Sunday, October 11, 2015

Wales Part 2

A heads up, this is the last post of our trip and this one is VERY long.

Now, on to my father's side of the family for a bit. His parents, whom my siblings, cousins and I would call Nannie and Papa, owned several inns over the years.

Nannie & Papa in the 60's

One in particular I would hear stories of, The Fairy Glen, like the time Papa complained about Nannie's mashed potatoes and she threw a spoonful of them at him, missed and they stuck to the wall which they later painted over! Oh my. So Sunday morning, Paul and I drove to Penaenmawr to The Fairy Glen. I had an email from my Uncle Ian (my dad's younger brother), explaining some tid-bits of the Inn from his childhood. As we meandered through the hillside with houses on either side of the narrow streets, I saw The Fairy Glen in the distance. Paul pulled over so I could take a pic and collect myself as this was another "moment" LOL!

Straight ahead in the distance is the Fairy Glen.
Excuse the raindrops and dirty windshield.

It's about 9:30 am and the door was open. We walked inside and sitting by the fireplace was a gentleman having a cig and coffee. I approached him and said hello, introduced myself and said we're from America. His answer, "I can tell that". So, I explained that my grandparents owned The Fairy Glen in 1949 and could I have a few minutes of his time to chat? "Well, I'm just having my morning coffee then I have to get to work so you can have a few minutes" he said. Not the friendliest person by far! He said he was the current owner and has been for the last 20 years. I showed him some pictures of The Fairy Glen back when Nannie & Papa owned it and even told him a story of the mantel. I asked him a few questions and took some pictures...

Fairy Glen then. I believe that's my father standing to the left of the door. Can't be sure though.
Fairy Glen now. 

L-R, my Uncle Ray, his girlfriend, my mum and dad.

Same spot as above. My only regret, not having the owner take our picture here. The phone booth is still there, although an updated version.

The bar then.
The bar now.
Now there's a story about the fireplace. My grandfather strongly felt that the beams above the fireplaces should be exposed and he did that in every Inn he owned.
Papa, Nannie and his mum, Ellen. On the wall to the right is a picture of my dad in the British Navy using a sextant.
Not only did he expose the beam but I think he did some brickwork also. The owner told us that there used to be an inlaid picture that the previous owner had managed to chisel out and sell for a couple of quid. And here it is, how cool is that??

Notice to the left above the beam the little pictures of the Fairy Glen. I mentioned those to the owner and he said he has to keep an eye on them, as people steal them. Wow! I would have loved to get my hands on one...maybe he could sense that LOL.

Some pics of Nannie & Papa outside the Fairy Glen in 1949...

Roy and Jean Phillips

My Uncle Ian would serve ice cream to the guests. 

In the email my uncle Ian sent me he spoke of the brook behind the inn and how he used to fish in it with his hands. Paul and I took a stroll round back.

Heading back up from the stream.

Some scenery on the way there...

And on the way back...

We drove along the coast on the way back. 
Those are some MASSIVE wind turbines in the distance.
I have to laugh at the Welsh and their "language". Good thing every sign has written below in English what they're saying. Good grief!
Interesting fact, the mileage in Great Britain is yards and miles vs meters and kilometers. Hmmm.

I don't think these peeps want visitors hehe. 

When we got back from The Fairy Glen, Philip, Leslie and family took us to the Chirk Castle.

Castle keeper? Leslie, me, Philip, Marcus, (I think Harper is the little one's name) Holly and Paul.

Books and doors, I'm a bit obsessed with. Could be a lot worse don't you think?

Narrow stone stairway to the dungeon. Since it was 27 feet down to the bottom, we passed!

In the courtyard...

I'm smiling because I made it in but I wasn't sure I'd make it out! 

We toured the beautiful grounds and Holly's 3 other children joined us.
They were delightful! I think this photo bomb was Holly's little girl Skye. 

Paul, Philip and Marcus.
Skye, Harper, Holly, Bayley, Harley, Philip, Leslie and Marcus (I think I got the kids right).

Original gates to Chirk Castle. No longer in use. 

Notice the red hand?
There are many legends regarding the red hand. One is, the lord to the castle was to give one of his sons the castle depending on which son crossed a lake first. The son that was losing, had his hand cut off and thrown onto the shore so he could win. Another was a race inside the castle. Probably a few others floating around too. 

The hotel that Howard recommended and knows the owner of, is The Hand and that's where we stayed. Very old. Loved the desk and fireplace. 

Check in desk on left.

Pretty quaint I'd say. 

After a wonderful day at the Fairy Glen, then Chirk Castle, Uncle Howard and Michael took us to dinner at the golf club. We all had a plate of delicious roast beef and yorkshire pudding. 
It was "melt in your mouth" goodness! I have never thought to make my yorkshire pudding in a muffin tin. That's the way I'm making them from now on!

Some more randomness...

Sheep, sheep and more sheep.

Michaels beautiful backyard.
Leslie's beautiful backyard.
We noticed we have quite a few of the same flowers and trees, like the Buckeye tree in an earlier post. 

Well, that's our wonderful trip. One I'll never forget and will cherish the memories forever. I can't wait to get started in my new scrapbook I picked up. You can see it here: England Scrapbook.

As always...

1 comment:

  1. Val, what an adventure!!!! I enjoyed learning about your family and see all the pictures. You are really Welsh! I didn't know both parents were from there. Awesomeness! It was so cool to see the original Inn pictures compared with the present day. The pictures were so clear and well taken I could really imagine being there too. Thanks for sharing this trip and I guess you have lots of scrapping to do.