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  • Stuart's Photography - » Glamorganshire Canal
    Matthews Church on Building Plots For Sale St Matthews Church closed on the Aberdare Blog Copyright c Stuart Herbert blog twitter photography all facebook Merthyr Road project all If you re reading this in the RSS feed my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken Unfortunately I haven t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed so for now you ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map Sorry 3 comments Merthyr Road The Terracotta Church Posted by Stuart Herbert on September 17th 2010 in Glamorganshire Canal Modern Pontypridd Shoot St Matthews Church was built in 1908 in the middle of the Trallwn community not far from the Glamorganshire Canal as it approached Pontypridd Featuring unusual terracotta arches this large and now disused church is unmissable as you travel down the hill to the local shops The church is now closed and up for sale The local council has given planning permission to convert the site to residential use presumably the church will be demolished rather than adapted when this finally takes place At the time of writing it wasn t clear whether anyone has yet bought this site The Photos You can t travel far in the valleys without running into a usually former church or mission hall but to date I haven t seen any other church with these distinctive terracotta arches The church is quite sizeable much larger than the much more common mission halls there are two such halls in the same street alone Sadly vandals appear to taken to throwing stones at the what appear to be plain glass windows I wonder if this is why they ve been leaving the local greenhouses alone for a little while now There s no shortage of ivy clinging to the church s walls The church s distinctive terracotta features can be seen up close by the church s main doorway The main doorway uses two doors of a simple wooden design with an iron knocker and key hole on the left hand door Look up at the top of the doors this shot shows the shadow cast by the archway I like the simple pattern towards the top which makes me think of a tree The walls of the church like all of the original local housing are stone rather than brick There are several former quarry sites in the area it s likely that the stone didn t have far to travel Some of the walls have disappeared underneath the ivy growth with features such as this drain pipe doing their best to stand out until they too become overgrown This unusual shot looking up at the guttering shows wooden beams presumably from the roof sticking out from beneath the ivy The paint on the wood has largely flaked off I hope the wood is well treated There are wild berries sticking out of the otherwise overgrown grounds I m sure they didn t stay there for very long before someone came along and picked them This rusting lurid green fence runs around the small grounds of the church My eye was drawn to the contrast of this rusting wire and probably never will degrade plastic wrapped around the fence I m guessing that both have been used at some point to fasten notices of some kind to the fence Sadly the fence is in a poor state of repair and has broken or been broken at one point causing it to lean back away from the road and pavement References Rhondda Cynon Taff Borough Council Committee Summons 24th January 2008 St Matthews Church on Doctor Who Locations net St Matthews Church on Building Plots For Sale St Matthews Church closed on the Aberdare Blog Copyright c Stuart Herbert blog twitter photography all facebook Merthyr Road project all If you re reading this in the RSS feed my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken Unfortunately I haven t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed so for now you ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map Sorry 2 comments Merthyr Road Rugby Post In Hailey Park Posted by Stuart Herbert on September 13th 2010 in Cardiff Glamorganshire Canal Historical River Taff Taff Trail Taff Vale Railway Modern day Valley Lines Hailey Park in Llandaff North nestles between the eastern bank of the River Taff and what would have been the western bank of the Glamorganshire Canal as the canal emerged from beside the tin works at Melingriffith Back when Radyr Yard still existed which today is the site of a new housing estate immediately south west of Radyr Railway Station a railway embankment ran through the northern end of the park s grounds crossing the River Taff over a now disused bridge to join what today we call the City Line In 1923 a Mr C P Hailey wrote to Cardiff Corporation offering the land to be transformed into a public park His offer was for the northern section of the park and subsequently a Mr Emile Andrews agreed to provide the land to the south of Mr Hailey s to form a single park Work began in 1925 and the park was opened on 3rd May 1926 forming a great open area that only became even more important when Cardiff Corporation closed the Glamorganshire Canal and built the Gabalfa housing estate Today the park is home to Llandaff North Rugby Club and the Taff Trail cycle route snakes its way up from the south west to the north east corner of the park A local community group works closely with the city council to improve the park but unfortunately they keep hitting setbacks as local yobs disrupt and vandalise the park The railway embankment that ran across the park is gone and the line of

