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Cymdeithas Eryri Snowdonia Society

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Diwrnod cyffroes iawn ddydd Gwener ddiwethaf yn adeiladu llwybr newydd fel rhan o'r Llwybr Llechi Eryri - Snowdonia Slate Trail yn Llanffestiniog efo tîm Countryfile a Matt Baker! Diolch yn fawr i National Trust am yr holl help a chofiwch gadw llygad ar y teledu mewn pythefnos!

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A very exciting day last Friday building a new footpath as part of the Llwybr Llechi Eryri - Snowdonia Slate Trail in Llanffestiniog with team Countryfile and Matt Baker. Huge thanks to the National Trust for all the help and remember to keep an eye on the TV in about two weeks' time!

Thanks to Conwy County Borough Council for repairing the stile above Ty Hyll. Old photo below!Capel 1

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We have an App!

Click here for the iTunes link to the app

The Slate trail app is now available on the Apple Store. This version is for Apple iPhones and / or iPads only.
The Android version will be available on the Google Play Store very soon - watch this space!

Use the App to follow the Snowdonia Slate Trail:
The App includes a 'live' route map which tracks your progress using GPS. For devices without GPS, and for those who prefer to follow written directions, there are also detailed route directions to help you experience the area's unique industrial heritage. 
The App uses GPS technology to locate you on the Trail. Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.

app screenshot group
Snowdonia Slate Trail does not accept any liability for use of this App or the Trail, which follows public rights of way and permissive paths.
The App is available in English and Welsh.

Progress report  No 11. March 2018

Schools project.

This is completed with just tidying up to do.

Community memory project.

This is more or less completed with some tidying up to do on the website

 

Website and app

Have a look at the website.  There is a lot of information on there – maps, directions, accommodation and transport details, GPX file, oral memory clips, the interpretation boards. There is still some work to be done to the Welsh site in particular and to complete the app. Please email us if you find any anomalies on the site.

Signs and roundels

Unfortunately, we have had some problems with a number of signs being damaged – above Mynydd Llandegai and at Llyn Ogwen, most likely by wind.  We are talking to the manufacturer about this.

Conwy Falls permissive path

This is near completion.  Thanks to Miles of Go Below and Conwy Falls Cafe for his cooperation.

The guidebook

This is due for official release at the end of April.  Order your copy now from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the profit will go towards path improvements.We will now be talking to Gwasg Carreg Gwalch regarding a Welsh guide.

 Passport scheme

This is a scheme designed to encourage walkers to use local cafes, pubs and shops. They can download a “passport” which can be stamped by participating businesses.  Eight stamps will allow you to claim a commemorative medal for a small cost. SO far, there are 15 participating venues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wardens

We have the whole route covered by individual or group wardens.

Trust

We have applied to the Charity Commission for Trust status and have five volunteer Trustees.

Monuments

If anyone has close contacts with Ffestiniog or Welsh Highland Railways, we would like a couple of quarry wagons as start and end features – our next project!

We are getting to the end of our Heritage Lottery Fund project and this may be our last progress report.  But keep in touch through Facebook or Twitter. 800 followers on Facebook can`t be wrong.

Schools project.

This is completed with just tidying up to do.

Community memory project.

Sian has to put together the interpretative boards and some are already on display – In Cwm Penmachno and Y Pengwern. Also, the clips for the website and app are complete.  Another success

 

Website and app

Have a look at the website.  There is still some work to be done to the site and to complete the app. Please email us if you find any anomalies on the site.

Signs and roundels

The metal footpath signs are now up, and thanks to Gerallt Jones of Gwynedd and Caroline Turner of Conwy Council for organising this.

 

 

 

Event

On 10 November, the Trail was launched at Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda. For the project manager, Aled Owen, Joan Cutting and Raymond Griffiths, the day started early with live interviews for Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Wales and filming for S4C and BBC Cymru at 8.00 in Bethesda.

