The list of reports & club bulletins starts with Latest for 2022 at the top

For reports from 2021 scroll down


 Club Bulletin January 2022

We are sorry to tell you that the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, 12th January has been cancelled. Those members who replied to the recent email, which described the regulations in place at Craig-y-Don Community Centre, told us that they did not feel that they could risk being with others indoors at the moment, because of the rising numbers of infections. We will keep you informed of any further changes. Marion and Karlyn.

A New Year message from Marion.

   To all the members of North Wales Postcard Club, I wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year. Here's hoping 2022 will bring an end to Covid and we are able to continue meeting and enjoying our hobby.



Ken has not been well enough to come to the meetings, but he sends his best wishes for 2022 to everyone, and hopes to be able to join us again soon.


I spoke to Elizabeth this week, and she sends her good wishes to all the members for 2022, and hopes to attend the meetings later in the year.


Marion has sent a card which illustrates an old Welsh tradition for this time of year:-


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     Mari Lwyd is a grey mare who joined in Wassailing in the period between Christmas and New Year. He travelled round the village singing in the Welsh language, exchanging rude rhymes with the person he was visiting. It was said that if Mari gained entry to the house there would be good luck for a year. Mari was known to be mischievous even trying to steal things and chasing people he liked. It is first recorded in 1800 but was criticised by the non-Conformists for his bad behaviour. Because of this the tradition slowly died out. Now it only takes place in a few villages.

Thank you Marion.




Colwyn Bay Fair.

I have spoken to Steve Chapman today, Monday 3rd, and he tells me that the fair will be held on Saturday, 8th January, at the Bryn Cadno Community Centre, Upper Colwyn Bay. LL29 6DW. 9.30am-3pm. For the latest information, phone Steve on 01745-826434.

The phone number for the Centre is 01492-532602;



  Our meeting in December was enjoyable, though attendance was down because of the virus and bad weather. Several dealer-members had brought cards for us to browse through

  We congratulated Marion and Walter on their Golden Wedding Anniversary which had been on the Saturday before, and there was some anniversary cake for all those present at the meeting. The couple had asked for donations to Ty Gobaith, the Children's hospice, in lieu of gifts for themselves – a lovely idea!

  The theme of the 2-minute talks was "Bring a card or an object which takes you back to your childhood Christmases", and 5 members took part.


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   Marion showed a recent book of Cicely Mary Barker postcards which brought back memories of a well-loved flower-fairy book which she had received in her Christmas stocking, and a card advertising a Bayko building-set, a present which she had shared with her brother.


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    Lynne had kept a lovely 'Avon' Honeysuckle skin cream pot, which she was given as a Christmas gift when she was 6 years old. She said that she could still smell the perfume.


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    Keith's elder brother, Jack, was on a tour of duty in Germany in 1962, and he had sent this toy police car to Keith for Christmas when he was 8 years old.


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    This card brought back fond memories of Christmas to me. I was a member of the church choir for several years, and at Christmas, under the direction of choir-mistress, Miss Nora Pemberton, we went carolling around the village, collecting funds for the church. Our last stop was always the Manor House, where hot drinks and mince pies awaited us.


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   Walter's item brought the biggest reaction of the evening. He had a large bag, and we couldn't see what was inside, but when he revealed his gorgeous teddy we were all touched by the fact that he had been given it when he was just few weeks old. Walter and teddy are still good friends after all those years.


Thanks to everyone who took part. K

. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


   Can you help? John from Ruthin would like to know when and why the "Patronised by Royalty" award was given to Owens & Sons, Purveyors of Meat, of 9 Water St and 51A High Street, Rhyl. The card was posted in May 1908, which gives us an end-date. The nearest Royal visit was in 1902, when Prince George and Princess Mary came to Rhyl to open the Alexandra Hospital


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 William Ewart Gladstone and Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

    Burne-Jones was leading light in the Arts and Crafts and Pre-Raphaelite art movements, and a close associate of William Morris. His art works are wonderfully rich in colour and detail. Gladstone created the Baronetcy of Rottingdean for him on 4th May, 1894.

   William Ewart Gladstone was born at 62, Rodney Street, Liverpool on 29th December, 1809. His father was Scottish.

  William was educated at Eton and Oxford. He was elected to Parliament in 1832 and his official Maiden Speech was on 3rd June, 1833. It was in defence of his father who had been accused in Parliament of working slaves to death on his West Indies' sugar plantations, during a debate on the emancipation of slaves.


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This card is published by J.H. Worley, Stationer, Hawarden,

"A Souvenir of my visit to Hawarden Castle."


   Gladstone lived at Hawarden Castle following his marriage to Catherine Glynne on July 25th, 1839, in a double wedding with her younger sister, Mary, and Lord Lyttelton. William and Catherine had 8 children, one of whom, Catherine Jessy, sadly died at the age of 4, on April 9th, 1850. William was a good father, well loved by his children and grand-children. The couple celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1889, and the fountain which was unveiled on Gladstone's 81st birthday, stands in the middle of the village, and commemorates that occasion.


   Catherine was well known for her philanthropic acts which included establishing an orphanage in the village. Her great compassion was shown when, just 5 days after she had lost her own husband, she visited a lady whose husband had been killed in a local pit the day before.

     After a remarkable life, which included 4 terms as Prime Minister, William passed away at 5am on Thursday, 19th May 1898.The church bell announced the news to the village and this notice was posted:- "In the natural course of things the funeral will be at Hawarden. Mr Gladstone expressed a strong wish to have no flowers at his funeral: and the family will be grateful if this desire is strictly respected". However, Mr. Balfour asked the Queen to grant the honour of a public funeral for Gladstone. His body lay in the house, on a couch in the library, the 'Temple of Peace' and the estate tenants and neighbours came to offer their condolences. On 25th May, at 6am, his body was taken in a plain coffin to the church, where it lay in state during the day. It was visited by thousands of people from the local area and beyond.

    At 6pm, the coffin was taken to Broughton Hall station by a procession, along roads which people had lined to pay their respects. At the station, the coffin was placed in a funeral carriage on a special train. Mourning crowds gathered at the stations along the route to London, where, on arrival, the coffin was transferred to a hearse and placed in Westminster Hall at 1am. At 3am, a service was held for two of Gladstone's sons, Henry and Herbert, who had accompanied the coffin on its journey south. The service was attended by some Members of the House of Commons. Over the next few days over 200,000 people came to honour the Grand Old Man. On Saturday, May 28th , at 10.30am, the funeral cortege moved from Westminster Hall to the Abbey for the service. When Catherine and the family arrived, in a rare tribute, the entire congregation stood and remained standing until she was seated, near to the coffin.

   The service was a simple one, in accordance with the family's wishes, and afterwards, Gladstone was laid to rest in Statesmen's Corner in the Abbey, near to his old adversary, Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield. A small gold Armenian cross was placed in the coffin just before it was sealed, to recognise the support that Gladstone had given to that nation. 

   Hawarden church was an important place for the Gladstone family, and they attended regularly. William had his own seat, and read the lessons at the morning service whenever possible. In 1896, the children commissioned Burne-Jones to design the Great West Window as a thank-offering for the long and blessed life of their parents. It was to be his last completed work.


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Wrench series No 3701. Hawarden Church, Gladstone Memorial.


   Sadly, the window wasn't placed in the church until May 30th, 1898, 11 days after Gladstone's death, and Burne-Jones died 2 weeks before it was in place. The window depicts the Nativity, and is unusual in that the picture crosses the lines of the mullions as though they aren't there. In the central two panels is the Virgin Mary in blue robes, in the stable, with the baby in her arms. Angels gaze down at the child from the background.

   The Wise Men with their gifts are to the left, and the shepherds are to the right. At the front of the picture, kneeling before the mother and child, are angels in long white robes, with wreaths around their heads, and their blue wings folded, in a pose of worship. The dominant colours are blue and white.

   Other Gladstone family memorials in the church include a window given by the Anglo-Armenian Society in 1896, and designed by Edward Frampton, "In memory of the martyrs and other sufferers in the late massacres, and in grateful remembrance of British sympathy, and in particular of Mr. Gladstone's noble efforts on their behalf"

  On the wall near the pulpit is a marble tablet containing the words of the Revd. Toplady's hymn 'Rock of Ages', together with Gladstone's Latin translation of it from 1848. The tablet was placed in his memory in 1899 by his grandchildren.


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This card is published by W. Bell Jones, Post office, Hawarden. No 1004/5


   On the east side of the north aisle is the Gladstone Memorial Chapel, which houses a beautiful sculpture. It was given by their son Henry Neville, as the tablet on the north wall explains:-

   "To the Glory of God and in reverent and loving memory of William Ewart Gladstone and of Catherine, his wife. This shrine has been built and this Monument placed within the Church where they worshipped in the home that they loved, by their son, Henry Neville Gladstone, July 28th, 1906. " Catherine had passed away on 14th June, 1900.

   The chapel once housed the church organ, but it was moved at the expense of Henry Neville Gladstone, so that the space could be used for the monument, there being no grave, as both William and Catherine are at rest in Westminster Abbey.

   The sculpture, which was by Sir William Richmond, shows Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone in the boat of life, watched over by the figure of "The Angel of Victory over Death", which forms the 'prow' of the boat. It is a beautiful and moving image. There are many references to their life and interests on and around the memorial, such as the large Crucifix which lies between them, an Owl for wisdom, 4 poets and the 4 Patron Saints of the UK. Also represented is the motherhood of Catherine – not only to her own children but to all the poor, and those in need of kindness.

  The figures of the Gladstones and that of the angel are made of white Carrera marble. The base is in various marbles, with silvered bronze panels.

  Other windows by Burne-Jones are The Angels of Paradise, a memorial to W.H. Gladstone, from his family in 1908.

  A memorial to Mary, daughter of Sir Stephen Glynne, and wife of Lord Lyttelton, commissioned by her sons and daughters. It depicts angels with musical instruments.

  The East window depicts the Crucifixion and is a memorial to Mrs Gladstone's father, Sir Stephen Glynne. It was made by Morris & Co, to Burne-Jones' designs, and put in place in 1907, a gift from Mrs Drew, Sir Stephen's grand-daughter.

  His lasting legacy in the village is St. Deiniol's Library, begun in 1894, which was originally formed from Gladstone's own collection of 30,000 books on Humanity and Divinity, housed in a corrugated iron building in the village. It is now a large residential library, housed in red brick buildings most of which were designed by Douglas & Minshull, architects, of Chester.

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Tuck card HDN 67. Gladstone Memorial, Hawarden. The buildings at the back are part of St. Deiniol's Library.


   The memorial has an Irish harp at the front of the base, because the Gladstone National Memorial Committee commissioned 3 statues, one each for London, Edinburgh and Dublin. Dublin rejected theirs because of the unrest in the country, even though its sculptor, John Hughes, was from that city. It was placed here instead, in 1925.

  It is remarkable that Gladstone died in 1898, when postcards were in their infancy in this country. He had embraced their use straight away when they were introduced to the U.K. in 1894. Most of the cards in the Hawarden collection are from the 20th Century, because people flocked to the village to see the place where the G.O.M. had lived, and the local publishers continued to produce postcards for some years after his death.

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The Late Rt. Hon. W.E. Gladstone in his Library at Hawarden Castle. 


   The Castle has been open to the public on very few occasions, but we were privileged to be able to visit it some years ago. Unknown to me, Bruce had contacted Sir William Gladstone and told him about our Hawarden collection. He asked us to come to the Castle, so that he could look through the cards. We were taken into the 'Temple of Peace', and it really felt as though W.E. Gladstone had just left, and was expected back at any moment, as the room seemed to be just as it is in the old postcard views.

  Sir William was interested in the postcards, but for him, it was almost a 'family album', as he recognised many of his relatives and friends in the pictures, which brought the collection to life for us. Sir William, who was the great-grandson of W.E.G.,was born in 1925, and, sadly, passed away on 29th March 2018. The funeral, which was open to everyone, was at St Deiniol's church on 13th April, with a reception at the Castle afterwards. The collection was for the Clwyd Special Riding Centre. He had served in the Royal Navy in WW2, became a teacher, and headmaster at Lancing, was Chief Scout from 1972-82. and Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd 1985-2000. Sir William was also a talented artist, and one of his paintings is part of our Hawarden collection.

  For more on the interesting life of Sir William, go to:- Sir William Gladstone, 1925 - 2018 (


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Here are two New Year cards from Marion, to complete this bulletin.

May I wish you all a happy and healthy 2022.





Club Bulletins from 2021






Club Bulletin February 2021.


Hello!....Belated St. Dwynwen's Day wishes for January 25th!

I trust that you are keeping well. I hope that the vaccines have given us all a ray of light in these dark days.

As usual at this time of year, I filled in my new calendar with birthdays, anniversaries and events, but this time, it reminded me of all the meetings of the postcard and postal history clubs, and postcard, book and antiques fairs that I missed last year. I am hopeful that we shall be able to have some of them back in 2021

The only event I have put on the calendar [although it may be wishful thinking on my part!] is our Annual Postcard Fair, which should be on August 21st . We have, as yet, been unable to book any dates for the meetings or the fair, but we will keep you up-to-date with any developments

I had a lovely card from Alaw and Elizabeth recently – the picture really cheered me up. It was a close-up of a garden full of colourful spring flowers. There was also a newspaper cutting enclosed, about a postcard which had been posted in New York in October 1955, but failed to reach the 9-year-old boy to whom it was addressed. It turned up recently in a Dorset charity shop, and one of the shop assistants managed to trace the 'boy', who now lives in Worcestershire.

 A great 'postcard' story! Thank you both. K.


- 22/1. Jamie tells me that Alec Wallace's wife Jo, who was in hospital again recently, has now returned home. We wish her a speedy return to full health.


- 29/1. I had a lovely long chat with Jo this afternoon. She is still at home, and she tells us that she is improving slowly. That's such good news!


- 22/1. Walter and Mike Day have introduced a new section on the website for 'Research', and Walter has added the item about Thompson, 'The Postcard King' of Llandudno, and Lloyd Elias, whose business Thompson acquired in the 1920s. We are hoping to add further research items as soon as possible.

- Also up on the website is the Club History 1980-90, so I'll try to get the next decade ready in the next few months.

- I'm delighted to tell you that Christine from Anglesey has rejoined the Club – Welcome back, Chris! We look forward to seeing you when our meetings resume

 - Wirral Fairs. 22/1 I asked Gill Jackson if there was any news, and she said that Ian Boumphrey had phoned her that day and he confirmed that the March fair is cancelled and they don't expect to be able to have the June fair either.. It's not just about whether they can get the room but also whether dealers and collectors are willing to come. Thanks Gill.

We will keep up-to-date with what Wirral Club is doing with the fairs. We hope to be able to go over to join them at Thornton Hough soon.


- Ryan Powell – New On-Line Auctions. Our dealer-friend Ryan has started an on-line auction site. His first event was for general collectables, and was very successful. He is planning another for March, which will feature postcards, so I will ask Ryan to send me the information as soon as the details are settled.

- David Rye – Photo corners. David phoned me recently, and asks anyone who needs photo-corners for displays or albums to contact him. He makes the corners himself, and can supply a variety of sizes and shapes. David is from Pembrokeshire and collects 'Welsh Lady' cards and Folk Costume cards. He was a guest speaker at our Club on 14th June 2004. He was also the editor of the 'Welsh Lady' magazine, and we have co-operated in researching photographers and postcard publishers of Wales. You can contact him at his new address:-

9, Bay View Road, Hakin, Milford Haven, SA73 3RJ

- The Welsh Postal History Society has had to cancel the June weekend event at Plas Tan-y-Bwlch, but they hope to hold their first meeting of the year on October 2nd, at the Betws-y-Coed Church Hall – Covid permitting. Marion will keep us up-to date with news on this.


Liverpool to Conway by Bicycle?, in 1890.

This account of a journey from Liverpool to Conway is from a letter dated Wednesday 9th April, 1890, on notepaper printed with "Junction Hotel, near Conway. N.W."

"Dear Mater. We started 5.5. from home

Got to L(anding) Stage 5.45

B'head 6.0

Chester 7.20 (good run) Depart 7.35

Sandwitches 8.20

Left Mold 10.0

St Asaph 1.15

Left 2.45

Abergele about 4.0

Conway 6.20.

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You will see by the above that we have come the long way round. After leaving Chester it was very hard riding in most places. But the scenery was very beautiful indeed. Roads & every thing else were in our favour, except the wind which was dead in our faces a great part of the way & it did blow hard on top of the Welsh Hills.

We stopped a short time in Mold & then left by the side of the Railway for Nannerch, Bodfary & St.Asaph. it was very nice. It is a valley all the way & beautiful scenery. We saw St Asaph Cathedral, ( bought 2 views ). here we got the first glimpse of the sea, including the Great Orme in the distance. We had a short walk by the river & town, while our dinner was getting ready ( Welsh mutton chops), then returned to dinner

Left at 2.45 & had the worst part of our journey to Conway (wind blowing very hard in our faces). We went through Abergele & had a very fine view of Rhyl ( in the distance) & the sea. Then we passed through Colwyn & on to Conway. The roads were very bad from Colwyn to Conway. We came upon Conway all of a sudden because the road takes a turn, & it is needless to say that we were very much delighted having ridden about 80 miles & been riding 13½ hours. We should have done it much quicker, if it had not been for the wind, besides we did not want to hurry ourselves, as we had plenty of time.

