"Eine Armada von Archen"

Name of traveller

Wilfried Kratz

Reason for travel

  • foreign correspondent in the UK for the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit

Date of travel

undated, ca. late 1970s to early 1980s

Der Blick des Besuchers fällt zunächst auf die großen Hohlspiegel, welche Sonnenstrahlen auf ein Rohr bündeln, in dem heißes Öl die Wärme speichert. Der Apparat ist freilich wenig geeignet für das sonnenarme und regnerische Wales. Dennoch ist der Steinbruch übersät mit anderen Geräten zur Nutzung der Sonnenenergie. (Kratz 37)


  • reporting on the Centre for Alternative Technology near Machynlleth
  • agriculture:
    • some projects fail owing to Welsh surroundings, i.e. fish farming was abandoned for failure of emplyong ecological methods
    • organic gardening as the most successful project
    • points out rising interest in UK in nature conservation, organic farming, renewable energies
  • industry:
    • references to minimal impact technology on the premises
    • rain water supply, small-scale smithy, wind mill, dry toilet
  • people:
    • description of CAT as self-sufficient, educational institution that also provides an income for the twenty people living on the premises
    • public figures in the media who show interst in green methods: Tim Good, Prince Charles (b. 1948)
    • references to German economist Fritz Schumacher (1911-1977) as inspirational source for alternative, self-sufficient life-style in Britain
    • associations: Camra (support for micro-breweries) and Co-operatives
  • terrain: abandoned slate quarry
  • compare with the author's earlier account of strikes in south Wales two years before
  • click here to read the full account

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Type of publication



Kratz, Wilfried. "Eine Armada von Archen." Die Zeit 46 (12 Nov. 1982): 37-8. Print.