Day 228 Mile 228: Running Along Behind my Great-great Grandfather. In one of those weird loops of fate it turns out that during my time at university (roughly 250 miles from home) I moved into a village on the coast, where, unknown to me my great great grandfather and several other members of his (and by extension my) family had lived well over a century ago!
Charles Walter Smith (shown in the photo) is my maternal great great grandfather, and was born in 1838. It turns out he used to live in, and run a farm, barely 10 minutes’ walk away from where I now live. Although it is hard to pinpoint precisely which building it would have been, as residences shift, change and are rebuilt and extended, the road he lived on and the fields are still there and I can give it a pretty good guess.
His brother William Smith also used to live in the village, having bought the Penmaenmawr Hotel (later the Grand Hotel) from a Dr. Norton, and it is said that Charles’ and side of the family used to manage the establishment when the two brothers traveled on business to the Liverpool Corn Exchange. The hotel is no longer there, having been developed into housing 20 years or so ago, but the road layout of Llanerch-Y-Mor and the rise up from the station still demarcates where it would have stood.
So today I ran from the farm along Graiglwyd Road and down to the site of the hotel. It’s an odd feeling, looking at places which feel very familiar in a slightly different way, re-imagining spaces and rolling back years in the minds’ eye; but also experiencing a sense of belonging in a broader time and place, while simultaneously being cognisant of that paper-thin slice of time which we currently occupy.
It’s a run I have meant to do for a long time, and a bit of research which has been on the boil for a while. I’m glad I got the chance today 🙂
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: 1644.8 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
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Thanks as ever for all the support!
Seems an appropriate earworm for today….