We are stopping at Llandudno Junction, just before you get to Conway, it is much nicer than stopping in the town. We are very comfortable indeed, a very nice little Hotel, & have a double bedded room with nice spring mattresses. Shall go to bed at 10 (we are a bit fagged). We shall go to Conway & have a look round in the morning. It rained a bit in the evening just after we arrived (thank goodness). We shall go to Llandudno in the morning & stop the night, returning home on Friday about tea time. I trust you received our wire. I don't much care about the Welsh roads, these are only the cart ruts, all the rest is fairly new Mcadam, & there are a great many loose stones that it is almost impossible to avoid & they do shake you. I will write again. Your loving son, Wilfred. Gib is alright & sends love"


I wanted to try to discover where the Hotel was, as I don't remember seeing a postcard of it, so here are the snippets I was able to find:-

 The Chester to Holyhead railway opened in 1848, but at that time, as Llandudno had not fully developed as a holiday resort, there was no link line from Llandudno Junction to the town. This was added in 1858, and left the main line route close to the Conway road-bridge. The Llandudno line headed north, and the main line continued south-west, across the river to Conwy and along the coast, towards to Holyhead. The original station in the Junction was a little to the east of where the lines diverged. It opened in 1858, and was demolished in 1897. The second station, of 1897, which still serves the village today, is a little further east again, on Conway Road, which is the main road through the village.

Initially, I thought that 'The Junction Hotel' may have been an early name for the Old Station Hotel, [originally just "The Station Hotel"], but that wasn't opened until 1898, opposite the new station buildings.

There is a lot of interesting information about this hotel and the area in general, on the website of the Deganwy History Group, which tells us that:- "The group promotes interest in, and study of, the history of Deganwy, Llanrhos, Tywyn and Llandudno Junction. It meets monthly, except in August, and organises outings to places of interest locally and further afield. It welcomes new members. Research documents by members are available from the group's website."

I found a series of old maps of the area on the "Brickworks of North Wales" website, one of which shows the location of the first station in Llandudno Junction, and nearby, the Junction Hotel, in 1888. The Hotel was to be found on the west side of Conway Road, as it enters Llandudno Junction, just south of the point where the railway to Llandudno crosses the road at 90*. There is a glass negative image of the hotel in the Conwy Archives, but I haven't been able to go there. If anyone does have a picture of the Hotel, I'd be delighted to see it. There is a photo of that area on the 'Three Towns Forum' website, but I can't see if the large white building is the hotel. K

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Conwy Castle and road to Llandudno Junction - approximate location of the Junction Hotel.


The earliest reference I have found so far is In the 'North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality' for 28th August 1880, where an advertisement reads:-

"JUNCTION HOTEL. 5 minutes walk from Conway, and four miles from Llandudno. This FIRST CLASS HOTEL is now open for the reception of Visitors, Commercial Gentlemen, &c. Posting in all its branches. The Hotel is most pleasantly situated. Wines, Spirits &c., of the finest quality. ROBERT JONES, Proprietor."

Another reference to the hotel appears in the 'North Wales Chronicle….' for 5th October 1889, when Mrs. Jones, Junction Hotel, was one of the subscribers to a 'substantial supper' for the railway men of the local station, at the end of the summer season. The catering was done by Mr. & Mrs. Abel Roberts of Ferry Farm Hotel, 'to whom great praise is due for the manner in which they provided in every way for the comfort of their guests". The meal included roast beef and plum pudding. The report ends with " We trust that this will not be the last time that the public have the privilege of testifying their appreciation of the labours and courtesy of the railway men at Llandudno Junction".

Ferry Farm Hotel was just north of the Junction Hotel, over the railway line, and behind the row of Railway Cottages on Glan-y-Mor Raod. The Ferry Farm Hotel was demolished in 1900, but there is a shadow of it in the name of the nearby road.


In the 'Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent' for 21st August, 1891, there is a report of an accident on the railway. "On the arrival of the train due to leave for Llandudno shortly before four o'clock, on Monday, there was a great crowd on the platform, and in the rush to get to the carriages, a lady was pushed forward and fell between the platform and the incoming train. She received serious injuries to her foot, and was carried to the Junction Hotel. Dr. Arthur-Prichard, J.P., Conway, the district surgeon of the [railway] company being called in.

" According to the archives the Junction Hotel was demolished in 1955/56


If anyone has any photos of, or information about, the Hotel that you'd like to share, please send them to me for inclusion in a future bulletin. Thank you. K.




Barbara has sent a card which is puzzling her:-

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Several years ago I bought this card – intrigued by the name of the house: Llandudno.

Although it’s obviously in Canada, it seemed to me that it was more likely to be linked to Llandudno, South Africa than ‘our’ North Wales.

The town of Bayfield in Canada is extremely well documented – they seem to have recorded the history of just about every house there – except, of course, Llandudno!

Every so often the card resurfaces amongst all the ‘stuff’ on my desk and I have another go at trying to find out about it. Recently the name Balkwill in South Africa came up for the first time on Google. Needless to say, I e-mailed the owner of the name and he said that when he was a child his family was the only one with that name in the phone directory – but unfortunately he didn’t have any knowledge of the house!


If you can shed any light on this problem, please send any information you have to Barbara – I'm sure she would be very happy to hear from you…Thank you!


Marion's selection of St. Valentine's Day cards…


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Thank you, Marion!


and to complete the picture, some 'romantic' postcard messages…

.. "Dear Nellie. I wished we might meet as we met of old,

Ere life grew bitter & love turned cold,

To forgive the past & forget the pain,

To meet & remember & love again."

Feb 16th 1906, to Tunbridge Wells.

I think there's a story there somewhere!



"Dear H. Why do I love thee.

Lips that would tell thee would lose more sweet employ,

Ask the wind why it blows, or the stream why it flows,

Or the bird why it sings on the tree,

And if they reply love, then will I tell thee, or try, love,

My reasons for loving thee.

J.B. Lovesick {I thought I would try my hand at poetry, not copy bits out of books}"

This is on a comic card by G.M. Payne, showing a couple walking ahead of a man, on a seaside promenade –

The captions reads:- "Don'ts for Sweethearts. Don't introduce your sweetheart to your handsome friend."

November 1906, to Clifton, Bristol.

- another doomed romance perhaps? K


Barbara sent this lovely card, with its heartfelt message:-

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W to A

I send this card with love to tell

That always in my heart you dwell

No matter that we are apart

Fond thoughts of you are in my heart




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The road to nowhere? 

No publisher information


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Rotary Photo 222N. by Kilpatrick. p/m 1904.

Was this the inspiration for Madonna's 'pointy underwear' costume, designed by Jean Paul Gaultier?


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How much longer do we have to sit here?

G L Co? serial number 1039/2

If you have any items for future bulletins,

please send them to me. Best wishes for a safe February. Karlyn.


Club Bulletin, March, 2021.


Hello again! Happy St. David's Day!




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I'm very glad to hear that some of our members and friends have had the vaccine…I had mine at Venue Cymru last month. I was on the reserve list, and got a call in the morning for an appointment at 5.40 that evening. It was so well organized…the military personnel were directing the people to where they should be, and the procedure was quick and painless. The appointment was on time, and even with the 15-minute wait to see if there were any problems, I was out again by 6.05pm. One odd thing was that when I was giving one of the assistants my details, she said that her birthday was the same as mine [although she was less than half my age!]….then, another attendant who had been standing nearby, came over and said that she had twin grandchildren who also had the same birth-date….what are the chances? We all had a good laugh about it.

Marion has sent us some cards to mark the day:-

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Marion writes:- The children are obviously not impressed with having their photo taken. I will miss the local school children dressed in their costumes.

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The other card is from the USA - no publisher marks but could be part of a set of world costume cards. What struck me is that all the old cards feature leeks as the Welsh emblem - daffodils only feature on the modern cards.



- Walter.

Walter has had a brief stay in hospital, but is now home, and improving slowly. We wish him well, and hope that he will be fully recovered very soon.

- The Marine Hotel, Old Colwyn.

Olivia had seen a note on Facebook which said that Colin and Sian, of the Marine Hotel, Old Colwyn, are leaving. Sian says that 'with a heavy heart' they are no longer able to continue, because of the virus, but they do have plans for their future. I have emailed them to thank them for providing a home for us between April 2010 and December 2016, and to say how much we have enjoyed our Annual Club Dinner there from 2010 to 2019. We wish them every success in their new ventures.


- The Welsh Postal History Society.

We are delighted to send our congratulations to the WPHS, which reached its landmark 50th birthday on 13th February. The first meeting of the Society, [then 'The Welsh Philatelic Society'], took place in Aberystwyth, when seven members were enrolled, and by the end of the first year, the membership had grown to 43. It has flourished over the half-century, with members from Wales and beyond. We wish the Society continued success in the future. K.

Postcards play an important part in the study of postal history, as they show us Post Office buildings from the past, post-boxes, mail delivery vehicles, mail trains, boats and planes, and post office staff. They are also valued as a source for postal markings too. If a person receives a letter in an envelope, that envelope is often thrown away, so the markings are lost, but where postcards are kept, the markings are usually intact. If you haven't thought about joining the WPHS, it is a very friendly group, and several of us from NWPCC are already enjoying the meetings, including Marion and myself, so you would see some familiar faces if you came along. The meetings usually have illustrated talks, and there is also a regular newsletter.

For more information about this Society, contact Membership Secretary, Aled Rhys-Jones at:-


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



By chance, our 'Can You Help' postcard this month is from Jamie and features a group of postal staff outside a Post Office. If anyone can identify the location, please let me know. Thank you! K.


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 8th Dec

A Soldier in Deganwy 1916-17.


The following messages are on a series of cards written to a father, in Saltash, Cornwall, by his son who was a soldier, training in the Conwy area. There are some recent notes with the cards, explaining the situation.

Date unreadable. Postmarked Deganwy.

"Still keeping fine and dry here."   The card is by Lancaster & Co., Deganwy, "Bird's Eye View of Conway and Deganwy.


(1916) Deganwy. postmark mostly off the card.

"Very many thanks indeed for beautiful apples received today. 7/12/1916."

The card is by Lancaster & Co., Deganwy, " Conway River & Deganwy".

The view is from above the Conway bridge, looking out along the river, with Conway to the left and Deganwy to the right. There is a note written by the soldier " Position of Marine Crescent indicated by arrow. Decbr. 1916". Marine Crescent is near Deganwy Station and the Deganwy Castle Hotel.


8 th. December, 1916. Postmarked Deganwy. Message written on the front.

"Decbr. 1916. We shall have to march over this bridge & back every day. 1½ miles from Deganwy."

The card is by Lancaster & Co., Deganwy. Conway Castle and Bridge.


10th. Jan. 1917. Postmarked Bangor

 "Have just been looking at these bridges."

E.T.W. Dennis & Sons Ltd., No. P 63525. Menai Straits from Anglesey Column.


27th. January, 1917. Postmarked Deganwy.

"Very cold wind blowing, but very dry; snow on mountains only, haven't had any in the valley. Kindest regards….name unclear."

This card was published by T.H. Smith, Conway & Deganwy. No. G 1534-40, "Deganwy from the Castle" and has some notes on the front, written by the soldier.

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His notes read:- Jany. 1917. Top left:- About 10 miles to Menai Straits. Railway tunnel caved in here. Morfa Camp. Conway ( House.) River. Centre:- Coast of Anglesey. Firing Range. 


The Morfa Camp was occupied by volunteer soldiers for many years during the first half of the 20th Century, before becoming a holiday camp area.


31st. Jan. 1917. Postmarked Deganwy

"Apples received for which very many thanks indeed they are in splendid condition. Our home in centre."

The card is by Lancaster & Co, Deganwy. "Marine Crescent, Deganwy".

His note on the front of the card reads "No.10 Marine Crescent" with the arrow pointing down

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 4 th Feb. 1917. Postmarked Deganwy.

"Here on Saturday and all next week. 6.30 a.m.! parade for bridging over the River. Writing Monday."

 The card is by T.R. Hammond, Conway. "The Conway River, Taly-cafn" ( shows the bridge at TYC)


6 th. Feb. 1917 Postmarked Deganwy.

It was a fine sight when the rushing tide caught the pack ice on the rocks. Although I slipped twice, I laid all the bridge flooring and took it up again to the admiration of the class."

This was on a Raphael Tuck & Sons', Oilette postcard No. 9993 "The Coldstream Guards – Sentry outside Buckingham Palace." artist, Harry Payne.

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12th Feb. 1917. Postmark unclear.

"Our class taken on the eve of departure. A lot of Australians came in to take our places."

Postcard photo by T.R. Hammond, Castle Studio, Conway.

The recent note with this card says:- The writer is 2nd on the left, back row (under the 'T' of 'HOTEL' ) Engineer Training Centre, Deganwy, Feb 1917. His father is Joseph and these cards were written to his home in Saltash, Cornwall 1916-17.


12th Feb. 1917. Postmark ?? ….Carnarvonshire

The address fills the back of this card, and the message is across the top of the picture. "Am spending Sunday here, and wishing you were here also"

The card is by Photochrom Co., Ltd. No. 7032. Llanberis, Victoria Hotel.


13th Feb. 1917. Postmarked Carnarvon.

"Have returned from Llanberis to Carnarvon"

 The view is of "The Devil's Kitchen near Llanberis." Grosvenor Series 731.


13th Feb. 1917. Postmarked Carnarvon.

"Have just been to the Castle. Expect to arrive Exeter early tomorrow (Wednesday). My baggage may go on to Saltash."

Sepia artist view of "Carnarvon Castle", by Elmer Keene. E.T.W. Dennis & Sons Ltd., No. 1925. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


To complete the picture, here is a card of the Deganwy Castle Hotel by Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd., No. Dny 36, from c1940, a bit later than the dates of the soldier's cards, but you can see the verandah where the group photo above was taken, and the distinctive pavilion roof on the tower at the left.

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In a 1953 tourist guide to the area, the hotel has a full-page advert:-

"At the gateway of the Conway Estuary. A perfect base for tours to the famous Welsh Castles and the magnificent scenery of nearby mountains and passes. Central heating. Electric fires and H & C in bedrooms. Fully licensed. Yachting Golf Sea Fishing. A.A. R.A.C. Management: Deganwy 83358; Visitors 835551; Telegrams: Castle Hotel, Deganwy."

The Hotel has an interesting story of its own, as the original house dates from the 1600s. It was an Hotel by 1882, and in adverts in the local papers between 1896 and 1906, Mrs Tritton was the Proprietress. The Hotel was a pick-up point for the charabanc tours of the area. In more recent times, it was owned by a well-known family in the music business, but closed in January 2010. It has now been converted into apartments called "The Moorings", but the tower is still a local landmark.

For the details of the story, see History Points – Former Deganwy Castle Hotel and

BBC News – Historic Deganwy Castle hotel closes its doors



A card which came with those of the soldier has very different handwriting, and has an earlier date ,

but it adds something to the story. It is dated 23/2/16.

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This card is in the Lancaster Series, 284/32, and shows Station Road, Deganwy – The Castle Hotel is in the distance – the tower is just visible at the end of the row. The message reads:- "This shows the road which we travel to parade ground. Sometimes there is hardly anybody but hundreds of soldiers in it. The station is shown on the left & most of the houses on the right have R.E.s billeted in them."


I was reading the section on Deganwy in a book by A.G. Bradley, entitled "Highways & Byways in North Wales", which has some lovely b/w illustrations by Joseph Pennell & Hugh Thomson, and found this perhaps unexpected tribute to the village on p199:-

Why the sunsets over Anglesey, as we see them from this coast, should surpass any others in Wales I cannot tell, I only know they do. It is small wonder so many artists make their headquarters, and, indeed, live permanently, at this mouth of the Conway, seeing what infinite variety there is of light and scene, what a wealth of detail on sea and shore, and what ready access to the best inland scenery in Wales. If I were doomed to spend the rest of my life behind a single window, I would have that window, before all places I know of in Great Britain, on the foremost point of the dry, shingly, breezy, and above all, sunny spit on which this new village stands"

( Macmillan, 1st edition 1898, my edition reprinted 1909 )"



 One of my favourite cards.

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In this charming scene, a delivery wagon stands outside 'London House', which used to be one of the Post Offices in the lower part of Llanddulas village, near Abergele. The shop belongs to J. & R. Humphreys Jones, High Class Grocers & Provision Dealers. Outside, to the left of the shop is a display of produce. The vehicle advertises Jacobs Biscuits, and has boxes on the top. I'm fairly sure that the photographer has arranged the villagers for this picture..

The Valentine Hotel occupied the premises beneath the next two gables, and the 'Worthington's' sign, and in this picture, the Post Office was on the far side of the hotel, beneath the 3rd gable.

The view was much the same, when I was in Llanddulas last year, except that the shop is now a private house, with the shop-window replaced by a garage door. The Valentine has extended into the old Post Office and now has all three parts of that building. The Post Office is now in another shop in the centre of the village.


Our member, BBC Cameraman, John Lawson Reay, has captured some lovely photos of the Great Orme goats, who have come down into the town of Llandudno, because it is so quiet in the current lockdown.


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I was saying only the other day that we really miss the local-photographer postcards, which captured events in our towns and villages, as they happened. The cards would often be on sale the same day or the next day, and some have messages relating to the events. Thank you, John, for some gorgeous photos!

I wish you a happy March, and by next time, we should be closer to a return to some kind of 'normal'

Best regards, Karlyn.


Club Bulletin April 2021.

Hello, and Happy Easter!

I'm glad to see that the weather is improving now – a bit of sunshine always makes us feel so much better after all the grey, gloomy days we've had recently – and there's some colour appearing in the hedgerows and gardens, which is lovely to see, too.

Congratulations to the Welsh Rugby Team on their success in the 6-Nations Competition [and a 'thank you' to Scotland!]




Jo Wallace.

You may know by now the very sad news that Jo passed away on 19th March. Alec and Jo attended many of the fairs in North Wales, including Colwyn Bay, Venue Cymru and our own, as well as some of the biggest fairs elsewhere in the UK, such as York. They were a very popular couple, with Alec's madcap antics and Jo's gentle humour. Jo will be very much missed at the fairs, and we send our sincere condolences to Alec and the family.