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/glamorganshire-canal/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart's Photography - » Great Western Railway
    too long along the way stopping for photos which meant that a journey that takes the train just 9 minutes took me nearly six hours By contrast it took me only two hours to make the return trip including a photo stop at the Giant s Bite The other problem is that the tramroad unfortunately hasn t completely survived The section from Navigation ends at Merthyr Vale It is possible to pick up the trail again from Troedyrhiw but it seemed sensible to leave that for a follow up visit when maybe I wouldn t get lost The route s in various conditions From Navigation to Quakers Yard it has become a single track road serving a few houses that lie along the route From Quakers Yard to Pontygwaith Bridge it s a stony track similar to many now used by the Taff Trail I was struck by the difference from Pontygwaith Bridge to the southern end of Merthyr Vale where the track is packed hardcore showing off the original stones that the rails sat on to perfection And then you get to Merthyr Vale where the tramroad is in various states of having been tarmaced over or completely buried under some form of building work that I don t recognise At some point in the middle of all this the tramroad actually crosses the railway line I completely failed to spot this and ended up walking along the old Merthyr Vale Colliery branch line instead until it came to an end I only realised my mistake during the post production research for this article There are magnificient views to be had especially through the Pontygwaith Nature Reserve This hidden valley used to be crossed by three great viaducts Two of them the Joint Line s viaduct to Cefn Glas and the GWR s viaduct to the Cynon Valley no longer stand they were demolished in 1969 GaAC Volume 1 has a photo of both viaducts still in place taken in the 1950 s but Brunel s Goitre Coid Viaduct still stands and is still in use by the Valley Lines service between Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil Although all three viaducts were built to cross the tramroad the best view is to be had from the top of Giant s Bite on the other side of the valley The whole hidden valley takes its name from Pont Y Gwaith the Works Bridge which crosses the River Taff in the shadow of the A470 If you re following the Taff Trail the trail leaves the tramroad to cross Pontygwaith and duck under the A470 before heading north to Aberfan on the western side of the A470 If you re heading south along the tramroad instead of north you can cross Pont Y Gwaith make your way under the A470 and then head up the hill to Giant s Bite or follow the dried up Glamorganshire Canal bed south around the foot of the hill Myself I went up to Giant s Bite so that I could take some photos of the three viaducts from across the valley I was pleasantly surprised with how close in I managed to get with just a 135mm DX lens equivalent to a 200mm lens on a full frame 35mm camera When the sunny weather returns later in the year I ll have to head back up there with my Sigma 80 400mm lens to see what detail it can capture Favourite Photo From The Shoot This shot of the A472 road bridge is my favourite shot from this shoot When composing photos I m always looking for lines that will draw the eye along and this photo is a fantastic example of how converging lines catch my attention Unlike the natural landscape shots that make up the rest of the shoot this photo feels clean and uncluttered I don t know it just makes me want to go out and take more photos A close second is this shot taken just before reaching the bridge at Edwardsville that carries the tramroad across the River Taff just south of the Goitre Coed Viaduct My recent shoot down at Sea Lock whilst very satisfying to that part of me that is really enjoying the history side of things had left me feeling that the photography was getting lost amidst it all I ve been playing around with this basic shot design a plain subject in focus in the foreground with the more interesting subject further back out of the depth of field since I first thought of it during my trip up to Snowdonia in 2003 and it s always my fallback strategy when I m not enjoying my photography as I d like to Also a close second is this shot looking south at Goitre Coed Viaduct I always find the Viaduct a complete bugger to photograph the best place to actually see the damn thing seems to be across the valley sat atop Giant s Bite The Viaduct s simply too big and the valley too small to get a