Tuesday, 18 August 2009


My apologies for another post on the Pier Pavilion Theatre, Llandudno but I'd thought I'd get them out of the way after finding a boxful of old programmes and newspaper clippings! This is my recollection of the time a friend and I explored the then semi-derelict theatre back in about 1990...

It began as just an idle chat in a lunch break...

We were in the old staff room on Llandudno Pier, close by to where the offices are. A fellow worker, Steve, mentioned that he had been doing some part-time security work for the pier's owners and had noticed that one of the doors on the Pier Pavilion's seaward balcony appeared to be open. “Fancy taking a look inside one evening?”, he said. Being as the vast and semi-derelict Pavilion building had fascinated me as long as I had worked on the Pier, I decided that this was an offer that could not be refused.

So, a date and time was set for our unofficial visit and, in the meantime, I decided to brush up on the history of the Pavilion building. Opened in 1886, the massive seaside theatre had played host to thousands of performers over the years, some still famous today, many now forgotten. Its original use as a venue for sedate orchestral concerts had given way in the 1930s to more raucous variety shows, until the theatrical tradition finally ended in 1984 with a Summer season show called 'Startime Follies', after a period of gentle decline in the 1980s. I also knew of the 'Llandudno Dungeon', a horror waxworks attraction that had operated in the basement of the theatre for several years in the late 1980s, and wondered what remnants remained of that underneath the theatre.

The day arrived and it was about 6pm as I studied the exterior of the Pavilion, waiting for Steve to return from his rounds of checking that the Pier's buildings were secured. I could see that were was a door ajar on the seaward balcony but couldn't quite see how we could get up onto the balcony.

Colour view of the Pavilion in the 1960s

Steve arrived back, grabbed a large torch from the pier offices, and we set off on our adventure. He said that the only way up onto the balcony was up the ornate exterior staircase (seen to right of above photo between Pavilion & Grand Hotel). Unfortunately, this was blocked with barbed wire to deter vandals, but we clambered up onto the roof of the newspaper kiosk by the Grand Hotel and then climbed over the balustrade onto the staircase.

Although it had been out of public use for many years, the cast-iron staircase was still in surprisingly good condition – it was only when we got to the balcony level that I could see that the wooden decking up there had not survived so well. Large holes were present in the rotten planking and it was obvious that we would have to tread very carefully. We made our way very cautiously along the balcony, eventually reaching the half-open door.

The door appeared to be firmly wedged open and we both had to breathe in hard to squeeze through the gap..and then we were inside!

The door we entered by is the white double door on the left-hand side of the
first floor balcony in this photo.

We emerged into what appeared to be a short disused corridor, situated at the side of the main interior grand staircase, with a set of doors at the end. There was a smell of decay, paint was peeling in large chunks from the walls and lumps of wet plaster littered the floor. A glance up revealed that the ceiling was in a poor state, with several large holes in it where the roof had been leaking.

We were still in daylight at this point (lit by the large windows above the main staircase) and as I looked down at the grand staircase, I could see the beautifully carved oak bannisters were still in good condition. The floor of the staircase, however, was also littered with debris from the rotting ceiling, and it was clear that there had been little in the way of maintenance carried out for several years.

We passed through the doors at the end of the corridor and entered almost total darkness. I could see a row of very indistinct shapes in front of us. Steve switched on his torch to reveal several rows of plush theatre seats at the balcony level of the theatre. We walked forward to take a closer look and Steve gave out a strangled cry as he had just missed putting his foot through a rotten floorboard. It was obvious that we were going to have to keep a careful eye on where we were putting our feet!

Steve then swept his torch across the vast auditorium. We could see the other balcony directly across from us and, below in the stalls area, row upon row of theatre seating. At one end was the outline of the proscenium arch, framing the large stage.

The Auditorium. The ornate balustrade at balcony level had been boxed in and the seats had been replaced by normal theatre style seating but apart from that it was virtually unchanged.