This is the message on the card which I sent from the Club:-

"Jo was a popular member of the Postcard Family here in North Wales, and she will be very much missed by us all. Please accept our sincere sympathy at this time.

Karlyn, and the members and friends of the NWPCC".


Keith improving….Lynne writes:-

He’s brilliant, two walks a day and 2nd one on his own.

We do a circular walk on Deeside Industrial Park for an hour,

Meg [the sheepdog] loves it, then Home for dinner. He wants to get back to normal ASAP.'

It's good to hear that Keith is improving so much. K.

Walter improving….
Marion tells me that Walter is making progress, which is also really good news…



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This is another of my favourite views….I love the Britannia Bridge lions….

They look as though they should be from the 1930s, with their Art-Deco style, but they are contemporary with the bridge, which opened in March 1850. There are 2 at each end of the bridge, and in this picture, with the engine running between them, the size of them can be appreciated. They are each c7.8m. long and c3.8m. high.


Trebor has sent us these gorgeous cards to celebrate Easter. He said that he had great difficulty in

selecting just 4 from his extensive collection…we can see why!


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Card 1. “By these bunnies to you I send An Easter Greeting my little friend. This is one of three cards I have found in the Tuck Oilette series No. 1021 “Easter Joys”. The letters IL appear in a circle on the bottom left of the image, which according to the Tuck database ( indicates it was illustrated by artist I. Lovering. The rabbits seem to be enjoying themselves painting Easter eggs. The card was posted on the 6th of April, 1917, in New York to an address also in New York.

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Card 2. This colourful card shows a young girl tending a rose tree, watched by two rabbits. It is one of two cards I have from set E1162 “Easter Blossoms”. (The prefix letter E usually denotes an Easter card). The artist is not known. It was postally used in Essex on 1st of April, 1915.


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Card 3."In love and Peace may You abide this Easter", shows two children with flowers and some rabbits in a basket. This card is from set 1623 (Tuck Oilette), with the same image also used in set 1030. The artist is probably Clara Miller Burd, although the card is not signed. The card was postally used in London on April 4th, and I think the smudge indicating the year says 1920.


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Card 4. “A Joyous Easter” shows a smart rabbit in a scarlet coat with a green bow tie and a stick, carrying a tall daffodil in a flower pot tied with purple ribbon. The card’s surrounds also have flower motifs. Said to be an unsigned card by Mabel Lucie Attwell, this rabbit or a near relative, also appears on one or two other cards. The card was posted from Eastbourne to Somerset on March 29th, 1918.

Thank you, Trebor!


Adrian, of the Home Front Museum, has kindly given us his notes on the Royal Engineers in Deganwy,

to fill out the information we had in last month's bulletin.


 The Royal Engineers established a training centre at Deganwy in 1915. They felt that the area presented an ideal place for the training of Sappers in the erection of pontoon bridges and trench digging. While some of the Engineers, especially the officers, were billeted in private houses in Deganwy and Llandudno Junction many of them were under canvas until wooden billets were built.

 The council granted the Royal Engineers the use of Deganwy library from 7 to 8 each morning and it was also put at the disposal of the Soldier’s Recreation Committee for entertaining the soldiers billeted in the area. The Engineers also took over Peniel schoolroom for lectures three or four times a week

 The Engineers dug hundreds of yards of practice trenches in ‘The Warren’ which today is part of the golf club. They also dug a few trenches on the Vardre. Even today, in very dry conditions, the outline of the trenches can be seen in the fairways and on the greens at Maesdu Golf Club.

 Lieutenant Harry Foster was an officer who trained at Deganwy. Technical drawings from his notebook show the complexity of constructing suspension bridges, large enough to carry both men and mechanised equipment. Also, one has to remember that in the field these bridges would have been built under enemy fire. Many of these rope and timber bridges were built in the sand dunes of The Warren.

 The adjutant of the Royal Engineers Training Camp at Deganwy between September 1915 and April 1917 was Captain Arnold Horace Waters. During his time as Adjutant, he would have been responsible for much of the camp’s administration and would have been a largely clerical role.

  Apparently, Captain Waters was keen to see active service before the end of the war and so in April 1917 he was released from his duties at Deganwy and posted to the Western Front. Within three months of being in France he was in command of a Royal Engineer Field Company, had been awarded the Military Cross and promoted to the rank of Major.

 On November 4th 1918, just a week before the Armistice, Major Waters was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during The Second Battle of the Sambre near Ors. The citation reads:

 “Major Waters, with his Field Company, was bridging the Oise-Sambre Canal under artillery and machine-gun fire at close range, the bridge being damaged and the building party suffering severe casualties. All Major Waters' officers had been killed or wounded and he at once went forward and personally supervised the completion of the bridge, working on cork floats while under such intense fire that it seemed impossible that he could survive. The success of the operation was entirely due to his valour and example.”

It could be argued that his Victoria Cross was ‘made in Deganwy’ considering he spent two years of the war there. After the war, Major Waters enjoyed a long career in civil engineering and died in 1981.

Thank you for your help, Adrian.

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The message on this card reads:- "This shows where we build bridges XX and work? at the targets XXX on the front.

Anglesey is in the distance. Much love from your P.J.A." Grosvenor Series G.13.

Undated, but likely to be from about the same time as last month's cards, 1914-18


Update from the February Bulletin….Junction Hotel, Llandudno Junction.

 I have been trying to find out some more about the Junction Hotel. I found a report of the Conway Petty Sessions in the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald for 13/9/1879, when the tenant, Mr. Robert Jones, was applying for a liquor licence through his solicitor, Mr Louis. Below are some details from that report:-

 The premises had been built by John Evans at a cost of £1,500, and there was every accommodation provided that a hotel required. Persons coming from the neighbourhood of Chester, intending to go to Llandudno by a late train, would find there every accommodation.

 Robert Jones was the tenant and had been for some years 'boots' at the Castle Hotel, Conway. By his industry, activity and providence in the discharge of his duties, he had saved £500 and this sum he had invested in furnishing the house.

 Mr. Jones said " I am the tenant of the Junction Hotel, in the parish of Llanrhos. The rent is £45. I have taken it for an hotel, and have laid out about £500 in furnishing it. I was in service at the Castle Hotel, Conway for 7 or 8 years and keep a horse and carriage for persons calling at my house. I have 13 bedrooms and 6 living rooms." He had lived there for 2 years, and let rooms to visitors. "We have been very full for the past three weeks. Many people complain that they cannot get liquor on the premises"

 Mr. Jones had many testimonials from almost every respectable person in the district, and that no person of whatever grade in society could be more highly recommended than Mr. Jones. He kept carriages and horses, and Mrs Jones had previously been connected to the hotel business

 Mr. Morgan Williams overseer at Llanrhos…said that there was a great want of hotel accommodation at the Junction, especially for horses.

 Mr. S.R. Dew opposed the application on the ground that there were already two licenses within a very short distance of the Junction Hotel, one being at the railway refreshment rooms, and the other at the Ferry Hotel. Mr Louis replied that the refreshment department at the station was closed entirely on Sundays, and the Ferry Hotel had only a beer license. During the recent floods, many persons, including railway officials engaged in repairing the lines, put up at the Junction Hotel, and they had nowhere else to go."

 Mr Dew said that he was there for Col. Owen Williams [of the Ferry Hotel] from whom he had received special directions to oppose the granting of the license. The application had come before the Justices the year before in the same form, and it had been refused. No fresh reason for the renewed application had been given, except that the Hotel would be convenient for persons who had missed their train, and also in case of accidents on the railway.

 The Chairman the Rev Mr J.D.Jones said that this was the 3rd application for the same license, and it had been stated that it was wanted more for the accommodation of horses than men. He wished to know what accommodation there was at the Junction Hotel for horses, to which the answer was that there was a stable with 4 stalls and a coach house and Mr. Evans [the owner of the premises] intended to increase the stabling accommodation.


 The date of the newspaper report of the application for the licence, was 13th September,1879, and the report of the granting of the licence was on 27th September. This information fits with the advert shown in the February bulletin:-

 The earliest reference I have found so far is in the 'North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality' for 28th August 1880, where an advertisement reads:-

JUNCTION HOTEL. 5 minutes walk from Conway, and four miles from Llandudno. This FIRST CLASS HOTEL is now open for the reception of Visitors, Commercial Gentlemen, &c. Posting in all its branches. The Hotel is most pleasantly situated. Wines, Spirits &c., of the finest quality. ROBERT JONES, Proprietor."

We also know from February, that there was a report, on 21st August, 1891, of a lady who was injured on the railway, and taken to the Junction Hotel, the type of scenario which was mentioned at the Petty Sessions.


Some little trains…


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A superb Rae Pickard photo of the Rhyl Miniature Railway at Marine Lake, with engine "John".


The lines were laid around the lake in 1911. The Railway opened on 1st May 1911. Only one train was on the track at a time, while the other was being filled with passengers at the station in the Amusement Park. The coaches held 64 passengers. In 1920, the small engines were replaced by larger ones, as the original ones were not strong enough for the job. The original engines were built by Bassett-Lowke, Ltd., London & Northampton, and the later ones by Albert Barnes & Co., Rhyl. In 1969, the fairground and railway were cleared away, but in 1978, a new company took over the site. The track was re-laid and some of the old engines were found and returned to service. New features have been added to the site, such as Central Station and a museum. For the Centenary celebrations, over the May Bank Holiday weekend, 28th – 30th 2011, all 6 Albert Barnes engines were brought to Rhyl to take part.

One postcard of the early train, by Hines, Printer, Sunderland, tells us that 'Inspector, Charles Waterfield, Who Enlisted in Great War after 50 years on the stage at 66 giving his age as 43'. He looks very smart in his uniform-coat and cap. The charges for a ride at this time were:- adults 1/-; children 6d.

For more information about this most interesting little railway, visit the Rhyl Steam Preservation Trust website.


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 "Belle of New York" Model Engine arrives at Gwrych Castle Station, Abergele. R.A. Postcard no.11827

There was another engine on duty at Gwrych later on – it was bright orange, and streamlined. There is a card of it in

the December 2020 bulletin, when I wrote about 'I'm a Celebrity' at Gwrych


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Miniature Railway, Colwyn Bay. Valentine 'W' Series 6127, photo registered in 1955.

The engine in this picture has been named for Prince Charles, who was born in November, 1948.

The train ran along a track on the land-side of the promenade.

The man in the cap and white jacket seems to be the ticket-seller.


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The Fairbourne Railway.

"Prince Charles", "Ernest W. Twining" and "Count Louis" at the Fairbourne sheds. 1961.

Card published by Fairbourne Railways Ltd., with permission to use it from the current manager.


This line between Fairbourne and Barmouth opened in 1895, and was originally used by a horse-drawn tramway.It has an interesting history and a chequered life. It was converted to steam trains in 1916 by Wenman Joseph BassettLowke of Narrow Gauge Railways Ltd. The track was re-laid in 1986, and the line is now under the care of a charitable trust, Fairbourne Steam Railway Ltd. The railway will be opening for the season as soon as possible.

For more information about the Fairbourne Railway, see their website at:-

[Bassett-Lowke also has a connection to the Rhyl Marine Lake Railway - and he was the only person ever to ask Charles Rennie Mackintosh to redesign his entire house, No.78, Derngate, Northampton, in 1916. K.].


Marion has sent us all some cards for Easter too:-

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Thank you, Marion!...lovely cards…

 I hope that we can all enjoy our new-found freedom after lockdown…we are fortunate to live in a country with so many wonderful places to visit. I went to Colwyn Bay this week to photograph the new pier, but there were so many people and cars along the prom, I couldn't find a parking space...

All good wishes for now, Karlyn


Club Bulletin May 2021.



Hello again! Happy May Day Bank Holiday!...I hope that you can do something special at the weekend…

It's such a long time since we all were able to meet up at the Craig-y-Don Community Centre. Marion has sent an email to ask them when they will be open again, but the news isn't good for us at the moment.....

Marion writes:- "I'm afraid I have had an automated reply from CYD to say they will not be open until July 5th at the earliest. They will reply then. In light of this I'm not sure we can hold the fair because it would not give us a chance to organise stall holders etc. If they keep to their original rules we would only be able to have 8 in the side room or 15 in the large hall and the kitchen will be closed."

………..and an update from CYD on 26th April:- "The Committee Meeting isn't until the 10th May to decide where we are and decide on opening. The Room restrictions will have to last as long as Social Distancing continues. I think the Playschool will be out of use for now to us but I'm sure we'll fit you into the Centre somewhere. Sorry if i've been vague"

We should very much like to know what everyone thinks about resuming meetings and holding a fair sometime this year. Please write to us via email or post, or phone us to let us know, so that we can better plan the future of the Club. Things can change very quickly with this virus, but your ideas and thoughts will be very helpful in shaping our year ahead. Marion & K.



Walter is progressing slowly although he is finding walking particularly difficult. We wish him a speedy return to full-power.

Jo Wallace.

Alec phoned me on 14th April, to say that Jo's funeral was on 15th 10am. There was a link to a live streaming of the service, which we could then also use to watch a recording in the following few days. Unfortunately some of us were unable to see the funeral at all, but Alec and the family knew that we would be thinking of them on such a sad occasion.

Lynne writes:- Keith is doing really well. He is 100% back to normal, just gets tired if he does too much….Thanks, Lynne – that's great news!


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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. 10th June, 1921 – 9 th April, 2021.

He was created Earl of Merioneth just before his wedding, which was on 20th November, 1947.

I'm sure that our thoughts have been with his family this past month.

This is a card by Photochrom Co. Ltd, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.



John Summers & Sons Ltd, Office Building, Shotton, Deeside


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Work is now in progress to save this iconic building. Photo by Lynne Hough.

  At our meeting on 12th November, 2018, Keith Hough presented a memorable talk on 'Our Lost Buildings', focussing on the North East corner of Wales, an area he has known all his life. One of the featured buildings was the Office Building of John Summers & Sons Ltd., steelmakers, in Shotton. [now TATA Steel]

Keith has generously sent me his notes from the talk, to add to my research.

   The business originated in Stalybridge, making nails for clogs, and moved to the Shotton site, on the north bank of the Dee, for sheet ironworking in 1896.

 The office building of 1907 was designed by James Harold France, a friend of the Summers' family. and one of a group of architects known as the 'Manchester Boys'. Another of this group, Charles Trubshaw, designed the Midland Hotel in Manchester. The Shotton building is 1/7th of the size of that large hotel..

 The John Summers' building is in engineered red brick with yellow terracotta highlights and some art-nouveau detailing. The tall central clock-tower resembles a castle, with turrets, and 3 clock-faces.It has 'arrow-slit' windows on the 4th level, just below the clock. and is flanked by a pair of mirror-image wings. There is no clock-face on the back of the tower, and the rear of the building is very plain. Keith has first-hand knowledge of the building, and he tells us how it was used:-


  The ground floor, accessed by the back entrance, housed the works' reception and wages office, and a furnace room which ran on coke..     The main entrance is on the first floor, and faces the river. The approach road rises as it passes along the front of the building, so that the door can be accessed by a short, brick 'draw-bridge',which spans the path or 'moat' around the ground floor of the building. This enhances the 'castle' theme. .The part glazed wooden doors have metal gates in front of them, with metal 'J.S. & S' shields in the centre of each side, reminiscent of a portcullis. Above the doorway is a large, tall, upright-oblong brick plaque, with 'J.S.& S.' entwined, in an art-nouveau style. .The door leads to the main reception area, and was used for visits by Royalty, special customers and M.P.s.

 The typing pools were on the second floor, with Queen Bee ( The Senior Secretary) who usually looked like Dame Edna, and was always looking down her nose at everyone. Also on this floor were Finance and Sales.

 The third floor had the Manager's office, the Boardroom, meeting rooms and the staff canteen.


Access to all floors was via a lift, which is the oldest original one in Wales. Clare's Shop in Mostyn St., Llandudno has an older one, but it was modified in the 1930s. Weaving around on both sides are the sandstone stairs. Between the ground floor and the first floor there was no carpet. The remainder of the stairs had a blue carpet, with 'J.S. & S' in gold. The walls are tiled halfway up in green, with panels of white tiles and green patterned friezes and borders. The floors were wine coloured.


Keith shares a lovely story about the building…..


 "I delivered meat from 1965, from the local Butcher and climbed the stairs with a tray of meat twice a week. Mrs Oldfield, the cook, said I should use the lift and if anyone challenged me, like the Queen Bee, to say I had her permission. She also remembered my mum and dad who both worked there. One day the lift stopped on the first floor and Sir Richard Summers got in, with two Chinese gentlemen in posh suits.   

  I was embarrassed as we all had to crush up, but I told Sir Richard that the cook had told me to use the lift. He was great about it and squeezed in. He followed me into the canteen ,and I thought I was in trouble, but he pointed to one of the steaks and said to the cook 

"I want that one". She said "All right, Sir Richard" and he walked past me smiling, and winked."


Thanks for your memories, Keith….they bring the building to life for us.

   .It was heart-breaking to see the photos on the internet, which show the dreadful condition of the interior of this lovely building, which has been left to decay, and has suffered vandalism and damage, since it was sold in 2009. I very much hope that the efforts of the many volunteers and organizations, led by the Enbarr Foundation, will succeed in bringing it back to life for the community

The story of the family and the businesses is fascinating, and can be found at:-

John Summers and Sons - Graces Guide

I must add that in 2019, Keith's talk was voted 'Best Talk of the Year' by the members.


Morfa Camp, Conway.



When we're trawling through boxes of Welsh cards at meetings and fairs, we often see views of the Conway Morfa Camps, but now, Adrian, of the Home Front Museum, has kindly given us a time line, to explain the development of the are:-

Here is a brief history of the camp:

 1850s – 1915 - Used by the Army Volunteer Force and subsequently the Territorial Army (they were under canvas)

1915-1919 Permanent Army Camp used by Lancashire Fusiliers, Border Regiment, Royal Engineers and Royal Welsh Fusiliers amongst others. (wooden huts built)

1921-War Office lease expired

1925-1939 Holiday Fellowship camp

1940-1943 War Office re-requisitioned and used by British and Dutch troops evacuated from Europe.

