BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Wales
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Sunday, 25 March, 2001, 18:47 GMT
The A470: free of motels and road movies
A470 picnic, Haydn Denman
The A470 offers moments to pause and reflect
To mark the opening of Oriel Mostyn's exhibition of photography on the A470, BBC Wales's Jon Gower takes a personal view of Wales's artery road from north to south.

To mark the opening of Oriel Mostyn's exhibition of photography on the A470, BBC Wales's Jon Gower takes a personal view of Wales's artery road from north to south.

To see a display of photographic work from the A470 exhibition Click here

Linking wild goats and guillemots in the North and rapid-fire urban regeneration in the south, the A470 links the Great Orme Head with the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay.

It is a meandering artery, a literary magazine (the road lends its name to the magazine of Academi, the literature promotuion agency) and can be hell in high summer, when caravans converge on the narrow stretches.

The A470 isn't a road-movie sort of road; it only takes four hours to get from one to the other.

There are no motels and there aren't too many straight stretches where an unfortunate traveller might pick up Rutger Hauer, who thumbs his way through one of the scariest films of its kind, 'The Hitcher.'

No, it's more of a proceed-at-your-leisure, B road sort of A road where you can open the sun roof and listen to tree pipits serenade you as you drive through Betws-y-Coed, which once had its own colony of artists.

Rugged grandeur

One artist who has made the journey down the A470 many times is Cefyn Burgess, who works in textiles and has recorded the architectures of the chapels which punctuate the route.

Many of these witness boxes to Christianity lie empty now but Burgess has captured them, his art that of document as well as interpretation.

The road has spawned poems too, such as Iwan Llwyd's account of what used to be a weekly pilgrimage.

From the rugged grandeur of Snowdonia, through the quiet music of mid Wales' landscape and on to the populous south, this is the Welsh highway.

The M4 is monotonous: the A470 is glorious.

That's just the way things are.

The exhibition at Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno, runs from Friday 23 March and is also due to be shown in Cardiff later this year

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories