Michelle Reynolds Podiatrist, Marple

Author Topic: Tiger, Lions and a Killer thunderstorm. A walk in the Welsh Borders.  (Read 1471 times)

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marplerambler

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Tiger, Lions and a Killer thunderstorm. A walk in the Welsh Borders.
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2015, 08:16:49 PM »
Manchester Coach Rambles Group Walk 5th July 2015

Tiger, Lions and a Killer thunderstorm. A walk in the Welsh Borders.

I shall return to the lions but yes, the Tiger was a beast of beasty, not a feline but  a vehicular beauty for the likes of Stockport Classic Bus or  myself, a 1953 Wigan Corporation Leyland Royal Tiger single decker bus on its way to a rally at Lllangollen (you are only allowed to cringe if I were to say a Jaguar and you didn’t think car), sixty odd years old probably working for the first thirty odd of them, spending the earlier years of its retirement as a chicken coup but now pristine in original colours touring in vintage bus rallies: I must admit that I greatly admire the fantastic amount of work carried out by the enthusiasts who restore these old workhorses and the chance to admire this old beauty came as Manchester Coach Ramblers stopped at Stanlow Services, en-route to Ruthin.

The ten mile walk from Llandegla, (about ten miles west of Wrexham) to Ruthin included a section of the Offa’s Dyke path crossing the Clwydian Range of hills, a part of our distant western horizon which is visible when looking from Mellor Church or Strines Cross on a clear day but you certainly wouldn’t have seen the area from Marple last Sunday. It was pleasant enough as we walked through the fertile fields of wheat, barley, oats and sugar beet north of Llandegla but as we rose and ascended to the higher ground of the Clwydian Hills the whole area, particularly south to the mountains around Ruabon and Llangollen were cloaked in dark sombre cloud and west to the Vale of Clwyd and Snowdonia was hidden by clouds which were the precursors of storms to come and when the rain did come, it came in torrents. A glance at my compass had told me that the sheets of rain were coming from the south and I wasn’t to discover for a few hours just how prescient my thoughts that these clouds which had already dumped a phenomenal amount of rainfall all of the way north up Welsh Border Country were to be! I literally thought the clouds had already been carried over a number of mountain ranges a hundred miles north from the Bristol Channel and wondered just how there could have been so much water left to fall upon us? The answer to this question was to be discovered later in the day when I discovered that this same storm had killed two walkers and injured two others with separate incidents of lightning strikes as it passed through the Brecon Beacons. Fortunately, the storm had subsided by the time it hit us (though we didn’t think this could be the case as the sheeting rain permeated our clothing and boots). We were just lucky that the thunder and lightning had subsided by the time it hit us.

We were to descend and turn east just prior to the southern slopes of Moal Siobhod, one of the most prominent mountains of the Clwydian Range, once again heading across the fertile Clwydian Valley to Ruthin School and the picturesque and very historical town of Ruthin.

So what about the lions? This pair of huge lions were magnificent guardians of Ruabon Castle sculpted from a pink metamorphic rock, my guess being marble but nowhere could I find any information about the rock. Ruabon is truly worth a visit for just its castle alone, not one of the follies of North Wales but a splendid original dating back to the 13th century, destroyed and rebuilt many times over the centuries which has now assumed the role of a very expensive hotel which seems to be quite happy to allow the great unwashed to roam its gardens, grounds, walls and battlements. See more  in the web tour at www.ruthincastle.co.uk : it looks to be a splendid place to stay.

If you would like to join us on our next coach trip to Staveley, Cumbria on 21st June email www.manchestercoachrambles.co.uk for more details. I lead our next Sunday Public Transport Walk on July 12th, a circular from Stalybridge. Meet on 1010 train from Piccadilly (platform 13) or meet train at Stalybridge station 1030.



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