Day 215 Mile 215: The Great Penmaenmawr Elephant Run. Thanks to all who came out and had fun charging around and generally being silly. Today marks the 137th anniversary of an Elephant taking itself for a trip around the village! Given that Penmaenmawr sits on the coast of North Wales this feels more than slightly incongruous, something which should be celebrated and certainly not forgotten.
For anyone (and there are probably many) who does not believe this, here is a link to the paper in the archives of the National Library of Wales (text repeated below):
PENMAENMAWR. AN ELEPHANT HUNT.
The North Wales Express 6th August 1880
A young elephant, forming part of the attractions of Ginnett’s circus, which is on a tenting tour in Wales, created a scare at Penmaenmawr on Tuesday night [3rd August]. After the performance, the animal was taken to the Jolly Hotel and carefully tethered to some iron bars fixed in the stable for its special security. After its attendant left it managed to get loose, and, forcing the stable door, walked through the town to a house near the railway station. The occupant of the house was disturbed by a noise in the pantry, accompanied with the smashing of crockery, and on going down he was astonished and frightened by seeing a large animal outside, which occasionally introduced his trunk into the room in quest of edibles. The alarm quickly spread, and, the animal having been missed from his quarters, the keeper soon got to hear of his missing charge, which, under persuasion[…], beat a rapid retreat to his proper quarters.
As this has never been properly commemorated I decided to make today’s run a commemoration of this bonkers bit of very local history, and see if anyone else in the village wanted to join me.
Firstly a route had to be worked out… The ‘Jolly Hotel’ mentioned in the article is no longer standing and most probably refers to the building latterly known as The Goat Hotel which stood at the Penmaenan end of the village. In 1832 Brundrit and Whiteway of Runcorn began developing Penmaen stone quarry above here at a place called ‘Y Jolly’ for the manufacture of cobbles. The Goat as it became known used, to stand directly below this so it seems highly probable that this is it. The Goat was demolished to make way for the A55 expressway so the run started as close to the site of where the hotel once stood, tucked in below the mountain where the quarries can still be clearly made out on the skyline.
The route then trundles through the village past various shops, pubs and hotels where a hungry heffalump could easily stop off ‘in quest of edibles’, before going down the hill to the railway station for biscuits 🙂
It’s was great doing stuff with people, particularly running with Linda for her first run back after breaking her back 3 years ago!
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: 2111.0 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
Thanks as ever for all the support!