1942-1944 Part of the site used to build parts of the ‘secret’ ‘Mulberry’ harbour used at Normandy on D-Day.

1946-1947 Polish re-settlement camp.

1947 De-requisitioned and part of land used to erect pre-fabricated houses to alleviate the post war housing shortage.

1949-1996 Morfa Caravan and Camping Ground (owned and administered by Conway Borough Council)

1993-date Aberconwy Park Resor


 Thank you, Adrian. Below are some postcards to illustrate the story:-

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This card was posted in Wigan on August 3rd 1908., and shows the camp 'under canvas'.

Another view of the tented camp, dated August 10th, 1906, has this message on the back:-

'Got my breakfast alright, just off on parade. The weather has cleared up. Bert'.

It was sent to a girl in Nottinghamshire.

In August, 1907, J. Williams sent a card of the tents to his mother, with this message:-


'Arrived all safe. going on a treat. If its all like this, can do with a month. Will look out for Annie.'


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- A note on the back of this cards reads:- 'No.6 Hut marked.' The hut is to the left of the central area,

6 down from the far end of the line, and marked by two arrows.

- A sweet message on an undated card of the huts reads:- ' My Dear Baby, Just a card love to show you where Daddy is in Wales.

Hoping you are keeping well. With Fondest love & xxxxxxxx From Daddy'.

It was sent to 'Baby Durrant in Eastbourne, Sussex' 

-A card by H. Hitchen, entitled '16th Service Batt. Lanc. Fusiliers Camp, Conway' dated 16th February,1915,

has this written on the back:- 'YMCA Pavilion, Morfa Camp, Conway 15-2-15. My dear friend, How are things old chap.

I am extremely busy. We have now 3000 men in camp. Best wishes, Tom.'

The card was sent to R. Eddy Esq., YMCA Empire Hotel, Buxton

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Interior of one of the soldiers' huts.

The message says that the men had cleaned the hut before the photo was taken, and that it isn't always so tidy!


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The Holiday Fellowship Camp used the huts which had been erected for the military camps.

This card, dated 20th August, 1930, has this message:- Dear Ivy, We are having a lovely time, weather not too bad.

We are bathing every day, the water is lovely. We went to a nice little place called Llanfairfechan.

The place marked with a X is where I sleep. With love from Jessie. XXX'

Jessie was sleeping in the hut on the right, behind the 3rd window from the right, marked with X.

Another of these cards was written on 18th Sept, and posted on 23rd Sept 1929, to an address in Golborne [!]

near Warrington. It reads:- 'Dear Nellie, I have landed safely and am having a good time. The weather is very nice

and I go in the sea or climb mountains every days. Yours truly, Albert.'


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Photochrom Co. Ltd., Card No. V7926 Conway, Entrance to Morfa Camp. 1950s.

The message reads:- 'Skerratts Caravan. Edith & I went twice. Lovely time.'



   From 1895, there was a railway platform called Conway Marsh on the LNWR line, for the Camp, to facilitate the arrival and departure of the soldiers and their equipment. It later served holiday-makers as Conway Morfa, until it was closed in 1929.

Ref:- Disused Stations: Conway Marsh/Conway Morfa Station (

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In this view of the Whit Camp, 1912, the platform can be seen,

and, to the right of the picture, at the near end of the large building, the gate into the Camp. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


 Some messages:-


- written in tiny writing on a court card dated Low Sunday, 1898, Apr.17.

and sent from Betws-y-Coed to Boston Massachusetts… an early postcard dealer, perhaps?

"If you cannot send me any pictorial postcards of Boston { I have been waiting waiting expectantly} will you kindly send me at once the address of some other shop, in order that I may send direct & buy a few. I have promised some other collectors & so far have been unable to fulfil my promise. Please let me hear at once. This is written through a magnifying glass. Are you crossing the Ferry this Spring? What have you decided? Let me know in good time."Quo Vadis" has just been published in England. I wonder what sort of sale it will have….Barnum & Bailey show is over here. Why ever call it Barnum's when Barnum is dead. How full the air is just now of wars & rumours of wars & how cold throughout the land….We are fast coming to a pretty pitch.. With every good wish. Wm M. D."


 A card of City Hall Cardiff. Valentine W6581. Postmarked Cardiff August 1960, and sent to Wrexham.

"Just at the end of a lovely holiday with Eileen & Lilian. Had a wonderful view yesterday of the Queen and the Duke. Met a few people from Wrexham. Love from all. W."
  In August 1960, the Queen and Prince Philip visited Cardiff. They attended the Eisteddfod, where Prince Philip was given his Bardic name of Philip Meirionnydd. They also attended a service of rededication at Llandaff Cathedral, which had been restored after bomb damage during the war. Prince Philip read some of the lessons. The Queen had been given her Bardic name, Elizabeth O (of) Windsor, at the 1946, Mountain Ash, Eisteddfod, but the Cardiff 1960 event was the first time a reigning monarch had been present at an Eisteddfod.


Sept.19th 1911. on a card of the H.M.S Bristol, at Avonmouth Docks, with the cranes in the background.

"Dear How, I see the Villa managed to win a match at the finish after they had knocked the goal keeper out. I expect Hampton did that. You can see two of the electric cranes the like of which I drive."

I tried to find out some more about the man mentioned in this message, and on the Aston Villa website, we are told that Joseph Harry Hampton was born in Wellington, Shropshire, on 21st April, 1885, and played for Aston Villa, as centre-forward, between 1904 and 1920. He played for several other teams too during his career. He was known as 'Appy 'Arry, and the 'Wellington Whirlwind', and passed away at the age of 77, on 15th March, 1963 in Rhyl


On a card showing H.M. The Queen on a horse at Balmoral, posted from Thurso to Skelmersdale, Lancs:-

Friday 9pm. Thurso. We are having a lovely holiday. We have seen lots of horses, sheep and cows. Today we saw a donkey and Nana had her photograph taken with it – you will be asking which is the donkey when you see it. The weather is beautiful and so is the scenery…See you soon love to you both and Mummy and Daddy from Nana and Grandad, XX

On a St. Valentine's Day card showing 2 children, a girl with a hat box and umbrella, and the boy with a toy horse and sword.

The caption reads "A Warrior bold met his fate – isn't she great?"

The message is:- "England 1. Feb '44. Dear N. This was the nicest one I could find, so it's goin' straight to ya. You know, ---I'm still alive? but how ridiculous I might add, still single and going strong as ever. Hey!! how about there 'ere letter O'ing me? Well its good you sent it. You know how tough this soljer can get…but I don't mind if my mother does call me sonny. That good friend of yours, Joey…"


Rock Zoo.

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  Do, please, send me any items you may have for possible future bulletins…..Just one card and a little information about it would be fine….or a longer piece if you can.

  Best wishes for now, Karlyn.


Club Bulletin June 2021.


Hello everyone!

I hope that you can enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend, weather permitting, of course…

North Wales has had a good showing on tv this month:-

-We had Michael Portillo on his train journeys around the area, from Crewe to Newtown, including a ride on the Rhyl Marine Lake Railway, and John Lawson-Reay was talking to him in Dolgarrog about the 1925 dam disaster. John has written a book about it, entitled 'The Men Who Drowned Dolgarrog'. - Weatherman, Derek Brockway, was to be seen walking from Deganwy to Llandudno via the Great Orme. On the way, he spoke to Adrian Hughes of the Home Front Museum about the area's role in WW2. - Actor Bill Nighy took a trip on the Cambrian Line from Pwllheli to Shrewsbury, hopping onto the Welsh Highland line for a while, and calling in at Portmeirion.

I imagine that we will have a lot of staycationers here this year, after such a wealth of lovely programmes showcasing our area.



Fairs, or no Fairs….


North Wales Postcard Club Fair 2021 - cancelled.

We hope to be able to have the 2022 Fair on 20th August.

Details will follow as soon as we have confirmation from the Community Centre.

Meetings are still uncertain, as things stand at the moment.



Colwyn Bay fair -uncertain...

I asked organizer, Steve Chapman when the Colwyn Bay Fair might be up and running again. Steve replied:-

"Until the Welsh Government confirm its plans for indoor opening, I can’t be certain, but hope to approach the school about holding the 10 July fair." but do check nearer the time.

Steve's number is:- 01745-826434, and email:- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


June Wirral fair cancelled – a message from Ian Boumphrey.

  As you will probably have realised that unfortunately we are unable to go ahead with the June Wirral Postcard Fair due to Government Covid rules which means that the Thornton Hough Village Hall can’t open to the public until the rules are relaxed a week later. We all hope that the October 9th Fair will still be ok.I have just agreed and booked the dates for 2022 which are as follows Saturdays: March 5th _ June 11th - October 8th.If you haven’t booked in for this October Fair please let me know if you want to attend. Looking forward to seeing you in October. Cheers, Ian

. -----------------------------------------------------------------------


Good News.

Our good friend Adrian Hughes of the Home Front Museum in Llandudno, tells me that it is open for visitors again. You can check the website at or call 01492-871032



  I'm so very sorry to say that in the past months' bulletins, I had mistakenly called Alec's partner 'Jo Wallace'. I have always thought of her by that name, but her name was Joan Eleanor Smith. I have apologised to Alec for the error. He has written a beautiful tribute to Jo, on page 41 of the May issue of PPC. I know that we will all of us miss Jo at the fairs – she was a lovely person. K.


Malcolm Barrow.

  Malcolm passed away on 21st April 2021. He was a Club member for many years and attended the Annual Club Dinner with his wife Alma. He was also a member of the local Philatelic Society. They had come to North Wales from Manchester and lived in Glan Conwy until he became ill, when they moved to Rhos on Sea. Malcolm was a quiet, but interesting person. We send our sincere condolences to Alma and the family.-



 Bits and pieces…

  In April 2021, we had the item on miniature railways, but I recently discovered that we have a new little railway on West Shore, Llandudno, so, in the absence of any postcards, I took my camera along to see what it was like. Sadly, it wasn't running on the day I went, it is dual gauge 5” and 3½”.


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looking north.


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looking south

It is run by the North Wales Model Engineering Society, and their website is at and it is on Facebook. There is also information on the 'Visit Conwy' website. It seems to be open on Saturdays and Bank Holidays, weather permitting, but do check before you go.



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Y Llan, Llanrhaiadr yng Nghinmeirch Ger Ddinbych.

This card was published by Owen Edwards, Post Office Stores, Llanrhaiadr, photo by Ray Pickard of Rhyl [R.P., R] It was posted in Denbigh on 27/7/1932. It is one of only a handful of cards that I have seen in the past 40 years, with a Welsh caption.

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This card shows the funeral procession of Dr. Arthur-Prichard in Conway, on 15th March, 1912.

The publisher / photographer is F.O. Ralphes of "Vraucourt", Bryn Tirion Park, Conway.

The view shows Church St. and D.C. Walker's premises – tobacconist and hairdresser – on the corner


The Doctor was a very well-known and influential person in the area, and was a J.P., hence the long procession and large crowds of on-lookers wishing to pay their respects, despite the heavy rain. In the North Wales Weekly News for 11th .June 1909 , there was a long list of people who had subscribed to a Testimonial to the Doctor with half a guinea [10/6d], 1-Guinea, [£1/1s.] 2-Guineas or more. He was referred to as 'Alderman Dr. R. Arthur-Prichard, Chairman of the Caernarvonshire County Council'.

If you thought that the name was familiar, Dr. Arthur-Prichard was mentioned in the February 2021 Bulletin, as the Railway Company doctor who was called to the Junction Hotel in Llandudno Junction, when the lady fell onto the railway line and badly hurt her foot:-

'In the Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent' for 21st August, 1891, there is a report of an accident on the railway. "On the arrival of the train due to leave for Llandudno shortly before four o'clock, on Monday, there was a great crowd on the platform, and in the rush to get to the carriages, a lady was pushed forward and fell between the platform and the incoming train. She received serious injuries to her foot, and was carried to the Junction Hotel. Dr. Arthur-Prichard, J.P., Conway, the district surgeon of the [railway] company being called in.

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This cutting is from the North Wales Weekly News of 11th June, 1909. It was next to the Testimonial information for Dr. Arthur-Prichard.

The print is difficult to read, so I have typed it:-


Colwyn Bay. J. Fred Francis & Sons' COACHING TOURS


(Weather and other circumstances permitting).

Tour No. I. - The Grand Loop tour. "The Tourist" leaves the Mews daily at 10 a.m., via Tal-y-Cafn, Bettws-y-Coed, Swallow Falls, Capel Curig, Nant Ffrangcon Pass, Bethesda, Penmaenmawr, and Conway. Arriving home at 6-30 …fare for the ride

Tour No.2 – To and from Bettws-y-Coed. A coach leaves the Mews at 10am, returning at 6.15pm. Fare 7s. [shillings] Box seats 1s.

extra. 40 miles.

Tour No 3. – The City of St. Asaph. "Ye Olde Times" leaves the Mews at 11am daily [ Tuesdays and Saturdays excepted] via Abergele, Rhuddlan Castle, St. Asaph and The Marble Church. Arriving home at 5.15pm. Fare 5s. Box seats 1s. extra. 28 miles.

Tour No.4. – To and from Penmaenmawr. "The Sportsman" leaves the Mews daily at 2.30pm via Conway, Sychnant Pass to Penmaenmawr. Arriving home at 6.15pm. Fare 4s. Box seats 1s. extra. 23 miles.

Tour No 5. – The Short Loop. A coach leaves the Mews daily at 2.30pm via Conway, Tyn-y-Groes & Tal-y-Cafn. Arriving home at 6.15pm. Fare 4s. Box seats 1s. extra. 23 miles.

Tour No 6.- To and from Bodnant Hall. A coach leaves the Mews at 2.30pm (Tuesdays and Saturdays only) Allowing time to view the Gardens. Arriving home at 6pm. Fare 3s. Box seats 1s. extra. 16 miles. 

Tour No. 7. – Rhydyfoel, Bettws Abergele & Coed Coch. Charming drive.

A four-horse coach leaves the Mews at 2.30pm for Llanddulas, Tanyrogo,Caves, Rhydyfoel, Bettws Abergele, Coed Coch (The Residence of the Hon Mrs Laurence Brodrick) and gardens, and home via Dolwen. Arriving home at 6.15pm. Return fare 4s. Box seats 1s. extra.

Gwrych Castle, (Residence of the Countess of Dundonald) The Proprietors have permission to drive through the grounds upon payment of a small fee. Days of admission, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

All Tours return in ample time for Dinner at the Hotels.

Large parties careered for at Reduced Rates.

For further particulars enquire at the Coaching Office.

In case of Wet Weather, each Coach is provided with Waterproof Capes and Aprons.

 Any of the Coaches can be Engaged privately at a day's notice." I

In the North Wales Postcard Publishers' List, there is an entry for J. Fred Francis:- J. FRED FRANCIS.

Coach Proprietor, Published by….

Colwyn Bay. E.T.W.D. [Dennis] The “Dainty” Series views overprinted with:-

‘Views seen from J. Fred Francis’ Loop Tour Coach.’

Examples are:- - Llanfairfechan, from the Parade.

- Penmaenmawr from Conway Road.

I couldn't find any of the J. Fred Francis cards, so I've added a few others to illustrate this item:-

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Head Booking Offices Royal Hotel and Queen’s Hotel, Rhyl. Telephone 38. Telegrams: “Edge, Rhyl”

This card is an advertising card for the firm. It is a b/w sketch of a mews area with horses, dogs etc., and signs written on various walls read:- “Crescent Mews” ; “Rhyl’s most noted Coaching Firm” ; “Peter Edge’s Famous Coaching Tours in Wales” “Funerals Furnished Up to date Hearses”; “Special terms for Picnics, Parties &c. Rubber tyred Landaus for hire at all hours”; “Horses bought and sold on Commission - Livery & Baiting.” “Wedding Parties catered for. Specially ----- ------ & --------” [unreadable] “Saddle Room” “Station Buses”.

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On the top is the usual type of view in the Sychnant Pass, but with a message:- Dear Dot. We leave here today. This is a photograph of the coach we went on to Penmaenmawr – with the same driver & postilion, only the latter had on a swaggah white top hat when we went. I am so sorry to leave & so are the others. Best love from Gert. Posted from Llandudno on July 18th, 1904.

On the bottom is a photo, again taken on the Sychnant Pass, with the note' Dwygyfylchi 7/4/05', where the wheels seem to have come off the coach.


 The New Colwyn Bay Pier.

  I went to Colwyn Bay on 10th May to get some photos of the new pier. It's more of a platform than a pier at the moment, but it will be a lovely area in which to sit and enjoy the views and perhaps an ice-cream on a warm summer's day. It is 148 ft long, which is approximately 1/5th of the length of the earlier pier. It is accessed directly from the promenade, with no special entrance or gates up to now.

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In this picture of the 1900 pier, the new pier would come almost as far as the start of the Pavilion platform.

  The first pier was opened in June 1900, with the Pavilion named after Jules Riviere, a musician and conductor, who moved his concerts from Llandudno. Unfortunately, Riviere passed away in December that year. This Pavilion burnt down in 1922, and was replaced the following year by a new building. Sadly, this also burnt down, in 1933. The last Pavilion was opened in 1934, and the whole pier structure was demolished in 2018. In November, 2019, work began on the new pier.


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The Riviere Pavilion viewed from the promenade.

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The Riviere Pavilion fire 1922.

The card, published by A. & F. Wrigley, Colwyn Bay is dated 19th April, 1922 


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The 2nd Pavilion, opened in 1923. and in 1933,,was also lost to fire


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The 1934 pavilion in the Art-Deco style. This Valentine's view was registered in 1935.


