The list of reports & club bulletins starts with Latest for 2023 at the top



As the club is now meeting every month this section will only contain a synopsis of the talk given at the club.

If you would like a copy of the bulletin please email our secretary Karlyn on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will email you a copy.

The entertainment for January was a 2-minute talk session on ‘A card with a story’.


John Lawson-Reay was the M.C. and photographer. He began the session with a card showing the hotel building on the summit of Snowdon.
John chose this card as we don’t often see ones with so much snow. The visitor-building at the end of the line was designed in the 1930s by Clough Williams Ellis, of Portmeirion fame.The windows were damaged by the high winds, and bad weather, so the design was revised by Clough. The railway would have made it easy to get the building materials to the summit. It was updated in the 1980s but in 1992 a competition was launched to design a new building for the summit, which resulted in the Hafod Eryri Visitor Centre, which opened in 2009. Some years ago, John chatted with Clough about his building and said that he thought it resembled a concrete military bunker, which could have been in use in WW2, perhaps for radar to spot incoming enemy planes.

1876 Card 

Keith’s card is an early issue, sent from Trevalyn Hall, Rossett, to Pulford Hall, and posted in Wrexham in March 1876.
On the back of the card, is some interesting and unusual information. At Trevalyn Hall, the daily rainfall was measured, captured by using a 4” Diameter cone in a jar. The note reveals that it was 2.98“ on average for January. Keith also told us that his father’s house in Queensferry was bombed during the war. The enemy planes would go to Liverpool, and then drop any left-over bombs nearby as they left the area.


Sue had a very personal story to tell us. Hensol Castle in Glamorgan was built in the 17th & 1
8th Centuries. In 1926 it was sold to the Glamorgan County Council and opened as a mental hospital and a place for people with learning disabilities There were up to 500 patients. In 1966, 18-year-old Sue, a nurse, visited the Asylum as part of her training. She had no knowledge of mental illness, and learnt that patients would walk out if the gates were left open. She was distressed to see, through a window at the back of the building, that there were babies in the room with no toys or any other things for young children. Sue was very upset to discover that her best friend from Primary School was a patient too.

The hospital closed in 2003, and is now a wedding venue and luxury apartments.Thank you, Sue, for sharing such difficult memories with us. We were, all of us, touched by your story.


Trebor’s card was a portrait of David Lloyd George, in the Tuck Oilette series. We were kept in suspense to discover how our one-time Prime Minister could be linked to a Chicago gangster....
Bryan Humphreys and Ann Wigley farmed in Carno, Mid-Wales. When their lives in the countryside became difficult, they emigrated to the USA, landing in Chicago, where their son Llewelyn Morris Humphreys was born in 1899. By the age of 13, he was already in trouble, as the family’s circumstances had not improved in America, and he tried to help by getting a job, and then became involved with the Chicago gangs. He had tried to hi-jack a lorry which contained a consignment of alcohol which belonged to notorious gangster Al Capone. Al, was impressed with Murray, as he became known, and he eventually became Capone’s manager “The Camel”. Al was only 3 months older than Murray, who helped to plan the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929. He ran the organization in Chicago after Capone’s death in 1947. Murray visited Wales once, in 1963, and died on November 23rd. The link turned out to be that DLG and Al Capone had the same birthday – 17th January.
DLG was born in 1863, and Al in 1899. Brilliant, Trebor! thanks.


The beautiful Nant Ffrancon Valley in Snowdonia was Brian’s choice for the session, as it has had a good effect on his life. He was born in Southport, and came to Nant Ffrancon on a school trip. He fell in love with the area, and has enjoyed visiting it ever since. He walked his dog there, to help with recovery after a major operation. Brian is a photographer, and began taking photos of the valley, and then of the birds. He has feeding stations in the valley, and monitors the bird populations for the RSPB and National Trust. One fact that surprised some of us, was that a line was put across the valley to prevent German planes from using the route during WW2.


Report on the talk given to the club on December 14th 2022


A Tuck Christmas – a presentation by Trebor.


Trebor’s collection of postcards by publisher Raphael Tuck & Sons has a surprising number of beautiful Christmas cards, which he brought along for us to enjoy at the December meeting.

Tuck published postcards between 1899 to 1962. The well-loved ‘Oilette’ artist-drawn series began in 1903, and many thousands of sets were issued.

Trebor’s display began at the beginning, with the Nativity, the shepherds and the Wise Men, and then explored the meanings and origins of the traditions of the Christmas period.