great picture from the tramroad itself looking north Going under the Viaduct and looking south back to Quakers Yard I managed to snag this shot which I feel gives a good idea of just how the viaduct appears out of nowhere to completely dominate the scene But don t take my word for it get out and about and go see it for yourself Post Production After the eye popping colours from my Sea Lock photoshoot I didn t want to do another set of photos looking like that But equally I didn t want to do a black and white shoot if I could avoid it It was a great day blue skies and hot sun and I d been careful to avoid burnt out skies as much as possible which is why many of the photos in this set are looking south even though my journey was heading north It was during the

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/great-western-railway/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart's Photography - » Gwaelod-y-Garth
    s one part of the landscape that dominates views of both Taff Vale and Cardiff it has to be the Garth But what can you see from up on the Garth That s what I went up there to find out Thoughts On The Day The day was a tale of two directions To the south towards the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff conditions were very difficult for landscape photography with the sun reflecting off the Bristol Channel beyond the South Wales coastline The photos shot facing that way all suffered from limited contrast and colour I ended up converting those to black and white to make the most of them To the east towards Caerphilly and Taffs Well the light was much better well in between the rain drops I was able to get nice crisp shots of most of my subjects and I was able to leave those photos in colour To get up the Garth I recommend hiking up the road from Gwaelod y Garth A couple of sections of the road are steep and like me you might find using a walking stick helps with these bits but for the main it s not too hard on the legs or the knees You can reach Gwaelod y Garth easily from Taffs Well railway station car park by using the footbridge to cross the River Taff Don t be tempted to try a short cut through the new housing estate on the site of the former Pentyrch Iron Works I couldn t find a way through from there to the old village behind it and had to double back And as to what you can see once you get up there Favourite Photo From The Shoot This photo of the General Electric plant at Nantgarw is my favourite photo from this shoot Being up on the Garth provided the perfect elevation to show how GE s factory dominates the entire hill side and the communities that it surrounds I also like the photo of the War Memorial simply because it s a great demonstration how just how much reach the Sigma 80 400 mm lens has and my shot of the Millennium Stadium in the heart of Cardiff because it shows just how central the stadium is Post Production Whilst I was up on the Garth I also took 14 shots of Taff Vale to stitch together into a single panoramic image of Taff Vale At Jon Pearse s recommendation I bought a copy of Calico to do the stitching and I m very happy with the result The beautiful thing about Calico is that it does all the work for you and unlike some competing tools it doesn t complain when you want to stitch 14 images together Now getting the final panoramic shot uploaded to Flickr that was far harder than generating the shot in the first place Found On Flickr This old postcard provides a great view of the Walnut Tree Viaduct with the

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/gwaelod-y-garth/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart's Photography - » Hawthorn and Upper Boat
    of the River Taff At some point I ll get the shots stitched together and uploaded to Flickr as part of a new Panoramic Shots series for my Merthyr Road project Be the first to leave a comment Latest Photos Categories A4054 Merthyr Road A469 A470 Trunk Road A473 A48 Abercanaid Administrative Articles Opinion Post Production Barry Barry Docks Barry Railway Brecon and Merthyr Railway Bristol Channel Bute Dock Feeder Bute Docks Caerphilly Cardiff Cardiff Railway Church Village Coal Education Edwardsville Egwlysilan Equipment Financial Font y gary Forest Farm Glamorganshire Canal Great Western Railway Gwaelod y Garth Hawthorn and Upper Boat Historical Iron Steel Junction Canal Leisure Llwyn Onn Local Sites South Wales M4 Motorway Manufacturing Margam Maritime Media Medical Melingriffith Melingriffith Feeder Merthyr Road By Era By Water Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Vale Miscellaneous Sidings And Other Routes Modern Morganstown Nantgarw Navigation Modern day Abercynon News Penarth Pentyrch and Melingriffith Light Railway Photos 25 9 Caught My Eye Desktop Wallpaper Favourites Other Shots Recommendations Single Shot Series Tablet Wallpaper The Year In Review Travel Photography Pontygwaith Pontypridd Pontypridd Caerphilly and Newport Railway Quakers Yard Quakers Yard and Merthyr Joint Railway Quarrying Radyr Rhymney Railway River Ely River Rhondda River Taff Shoot Shopping Taff Trail Taff Vale Railway Modern day Valley Lines Taffs Well Technique Tin Works Tongwynlais Tonteg Tramroad Treforest Treforest Industrial Estate Turnpike Old Road Uncategorized Walking Routes Archives August 2015 October 2014 April 2014 March 2014 August 2013 July 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 September 2012 August 2012 February 2012 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/hawthorn-and-upper-boat/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart's Photography - » Historical
