Sue @ Cadair View Lodge's Blog

Tales from a self catering holiday provider

Frongoch… Birthplace of IRA?

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Not what you’d be expecting a holiday accommodation provider in Snowdonia to be talking about is it?  But it happened.

After the Easter Rising in 1916, around 1,800 people were transported from Ireland to a tiny village near to Bala.  Why there you may ask?  Well it seems that it was “out of the way” and there were already 2 established prisoner of war camps which had held German prisoners.  What it seems the authorities hadn’t realised (or realised the significance of) is that the area was a hotbed of Welsh nationalist feelings and behaviour.  These locals were working in the camps and the imprisoned Irish saw them as role models I suppose for what they could achieve.  The prisoners started to teach each other to speak Irish which made it more difficult for the prison authorities to understand what was going on.  It seems that they were allowed to “perform” dramas which involved drilling and military tactics.  When they returned to Ireland in the Christmas of 1916 as heroes they had formulated plans and I suppose they were what we’d call today radicalised.

Amongst the people at Frongoch were Michael Collins, a significant figure in the Irish Revolution and Sinn Féin founder, Arthur Griffith.

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This plaque was until recently the only reminder of the Frongoch Camps.

Until recently all that remained as a reminder of what happened in this little village was a plaque in a layby.  Since the Centenary commemorations an interpretation board and flags have joined it.  Stand in the layby and look at the board with an aerial photo of the area and try to imagine where this huge camp (and the whisky distillery which was there too) stood… it’s very hard.  It happened – honest, but it’s very difficult to imagine it now.

 

Frongoch is on  A4212 between Bala and Trawsfynydd.  The plaque is in layby, on left hand side after the Village on way towards Trawsfynydd.

BBC mark 100 years since arrival of Easter Rising prisonners

This is about 20 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge log cabin accommodation

 

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The interpretation board showing where the camps where in relation to what can be seen at Frongoch today

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Adventure #1 – Year of Adventure

As many of you will know 2016 is The Year of Adventure in Wales.  We’re encouraged to #FindYourEpic and do something adventurous.  What does “adventure” mean to you?   According to the dictionary…

Def:  adventure meaning an unusual and exciting or daring experience

So what would you do that you’d class as an “adventure”?

My first adventure of the Year was on 4th March at Dylan’s Restaurant at Criccieth.  A restaurant doesn’t sound like much of an adventure does it?  I was invited to a briefing for local tourism businesses.  As part of the day we were treated to a sampler lunch of local produce… always worth attending these things – especially when they’re hosted by great restaurants.  As part of the lunch there was local seafood on offer.  Now I’ve tried lobster, shrimp and mussels before but there was also clams, crab and oysters available.  I’ve always fancied trying oysters – not because I particularly fancied the flavour but more for the challenge.  If I was faced with a plate of oysters could I cope?  I like to eat out and to try different things but I’m not a huge seafood fan.  I wouldn’t order oysters in a restaurant just in case I didn’t like them but this was a great opportunity to just try one and I knew, being as it was Dylans, that they’d be great quality AND be prepared properly.  So….

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Oyster There!

here it is… one oyster!  I squeezed a little lemon on to it… slid my knife under it to make sure that it was going to come out of the shell without a big fuss.  Had my napkin ready… just in case.  Closed my eyes… held the shell to my lips… tipped and swallowed.  No chewing was going to happen.

Oyster Empty

Oyster Gone!

A taste of lemon and of the sea!  Smashed it!  Thanks to Dylan’s for facilitating this experience.

First “adventure” down! Bring on the next!