There are some ghostly happenings planned at Gwrych Castle this Halloween, organised by the Gwrych Trust, according to the Trust’s Jake Basford:
“Gwrych Castle has been famous for its ghostly happenings, with stories coming from famous boxers who trained there having spotted the Countess wandering the Gardens, and pictures of ghosts making headlines in recent years (only to turn out to be Hermione from Harry Potter). This is why Gwrych Trust is recreating the spooky experience with a series of Ghost Hunts, Walks, and, a special themed Open Day over Halloween.”
31 October (Halloween Night): Ghost Walks (6pm-9pm) running around the Castle, 50 people per guide, age 16+, costing £15 per person which includes a hot beverage and pumpkin soup. Ghost Hunts (9pm-2am) taking place in the Gardens, 30 people per group, age 18+, costing £30 per person.
1 November (All Saints Day): Open Day (12-4pm) at Gwrych Castle, no minimum age requirement, £5 per person, Halloween theme. Ghost Walks (6pm-9pm) running around the Castle, 50 people per guide, age 16+, costing £15 per person which includes a hot beverage and pumpkin soup. Ghost Hunts (9pm-2am) taking place in the Gardens, 30 people per group, age 18+, costing £30 per person.
Tickets are on sale from Gwrych’s ticketing site from 15 Oct 2014
Mark Baker, Chair of Gwrych Trust, said, “With the success of previous Open Days at the Castle we thought we would really go for it with Halloween this year. There are many ghost stories rampant about Gwrych, from previous owners to current volunteers, so it may be necessary to do a second edition of Myths and Legends one day!”
Visitors on the day can experience willow artwork, bushcraft, storytelling, face painting, and more.
Organisers Woodland Trust say this will be a chance to see some of the improvements such as waymarked trails, benches, etc., with a £32,000 grant from Biffa Award.
There’ll be a minibus shuttle every 20 minutes or so from Tesco, Water Street bowling green, and opposite the Pensarn beach car park between 11.45 and 4.15.
Gwrych Castle’s gates are being flung open for visitors for the first time in ages on Saturday 28 June 2014.
Entry between noon and 4pm will cost £5, which includes a tour of the castle and grounds and a catch up on the latest news from the owners of the Castle and Gwrych Trust. The tours are hourly.
Ice cream will be on sale as well as copies of Mark Baker’s latest book Margaret Sandbach: A Tragedy in Marble and Ink, written with Dewi Gregory.
Mark Baker, who is Chair of the Board of Trustees for Gwrych Trust and author of The Rise and Fall of Gwrych said, “It is very exciting that the castle will be open for the day and that we have an opportunity for people to learn about its history and what is proposed for the future”.
Jake Basford of the Trust, handling promotion, says that proceeds from the tours will go towards the planned Visitor Centre project.
Access will be via the road shared with Manorafon Farm, but access will only be given to foot traffic. No parking will be allowed on site, at Manorafon Farm or Abergele Golf club, unless otherwise stated. If you have a disability and want to discuss access, just email gwrych (at) gmail.com before the day.
I’m a fan of the National Library of Wales’s Welsh Newspapers Online site. Here’s a clipping from the Weekly News, 5 March 1909, describing St David’s Day celebrations at the Bee Hotel, Abergele, in that year.
ABERGELE. St. David’s Day was celebrated in Abergele with a dinner at the Bee Hotel, and a coffee supper, followed by a concert, at the spacious Wesleyan schoolroom, the latter being held by members of the Ship Cafe.
Both events went off splendidly. The meeting at the Wesleyan schoolroom was presided over by Mr. J. R. Ellis, I when the programme was sustained by Mr. G. T. Morgan, Mir. T. Derbyshire Roberts, Misses Harrison, Miss Katie Jones, M’aster Harold Cybi Williams, Miss Lizzie Davies, Master John Millward, and Mr. Ben Cybi Williams.
