Pennants of Penrhyn - Wales & Slavery Talk

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Amazing turnout for our first seasonal talk last Wednesday: Pennants of Penrhyn in Jamaica. If you were there, thanks for coming and thanks to Dr Marian Gwyn for providing the talk. The next one is Weds 21st November: 'The Royal Charter Disaster - Moelfre 1859', by Peter Day - full details will be up on Facebook and our website soon.

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Members of Penmaenmawr Historical Society & Museum get free access to our autumn/winter talks. Membership is £10 for a year and if you want to join you can now do it online at this link:

or alternatively come along to one of our talks and you can join up on the night.

HLF Grant Success!!

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Penmaenmawr Museum is pleased to announce that we have been awarded £248,600 from the National Lottery.

The money will be used to re-design and re-fit the Museum’s main gallery with new permanent displays for our collection and space for our annual themed exhibitions. We will also be developing a Post-Office themed tea-room and a retail area to sell books, publications and products by local artisans. The project will include bilingual and sign-language interpretation, interactive displays, themed exhibitions, walking tours, annual lecture programmes and a new offer for visitors to the town who want to find out more about places to visit, placenames and Welsh-language pronunciation.

“This project has been three years in development and we are very excited about the National Lottery grant. The Museum re-located to the Old Post Office last year, with assistance from Conwy County Borough Council. It was a big step for us and we wanted to seize the opportunity to do what we had always wanted to do – tell Penmaenmawr’s stories and highlight the town’s rich and varied history in the best way possible, for everyone. This grant will enable us to do that. We are so grateful to the community of Penmaenmawr, Conwy Council, Penmaenmawr Town Council and all the people and organisations who supported us to secure this funding.”

(Dennis Roberts, Chairperson)

Penmaenmawr Museum’s success coincides with National Lottery funding secured for Conwy Culture Centre and Llandudno Museum. The three projects will work closely together over the next few years, towards what is being hailed as a ‘heritage renaissance’ for the county.

Penmaenmawr Museum’s project will start in August 2018. There will be a period of closure whilst the refurbishment of the Museum is taking place, with plans to re-open with a public launch in Spring 2019. In the meantime, the Museum will continue its work through pop-up displays in Penmaenmawr, walks, lectures and special events.

A full breakdown of Penmaenmawr Museum’s National Lottery funding and how it will be spent to fulfill the obligations in our funding bid can be viewed here or by clicking the 'PENMAENMAWR MUSEUM new project overview' image above (opens in a new window). You can also visit the website for updates about the project during the refurbishment period and we will be posting regular social media updates.

Thank you for your support.

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The Road to Non-Conformity

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There are an extraordinary number of non-conformist chapel and church buildings in Penmaenmawr - made all the more extraordinary by the fact that they were built mostly with money raised from working families. In the mile and a half or so between the Old Mountain View Hotel in Pantyrafon and Crimea Terrace in Penmaenan there is Eglwys y Berth (formerly Jerusalem), English Congs, Tabernacl, St Paul's, Moriah (aka Capel Split), Seion, Ebeneser, Maenan, Salem and the pre-cursor to Ebeneser on Chapel Street. And also a splash of Anglican conformity with St David's church.

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Here are some photos from last Saturday's fascinating Road to Non-Conformity guided walk. Thanks to Dennis for leading the way, to Calum for allowing access to Eglwys y Berth and Tabernacl, to Sionyn for the photos and to all our volunteers for helping run the day.

Details of our next walk will be up on Facebook and our website soon.

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One Sprinkling Day - a New Novel by Peter Jordan

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Penmaenmawr and Conwy are the real places fictionalized in this unconventional novel as the places between which its background lies. In the course of a walk which is at once a walk in a landscape, in the past, and in the maze of thought about some traditional perplexities, the protagonist’s reflections and the conversational self-portraits of his friends are interspersed with passages about the region’s history, natural history, and natural features.