    especially with the encroachment of the St Davids 2 shopping centre up to its very doorstep Built in 1849 it is currently a grade 2 listed building Long may it continue to inject a bit of style and colour in the face of the hodge podge of modern architecture surrounding it References The Golden Cross on Facebook The Golden Cross on CardiffPubs co uk The Golden Cross on Brains website Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter If you re reading this in the RSS feed my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken Unfortunately I haven t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed so for now you ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map Sorry Be the first to leave a comment Merthyr Road Baltic House Posted by Stuart Herbert on October 12th 2010 in Bute Docks Cardiff Coal Historical Single Shot Series Mount Stuart Square a designated conservation area since 1980 is home to something like 60 listed buildings Some of these listed buildings are considered landmark buildings some are not One of the landmark buildings is Baltic House Built in 1915 Baltic House faces the main entrance of the Coal Exchange I ve been unable to find much online about its history but it is reasonable to assume that it had some connection to the coal trade through the Bute Docks of the day Today it appears to be a multi tenant office block Copyright c Stuart Herbert blog twitter facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter If you re reading this in the RSS feed my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken Unfortunately I haven t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed so for now you ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map Sorry Be the first to leave a comment Merthyr Road Rusting Gates Of Melingriffith School Posted by Stuart Herbert on October 11th 2010 in Historical Melingriffith Single Shot Series Taff Trail A few years ago Mrs H and I joined a large crowd on one of the local history walks organised by the Friends of Forest Farm The walk ended just beyond the Cardiff High School Old Boy s rugby ground where the Taff Trail emerges by the Melingriffith Water Pump and the reason this stuck in my mind was because of this set of rusting gates lying just inside the Old Boy s rugby ground s car park Our very knowledgeable guide pointed them out to us how many times had I walked or cycled past them without noticing them and told us a bit about them but unfortunately I can t remember any of the details and have had no luck in learning more via online

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/historical/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart's Photography - » Iron & Steel
    beautiful thing about Calico is that it does all the work for you and unlike some competing tools it doesn t complain when you want to stitch 14 images together Now getting the final panoramic shot uploaded to Flickr that was far harder than generating the shot in the first place Found On Flickr This old postcard provides a great view of the Walnut Tree Viaduct with the Garth beyond it With a lot more care and thought into how the heritage of the South Wales valleys could be protected and developed this could have been the view that greeted visitors leaving the M4 bound for the Brecon Beacons I think it s a shame that it isn t so 1 comment Single Shot Series Past Present and Future In Cardiff Posted by Stuart Herbert on May 30th 2007 in Bute Dock Feeder Cardiff Coal Historical Iron Steel Modern Photos Shopping Taff Vale Railway Modern day Valley Lines I liked my original black and white shot so much that I went back a few days later and took this early morning shot with the Nikon I took five separate exposures and combined them into a single HDR image using Photomatix Cardiff s Past In the foreground is the Bute Dock Feeder which took water from the River Taff and brought it down to the Bute West Dock The Bute Dock Feeder was built sometime between 1830 and 1836 Cardiff s Present Dominating the skyline is the futuristic looking apartment block recently featured in the BBC s Doctor Who spin off Torchwood Cardiff s Future See those cranes just poking out above the bushes on the left They re hard at work creating the St David s 2 Shopping Centre Want to know more Read the blog entry that accompanied my original black and white shoot as part of my Merthyr Road series on South Wales history 2 comments Cardiff s Little Venice Posted by Stuart Herbert on May 