We decided to make our way right around the balcony and then head down into the stalls and stage area. Just as we had almost reached the back of the curved balcony, we almost jumped out of our skins as a stray cat jumped out of the theatre seat it had been sleeping in and ran for its life in front of us! We couldn't decide who was more shocked – the cat or us?!

At the very back of the balcony, we found a room had been partitioned off from the rest of the balcony and, peeking in through the door, we saw it housed a dusty old film projector. There was a also a couple of old film cases and reels on the floor. I'd heard rumours that the Pavilion had shown films at one time and here was the proof.

After leaving the projection room, we carried on walking round the balcony. Although the majority of the windows on the balcony level had been whitewashed over at some point, the ones in this area were still clear and it was an eerie sensation to be looking out at and hearing families walking past the building on Happy Valley Road, completely unaware of our existence.

After passing a small staircase down to the stalls level, we arrived at the inside of the main doors out onto Happy Valley Road. There was a small paybox situated at the side of them. As we looked around, I happened to glance down at the floor and noticed what looked like some form of pattern. Curious, I started brushing away the dirt and debris with my foot. After a minute's work, I had uncovered a large round mosaic set into the floor, with some form of logo/crest in the centre and the words 'Llandudno Pier Company' running around its edge. What a find!

But, interesting though this was, time was passing by quickly and we had to move on, as we still had a large area of the theatre to explore. So we headed down the small staircase and emerged in the stalls area, not far from the stage. Once again, there was row after row of once plush theatre seating – the auditorium was far larger than it appeared from the outside.

At the side of the stage, there was a small flight of steps leading up onto the stage, so we headed up. We stood in the middle of the stage as Steve shone his torch around to illuminate the hundreds of seats, realising that this was the same view that Alex Munro and many other famous performers and politicians had seen many times during the theatre's life. There was a trap door wide open in the middle of the stage and I realised this had been used by performers to enter/exit the stage during magic acts etc.

Stage & ornate Proscenium Arch - still fully intact when we visited.

At the back of the stage were hanging many backdrops, including a woodland scene, all ready to be lowered into position by the use of ropes. All of the equipment was still in full working order, almost as if the theatre was waiting for the performers to return. Indeed, the whole building gave the impression that it would one day spring back into life.

After a quick peek into what once was the Manager's office (all nicely wood panelled and with a large walk in safe), we headed backstage for a quick look before descending into the Dungeon. The backstage area consisted of a great many small rooms, most of which were filled with old furniture and other rubbish and with windows facing towards the Grand Hotel. I took it that these were all once dressing rooms.

As we headed out back into the Stalls area, I noticed a small area almost directly under the stage. I had to bend down in order to enter it. Inside on the floor were various bits of sound equipment, along with old posters and photographs. I selected a few of the posters and photos to take with me. There were also a great number of posters for the Pavilion's final Summer Season show, 'Startime Follies of 1984', scattered across the floor:

By now, Steve was getting impatient, so I gathered my treasures and we hurried over to the inside of the theatre's main entrance, a massive set of sliding double doors which opened directly onto the pier's walkway. In the lobby area was, unbeknown to most people who had visited the theatre, two doors set into the wooden panelling, which led down into the basement area of the building. We chose the left hand one and began our descent into the basement.

The huge basement area (originally built as the country's largest indoor swimming pool back in 1886 but which closed shortly afterwards due to problems with seawater quality) had been home over the years to a small amusement arcade called Tusons and, later, a ghost train ride and vintage car 'World Tour' ride. These were all cleared out to make way for the Llandudno Dungeon, a walk through horror waxworks exhibition, featuring scenes from the more gruesome aspects of human history, all built at a cost of over £100,000. Scenes depicted included a full size replica of a Victorian London street, complete with Sweeney Todd's barber shop and opium den, the 1665 Great Plague of London, body snatchers at work and a full size model of a guillotine.

