Tag Archives: landslip

Ystalyfera Landslip: What I didn’t tell you before!

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What I didn’t tell you in my post ‘HALLO AGAIN” – because I was trying to get back to normal!

Or – part of the reason I didn’t keep up with this blog or go back to selling earlier.

All I have managed so far are a few listings on Etsy – but more are coming soon!

my landslip photo - March 2017

I took this photo in March of this year, because it shows the landslip at the back of my house – see the dark area running down the whole hillside – half of my garden went down there! All the hillside used to be covered with mature trees, the ubiquitous Japanese Knotweed and there were no streams – just a culvert at the bottom of the hill, for the old Swansea Valley Canal which was used to bring iron ore for the huge Ironworks that used to dominate this coal rich valley. The terrace of houses you see above were built for the factory workers, and miners. Steam floated up from the Foundry and the noise echoes throughout the valley, several families lived in each house and there were lots of pubs along the terrace!

I was evacuated from the house I have lived in since 1981, with a couple of hour’s notice on 27 February, after the factory down below reported to the Council that water was running through their car park.  It turned out that the culvert was blocked by all the soil that had come down the hill, and until Council Officers knocked on my door and told me I had to leave the house – I had no idea what had happened!  Several other houses in the terrace were also affected, but not all of them.

It had been raining heavily for several days, and I hadn’t bothered to go out into the garden, nor seen anything unusual, as the houses are built ‘down’ into the hillside.  We look like two story houses from the road, but there is a third level below, which has been my cellar, and entrance to the 3 level garden.

So I packed up a few things and had a horrendous and frighting 90 minute drive thro’ a thunderstorm at night along the M4 to the cottage I was planning to move into AFTER the alterations had been made – so it was pretty basic, but at least I had somewhere to go.

I kept in touch with the council and neighbours during the next weeks, but it was frustrating because I didn’t know exactly what was going on, and I wasn’t near enough to pop back regularly. (And long drives kill my osteoarthritic knees!)

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the garden wall had fallen onto my steps

On my next visit to Ystalyfera the damage was obvious.  The boundary wall had fallen onto my garden steps, and it wasn’t possible to walk down the rest of the garden.

A stream had appeared on the 2nd level of my garden, below a stone built retaining wall, and water had gushed from underneath the house and carved a 4 foot ‘channel’ into the once pretty area, taking with it various trees, and even a heap of stones I planned to build a feature with!

It was also evident that the sewage system had broken in the garden next door, which also had a new small stream running through it, and it turned out that the whole terrace no longer had a working sewage system – so how could we live there without being able to flush the toilets!

So I went back to the cottage, and tried to find a builder to do the work I needed there. I realise now that I was in a state of delayed shock, and nothing I did in those weeks made any sense.

My neighbour phoned in her own state of shock, on the 4th April to tell me that there had been the sound of an explosion coming from my garden that morning, and it turned out that a huge volume of water had gushed out of the hole underneath the retaining wall, and more of my garden had gone down the hill!  So back I went to Ystalyfera to have a look and it was truly frightening, and even the Council Officers wouldn’t go down to have a look at the source of the stream, on Health & Safety grounds!

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the source of the stream

The Council came up with various schemes, as most of the people didn’t want to have to move out, but none of them seemed viable, and we had a meeting to discuss how they were going to find out what actually happened and why.  Despite an article in the local newspaper, hardly anyone was aware that the landslip had happened.

I am writing about this now, because in the six months since the first landslip, various things have happened and after getting various expert opinions, the council decided on the August 8th, to evacuate the whole of the terrace, and the rest of my old neighbours are having to face the loss of their home too, and I feel very sorry for the distress it has caused them, having to move into temporary B&B’s, or stay with friends and relatives.

It has been all over the local tv news this last week, and I went back to see how people were, and to collect some more stock to start listing on ebay & etsy, but I have been caught up in the whole landslip issue again these last few weeks and found it hard to concentrate on selling!

In the light of the news this week, with landslips in Switzerland and India & China as well as elsewhere, and hurricane Harvey in Texas, which have killed many people this is a much smaller event, so don’t feel sorry for me – I am lucky that I already had picked out a new home in West Wales, but its stressful nevertheless, and I had an urge this morning to get it off my chest.

If you want to know more about the situation in Ystalyfera, this is a piece from the BBC website.

And this is one from the ITV website discussing the possibility of another 150 houses having to be evacuated.

