Friday 30 June 2023

On Llanbedrog Beach

Llanbedrog Beach is probably our favourite bit of seaside, as the sea off here is ridiculously shallow (so pretty safe for The Childs to bathe in), and the water is usually crystal clear.

It was incredibly hot, even at 9am, and there had been a plan to get some photographs done for a project Ben was working on; however, in the end there were too many people about, even at this early hour.

So, we thought we'd get some landscape pics in, instead, before going in for a paddle.

Though it doesn't look it here, it was quite breezy...

...and the sea was stupidly cold.

Still, in for a penny.  The distant mountains looked somewhat unreal, like a 50's travel poster.

To our annoyance, we'd forgotten the underwater camera, so settled for these shots.

After a morning of somewhat cold paddling, it was back up to dry off, and then home for tea and medals, and a plan to try and do the photographs later that evening nearer to where we were staying.

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Tanwbwlch Woods


It was a very hot afternoon; after a morning on the beach at Llanbedrog, we thought we'd head for the hills and a walk in the woods at Tanybwlch (via, of course, the cafe at the Ffestiniog station for an ice cream).

The bright sunlight created some interesting shades and contrasts; here's a selection of Amy's landscape shots taken whilst we did the circular walk down to the lake, then back via the top lake and the level crossings.

Monday 26 June 2023

A few days on the Ffestiniog

Any time we visit Porthmadog, we pay at least one visit to the Ffestiniog Railway.  We might not always travel on the trains, but we make a point of at least getting a brew at one of the cafes or spending a bit of money at the station shop.

Along with Baldwin 590 on the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, there was another bright, shiny loco coming back into traffic.  "David Lloyd George" (Double Fairlie, also known as The Soup Dragon, due to the bright red colour scheme) had been undergoing winter repairs, and had just been launched back into traffic.  Opportunites for a few shots were more limited though, because the station was heaving, and I was struggling to keep people out of shot.

We repaired to the cafe, and spotted something familiar...

...yep, one of mine.  This is a shot I (Ben) took of the Double Fairlies at Beddgelert in 2020.

Later in the week, we went up to Tanybwlch Station (excellent little cafe with a good selection of cake, though this time was more of an ice cream trip).  Sheep on the line.

"Merrdin Emrys" arrives.

Amy's shot of "Welsh Pony" (Ben's favourite loco) whilst we were walking out around the woods; nice and cool under the trees.

Back at the station, and the Fairlie trundles back in whilst "Blanche" takes on water.

A final trip to the station at Porthmadog for lunch on our last day, where "Welsh Pony" was arriving, whilst Garratt 143 ticked-over at the Welsh Highland platform.


Friday 23 June 2023

A walk to Cemaes Brickworks

Ben's family have moved to Anglesey, and whilst waiting to go and visit his sister, we went for a walk with his parents at Cemaes Bay.

Typically there was a railway involved, or at least a long-abandoned tramway.

The idea was a research visit for a possible model railway article; building up a stock of photographs and information for a future piece.

Culverted brook under the main road, looking more like an urban canal.

A brief visit to the fields beyond the tunnel.

Definitely need to come back here for a proper walk at some point.

Then it was onto the brickworks itself for some shots.

All in all, a nice work on yet another day of beautiful weather.  Definitely room to come back again with the cameras for a longer trip at some point soon...


Monday 19 June 2023

Baldwin 590 at the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway

The plan for the holiday to Wales had been to squeeze in a load of photography work.  Amongst the targets, was the entry into traffic of Baldwin 590, replicating an original Welsh Highland Railway machine.  The loco would be operating an intensive service on the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, the short preserved line on the edge of Porthmadog.

We'd ridden this line only once before, in the gaps between lockdowns during 2020 (literally; we got off the train, got in the car, and put on the radio to the announcement Yorkshire was going into high-tier lockdown).  It was nice to visit this time under more pleasant circumstances.

The machine looked glorious, that paint finish is ridiculously glossy.

We stopped off at the main exhibition sheds, and had a stroll around; Elder Child is doing a 'journey' themed art project at school, so was snapping reference pics like mad.  Me and Amy took a rather less frantic approach, breaking-off to get pics of 590 when it rolled past.

Eventually we caught the train back to Porthmadog station itself, and whilst The Childs had a mooch around the gift shop, I hung around to get a shot of the loco setting off on another run.  By this time, the clouds were burning off, and the sun was in the right place...

...which proved worth the wait.  Trackside, June issue.  Llangollen had been a good start to the holiday from a railway photography point of view, and the Sunday was if anything even better.