Visitors to an outdoor pursuits centre are being invited to relive their memories as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Bron-y-Gader was purchased by members of the Blackburn and District Outdoor Pursuits Centre Trust who went about renovating the ruined farmhouse.

The centre, in Snowdonia National Park near to Conwy, in Wales, would officially open to the public in 1974.

The intention was to give the farmhouse a new lease of life and allow it to be used by young people, including those undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions, from the borough. 

An open afternoon is now being planned for those who may have visited the centre over the past five decades.

The event is being held on Saturday, May 4, from 2pm onwards, to allow people to relive their memories of visiting.

A number of the original volunteers are still involved with the centre, including three of the trustees - Jim Ainsworth is the charity secretary, Ron Ainsworth is the booking secretary and Barbara Clarkson is treasurer.

Barbara said: “Bron-y-Gader is a not-for-profit charity and everyone involved in its operation is a volunteer. 

“This year marks 50 years since Bron-y-Gader was officially opened and we are celebrating this milestone with an ‘Open Afternoon’ for anyone who wants to look around. 

“We would like to invite people who have spent time at the venue over the years, either as workers or users.

“Over the years, the Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition groups, schools, youth groups, Air Cadets and many others, including from overseas would have attended.”

The centre, which accommodates up to 37 people was established to introduce young people to the great outdoors.

It is located eight miles from the town of Conwy, 12 miles from the beaches of Llandudno and 10 miles from Betws-y-Coed with its walking and biking trails, and 12 miles from Mount Snowdon.

Ron said thousands of people would have spent time at the centre during their youth.

He added: “Looking at the numbers over the last 10 years I think we can put a conservative estimate of more than 300 people per year. This year there will be more than 500.

“So, over the 50 years, that's more than 15,000 people!”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The purchase and opening were featured in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph at the time.

In a 1969 edition, the report read: “The committee's long search for premises ended when the Central Electricity Generating Board agreed to sell the farm near Dolgarrog in the Conway Valley.

“The farm, called Bron-y-Gader is complete with a small wood and lies in a beautiful spot overlooking the Conwy Valley and estuary.

“The mountains behind the farm extend almost to Bangor in the west, over the Carnedds to Lyn Ogwen to the south west and to Capel Curig and Betws-y-Coed in the south, covering some of the best walking country in North Wales.”

It adds: “The spread of the development will depend on finance.

“A start on fundraising began last year when more than £1,000 was raised by Blackburn young people on a charity walk organised by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award Holder’s Association.”

Anyone wanting further information or who wants to attend the anniversary can e-mail or call 08456 429294.