Friday, 23 November 2007

Moel Famau

I climbed my first “mountain”, Moel Ffamau in North Wales, on 21st August 1956 at the age of six with Dad and GB. Moel Famau is the highest peak in the Clwydian Range at 1818 feet (554 m) . The summit offers wonderful views extending as far as the Isle of Man, Snowdonia, Cumberland and the Midlands with Blackpool Tower and Liverpool’s cathedrals quite prominent (though there was only one cathedral in those days). Conifers now cover much of the slopes, forming part of the Clwydian Forest. The mountain became a Country Park in 1974.

On its summit are the remains of Jubilee Tower, built at a cost of £6,000 to celebrate the 50th year of the reign of George III in 1810. Even in ruins it is a prominent landmark – ‘the pimple on the top’ as we used to call it when viewing it from afar. The tower was 150' high and 60' in diameter and constructed in an Egyptian style. The building was never quite completed, and collapsed in a storm in 1862. There were unsuccessful rebuilding attempts in 1863 and 1887 and some restoration work on the remains in 1970.
Normally, getting to Moel Famau involved getting the bus to the Pier Head, the ferry across the Mersey, the Mold bus from Woodside (Birkenhead) and then the Loggerheads bus from Mold.

This is how Mold looked in 1955. From Loggerheads we would walk along the Old Bwlch and after walking to the top and back the journey then had to be done in reverse with Sunday bus times to be borne in mind.

However, this first trip was on a Tuesday which suggests that we were staying at The Imps, a holiday cottage in Pantymwyn, owned by Uncle JPD and Aunty Muriel; about which more on a later posting.

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