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Early group photo

Colin's cottage and the track up to Snowdon, 1990

You could say it was unique.  According to Colin, the War Department had used the valley for a mortar testing range during the war, and by a stroke of good fortune, the officers running the range took over the cottage as a billet, rather than using it for target practise.  Prior to that, it had belonged to the Vaynol estate as a quarry worker's house, and it reverted to the estate after the war as one of the few buildings that hadn't been blown up.

These pictures show that with a little care, you could drive up to the front door.  First thing to do was turn the gas on in the bathroom at the back for a brew, hoping that the mice hadn't been too active since the last visit.  Well, "bathroom" was a grand name for a dark, drafty room with a rusty old paraffin fridge and an unfinished concrete shower stall. This room was usally the last to have the shutters removed the following morning.


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