Quod oculus meus videt

By GrahamColling

Nant Mill Waterfall

Took myself off to Wrexham to visit the Nant Mill Visitor Centre.  The river Clywedog runs through the valley in this area and a couple of waterfalls were created to service industry on the 18th century.  I wouldn't have known about this but for bumping in to one of the locals, who told me about John 'Iron-mad' Wilkinson who worked in the valley.  I was surprised to find out that he was the prime mover in getting the famous Ironbridge built across the river Severn.  It is said that the Clywedog Valley was the Silicon Valley of the 18th century, as it was there that British ironmaking began in 1670, smelting iron ore with coke began in 1721 and John Wilkinson set up shop in 1761. For many years the area was one of the most important iron manufacturing centres in the world.

On returning to the car, I saw a notice on the visitor centre.  It appears it is now closed for the winter and because of cut backs by Wrexham Council it is likely that it will only be open for special weekends next year.  At the same time the park ranger force is being cut in half.  

For someone who worked in local government for 40 years it saddens me to see the decisions that have to be made by councils to balance the books.  The amount of money being given to councils to run services has been reduced by central government year on year since 2007.  I can't help but believe that we will come to regret the approach in years to come.

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