Two short flights of steps later, we found ourselves walking along a large corridor. We passed an old paybox for the Dungeon exhibition (I looked inside and found the sound effects tape which I took for a souvenir), then the floor started sloping down and around to the right. I later learned that the floor sloped because it was used at once time as the track for the 'World Tour' car ride that ran through the basement.

At the bottom of the slope were the remains of two large exhibits. Having visited the Dungeon several times when it was open (being a pier worker, I got in for nothing!), I remembered that the pile of straw on the right was all that remained of the full size Guillotine, complete with severed aristocrat's head!

A set of double doors just in front of us led into the recreation of the Victorian London street. This was actually quite impressive, as the buildings on each side of the corridor were quite large, probably at least 20 feet high, with overhanging first floors. As we walked along, I saw that one of the shops was named 'Sweeney Todd's Barber Shop'. Sadly, all of the waxwork models had long been removed when the exhibition was sold and vandals had smashed some of the shop windows, but the whole street was in remarkably good order otherwise.

A 'lady of the night' in the first floor window along the Victorian London Street.
Image courtesy Marbles333 on Flickr.

Turning the corner to the right, we entered another corridor, this one was designed to represent an old gaol and had small viewing holes in the walls, for visitors to watch the prisoners being 'tortured'. I recalled that one of the waxwork prisoners had an iron mask fitted on his head, designed to slowly crush his skull! Once again, the exhibits had been removed back in 1990, when the exhibition closed.

We passed through a few more corridors and went up a small flight of steps, finding ourselves in what appeared to be a room once used for printing posters but I later learned was a maintenance workshop. The walls were covered with many old posters from the theatre's heyday.

After poking around in the room for a few minutes, we started to head back, but stopped at a large circular hole that had been knocked in the corridors brick wall. I stuck my head through and immediately felt that the air was much damper, with the noise of dripping water very evident. I persuaded Steve that we needed to explore this new area we had found and so we gingerly climbed through the hole, to find ourselves ankle deep in sea water!

Directly behind us was the long brick wall, complete with the gap we had climbed through and, in front, a cliff face. It was obvious that this area was the gap that had been left when the pavilion building had been built up against the original cliff. In my head, I found my bearings and decided that heading to the right would take us somewhere under the Grand Hotel.

As I peered into the gloom, I realised that it was getting darker. I turned to Steve to ask him to turn the torch towards me but saw to my horror that the torch had gone out, with only a pin prick of light remaining. Steve's torch took rechargeable batteries and, of course, we had taken so long exploring the theatre that the batteries had become exhausted.

So, our situation was - we were standing ankle deep in water, in absolute pitch black, approximately 30 feet underground and we needed to navigate a maze of corridors and rooms in order to get out of the building. Things were not looking particularly good, it had to be said!

I forced myself to remain calm and tried to recall the basement's layout in my mind. We climbed back though the hole in the wall and started to move slowly along the corridor, feeling our way along the cold brick walls. After a few feet, Steve remembered he had his cigarette lighter on him and so was able to light it for short intervals (until it got too hot to hold!), which assisted us greatly in navigating our way. Slowly, we made our way to the other sloping ramp that led back up to the other side of the theatre's lobby that we had entered the basement.

Confident that we were fine now, we laughed with relief, walked through a set of double doors and straight into a plastic skeleton that some kind soul had left hanging there! We jumped just a little!

Having made our way up the ramp, we re-entered the lobby and headed up the grand staircase (dodging the large pieces of plaster that littered the floor) to the balcony level, then through the disused corridor to the half-open door back out onto the exterior balcony. It was such a pleasure to be in the moonlight and see the lights of Llandudno along the promenade.

We gingerly made our way back along the rotten flooring and descended the iron staircase, once again climbing down over the newsagents roof to return to the pier walkway. We headed back to the pier offices and blinked as the bright fluorescent lights flickered on. “Think we've earned a coffee tonight!”, Steve said, as he switched on the kettle and then slumped back in his chair.