The afternoon was taken up by a series of presentations given by those who have been involved. Firstly, Aled gave an overview of the project, its partners and funders. He noted that walking was a growing activity and, potentially, the Trail could bring up to £1.3M a year to our slate villages.

Next, Sian Shakespear spoke about the community memory project and the development of interpretation boards based on information received from participants in the project. Sian was followed by John Harold and Owain Thomas of the Snowdonia Society, who described the work of the society.

We were privileged to have as one of our speakers, Lord Dafydd Wigley, who spoke of the current bid for World Heritage Site status for the Gwynedd slate areas.  He emphasised how the Snowdonia Slate Trail formed an important link between these areas and would bring our slate heritage and culture to international attention. The 95 delegates then retired for refreshments, including cakes incorporating the Snowdonia Slate Trail logo freshly baked by the local social enterprise, Caffi Coed y Brenin.

The afternoon continued with a presentation by Anita Daimond on the school arts project and was followed by a performance of an original play about the Great Penrhyn Strike given by 27 pupils of Ysgol Llanllechid.

Nina Steele of Gwynedd Archaeological Trust then gave us a demonstration of the Archwilio free online database of archaeological sites and Rhys Mwyn, folk singer, comedian, raconteur, journalist and amateur archaeologist, spoke about the Romans` use of slate before the afternoon was closed by Denis McAteer, president of Ramblers Cymru. Thanks to Joan, Raymond and Andy Walsh for representing Cwm Community Action Group at the seminar.

The evening saw a Grand Concert featuring the Penrhyn Male Voice Choir (conductor: Owain Arwel Davies, accompanist, Frances Davies), Penmachno Choir (conductor,  Liz Green a  accompanist, Geraldine Tunstall) and the Deiniolen Silver Band (conductor: Lois Eifion), hosted by Neville Hughes of Hogia Llandegai. For me the highlights of the evening were Penmachno Choir singing Adiemus by Carl Jenkins and the Penrhyn Choir performing "Nkosi Sikelel' i Afrika", South Africa`s national anthem, followed by Molianwn. In the grand finale, all three contributors came together to sing “World in Union”. It was good to see some Cwm residents joining us on what was a fantastic day to celebrate a very exciting project.

Thanks to our funders, particularly Heritage Lottery Fund for their support.

 

The future

Discussions are ongoing about the Conwy Falls path.

A guide to the Trail will be published in Spring 2018 and we are looking for someone to write a Welsh guidebook.

We are working on creating a Trust to manage, market and maintain the Trail.

A number of local businesses are interested in providing guided holidays along the Trail, and also to contribute to its maintenance.

A number of people and groups have volunteers to be Trail wardens.

Schools project.

Nothing further to report really. Llanllechid school children will be performing their play about the Great Strike at our launch event on 10 November. Anita will be there and Jwls will be putting on an exhibition of the children`s work

 

Community memory project.

Sian is working with the HKA Design to put together the interpretative boards and the first drafts look really good. Also, the clips for the website and app are nearly complete.  Another very successful part of the project

 

Website and app

Have a look at the website.  There is still work to be done to the site and to complete the app. Please email us if you find any anomalies on the site.

 

Signs and roundels

About 90% of the off road roundels and posts have been put up. Many thanks particularly to Owain of the Snowdonia Society and to Gerallt of Gwynedd Council, who has been working with the Ramblers. Also Peter Williams of the walking club in Blaenau.

 

The Snowdonia Society volunteers putting up waymarkers at Llyn Ogwen

 

 

The metal footpath signs are due to go up on the non-trunk roads in the next month or so.  Again, thanks to Gerallt Jones of Gwynedd and Caroline Turner of Conwy Council for organising this. Discussions are still ongoing with Welsh Government about 9 brown signs on the A5   

 

Event

Again, a reminder of the event in Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda on 10 November.

