We first visited the CAT in Snowdonia about 10 years ago.
We stayed at the Snowdon Ranger youth hostel, coincidentally in the same room we had 5 years ago for a birthday assault on Snowdon – it was just as grotty and with the same pungent reminder of how socks fair after a long hike.
With Max studying alternative energy technologies, we were looking forward to seeing how things had progressed over 10 years.
But the tour guide explained that now green techs were mature and commercially available, after leading the field, the work of the CAT was now about making them more widespread and commercially available.
I wasn’t convinced. So much has moved on with transport, solar, construction etc. It felt the place was happy to rest on its laurels, and take the cash from the gift shop and MSc programme. It felt like a visitor attraction.
That was confirmed by speaking with another chap who’d been there 30 years and who after running the restaurant now operated the iconic water powered funicular cable car. The founders had moved on long ago leaving the place to trundle on and become a limited company as opposed to the cooperative it started as.
But we had a good time nevertheless.