If anyone has any previously unseen photos of the Pavilion (especially interior shots), I would love to see them. Please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch.

'Mr Llandudno' Alex Munro

When thinking of Llandudno's long history of live entertainment, one name ranks higher than all the others - that of Alex Munro (seen here in a 1950's publicity shot):

At his peak, in the 1970s, he was running shows in three of Llandudno's theatres - he staged variety shows at the Pier Pavilion, orchestral concerts at the Pierhead Pavilion and his daily afternoon show at the Happy Valley Entertainers open air theatre in the Happy Valley. It's astonishing to think that his Open Air Show ran for 30 Summer seasons.

"Alex Munro presents his ‘Startime’ in the Pier Pavilion from May to October, each night of the week excepting Sunday. Each afternoon excepting Saturday he presents another show in Happy Valley, an open-air theatre on the slopes of the Great Orme. His face, its trilby aslant, is to be seen all over town; it shines from handbill and hoarding; it hangs by coloured string in chip shops and gift-shops; it decorates the rear panels of the showman’s own mini-bus strategically parked on the road above the Grand Hotel. It promises ‘George Cormack and Irene Sharp, Scotland’s International Singing Stars’, ‘Benny Garcia, Television’s Dynamic Entertainer, ‘Billy Crockett, the Mad Musician from London’s Albert Hall’. It vouchsafes ‘melodious melodies, glamorous girls, clean comedy’ but, above all, the abundant personality of the man who is both star and licensee." Sunday Times magazine article - September 22nd 1974.

Born as Alexander Horsburgh in Shettleston, Scotland on the 6th March 1911, he joined his brother Archie and sister June in an acrobatic act called The Star Trio. They later changed their name to The Horsburgh Brothers and Agnes and became part of Florrie Forde's music hall company with Flanagan and Allen.

During World War Two, Munro toured with the RAF show, Contact, and had his own BBC radio series 'The Size of It' (a title which was also his catchphrase). He appeared on the big screen in Holiday On The Buses (1973) and an early episode of Z Cars (1963). He headlined in a number of British variety theatres, before finally making his home in Llandudno. Besides his Open Air Show, he was given creative control of the Pier Pavilion Theatre by the Llandudno Pier Company in the 1970s and staged his popular variety shows there. In 1972, he staged the Pavilion's first ever Pantomime, 'Babes In The Wood'. Sadly, it was to be marred by tragedy - Alex's film star daughter, Janet Munro, who had been due to take a starring role in the production, was found dead at her London home several weeks before rehearsals were due to start. The show went on, of course, but it was a tremendous blow for Alex.

Alex carried on with his shows into the 1980s but the changing fortunes of the British seaside and the country's economic problems must have taken their toll on their popularity. Alex carried on regardless though, until 1985 when the onset of illness in the Autumn mean that it was to be his last Summer Season on 'Aberdeen Hill'.

I’m the last of what you call the old-time real showmen – there’s not many left like me...don’t you think it’s a shame that, when I’m gone there’ll be no one left doing my type of show? A simple man with a simple show.” - Alex Munro

And, in the end, he was right. Alex Munro died on the 20th January 1986, aged 74. The Pier Pavilion's final show had taken place two years earlier. The orchestral concerts at the Pierhead Pavilion had by then long ceased and it had been converted into an amusement arcade. And the Open Air Theatre in Happy Valley, home for over 80 years to live shows, had become a vandalised wreck. It was finally demolished a few years later and the area landscaped. It really was the end of an era.

Isn't it about time the town marked Alex Munro's contribution to its fortunes? Surely a simple memorial plaque on the site of the Happy Valley Theatre is the least we can do?

If you spot an error, please let me know, and I will update this article.

