Monday, June 30, 2008

Holiday 3

Explored neighbouring villages, in search of a shop to buy a picnic lunch, then took the shorter 'Quarry trail' around the Dorothea Quarry site, closed in the 1950s. There are several large and deep lakes on the site, and some huge slate constructed walls that looked like bastions to an ancient citadel, plus one huge long ramp at a 45 degree angle, looking like a rocket launch-pad from a boys comic of the fifties. Scattered around the site were the shells of many small buildings, offices, workshops possibly even workers' accommodation, but difficult to guess as any components of metal or wood had long been extracted, and most of the site overgrown with trees and even grass here and there. When we returned, full of questions, we were glad to find a copy of a newish book by local resident and consultant industrial archaeologist David Gwyn entitled 'Gwynedd - Inheriting a revolution', well researched, beautfully written, offering insight and according great value to all we had seen on our hike.
The slate inudstry of Dyffryn Nantlle dates back over two centuries, and in its day was a world leader in technical innovation and exporting know-how. Today it is a quiet domestic rural backwater with no shops or Post Office. Villagers must all travel a couple of miles to Pen y Groes for these needs. There are a couple of craft startup businesses in what used to be a workers' barrack building, but otherwise anyone with a job other than farming, or helping out with hospitality at Plas Baladeulyn, must travel away from the locality to earn their keep.

Today's Guardian re-iterates all that the GAFCON press circus in Jerusalem leaked on Saturday. No comment or reaction from others so far. I find it all quite disturbing - how often church history is riven with claims from different groups to be truly 'orthodox' believers. Amongst the big 'O' Eastern Churches little schisms, are as much a feature of the landscape as they were among Protestant non-conformists, and it has done nobody any good. Although I suppose it might have served in the long term to help sustain the more moderate alternatives.

No comments: