Bryngarw Country Park, 20th August

Two cars set off from Wick to drive down to Bryngarw Country Park near Bridgend with Moira C’s husband driving their car so that he could run back to Wick, we were all impressed and learnt that he had done a marathon earlier in the year. Well done, Steve.

The sun came out as six of us started our walk, following the cycle path out of the park, crossing the river Garw by the footbridge and along the footpath that follows the old railway line up the narrow Garw valley once used to transport coal from the pits. Despite the path being a little overgrown with brambles and the invading Himalayan balsam which Graham named for me, there is evidence of the old railway lines and a steel bridge along the way.

We reached the first village, which is Llangeinor, where the path ends at the road up to Bettws, and got talking to the postman who was delivering to a private house, which he told us was originally the station house with the platform still there. We turned right, crossed over the road which went over the river and into grounds with a community hall named the Richard Price Centre, and up past it to the main road.

Turning left and crossing over we walked up to a junction to look at the information panels which are in English, Welsh and French about Richard Price a local man who was a nonconformist minister, influential academic, mathematician and political reformer born in 1723. On a stone plinth there was a large miners lamp as a memorial to the miners lost in pit disasters in the valley.

Retracing our footsteps back down past the Richard Price centre we saw lights on so had a look inside the foyer area which had two painted wall murals and a beauty bar which was open, but we did not see any one.

We returned back along the same footpath until we reached a stone bridge which has not very good steps up to the road which crosses over the river again. We were all pleased to see a fair volume of clear water in the Garw river in these drought times. This road provides access to two houses and opposite the first house is a public footpath that follows the river through a delightful green meadow, home to two ponies, and then onto a gate and bridge back into Bryngarw Park.

We had a look around the Japanese garden and then walked up to the front of Bryngarw House, where we reminisced on functions we have been to in the past. Continuing back past the duck pond, which was very low and muddy with plenty of brown mallard ducks happily swimming around, we returned to the cafe and car park for refreshments. Thank you one and all for joining me.