   Some of the early Christmas cards had atmospheric scenes by artists such as Professor Van Hier, or snow scenes by B. Simpson, showing life in the dark days of winter. Evergreen plants were used for decoration from early times, and heralded better times ahead. Saturnalia was a Roman festival which was held in mid-December, and honoured Saturn, the god of agriculture. Gifts were given to ensure a good productive year ahead.

   Some of the most beautiful cards were those which were medieval in style, with images in an ‘illuminated-manuscript’ frame.


   Robins were a popular theme at this time of year. The red of their breasts was said to have been made when they brushed against Christ’s blood during the crucifixion. A card by Alice West, a specialist in bird-art, shows a robin’s breast in an orange hue, probably reflecting its true colour. The postmen in Victorian times were nicknamed ‘robins’ or ‘red-breasts’ as they wore bright red coats.

  The Christmas tree is one of the most popular of the traditions, and the dressing of the tree is a special event for children. The tradition comes from Germanic countries. Queen Victoria wrote in her diary, when she was 13 years old, about putting ornaments on the tree. Lit candles were a feature of early trees, but these were changed to the safer electric lights later

   Among other Christmas highlights, shown on the “Oilette” cards, were wassailing, carol-singing, crackers, mistletoe, angels and glitter-cards.

   Food is an important part of the Christmas season. Mince pies and Christmas pudding were savoury before they changed to being sweets. Wishbones and 6d-pieces were put into the puddings. Taking food to those in need was a reference to the Christmas story of gifts given to baby Jesus.

   Father Christmas was based on St. Nicholas [‘Santa Claus’], who was a Bishop and miracle-worker who was very wealthy, but gave to others. In the early postcards, he is dressed in various coloured robes, including green or brown, before the more usual red robes of today. He carries a sack of presents for the children. The 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore tells us the names of all Santa’s reindeer, as well as about Santa’s sleigh landing on the roof, allowing him entrance to the house down the chimney to deliver his presents.



   Trebor showed how Tuck used the same image for several cards in a set, by taking small parts and enlarging them to make other cards, giving 3 different images. Verses were added to some cards.

   To finish, we were touched by Trebor’s own Christmas story. Recently, he was given a “Holiday Times” annual from about 1914/15 by his daughter, and it had this Tuck Christmas card illustration by Agnes Richardson the cover.



   Trebor is a former teacher and his animated style of speaking brought the cards to life for us – we wish we had been his pupils! Thank you Trebor for a most memorable and enjoyable evening!


   This will probably be my last bulletin, so I thank everyone for their contributions and kind comments over the few years we have been doing this, and I look forward to welcoming a new bulletin editor for 2023.



Happy New Year. Best wishes, Karlyn



Report on the talk given to the club on November 9th 2022


The talk in November was my delayed “Shopping in Chester”.

  The scene was set by a brief look at the history of the city, from Roman times, including a photo of a silver 1d. from the reign of Aethelred II, c966-1016 AD. and a rather harsh criticism of the cobbled pavements in a book of 1829. In 2012, there were 71 empty shop units, and the council was ‘alarmed’.

We are doing our shopping mainly in the prestigious Eastgate Street and Row.

  This beautiful high-quality real photo shows the street, with ‘Brown & Co. Silk Mercers to Her Majesty’ nearest on the right, and next door, Bolland’s, with the ‘Restaurant’ sign. Printers Phillipson & Golder are in the second gabled building.. The row of columns at street level, on the right, near to the arch, is the Grosvenor Hotel. Note the horse-drawn trams.



         Our first stop is Bolland’s which was described in the 1848 ‘Parry’s Railway Companion’ as “Successor to the late

Mrs Thomas, Richard Bolland, Confectionery by Appointment to her Majesty Queen Victoria”. [They had made her wedding-cake.] Adverts show that they held the Royal Warrants for many years.  

    The shop was originally at 40, Eastgate Row, as in the picture above, but moved 2 doors down when Brown’s wanted their premises back. The firm needed to advertise their move, and printers and stationers, Phillipson & Golder, their neighbours at 42 Eastgate Row, produced a set of cards for them.




Bolland’s new premises, much closer to the Grosvenor Hotel. Their ‘Oyster Bar’ can be seen in the lower right corner

of the picture. Little’s grocery shop is at the end of the row.

    The trio, shown on the card below, played daily between 11am and 3.30pm for patrons. Some other adverts tell us that motor cars and cycles could be parked free of charge if dining in the Restaurant, and that one of the delicacies on the menu was Turtle Soup, made from fresh turtles!    

Bolland’s also had a Riverside café and a Marquee for outside catering, which, Barbara told me, the Anglesey WI used for one of their events. The Eastgate shop was sold in 1963.




An early advert showing 40 Eastgate Row. The proprietors are R. Bolland & Sons Ltd.




