railway recording a few public footpaths for the Open Street Map.  Then the weather changed and small pieces of solid rain started to fall.  Hailstones hitting the tops of your ears can hurt, particularly if you have large ears!  So I shortened the walk and headed back towards the boat skirting the southern edge of Llangollen.  That’s when I noticed the new retail outlet on the SW corner of the town.

P1020147I guessed it might have been a new supermarket or some other type of retail outlet (Wickes, B&Q, Homebase, etc).  Jan knew more explaining it was a new Sainsbury’s which the company has now decided to abandon. <more here>

Of course the sun decided to return as I arrived back at Waiouru.

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