Tuesday, 1 September 2015
The Coffee Pot Level
Yes, that's right- we finally made it. After some unavoidable business in Porthmadog, I realised that there might just be time to scoot over to Penmaenmawr and visit the old De Winton loco. The roads were crowded with cars, caravans, jet-skis on tow, AA trucks with cars on board and a plethora of other vehicles deemed essential when the British decide to enjoy themselves. Petra patiently negotiated all this and, with some relief, drove up the quarry road and away from the A55 mayhem.
Once parked up, we didn't see a single soul for the rest of the day. I've waffled on about the views and the location before, so please take it as read that Penmaenmawr didn't disappoint. It wasn't particularly easy to reach the loco, sitting in the sunshine outside the shed- but we made it in one piece. The floors at every level were colourful, as the heather was in flower and a smell of Welsh Honey hung in the air. Spiders were everywhere, particularly in the ruins. Mostly the uninspiringly titled "Garden Spider", of which there were some fine examples. We also saw a wonderful Cinnibar Moth- unfortunately it didn't keep still enough to photograph. Underneath the ground cover it was evident that there were rails and wagon turntables, vestiges of wagons and countless bits and pieces of metal left by the quarry workers- particularly on the inclines, where rails were still there under nearly a foot of vegetation.
Eventually, we were standing outside the shed, looking at the old De Winton's remains. What a lovely thing it is, being left to rot away in peace. The unseemly paint daubs of a few years ago have faded away- after all, these days anyone who wants to know about the loco just needs a browser and Google. The light wasn't good for photography, it being five o'clock by the time we got there, but we soaked up the rays and enjoyed the views over to Llandudno. What better way to spend a Bank Holiday Monday?