It resembled a marquee, and the auditorium interior followed the same theme, designed by the artist Mary Adshead, daughter of the pavilion's architect, Professor S.D. Adshead. Mary was at the Slade School of Art at the same time as Rex Whistler, whose huge and magical mural graces the dining room at Plas Newydd, Anglesey. The two artists shared first prize one year. There was a large mural in the pavilion's Tea-room, by Eric Ravilious.

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My photo of the pavilion in its old age, looking very distressed

For the new pier, the original railing panels have been restored, and enclose the space, which has a boarded floor. There are some very elegant lamp-posts along each side of the platform, which are very similar in design to the originals. The colour-scheme is and brown and white, and very pretty. I couldn't get onto the platform, as the finishing touches are still being made, and there are fences along the promenade end.

Here are my photos from 10th May and an old photo to one of the lamps to compare the design.

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The original lamps and railings on the pier.


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The new lamps and railings


I hope to be back with another bulletin next month, so until then, take care and enjoy the summer days. Karlyn


Club Bulletin July, 2021.


Hello everyone!

I trust that you are keeping well, and enjoying the better weather. Congratulations to the Wales football team for reaching the last 16 in the Euros. I discovered that their goal-keeper Danny Ward went to Hawarden High School, as did I [but about 45 years earlier!]…..Michael Owen was also a pupil there…. Here's a card from my collection, to celebrate 4th July. It's one of a set of 12 art-nouveau cards, originally published by the American 'Johnston-Ayres Company', in 1911. The artist is Aenz, and each design includes the month's flower, gemstone, astrological sign and symbol. My set is probably a reprint, as all the cards are very crisp, and in perfect condition, but they don't feel quite right for cards which should be over 100 years old, but I love the designs, whatever the age of the cards.

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Club Meetings – disappointing news – help needed to find a new venue.

  Marion writes:- Craig y Don Community Centre have contacted us to say that in future we will not be able to hold meetings in the nursery. As they have no other rooms available we will have to look for other accommodation. We are looking for something along the North Wales Coast preferably between Penmaenmawr and Colwyn Bay as that area is accessible to all our members. We need a room large enough for 30 people plus enough extra room for dealers and the display. It also would be better if there is a kitchen area - or bar - so we can have drinks. Obviously we will not be able to meet until the restrictions are eased but it would be helpful to have some ideas for later in the year. Do please let Karlyn or Marion know if you have any suggestions who we could approach.

Marion is trying to secure the CYD for the fair on 20th August 2022…..updates when we have them.

Colwyn Bay fair….a message from Steve Chapman. The July fair has sadly had to be cancelled as the school will not allow us in and I can't find another suitable venue. If restrictions are eased I will try for September.

Kind regards


Marion has sent two gorgeous cards for us to enjoy:

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    They are from a rare Tuck set, 9804, by Mabel Lucie Attwell entitled "What the Moon Saw". The Tuck data base tells us that they were listed in Tuck's Travelogue in 1905, and were perhaps made for the USA. They are a recent addition to Marion's wonderful collection of children's cards. It's good to see cards from areas or subjects different from those which we ourselves collect, as I'm sure we don't often have the time to look through random sections of dealers' stocks at fairs. Thank you Marion


The results of some research from the coaching item in last month's bulletin:-

  When I wrote the bulletin, I had been unable to find any of the J. Fred Francis coaching cards, but one appeared recently. It's the usual view on the Pass, but it's an advertising card for the company. The card was published by Horrocks & Co., Rhyl and Ashton-under-Lyne, and the photo is by Burrow, of Cheltenham - the name appears in the lower right-hand corner of the photo. The card is not dated.


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While I was writing about this card, Barbara had sent me this fabulous view, which shows the coaches outside the

Woodland Mews premises in Conway Rd, Colwyn Bay. 

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The Woodland Mews was located to the west of Station Rd, and opposite to the North and South Wales Bank Ltd., now the HSBC bank, which is on the corner with Woodland Rd West [ the old bank sign can still be seen on the wall ]

The card is an undivided-back view, number 17647 by Stengel & Co., London E.C., 39 Redcross Street. It is undated but will be c1902

Barbara also sent these wonderful adverts for the firm…


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Thank you for all your help with this, Barbara!


   I found the description of the plans for their new stables in Conway Road, in the Weekly News and Visitors' Chronicle for Colwyn Bay [WNVC] for 7th December, 1901, so I decided to have a look at that paper in the on-line newspaper archives at the National Library of Wales, for the years around that date, to see if I could discover any information about J. Fred Francis, so here are some of the things I found….


    Before J. Fred Francis took over the firm, c1901, it was owned by Edwin Jones of Glas Coed, Victoria Park, Colwyn Bay, and the Woodland Livery Stables. Both men were pillars of the community, and well respected for their good works in the town. The date for the changeover seems to be between 9/11/00 and 1/2/01, as the adverts in the paper change from 'Edwin Jones' to 'J. Fred Francis, Successor to Edwin Jones' during that time


   An advert for Edwin Jones' firm tells us:- 'Funerals furnished with the new patent glass-side hearse and closed carriages. Grand Coach Tours: Tour No.1 To and from Bettws-y-Coed; Tour No.2 To and from St. Asaph; Tour No.3 Grand Circular Tour. For particulars, see Edwin Jones' Coaching Guide, Livery Stables, Colwyn Bay.'


WNVC 13th April, 1894: There was no place in the kingdom that would come up to Colwyn Bay in the quality, smartness and style of Mr. Edwin Jones' horses and carriages and that he knew of no-one who had done more in making Colwyn Bay attractive to visitors than the enterprising and always cheerful Edwin Jones. He wished him further and greater success in the future than ever in the past. He was just the man…that the Prince of Wales would like to confer Knighthood upon.


WNVC 12th October, 1894. The Welsh Congregational Sunday School Trip to St. Asaph was this year on Monday 24th September. Edwin Jones, with his usual kindness, supplied the conveyances.


WNVC 5th July, 1895. The Groes yn Eirias bridge opened for traffic. Councillors and the County Surveyor assembled at the The Mews and went on "Ye Olde Times" coach for the bridge. The Chairman formally declared the bridge open, and Edwin Jones drove the coach across to Old Colwyn and back to Colwyn Bay. His four first-class horses evoked much admiration.


WNVC 26th June, 1896. St. Paul's Welsh Choir given their annual trip by Edwin Jones, upon one of his coaches, on Thursday June 18th, to Rhyl and St. Asaph.


WNVC 20th August, 1896: Edwin's coach 'Ye Old Times' took Prince Ademuyiwa on a trip during his visit to Colwyn Bay to show his approval of the Congo African Students' Training Institute, which had been founded by the Rev W, Hughes.


WNVC 23rd April 1897: Edwin Jones is described as a 'veteran coach proprietor'


WNVC 31st March, 1899: An advert for Edwin Jones of the Mews. Colwyn Bay.


WNVC 5th May, 1899: Denbigh May-day festivities. Edwin won 1st prize for 4-in-hand.


WNVC 8th September, 1899: Edwin is described as 'The Coaching King'.


WNVC 23rd February, 1900: Edwin Jones and Mr Byrne helped a deaf and dumb boy to go to a special school by paying for his clothing.


WNVC 15th June, 1900: Mourning coaches supplied by Edwin Jones.


WNVC 3rd August, 1900: Mr. Edwin Jones's coaches. It would be impossible to over-state the good work done for Colwyn Bay by Mr. Edwin Jones in establishing his excellent and now widely-known coaching service. Year after year these coaches have helped to give added popularity for Colwyn Bay, not only as a healthful resort, but as an ideal centre for excursions.


WNVC 5th April 1901. The excellent coaching service established by Mr Edwin Jones, and recently taken over by Mr J. Fred Francis of the Mews, has contributed very largely to the success and popularity which this favourite resort deservedly enjoys.


WNVC 19th April, 1901: New buildings were approved for the house and stables in Conway Rd., opposite Brickfields, for Mr J. Fred Francis.


WNVC 19th April, 1901: Fire – False Alarm. Shortly after 8.30, the alarm was raised and the fire-bell rung. Captain Tom Roberts and the Fire brigade turned out in record time. Not only were the brigade exceedingly smart, but the horses supplied by Mr. J. Fred Francis were harnessed with remarkable despatch and soon were galloping with the engine in the direction of the supposed fire. They were followed by hundreds of people, all in a state of apprehension and alarm to the house in Brackley Ave, but the Brigade was not required. The fire was caused by packing materials used in furniture removals catching fire, and had been quickly put out.


WNVC 31st May, 1901: May Day Festivities. Mr J. Fred Francis was thanked for entering so many carriages in the procession, to further the success of the show.


WNVC 31st May 1901: Old Colwyn Horse Show – 1 st Annual Exhibition- a revival of an old institution. Mr J. Fred Francis was involved.


WNVC 2nd August, 1901: Colwyn Bay Amateur Swimming Club, Exhibition. The judges were Mr. E.T. Owen of Station Rd and Mr J. Fred Francis, The Mews.


WNVC 4th October, 1901: Fire at Mochdre, near the White Horse Inn. Firemen quickly harnessed their splendid steam fire engine to two magnificent and speedy horses, which J. Fred Francis always keeps at the mews in readiness for such emergencies.


WNVC 4th October, 1901: A driver and outside porter in the employ of Mr. J. Fred Francis were jointly charged with stealing a half-sack of horse fodder, the property of Mr Francis. They pleaded guilty and were each fined £3-9-6d., including costs. Mr Francis said that he would continue to employ one of the men, and did not want them to be severely punished.


WNVC 10th January, 1902: A Billiard Tournament was held at the Constitutional Club, at which Mr Francis was present.


WNVC 31st. January, 1902: …wedding carriages were supplied by J. Fred Francis.


WNVC 21st March, 1902: A verandah for Mr. J. Fred Francis on Conway Road, was approved.


WNVC 28th March, 1902: At the first quarterly meeting of the Colwyn Bay Mutual Benefit Society, the Chairman was the President, J. Fred Francis. They had 103 members and £51.7.11d in funds.


WNVC 28th March, 1902: At the District Council Elections at Colwyn Bay, amongst the nominees was J. Fred Francis.


WNVC 9th May, 1902. The carriage for the May Queen, Madge, was provided by J. Fred Francis. There were 4 horses and 2 postillions in full costume, and the carriage was festooned in flowers, ….


WNVC 16th May, 1902. "I see from a neat little guide supplied at the Mews, that Mr. J. Fred Francis will, this season, as formerly, run 5 tours in addition to the one under notice, the principal of course being the loop tour of 56 miles, embracing all that is best in Welsh mountain, lake and coast scenery. The four other drives are also highly interesting and I would advise visitors at Colwyn Bay to see Mr. Francis's Coaching Guide before making any definite plans".


WNVC 15th August, 1902: The swimming gala was held in the Bay opposite the station, by the Coronation Festivities Committee, and it was started by J. Fred Francis.


WNVC 15th August, 1902: Mr. & Mrs Edwin Jones have returned to Glas Coed, Victoria Park after a stay of some months in the Vale of Clwyd. He had had an accident at Ruthin Castle when riding a spirited horse which he was showing to Colonel and Mrs Cornwallis West.


WNVC 20th August 1902: At a garden party and sale of work for St. Paul's on 17th, Edwin Jones gave a pony for the sale. It was a 5 year old bay, and was won by Mrs T. Rees, 40, Grange Mount, Birkenhead.


WNVC 24th October, 1902: J. Fred Francis donated 18 shillings to the Colwyn Bay Jubilee Cottage Hospital Fund, Hospital Saturday.


WNVC 7th November, 1902: The Colwyn bay Fire Brigade under Captain Thos. Roberts drove to Colwyn Bay on Saturday and engaged in a practice drill in which the thorough efficiency of the men and the completeness of the appliances were plainly evident. The horses, supplied by J. Fred Francis were driven by Mr. W,R. Owen.


WNVC 17th April 1903: Although the weather here was cold during Eastertide, the well appointed coaches of Mr. J.F. Francis were kept busy. Visitors describe the tours as 'exceeding interesting and pleasant'


WNVC 28th December 1906: Edwin Jones was meeting a train when he slipped and fell on the steps, and sustained nasty cuts on his head. He is making excellent progress after being attended to by Dr. Pryce Morris. A lady had come to help him, but he didn't know her, so he has asked her to call at Glas Coed, his home, so that he can thank her.


If you would like to read the description of the plans from the newspaper, it is reproduced on the website of the Manchester Victorian Architects, many of whom designed buildings in North Wales 

    Another lovely article, in the WNVC for 16th May,1902, entitled "Coaching in North Wales", gives a description of one of Francis's tours from Colwyn Bay to Trefriw and Bettws-y-Coed. This is from the introduction:-

  "The visitor who desires to see and enjoy must travel by coach. As far as our district is concerned there are no coaches equal to those of J. Fred Francis of the Mews. It is well-known that Mr Francis, like his predecessor, Mr. Edwin Jones, is most careful in his selection of horses and vehicles and in these respects, Colwyn Bay scores by the side of London and Brighton, the greatest coaching centres in Great Britain.

It is the intention of Mr Francis to "put on" a new tour this season, a drive from Colwyn Bay to Bettws-y-Coed via Trefriw, through one of the loveliest districts in North Wales. In company with Mr. Francis and a party of influential gentlemen who readily accepted his kind invitation, I had the pleasure of making a journey on "The Tourist" and some impressions of the drive may interest the numerous readers of the Weekly News.

   On the box was seated the stalwart figure of the coachman, William Jones, who we learnt is thoroughly familiar with our proposed route, over which he has driven ever since 1891, and not only did he prove a most capable driver tooling his team with great skill, but also a most entertaining guide, able to point out all the objects of interest we passed, and to relate some acceptable bits of gossip connected with them." The writer goes on to describe in detail the wonderful journey.


Barbara tells me that J. Fred Francis's main claim to fame was being the first to introduce the motorised charabanc to Colwyn Bay whilst still running his horse-drawn carriages!

  In a later advert," J. Fred Francis and Sons Ltd., [Telephone No. 1 and No. 1a] offered Tours in the Mountains by Grey de Luxe motor coaches, daily from Penrhyn Road office. Particulars and prices on application. Any make of car supplied, touring card and taxis on Hire. Engineering and Coach Building; Shoeing Smiths; Saddle horses, coaches, carriages. New building July 1920, Garage for 100 cars. Petrol and Benzol storage tanks. Engine Oil, tyres and accessories; Fully equipped repair shops.", so the firm had expanded considerably over the previous 20 years.

  There is an abundance of information about the motor coaches in North Wales in the archive of the 'Commercial Motor' magazine, at this website.

A few snippets from it:

17th August, 1920, J. Fred Francis had the first pneumatic-tyred coach in Wales – it was a Leyland char-a-banc.

By 1922, a report in the Commercial Vehicle Archive states that " The most progressive motor coach owners in Colwyn Bay are J. Fred Francis and Sons Ltd, who operate the "Grey de Luxe" coaches ….

29th April 1924, J. Fred Francis had 4 motor coaches and was trialling a semi-open version, where the front part was open, and the back part enclosed. He was then operating a local bus service in conjunction with the Royal Blue motors of Llandudno. There were also full-day tours, e.g. Moor and Mountain for 21/- , and half-day tours, e.g. Fairy Glen & Dolwyddelan.

I have not yet been able to discover when the J. Fred Francis coach firm finished, so if anyone can let me know, I will put the information in a future bulletin. There is a building on the Mews site, but the front looks as though it has been rebuilt…there is a date on the water pipes of ?1911.



Our members, Jack and Lyn Jones, who belong to the "Talacre Now and Then Project" , sent these pictures:-

Jack writes:-

These are 3 digital pictures from the film made by Dextra Visual(they have a site on youtube(well worth a look),and also the film is on youtube(type,,'spitfire training over Talacre' and you should find it.)The coloured postcard shows the brick houses that the spitfire is flying over.Enjoy

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    Thanks, Jack & Lyn….it's good to have something from your village….


Stay safe all…. best wishes, Karlyn


Club Bulletin August 2021.


   Hello everyone! I'm glad that the heatwave is over for now…20C is plenty for me, but I know that many people do enjoy the high temperatures. Congratulations to the England football team which held Italy to penalties in the Euros' Final. Good luck to the GB team in Tokyo, which has 27 Welsh athletes in the squad.


   Llandudno Fair.

   We haven't yet had a written confirmation for our Fair at Craig-y-Don on August 20th, 2022. We will let you know when it arrives, but do pencil in the fair on your 2022 calendar.


NWPCC meetings.

   I'm sorry, but we have not yet been able to find an alternative room for our meetings, mainly because many of the possible venues are closed, or they have no staff to answer enquiries. If anyone has any ideas for a new meeting room, please let us know. 'Thank you' to those who have sent information already.

Colwyn Bay Fair.

   I had a message from Steve, the organizer, and he regrets that he has not found a suitable alternative to Eirias Park School for his fairs, but I said that we were hoping that they would be back soon

. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

John from Ruthin sent these pictures for us, following the item on J. Fred Francis last time – Thank you, John!


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This is a lovely picture – I wonder what has caught the horses' attention…

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Jump on, and take a ride in this wonderful vehicle!....even the dog has been included in the trip.


   John also provided us with a mystery card, which, he said, showed a village P.O. on the right, probably somewhere in North Wales .There is no title to the picture and no publisher, nor any other information. While the Euros' football final was on tv, I looked through a box of Welsh P.O. cards, and found a match. It's Nantglyn village, 4 miles south-west of Denbigh town. My card shows the view in the opposite direction, but I checked on the internet, and it's the same village. The phone box is still there, but the shop is a private house now, and there is no P.O. in the village…

  In the 1920s, the population of the village was c260, but over the centuries, it has produced several people of note, including David Samwell, the vicar's son, 1751-98, who became a naval Surgeon and served on Captain Cook's ships. He was also a poet and diarist, and a supporter of Welsh life and traditions. He had a most interesting life.