Monday, 17 August 2009

The End...of the Pier Show

As mentioned in an earlier post, this is the Programme from the final Summer Season show at the Pier Pavilion, Llandudno, 'Startime Follies of 1984'. After 98 years of orchestral concerts, variety shows, guest stars...and the legendary Alex Munro, the theatre closed at the end of the 1984 season due to falling audiences, increased maintenance costs and fire regulations. The theatre remained unused and empty until it was destroyed by fire in 1994....apart from its basement (see below):

The basement? Well, that was turned into 'The Llandudno Dungeon', a walk through horror waxworks exhibition, featuring scenes from the more gruesome aspects of human history, all built at a cost of over £100,000. Scenes depicted included a full size replica of a Victorian London street, complete with Sweeney Todd's barber shop, Mrs. Lovett's Pie Shop and an opium den, 'Horrors of the Rack', Execution of Charles I, the 1665 Great Plague of London, body snatchers at work and a full size model of a guillotine This novel attraction proved successful for a few years but closed at the end of 1990, when the entire exhibition was sold and shipped to France:

I went round the Dungeon a few times...and it was great fun! Does anyone else remember visiting it? I remember the man that ran in on behalf of the owner saying that it used to make a fair few pounds on a busy day.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Boeing Boeing!

Just The Ticket/Boeing Boeing

Just The Ticket/Boeing Boeing

The covers of two of the Programmes I rescued from the basement of the derelict Pier Pavilion Theatre in Llandudno several years before it was destroyed by fire in 1994.

Dating back to the late 1960s, the gentleman on the left is Charlie Chester in 'Just The Ticket' (1968), whilst the gentleman on the right is Dave King in 'Boeing Boeing' (1967). Both shows were comedy farces. Chili Bouchier also appeared in both shows.

I also rescued lots of other programmes, including many from Alex Munro's time at the Pavilion, and a couple of autographed photos of unknown (to me anyway) actors. I also managed to bag a poster for the last show every to play at the theatre 'Startime Follies of 1984'.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

New Life for Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay

I'd like people's views on Eirias Park - to my mind, it's a fabulous facility that is sadly underused at present, thanks to decades of underinvestment. It used to be one of Colwyn Bay's most popular attractions...and it should be again.

Maybe it should be handed over to a charitable trust, who could manage it for the benefit of the residents/visitors?

The Heritage Lottery Fund offers grants ranging from £250,000 to £5m under their 'Parks For People' scheme:

The 47 acres of fields comprising Eirias Park were purchased by the Council in April 1921. The Rock Gardens and Model Yacht Pond were opened on the 5th July 1930.

Some ideas for Eirias Park:

Rebuild the Pavilion: The original Pavilion (burnt down by vandals in the late 1980s) was situated where the car park area by the bowling greens is now. It contained a cafe, amusements and exhibition space. Rebuild it with a all year round cafe with large glass windows overlooking the Lake, Public Toilets (inside the cafe and maintained by the Leaseholder as part of their lease) and exhibition space for local groups and societies. Demolish the present toilet block and cafe (that's never been open in years) at the top of the hill coming up from the promenade.

Boating Lake: This is getting more neglected every year. I say time to demolish the boathouse, rip out the crumbling concrete sides of the lake and reshape it into a more natural formation, with gravel paths and seats along the edges. Maybe a small island in the middle?

Network of Paths: At present, the paths in Eirias park are a disjointed mess. Time for someone to sit down with a map of the Park and plan out a circular network of paths, enabling people to walk right around the park easily.

Golf Course: I've not seen this open in the last couple of years at all and its pretty much beyond repair now. Time to rip it all out and grass over the tees etc.

Bring back the Stream! - Before the Expressway was built in the 1980s, there was a pleasant stream that ran down a valley, starting from where the Fire Station is on Abergele Road down to the right hand side of the children's playground at the bottom of the park. I say take advantage of the water source and have a small, shallow stream meandering through the park, ending up in a small cascade/waterfall entering the former boating lake.

More Shrubbery & Trees - Let's break up the vast expanse of grass in the park with more planting of native trees and areas of low maintenance shrubbery/perennials. Try and revive the remainder of the once famous Rock Gardens or construct a new one in another area of the park.