PS: 7 November 2017 this post has been linked to : https://julzcrafts.com/2017/11/07/christmas-fabrics-are-back/

calling all past customers………my computer died and I lost your email addresses!

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yes its true – I didn’t back up my mailing list, and so when the hardrive died on my ancient mac ibook last week, I lost all sorts of things – including my mailing list – which had about 350 email addresses on it!

so I bit the bullet and was finally  forced to retire my much beloved, 2nd hand ibook – with all of 128 bits of memory on it and 4G hard drive, that has lasted me about 8 years – it’s in bits on the shelf of the repair shop at the moment – to be used for spares!

They were able to retrieve some of the data on the hard drive, so I didn’t lose everything – luckily I have still got most of my old  photos, and the esoteric collection of music I downloaded years ago, when the Limewire sharing system existed, and I could get them for free – smile!

But I lost all those stored emails that I didn’t bother to take off the system, or print out, so if you sent me an email at the beginning of last week, and I haven’t answered it – that’s why!

These include a few of the enquiries/orders I got for Kromski spinning & weaving equipment – see my last blog.

kromski's rigid heddle table loom

kromski’s rigid heddle table loomkromski's sonata spinning wheel

kromski’s sonata spinning wheel

What with the recent snow, and having to get to the library to read my emails, I have been rather “snowed under” this last week and have got behind with all those things on my ‘to do list’, and as a consequence, the order to Kromski hasn’t yet gone in – because I haven’t been able to confirm the horrendous amount of postage they want to send it all!

And now I’m not sure who ordered what!  So if you do happen to click onto this blog, please get in touch with me if you have ordered anything, AND, as I haven’t yet confirmed the order, there is still time – a couple of days – to request something specifically – and I can let you know the price, and add it to the order …….!

and ……i’m gonna need those orders – smile – cos I’m writing this on my new – it maxed out my credit card – macbook pro!  Got in late on Saturday, and i’m still finding my way around it!

SO –  IF YOU HAVE BEEN, OR WANT TO BE , ON MY MAILING LIST – PLEASE DROP ME AN EMAIL TO

julz@julzweaving.plus.com

Also, if you know of anyone who has bought off me in the last couple of years, could you direct them to this blog please!

That also applies to anyone you might know that would be interested to get my occasional newsletters, with info about new stock, special offers for Club Members only, and “buy direct” discounts.

I thought as an incentive, I would offer a prize to anyone who refers the most number of people – by the end of the month.  Please ask them to mention your name & email address, when they contact me, and the two people who have referred the most friends or colleagues, (even if they have already been referred by others,) will get the last  of my very limited edition of 2013 CALENDARS .

I only printed a few of them to see what they looked like, and because I ordered them late – just before Xmas, they  arrived a week ago.  I had thought about selling them, but there are a few tweaks i’d make if I decided to re-order them, by which time the first month of 2013 would be gone, and its not a good idea to sell a calendar in February!

I scanned a couple of the pages – but scanning print never gives very good results.  Here are a couple of them, just for you to see what they  look like.  I think you might recognise the December image.  You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

january

januaryaprilaprildecemberdecember

The mailing list is international, so obviously, postage anywhere is included, if you win one!  I’d also appreciate some feedback about the idea of a calendar, from anyone who reads this blog – the photographs are my own pictures – taken some time ago, and most of them are landscapes taken around the Brecon Beacons, in South Wales – not far from where I live.

pant-teg landslip

pant-teg landslip

I took this one down the road just before xmas – if you remember it rained and rained and rained, and the hillside above my road has been an official (threat of) landslip area for many years as there are old mining tunnels running through it.  There is some concern that the drainage system had not been maintained, and just as a christmas was coming up, thousands of tons of mud slid down the hill and blocked the road – and yes, those are full size trees in the middle of the road!

Luckily no one was hurt, and the only building affected is the old meeting hall, next to the chapel, which you might be able to make out on the far side of the slip.  One family lost their home – as they lived above the road, and the container you can see was about 30 ft above the road!  Other families had to evacuate on the night it happened, but are all insisting on staying put now!

The road, of course, remains closed, which is a minor nuisance in the circumstances, and the council are waiting for all kinds of reports before they do anything – Just thought you might like to see it – I live a bit further up that road, so luckily am not affected!

So, I really can’t complain about my little run of bad luck – or bad planning!

wishing you all a happy new year (again) – there is new stock on both my ebay page (85solway) and my easy shop (julzcraftsupplies) – for more info and working links, please go to the ABOUT JULZ PAGE.

hope to hear from you soon!

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