For more information about him, see:- Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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My card has a stamp commemorating the 20th International Geographical Congress, which was held in London in July 1964,

but the cancellation is not clear enough to read. The photo is by P.S. Chappell. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Marion has sent us her article about

G.P. Abraham, photographer and postcard publisher, of Keswick, Cumbria.

You may wonder why a photographer from the Lake District has anything to do with Wales but this company did indeed produce a few postcards showing our area.

   The firm was founded by George Perry Abraham when he was 22 years old. He was a hard-working photographer who took snapshots of tourists as they walked down to Derwentwater in Keswick. He also walked many miles to photograph the scenery of the area. His sons Ashley and George Dixon joined the firm and claimed that they had produced the first postcard in the UK. As their first card was not available until 1903 this claim was obviously false. They were mountaineers who climbed peaks in the Alps, Wales Scotland and of course the Lake District. They took their tripod and huge camera with its leather bellows and photographed where they went producing stunning views of the mountains.

   Every year they would travel to produce a new series of between 50 and 100 cards. They then took 2 or 3 large sample books to various shops to take orders. In March they would hire a lorry for distribution. The firm continued with its photographic business. One of their rooms was used for lantern slide shows, The business was in two buildings on opposite sides of Lake Road Keswick. Communication between the two buildings was by ear phone through a pipe. At first 8 men were employed in the print works but with the growing demand for postcards they were soon unable to cope. They contracted printers in Germany and later Sweden to produce the cards. Ashley Abraham died in 1951 aged 75 and George Dixon in 1965 aged 93. Ashley’s son Geoffrey carried on the business until its closure in 1968 after 102 years.

   The firm had a methodical filing system and most of the postcards are numbered. Initially the year of issue was indicated by the first digit. (so no’s 201 – 253 are 1905 301 – 355 1906 etc) But some postcards were re-introduced at a later date so dating is not simple. Pre 1917 all cards were marked “This card is an actual photograph by G P Abraham FRPS Keswick” After 1917 the firm became a limited company – G P Abraham Ltd. By 1960 total postcard production reached 5,000. All the negatives are preserved in Tullie House Museum Carlisle. The family have short entries in Wikipedia should you wish to more about their lives and particularly the mountaineering achievements.

   They did produce two unusual series – a set of 6 entitled Abrahams Humorous Series and a second was reproductions of paintings by G P Abraham. The greater number of postcards are photographs of the Lake District, Switzerland and a small number of Wales – as these two examples show. If you know of any others do please let me know. 

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Thank you, Marion, for a fascinating insight into this publisher...


HSBC Bank Building, Conway Rd., Colwyn Bay.

   While I was in Colwyn Bay recently, looking for J. Fred Francis's Mews building, I saw this wonderful doorway in the HSBC bank building on Conway Road.

   It was originally a branch of the North and South Wales Bank Limited, commonly known as 'The Wales Bank' and the stonework sign is still in place, facing Conway Road. It is topped with the Prince of Wales's Feathers. The Bank has an interesting history, beginning in Liverpool, in 1836, and later merging with the Midland Bank.

   Edward Hubbard's 'Buildings of Clwyd' tells us that the Colwyn Bay branch building was redesigned in the Italian style in 1903-4 by Woolfall and Eccles.

   The door is facing Woodland Rd. West, rather than Conway Road. I must have passed it hundreds of times in the car and hadn't noticed it, but as I walked past, I was amazed by the fabulous decoration. The scenes depict what look like Viking boats with figure-heads of grumpy birds, and ?mermen with winged heads, in the sea, holding the bows of the nearest boats – a scene from a Scandinavian legend, perhaps? A very angry dragon-rampant graces the corbel stone, and the door is framed by a wave-pattern.

   While I was trying to find out about the beautiful doorway, I was surprised to learn from their website that HSBC [Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd.] began life in Hong Kong in 1865, to help with trade between Europe and Asia. It was founded by a young Scotsman, who was working there for a large shipping firm. It came to Europe in 1992, when it merged with the UK's Midland Bank.

HSBC has an interesting history, illustrated and well presented, at:-

History timeline | HSBC Holdings plc

Here are my photos taken on 30th June 2021.

If anyone knows the story behind the images, I'd be delighted to hear from you!

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 The Rhyl I Remember…Part 1.

   My parents came to this area on camping holidays with their friends in the 1930s, in a motor-cycle and side-car. Later, they had a holiday-hut on the Bastion Road Camp in Prestatyn until 1965. We spent a lot of time there, and went to Rhyl many times. In the late 60s, early 70s, I often came to Rhyl on day-trips with friends, so I have been in and around Rhyl for most of my life. Here are a few things which I remember with pleasure…..

The Sun Centre

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E.T.W. Dennis & Sons Ltd., Photocolour R.0797. c1980.

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Sun Centre coaster [with original coffee stain!

   The fabulous Sun Centre appeared in 1979, and was a boon to the town, as it enabled visitors and locals to enjoy a 'beach-day' at the "Tropical Island on the North Wales Coast", even in bad weather. The coaster tells us that it was "Europe's First Indoor Surfing Pool". I remember that it was always uncomfortably hot and humid inside. The new Pavilion Theatre was added in 1991. The graphics in and around the theatre building had dome-shapes, referencing the lovely old domed Pavilion Theatre, 1908-74 which was on West Parade.

   The Sun Centre was demolished in 2016, and the theatre underwent an update, which included a new first-floor Restaurant and Bar. This was named the '1891', which references the Grand Pier Pavilion, which was built in that year, but which was destroyed in a fire in 1901.

There is now a new and exciting waterpark in town, SC2, which opened on 5th April, 2019 on West Parade.

The Rock Gardens

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Photo Precision Ltd. Colourmaster International no. PT28550. East Parade Gardens, Rhyl. c1970.

The Central Promenade was extended to the east in the 1920s, and included the Rock Gardens.

This is the view of the rock gardens that I remember, with the animal and bird figures which lit up at night - magical!

Some of the pools had fountains in the shape of animals too.

There are what seem to be a few remnants of the rock gardens left on East Parade.

The Floral Hall – "The 8th Wonder of Wales."

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E.T.W. Dennis. Photocolour card No R0745. Royal Floral Hall Gardens, Rhyl. c1960

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Bamforth & Co., Ltd. 'Color Gloss' view series No. 8. Royal Floral Hall, Rhyl. c1960s

   Opened on 14th May, 1959, it was a major attraction in town. Built at a cost of £21,000, it had over I million visitors in the first 3 years. I was there on June 8th, 1960, when The Duke & Duchess of Gloucester visited and gave their permission for it to be renamed 'The Royal Floral Hall.' In the following year, a heating system was installed so that a greater variety of plants could be grown. Tropical and foreign birds enjoyed free flight within the hall, and by the 1965 season, there was also a 'Continental Zoo'. Sadly, by the 1980s it had become run-down, neglected and vandalised, so it was dismantled and the framework sold. The building was just to the east of high street, on the promenade where the tennis courts and bowling greens used to be, and backing onto the open-air swimming pool, also now gone. The Seaquarium is now on the site.

Model Village.

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  Pentre Bach [in English - Little Village] was situated on the south side of West Parade, near Sandringham Avenue and the Ocean Beach funfair, whose proprietors also owned the Village. It was a popular attraction and was described in the 1965 town guide as "Rhyl's Great New Attraction" "The only Model Welsh Village in the World". "Open Daily Throughout the Season. On Promenade Near Pleasure Beach" This card, W8453, is by Valentine's in their 'W' series, views of Wales, and is one of the last to appear in the series in the 1960s. It shows a charming scene of the Welsh Lady showing the young children the farm buildings.


Pavilion and Roller-Skating Rink.

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 In this view, we are looking west along the prom c1960. The Pavilion is the most iconic and well-loved of all the buildings in Rhyl. It was on the West Parade, almost opposite to Edward Henry Street. It dates from 1908 and was opened by Lord Mostyn on 30th July. It cost £16.500 and 1600 people could sit in the theatre, to enjoy concerts and shows by top artists of day, including Vera Lynne, Shirley Bassey, Jimmy Jewel & Ben Warriss, the 5 Dallas Boys, Rawicz & Landauer and Paul Robeson.

The bowling greens and the open-air roller-skating rink [where I have skated many times] are in the foreground, with the east wall of the Pavilion advertising the popular Prince's International Circus which gave performances at 2.30 and 7.30 daily. The Circus visited the town for several years from the 1950s, and featured animals, including Lions, Bears, Tigers, Horses and Dogs. The dome was 120' high, but in 1974, it was declared unsafe because cracks had appeared in it, so it was decided to demolish the whole building. Amazingly [and sadly], despite all the worries, the dome came down completely intact, but an old friend had gone.

Part 2 will be in the September Bulletin.


   I had a nice surprise when I was flicking through the tv channels on Wednesday evening, and came across "Craig and Bruno's Great British Road Trips" on ITV at 8pm, which this week was in Wales. I didn't catch the start, but they were in Snowdonia and then went over to Anglesey, ending at South Stack lighthouse at sunset – beautiful!

  Congratulations to the Snowdonia Slate Mine district in Gwynedd on becoming a World Heritage Site.

It joins 3 others in Wales:- The Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd; The Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, South Wales, and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal near Llangollen. [Ref:- Cadw]

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Greaves Slate Quarries, The Finished Article.               Blaenau Ffestiniog.

    If anyone has an item for the bulletin, I'd be glad to have it for future issues, while we're unable to meet up…

          Best wishes for now, and enjoy the summer if you can.



Club Bulletin September 2021


Hello Everyone! I hope that you were able to get out and enjoy the holiday weekend. Good luck to GB in the Paralympics…Wales is well represented in the squad, and they have secured some medals for the team already. We are still trying to find a meeting room for the Club, so do tell us if you know of any suitable places we can investigate. There's no news yet on our 2022 Club Fair.




As Covid is still affecting events at short notice, please do check with the organizers if you're thinking of going to any fairs. You can check details and contact numbers for most of the UK postcard fairs on the Postcard Traders' Association website at:-

Colwyn Bay

    Steve Chapman says "Nothing positive to report. I’m awaiting on a couple of venues getting back to me."

Liverpool and Red Rose

    Helen Prescott "I’ve now handed over the running of Red Rose but they plan to have their fair in Sat 25th Sept as usual. As for Liverpool, the venue is still closed so nothing is happening there this year! H"

Information for Red Rose Fair on 0771-272-2116 or 0771-479-7791

Menai Bridge Book Fair. October. Cancelled.

Wirral Club and Fairs.

    Ian Boumphrey: "Our first meeting will probably be the first Thursday in October but will have to wait nearer to the time to confirm. The fair on 9th October is still on but a final decision will be made mid-September. Ian." Contact number:- 0151-608-7611

Anglesey - Mona Showground Antiques Fair. 16th & 17th October

Listed on their website as 'live' up to now, but do check again before going. 01584 873 634 / 07703 558 600 / 07802 267206 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

York.  29th & 30th October 2021

Details and latest information:- Jack Stasiak. tel : 01347-822722 . email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Criccieth Philatelic and Postcard Society.

Marion says:- "all being well the Criccieth Philatelic and Postcard Society is starting meetings on Tuesday 5th October at 2pm. The first meeting will be the delayed AGM and general catch up on everyone's news. If anyone is interested in joining us please contact me"

Marion's number is:- 01766-590203


 A North Wales connection to a 'Poirot' Film

    On Sunday, I was watching the last half-hour of the 1974 film version of Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express", with Albert Finney as Poirot, when I spotted a link to North Wales. In the closing titles, there was a note that the jewellery worn by the character 'Princess Dragomiroff' was by Wartski.

    Jeweller, Morris Wartski opened a shop in Bangor in 1895 and the firm became one of the most prestigious retailers of jewellery and luxury items in the world.

    Morris Wartski 1855-1946, was of a Russian-Jewish family in Poland , who moved to Liverpool with his brothers to escape persecution. Morris was a jeweller, who, by 1891 lived in Bangor with his family. From a humble beginning, as a licensed peddler, selling jewellery and watches, by 1895, he had opened a shop at 21, High Street, Bangor. The signs on the front told passers-by that he was a Jeweller, Goldsmith, Silversmith and Diamond Merchant, who took in repairs. By 1903, the shop and house were advertised 'To Let', and the family business moved to larger premises at 204 High Street, which was a draper's shop.

    His sons, Charles and Harry, opened shops in Llandudno at 33, 93 and 101 Mostyn Street, the most fashionable street in town, and in 1911, the family opened a shop in London, which had the sign "Wartski's of Llandudno". Members of the family are still in the firm today.

This is the advert in the Llandudno Advertiser for 17th June 1905,

announcing the opening of the shop at 33 Mostyn Street


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 The London shop sold jewellery of the highest quality, and other exquisite items, such as those by Faberge, jeweller to the Russian Royal Family. The firm made rings for the British Royal Weddings in 2004 and 2011.

Morris was laid to rest in a Jewish Cemetery in Liverpool.

The North Wales shops have now closed down, but there are still memories of the family name:-

     In Bangor, The "Wartski Fields", is land donated by the widow of Isidore Wartski, 1879-1965, Morris's son, who was a draper, and Mayor of the town 1939-41. and "Wartski Square", earlier known as the Market Square, and renamed by the local people, because Isidore's shop and his Castle Hotel formed part of the perimeter of the square.

The Llandudno shop at 93, Mostyn Street is now occupied by 'Goldsmiths'. The wrought ironwork on the pavement has been repainted white, and the 'Goldsmiths' name now appears in the same place as Wartski's was, in the frame above the canopy.

The shop also retains this mosaic in the floor of the doorway.

This is my photo, from February 2016, following a Club meeting when we had some information about the firm


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The shop at No. 33 Mostyn Street is now part of Billy Lal's Bargain Centre at 33-35, and No 101 is W.H. Smith's.

    The Wartski name is still to be seen in London, with a new "Wartski Art and Antiques" shop, opened in 2018, at 60, St. James St, specialising in luxury antique items.

For more information about this family and their shops:-

History Points - Former Wartski jeweller’s shop, Llandudno

Places of interest - Bangor - Trails - Anglo-Jewish History -

Wartski… · PDF file

Newspaper archives – National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.



Now that some of the North Wales Clubs and societies are beginning to plan their programmes after the lockdowns, I thought that it might be interesting and useful to feature some of them in the bulletin, where our interests overlap.

I asked Barbara to send some information about the Society to which she and John belong:-



Chairman: John Lawson Reay                                    Vice-Chairman: Adrian Hughes

This group is planning to re-start at 7.15 p.m. on Tuesday 14th September.

We meet at the Trinity Centre, Trinity Avenue. (this used to be known as the Old People’s Centre and is not connected to Trinity Church) on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.

Coming from Augusta Street, turn left at the traffic lights, after about ½ a mile you’ll see a school on the left and shortly afterwards a low building on the right with a grassed area in front of it – this is the Trinity Centre. Coming from Bryniau Road, obviously it’s on the right.

Subs cost £13 per year and visitors to indoor meetings are asked to pay £3 per meeting. We meet Jan – April & Sept – December indoors; & April – July outdoors. Unfortunately it is not possible to invite visitors to outdoor meetings due to the difficulty of keeping track of everyone, and the leaders making themselves heard.

The programme for the rest of 2021 is as follows

Sept. 14th Dr. Marian Gwyn                Atlantic Slavery & Penrhyn Castle

Oct. 12th Wil Aaron                           Martha Hughes Cannon of Llandudno - the first woman Senator in US history

Nov. 9th Jane Matthews                  Art, Doughnuts and Pianos – a History of Mostyn Art Gallery

Dec. 14th Vicky MacDonald            Hidden Conway.

The Society can be found on Facebook.

We look forward to welcoming you!


If you go along, you will see some familiar faces – John, the Chairman, and Adrian from the Home Front Museum, who is Vice-Chairman. The November presentation is by our good friend Jane who was on the staff of the Mostyn Gallery, and who led the wonderful Local History afternoon sessions. She also helped us with the research into the Llandudno postcard publisher G.R. Thompson, The Postcard King.

For more information about the History Society, phone John on 01492-582185 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view


Recycling at its best…..

    Some of our members will remember David Rye from Pembrokeshire, as he came to talk to us about 'Welsh Folk Dance & Costume' in June 2002, and in June 2004, we had 'An Evening with David Rye', which was a most enjoyable meeting.

   He was for many years, the editor of 'The Welsh Lady' magazine, which published research and information about the postcards and the ladies. The magazine is now, sadly, discontinued. When we started the North Wales Postcard Publishers' List in 2004, we exchanged a lot of information, and the Club is mentioned in the magazine.

   David is a most entertaining character and, by his own admission, quite eccentric!. He hand-makes photo-corners and will make them to fit any shape – he has recently discovered a way of making them for circular cards. If you'd like some, do get in touch with him.

    He has recently begun making two types of postcards, which were popular in the past, but with his own twist [of course!]

    The first is what he calls 'Woollies' – a new version of the WW1 embroidered 'silks'. David was at a local woollen mill, and when the looms were being made ready for a new pattern, he noticed that the wool taken off the looms was in long strands and was being discarded. He asked what happened to it, and was told that he could have a bag for free. David then took his love of the 'Welsh Lady' cards, and made picture-postcards of them, embroidered in the wool. On the reverse of my copy, it says:- "Hand embroidered, using wool waste from Welsh woollen mills" They really are beautiful little works of art…

    The second is bird-pictures made from real feathers. It came about when a friend told him about an antique postcard of that type, which he had recently bought. David went down to his local beach and was able to collect a bag of various types of feathers. He set to work to construct the 'birds', and as you can see, the result is charming.

