The travels continue in the UK travel blog

Beddgelert nestling in the mountains

a war time sign not used till early 2000's

the Red Dragon is everywhere!

the First Class. Big viewing windows + luxury

the carriage that gives the clearest view. But breezy!

rounding a bend; getting a photo from the road

photographers everywhere.

Rich farm lands in river valley


off to the station; it's only for the narrow gauge steam trains, looking back to Beddlegert.

This sign is at the station. Three posters were designed in 1939

one read "your courage your, cheerfulness, your resolution will bring us victory". the other had a similar focus. This one was rejected, but found in a box of papers by a bookseller in the early 2000's. He copied it and put it in his window. Everyone wanted a copy so he reproduced it and it has now become 'iconic'

I get the red dragon bit of the story, but why the dragons in the first place?? Another check needed, but later. unless one of you can enlighten me.

When you get your train ticket you can pay extra and book first class. Panoramic windows and very plush looking furniture.

This is third class (as are some of the closed in carriages). don't have to worry about windows, or reflections from this carriage and the camera can even go outside a bit. It wasnt even that windy when moving. When we stopped the wind swirled around and froze any uncovered bits.

There's something about steam trains. no-one would do this for ordinary old diesel?! Where there were people, whether walking, stopped at crossings (when they got out of their cars for the photo opportunity), or at the stations, cameras were always clicking.

I have lots of photos of the mountains in the background and rich river flats. And now different sheep to those mountain ones (Thanks Mandy for information on the 'self shearing' sheep, bred for their meat, with their worthless wool. You don't have to go wool picking)!

In addition to the sheep a variety of different breeds of cattle and some horses.

And then into Porthmadog

This was a very busy port in the days of mostly slate, but also copper and other minerals, as well as some timber, coming down from the mountains. First on pack horses, then flat bottomed barges pulled by horses (or held back by horses, until the flat?) then later the steam trains did the job.

It was busy until the first world war. Then became a virtual ghost harbour. Saved by tourism!? But to what extent?

If there's been a constant theme running through the English part of this trip, its about the changing face of employment. From mines employing thousands of men, (and some women and children) to virtually nothing. Those places were tourism is active, like the villages with access to Snowdonia and other climbing opportunities survive and some look prosperous but surely not taking in the numbers that have over the years gone out of other work.

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