Our Location

Our Location

End of Season Curry Night on 30th August 2016

Curry Night

Members meet at the club on Tuesday 30th August and leave for the Indian restaurant at 6.30pm. Those wishing to attend should contact me via my email address, under Society Officers.

Indian Food

Kenfig Nature Reserve – 23rd August 2016

Kenfig Nature reserve

On Tuesday 23rd August 2016 we meet at the club as usual and leave for Kenfig Nature Reserve at 6.30pm. This will be our last practical evening of the 2016 summer programme.

On Tuesday 30th August we have an end of season ‘Curry Night’ and meet at the club at 6.30pm before setting off for the restaurant.

Kenfig Pool

Kenfig Pool lies at the heart of the national nature reserve and is a valuable stopping point for migrating birds. The lake’s maximum depth is about 12 feet. An island, built by the aristocrats living in nearby Margam to encourage wildfowl to nest there, has long since sunk beneath the waters.

History

There are several theories about how the pool was formed. An old, yet popular theory claims that the lake was created during a “sinking of the land” in a massive earthquake, but has since been rejected as downright bizarre. Recently, a paper written at Cardiff University claims that before the spreading of the sand dunes, the River Kenfig flowed southward, its natural mouth being near Sker Rocks at the south end of Kenfig beach, and that the pool was a remainder of this. A more likely theory, put forward by researchers in collaboration with the Kenfig Society, also says how the lake was formed. The western boundary of the borough of Kenfig was marked by a stream called the Blaklaak. Although it had by then been covered by the sands, a document dating from 1360 states that it had flowed from the “southern water of Kenfig” (Kenfig Pool) to the “northern water” (most likely the River Kenfig). The Blaklaak was undoubtedly an outlet stream of the lake, which local lore claims is fed by seven springs, although by now these would most likely have dried up.

Legend

Like the whole area of Kenfig, myth and mystery surround Kenfig Pool. According to local legend, the lake is bottomless and fed by seven springs. Unwary people who travel into the lake would be caught up in a whirlpool which would drag them to their death.

The most significant, and most believed, legend tells that a city lay beneath the water. When historian Rhys Merrick visited during the time of Elizabeth I, and enquired about a lost medieval town in the vicinity, some told him that it lay near the castle, but others said it had “sinked and become a great mere” – Kenfig Pool.

The story goes that a vast and prosperous city lay beneath the lake. Once, as the daughter of the local lord was searching for a husband, a man won her heart. However, her father would not let them be married because he was so poor, and not of noble birth. The man left the town to seek his fortune, and returned months later. The lord’s steward was also passing that day laden with the silver and gold collected from the villagers. The young man leapt out from a bush, killed him and took the money. He then went on to marry the lord’s daughter, without anyone connecting his newfound wealth with the murder.

On the night of the wedding, a wind blew through the town, screaming that “vengeance will come” in the “ninth generation”. Life carried on regardless, until a baby was born of the ninth generation (the great-great-great-great-great-great grandson of the murderer and the lord’s daughter). That night, a similar wind blew through the city, crying “vengeance is come!”. In the morning, when the country folk rushed to Kenfig, they found nothing left of the city, and a huge lake in its place.

Three chimneys stood in the middle of the lake, belching noxious fumes. To this day, they are said to reappear before a storm in which seafarers will die in the local area. Others say that the bell of the church can sometimes be heard tolling sadly under the lake.

Fisherman are said to have had their lines broken by the city’s walls, and one landowner even died when his horse tripped on such a wall, sending him to his doom in the lake.

Swimmers are advised not to swim in the southwest of the lake; that is where the so-called Black Gutter lies. Whirlpools allegedly occur here, sending many to an untimely grave.

Crai Reservoir-Tuesday 16th August 2016

We meet at the club on Tuesday 16th August and leave for Crai Reservoir at 6.30pm

Crai Reservoir

Craig

Crai Reservoir is a storage reservoir located in the Brecon Beacons National Park for the water supply to the city of Swansea and was built between 1898 and 1906 by Swansea Corporation. The reservoir now supplies water to the towns in the valley of the River Tawe and north Swansea. The location of the reservoir was chosen as it was upstream of the heavily industrialised parts of the Tawe valley and in an area of high rainfall with as large an upstream catchment as possible.

This meant that the ideal location was just to the north of the carboniferous coal belt on the Old Red Sandstone within the Brecon Beacons National Park. The 28-metre high dam is at the lower end of a wide glaciated valley and is estimated to impound some 4.5 million tonnes of water.

Upstream of Cray Reservoir the land is largely upland moorlands or unimproved grassland with large areas now given over to plantings of conifers. The impounded water quality is therefore good and the water requires only minimal treatment before entering the water supply system. The treatment of screening, disinfection and lime dosing is carried out south of the reservoir at Nant yr Wydd.

Despite the generally excellent quality of the water, there have been occasional episodes of impaired quality mostly concerned with forestry planting and the release of difficult to treat turbidity into the reservoir. On occasions when such raw water quality impairment has overwhelmed the treatment facilities, some bacteriological deterioration has been experienced in the downstream water supply system such as in 1981.

Crai Reservoir

Crai 2

Meeting Point

Crai 3

Crai Village is nearby. The population of Crai at the 2011 census was 241. It gives its name to the community of Crai, within which are the hamlet of Felin-Crai and a large number of dispersed farms around the valley of the Afon Crai. The river is dammed one and a half miles southwest of the village to form Cray Reservoir.

Photographic opportunities at the Crai Reservoir include water, landscapes and macro.

Dinas Rock – On Tuesday 9th August 2016

We meet at the club on Tuesday 9th August and leave for Dinas Rock in Pontneathvaughan at 6.30pm.

Dinas Rock

Dinas Rock

Dinas Rock is owned by Natural Resources Wales. The woodlands in this area are designated as part of the Neath & Mellte Valleys and Moel Penderyn site of special scientific interest. It is a destination for those interested in rock climbing, gorge walking and bouldering. The Sychryd trail, is a five minute walk from the main car park to the Sgydau Sychryd cascade between Dinas Rock and the spectacular rock known as Bwa Maen.

Bwa Maen Rock

Bwa Maen

The turbulent waters of the Sychryd have cut down into the landscape over many tens of thousands of years to produce this gorge and allow us to take a look into the heart of one of Britain’s great lines of geological weakness. Indeed its this weakness which the river has been able to exploit – rocks shattered as movement has repeatedly taken place along the Dinas Fault. Each movement felt at the surface as an earthquake. It was particularly active around 300 million years ago, but even today there is still the occasional tremor originating from somewhere along the length of the ‘Neath Disturbance’, the name given to a collection of geological faults and folds stretching from Swansea Bay to Hereford. The last significant one took place near Swansea on the 27th June 1906, only a few weeks after the calamitous earthquake which destroyed large parts of San Francisco.

Sgydau Sychryd Cascade

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