27th 2007 in Bute Dock Feeder Bute Docks Cardiff Coal Glamorganshire Canal Historical Iron Steel Junction Canal Shoot Taff Vale Railway Modern day Valley Lines View Cardiff s Little Venice as part of my Merthyr Road project on Flickr The success of the Glamorganshire Canal was always going to bring with it rival means of shipping the goods of the industrial South Wales Valleys out to a world eager for the iron coal patent fuel and stone that were the currency of the Welsh industrialists The canal was never going to have the capacity required to meet ever growing demand and so within 120 years of the canal opening the marsh land south of Cardiff disappeared under no less than four separate docks all competing with the Canal for trade The invention of railway led to five separate railway companies all doing their best to keep up with the rate at which coal was being mined and their iron tendrils snuck out past the congested Cardiff Docks to Barry Newport and Swansea too Inevitably it all came to an end Although the Glamorganshire Canal finally closed in 1951 it has taken more than fifty years to regenerate the parts of Cardiff touched by the former iron and coal trades The situation up in the valleys is bleaker where full regeneration and recovery from the loss of coal mining may not happen in our lifetimes It s the Cardiff Docks that have taken longest to recover and the recovery has come at what some consider a steep price the Cardiff Barrage scheme central to the redevelopment of the waterfront area led to the loss of mud flats important to wildlife As part of the regeneration the first dock to compete with the Glamorganshire Canal s Sea Lock Pond has been almost completely erased from the landscape Originally known as the Bute Ship Canal all that is left of the Bute West Dock today is the Roald Dahl Basin down on the shore a popular venue for events such as food fairs and the Bute Dock Feeder that used to take water from the River Taff beside Cardiff Weir to help regulate the water level in the dock With no dock left to flow into the Bute Feeder has instead been diverted down to the old Junction Canal which once linked Bute West Dock and Bute East Dock What appears to be an entirely new waterway now flows south off of Junction Canal Around it has sprung up the housing development known as Atlantic Wharf transforming what was once a busy industrial dockland into a sort of Cardiff s own Little Venice Thoughts On The Day Daft as it sounds I actually stumbled upon the Atlantic Wharf redevelopment by accident I found myself with lunch hour to kill and I decided to follow the Bute Dock Feeder as best I could to see where it goes today I m very glad that I did The path that leads south beside the Bute Dock Feeder from Herbert Street gives no inkling of the new waterway hidden beyond Indeed the Feeder quickly disappears into the overgrowth My initial reaction was one of Oh well Appearing and disappearing stretches of water are the hallmark of the remains of the Glamorganshire Canal and its associated waterways However rounding the corner reveals the Junction Canal which could never have looked as pleasant as it does today Built to link Bute s original Dock the Bute West Dock to his bigger deeper Bute East Dock the only old photo I ve seen of Junction Canal shows it to have been a miserable industrial landscape crossed by the remains of a ruined railway viaduct Bute West Dock may be gone but Junction Canal has not only survived it has flourished There are two stone footbridges across Junction Canal They are in sharp contrast to the other bridges over the new waterway that runs south through Atlantic Wharf which are unmistakably modern in design and construction At the time I thought that they might be original bridges across the Canal but now I believe that they stand at the spots where the two railway viaducts one for the TVR to the west and the Bute Viaduct to the east would have crossed the Junction Canal as they brought coal down from the Taff and Rhymney valleys to the Bute West Dock and Bute East Dock respectively The new waterway that runs south off of Junction Canal is what makes this such a pleasant place to take a lunch time walk I don t know what was here originally but I ve found no mention of Junction Canal ever being anything other than a straight forward stretch of canal flowing west to east and back again There are houses here now on both sides where the trains would have emptied their loads of coal to be transferred onto ships in both docks I found the place so charming that if I ever move into Cardiff this will be one of the areas that I d look to buy a house in Favourite Photograph From The Shoot I love this shot of the Bute Dock Feeder running south above Herbert Street so much that I went back there later on with the Nikon D200 to take another more detailed version of the same shot I m planning on uploading that shot soon as a HDR shot I think that this is the best angle to take a shot of that apartment building built on the site of a former school it really brings