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One Sprinkling Day by Peter Jordan can be bought here on Amazon (external link):

Below is an excerpt from chapter 8 of the book:

Without Paul’s ceasing to listen to him as, on his front doorstep, at the end of the first stone terrace under the mountain, that other August afternoon, Mr Roberts had explained how the granite was brought down from the rock-face to the sea (in wagon-loads from quarry-floor to crushing-mill, by chute and conveyor to the great storage-hoppers, by wagon again and steep inclines to the loading-quay, from which the small service-hopper supplied road, railway and pier), it was the stone-age quarry that Paul had seemed to see above them then, with its chipping-floors where Mr Roberts’s forebears (men from the high hut-circles whose cooking-mounds—crescents of fire-cracked stones—were still visible a stone’s throw from the modern workings) had fashioned picks and axes, querns and spindles, from rough blocks among the scree.



The Lost Twins of Penmaenmawr

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In January 1943, three-year-old twins, Jacqueline & Neil Coleby, went missing whilst playing in the garden of their cottage in Capelulo.

Sadly, despite one of the largest searches in British history, the children were found dead from exposure five days later on a mountain track beneath Tal y Fan. They had wandered off from their garden and ended up 3 miles from home.

Last Friday evening at Penmaenmawr Community Centre Anne Forrest and David Jones, a local search and rescue dog trainer, gave a talk about this extraordinarily sad story including how it was reported locally and nationally and how mountain search and rescue techniques have dramatically improved since then.

Amongst the large audience for the very moving talk were relatives of the Coleby twins including their younger brother Peter. Many thanks to the Coleby family for allowing the story to be told and to Anne Forrest, David Jones and Dennis Roberts for putting the evening together.

You can read more about the story here on the BBC website (external link);


Bachelor's Baby Memorial

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The Home Front Museum, Llandudno alongside Penmaenmawr Museum have been raising to money to either refurbish or replace the memorial at the site of the 1944 Bachelor's Baby air crash on Moelfre hill above Penmaenmawr.

Five American airmen and their mascot, a terrier called Booster, were killed when their B-24 Liberator bomber crashed on 7th January 1944. A slate memorial was erected in 1980 but has become worn and difficult to read over years and so it has been removed from the mountain for inspection by a local stone mason. An online appeal has raised over £600 and it is hoped to have the memorial re-instated in time for the 75th anniversary of the crash in January 2019.


Penmaenmawr Quarry in 1965

We were visited at the museum a couple of weeks ago by two men from Manchester, Cliff and David, who came to Pen in 1965. Whilst here David took many photos of the Braich Llwyd part of the quarry and has kindly let us copy them and show them so here are a selection. Many thanks to David!!

All photos by David Holt.

Churches, Chapels and Champions Walk

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Penmaenmawr Museum's 'Churches, Chapels and Champions' walk took place in glorious sunshine yesterday. We visited St Seiriol's Church, the former Pen y Cae Methodist Chapel (now empty Catholic Church), Noddfa (formerly called Tan y Foel), Trwyn y Wylfa (looks like a chapel but isn't), Horeb Chapel and St Gwynin's Church. We also learned about Murray Gladstone (and his possibly mysterious death on Pen beach), Owen Owen, William Jones of Trwyn y Wylfa, Andrew George Kurtz (who donated the land on which the Dingle stands to the people of Pen) and many more besides.

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Many thanks to Dennis and Dave for organising and guiding the walk, to Ruth for opening St Gwynin's for us, to Sionyn for the photos, to our volunteers for chaperoning and making tea afterwards and to everyone who came along!!

The Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Egypt & Palestine during WW1

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Penmaenmawr Museum is hosting an exhibition entitled The Heat of the Battle about the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Egypt and Palestine during the First World War. The exhibition was created by Wrexham Museum and has been on a national tour.

The fighting in Egypt and Palestine was seen as a sideshow by many during the First World War. The front barely features in the popular memory except as a backdrop to David Lean’s famous film, Lawrence of Arabia. However, it was the second most important theatre of operations for Britain after the Western Front.

