White Griffin Run 2014

North Wales - May 2014.
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This was the 28th White Griffin Run and was led by Bryan Wilcox, who decided to take the Club down Memory Lane by revisiting two venues that had been on the itinerary of previous Runs – but not the same one! We all set off with bright hopes but under the rather dull skies (well, wet skies to be accurate) from the Griffin Inn near Ruthin, and headed out on the Cerrig-y-drudion road. We turned off along the side of the Afon Alwen and climbed steeply up this most attractive river valley to emerge onto the Denbigh Moors (encountering on route a bunch of modern BMW fans who were a good example of how NOT to conduct a Road Run – ruff said). We stopped briefly near the old Sportsman’s Arms for a quick photoshoot in lashing rain before turning down towards the A5 and the warm welcome of the Gilder Arms, whose proprietor kindly opened on the day especially for our lunch stop. The Gilder Arms had originally hosted the very first Griffin Run lunch back in 2000, and it was just as pleasant this time around, though damperoutside! After lunch, we set out again along the A5 to Betws-y-coed, Gateway to Snowdonia, across the delightful iron Waterloo Bridge of 1815 and on up the Conway Valley past woods full of bluebells to our destination of Gwydir Castle. Bryan had arranged for us to have a guided tour of this fantastic ancient seat of the Wynn family (dating back to Tudor times) with no less a person than the owner, Judy Corbett herself. Those who had visited on the 2003 Griffin Run were amazed to see the progress made in the restoration of this wonderful building since our previous exploration, particularly in the grounds, where they are recreating an authentic Jacobean garden. The restoration is particularly impressive as the owners are doing it almost single-handed – this in a mansion that once employed over 60 outdoor staff! We were very lucky that the rain has ceased by the time we reached Gwydir, and we could explore in the dry. Alas, all food things come to an end, and long before most of us had seen all we wished to of Gwydir it was time for us to turn for home again, down the B5106 and on past the Motor Museum in Betws-y-coed to Pentrefoelas and so back, not, as we expected, to the Griffin Inn but to Griffin City itself. Yes, Bryan and Marie had most generously invited the Runners back to their home in the forest, where they enjoyed tea, cake and a great social occasion – though not, sadly, on the lawn as planned, due to the rain that had started again. All the Runners joined in a vote of thanks to Bryan and Marie for organizing such a fabulous day out and for their splendid hospitality that made up the grand finale of the outing.Runners were:- Bryan and Marie Wilcox, Jane and Jean Miller, Jack and Irene Dawson, Mal and Julie Docherty, Paul, Arthur and Alice Ellson,Vince Poole and Steve Clarke. Jane Miller (018).