Bangor and Penrhyn 18th August 2010

Trip Start May 14, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Bull Bay

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bangor and Penrhyn 18th August 2010

Having grown up with the 60's rather rubbishy song "Didn’t We Have a Lovely Time, the Day we Went to Bangor" we expected Bangor and it’s linked Neighbour Penrhyn Harbour to be a pleasant seaside resort and harbour- after all, we had seen the lovely pier from over the Menai Straight. Yes, the pier was lovely, and recently restored, stretching out over the mud at low tide, with us the only visitors in the cool breeze and under the cloudy sky which seems to have characterised summer since we arrived. However, the town and harbour were frankly not worth visiting- afterwards I realised that I had not even got up the enthusiasm to take any photos in town at all, and as you can see, the harbour photos will not make you all get up and jump in the car for a visit. Note the half buried boat with the seagulls using it for shelter from the wind. Don’t go there!

We then visited Penrhyn Castle- a huge mock castle built 150 years ago by the local slate quarry owner, who started quarrying slate for roof tiles here when his previous business in Caribbean sugar plantations, was brought to it’s knees by the banning of the slave trade he depended on for cheap labour.

It’s a very impressive place seemingly built regardless of expense in (yes, you’ve guessed it) slate, and reputedly used only twice each year, which must have disrupted somewhat the otherwise relaxed life of the 40 permanent staff he kept on year round. He ran what is claimed to be the biggest slate quarry in the world, and it’s a perfect example of someone having more money than he knows what to do with, but I suppose that he did employ a lot of local labour in it’s extravagant construction.

The most impressive part for us was the magnificent railway collection housed in the stables, including several very unusual man-powered rail buggies- there are photos of three of them for you to try and guess how they worked. (photos can be enlarged by clicking) Christine liked the small doll museum.

On to stormy Llandudno for the next instalment.

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