3rd Gidea Park Scout Group
web site . . .
HQ. The Rowswell Hall, St Michaels Church, Gidea Park.
 Beavers (6 - 8 years) Tues & Fri | Cubs (8 - 10.5) Tues & Fri | Scouts (10.5 - 14) 7:30 Thur


Twenty members of the Scout Troop camped in North Wales for two weeks in August. The site was one of the most beautiful we have had, being on a hillside 200 feet above the Lake Bala, and affording views of the whole length of it. On the opposite shore the grassy hills of the Berwyn range rose to 2,000 feet and over, with the Aran (2,970 feet) towering above, at the far end of the lake. On the calm days, all these were mirrored in the lake, but we saw the waters tossed by storms into foaming waves at other times. The weather was very mixed, but we enjoyed many a swim in the lake on the sunny days.

The last morning found us faced with the most difficult of all tasks, packing luggage and tidying the site in the rain. However, the camping qualities of the 'Scouts, after a rather disappointing start, had so greatly improved during the fortnight that even this severe problem was ably surmounted.


The cooking efforts culminated in a close competition between the patrols to serve a six-course dinner (soup, spaghetti au gratin, boiled fish au vinaigre, parsley sauce, peas and potatoes, steamed fig pudding, camp scones, cheese, dessert and coffee), which came close to our huge pre-war Whitsun feasts.


By using regional season-tickets, we visited, for a few shillings each, places as far apart as Chester, Barmouth and Blaenau Festiniog; at the last-named town we saw the slate mines.

1950 Ticket

One of the Season Tickets Mentioned

Map on the reverse showing area covered


Two mountains were climbed. On Bank Holiday we made a rapid ascent of the Arenig Fawr. The evening train took us to a way-side station nearly 1,200 feet up, leaving us 1,600 feet to climb up the steep face to the summit. This feat took just under one hour. From the top we could see Llandudno, the Nevin Peninsula and Cardigan Bay to the north, with Radnor Forest and Plynlimmon to the south, as well as the Arenig Lake at our feet, a thousand feet below.


The Aran climb was-made in wind and rain from Drws-y-nant station at the head of the wild pass leading to the coast. Here again we looked over a sea of mountain tops wreathed in clouds, with an even steeper precipice dropping to another lake at our feet. This part of Merfohethshire is about the "Welshest" part of Wales. English apparently is spoken only to visitors. In fact, we had to search carefully for church services in English. Fortunately, we were close to the prettily-situated old parish church of Llanycil, where English and Welsh services alternate. We filled the church for its once-a-month Communion in English, usually only attended by some half-a-dozen local speakers of that tongue. We walked past tombstones in Welsh, found Welsh prayer-books and hymn-books in the pews (English ones were fetched from the vestry for us), and saw the Ten Commandments inscribed in Welsh on the chancel wall, and memorial windows in Welsh along the aisles.

What Names.

As for place-names: well, we wonder whether the station announcer at Chester ever dares to recite the names of the stations at which the trains to Barmouth stop. How would you recite such a list as Cynwyd, Glyn-dyfrdwy, Llanuwchllyn, Garneddwen, Drwsy-nant, Cwmprysor or Trawsfynydd? But these names are like the countryside — wild Wales indeed, but magnificent in its wilderness. The scenery along the Dee valley and down the pass into Barmouth is unsurpassed in this country, and the climax is the view up the estuary from Barmouth bridge, where the whole scene reminded us of our recent travels across the Alpine lakes.

F. ROWSWELL. - Writing in the St Michael's Parish Magazine.


The map on the reverse of the Great Wester Railway Ticket says a lot about the time. It doesn't show any of the connecting routes operated by other Railway companies or even other GWR railway routes. Most of what it does show is no longer open.

Starting at the top right in Chester, Chester to Ruabon is still part of the National Network. Ruabon to Barmouth Junction was closed in stages between 1965 and 1968. Barmouth Junction to Barmouth is still part of the National Network, Bala to Blaenau closed in 1961 allthought the site of Blaenau GWR station is now the site of the current Network Rail station at the end of the Conway Valley Line.

LLangollen to Corwen has reopened as the Llangollen Railway with the new Corwen Central station finally scheduled to reopen in 2021. Bala to Llanuwchllyn is now the Bala Lake Narrow Guage Railway and Dolgelley to Barmouth Junction is now a cycle path and in 2005, fifty five years after the 1950 Summer camp, 3GP cycled it.