Point of Ayr – Long Abandoned


Normally on a Wednesday night I’d be at the Camera Club but with the floor being renovated in the hall it was time for a field trip. A place I haven’t been to in a long time is the  site of the old Point of Ayr colliery, located just a short walk along the coast from Talacre at Fynnongroew. The colliery was situated on reclaimed land right along side the Dee Estuary and entrance to the two original shafts were with yards of the sea-shore, with the workings extending out under the sea. In later years the colliery was taken over by the National Coal Board (NCB) and a new shaft was added in the early 80’s, but now coal came to the surface on a conveyor belt.

Despite extensive reserves of coal in the mine, the colliery closed in 1996, mainly as a result of reduced demand for coal-fired power stations. All of the buildings were levelled and today you would be hard pushed to know that a colliery even existed there, other than for this sculpture of a miner with a pit pony and a cart of coal.

Miner and Pony

I was there to catch the sunset, though, and on part of the land that was once the colliery, lies the Point Of Ayr Gas Terminal. Ironically, the move from coal-fired Power Stations was prompted by the introduction of more cleaner gas-powered ones and the gas from the Point of Ayr terminal is used to provide power to half of Wales.

The fenced off areas are overgrown but you can see the Gas Terminal’s structure beyond the trees…… and that was my idea for a photograph last night. Try and get a sunset with the plant structure in silhouette.

Point of Ayr

Of course, you need a decent sunset and last night it certainly wasn’t. Hardly a cloud in the sky, coupled with a dull orange glow, but you work with what you’ve got.

Since the last time I visited Point of Ayr there have been a few additions to the site. I mentioned the sculpture earlier and I also found this wheel, which represents the winding gear from a mine. Who knows it may even be the original wheel?

So with the gas plant in the background and the wheel silhouetted against the setting sun this was probably the photograph of the night for me.

Point of Ayr

One last little point. One of the old miners who used to work at the colliery told me an interesting story. On the final day of colliery operations they flooded the mine, by boring a shaft from the dock, coal was shipped by sea, and letting the high tide do the rest.

Right that’s it. I’m off on holiday. No doubt I’ll take a lot of photographs whilst I’m away. Many of them will be touristy, but hopefully there will be the odd gem amongst them, worth writing about – Mike

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9 thoughts on “Point of Ayr – Long Abandoned

  1. I really like the shot of the gas plant in silhouette, even if it was a less than spectacular sunset. It was enough to make an interesting shot. It’s not a subject I’d be interested in in daylight, but in silhouette it looks kind of alien – like great robotic beasts arising from the earth 🙂
    Have a great holiday. Looking forward to even the touristy shots.
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I realty like the last photo of the series. The wheel was cleverly highlighted with everything silhouetted and a faint orange glowing the sky, make this one outstanding. I think the wheel made the pic. I imagine that you had to go around and hunt for something that would add interest and dimension to the photo. It was a good find.

    Hope you have a most enjoyable and relaxing holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Early start tomorrow morning, Yvonne, 5:30 am to get to the airport, then flight from Manchester to London, short stopover in London and then flight from Heathrow to Marseilles in France. The wheel wasn’t there several years back when I last visited, but as the area is now on part of the North Wales Coastal Path, they are trying to make it exciting for walkers and cyclists with objects that are interesting to look at but have some connection to the area. It was the perfect find

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  3. A stunning series of images Mike that actually look like they could have been taken on another planet! I love your illustrated local histories. Have a great holiday and be assured you’re not missing any amazing sunsets here!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I especially liked the shot of the gas terminals – and maybe the invasion of the robots! 🙂

    Also, many thanks for the follow on our Biker’s Guide Mike. I don’t update it that often, it’s kind of information based for bikers who may tour down here.

    Liked by 1 person

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