out the angular nature of its design I also love the contrast between the Bute Dock Feeder a relic of the 19th century the old industrial units from the 20th century on the right and the apartment block from the 21st century Post Production I had to go back for a second visit to take some additional shots Unfortunately after only three years my Canon Digital IXUS has started to become unreliable It s starting to look like it s time to replace it with a newer model Anyone remember the days when we didn t throw things away but had them repaired instead After the last two epic photo shoots I was hoping to get this one published quickly and then I started trying to find out more about the two stone bridges over Junction Canal I ve also switched back to publishing the photos complete with their write ups and the blog entry simultaneously With my last article once it and the photos were published I found myself frustrated by the need to go back and continue working on it I wanted to look forward to the next piece instead Found On Flickr The term Junction Canal is one that has arguably been overused over the centuries but even so Flickr couldn t find a single photo that had been tagged with Junction Canal in Cardiff The map of geotagged photos is also pretty sparse but I did find a couple of good photos on there P2170082 a colour photo of the new waterway through Atlantic Wharf by Aaron A Aardvark Fishing in the canal a old shot showing two boys fishing in the Junction Canal uploaded by Ben Salter The bridge in the background of the photo is the Bute Street road bridge 3 comments The World s First Steam Engine Railway Journey Posted by Stuart Herbert on April 22nd 2007 in A470 Trunk Road Great Western Railway Historical Iron Steel Merthyr Road Merthyr Vale Navigation Modern day Abercynon Pentyrch and Melingriffith Light Railway Pontygwaith Quakers Yard Quakers Yard and Merthyr Joint Railway River Taff Shoot Taff Trail Taff Vale Railway Modern day Valley Lines Tramroad View all the photos from this set as part of my Merthyr Road collection on Flickr On 21st February 1804 Cornishman Richard Trevithick successfully brought 10 tons of iron and 70 men down from the Penydaren Iron Works in Merthyr Tydfil to the Glamorganshire Canal s wharves at Navigation by pulling the wagons along an existing tramroad using a steam powered engine It was the first time anywhere in the world that a steam engine had been used to pull anything along a railed track The Penydaren Mining Railway also known as the Penydaren Tramroad or the Penydaren Tramway or the Merthyr Tramroad was the setting for this historical event Penydaren is also often spelt as Penydarren and the tramroad is often called the Penydarren Tramroad Which spelling is right I leave to others to decide The tramroad had been built because the Dowlais Company s railroad ran past the Penydaren Ironworks on a high level course making it impossible to build a junction for the Penydaren Ironworks to use In response Samuel Homfray commissioned the tramroad to follow the eastern bank of the River Taff down to Navigation modern day Abercynon The tramroad was completed in 1802 and was in use until 1875 except for a period of uncertain length starting in 1815 and maybe continuing to 1825 because of the collapse of a bridge at Edwardsville just north of Quakers Yard Although it was the route used for the first ever steam powered railway journey those early iron rails couldn t take the weight of the engine Just as it had been before Trevithick after he d left South Wales he was notorious for losing interest in his inventions it was his great character flaw the tramroad reverted back to using horses to draw the wagons down to Navigation To accomodate the horses the tramroad didn t use sleepers as we re now used to from our modern railways The rails sat on two lines of stones allowing the horses to walk between the rails without difficulty It also made things easier for the man who led the horse throughout the journey There are several good examples of the tramroad stones still in existence along the route Today the rails are gone but the tramroad used in that historical journey still exists and can be followed from Abercynon up to Merthyr Tydfil The entire length up to Pontygwaith is part of the Taff Trail route of the National Cycle Way Thoughts On The Day With blue skies overhead this route makes for a very relaxing walk through some of the most beautiful parts of the Taff Valley Although neither the A470 nor the Valley Line service up to Merthyr Tydfil are ever far from the tramroad the calming lull of the River Taff bubbling along in the opposite direction more than makes up for the dull background noise of road and rail My original plan was to follow the tramroad all the way up from Navigation to Merthyr Tydfil and then catch the train back to Abercynon but I didn t make it all the way I spent far too long along the way stopping for photos which meant that a journey that takes the train just 9 minutes took me nearly six hours By contrast it took me only two