The travels continue in the UK travel blog

mountain after mining

mine now Electric Mountain

Outside the Llanberis Snowden station

Llanberis Station

Anyone for an Oggie?

the carriage

the little steam engine

the workings

engine from rear

track close up


Chalk board message for today:

chance of showers

maybe maybe not.

Took a bus to llanberis (the ll sound is made by putting your tongue as you do for ‘L’ and then breathing out hard. Sounds a bit like youre choking!)

As soon as the bus stopped in the town the smell was there; steam and smoke. Love it. This is a prosperous and very clean looking town. They probably repaint frequently!

Two steam trains operate in the town, one around the lake and the other famous one going up Snowden.

This is another place that had had Slate mines. Large ones. At their peak 3000 men were employed. They operated for 200 years. Not a good photo but the grey background is a wall of slate in various stages of being dug out. They didn’t run out of slate. Just demand.

The hydro electic power station is built into one of the mines where there was already a cavern dug out. They increased the size of the cavern. It is now big enough to hold St Pauls cathedral, spire and there are 10 miles of tunnels for two lane roads and water channels. 2500 men weer employed at the peak of construction. Now it operates with 160.

No photos allowed inside. Saw a brief film, then went by bus into the workings. Massive machinery. All but one component was made by engineering firms in England. They are now mostly not operating and the big components come from Autria and other places. Even the Electric company itself is now not British; it was bought by a French firm last year. Which is why I cant bore you with too many figures. They normally have leaflets with details on them. They were all withdrwan with the takeover and new ones havent yet been approved!

Figures are impressive, it can go from standby to producing electricity in 10 seconds. All six turbines can be operating in 90 seconds. The closest competitor is gas producers which take 6 (or was it 9?) hours. Its not 24 hour production. The water goes from a top lake through the turbines and falls to a lower lake. In off peak time the turbines go into reverse and the water is pumped back up to the top lake.

Off the bus and walked to the station for the real purpose of the visit

Just as the Cornish miners have their pasties, the Welsh miners have Oggies. Main difference: Leek as an ingredient, maybe more meat, and its PUFF PASTRY. Far to big for me though the couple who allowed me to photograph before they ate ( I know a bit rude of me!) managed them.

The reason for the wide edges? So that they wouldnt coal on the main part. When they finished the coal he coal miners could hols coated 'handles' were thrown down the shaft for good luck. Got rid of some nasty little spirit out to do them harm.

Time to look around before we left

And the ratchet in the middle of the 2 foot 6 inch track that will stop us from sliding back down the mountain! Don't they look narrow? And to think, because before Federation, Western Australia had a Welsh engineer this was the width of our tracks throughout the state.

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