The afternoon seminar will include:

Me to give the background of the project                                                                          

Anita Daimond to present the schools project                                                                 

Sian Shakespear to present the community memory project                                     

Snowdonia Society to celebrate their 50 years                                                                   

Llanllechid School play about the Great Penrhyn Strike                                                                                

GAT to give demonstration of the Archwilio online heritage database, concentrating on Bethesda                    

Ramblers to give themselves a plug                                                                                      

 

This will be in Welsh and Menter Iaith, Llanrwst will provide translation services

 

The evening concert will include Penrhyn Male Voice Choir, Deiniolen Silver Band and Penmachno Community Choir and will be compered by Neville Hughes, a member of Hogia Llandegai.

 

The future

Our first walker, Brian Ruddin, recently completed the Trail in six days.  He experiences atrocious weather.  He said:

If anyone is considering a long distance path then I would recommend this without hesitation. I will be back next year to do it again, but next time in bite size chunks and without my 40lb pack!

To everyone involved in bringing this trail to life I salute you. It's a fantastic tour of Snowdonia and has taken me to places I've never considered before. For everyone that I have spoken to, thank you for taking the time to listen. For everyone that served me food and drinks, thank you, you are all amazing.

To Aled and the team of volunteers, you've got something special here and I'm positive that this will be known as one of the best trails in the UK. I do hope in the future that it's also recognised as a national trail.

We have raised about £10,000 to create the off-road route to avoid the short length of A5 near Conwy Falls, but still need another £5 – 8,000 to complete the job. Discussions are ongoing with Welsh Government regarding any funding.

We have an author who is interested in writing a guide for Kittiwake and Mark Richards, an artist and walker who has updated the Wainright lake District guides is interested in putting together an illustrated book on the Snowdonia Slate Trail.

Finally, subject to approval of the two Councils, the OS is willing to include the Trail on the OS maps.  That will certainly attract walkers

Progress report August 2017

Schools project.

This project is virtually complete with just a few loose ends to tie up. Very soon, you will be able to start looking for the geocaches on geocaching.com. Anita Daimond and Jwls Williams have done a fantastic job with great commitment and enthusiasm. Over 350 children from 15 schools have been involved – our target was 100 children from 5 schools. A success, don`t you think?

Community memory project.

The community memory project is also nearing completion and Sian Shakespear is putting together the interpretative boards and memory clips for the website and app. Again, this has been a very successful project with many more people involved than our target.

As before, we are considering a permanent home for one set of the boards, and any suggestions will be considered.

 

Website and app

Menter Fachwen has completed the downloadable route guides and   Creativity Jones has put them on the website.  There is still work to be done to the site and to complete the app.

Signs and roundels

Posts and roundels can now be seen in various places along the Trail.  However, it will take a while before all the signs are in place. Above, Aled and Andy Walsh are seen making the hole for one of the posts.

Unfortunately, one of our volunteers from Cofio Cwmorthin broke his ankle while out placing signs so we need to take on his work.  We wish Mel a speedy recovery.

All the metal footpath signs have been distributed to the various councils for them to put them up.  However, at the last minute, we have been advised by Welsh Government that we need a Road Safety Audit for each brown sign location. There are 135 of these signs so formal audits would be very costly, and this activity has not been included in the budget. Discussions are ongoing with Welsh Government as the argument can be made that as the route will be marked away from the highway, and as the route will be available onthe website and app, to omit the brown signs on the highway will cause frustration and confusion, which itself will be a potential safety issue.  Watch this space.   

 

Event

Just a reminder of the event in Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda on 10 November.

The afternoon seminar will include:

Me to give the background of the project                                                                           

Anita Daimond to present the schools project                                                                 

Sian Shakespear to present the community memory project                                      

Snowdonia Society to celebrate their 50 years                                                                  

Llanllechid School play about the Great Penrhyn Strike                                                                                 

GAT to give demonstration of the Archwilio online heritage database, concentrating on Bethesda                    

Ramblers to give themselves a plug                                                                                      

    

This will be in Welsh and Menter Iaith, Llanrwst will provide translation services

The evening concert will include Penrhyn Male Voice Choir, Deiniolen Silver Band and Penmachno Community Choir and will be compered by Neville Hughes, a member of Hogia Llandegai.

