For the fourth year running we gathered together at
the Merrion Hotel, Llandudno.
In the party of twenty one we were pleased to welcome again Jaqui
Prince (nee Hinds),from Hereford. Years ago, Jacqui was a regular
on the Old Girls' Hockey team. Eric and Chris Birch (nee Heckle)
from Leek and Peter and Margaret Wilkinson (nee Cooper) joined
us for the first time.
The approach to N. Wales from Warrington had been very gloomy
but on reaching Colwyn Bay we were amazed to see blue sky. Llandudno,
too, was bathed in glorious sunshine -not a cloud to be seen.
Friday afternoon was spent very leisurely - walking on the prom.,
the pier, Happy Valley or for the more strenuous climbing the
During the pre dinner drinks monies were collected for the sweep
on the big race next day and also a further speculation with twenty
one lines on the Lotto Lucky Dip. The staff at the Merrion are
most helpful, pleasant and courteous and the food is excellent.
After a lively and most enjoyable dinner and drawing our 'nags'
out of the hat for the National, we adjourned to the bar and the
entertainment and dance lounge. The male vocalist performed for
several hours with songs old and new, encouraging us all to join
in. In fact Margaret Wilkinson joined him in a duet. From time
to time ramblers displayed elegant dancing techniques!
It had been decided to repeat the walk as last year. Several people
in the group had not been to Newborough and so had not experienced
the magic of Llandwyn Island. Two people chose to stay in the
environs of Llandudno where there is lots to see. One of them
headed for the Orme with a 'battery 'of cameras.
We departed from the hotel at 9.30am and headed for the 'tunnel'
along the A55 and once on Anglesey took the A 4080 for Newborough.
After parking at the picnic area, which is right next to the beach,
we walked along the beach to the Island. The weather was wonderfully
warm and sunny. The only disappointment was that Snowdonia was
totally shrouded in mist and so it was Llandwyn Island without
the magnificent backdrop.The newly marked track around the perimeter
of Llandwyn explores its rugged coastline and the beautiful tiny,
sandy bays and inlets. All were captured by the magic of this
area. Margaret and Chris are both keen 'twitchers'- binoculars
and notebooks at the ready. Margaret is also an accomplished artist
and so her camera worked overtime too.
We took a break and a morsel on the bank by the old Lifeboat Station
and soaked up the warm sunshine, surrounded by a calm sea and
lots of seabirds. After approximately half an hour we continued
our route round the perimeter including the climb up to the lighthouse.
Not all of the group chose to do the full walk, as they were unable
to resist the Man. United v Liverpool match at 12.30pm. They disappeared
to a local hostelry close at hand. Another member saved his energy
and spent the time with sketch pad and charcoal.
On returning to the car park the ' twitchers' went further on
to Holyhead where, in spite of swirling mist, managed to see the
puffins at South Stack. They were unable to see the lighthouse
but did spot a seal, if they were tall enough! While some chose
to walk in the forest, others returned to Llandudno, seven of
whom took the tram to the top of the Orme. Once again in the bar
before dinner, the lucky recipients received their pay-offs from
the Grand National. Peter Dutton rode particularly well. Our raging
appetites were rewarded with the excellent menu.
Saturday evening entertainment was provided by a very capable
Master of Ceromonies, who coached us through all types of dances
and group movement. He worked very hard, infact it was a marathon
performance. (Good practice for the London Marathon in which he
was to take part two weeks later).
At 8.30 pm we checked our lotto tickets. Eureka! We had won £10!.
A group decision was made to squander this windfall on a further
ten lines on the following Saturday. (No! We didn't win).
It was Sunday morning already!. Some made quite a hasty retreat
to keep important golf commitments, some headed for Trefriw to
see the beautiful Conway valley (and to visit th 'pie' shop).
For most people it was another visit to Bodnant Gardens. And so
another great weekend was over. Thanks for the chat, laughter
and good company It could be the Merrion again next year!