hours to make the return trip including a photo stop at the Giant s Bite The other problem is that the tramroad unfortunately hasn t completely survived The section from Navigation ends at Merthyr Vale It is possible to pick up the trail again from Troedyrhiw but it seemed sensible to leave that for a follow up visit when maybe I wouldn t get lost The route s in various conditions From Navigation to Quakers Yard it has become a single track road serving a few houses that lie along the route From Quakers Yard to Pontygwaith Bridge it s a stony track similar to many now used by the Taff Trail I was struck by the difference from Pontygwaith Bridge to the southern end of Merthyr Vale where the track is packed hardcore showing off the original stones that the rails sat on to perfection And then you get to Merthyr Vale where the tramroad is in various states of having been tarmaced over or completely buried under some form of building work that I don t recognise At some point in the middle of all this the tramroad actually crosses the railway line I completely failed to spot this and ended up walking along the old Merthyr Vale Colliery branch line instead until it came to an end I only realised my mistake during the post production research for this article There are magnificient views to be had especially through the Pontygwaith Nature Reserve This hidden valley used to be crossed by three great viaducts Two of them the Joint Line s viaduct to Cefn Glas and the GWR s viaduct to the Cynon Valley no longer stand they were demolished in 1969 GaAC Volume 1 has a photo of both viaducts still in place taken in the 1950 s but Brunel s Goitre Coid Viaduct still stands and is still in use by the Valley Lines service between Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil Although all three viaducts were built to cross the tramroad the best view is to be had from the top of Giant s Bite on the other side of the valley The whole hidden valley takes its name from Pont Y Gwaith the Works Bridge which crosses the River Taff in the shadow of the A470 If you re following the Taff Trail the trail leaves the tramroad to cross Pontygwaith and duck under the A470 before heading north to Aberfan on the western side of the A470 If you re heading south along the tramroad instead of north you can cross Pont Y Gwaith make your way under the A470 and then head up the hill to Giant s Bite or follow the dried up Glamorganshire Canal bed south around the foot of the hill Myself I went up to Giant s Bite so that I could take some photos of the three viaducts from across the valley I was pleasantly surprised with how close in I managed to get with just a 135mm DX lens equivalent to a 200mm lens on a full frame 35mm camera When the sunny weather returns later in the year I ll have to head back up there with my Sigma 80 400mm lens to see what detail it can capture Favourite Photo From The Shoot This shot of the A472 road bridge is my favourite shot from this shoot When composing photos I m always looking for lines that will draw the eye along and this photo is a fantastic example of how converging lines catch my attention Unlike the natural landscape shots that make up the rest of the shoot this photo feels clean and uncluttered I don t know it just makes me want to go out and take more photos A close second is this shot taken just before reaching the bridge at Edwardsville that carries the tramroad across the River Taff just south of the Goitre Coed Viaduct My recent shoot down at Sea Lock whilst very satisfying to that part of me that is really enjoying the history side of things had left me feeling that the photography was getting lost amidst it all I ve been playing around with this basic shot design a plain subject in focus in the foreground with the more interesting subject further back out of the depth of field since I first thought of it during my trip up to Snowdonia in 2003 and it s always my fallback strategy when I m not enjoying my photography as I d like to Also a close second is this shot looking south at Goitre Coed Viaduct I always find the Viaduct a complete bugger to photograph the best place to actually see the damn thing seems to be across the valley sat atop Giant s Bite The Viaduct s simply too big and the valley too small to get a great picture from the tramroad itself looking north Going under the Viaduct and looking south back

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/iron-steel/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart's Photography - » Junction Canal