   If you would like one of David's 'Woollies' or Bird postcards, or any photo-corners, then you can send him a stamped addressed envelope and, if possible, some postcards for his collection. David and his wife Pat are folk-dancers, and his current postcard collection reflects that interest. He would like to see any modern cards depicting European traditional- or folk-costume, particularly Breton.

 He and Pat have also appeared in this month's Picture Postcard Collecting magazine.

You can contact David on 01646-698463.

His address is:- 9, Bay View Drive, Hakin, Milford Haven, Pembs. SA73 3RJ.


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Lindsay has sent some cards this month:-


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This is a different view from those we had last month. It shows the shop, which has the proprietor's name, 'ELLIS ROBERTS' above the window, and 'NANTGLYN POST OFFICE' across the top of the window. The usual oblong 'POST OFFICE' board is on the wall, to the left of the top window. In the doorway is a man in a long apron, who is surely Ellis himself. The boy standing outside the shop could be his son or another relative, or a shop-assistant from the area, perhaps. Thanks Lindsay, for adding to the story of Nantglyn.


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I don't think I need to explain why this is in Lindsay's collection – what a lovely card!


Here is the second [and last!] part of my item on Rhyl from the 50s onwards.

The Marine Lake Pleasure Park and Ocean Beach Fun-fair.


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This advert is from a North Wales guidebook c1911.

The 40-acre Marine Lake was formed at the west end of the town and officially opened on 3rd June 1895.

     It contains 4 million gallons of water and is 4' deep. The lake was originally made for bathing and boating, and had a pontoon for bathers and a special boating area for children. In 1910 the Marine Lake amusements began to appear on the eastern bank, with the arrival of the water-chute. By 1925, it was fully functional, with rides such as the helter-skelter and a huge roller-coaster. The 1965 town guide tells us that there was a "new Jet Speedboat", as well as other rides, "Figure 8 Coaster; Go Karts; River Caves; Dodgem Cars; Pony Rides; Ghost Train; Krazy Kot; Crystal Maze; Miniature Car Rides; Peter Pan Railway; Chariot Roundabout and a host of exciting sideshows"

    The lines for the Miniature Railway were laid around the lake in 1911, and its 1930's Central Station was located in the Pleasure Park, with the track running underneath the rollercoaster.

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A card in the Valentine 'W' series, No. 7448. Foryd Harbour, Rhyl. The view was registered in 1959, and shows the

Foryd Harbour to the right, West Parade and the Ocean Beach Funfair to the left.

    The Ocean Beach fairground was in the area between the West Parade and Wellington Road, near to the Foryd Bridge, and the Marine Lake. It opened in 1954 and the 1965 town guide lists these rides:- "Breathtaking Big Dipper; Dodgem Cars; Whirl-a-round; Aerial Ride; Super Waltzer; Big Wheel; Octopus; Pony Express; Rotor; Caterpilla; American Coaster; Special rides for children and lots of sideshows for all."

    I remember that you could walk from the Ocean Beach fair across Wellington Road to the Marine Lake fairground. Admission was free and the sites were open on Sundays. There was a Car park and Free Coach park.

    You could see the big-wheel as you walked along the prom from town to the Ocean Beach, and it was thrilling to think that we would soon be amongst the throngs of people, the hubbub of the music and machinery, and the aromas coming from the fast-food and candy-floss stalls. My favourite rides were the Waltzers, and the Caterpilla, but I never go on roller-coasters or big wheels, as I'm not good with heights. In the 60s, as a teenager, I didn't go to the fairs at night, but in the 70s, I often went with a group of friends, and we all of us very much enjoyed the night-time atmosphere, the lights, the rides and sideshows, and the deafening noise.

    I have a memory from the 70s of a fish and chip shop on Sydenham Avenue, which runs between the Prom and Wellington Rd, along the east side of Ocean Beach, and there is still such a shop at no 2., so perhaps it's the same one.

    In 1969, the Marine Lake amusements and the railway were dismantled, but in 1978, a new company came to restart the railway. The lines were re-laid, some of the original engines were brought back into service, and a new Central Station was built in 2007 on the north side of the lake, near to Wellington Road. It is still a most popular attraction today, although I don't remember ever having been on it myself. A friend told me of the day his wife and daughters were on the train, and the last carriage, in which they were travelling, came uncoupled from the rest, and was stranded on the line. They were quickly rescued!

The former fairground area is now a carpark for visitors to the Miniature Railway.

For more information about the railway, go to:-

History Points – Rhyl Miniature Railway

The Ocean Beach fairground site closed in 2007, and I do recall the pictures in the newspapers of a planned redevelopment, which included a glamorous apartment building, such as those in Miami, and a large retail park..

Sadly, the plans were shelved, and only a few shops and a car-park have appeared on the site, which is now named 'Marina Quay'.

If you're nostalgic about the funfair, there is information and a lot of wonderful photos on this website:-


The Hovercraft.


2109 K


    If you had been with me in a crowd of excited spectators on the beach in Rhyl at 10.25am on Friday, July 20th, 1962, you would have seen a marvellous thing! The world's first passenger and mail hovercraft came towards us on the sea like a boat, but then made its way up the beach like a gigantic crab. It had departed from Rhyl on its first journey to Wallasey at 9am, and arrived there 32 minutes later, and we were there to welcome it back to Rhyl. It was £1 for a single journey, £2 return, and it held up to 24 passengers. Its speed was 60 knots. Every passenger that day received a certificate.


    The event was so important, that it made the news outside the UK . Sadly, because of technical problems and the fact that it couldn't go out in rough seas, it was in service for only about 1/3 of its scheduled days that year. The season was due to end on 16th September, but on the 14th, after an engine failure, it was brought in for repairs. On Monday 17th it broke from its moorings for the second time that weekend and drifted out to sea. The lifeboat was called to rescue the 3 captains who had remained on board overnight, because of the bad weather, before the craft hit the sea wall, and its time in Rhyl was over. This was recorded as the world's first lifeboat rescue from a hovercraft.

    Finally, it sank in the Solent in 1966 when taking part in trials to determine what damage mines could do to a hovercraft. More recently, about 14 years ago, we saw a tiny car-sized hovercraft on the beach in Rhyl, but although we were told by the people who were with it, that it would be going into service, it seems to have vanished without trace…..

The Rhyl History Club website has a good section on the hovercraft, including many personal memories.

and Wirral History also has a wealth of information, and photos of the craft, publicity items, etc.

other sources:-

J.W. Jones. Rhyl and Round About, Clwyd Press, 1976.

Ward Lock & Co. Rhyl and North Wales 1939.


Stay safe and take care.

Bye for now, Karlyn

Club Bulletin, October, 2021

Hello to all our members and friends….

    It has been a strange month, with some warmer days recently, but I hope that you have been able to get out and about a little, to enjoy the nice weather before we dip into Autumn proper.



North Wales Postcard Club can now re-start in our usual venue –

the Craig-y-Don Community Centre, Queen's Rd., Craig-y-Don, Llandudno. LL30 1TE.

For 2021, the meetings will be held on the 2nd Monday of the month, as usual, but

for 2022, we have moved to the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

   As you will know, our members have tried to find an alternative meeting room, when our room at the Community Centre was no longer available. We initially wanted somewhere which could accommodate us on Mondays, but when that was not possible, Marion went back to CYD and asked if they had any other days for us. They were able to let us continue on our usual Mondays for 2021, but offered Wednesdays for 2022, so we accepted that as the best solution. CYD is a good venue for us, as it has everything we need – a nice modern building, help with moving tables etc., kitchen, screens, on-site parking, and a central location with good road-links for our members from across the region. We know that this change of day may not suit everyone, and we don't want to lose any of our postcard family at the meetings, but it seemed to be the best compromise to get the Club up and running again.

Room 1 is quite spacious, so we can be distanced, and masks should be worn indoors, with the usual exceptions.

Here are the dates for the meetings – note the earlier start-time.

Meetings in Room 1.   7pm-9pm.

The dates for your diary are:- Monday

October 11th 2021

November 8th 2021

December 13th 2021


2022 Wednesday

January 12th 

February 9th.

March 9th.

April 13th.

May 11th.

June 8th.

July 13th.

August 10th


14th October 12th

November 9th

December 14th

We will let you know if there are any changes due to covid restrictions etc.

You can check the CYD website at any time for information too:-, or if you're not on-line, you can phone me or Marion 01492-440763 01766-590203.

We are looking forward to seeing you all on October 11th for an informal evening, to catch up with all the news and browse through some dealers' cards. I'm sure we've all missed the meetings over the past 18 months! K

- Elizabeth has written to me and has a message for us:- "I hope all our members are keeping well, and please give them my love. Alaw and I used to love coming to the Club every month and of course, our Summer Fair. "

Thank you, Elizabeth. I know that everyone will miss Alaw, but we hope that you will be able to come to meetings again – you will be amongst friends.


- Elizabeth also told me about an exhibition of local views in Menai Bridge Post Office, arranged by John from his superb postcard collection. He writes:- "Members will be impressed with the PO shop, having a wide range of fine greetings cards, local books & stationery, as well as photocopying facilities. The owners are making a huge effort and deserve to succeed."

If you pop over to Anglesey at any time, do call in to see the exhibition. Thank you, John.



North Wales Postcard Fair.

Our fair date for 2022 is now confirmed as 20th August,

at the Craig-y-Don Community Centre, Queen's Road, Craig-y-Don, Llandudno.

I will let you know if there are any changes


Wirral Fair - 9 th October 2021. – a message from Ian Boumphrey 0151-608-7611

List of dealers that have booked tables for the Wirral Postcard and Local History Fair at

Thornton Hough Village Hall, SATURDAY 9th OCTOBER 2021.


RALPH STUDDART                    TWO?

JOHN RYAN                                ONE

MARK KEELEY                          TWO


ALEX WALLACE                       TWO

KEITH BIRD                             ONE

IAN BOUMPHREY                   TWO

DAVE SEDDON                      TWO


HARRY HICKS                       TWO


PAUL MITCHELL                   ONE


STEVE MCGREAL                TWO



The Wirral fairs for 2022 are SATURDAY 5th MARCH - 11th JUNE - 8th OCTOBER.

Dealers, if you wish to attend any of these fairs, please let me know. Cheers Ian.



October 16th & 17th 2021.

 The Anglesey Antiques fair at the Mona Showground is still listed as live on the Continuity Fairs website, but here are their contact details if you want to check before you go. 

01584 873 634 / 07703 558 600 / 07802 267206

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.m


There is no news yet on the Colwyn Bay fairs.

 2 newspaper cuttings….

North Wales Observer & Express, April 25th, 1902

Explosives – Energetic agents wanted to push sale of Dynamite & Co. in North and Mid Wales. On commission or purchase. Excellent make, already introduced and taking. Box 287 Observer.

Cambrian News & Welsh Farmers' Gazette. March 26th 1915.

Recruiting in Carnarvonshire for Lord Kitchener's Army. The Age on Enlistment. 19-38;

For Ex-Soldiers, Ex-Militiamen, Ex-Special Reservists, Ex-Yeomen, Ex-Territorials and Ex-Volunteers, 19-45.

Welshmen can now enlist in the Welsh Army.

Standard of height for Royal Welsh Fusiliers now reduced to 5'1".


 I have noticed, whilst working on the publishers' list, that in the early 20th Century,

the owners of businesses often had more than one service to offer.

In the June bulletin, two of the cards illustrated this:-

- Peter Edge's Famous Coaching Tours in Wales – the mews - a great variety of services were offered here.

- On the card of the funeral in Conwy we see that D.C. Walker's shop is a tobacconist and hairdresser.

Here are a few more from the Publishers' list -

Owen Richards, Bala – Hairdresser, Tobacconist & General Dealer. 1905.

- J.R. Hughes, Portmadoc & Criccieth – Artist & Photographer, Dealer in Stationery and all kinds of Fancy Goods etc.

- J. Turley, Holywell. - Agent Wholesale & Retail Dealer in Jewellery, Drapery, Stationery, Fancy Goods etc.

- Brookes Bros, East Parade, Rhyl. Furniture Removals & Storage, Funeral Directors, Coffin Makers…Motor Ambulance at any time.

- and this advertising card from John Brookes of Furnitureland, London House, Rhyl…

2110 A



From my ballet collection…..

2110 B

Rotary Photo. 11835. Anna Pavlova & M. Novikoff.

2110 C


 Anna Pavlova, The Dancing Revelation of the age.

Photo by Claude Harris, 122, Regent Street W.

This is a publicity card for a performance at the Grand Theatre, Hull,

Commencing Monday, Sept.30th for Six Nights at 7.30.

Matinee: Saturday at 2.


Anna Pavlova was a Russian Prima Ballerina who brought European ballet to the world by her many tours.

     She was born In St. Peterburg on 12th February, 1881, and in 1912, she settled in London with her partner at Ivy House, Golder's Green. In 1913, she formed the Pavlova Ballet Company. She died of pneumonia in The Hague on 23rd January, 1931.

I became aware of Anna at school, when we were given a book to read about her life. I was fascinated by her story, and ever since then, I have enjoyed this art-form. I have some postcards showing her in various roles, and a book which I acquired recently – 'My Years with Pavlova' by H. Algeranoff. Heinemann , 1957. He was also a dancer who frequently performed with Anna.

On 24th August 1985, I had the privilege of seeing Rudolf Nureyev on stage at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, with the Ballet Theatre Francais de Nancy. The event was entitled "A Homage to Diaghilev". The music included Debussy's 'L'apres-midi d'un Faune' , and Stravinsky's 'Petrouchka', in which Nureyev performed. I particularly enjoyed 'L'apres-midi d'un Faune'. Rudolf was 47 at that time, and not as athletic as before, but he was still able to entrance the audience with his powerful presence on stage.

He was born on the Trans-Siberian Express on 17th March, 1938. In 1955, he was accepted for the Kirov Ballet School and was trained by Alexander Pushkin. On June 16th 1961, he sought political asylum at Le Bourget Airport Paris, at the end of a tour with the Kirov Ballet. He died in Paris on 6th January 1993.

For more information, go to:-Rudolf Nureyev's biography

Carlos Acosta is another of my favourite dancers, and he is mesmerising to watch. He was born in Havana, Cuba on 2nd June, 1973, one of eleven children, in an extremely disadvantaged family. His father enrolled him in a local dance school to try keep him out of trouble and to give him a future. He thrived in the school and became one of the most celebrated dancers and choreographers of his generation. He danced with several prestigious companies, including the Royal Ballet. Later, he opened a Ballet school in Cuba to help children, as he had been helped. Following his retirement from dancing, in 2020 he was appointed Director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Carlos Acosta | International Dancer and Choreographer | Official Website


AS TIME GOES BY - The Smithy Arms, Rhuallt, near St Asaph.

2110 D


The top picture is post-marked for St. Asaph on October 5th, 1909 and is a postcard by Rae Pickard of Rhyl, one of the best photographers in North Wales. He has staged the scene for us, with the heavily-laden coach standing on the road, the collie sitting nearby, and the family lined up outside the front door. The two things that jump out of the picture are the 'Smithy Arms' sign on the gable-end to the right, hanging from a wrought-iron bracket, and the date of 1776 beneath the top window to the right of the door. There is some writing on the walls – above the ground-floor window at the left is 'ALES & STOUT'; above the next window along is 'WINES', and above the window to the right of the door is 'SPIRITS'. Just below the date is 'GOOD STABLING'. There are 3 men and 2 women in front of the building, and the lady with the white top is holding a baby. There is a group of people on the far side of the road, and 2 ladies appearing from behind the building.

2110 E

 The car and the dresses seem to tell us that this photo is probably c40 years later than the postcard. The building is much the same, but the hanging sign and earlier wall-signs have disappeared, except for the date of 1776. There are some new signs, the most prominent being 'BENT'S ALES' to the left of the door. Below that, in the square frame is 'DRAUGHT CYDER', which has the shadow of 'GARAGE' on the wall behind it. There is a new globe light above the porch and some chimney pots now have cowls. The windows seem to have new black surrounds. The bushes in front of the building have gone, and the area now seems to be a car-park.

I wonder if anyone in the more recent photo also appears in the earlier view….intriguing

Date-line Criccieth..

2110 F


2110 G

These pictures are of the front and back of an envelope in which Alpha series postcards were sold at the shop of

E. Davies Hughes, M.P.S., Medical Hall, Criccieth…

Chemist, Wine Merchant etc., Photo and Fancy goods.


Don't forget that the Criccieth Club is meeting at St. Catherines's Church, Lon Ednyfed,

Criccieth. LL52 0AH

on Tuesday 5th October at 2pm.

There will be the delayed AGM and a general catch-up on everyone's news.

It's a very friendly Club, so do go along if you can.

Details from Marion on 01766-590203


We hope to see everyone on October 11th . Best wishes for now, and stay safe, Karlyn


Club Bulletin November 2021



It was so good to have a meeting after such a long time. 10 of us attended and all covid rules were in place and observed. I couldn't guess at how many members we would have. I had received 7 apologies, but no-one had told me that they would be coming, so it was lovely to see so many of you. Maralyn and Roger had brought refreshments – thank you!…they were very much appreciated. There were several boxes of cards to browse through, courtesy of our dealer-members.

There was no structure to the evening, as we all just wanted to chat and catch up on all the news. I had a few points to share with the members, including a plea for talks or entertainments for the 2022 programme. If you'd like to volunteer, please phone me on 01492-440763, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As Marion was unable to be with us, she had sent a letter, which I read to the group. Members and friends who had passed away since we last met were remembered for their contribution to the Club. Subscriptions would be reintroduced at the January meeting. Marion asked for someone to consider taking up the position of Vice Chair at the AGM in January, to make sure that the Club had a Chair at most meetings. Marion thanked everyone who had helped to keep the bulletin going throughout the pandemic. Marion writes:- "To conclude I can only say I hope that the club will continue to flourish and we can enjoy sharing our collecting interests for many years to come."

