Posts Tagged blackpool mill

Into 2016…and it’s still raining!

Well, it is here anyway!

It’s not even the end of January and we have got to “J” in the alphabet. Not sure what I’m talking about? Well, some bods in the Met Office a little while ago thought it’d be a good idea to name all the storms that hit our country through the year…this apparently makes us more aware of the weather and the populous more likely to protect themselves when it arrives. Or keeps us in fear of something else, whichever you believe. So, when the wind was blowing the rain horizontally last winter, we were wandering in vests and shorts with gay abandon, it seems. Good Lord.

Anyway, the wind and rain we have now is called Jonas and is the tail end of the snow that deluged the eastern seaboard of the United states not so long ago, resulting in scenes like this. Alas, no snow here (so I still had to go to work, more’s the pity) but lots of wet and windy weather as the warm Atlantic melted it all before it got here. Maybe next year. Not entirely sure where Jonas was chosen from….the character in the Book of Mormon, the town in the Netherlands? Maybe the Jonas Brothers? Let’s hope not, as they are truly awful. Talking of awful music, when I was listening to the radio in bed for a while last night, I encountered possibly the worst cover version of “Heart – How Do I Get you Alone” that I have ever heard. I found, consequently, that it was one of these blooming reality show stars who murdered it. Honestly, it was so bad, I wished that I had suffered from a bout of tinnitus for the short period it was on for (I only heard the end). Should you hear this song, find it and kill it with fire.

Anyway, I am no music star, so best post some pictures huh? This lot are from a walk about when it was less wet around Blackpool Mill, Llys-y-Fran and the surrounds. Hopefully, some of you may recognise the places from earlier posts…

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The exposed roots of the trees along the banks of Blackpool Mill

Another random train of thought, looking at this root system again. I’m a fan of The Walking Dead and this picture is almost skeletal in appearance. In a way, like the ribcage of the tree, but under the earth, exposed by many feet passing over it. Pretty cool though.

Further on along the path, there is the (abandoned) Blackpool Mill. Still owned an maintained by the welsh version of the National Trust, Cadw, it used to be a nice quiet cafe and museum. You possibly don’t recall the last time I posted a picture here, but notice the lower roof on the left is brand new. Last time I saw it, it had a hulking great hole in it. Nice to see it is being fixed, even if it stands derelict….

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A newly fixed Blackpool Mill

If it interests you, the bridge I stood on to take this picture is is Grade II listed and is single-span bridge, built about 1825 for the de Rutzens family, previous owners of the estate.

Sadly, fixing is not what is happening with the actual workings of the mill which stand all silted up and slowly rotting into the mud. The smaller wooden bridges are fixed to allow pedestrians to pass over, but other than that, the channel and waterway are pretty much just abandoned..

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Anyone got a dredger?

On to happier and more used structures now, Llys-y-Fran County Park owned by Welsh Water, where I took this image of the dam on a bright sunny day. I’m no fisherman, but I can attest to the good walking around the edge of the reservoir…about 7 miles in all. Be careful to choose a dry day though, it can be very damp!

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Perfect conditions for a nice image of the dam in flood…..

Now, a couple of pretty pictures of a sunset for you. I have loads of these, I must admit, so I will continue to shoehorn them in. I was recently painting my girlfriends bathroom and the fact she must choose a picture for a wall somewhere in her flat to brighten the place up was mentioned. Quite how I’d choose, I have no idea! I’m having sunset withdrawals at the moment though; I can only recall 1 or 2 sunsets I even thought of picking my camera up for of late…in fact, to count good sunny days would possibly use less than ten fingers of late. However, things are looking up I’m sure and I plan to stash the camera in the back of the car, having recently missed a nice show of Asperitas at Saundersfoot beach…

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A molten orange sunset over Llangwm

This picture was just a little later on and in the landscape format to capture a bit more contrast. Apologies for the curvature of the foreground, that’s just an effect of the optics…I only have a small kit lens.

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Once the orange goes, then emerges the pink. Lovely.

However, a small kit lens sometimes come in handy when needing to take still life pictures of, say, a cat. Indeed, the most handsomest kitty in Pembrokeshire, Mischief, is once again showing his modelling skills. This is the “all I survey” look he perfects during the Summer. Mainly because he is downright nosey and looking at all that is going on in other gardens around him!

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Mischief, posing as ever. In real life, he is far less intelligent than this image suggests!!

You’ll excuse the age spots and such, I’m sure. he is getting on after all! Bless his furry paws. Still going strong though and I’m sure he will feature further as the days get longer and he insists on following me of out the gate!

Well, try to stay dry through Jonas. If you do, I hope to see you again soon. If you don’t, I expect you to use another computer to come and visit me! Thanks for dropping by.

