Market Street, Abergele

Old view of Market Street


Above is an old photograph of Market Street of unknown date. It would appear that there is a flag flapping in the breeze, attached to the telegraph pole outside the Bank. Across the street, bunting adorns the front of several shops. Perhaps this dates to some time after the homecoming of Lord Dundonald, “The Hero of Ladysmith”, from the Boer War circa October, or slightly later, in 1900?

Market Street Postcard

The postcard above would appear to be of later date – perhaps someone has suggestions? The boys appear to be wearing knickerbocker or plus-four type trousers whilst the young girls have on pinnafore-type smocks. At the bottom right can be seen some of the goods on sale, displayed on the pavement, for the ironmongers (J. Pierce) next door to the bank.

As a child, I seem to recall that there was a car showrooms together with a single, old-style petrol pump on the pavement where the ironmongers once traded. Does anyone else remember this or know further details?

14 thoughts on “Market Street, Abergele

  1. Noel Hughes:

    I remember the old cinema very well. Before WW11 it was known as the ‘Picture house’. The seating inside had become rickety. The interior was in a poor state and it was to remain like that until the late forties. The owners of the Luxor Cinema at Llanrwst bought our cinema and for some weeks/months closed down for refurbishment. On re-opening they called it the Luxor Cinema and the interior had been totally re-vamped, carpeted and plush seating – quite a transformation.
    The large doorway on the right of both photos is the entrance to the old Market Hall. On the way to the Cinema we always called at Jones the Sweet Shop for my aniseed balls. He had a small shop in the Hall and there were other small businesses there incluiding a butcher and cobblers. Down through the Hall and to the rear of Water Street was Bleddyn Williams’ cycle repair shop. I bought my new Raleigh bike from him after the war

  2. Nigel Hilton:

    Thanks for your recollections regarding the cinema Noel. Can you remember any other cinemas ‘locally’ (Llanrwst excepted) called The Luxor by any chance? That name rings distant bells for me, but from where is the puzzle. I’m thinking it may have been one of those in Rhyl in, say, the mid 1960’s.
    You also mention Bleddyn Williams cycle repair shop at the top end of Market Place. Back in the 1950’s, I remember that the first property in Peel Street was used as a cycle/motorcycle shop. I don’t remember much else about it though – can you shed any further light on the matter? Thanks.

    1. dennis armstrong:

      in 1958 the cycle/ motorcycle shop was owed by E .WHITAKER &SON he also had a shop in prestatyn he stayed in abergele till they pulled the old peel st.down to make way for the new peel st,.

  3. Mark:

    Was the motorcycle shop on Water Street in a row of terraced houses, that were by the Tan Yard, and now all flattened to make flats for the elderly. If it was I remember it as Woods Motorcycles, which moved to Rhuddlan Rd., and now to Peel Street. Or was it before that?
    I always used to hear about a street that went north from market street and ran behind the old cinema, which had a pub on it. Someone told me it was the Sun Inn. Does anyone know about this, or have any information on the 17 pubs that used to exist back in the market days of old? The boys in the pictures look the same ones on each picture. Don’t you just want a time machine.

    1. Nigel Hilton:

      Mark, regarding your query about the various pubs that existed in Abergele in years gone by, Ellis Wynne William’s book shows a plan of the town (1862) listing 16 – The Bee, The Harp, Cross Keys, Swan, Kings Head, Crown, Royal Oak, Royal George, Bull, Ship, Nelson, Castle, Red Lion, Gwindy, Penybont & the Bodelwyddan Arms (Hesketh). In Chapter 8 (A period of development 1861-1911) he gives the reader a guided tour of the various properties in the town, enabling their locations to be found with ease. This includes one or two other pubs/inns though none are called the Sun.
      Regarding a possible location, allow me to paraphrase the next part: ‘where the Town Hall was built (1867) was an open space in 1861. To the rear of this open space, the Market Vaults were built and served as a tavern from 1867-1910’. With no further information, that is one possible site. As to another, ‘Gwalia House was, in 1861, a tavern called The Kings Head and next door was The Swan, which after its demolition was replaced by a chemists shop’. EWW’s book places The Swan on the right-hand corner of Church Walks, where the modern day Reeds Rains are.
      I’ve been unable to find specific mention of a Sun Inn in Abergele. Perhaps one or other of those was renamed at a later date.

      1. Gareth Morlais:

        Great detective work Nigel. It might be worth posting this comment as a new article because the information is so interesting. And it may help to solve the riddle of the Sun:-)

  4. Nigel:

    Hi Mark,
    I’m wondering if you’re thinking of the Abasport shop that used to be in the old shop/house at the end of The Mount on Water Street. It was run by a mate of mine by the name of Chris Hawley back in the 1980’s. He used to sell all sorts of motorcycle parts initially then, later on, started to sell an occasional motorcycle or two from just one manufacturer if I recall correctly. He later changed the name to Baglux, moving to the premises up by the old Hesketh pub. There’s still a shop there but I don’t know if he’s still running it.
    I’ll have to look up the info on the Sun Inn & the other local pubs a little later on & get back to you. Don’t know if that helps.

    1. Gareth Morlais:

      Thanks Nigel. If this is the same Chris who lives in Bryn Awel Ave, I saw him earlier today. I thin the owner of the motorcycle luggage franchise made some changes but I’n not sure whether or not Chris is still involved. Chris is a great guy.

  5. Delyth MacRae:

    The cycle shop on Local Lance was owned by Bleddyn Roberts a Raleigh dealer. The cycle shop on Prel St was owned by Clement Evans. Andrew Woods (Woody) had a shop on Water St next to Morris’ Cafe, where Reid’s Electrical was, I think this was prior to Abasport being in Morris’.

    1. Nigel Hilton:

      Brilliant stuff Delyth. Thanks for that. Wasn’t it also a fruit & veg shop for a while, back in the 1950’s I’d guess. I’ve faint recollections of buying potatoes from there, dating to when we lived in Peel Street.

  6. Mark:

    Thanks to all for your great memories! I think I must have had the Sun mistaken for the Swan, I did hear it in a pub over 20 years ago, and had forgotten about it until I stumbled upon this goldmine of a website.
    I remember the Abasport/Baglux shop, by the Mount; pre-rebuild being a rough fruit and veg market too. A friend and I loaned his dad’s garden to grow veg and sold a bit too them!

    1. Nigel Hilton:

      Thanks Mark for confirming the fruit & veg shop side of things. I’d wondered if I’d imagined it at one point. How many readers also remember the Sheepskin products shop at the opposite end of that small terrace of properties, adjacent to the old Tanyard entrance. It used to sell things like sheepskin jackets, hats, gloves etc. I believe it was run by a Mrs Williams, the married daughter of the family who owned & ran the tannery in the late 1960’s.
      As an aside Mark, I’ve done a separate article on the pubs & taverns of Abergele in the 1800’s and which has a bit more on the Swan should you be interested.

  7. Glyn Williams:

    My grandfather Llewelyn Pritchard Griffiths carried on business as a photographer at a studio on the site of the old cinema at Abergele (opposite the C. of E. School). He moved to live at Pensarn shortly after the 1914-18 war, and remained there until 1932, when he moved to Blaenau Ffestiniog, of which town he was a native. Recognised as a most successful photographer, apparently he was also in demand as a magician (conjuror)
    Does anyone have any recollection of his studio?

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