Our Guided Tour of St. Dogmaels

Posted: June 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

Today we were treated to a tour of the area around Albro Castle, where the men of the 111th lived during the first half of 1944, before they set off for Normandy on June 6. Our guide was Mr. Ian Gollop, a community council member and retired school headmaster.

Ian Gollop of St. Dogmaels, Wales

Ian Gollop of St. Dogmaels, Wales

We started by walking up a wooded path to an abandoned quarry, now completely overgrown, where the men parked their larger vehicles. From there we continued over to the driveway leading up to Albro but did wish to drop in on the Newlands unannounced.

We walked back to Ian’s house, which is on the road that runs next to the Teifi River estuary, before it enters the Irish Sea. The water was a shimmering emerald green today, under partly cloudy skies. Ian drove us up a roughly paved lane through the woods to a spot where we could enter a farm field and take pictures of Albro from the hill above, something the men did 70 years ago.

Ed in the field above Albro Castle today

Ed in the field above Albro Castle today

Albro Castle, St. Dogmael's, Wales, spring  1944

Albro Castle, St. Dogmael’s, Wales, spring 1944

 

Our last stop was to locate the tiny path past a whitewashed cottage that was the scene of another photo one of the men took. It appears on page 22 of my book. It is not a path to Albro, but possibly a back way into the village from Albro. Ian told us the cottage, now ramshackle, was once the place where the local baker garaged his delivery truck.

Ed on the same lane, bakery now falling apart, today

Ed on the same lane, bakery garage now falling apart, today

Men of the 111th walking up a lane in St Dogmaels, 1944

Men of the 111th walking up a lane in St Dogmaels, 1944

Then we three had a wonderful lunch in the Ferry Inn, overlooking the estuary. This is the closest pub to Albro and was visited by many of the 111th men. In 1944, Ian was a boy of 9 and lived in the house next door to the pub, and he remembers our GIs. Today the pub is greatly enlarged and has a very good restaurant, but in 1944 today’s bar area made up the entire pub, carved into four little rooms, as Ian explained to us.

 

Ian Gollop explains how the Ferry Inn pub looked in 1944

Ian Gollop explains how the Ferry Inn pub looked in 1944

The Ferry Inn today

The Ferry Inn today

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