Five battalions of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers fought across the deserts of the Sinai Peninsula and the Negev, and battled through the rugged hills and valleys of Palestine:
1/5th (Flintshire), 1/6th (Carnarvonshire & Anglesey), 1/7th (Merionethshire & Montgomeryshire), 24th (Denbighshire Yeomanry) & 25th (Montgomeryshire Yeomanry & Welsh Horse Yeomanry). Two of the campaign’s nine battle honours appear on the regiment’s colours.

Click here for our opening hours, directions to the museum etc

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The touring exhibition and its associated leaflet were created by Wrexham Museum and have been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Welsh Government and Wrexham County Borough Council. Wrexham Museum would like to acknowldege the support of the Trustees of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum Trust. 


Pencae Primary School Visits to the Museum

The children of Years 3 & 4 from Pencae Primary School really enjoyed a hands on Victorian experience at their very own local museum last week.

Once they had been suitably attired in caps and waistcoats, white bonnets and aprons Dennis Roberts set the scene by drawing them into school and home life in Victorian times, the contrasts and the hardships. Dennis demonstrated the 'dolly' for pummeling washing and a flat iron for smoothing the laundry. A short fast moving DVD of the Penmaenmawr promenade from the 1800s to present day heard them gasping at the changes.

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Next Anna Tucker engaged the children in questions about playtime when the chores had been finished. Anna skillfully showed them how to make peg dolls, (much loved judging by the writing on slate), ball in a basket and a thaumatrope – yes, one to look up! The offer to make their own toys was taken up eagerly and if the children were quick they had time to practice writing on slate or playing with several other small toys such as wooden spinning tops, jumping monkey, diabalo and cardboard theatre pushing characters on an off the stage.

At the end John Good asked general questions to close the session and there was no shortage of hands going up to answer.

The children were a delight and thoroughly engaged with Life in Victorian Times building on what they had learnt at school and their visits dovetailed nicely with the school curriculum.

There is much more the museum has to offer especially in the collection but not enough time to show and tell all. We now hope the children's experience of the museum will be familiar enough for them to visit again and again bringing their family with them. Our local museum is accessible and vibrant connecting us to the past here in Penmaenmawr. A local treasure in more ways than one.

Many thanks to Pippa, Anna, Pam, John and Dennis for all their hard work setting up the visits and to the staff and children at Pencae.

Ten Roads Across Penmaenmawr Walk

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Yesterday's 'Ten Roads Across Penmaenmawr' walk was a fascinating guide to our very own barrier to East-West travel, Penmaenmawr Mountain, and the many attempts to cross it. Thanks to Dennis for leading the walk, to all our volunteers for running it, and to everyone who came on the walk despite the Arctic conditions!!

Here are a few pictures from the day and a few old ones showing some of the roads across Penmaenmawr. Thanks to Sionyn and Merv for the photos.

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Heritage Lottery Funding

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2017 has been a year of exciting change at Penmaenmawr Museum, and we not only moved to the former post-office in the centre of town, but we also secured a small amount of stage-one Heritage Lottery funding to develop our plans for the Museum’s future. We’ve been very busy putting together the information for our stage two Lottery bid. If we’re successful, it will mean we can:

• Refurbish the museum with professional displays to showcase our collection about the history of Penmaenmawr
• Open more often and for longer hours
• Offer visitors to Penmaenmawr Welsh language taster sessions and information about places to go and things to see around Penmaenmawr
• Publish a programme of history lectures and book launch events
• Extend our successful history walks programme for residents and visitors

Thank you to all those who have supported us through volunteering, completing questionnaires and being involved in the consultations, sharing your stories, and visiting us at the Museum.

Fingers crossed for our Heritage Lottery bid in 2018 and we’ll keep you posted about the outcome.

Poppies on Doors 2017

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Look for poppies on doors (or on street signs or gates or windows) in Penmaenmawr and Dwygyfylchi to discover the homes of servicemen who died in the First World War. The poppies are on show from November 5th. Beneath each poppy is a card with brief details of the person who died.

Thanks to the volunteers of Penmaenmawr Historical Society for arranging and co-ordinating the 'Poppies on Doors' tribute.