The livestock trailer in the field, next to Machen viaduct, used to transport sheep and cattle to market for the Tamplin family, but today it has a new innovative use.
The converted box is the base of a thriving new food business for owner Coral Tamplin, selling sausages from the family farm among other produce sourced from across south Wales – including Caerphilly’s own Glanmor’s Bakery.
Called The Viaduct 1864, the business takes its name from the year the viaduct was built.
It was during last year’s lockdown that Coral noticed there was a sizable number of walkers using the family’s land.
Her husband Owen’s family have been farming in the area for the last 125 years and the idea to create a food business seemed the perfect way to diversify and bring in extra revenue.
Coral, who is a teacher, approached a company in Swansea to convert the old cattle trailer into a modern catering vehicle – complete with coffee machine.
She explained: “I love teaching, but I realised [during lockdown] how far away I was from family with the time I was spending commuting.
“This is my husband’s land and we noticed the number of walkers down here and we thought we would try this out and see how it goes. I took time off work to do this and give it the summer. It has been a roaring success – more than we thought it would be.”
Coral, 51, said she now plans to continue over the winter by taking on staff – which also means she won’t have to give up the teaching job she loves. She added: “I’m going to do both.”
The fully-licensed space, complete with picnic benches and hay bales, has been a hit with walkers and families as well as those looking for an alternative place to go in the evening.
Coral explained: “We’re a little bit off the beaten track here but a lot of walkers stop here and think it’s amazing – like an oasis. It’s a hidden secret gem. People feel comfortable bringing their families and children can run around.”
The family have also been busy making their land more accessible for walkers and have created a circular walking route that connects to the well-established Machen Forge Walk route.
The Viaduct 1864 is open Wednesday to Sunday between 10am and 8pm and is accessible from Green Row, in Machen.
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