Those are just a couple of ideas I've had - please add yours!

How it used to be......

Flower Power

This flower display at Combermere Gardens, Rhos On Sea, is a credit to the work of Conwy Council's Parks & Gardens department:

Combermere Gardens


Friday, 14 August 2009

Pwllycrochan Mansion, Colwyn Bay

In Colwyn Bay, Pwllycrochan can mean a few different things. There are the Pwllycrochan Woods stretching along the hillside at the rear of the town, the Pwllycrochan Estate (the sale of which back in September 1865 kick-started the development of Colwyn Bay as a select seaside resort) and, of course, the Pwllycrochan Mansion (now known as Lyndon Preparatory School).

This time, I'm looking at the Pwllycrochan Mansion, the large white building that stands amid the remainder of what was once the Pwllycrochan Estate elevated above Colwyn Bay. Stand on the prom at Rhos, look towards the woods at the back of Colwyn Bay and you can't miss it.

This impressive building was originally called a manor house called Pwllycrochan or Pwllycrochon (the plainer half to the right in this photo is the original building dating back to the 17th Century but much altered) and it was the sale of its large surrounding Estate by the Erskine family in September 1865 that gave birth to the town of Colwyn Bay. The sale included the Pwllycrochan mansion, the demesne, farm buildings and gardens. These, and some adjoining land, were purchased by John Pender, a Manchester and Glasgow business man, who appointed John Porter as his agent.

In 1875, following business difficulties, Pender sold the estate and the bulk of his property at an Auction held at the Colwyn Bay Hotel on the 12th October. The majority of the Estate passed to a Manchester based consortium for £87,500 – they then formed the Colwyn Bay and Pwllycrochan Estate Company – which continued with planning and development of the new seaside resort town. The estate had an office in Colwyn Bay and was managed over the years by a number of prominent and eminent architects or surveyors.

The sale of the estate released a large area of land for building (much of the area of the present central Colwyn Bay) and much of the development we see today took place in a 40 year period between 1875 and the outbreak of the First World War.

The mansion itself (along with 20+ acres of grounds) was leased by Mr. John Porter and it was remodelled into a hotel during 1866 by Booth Chadwick & Porter. Much of the present interior is a result of that remodelling and, of particular interest, are the Library, Dining Room and the original Gent's Lavatories, complete with richly tiled walls, a mosaic tiled flor and original lavatory fittings! By 1911, the hotel advertised itself as having "Ground floor suites, electric light, billiards, bathing, tennis & golf".

On the 12th May 1937, it hosted the Grand Coronation Ball to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI. Tickets (including Supper) were fifteen shillings and sixpence.

During the Second World War, it was requisitioned by the Government (along with almost all the other larger hotels in Colwyn Bay), which had selected Colwyn Bay to be the new home of the Ministry of Food for the duration of the war. Pwyllcrochan was used as a Staff Canteen for the men from the Ministry.

Pwllycrochan did not reopen as a hotel until July 1948, three years after the war ended. Before it reopened, it received "extensive alterations" and now had 75 bedrooms and a staff of 35. The proprietor was "Mrs L. M. Hesketh (of the Old Hall Hotel, Buxton)". By now, it was boasting "hot & cold water in bathrooms, own garden produce, electric lift, modern private garage, lock-up boxes". In 1949, it advertised weekly Dinner Dances, on Saturday, at a price of twelve shillings & sixpence per head. It was stated that 'Evening Dress was preferred'.

Sadly, things were just not the same after the war and, in 1952, the Pwyllcrochan Hotel closed for good, the victim of changing trends in British holidays. The buildings and grounds were sold to Rydal School, who moved their Preparatory School there from Inglewood in 1953. The Preparatory school was renamed Lyndon Preparatory School following a merger with another local private primary school in 2003.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Llandudno - Night & Day

Prince Edward Square

Llandudno Lifeboat

One of the charities I admire the most is the RNLI. They provide a 24-hour lifesaving service around the coast of the UK and Republic of Ireland. Funded by charitable donations and manned by volunteers, the lifeboat crews and lifeguards of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution have saved over 137000 lives at sea since 1824.