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A quick walk to Blackpool Mill

Hello All!

Three guesses what the weather is as I write (type if you want to be technical) this blog. For anyone who guess rain, award yourself a gold star! To be fair, things have settled to a certain extent of late and continue to do so. I even managed to wash my motor (how very Cockney of me) the other day, I can now see that it’s red. The amount of water that is lying around in the gutters and such, I’m not sure that my fish tank wouldn’t be better being outside at the moment!

Anyway, enough grumbling. These are a few pictures that I took last Summer when I decided to take a wander over towards Narberth. I should really go up into the hills more often I know, as they are a National Park but they are pretty flat and boring for pictures unless you go mooching about in private fields (like a did a while back if you recall). Of late, there is a real prospect of drowning up there at the moment…it floods during the Summer so I expect there are people disappearing hip deep in bogs as we speak.

To get here if you are interested there’s a little car park next to a handy underpass on the A40 just before Narberth. If not, ignore that bit 🙂 Once you get over (under) the road, there’s some lovely mature pine forest which is very pleasant as it isn’t “managed” by the Forestry Commission (for managed, read ravaged) like the woodlands on the hills. Such a shame.

Wandering uphill into Slebech Forest....

Wandering uphill into Slebech Forest….

You can tell that it isn’t touched as you walk further along, as you find what most organisations feel are weeds, such as this lovely tall pink flower in the verge. I’m not too sure of the name but it’s fairly common around here during Summer, growing as tall as me (about 6 ft) or so. I am sure I will be informed as to what this is by people emailing or texting me!

Yes, yes, I should know what this is called but I don't. Very nice though

Yes, yes, I should know what this is called but I don’t. Very nice though

Once you drop down the small hill running parallel along the river, you turn up what, to all intents and purposes, looks like a very old driveway to the actual Blackpool Mill, seen below. The website, Experience Pembrokeshire, states as follows;

From the early 17th century, through to the early 19th century Blackpool Mill was important for its iron furnace and ford. The present building, a cornmill, dates from 1813 and was built by Nathaniel Phillips, the owner of Slebech Estate. He is also credited with the construction of the bridge erected ‘to unite two roads which had long existed’. The mill remained in use for grinding corn until 1945 and for storage possibly longer.

Apparently, according to a number of websites and local leaflets, this is now a museum maintained by Cadw (Welsh Heritage). As a local to this area, I can assure you that it is A) no longer a museum as the gates are locked shut and B) it sure as hell isn’t maintained; a fact that can be proven by the blooming great hole in the roof of the building on the left. This is what Cadw think of Grade 2 listed property. Cheers guys, way to ruin historic buildings. Absolutely shocking.

The Mill; a lovely building in a gorgeous setting, left to fall apart by those trying to protect our heritage

The Mill; a lovely building in a gorgeous setting, left to fall apart by those trying to protect our heritage

Looking over the bridge at the time I walked here, the water was very low and you can see that possibly a fish has succumbed to lack of oxygen, can’t quite see clearly. I suspect that, at the moment, the water here is a positive torrent in comparison. If the mill had been working, last Summer would have had them up against the ropes.

The river which Nathaniel Phillips bridged when building the mill; from here it runs into the Cleddau Estuary

The river which Nathaniel Phillips bridged when building the mill; from here it runs into the Cleddau Estuary

Having had my rant regards Cadw, there seems to be someone who takes care of the area as, when you go along in the Summer, the grass is always pretty regularly cut as you can see here. The overgrown channel in the foreground is a ford for the water that was supplied to the mill that goes further down the property and into the forest. There is a path alongside, mainly used by dog walking now, as it’s a dead-end.

Abandoned building, neatly trimmed lawn. Strange, but makes it look a whole heap better

Abandoned building, neatly trimmed lawn. Strange, but makes it look a whole heap better

Last point of interest here is the “gate guardians” (just a picture of one here) on the gateway to the property, a very proud looking eagle. Perhaps the family symbol of Mr Phillips who built the mill? Not sure and I can’t seem to find out so that’s what I shall go with!

A very proud feathered gate guardian at the entrance to Blackpool Mill. Let's hope he sees the gate open again!

A very proud feathered gate guardian at the entrance to Blackpool Mill. Let’s hope he sees the gate open again!

Well, there we have it for another post. A short one this time as I noticed the next subject of pictures (some sundogs and clouds) that I took on the card started just after these, so apologies for stopping short. Hopefully the weather will have smoothed out even more by that time….having said that, it has actually stopped raining now. I may go out and admire my car with all the water beading off the clean paint.

Thanks for dropping by, hope to see you again soon.

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