Day 95 mile 95: Lunchtime Low Tide. Today finds me in Menai Bridge at low tide, running along the front and under the bridge, staying as close as possible to the water front (albeit on dry land) and taking in the views. Starting by the Liverpool Arms Pub the route winds through the edge of the town, the name of which is a relic of the era when steamships plied between Liverpool and Menai Bridge. Passengers would alight at the nearby St George’s Pier, so named because it was originally used by the St George’s Steam Packet Company. The fare in 1835 was a princely 10s 6d for travel in a cabin, or 5s for travel on deck. Keeping in mind the difficulties (and time involved) of traveling along the coast roads along the top of North Wales at the time this still seems like a good option if you could afford it.
The route continues under the impressive span of the Menai Bridge itself designed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1826 in order to form a viable road link from London to the port of Holyhead and hence to Dublin.
Upon leaving the shadow of the arches today’s route takes me onto a path I have not been along before known locally as the Belgian Promenade. This tucked away footpath holds testament to a fantastic piece of history.
During the First World War, refugees from German-occupied Mechelen (or Malines) in Belgium were accommodated in Menai Bridge. The 63 Belgian refugees: men, women and children, arrived by train in October 1914 and were greeted in French by the Bishop of Bangor. From Menai Bridge station they were driven to the town, passing Royal Welsh Fusiliers who provided a guard of honour on both bridges. At the New Hall in Menai Bridge, the refugees were welcomed by well-wishers and enjoyed a meal together, while a local band played the Belgian national anthem. Most of the refugees lived at three houses in Menai Bridge, with the remaining 12 housed at the Village Hall in Llandegfan. In gratitude for the town’s hospitality, the Belgian guests built the amazingly picturesque promenade along the Menai Strait completing it in 1916.
It is an incredibly inspiring place to spend time, there is a wonderful mix of natural beauty, human ingenuity and depth of compassionate history.
It’s great to see so many people out and about enjoying it today too!
Thanks as ever for all the support 🙂
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 1639.1 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
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