Lifeboats by you.

Llandudno is fortunate enough to have had its own Lifeboat since 1861 and the RNLB Andy Pearce is presently stationed here (arrived 1990):

Llandudno's Lifeboat is a little unusual in that it is stored about half a mile in town and is towed out to the Promenade by the tractor for launching when required.

You can see the Lifeboat on display on Llandudno promenade every Sunday
from May Bank Holiday weekend until early October (subject to weather and service calls). They also have a small stall selling souvenirs, all in aid of the RNLI. Please consider buying something if you happen to be passing.

More information here:

Parking in Llandudno

This has already been mentioned elsewhere but is well worth repeating:

The Church car park is now operating as a "pay & display" so if you are looking for a parking space in the town centre, this might fit the bill.

Access into and out is at the rear of the Church (opp Gamlins Solicitors) and the tariff is £1 for up to 2 hrs and £2 for up to 4 hrs.
On Sunday mornings parking is reserved for people attending services with the "pay & display" operating from 1pm.

I believe the funds raised from this scheme will help towards the repairs to the Church roof, so its definitely a useful service for residents and visitors alike that will support a worthy cause.


Sunday, 9 August 2009

Pier Pavilion emerges from the undergrowth....

Regular Llandudno watchers will be well aware of the long running (since 1994!) saga of the site of the former Pier Pavilion Theatre on Happy Valley Road. The full story is covered in a previous article I wrote for the blog here but, to summarise, since it was destroyed by fire in 1994, this very prominent site has remained derelict and overgrown - not to mention a favourite topic of conversation for visitors walking past the site.

Rumours abound as to why this valuable site was never redeveloped - the most common one is that the owner wishes to have a residential development and Conwy Council would never permit it.

The relevance to today's blog post is that I was enjoying a walk around Llandudno this afternoon and noticed that the site had been cleared of the years of undergrowth:

Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to clear the site - the question is who? Conwy Council? The Owner? Is something happening with the site? If you know anything....do tell.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Apocalypse Now

..Not a reference to the state of local discussion forums but an example of how a tiny bit of Photoshop manipulation can turn a photo of some clouds moving over the boating lake in Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay into something far more sinister looking...

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Sun, Sea, Sand...and a Rusty Pier

Pier by you.

What a beautiful day it was today here in Colwyn Bay, the skies were deep blue, the sands were golden and the sea was, well, clean looking. The crowds were out in force and the kiosks along the Prom were doing great business, in spite of the prom looking tattier than ever.

Imagine how popular Colwyn Bay could become again with a renovated promenade and pier - some children's rides and attractions, some revamped kiosks with toilets attached, a decent cafe, a bar and family amusements on the pier, together with the art exhibitions in the Pier Pavilion which were so successful in the last couple of years.

Let's hope that the grant-funded improvements planned for the Promenade are the catalyst for further private sector investment and a real revival in Colwyn Bay's seaside fortunes.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

The No.7 Tram

No. 7 by you.
The Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Tramway Society with their replica tram No7 on display at Rhos Promenade, as part of its run along the original route of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Electric Railway. The tramway operated from 1907-1956. The No7 tram was being towed by a 1943 AEC Matador. More info and lots of old photographs on their website:

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Rhos On Sea - Then & Now

A typical seaside scene at Rhos On Sea - 70+ years separate the two sides of the photo:

Rhos On Sea - Then & Now by you.

Most of the buildings in the old photo remain today - whilst the large apartment block (St. Trillo's Court) seen in the right-hand modern portion of the photo replaced the lovely 1860s Rhos Abbey Hotel that had survived until 2001:


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