Established 1976

Castles Run August 2012

John and Anita resurrected the Castles Run after a break in the calendar of some fifteen years. My last rally plate form the castles run is from 1997. It shows how things can slip from the club calendar and drift into oblivion. Yet another day out that doesn’t happen for the members. 

The plan was to visit a number of castles in the vicinity this year and to visit different ones for next year. With that in mind, the start point was arranged with Roger Gale at the Tram Museum forecourt, used by the club on previous Mumbles runs. As always with SHVR starts at the museum lately, it rained! The weather put a few off making the run, but we still had a good turnout for the run with 16 cars lined up by the marina.  

Heading through town, Swansea Castle was the first castle on our route to be seen. The remains of the 13th century castle are now a shadow of the original fortification on that site.

Up through Swansea towards Fforestfach and Gorseinon and on towards Loughor and the second castle on the route. Loughor or Leucara as the Romans knew it, was established around 75 AD and was used to guard the Roman road that stretched between Wroxeter (Viroconium to the Romans) and Carmarthen (Moridunum) along with other forts and fortlets along the way. Our route allowed for visits to all the historic ruins along the way but unfortunately the weather did not encourage too much exploration at the time. 

From here it was off towards the Llanelli road and on to Bynea, turning up the hill to drop down towards the Crematorium road. This led us towards Cross Hands, Gorslas and over the mountain road to Maesybont and down towards Dryslwyn Castle overlooking the river and the picnic site some chose as a break in the journey. 

From Dryslwyn it was off to Aberglasney and the road towards Llandeilo and the next castle on the list, Dinefwr Castle, visible on the hilltop overlooking the town and river.

For those who chose not to go into Llandeilo and Dinefwr Castle, the route went straight on at the Fairfach roundabout and on towards the Castle of Carreg Cennen. This is where Sally and I decided to have our picnic lunch and take advantage of their café and have a hot drink. It seems we were not the only ones to make this choice as we were joined by Mike Palmer and his ‘sitnav’ Ron van Heeswijk. A short while later we welcomed Dave and Marion Lyall to share our communal table, we were certainly beginning to qualify as a crowd. Returning to the car park it was noticeably beginning to warm up, time for the roof to be folded down at last.

Leaving the carpark and the route we headed straight down the main roads to get to the finish venue at Bryncoch Community Centre where John and Anita were setting up the refreshments for the entrants, to give them a hand at serving the masses. We should have known the organising duo would have everything set up and ready before we arrived. They had worked hard for our day out.

 A good day out and nice to see an old run reinstated in the calendar. We were also joined by a number of non-SHVR cars and owners who had heard of the event and wanted to join in with the fun. They all said it was a great time. Maybe we might get some more members from their number. Many thanks to John and Anita for all their hard work on the route and to Anita and Sally for their cake cooking expertise, and to all the members who helped clear up at the end.

© The Swansea Historic Vehicle Register 2009