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April 5th 2011
(Posted in: Ffestiniog Railway News)
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The Spring Thing: Tan y Bwlch activities - It's not just trains...
The Spring Thing draws nearer, and we're now in a position to start highlighting many of the special events that are taking place around the railway. Tan y Bwlch will be a hive of activity throughout the duration of the event...

Of course there'll be an intensive train service to get you there and back, details of which will follow in the very near future. In the meantime here's a taste of what you'll be able to find at Tan y Bwlch when you alight:

Cegin Sally – April 22nd & 24th

Cakes Galore!  Cup cakes, cakes for special occasions, cakes with trains on them.  Sally is passionate about baking delicious tasting cakes with locally produced organic and free range ingredients.

Nettyweb Crafty – April 22nd – 25th

Based in Tanygrisiau, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Nettyweb is a local craft artist, specialising in crafty cards, balloons, gifts for children and photography for all occasions.

Siocled Cariad – April 24th & 25th

With goodies on sale at Farmers Markets in Porthmadog, Glasfryn, Dolgellau, Rhug and Grosvenor Garden Centre in Chester, Siocled Cariad is an up & coming local Chocolatier much in demand.  She also supplies personalised chocolates to various hotels, guest houses, gift shops and delicatessens. 

With a wide range of delicious products including chocolate bars with flavours such as white chocolate with Coffee, Cinnamon & Cocoa, or Raspberry & Meringue; milk chocolate with Orange, or Spiced Cashews; and dark chocolate with Salted Caramel, or Chilli & Lime.  Chocolate truffles and traditional confectionary including chocolate dipped Caramels (Vanilla, Anglesey Sea Salted, Raspberry or Orange), Fudge and Fondant Cremes (Peppermint or Coffee) - there is something to suit most tastes.  Cathryn Cariad also makes a wide assortment of chocolate gifts with special ranges for Easter, Valentine's Day, Halloween and Christmas.

Wicanspirit Designs – April 22nd – 25th

Beautifully designed, unique wire sculpted crystal jewellery and wooden toys made in the heart of Snowdonia.

Debbie’s Cakeole – April 23rd & 25th April

Based in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Debbie specialises in making celebration cakes, for all occasions and has been wooing the people of North Wales with her cakes for 10 years.

Helen Williams Blue Slate Pottery – April 22nd - 25th

Fancy trying your hand at making a pot on a potters wheel?? Then why not make your way to the platform at Tan Y Bwlch where you will find the Snowdonia Blue Slate Pottery stand along with their potters wheel!!
There is lots of help to hand for young and old alike, and what you make you take home with you in a box with full instructions.

CCW (Countryside Council for Wales) – Doug Oliver hosting: April 26th– 28th

CCW champions the environment and landscapes of Wales and its coastal waters as sources of natural and cultural riches, as a foundation for economic and social activity, and as a place for leisure and learning opportunities. We aim to make the environment a valued part of everyone's life in Wales.

Doug and his team will be at Tan y Bwlch during the Green Bit of our Spring Thing, with displays of interest to parents and children alike, the expertise of Doug Oliver and of course, Doug will be leading guided walks leaving the station at 11am and 2.30pm each day – not to be missed.

Natur Cymru – Huw Jenkins hosting: April 26th – 28th

Natur Cymru, the magazine that flies the flag for the wildlife and nature of Wales, will run a series of walks starting from Tan y Bwlch station. No need to book, just turn up on the day with suitable footwear and any refreshments, waterproofs or gadgets you might need.

Walking with Wolves – a guided walk through Coed y Bleiddiau (forest of the wolves) to the railway loop at Dduallt in time to catch the ‘down’ train back to Tan y Bwlch. Looking at wildlife, history and legend. Walk led by Huw Jenkins, local writer and reporter for Radio Wales as well as honorary station master of Campbell’s Platform.

These walks will take place on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th April starting at 10:50 and at 14:20.

Walking with Plants – a guided walk through Coed y Bleiddiau woods to the railway loop at Dduallt in time to catch the ‘down’ train back to Tan y Bwlch. The walk will concentrate on plant life, especially the woodland flora. Walk led by James and Joanna Robertson. James is the editor of Natur Cymru – Nature of Wales which celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer. Joanna has worked in UK conservation for over 30 years and is a professional guide in Menai Bridge. Together they run an organic farm on Anglesey.

This walk will start at 10:50 on Thursday 28th April and finish at Dduallt station in time to catch the down train that leaves Blaenau Ffestiniog at 13:40.

Trefor Owen, Clogmaker – April 26th & 27th

Wales’ only full-time professional handmaker of traditional clogs.  Trefor Owen uses traditional hand methods and techniques for all our production from Dance Clogs to Leisure and Work clogs. Not a stranger to the media, Trefor has been picking up a lot of media coverage, most recently BBC4's Come Clog Dancing. So along with ITV Wales Fishlocks Wales series, S4C's Cyw (Childrens TV!), Radio 4 Money Prgramme, BBC Radio Wales The Roy Noble Show, BBC TV Wales News, S4C's Sioe Mon coverage, The National, the Urdd and the Llangollen Eisteddfod TV and Radio reports and then all the local and national Press coverage – you may have heard of him already.  Come and watch him as he demonstrates clog-making techniques at Tan y Bwlch station – and order your pair!

RSPB Glaslyn Ospreys Date with Nature – April 26th – 28th

On Thursday 17 March at 7.00am the male osprey was spotted, making a return to his usual haunt, at the nest site, of Glaslyn valley near Pont Croesor in Porthmadog.

Geraint Williams, Glasylyn Osprey site manager says, “We had a surprise this year when the male decided to make an early appearance and were  all very excited when the spotting was confirmed. The visitor viewing site is open from Monday (March 21st), and all the staff and volunteers are looking forward to yet another wonderful season.”

Come and visit the RSPB stand at Tan y Bwlch and put your questions to the RSPB staff and volunteers.

Aeronia – 26th – 28th April

A welsh liqueur made from Aronia berry, grown in Chwilog, Llyn Peninsula, North Wales.  Come along and see their stall – tasting available – the Aronia berry, abundantly rich in antioxidants, a healthy way to enjoy alcohol?  Visit their stall and decide for yourself!


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