Saturday 31 December 2011

Kentish sound mirrors

Much has been written about the Kentish Sound Mirrors, and many pictures can be seen.  There seems little need to add to these piles.

The mirrors are a compelling sight: they are big - some huge - and rather forlorn. While we know they were demonstrated to "work", they raise far more questions than they answer.

We went to see the survivor above Hythe, now in a bit of a sorry state.  It was best approached across a very muddy field, and it was a cold and windy winter day.  It seemed a good plan to have a toddler and a lady on crutches in the party.

It really was jolly interesting.

(Fred is visible at the left).

Tuesday 27 December 2011

50 years on

In the National Library of Wales is an untitled, silent film catalogued as “Aberystwyth Post Office”: as far as it’s possible to judge, it was made to describe or commemorate the opening of an extension to the sorting office. It lasts 2m40s. 

It opens with a shot of a woman walking down Darkgate to enter the Post Office, of which more another time. It cuts to her walking down Stryd Y Bont to its junction with Tan Y Cae where at that time there was a shop. She places a letter in a postbox as does another passer-by, which is then emptied by a postman. A poster for the film “Quantrill’s Raiders” is just visible – this film was made in 1958 but it’s anyone’s guess how long it took to get to Aberystwyth. Let’s say it’s 50 years ago. 

The shop has closed and the box has been changed.  Further comparative photos at

Friday 16 December 2011

Trenau Arriva Cymru

Approximately every 2 (two) hours, Arriva Trains Wales provide a train out of Aberystwyth. Well, they try. Each train consists of 2 (two) coaches.

A highlight of the Aber Christmas season is the last day of term, on which some 9000 students attempt to leave town, 8999 of them by train.

I went to watch the 3.30 departure. Unlike last year, nobody was left on the platform which was slightly disappointing, but the pictures illustrate the scene some time after the train was scheduled to leave. In the second, a lady with too many suitcases (2), and a man with too many bicycles (1) are evident.

The picture is unable to record the Train Manager yelling "JUST GET ON THE TRAIN, SIR" in an effort to leave West Wales.