 

The future

We are working with the publisher, Rucksack Readers to provide a guidebook of the Snowdonia Slate Trail. Hopefully, this will be available next Spring.  In the meantime, a number of individuals and camera clubs are involved in taking hi resolution photographs to illustrate the guide.

We are also trying to raise funds to create an off-road route to avoid the short length of A5 near Conwy Falls.

Progress report  No7. June 2017

Schools project.

DBLqMi3XYAAm_su.jpgDBLtHIHXcAAKUmn.jpgAnita and Jwls (artist) are continuing to be out and about with school pupils placing geocaches.  The details will be logged on geocaching.com for all to follow. This has been a really successful project.

C8K9OzPVYAAYjYL.jpgCommunity memory project.

Sian has completed her workshops and is mopping up individual interviews. She has extracted some interesting memories for inclusion in the schools geocache boxes and is distilling the memories for inclusion on the website and the interpretative boards. Some really interesting stuff has been gathered in these sessions.

We are considering a permanent home for one set of the boards, and any suggestions will be considered.

 

 

Website and app

Menter Fachwen has completed their third draft of the downloadable brochures.  We are waiting a progress report from Creativity Jones. His work really depends on the brochures.

 

19059125_10154492202440843_8104231820341492403_n.jpgSigns and roundels

Posts and roundels have been distributed and Snowdonia Society and Cwm Community Action Group have started to put roundels up. 

We have paid for the finger signs which will replace Public Footpath signs on the highway and have had the draft designs back from the supplier.  We are waiting approval of the designs from Gwynedd, although we don`t see any problem there.

So, things are progressing and I hope to have this exercise completed by the end of the summer!

 

Event

Everyone is signed up to appear at the event in Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda on 10 November.

The afternoon seminar will include:

Me to give the background of the project                                                                           

Anita Daimond to present the schools project                                                                 

Sian Shakespear to present the community memory project                                     

Snowdonia Society to celebrate their 50 years                                                                   

Break

Llanllechid School play about the Great Penrhyn Strike                                                                                

GAT to give demonstration of the Archwilio online heritage database, concentrating on Bethesda                    

Ramblers to give themselves a plug                                                                                      

Dafydd Roberts, curator of the Slate Museum, to talk about the Slate, its culture and heritage    

This will be in Welsh and Menter Iaith, Llanrwst will provide translation services

The evening concert will include                          

Penrhyn Male Voice Choir, Deiniolen Silver Band and Penmachno Community Choir.

The evening will be compered by Neville Hughes, a member of Hogia Llandegai, a popular group of singers which has been around since I was a kid!!  He was suggested by the choir and the band.

 

The future

Clearly, we need to think of the future maintenance of the Trail, the website and the marketing of the Trail, and feel that, on completion, CCAG needs to pass the project on to another body with a wider remit. Our thoughts are that we should try to put together a Trust, which would include representatives of other Trails, such as the North Wales Pilgrims` Path, Anglesey Coast Path, Hiraethog Trail, North Wales Path and others, to form an umbrella group, co-ordinating fundraising, maintenance and marketing efforts.  We  are looking into this and have loads of stuff to read through from CVSC.

Other

We are pursuing patrons for the project – endorsements rather than money and am hopeful to get Crag Jones – the first Welshman to climb Everest!!

Stuff and stories about the quarry
27 April 2017 - 6.30 - 7.30 pm
Penmachno School

Come and share your pictures, articles and stories about living with the quarries with pupils of Penmachno School
and some members of Merched y Wawr, Penmachno.

An informal evening - pop in.
home and quarry
placenames
sayings and nicknames
customs and traditions
socializing and recreation

Thanks to all who called in to Maenofferen school and contributed to the excitement of sharing stories and stuff about living with the quarry

Progress report No 6: March 2017

We are getting to the exciting stage of nearly completing some of the elements of the project and establishing the route on the ground. The next few months will be very busy.

