Roșia Montană mining firm hit with retaliatory fine

I was on an organised IH trip of Romania last year and one of the locations visited was Roșia Montană, a site of historic mining remains. The village was a former shadow of itself as a Canadian mining firm had commenced the process of buying out the villagers to establish a modern mine in the area.

Thus far, they have not succeeded in doing so and the Guardian reports that the Romanian authorities have slapped a $8.6m tax bill on the company after the latter lodged a compensation claim over the failure to be allowed commence mining.

Britain IH Trip Day 3

For my final day of site visits, I travelled a short distance from Telford to Bridgnorth for the Severn Valley Railway which runs from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth.

I was originally planning to just do a straight return trip, however, the guide on board the train recommended an alternative return journey stopping off at Bewdley and Highley.

Adjacent to Kidderminster station, there is a railway museum with free access. I spent the time between arrival and my return journey here. The return journey back to Bewdley was a short 15 minute stop with instructions to sit in the first three carriages as the platform at Bewdley is short.

The village at Bewdley is an attractive village typical of many English villages with a cut stone bridge over the River Severn.

Returning to the railway, I got the train to Highley to visit the Engine House Museum there. This was mainly steam engines and a history of the Severn Valley Railway.

I returned to Bridgnorth by train and drove to Birmingham for my overnight stay. En route, a car in front of me lost one of its wheels whilst in motion! Fortunately the driver was able to bring his car to a safe stop with no injuries.

Britain IH Trip Day 2

Day 2 of my trip saw me visit the Great Orme Mines. This is a self guided tour through Bronze Age mine workings, only discovered because the area in question was due to be redeveloped as a car park 🙁

The passages in the mine are small, given their age this is to be expected, but the displays are good and explain the process well.

Nearby in the town of Llandudno is the Great Orme Tramway. I found free parking near the base terminus in Llandudno and took the tram to the summit. The tramway is cable hauled and in two sections with the control point and change over from the lower tram to the upper tram located at the Half Way station.

The tram climbs steeply right from the word go as it navigates the streets of Llandudno. At road junctions, the tram signals used to indicate whether or not the tram has permission to cross are identical to those in use on the Luas in Dublin.

Adjacent to the Summit station is the Summit Centre which is a tourist venture that could be found in any seaside resort, selling food and knick knacks.

The final port of call of the day was at the Conwy Valley railway museum. This site, which is located adjacent to Betws y Coed station, has both a small museum of railway artefacts (including a GNR(I) sign) and model railway displays. They also have a passenger carrying miniature railway and an electric tram (the latter is currently out of use due to storm damage).

Whilst traveling on the miniature railway, there was something of a minor incident when a young boy on board with his family decided to hop off the train whilst it was in motion. The driver brought the train to a complete stop whilst the boy’s embarrassed mother made him apologise to the driver for his behaviour!

I overnight in Telford before my final day visiting tomorrow as I make my way to Birmingham.