Arthog

A Memory of Arthog

From early 1960s onwards:  At school in London we had 2 summer holidays at Min-y-Don. The first time we travelled by coach, we got lost and arrived in the dark.  The following year we came by train from Paddington.  We had to change at Gobowen and Ruabon, arriving late in the afternoon.  My pals and I spent all our time exploring the area, on one excursion we were dropped off at Abergwynolwyn and had to make our way back over Cader Idris. Two of us lost our bearings slightly and arrived back nearer to Dolgellau than Arthog and had to thumb a lift home. Probably wouldn't be allowed now. Walking one evening a farmer pulled up in his Land Rover and roped us in to helping him get a cow out of a ditch. That was when I learnt my first words of Welsh.
After this we left school and my mate worked for a travel company which enabled him to see the world and I worked as a long distance driver so was able to see the UK.  But ever since that time one or other of us went to Arthog every year on a sort of pilgrimage.  One particular year Id just got back from a holiday at Arthog only to find the first day back at work I was loaded with 16 ton of plasterboard for Dolgellau.  A few years before that, just before the railway closed we timed our holidays together so we could hitch hike up to Arthog where we slept at the station for a couple of weeks courtesy of British Railways.  The goods engine from Penmaenpool used to come past at 6-30 a.m. waking us up to be able to get out before the 7.20a.m. from Paddington came through.  We'd meet the stationmaster as we walked over the bridge to get our breakfast in Davy Jones Locker.  Have a few photos of Arthog and the station as well as Mawddach Crescent and the junction.  Memories of sitting in the bar at Morfa Mawddach late into the night, listening to the tales of a Peter Don driver who lived at Fairborne, known as "Lofty". There was a camping coach at Morfa Mawddach station.  A sad day when the station was pulled down.  Also memories of an art exhibition held at Mawddach Crescent. There was a cafe at one end of Arthog terrace, a B&B in the middle which I stayed at once and a post office at the other which sold colour postcards of the village and the lakes.
My wife and I still pay a visit to Arthog a couple of times a year as we live not so far away for the last 20 years.  We sometimes have a meal in the George III at Penmaenpool.  Interesting to see the Arthog Barns conversion, I would love to live there but I don't think it will happen.  I have travelled all over the UK and Ireland but I keep coming back to this place, it doesn't seem to have changed all that much.

A memory shared by Alan Spillett , on Jan 18th, 2008.

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