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The pair of us have had a busy morning at home getting ready for our weekend wanderings to Wales as we’ve both needed to finish up some stuff before we left. I’ve been slaving away over a hot computer, invoicing, setting up commissions and adding yet more vintage pictures to my Zenfolio website. Here’s another sample that shows just how much has changed in 30 years.

This is Bristol Bath Rd locomotive depot which was right next door to Temple Meads railway station. In fact, this shot’s taken from the platform end. The depot was home to a varied collection of freight and passenger locomotives plus diesel multiple units and shunting engines. There was a constant stream of movements on and off shed. Sadly, the depot closed in 1995 and the site was razed. The advent of privatisation and the separation of railfreight and passenger services has rendered such depots redundant.

You can find the rest of the series of pictures in this gallery.

Now it’s time to turn to finishing the packing and head off West. The weather looks like its going to be ‘interesting’ to say the least, so let’s see how the day goes…


Oh, the joys of the M62 ln a Friday afternoon when you’re queuing to get past a broken down vehicle…

Not how you want to see any motorway – especially when you’re on it…

17:45. Anglesey

There wasn’t much time for blogging on that journey as both of us were too busy concentrating on the road as the journey over here from West Yorkshire was pretty challenging. It got off to a bad start when (unusually) we joined the M62 at Ainley Top by Huddersfield rather than our usual route via Ripponden. We ran slap bang into a queue of traffic which had built up to due to a broken down lorry in the slow lane. Imagine our chagrin when we passed it, just before the Ripponden junction! The snarl-up added nearly an hour to our journey and the weather conditions we encountered didn’t make it any less stressful. A combination of high whind and heavy rain kept the pair of us on alert.

Swinging off the M62 onto the M6 wasn’t any better, apart from the fact the queues were going in the opposite direction. When we joined the M56 traffic eased, although the clouds of spray thrown UP by HGVs wasn’t much fun. It was only when we crossed the border into Wales that the weather began to pick up somewhat. Speed restrictions on the A55 for imaginary roadworks added more time to our trip but we briefly saw some sunshine around Conwy. It didn’t last. The weather got progressively worse the further West we headed. Looking across the Menai Strait to get our first glimpse of Anglesey we had to struggle to make the island out through the murk! At first, Puffin Island was the only discernable feature, then as the channel narrowed the outline of the island became visible. Dawn didn’t have much time to look, all her concentration had to go in keeping the car steering in a straight line due to the fierce wind that was gusting along that part of the A55.

Once we crossed the iconic original Menai Bridge we took a break and picked up supplies at the nearby Waitrose. Yes folks, they’ve got posh in Anglesey and Waitrose have been canny enough to build their supermarket right next to the old bridge in order to attract as many tourists arriving on the island as possible. It was only 16:00 when we got there but the skies were so heavy and dark it felt like dusk. It wasn’t what we were hoping for but if there’s one thing no-one has any say over it’s the weather.

In the best ‘Blue Peter’ tradition, here’s on I prepared earlier! This is a shot of Thomas Telford’s Menai Bridge that I took back in 2000 that was used in the original Lonely Planet guidebook to Wales. In the background you can see Snowdonia. As is often the case, it’s generating it’s own microclimate where you can have T-shirt weather by the coast but need your thermals on just a few miles down the road.

The rest of the drive along the narrow Beaumaris Rd (which hasn’t changed since I was a kid back in the 1960s) wasn’t too bad as we were in the lee of the wind dues to the roads steep sides, but once through the town and out into the countryside we caught its force again. We’re now tucked up in our lovely Airbnb which has a fabulous (if exposed) location. I’m sure the views will we wonderful once the weather permits. Right now, we’re just glad to be off the roads and in a warm, dry cosy cottage, listening to the wind and rain attacking the place from outside!

We have the ground floor of this custom built property, Tanrallt Bach 1, outside Llangoed near Beaumaris.
And relax! The cosy kitchen/living room area. A great space to rise out the storm outside. Our thoughtful hosts have even left a bottle of red wine on the kitchen table for us…

Tomorrow, whatever the weather throws at us we’re going to get out and explore before heading off to a friends 50th birthday party in evening. I’m not promising a rolling blog, but I’m sure something will appear.