One of the cards produced for the new premises by Phillipson & Golder.



     Brown’s was established by Mrs Susannah Brown in 1795. In 1814 more buildings were bought by her sons W. and H. Brown, & rebuilt in the classical style. In 1858, the three buildings were remodelled in Tudor, Georgian-classical and Gothic styles. [see the picture with the ‘Boots’ section.]

   In 1908, King Edward VII came to the races on Chester Cup Day, which was a very wet day. .A special Royal Box was erected in the County Stand, and was furnished by Brown’s. On an invoice dated 30/07/31:- “Brown & Co., Chester Ltd. 34-40 Eastgate St. Telephone 1. Established in the reign of George III. The Premier Fashion and Furnishing House of the North of England.” The name 'Browns of Chester' was registered in 1936, but it had been in use for many years - note their name on the floor of the doorway.



   Brown’s also had mills in Holywell, which made a variety of items in materials such as flannel and tweeds.

  After WW2, in a brochure of 1945, Brown’s tried to tempt people to come back to see their enlarged shop and new stock. Some of the items still needed coupons. Men’s light weight dressing gowns in art silk from 69/9d – 7 coupons; Plain linen sheets £4/2/8d a pair - 6 coupons; Pillow cases, coupon-free.

   In 1976, the store was bought by Debenhams and renamed ‘Debenhams in Chester – Browns of Chester’ to take advantage of the superb reputation of Brown’s as the best department store in the north. I remember the thick carpets on the floors, which gave you the sense of being somewhere very special. In 2016, Debenhams spent £1m on a major refurbishment, which meant that it lost much of its up-market feel. On 9th April 2019, Debenham’s went into administration. The stores were still open, but some were scheduled for closure. In early 2021, it was said that all the shops would close, but on April 12th, some opened for a closing-down sale. In May 2021, the Chester store closed permanently, and in 2022 it was put up for sale with an estimated value of £4m. The building has now been sold.

   Something which I discovered when researching the story of Chester libraries, was that in the early 1920s, the library was housed in a building in St John St, which became too small for the increased usage, and was no longer fit for purpose. The Council looked for other suitable buildings in the city, but couldn’t find any, and to build a new one would have been too expensive. After some years, the building next door, which was owned by Brown’s, was purchased and the two buildings were remodelled to accommodate the library. The Brown family members were well-known as City leaders and generous benefactors.

I worked in the St. John Street library in the 1970s/80s and it was still not ideal, with steps to most areas, and no lift. The library moved to the former Taylor’s Garage building in Town Hall Square in 1984, and then to the multi-purpose Odeon complex in 2017, when it was renamed ‘Storyhouse’. The Taylor’s Garage building opened as Chester’s new Market on 8th November 2022 – a new shopping opportunity.

   Next, we go to Boots Cash Chemists at 24/28 Eastgate Row and 22/24 Eastgate Street. It is very confusing that the street level shops and row-level shops don’t have the same numbers.




   This picture dates from after 1897, as Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee clock is in place on the Eastgate arch. Although dated 1897, it was set in motion on her 80th birthday, 24th May 1899, at 12.45pm. Boots is on the right edge of this picture. They have moved out of this building, and now, there are several Boots shops in the city,

    Jesse Boot’s father was a herbalist, who gave medicines to the poor. He died in 1860, when Jesse was 10 years old. The business was taken over by his mother until he was in his 20s. Jesse had a breakdown and, whilst convalescing in Jersey, he met his future wife, Florence Anne Rowe, who worked in her father’s bookshop. After their marriage, they increased the number of shops, with Florence designing the interiors.

   They also expanded the range of items for sale – Stationery from 1895; Toiletries from 1896; Books from 1899 [2d. per book borrowed], and others including artists’ materials, leather and fancy goods. By 1914 they had 560 shops. Jesse was knighted in 1909, became a Baronet in 1919, and Lord Trent of Nottingham in 1929.

   He financed the University College in 1928, supported the Harlow Wood Orthopaedic Hospital, and made housing for war veterans in Nottingham and Jersey. He died in 1931. The firm went through a series of adventures, and is now part of a gigantic conglomerate Walgreen Boots Alliance with 2,500 shops in the UK and Ireland. More recently, they have tried to make their stores more attractive by launching 'Beauty Halls'.

   Jesse Boot suffered with rheumatoid conditions and the firm developed 'Brufen' an anti-inflammatory between 1953 and 1969, which we now know as Ibuprofen . By 1980 it was the no.1 treatment for Jesse's condition, but of course, sadly, it was too late to help him.



Some of the other shops we visited were: -


Butt & Company Ltd, Diamond Merchants and Silversmiths.

