26 May 2017
20 December 2015
In Aberlady Bay – which, incidentally, was designated in 1952 as the UK’s first Local Nature Reserve – rest the wrecks of two World War II midget submarines 1 km out from the Mean High Water line on the intertidal flats of Gullane Sands. In May 1946 these two XT-Craft – training versions of the X-Craft submarine – were moored one each 100 paces to the north and to the south of a set of five concrete anti-tank blocks (four forming a base with the fifth placed on top) positioned close to the low tide mark. Two aircraft – a Supermarine Seafire (the folding-wing, aircraft-carrier version of the Spitfire) and a de Havilland Mosquito then used the mini submarines floating at high tide as targets in a trial on the effects on X-Craft hulls of 20mm cannon shells. The wrecks of the two vessels were subsequently left abandoned in situ.
Built by Vickers-Armstrong, the X-Craft submarine was 15 metres long and was manned by a crew of four. The midget submarine was designed specifically for use in the 1943 attacks, codenamed Operation Source, on the German fleet in Norwegian fjords. The German Bismarck-class battleship Tirpitz was put out of action for at least six months after sustaining damage from demolition charges placed below her by two X-Craft. (The Tirpitz finally met her end the following year when she took two direct hits from Lancaster bombers.)
15 May 2016
The Colour Run in aid of St David’s Hospice was held on West Shore Beach in Llandudno with more than 1,000 people taking part. This was one of two such events organised by the charity in 2016, the other one having taken place earlier in Pwllheli. The first ever colour run was held in 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona and the concept has since grown internationally with a for-profit company franchising events which are often organised in conjunction with charities. With a focus on fun, the 5k run is an untimed race in which participants are showered with coloured powders at kilometre stations along the route. The idea drew inspiration from the Hindu Holi festival.
Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, is a major event in India and is held on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna (February/March). The festival commemorates events in Hindu mythology and is also a celebration of the arrival of spring. Social conventions are relaxed in the merrymaking which traditionally involves the consumption of food and drink containing bhang, an intoxicating cannabis-based ingredient. On the eve of Holi large bonfires are attended and on the day itself people gather together to cover each other with coloured water and powders.
|Date||29 November 2014|
|Location||Llanfairfechan||SH 67755 75290; 53.25807°N, 3.98392°W|
In the 1850s the village of Llanfairfechan had a population of around 800. It soon developed, however, into a popular Victorian seaside resort, thanks mainly to the arrival to the area of a couple of new landowners – Leicestershire solicitor Richard Luck purchased parts of Baron Hill estate from the Bulkeleys, and John Platt, a Yorkshire-born textile machinery manufacturer and Liberal politician from Oldham bought the Roberts estate. Platt rebuilt the derelict Bryn-y-Neuadd mansion there, which he completed around 1860. He also had the turnpike road moved away from his property and used his influence to have a railway station opened on his land for his travel convenience. The Chester and Holyhead Railway was built between 1844 and 1850 and a station in nearby Abergwyngregyn had opened in 1848. The station in Llanfairfechan opened in 1860, by which time the line was part of the London and North Western Railway. The seafront Promenade was also developed as the town became more popular with tourists. Platt additionally had plans for a marina. These were awaiting approval from Parliament, but were abandoned upon his death in 1872. An impressive harbour master’s residence had already been built for this and today it is used as holiday home.
Llanfairfechan now has a population of 3,600 and its Blue Flag beach, with its promenade, beach café, paddling pool, boating pool and water sports facilities, still attracts visitors. It is pebbly with a long expanse of sand uncovered at ebb tide, and the Morfa Madryn salt-marsh nature reserve is popular with bird watchers.