WH Smiths – Colwyn Bay

I have been here before.

I’ve been there too – Newton Powys home to the WH Smiths Museum

Now here I am in Colwyn Bay generally minding my own and everybody else’s business, when all of a sudden I noticed a cast iron glazed awning.

Proudly announcing the proprietors – sadly supported by a distressing modern addition – now I’m not one to decry and debunk the rising tide of modernity, I’m all in favour of unisex clothing and central heating.

But the unchecked encroachment of vacuous vinyl really is the limit.

Businesses displayed a degree of dignified permanence unknown to the current high street trader. So here it is writ larger than life in stained glass and Carter’s Tiles.

Loud and proud.

And as an addendum here are the delightful tiles from the Llandudno branch, snapped two years previously.

On The Waterfront – Llandudno

A welwyd eisoes.

I’ve been here before, as have others before me.

The town of Llandudno developed from Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements over many hundreds of years on the slopes of the limestone headland, known to seafarers as the Great Orme and to landsmen as the Creuddyn Peninsula.

Some years later.

In 1848, Owen Williams, an architect and surveyor from Liverpool, presented landowner Lord Mostyn with plans to develop the marshlands behind Llandudno Bay as a holiday resort. These were enthusiastically pursued by Lord Mostyn. The influence of the Mostyn Estate and its agents over the years was paramount in the development of Llandudno, especially after the appointment of George Felton as surveyor and architect in 1857.

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The edge of the bay is marked by concrete steps and a broad promenade, edging a pebbled beach which arcs from Orme to Orme.

Walk with me now and mark the remarkable shelters, paddling pools and bandstand screens, along with the smattering of people that people the promenade.

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North Wales – B&B

Just two Bs and an ampersand, but what volumes they speak, secrets they contain, what does go on behind closed doors?

Bed and breakfast, an immovable feast.

Various does not begin to describe their variety, a cornucopia of dolorous decor, quizzical cuisine, curios, carpets and cohabitees.

So knock on, walk into the hall, up the stairs, open that door – who knows what fate awaits you.

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North Wales – Shelters

There are days when there is little else to do on the seashore than stare endlessly out to sea, seeking respite from the unrelenting rays of the sun, or conversely turning one’s back on the incoming squall.

Hunker down and hope.

For these very same and sane reasons, the urban district councils have provided you with the very means to realise the wildest of your wildest dreams.

The shelter

No two are the same, look carefully – they are nuanced, under financed, resilient and emboldened against the elements. Design applied by untutored hand, cast in concrete, stone and brick, glazed, unglazed and amazing.

Set a spell, take your shoes off.

Y’all come back now, y’hear?

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