The firm was established by Richard Richardson in the shop on the Rows, and was taken over by Mappin & Webb in 1968.

In the 1950s, the shops were next to Boots, at 32 Eastgate Row and 26 Eastgate St.




    Hugo Lang took this shop in 1902, and left in 1933. Note the advert for Lang’s on the horse-tram, which was applied to the photo later. The shop took full advantage of its position on the main crossroads in the city, and provided a huge range of souvenirs for the visitors.



   In 1933, Walton’s the Jewellers had taken over the premises. This card shows how the corner was remodelled into a black-and-white building. The architects involved in the 19th Century transformation of the city buildings from mainly Georgian brick to faux 16th -17th century black-and-white, were T.M. Lockwood, who designed the new Cross buildings, T.M. Penson and John Douglas.

    According to one architectural historian, now, only 5% of the black-and-white buildings are from the early period, and some of those have been restored.




   St. Michael’s Arcade is another of the top shopping areas in Chester. It was completed in 1910, and tiled in white. All the shop signs and frontages are in the same design, which gives it a special look. Savile Row firm, Gieves and Hawkes, have been at Nos. 1-3 since 1966. The arcade now leads through to the Grosvenor Shopping Precinct, built in 1963-65, shown in the lower right picture.

   Some of my favourite items in my Chester shop and hotel collection are the illustrated invoices or letter-heads. They tell us so much about the firms at the time, and it is primary-source material. The firms are telling us about their businesses themselves. Here is a beautiful one by Minshull & Meeson, Eastgate Row, in the Art-Nouveau style, from 1903

   It seems that Master Little is having some items for school, including books, envelopes, pencils and set-squares. Little’s grocery shop was also in Eastgate Row.





W.C. Wright, 53 & 53 Bridge St. Row.


   This is a wonderful and unusually informative heading from 1904, which gives us views of the interior and exterior of Wright’s shop. It is another invoice for Mr. Little, this time for 2 gents’ shirts at 5/11d. each.

   These are just a few of the shops we visited on the Club night. Sadly, many of the those featured in the talk have disappeared from the Chester streets, but I hope that this has reminded you of some of the lovely shops we used to have.

Thanks to Marion and John for help with the cables for the projector!


I look forward to meeting up with you on December 14th at 7pm, for Trebor’s Christmas Special. Karlyn


Report on the talk given to the club on October 12th 2022


Hope and Caergwrle.

A report of the talk by Lynne at the October meeting, from her notes.


    There’s a very old saying in this area, which is “ Live in Hope, Die in Caergwrle” .[ In fact the cemetery for the area is in Hope village.] The two villages are about 5 miles north of Wrexham. Lynne’s collection has been assembled over the past 35 years.



 This is a photo of Lynne, at home, with the magnificent display. In addition to the vast array of cards, there are many other items, including the picture on the right with the vivid blue background, which shows the beautiful Bronze-Age ‘Caergwrle Bowl’ found during diggings at the castle in 1823, and now in the Museum of Wales. Also on the table are bottles from the Caergwrle breweries Lassell & Sharman, and Piercy. Old Vellum documents of Hope Farm and Plots of Land by Caergwrle Station, and an old map of area from 1832 were of special interest.


    Hope [‘Yr Hob’ in Welsh] is the smaller of the two villages, and there has been a church on the current site for centuries. It has been extended and altered many times. Other cards showed Hope Mountain, a favourite with walkers, having spectacular views over to Cheshire – but beware of low-flying RAF planes from Valley! The Railway Station opened in 1866, as Caergwrle station , but was renamed Hope Village in 1899. It is still a stop on the Wrexham-Bidston line, but is now automated. The Red Lion pub had a thatched roof, but has been rebuilt and now houses the CO-OP. There have been at least 5 brickworks in Hope since the 1800s, and a tilery. A card of an old metal chimney with workmen climbing up is possibly a view of Padeswood Cement Works. The main school in the area is Castle Alyn High School.




Hope Church. Vulcan Series. Published by A. Vaughan, Stationer, etc., Somerset House, Caergwrle.



Hope Village, Cemetery Road. Published by The Photochrom Co., Ltd., London and Tunbridge Wells. No.50158. Postmark 1925.

