Some nice pictures of the Castle appearing but this one is unusual. I’m not sure if originally it was a photo that has been enhanced or was a painting. The most unusual thing is that it is not from the normal view. Most postcards show the Castle from the front, but this is of the East side which most people wouldn’t recognise. Interesting that people would buy a postcard from this view.
My first memories of Gwrych Castle were the jousting tournaments held there in the 1960s and early 70swhen I was young. A medieval ensemble played along as we booed the Black Knight. There was an opulence to the place in those days.
In my teenage years, I worked for Mr Meecher who had the parking franchise at the castle. One thing I remember was the song Copacabana by Barry Manilow was on the transistor radio every hour as we worked. (Photo by Sally Hindley, used with her permission)
We stopped to take photographs and buy a few small pearls from the
“pearl-breeding river”; and while we gazed our fill at the mighty
monument, we learned from a guardian that in old days a certain Lady
Erskine hired the castle for six shillings and eightpence a year, in
addition to a “dish of fish for the Queen,” when her majesty chanced to
At Colwyn Bay we lunched early, at a charming hotel in a garden above a
sea of Mediterranean blue; and the red-roofed town along the shore
reminded me of Dinard. After that, coming by Abergele and Rhuddlan to
Chester, the way was no longer through a region of romance and untouched
beauty. There were quarries, which politely though firmly announced
their hours of blasting, and road users accommodated themselves to the
rules as best they might. But there were castles on the heights, as well
as quarries in the depths; and though Sir Lionel says that inhabitants
of Wales never think of turning to look at such a “common object of the
seashore” as a mere castle, I haven’t come to that state of mind yet.
Near Rhuddlan there was a tremendous battle at the end of the seventh
century, out of which so many fine songs have been made that the Welsh
princes and nobles who were slain have never lost their glory. There’s a
castle, too (of course), but the best thing that happened for us was a
gloriously straight road like a road of France, and as nobody was on it
save ourselves at that moment, we did about six miles before the next
moment, when others might claim a share. I believe the Holyhead road is
– Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson, Set in Silver. 1909
I recently picked up a copy of The War Years, Personal memories of Pensarn and the Abergele area, 1939-45 by Robert J Griffith circa 2005. Some very interesting things are to be found in the reading which details his experiences in the ARP and the Home Guard during the Second World War. Here is a story I found interesting,
“When our headquarters above the Visitor Office was occupied, a sentry was posted outside. Once, one of these sentries was marching back and forth on the pavement between the door to the HQ and the corner of the NP bank. He halted and ordered arms with his rifle which was a routine movement, but on this occasion, as the butt of the rifle hit the ground, a single round was discharged. The bullet chipped a hole approximately 3 inches in diameter underneath the eaves of the bank. A patch of cement concealing the damage can still be seen under the eaves today.”
I wondered if it was still there after all these years, so armed with camera I went to look….