Monday, 25 June 2018

The British Ironwork Centre

What a cracking place this is to visit. Stunning metalwork sculptures in abundance, artisan workshops, a metal safari park, a forge cafe for refreshments and it is free entry!!!! There is little point me trying to describe the place it really is superb and I would recommend a visit. I will post a variety of images to give you an idea of what can be encountered. The images can not convey the scale of the sculptures a lot are bigger than life-size I for one intend returning in the near future.


T-Rex Dinosaur

Giant spider (It is massive)

Knife Angel (Built with surrendered Knives)

Welsh Dragon on Jaguar car

Michael Jackson 

MOD Biker

African elephant in the metal safari park


African Lion

Spoon Gorilla (built with 40,000 spoons)

Model House in the gardens


Monday, 4 June 2018

Coastguard/RNLI Exercise in Mounts Bay

Witnessed another Coastguard/RNLI exercise in Mounts Bay. Unfortunately the wind direction meant the Helicopter and Lifeboat were travelling away from my position. A few shots of the Penlee Lifeboat and Coastguard Helicopter were gained before the exercise elements disappeared almost over the horizon. In fact checking the radar on the phone it looked like they were four to five miles off the coast adjacent to Praa Sands!!! So here are some images I did manage.

Penlee Lifeboat "Ivan Ellen"

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter C-MCGY

Penlee Lifeboat "Ivan Ellen"

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter C-MCGY

Penlee Lifeboat "Ivan Ellen" and Coastguard Helicopter

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter C-MCGY

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter C-MCGY

Friday, 25 May 2018

Underground in Ratgoed Slate Mine

I begin by saying most of this mine is inaccessible and dangerous to explore without sufficient knowledge/guidance. In fact most of this mine is only accessible by abseiling!!! Fortunately I had an experienced guide with me to explore the easier access to part of the mine. (Again please don't attempt to explore this mine or indeed any other if you do not have the relevant expertise or a guide who has). Going into the mine was a little tight bit of a scramble but no big deal. Once inside the whole mine opened up. Tunnels and large chasms soon became visible. The scale of the mining operation provides an awesome sight underground with huge chasms, deep pits etc. It certainly looks like the slate mine was operation was carried out on a major scale. Sorry but the images do not convey the size of the industrial mining carried out. It was a nice cool relief from the heat outside though with cool air drifting through and water dripping with a foggy fine mist in some areas. Some old artifacts are still in place in the mine along with chain fences, pins etc. Well guess we better get onto some images:

Tunnel looks small but it is 6ft-8ft tall so easy to walk in

Another tunnel same scale as above

One of the massive pits in the mine, a fine mist/fog is evident here.

View of another tunnel

Two tunnels of in different areas of the mine

A relic of a teapot/kettle

A heavy duty bolt embedded in the rock

Difficult to scale this underground chasm is about 25-30 metes high I estimate and a the top there is a metal line presumably for running wagons from an upper part of the mine

Horizontal view of the above chasm whith what appears to be a lady of the time pinned to the wall crucifix style (not really, look top left)

As I said water drips down here and there

Metal parts strewn in some area are eventually being consumed by rust

Ratgoed Slate Mine External Site

The former Ratgoed slate mine is situated on a steep wooded hillside above the abandoned village of Ratgoed. Ratgoed is the English version of Yr Allt Goed from Welsh which indeed means "steep wooded hillside". The mine ceased production in 1946 but many relics and evidence of it's industrial past are still visible although nature is slowly taking over. The mine is situated in the Dyfi Forest near the village of Aberllefenni. Here are some images from the surface as you can tell from the blue skies and harsh lighting on the images typically it was the hottest day of the year and we were heading underground! (more on that in the next post)

One of the old buildings slowly being consumed by the forest

A large industrial winch which was used I assume to winch the good slate down the hillside

Clearly still evident is the steep incline, slate movement route below the winch

Wagons used to transport the slate, spoil and rubble

Another building slowly decaying

One of the many slag/spoil piles on the mine site

Not sure what the initials I/R mean stamped in part of the above building

Heavy pieces of industrial iron workings 

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Ratgoed (Yr Allt Goed) abandoned village in Wales

Ratgoed pronounced Yr Allt Goed in Welsh, is now an abandoned village in the heart of the Difi Forest near Corris in Wales. A former slate mining village the quarry ceased production in 1946. The majority of the village has fell into ruin, Ratgoed Hall built for Horatio Nelson Hughes in 1860 still stands but appears unoccupied. The Yr Alt Goed is "Steep Wooded Hillside" and this is where the mine is situated above the village, another post on that later.

Old building

Slate fence of which there are many in the area

Ratgoed Hall

Ratgoed Hall (internal view)

A smaller ruin

One of the more intact structures

Friday, 27 April 2018

Cuckoo at Bartinney Downs

Had an excellent afternoon at Bartinney in search of Cuckoo and anything else which may be about. Well got really lucky seeing not one but two cuckoos. Unfortunately one bird had already claimed it as his patch and an in flight fight ensued and soon enough we were back to one after the intruder was evicted!!! The original and bird that remained was feeding well on caterpillars etc (bit distant for decent images) but he did come closer into the trees nearer to the camera so got some nice shots there. Also whilst scouting the area for other stuff I came across a Northern Wheatear which completely ignored me coming close for a nice shot. So a productive couple of hours and my first usable Cuckoo images (Fight one is a bit soft, caught me by surprise when they took offence to each other)