Monday, 5 December 2016

The Brook

The Nant y Crochan, locally called ‘the brook’, bubbled and splashed down the valley beside the terrace. It was fed by the hill, Craig y Crochan, but also by the adits of long-forgotten mines in the valley: old, black, toothless mouths hidden among young trees, pouting amazingly clear water, in which grew the sweetest watercress. We would scramble up the dripping slopes to pick and eat, caring nothing for the rebuke for soaking socks. We would peer into the black, wet darkness of the adits, never daring to venture into their perilous underworld.

A little way up the valley, hidden among the trees, lay a small, derelict Powder Magazine: roofless, windowless, but still double-walled, a remnant of times long past. I searched it a dozen times in the hope of finding a forgotten stick of dynamite. I’m not certain what I would have done if I had found one!
In my imagination the old Powder House was still used by ghostly brigands and pirates who, every dream-filled night, would creep up the stony track past Beech Terrace, always leading ponies laden with panniers full of treasure or stories.
Beyond the Powder House the stony track zigzagged back up the opposite side of the valley to Cylfynydd Farm, clinging to the steep hillside opposite Beech Terrace. Sometimes we would go there for eggs.
At night I could see the hurricane lamp outside the farm bravely shining down on the valley below. No electric for them! And the moon would reflect on the endless rails and dance in the water of the brook. Above all the stars were bright, for the terrace had no street lights.

So was the world transformed.

No comments :

Post a Comment