A self-indulgent day. Diwrnod i’r Brenin (day for a king) as we say in Welsh. This morning we walked down the Mount, past Ysgol Glan Morfa, Maes Canol, under the expressway and onto the beach.
On the way back, I met a woman from Tanygrisiau, who’d lived in Abergele most of her life:
“I’m leaving Abergele; I feel like a stranger here. There’s a woman from Birmingham living next door to me. She feeds the seagulls; she actually leaves out a loaf of bread for them. The poor woman next door had just hung her washing out. I’m off to live in Powys. ”
After lunch, I walked up Tan y Gopa. It’s called Coed y Gopa or Coed y Cawr more often nowadays and it’s owned by the Woodland Trust now. They’ve been thinning out the trees and this has revealed the Iron Age fort that crowns the hill. There are some really high walls to the fort which I hadn’t appreciated until today. Good to see the wild Stinking Hellebore still thrives here too.
The Romans are said to have mined lead from the hill. There’s one really long and deep fault called Ceg y Blaidd (wolf’s mouth) – I hope I’ve remembered that name properly.
I’d gone to Tan y Gopa looking for a cave I remembered playing in when I was a child. I usually walked up Tan y Gopa with William Jones (Broadway) and Huw Watkins (Eldon Drive) through Mr Matthews’s farm fields. These fields have now been developed into housing estates.
The cave has two entrances: the first is 20 feet up a sheer rock face, the second drops down from the grass above. I did have to ask directions. The squeeze through the second entrance was tighter than I remember but sitting inside, I imagined I was back again with my childhood friends, Huw and William.
I really enjoyed revisiting the cave. Thanks to the Woodland Trust for taking such good care of Tan y Gopa.