It’s time again for Frizztext’s A to Z Challenge, this week it’s Y. From my travels, Y could be for York, Ynys Pandy, Ystraddllyn, and um, can’t think of much else at present other than –
the Ystwyth Valley (OK, in Welsh this is actually Cwmystwyth – but I need a Y, see?)
So, back to the Ystwyth valley… according to Wikipedia, “Silver, lead and zinc have been mined in the valley of the River Ystwyth since Roman times, an activity that reached its peak in the 18th century. The largest of the very many mines was Cwmystwyth Mine. It is reputed that the average age at death of the miners in Cwmystwyth was 32, largely because of acute lead poisoning. There is no longer any active metal mining in the Ystwyth valley.“
My parents lived for a time in Shropshire, and sometimes when I stayed with them, I would head off into mid-Wales. To the Elan valley, the Ystwyth valley. The latter because I happened on an article in Country Life magazine… showing an image of an abandoned mine building. I became fascinated by the Cwmystwyth mine, derelict, disused and more than a tad eerie…the former slate dressing mill was covered in sheets of corrugated metal which used to creak and clank in the wind! I would sometimes feel I wasn’t alone there…. When I think now, I used to off to these desolate places, alone, never telling anyone where I was…lucky nothing ever happened to me.
There was loads more stuff I could have explored, and didn’t…. too late now, long since been demolished. I was too taken with that mill! All these images were taken using my old Canon FTb, various lenses, and varied film stock…the central one I think was Ektachrome, which had an interesting colour cast (!), and hasn’t aged well…
Anyhow, here’s the valley on a rather grey day:
Some mine buildings (the middle building was the staff house, and the one on the right is that dressing mill):
And the dressing mill in all it’s glory:
See more ‘Y’ here.