The members were asked if they would be able to support the fair in August, and everyone was happy to help, so the booking forms have been sent to all the dealers who had booked tables for 2020, and to some other dealers who have expressed interest, but who have yet to attend. I hope that we can persuade a couple of new dealers to come, to keep the interest in the fair for our members and the visiting collectors. We have had seven 6' tables booked already, which is a good start. I will begin the advertising routines in January, as usual.

I should like to thank Walter for all the work he does to keep the website up-to-date, as it's such an important window into our Club for people who don't know about us and what we do. Mike Day is also involved with the process, and helps when required, so we are grateful to him for his input too.


I went to the Anglesey Antiques Fair on Saturday, 16th October. It was my first outing to a fair for almost 2 years, and I was excited to be going. As we're in Wales, the covid precautions were in place at the Mona Showground. We were asked to wear masks [with exceptions, of course], use hand-sanitiser at each stall if we wanted to touch anything, keep a safe distance from other people, and use the one-way system around the aisles. Most people were happy to comply. They were allowing only 500 people inside at any time, but the sheds are very large. There were about two-thirds of the usual number of stalls at the Fair, and some of our favourite dealers were absent, but there was plenty to see and I bought several items for my non-postcard collections, and a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law. There were two postcard dealers with a good number of boxes. The refreshment room was open and, as usual, the cakes were gorgeous. I saw some of our members there, including Chris from Trearddur Bay. She has recently undergone an elbow replacement, and her arm was in a protective sheath. She sends her best wishes to everyone, and hopes to be able to come to Club next year. We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her then.

Lindsay has been ill recently, and we wish him well again too.

Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Historical Society – change of speaker on November 9th. The talk about the Mostyn Gallery by Jane Matthews has been postponed, but "Posh Privies" will be the subject of Dr. Marian Gwyn's talk that evening. For more information, phone John Lawson Reay on 01492-582185 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


An update on previous items:-

In the research about J. Fred Francis, I recently found that Francis Garages Ltd., Motor Engineers, were in Conway Road, Colwyn Bay. John from Ruthin had sent us a card of J.L. Francis's Riding School, which appeared in the August 2021 Bulletin. We could see in the picture that it was in Colwyn Bay, but I discovered that it was in Rhos Road, Colwyn Bay in the 1930s.

Here's an item from Barbara, following my list of shopkeepers with multiple strings to their bows….

Barbara says "At one time there were 11 hairdressers/tobacconists in Llandudno. but only 1 in Colwyn Bay - don't know what that tells you!"

2111 A



Thank you, Barbara!


2111 B


Last month, Jack, who was born in Talacre, brought along this book about the history of this tiny village, which was the result of a project by the residents and visitors, past and present, called "Talacre Then and Now". It really shows what can be achieved when a community gets behind an idea such as this. It has been supported by the Talacre Community Centre committee, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Flintshire County Council. The book was designed by Bill Smuts, with script by Lorna Jenner. The text is in Welsh and English.

The timeline traces the development of the area from the 1st Century when Roman ships passed by on their way to Chester, through the building of the iconic lighthouse in 1777, and Talacre Hall in 1829, the opening of Point of Ayr Colliery in 1890, and the station in 1903, the role of the village in WW2, and up to the present day, when Talacre is still a well-loved holiday destination for many people, especially those from Merseyside, Lancashire, Yorkshire and the Midlands.

The book has sections such as Living in the Warren, A Child's Paradise, Holidays, and Village Life, where personal memories are brought to life with family photos and postcard images. It really transports the reader into this hidden gem of a village, and its fascinating story.

Jack adds - 2 people also involved with the book but not mentioned are: Lisa Heledd Jones who did most of the recordings for the book (she has her own web page called Storyworks with all her contact details etc), and Kim Norman the land manager for ENI who look after the Warren and sand dunes etc., based in Llawndy Farm, Talacre. She gave permission for historical digs to be made in the area of the firing ranges. and also to excavate one of the chalet sites

In addition to the book, which sells for £3, there is a video, also £3, both of which are available at the Talacre Community Centre, which benefits from the sale of these items

I am hoping that Jack will come to Club in 2022, to tell us about the village and the project.


Jane Matthews has generously sent us some items for the bulletin, from research she has done on some postcards and messages for an online postcard group to which she belongs. Here's the first, which is the undercover story of Evans Hotel in Charlton Street, Llandudno.


Evans Hotel

2111 C


  My first postcard is of the Evans Hotel in Llandudno – it looks like an ordinary seaside hotel, but it has an unlikely connection to espionage! The postcard is unsent. In the event of a German invasion in World War II, MI5 needed a plan to deal with Britain’s top double agents. The man organising the scheme, a Captain Finney, was based at the Melfort Hotel in the nearby resort of Rhos-on-Sea.

   It was feared that double agents were untrustworthy and to prevent them turning to the Germans during an invasion, a plan was made to have them and their families arrested and driven to Wales under armed escort. They would then be housed with their minders in selected hotels, one of which was the Evans Hotel. Handcuffs were loaned from Scotland Yard, together with revolvers and ammunition to be used if the spies and their family members had to be shot.

   One of the spies under suspicion was the Welsh agent Arthur Owens, born in Swansea in 1899. Owens worked for MI5 under the code name ‘Snow’, while also working for the German intelligence agency Abwehr under the code name ‘Johnny’. Seen as a fervent Welsh nationalist by the Germans, he was encouraged to recruit other nationalists as agents. Seemingly motivated by money (he was paid the equivalent of one million pounds by the Germans), status and women, he led a colourful life and neither espionage agency was entirely sure of his true loyalties. At one point most of the German spies dropped into Britain were contacting him, so he was a pivotal character, and if they were subsequently arrested he did manage to persuade some of them to become double agents.

   When it was felt that Owens could no longer be trusted, he was interned in Dartmoor Prison for the remainder of the war. However, he still worked for MI5 by passing on information from German prisoners. Arthur Owens died in Ireland in 1957. His daughter from his first marriage was Hollywood actress Patricia Owens, who starred in many films including ‘The Fly’. She never talked about her father being a double agent.

Next time, Jane tells us a story about the Ormescliffe Hotel, on the prom. Many years ago, I stayed there with my late mother. It was then a rather traditional hotel, but following its super-modern refit, it is a very glamorous place, renamed the 'Llandudno Bay'.

Thank you Jane


The next meeting is on Monday 8th November, at 7pm., and we're having a DIY evening –

2-minute talks - bring a card with an interesting message….it can be something to do with your family, a national event, a printed message or just a quirky note….whatever you have… I'll sign off this month with some 'K' cards which I collect, and look forward to seeing you in November.

Best wishes, and stay safe, Karlyn.

2111 D  2111 E  2111 F


1. Max Ettlinger & Co, The "Royal" Series, London E.C. postmark Belfast, 1904.,

2. E.S., London W.C. postmark Ilfracombe, 1906.

3. Raphael Tuck & Sons' Real Photograph series F.G. 140 Flower & Beauty Series – Kingcup. undated.

The ladies are Miss Innes Kerr, Miss Olga Kingston and Miss Muriel Kennedy.


Club Bulletin December, 2021.


The November meeting was well attended, with 3 dealers bringing stock for us to see. We marked the approaching Armistice Day with two postcards from Rhyl and a card with a message.

2112 A

Rhyl, Boer War memorial on 11th November 1925.

The memorial was erected in 1904, and was paid for by public subscription. It was then on Rhyl's West Parade but It was moved further east, to a garden near the Pavilion in 1928. On 15th August 1948 it was moved to The Garden of Remembrance, further east again, on the Promenade. Two side pillars now commemorate those who fell in World Wars One and Two, and a further name was added to the memorial, that of Paul Green, who died during the Falklands War in 1982.


2112 B

A Salmon "Cameracolour" card 841C.



Many congratulations to Walter and Marion, who celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary this month.


   Our next meeting is on Monday, 13th December, so I hope to see you all then.

The evening will be 2-minute talks on a card or an object which takes you back to your childhood Christmases. Do join in if you can

   Please look out for emergency emails or phone-calls from me, between now and the meeting, as the new variant of the virus looks as though it could be a problem, and we may have to cancel at short notice. You can always phone me on the day, to check what's happening, on 01492-440763. K.


   The new programme for 2022 is filling up nicely, but if you would like to give a talk or host an evening's entertainment, then please let me know, and I will send you the free dates

    The Annual Club Fair on 20th August 2022 is being well supported by our usual dealers, and up to now, we have had bookings for 1 x 6' table; 4 x 12' and 1 x 18'.

    The next Criccieth Club meeting is on Tuesday 7th December at 2pm., at St. Catherines's Church, Lon Ednyfed, Criccieth. LL52 0AH. Phone Marion on 01766-590203.


Can you help?

John from Ruthin has sent a card he'd like your help with. He thinks that it could be Colwyn Bay. There is a group of soldiers and well-dressed ladies outside a lovely old house. There are no publisher or photographer details. There is a date, 1897, above the door and a monogram of intertwined letters -WVS. There is some lovely stained glass in the window to the left of the door.

Any ideas, members and friends??

2112 C


2112 D


 enlargement of the area above the door.



  The topic for the DIY evening was "Bring a card with a message". It could have a family connection or mention an important event or person, or be a quirky or funny message, and, as usual, our members came up with a good variety of examples.

  The message relating to Armistice Day was written by a lady who had attended the service at the Cenotaph on 11th November, 1926. She writes:- " On Armistice day we were as near as we could be to the Cenotaph in the dense crowd. It was too solemn and silent for words"



2112 E

Buckley Pottery, Flintshire. The last pottery in the town closed in 1946.


  Keith had a card relating to Buckley Pottery, which had supplied the area with sturdy, useful and decorative items for centuries. Most families had at least one piece – we had a large flared bowl with a cream interior and a dark brown exterior. Keith told us that the potters could make a toy for their children at Christmas. For more information about the pottery, go to:-

Buckley Pottery (

2112 F


2112 G

Lynne had an admission ticket to a Demonstration against the Welsh Church Bill, 1913,

together with a view of the event in High St, Wrexham.


2112 H

Marion's card mentioned the 'Man in the Iron Mask' – she tells the story….

   Henry Bensley was the 'Man in the Iron Mask'. He was 18 when he took on a wager to walk around the world, pushing a pram and wearing an iron mask. He had to let no-one see his face, but had to pick up a wife along the way. He had to set off with only a change of smalls and a £1 note. The reward offered by American Millionaire, John Perriepoint Morgan was 100,000 dollars - £21,000 at that time. Henry raised money by selling postcards, but he was arrested in Kent for selling postcards without a hawker's licence. He appeared in court in Bexley Heath, but he was allowed to keep his mask on. He was fined 2/6d, and sent on his way. He completed 30,000 miles in 6 years, travelling to Ireland, Canada, America, China, Japan, India, Egypt and the Balkans. He was in Italy when WW1 was declared and the wager was cancelled. He returned home and was given £4,000 in compensation. He married a Yorkshire Lass and settled in Brighton.He died in 1970.

   The message on the card reads:- "I bought this PC off the man you see as I thought you might like the card. He came to Taunton on Saturday and he has got to earn his living by selling these postcards. He must not beg or receive anything, not even a drink and to pick up a wife before he comes back. After going through Somerset, he is going to Wells including Swindon, so you will have a chance of seeing him walking round the world"


   Lawrence brought an unusual modern card, of a family standing for their photograph, but there was nothing on the front to indicate what the card was about. Only when you turn the card over, do you see that it was issued by a removals firm. It was one of a set, none of which had any information on the front.

2112 I


John's card of Llandudno's lifeboat illustrated the story of boatmen's strike in the town in 1899…

 2112 J


   John writes:-

       It was reported on the 5th of August 1899 that the Llandudno boatmen had threatened a strike. Mr Tom Jones and other representative boatmen were interviewed by the Bye Laws Committee at the Council Office with reference to the enforcement of bye-laws prohibiting the men from 'touting' on the promenade for their boat trips. The boatmen pointed out that they had for many years been allowed to accost visitors that they thought would like to hire a rowing boat and that to limit their operations to the sands would greatly decrease their earnings.

   It was hoped that the Council Inspectors would not so rigorously enforce the rules. It was not to be and the boatmen went on strike, which may have lasted a month. It really was pointless as the boatmen were all self- employed and would have lost their earnings, in what would have been a short season!


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   Jack showed a photo in a book about Talacre, the village where he grew up. The neighbours had taken the photo of their new pond in the garden, and in the background, was the house in which he had lived as a child. By chance, Jack had caught the neighbour's house in a film he had made of his family when they were setting off in their new car, so they were able to swap the images that neither family had seen before. Both of the houses had disappeared in the clearing of the Warren in 1973.


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Sue's card presents a challenge – is the writer the REAL Sid Vicious?


Thank you to everyone who took part – it was a very enjoyable evening!



We've had a notice from Brian Lund about the new Picture Postcard Annual:-

"New 2022 edition of Picture Postcard Annual now available.

112pp, loads of features on postcard subjects, big reference section, diary of 2022 events.

The postcard collecting world in one convenient book!

£8.95 + £1.95 p/p

You can order at

or phone them to order on 0115 937 4079.

Buy 3 to give as presents or resell for £23 inc. post.

Brian & Mary Lund Reflections of a Bygone Age

Picture Postcard Annual 2022 published 24 November 2021.

Children in Need postcard 2021 now available at. 50p each plus75p p/p. Pack of 20 different previous cards £10 postfree"


Here is the second of Jane Matthews' 'Hotel stories' - The Ormescliffe Hotel.

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     My second postcard features the Ormescliffe Hotel, which is on the Promenade in Llandudno. The card was posted in August 1928 and it seems to be sent from one colleague to another, or from a manager to a worker, as the sender hopes all is ok in the office and offers help if necessary. The sender thanks the recipient for her letter and the nibs – presumably one of which is used to write this card. The writer is well educated, which can be determined from the text and by the use of a French description when comparing Wales to ‘la belle Suisse’ (beautiful Switzerland). There is no name as a signature, just the initials LW.

    The recipient is Muriel Alice Mellick, born in Bristol on 5 May 1888, and aged 40 in 1928. In 1911 I found her working as a clerk for the Midland Drapery Company in Derby. Midland Drapery was a large department store and she seems to have been living with other employees (45 women and 2 men!) on the store site, perhaps in rooms above. The huge ornate building was sadly demolished in the 1970s.

    On the 1939 register, Muriel is living at the address on the card and her sister Nora Comins Mellick (a teacher of domestic subjects) is the head of the household. Muriel’s occupation is ‘clerk in tobacco manufacture’ and this would fit with the fact that there was the famous WD and HO Wills tobacco company in the local area. Henry O Wills opened a tobacco shop in Bristol in 1786 and the company grew to be a multi-million pound concern, eventually being a founder member of the Imperial Tobacco Company (now Imperial Brands). Wills was one of the first UK companies to mass-produce cigarettes and it introduced cigarette cards which collectors look for today. Imperial is currently the fourth largest cigarette company in the world and still has its headquarters in Bristol. The company looked after its employees and even commissioned portraits of those who were long-serving…I wonder whether Muriel was one of them?

   Having been designated a ‘safe’ area, Llandudno became the hub for the Inland Revenue in the war years and around 5,000 staff and their families relocated from London. Over 400 hotels, boarding houses and private residences were requisitioned in order to provide offices and living accommodation.


 The Ormescliffe Hotel (now the Llandudno Bay) became the Inland Revenue recreation centre, with many games facilities. Dances and keep fit were held in the ballroom, and on a practical level there were washing and ironing spaces. A monthly magazine, the Ormescliffe Gazette (priced at one penny) provided reviews and articles and kept everyone up to date with the social scene. A variety of societies were created and this enabled staff who lived miles apart in London to meet together and share interests such as rambling, photography and chess, while IR sports teams competed with local ones.

James Callaghan was in charge of billeting and entertainment and he supervised activities at the Ormescliffe. He would later become leader of the Labour Party and then Prime Minister from 1976 to 1979.

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The photo for this Valentine card, in their 'W' series, was registered in 1949,

and shows the lounge at the Ormescliffe.

  Jane adds:- It gives an idea of the decor post war, however, it may have been redecorated after the IR left. One of the gentlemen I interviewed worked on the plumbing of the sea front hotels after the various departments had left - apparently they were left in a bad state, but this may have been the work spaces rather than the Ormescliffe social centre - hard to say. Thank you, Jane, for another fascinating glimpse into the hidden life of the town. K.

  Earlier this month, I met Jane for coffee at the Mostyn Gallery, and we had a very odd experience! I had taken a letter written by the artist and stained-glass designer, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, to show Jane. Later, whilst looking at the new exhibition in the Gallery, we were chatting with one of Jane's friends, who said that she had been to the Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight, and had particularly enjoyed the work of Edward Burne-Jones. You can imagine how surprised she was when I said that I had a letter in my handbag, which had been written by him!

   My mother's family has lived in Hawarden village for centuries, and Burne-Jones 1833-1898 designed some of the stained-glass windows in the Church, which is why the letter is part of our Hawarden collection.



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A Christmas Card by Max Ettlinger & Co., Ltd, London E.C. and New York, in their 'Royal Series' 5240. sent in 1907.
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Here's a rather lovely printed message from 1933, but I will use it to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a good year ahead. Karlyn.
July, and Aled Jones was telling the listeners to Classic FM about his
memories of the railway station at Llanfair PG, [which he said in full], because the platform has been closed, as it's
too small to accommodate social distancing! He said that with such a long name on the sign, the platform itself
ought to be long enough. He remembered going on the trains with those big white tickets with the full station name
on them a good keepsake for visitors. Aled grew up in Llandegfan, a village between Menai Bridge and Beaumaris.
I always enjoy his programmes he has such a lovely voice, both for speaking and singing.