Day trip to Bangor.........
We actually go to Bangor every Thursday - it’s our day to visit G’s mother. The routine now is to have a short outing by car involving an even shorter walk for her when we get there. Today the destination of her choice is Bangor pier, a beautifully restored Victorian construction which projects 1,550 feet into the Menai Straits. Opened to the public on 14 May 1896, it once handled the pleasure steamers of the Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company.
Today things are quiet, the restored, brightly painted kiosks slowly opening up, takeaway refreshments on offer - here in Wales even outdoor hospitality remains closed until next week. Rather, it’s a place to stroll together, walk the dog, or sit relaxing in the warm April sun.
Despite my many visits to the city, this is my first time here, and I really like it. There’s none of the tackiness of many seaside piers - it’s hardly ‘seaside’ after all - and of course, there really can’t be any other pier in such a stunning setting. Look ahead and there’s the lushly wooded coast of Anglesey. To the west, the Menai Straights twist towards the narrows of the bridge crossings; to the east the straights open to the sea, Llandudno and the Orme on the horizon. And when you reach the end, you turn to face the mountains of Snowdonia. On a day like this it’s simply glorious.
As usual, it’s hard to choose the photo I like best. I agonise, eventually selecting one which looks out from the shore - but there’s a collage in the extras.
A word or two about the song - The Day We Went to Bangor. The one hit wonder folk group, Fiddler’s Dram, released the song in 1979 and it reached number 3. The release was shrouded in controversy after reports that the song was actually inspired by a trip to Rhyl rather than Bangor with the latter winning out due to it having an extra syllable that flowed better with the song. There were rumours of an outcry among local councillors and businesses in Rhyl about the missed opportunity for tourism which would have been generated. They are very different places, and I have to admit that Rhyl’s funfair and arcades seems a far more likely place for a day trip. Bangor, after all, names itself ‘City of Learning’.
The story of the song is related in the link below - the sublimely named Bangor Aye being a play on the local dialect where the word ‘aye’ ends every sentence!