Community Memory drop-ins

Sian Shakespear has now held four of the drop-in sessions – at Bethesda, Y Fron, Deiniolen and Blaenau Ffestiniog.  As reported previously, we are well past our target of 30 adults taking part, with the Penmachno drop-in still to come.

We have been recording memories and collecting stuff, including photos, and these are being compiled professionally into a digital story which will be accessible from the website and app. Many interesting tales of our slate culture have emerged and we are looking forward to being able to hear the finished project.

The next task will be to take these memories and make up interpretative boards which will be available for schools, communities and lifelong learning groups to borrow.

Thanks to Llanllechid, Ysgol Bro Llifon, YsgolGwaun Gynfi and Ysgol Maenofferen schools for their assistance in this part of the project.

 

 

Schools Projects

The schools projects are near completion with only the geo-cache to be put in place.  Our target of 100 participating children has been smashed.  Over 350 children have taken part, culminating in 160 of them enjoying a day at the Llanberis Slate Museum.  There, they learnt about the slate industry, took part in a treasure hunt, built dry-stone sculptures and had a good time.  Thanks to Dafydd Roberts, Julie Williams and the other museum staff for their help.  And especial thanks to Anita Daimond and Jwls Williams for their amazing enthusiasm.

The children`s work will be on show until the end of April and includes drawings, rubbings of slate and collages related to slate.  Well worth a visit to see how hard these children have worked.

Establishing the route

The route has been finalised following consultation with farmers and agencies, which have resulted in a number of alterations. The posts and roundel signs have been ordered and it is hoped that, at a meeting with Gwynedd Council at the end of March, that the design of the finger post signs and the arrangements for the council to erect them will be finalised. Following that, the Ramblers, Snowdonia Society, Cofio Cwmorthin and Cwm Community Action Group will be out there marking out the route. So this is an important time in the project.

 

Website and app

Our website is still being built is expected to complete in the coming months. Three of us spent two days with the website designer, Creativity Jones, being trained how to manage the site in the future.  This training was funded by Conwy Council, and thanks to Ann Carroll for her support in this regard.

The app will follow soon after and we have been busy plotting the route accurately on Googly MyMap in readiness for it to be transferred to the app.

www.snowdoniaslatetrail.org

However, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Publicity

A number of articles have been included in the press and Trail magazine has expressed an interest in making a feature of the project.  We are presently advising them of the best bit – which, naturally, comes through Cwm Penmachno!!

Also, having been let down by the publishers, Cicerone Press, we are in discussion with Rucsack Readers who specialise in publishing trail guides, including the west Highland Way and Fife Coast Path, as well as guides to the highest peaks in the world – Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua and Everest.  These waterproof guides are of very high quality and will increase international awareness of the Trail.

Event to celebrate the Snowdonia Slate Trail and the 50th anniversary of the Snowdonia Society

A date for your diary. 

10 November 2017. Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda

It is planned that the afternoon will consist of presentations from the Ramblers, Snowdonia Society, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, Snowdonia Slate Trail organisers and a keynote speaker.

In the evening there will be a free concert by Penrhyn Male Voice Choir, Deiniolen Silver Band and, possibly Penmachno community choir. Hopefully, we will also persuade Llanllechid school to perform the drama they created as part of the arts project.

Look out for further information.

Other stuff

We continue to follow and support Gwynedd Council`s bid for World Heritage Site  (WHS) status for the  Snowdonia Slate Areas, and recently wrote a strong letter of support for their bid to Visit Wales for funding to market the area. The Slate Area Economic Task Force fully recognises the potential of the Snowdonia Slate Trail in contributing to our economy and providing an important part of the WHS application.

First definite date for installing way markers. 27 May by the Snowdonia Society. Exciting days

Visit the Snowdonia Society`s cafe at Ty Hyll for an excellent tea and scones.

© 2017-18 Llwybr Llechi Eryri - Snowdonia Slate Trail. Cedwir pob hawl. Cynlluniwyd gan Creativity Jones.

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