    less than four separate docks all competing with the Canal for trade The invention of railway led to five separate railway companies all doing their best to keep up with the rate at which coal was being mined and their iron tendrils snuck out past the congested Cardiff Docks to Barry Newport and Swansea too Inevitably it all came to an end Although the Glamorganshire Canal finally closed in 1951 it has taken more than fifty years to regenerate the parts of Cardiff touched by the former iron and coal trades The situation up in the valleys is bleaker where full regeneration and recovery from the loss of coal mining may not happen in our lifetimes It s the Cardiff Docks that have taken longest to recover and the recovery has come at what some consider a steep price the Cardiff Barrage scheme central to the redevelopment of the waterfront area led to the loss of mud flats important to wildlife As part of the regeneration the first dock to compete with the Glamorganshire Canal s Sea Lock Pond has been almost completely erased from the landscape Originally known as the Bute Ship Canal all that is left of the Bute West Dock today is the Roald Dahl Basin down on the shore a popular venue for events such as food fairs and the Bute Dock Feeder that used to take water from the River Taff beside Cardiff Weir to help regulate the water level in the dock With no dock left to flow into the Bute Feeder has instead been diverted down to the old Junction Canal which once linked Bute West Dock and Bute East Dock What appears to be an entirely new waterway now flows south off of Junction Canal Around it has sprung up the housing development known as Atlantic Wharf transforming what was once a busy industrial dockland into a sort of Cardiff s own Little Venice Thoughts On The Day Daft as it sounds I actually stumbled upon the Atlantic Wharf redevelopment by accident I found myself with lunch hour to kill and I decided to follow the Bute Dock Feeder as best I could to see where it goes today I m very glad that I did The path that leads south beside the Bute Dock Feeder from Herbert Street gives no inkling of the new waterway hidden beyond Indeed the Feeder quickly disappears into the overgrowth My initial reaction was one of Oh well Appearing and disappearing stretches of water are the hallmark of the remains of the Glamorganshire Canal and its associated waterways However rounding the corner reveals the Junction Canal which could never have looked as pleasant as it does today Built to link Bute s original Dock the Bute West Dock to his bigger deeper Bute East Dock the only old photo I ve seen of Junction Canal shows it to have been a miserable industrial landscape crossed by the remains of a ruined railway viaduct Bute West Dock

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/junction-canal/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Stuart's Photography - » Leisure
    to leave a comment Merthyr Road Tow Away Zone Outside Burger King Posted by Stuart Herbert on March 1st 2011 in Cardiff Leisure Modern Single Shot Series I can t remember whether the highly publicised crackdown on problem parking began before this shot was taken but you can see from this shot that even the threat of towing away problem parked vehicles simply isn t taken seriously in Cardiff Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter If you re reading this in the RSS feed my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken Unfortunately I haven t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed so for now you ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map Sorry Be the first to leave a comment Merthyr Road The Vulcan Survives For Now Posted by Stuart Herbert on February 28th 2011 in Cardiff Leisure Modern Single Shot Series In the last ten years Cardiff City Centre has been transformed by a wide variety of building projects In the middle of it all bravely defying the developers who are ripping the historic heart out of Cardiff sits the Vulcan public house It survives for now Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter If you re reading this in the RSS feed my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken Unfortunately I haven t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed so for now you ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map Sorry Be the first to leave a comment Merthyr Road Cheery Chappy Posted by Stuart Herbert on February 4th 2011 in Cardiff Leisure Modern Penarth River Ely Single Shot Series Walking Routes A piece of street art at Pont y Werin bridge which was opened in 2010 to link Cardiff Bay to Penarth Copyright c Stuart Herbert Blog Twitter Facebook Photography Merthyr Road Daily Desktop Wallpaper 25 9 Twitter If you re reading this in the RSS feed my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken Unfortunately I haven t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed so for now you ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map Sorry 2 comments Desktop Wallpaper We Will Exterminate You Posted by Stuart Herbert on November 19th 2010 in Bute Docks Cardiff Desktop Wallpaper Leisure Media Modern Single Shot Series and to finish this week s wallpaper here s the real reason we were down in Cardiff Bay to take our visiting friend to see daleks Lots and lots of daleks I think that made her quite happy I hope you enjoyed this week s wallpaper theme I

    Original URL path: http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/category/leisure/ (2016-05-02)
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