A44 CACHE & DASH - ELVIS ROCK
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These Cache & Dashes are nice easy stops to break up a long journey, giving you a chance to look at vistas and find hidden places missed when driving.
You do not need to go near the road to get the cache.
Remember all normal precautions need to be taken when stopping in a lay-by near a busy road!
Please bring your own pen to sign the log.
Due to there not being any suitable or safe parking near the rock, the cache is placed in a big lay-by which you will come to first if heading West, or a short distance after the rock when heading East.
You cannot see the rock from the lay-by and as there are no footpaths PLEASE DO NOT attempt to view it further down the road on foot.
If you are heading West towards Aberystwyth you will naturally see the large Elvis Rock on your right a short distance after leaving the lay-by.
Please DO TAKE care as the rock face is on a bend.
You MUST NOT attempt to look at it if you are driving from the Aberystwyth direction, as the rock is facing the opposite direction and is on a bend.
The white 'historic' ELVIS letters are painted on an east facing roadside mound of rock just inside the Powys border as you cross the southern fringes of the Plynlimon Mountain range, on the A44 Llangurig to Aberystwyth main road near Eisteddfa Gurig in Mid Wales.
For many travellers heading West along the A44 towards Aberystwyth, the sight of this unusual monument is a welcoming sign that they are nearing the end of their journey home.
Over time there have been changes, the letters sometimes saying something entirely different, but mysteriously it has always reverted back to the name of The King within a couple of days!
It all started back in May 1962 and is now a famous historic landmark known throughout the country.
In the run-up to the Montgomeryshire by-election held on 15 May 1962, John Hefin, from Borth, and his friend David Meredith, from Llanuwchllyn, near Bala, decided to demonstrate their support for the Plaid Cymru candidate, Islwyn Ffowc Elis, by painting his surname on a rock beside the road.
"It was the 1962 by-election for the Montgomeryshire seat after the death of the Liberal Party's Clement Davies," said Mr Hefin. "We borrowed David's father's car, which was highly recognisable as he was the most respected minister in Aberystwyth, and we took off. In balaclavas we set about our task - we wore balaclavas because writing graffiti in those days was very frowned upon."
"We wrote Elis in red and surrounded it in green - the colours of Plaid Cymru and Wales. You could see the sign for at least a mile away in the daylight." Mr Meredith said of the pair's antics: "We saw this wonderful rock. It's not often that a rock presents itself in such a way and we decided to paint Elis on it. We went back some days later to admire our work and damnation, someone had changed Elis into Elvis.
We never mentioned it to Islwyn Ffowc Elis, but I'm sure he would have been pleased to have been associated with Elvis."
Elis, a politician and novelist, died in 2004 at the age of 79.
After the rock had been painted, then amended, it took on a life of its own. It became a recognisable marker for anyone making their way through Mid Wales, not least the thousands of Aberystwyth University students over the years.
In 1992, the word was changed to read LUFC in recognition of Leeds United's First Division title. Also in 1992, following his death, the name of Benny Hill appeared on the rock, but again it was short-lived. One year, some devout soul replaced 'Elvis' with 'Jesus', but 'Elvis' was quickly reinstated! There was public outcry in the mid-2000s when the rock partially disintegrated and another version appeared on another rock. But thankfully, for its thousands of fans, it's back in its rightful place.
But, aside from who actually takes it upon themselves to keep reapplying the whitewash, there's one more mystery... at least according to Bristol's Terry Filby, writing on the BBC Mid Wales website: "I wonder if there is more to the legend of the Elvis Rock, as during the week of 2 September 1968 I was on honeymoon in and around Aberystwyth when out around the isolated dam area I came up behind a stationary, new American car with two men in it. I was driving a Ford Anglia 105e. As I drew close the guy on the left looked over his shoulder and I immediately said to my wife 'That's Elvis!'. She did not disagree. The car suddenly sped off and lost my Ford."
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