Thursday, 7 May 2015


This morning I travelled back to 1971. In that year I left school and started a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (UWIST) in Cardiff. For a number of reasons I only completed the first year of the course, but in that time I lived in Barry in a former YMCA hostel used by UWIST as a hall of residence. The hostel was called Glan Y Mor, and situated right on the sea at The Knapp. As I was contemplating today's trip over dinner in Newport last night I came across the website which is about the history of the place and specifically about the UWIST connection. Out of curiosity I emailed the site and within minutes had a reply from Jeremy who organises it. 
The old building has been dolished and replaced by houses
This is the nearest I could get, the name survives in a street.
I had a lovely conversation and couple of cups of coffee with a gentleman who lives opposite. He remembers the old hostel, and is friends with the man who developed some of the houses on the site. While I was there Jeremy texted to ask if I had seen the Roman remains, these were discovered when the hostel and a neighbouring hotel were demolished. It seems that the area was a Roman port.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to have a proper look as the retaining wall to the neighbouring garden had collapsed and the site was fenced off.
This is the view I had regularly as a student, from what was the garden of Glan Y Mor.
Earlier this morning I had been to Barry Island. I knew it well before Gavin and Stacey were there, but to be honest I don't remember it well

One thing I do recall is that Barri Island was a graveyard for old steam locomotives. British Rail had abandoned steam in the 1960s and Barry was a last resting place for hundreds of them. I asked a number of people about this. They remembered it and pointed me to the sidings, but they ar empty now. It seems that the locks were mostly bought by preservation societies and they are no doubt steaming or providing spare parts all over the country now.

It's sad to see the dereliction in Barry, but pleasing that the old trains are giving people pleasure still.

I could have stayed chatting in Barry all day. But had to get to Tenby, so Port Talbot, Swansea and the lovely Gower were on the itinerary.

How idyllic is that: Port Eynon on Gower. A wonderful place for children and adults, without amusement arcades or theme parks.
The joy of meandering is that you come across chance places. I had an hour or so to go to Tenby, the sun was shining and I was feeling a bit stiff, so o pulled into a car park with the intention of having a short stretch. Opposite I saw this
Which turned out to be Laugharne Castle, one of a cluster of Notman defences along the South Wales coast. It is also close to the home of Dylan Thomas who walked and wrote extensively along the banks of the estuary.
I couldn't resist the photogenic opportunity with the bike. 
And I think I'm getting better with the selfie stick!!
Today's route can be seen at

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