The only toast submitted to the meeting was “Dewi Sant,” proposed by Mr. J. R. Ellis, and elaborated upon by the Rev. Morgan’ Davies., who was in grand form. He declared that St. David. ‘kindled such a fire of patriotism in Wales that time can never extinguish. (Applause!.)
On the motion of Mr. J. Williams, M.A., seconded by Mr. Edward Ellis, the thanks of the meeting was accorded ‘o all those who had contributed towards the success of the gathering. Mr. R. E. Needham enlivened the proceedings with several, gramaphone selections.
AT THE BEE HOTEL. St. David’s Day has been. celebrated at the Bee Hotel for many years. As usual, there was a large and distinguished company present at this year’s function. The catering of Mr. and Mrs. Featherstone was Ai. ‘Mr. G. H. Judson bad the honour of being president, whilst Mr. S. B. Rogers occupied the vice-chair. Amongst others present we’re Messrs’. E. A. Crabbe. T. Hannah, J.P., J. Gill, E. W. Brtdley, Kinmel; J. Calvert, W. Jones, Chapel Street; W. Chesters, D. W. Vau.gh.an., J. Williams, Harp Hotel; D. Williams, Kinmel Arms; Humphrey Williams, Valentine Hotel, Llanddulas; W. J. Parry, London House; J. Pierce, Victoria House; Richard Jones, Pentre Ucha’ E. Wo’n’a.ll, Cambrian Hotel; G. Perkins, Elias Evans, Pensarn; E. W. Harrop, J. Edwa.rd=, T’anyfron; D. Wil- liama, Ty lgwyn,; W. BTiothetrtoQ, E. W. Parry, Rihyl; and F. Hajdon, Rhyl. The toast list was as foHow.s:—”The King,” by the President; The Queen, the Prince and PfTMicesa of Wales, and the Rest of the Royal Family,” by the Ptresident; The Navy, Army, and Territorial Forces,” proposed by Mr. CraLbe, and responded to by Mr. J. Gill; To the Im- mortal Memory of St. David,” proposed by M’r. S. B. Rogers; The Town and Trade of Abergele,” proposed by Mr. J. Edwards, Tanyfron; The Farming Industry,” proposed by Mr. J. Pierce, and responded to by Mr. D. Williams, Ty Gwyn; “The Host and Hostess,” proposed by Mr. G. Perkins, Mr. Featherstone responding.
Songs were sung by Mir. Bradley, Messrs. Johnson and Foye, Manchester, Mr. Hanlo.n, Rhyl, and Mr. D. W. V.au;ghan. Mir. Crabbe said the British Navy waa every .ready to, respond tOl the call of duty. The Army,, though at the present moment in a transient stae, was ready for every emergency if necessity arose. Aided by the Daily Mail,” the Terri- torital Force in London had attained its required strength, and he sincerely trusted that the other parts of the country would follow the example set before, them by the capital of the Empire. If the Territorial Force failed, then there would only be one, alternative—namely, conscription, and that would mean a national calamity.
In responding, Mr. Gill said the Territorial scheme was the last effort—the last kic’k—to avoid that deplorable system of conscription. .Even now, the Territorial Force was three times the value of the old Volunteers. Mr. ludson. in resDondin? to’ the toast of his health, said that since he had been a member of the Council he had done his best for all con- canned.
Something had been said about his fo.rthcorning marriage. (Applause.) Well, he might as well let the, secret out by saying that he was to. be married on the grd of June. (Loud .applause.)’ Mr. Perkins, in pro.po.sing the health of the host and hostess, said everyone present would feel sorry at My. Featherstone’s departure from Abergele. ..Mr. Fea.the.rs.tone, in responding, said he was sorry to, leave Abergels, but he was saddled with a house at Colwyn, Bay. The meeting broke up with the singing of Auld Lang Syne and God Save the King.” SEARCHLIGHT.
Back to today now: as you can see, the optical character recognition isn’t perfect, but it’s quite good. So you’ll notice the typos above.
Interesting to note the military discussions which foreshadowed the beginning of WWI.