   Caergwrle  had a part to play in the wars between England and Wales. Caergwrle Castle was built by Dafydd ap Gruffyd in 1277 as agreed by Edward I of England on his invasion of Wales. Edward I made extensive improvements to Castle as a reward for not resisting invasion. However in 1282 Dafydd raised a revolt and marched on Hawarden Castle, controlled by Edward I. Dafydd’s brother Llywelyn, Prince of Wales, was then drawn into the Welsh War of Independence. Llywelyn was beheaded by Edward’s mercenaries. Dafydd then becomes Prince of Wales until his execution in 1283 by Edward. He was the last independent Ruler of Wales until Owain Glyndwr’s uprising in the 15th century



Caergwrle Castle. P & Co., Ld


  The Caergwrle Bowl, from the Middle Bronze Age, is made from Shale, Tin and Gold, and was found by a workman who was digging drains at base of Castle in 1823. It was donated to Museum of Wales.

  Caergwrle was the home of Wales International Footballer, George Godding, who played two caps for Wales in 1923.

  The Post Office is now at No.2, High Street, in the SPAR shop. It used to be in a building on the corner of Castle Street and High Street, opposite to the SPAR shop.


    The Castle wasn’t the only tourist hotspot in the village. It seems amazing to us now, that in the late 1800s, early 1900s, the Spa was a major attraction, and there were excursion trains bringing huge numbers of visitors in, on cheap day-return tickets, on Wednesdays and weekends. In 1913, a Clergyman wrote of the rowdy visitors: “Chapels are compelled to close their doors and windows during Sunday Services to exclude Noise, Yells, Singing of Lewd songs and Vile Language”




Pump House, Caergwrle Spa. Valentine & Sons. No.73445. Postmark, January 1920.

    The Spa was on the Rhyddyn Hall Estate, and attracted visitors from a wide area, including Liverpool and Cheshire. This postcard shows the Pump House, with the Pavilion behind it. There are 2 men in uniform sitting on the bench, and a weighing machine to the right of them. Two ladies are standing on the Pavilion terrace. The contemporary adverts tell us that the Caergwrle Natural Mineral Waters were ‘The Sovereign of all Table Waters. This saline water recommended by the Medical Faculty since the 17th century. Refreshing beverage and invaluable for gout and rheumatism’ There were plenty of entertainments on the Spa site, including Pierrot shows and a bowling green. It closed in the 1930s.




The Old Mill, Caergwrle. Valentine & Sons, Ltd., No. 53379

This is a water-powered corn-mill, sited on the River Alyn. The wheel is visible at the bottom of the picture..

  Other cards on the boards show Rhyddyn Hall, the Bridge Hotel, the Temperance Tearooms, Queen’s Café and the School, all a stone’s throw from the Station. There were also some comic cards mentioning the villages.





Lucky Find:- Bridge End.

  Lynne found this lovely card at the Preston Fair, in a dealer’s ‘Unidentified’ box. It shows The Bridge Hotel, and was posted from Jersey in 1964, to an address in Glasgow. The card is in the ‘Gwenfro’ Series, which is listed in our ‘Local Publishers’ list. All the views in that series that have been noted are of places in the Wrexham area, but we don’t yet know where the firm was based. All the cards noted are postmarked between 1905 and 1915.The view was identified as Caergwrle.

Thank you, Lynne. You must have spent a lot of time on the displays, and gathering the information about these old villages, and I know that everyone enjoyed your presentation.




Report on the talk given to the club on September 14th 2022


   During our 2-minute-talk evening in July, John Lawson Reay took us to Portmeirion and Snowdon Summit, for his ‘Favourite place for a day out’. We learnt that the Snowdon summit building of the 1930s was designed by Clough Williams Ellis, Portmeirion’s creator. The summit cafe was designed to be a very sturdy building, necessary to withstand the storms and bad weather at 3,560 ft. However the original large windows could not cope with the strong winds, and were damaged. The architect revised the design to incorporate smaller windows on the front, with no windows on the side we can see in these photos, and it was refurbished in the 1980s. Prince Charles, now King Charles, made some very derogatory remarks about the building when it became run-down towards the end of its life. Clough himself was not happy with it then either. In 1992 it was decided to launch a competition to find a new design for the summit building and it was won by Ray Hole Architects of Croydon. Demolition of the old building began in September 2006, and Hafod Eryri opened in 2009.


2210 A


Judges Ltd card no.22094 Snowdon Summit.


2210 B


PT24414 The Summit Hotel, Snowdon.


  The main event of the Club night was Lawrence’s talk, and we never know what the subject/s will be until he begins. This time he has gone even further with his unusual and often bizarre topics. His displays included Brooke Bond Tea vehicles, unusual post-carrying vehicles, a mobile art gallery in a modified bus, and invalid carriages. Needless to say, he must spend hours trawling the internet and dealers’ boxes at fairs, as the cards he collects will not have their own special sections, but this is Lawrence, and we always expect the unexpected!

  He began with a reference to another of his talks, by showing a card of a Venetian hearse-boat.

   The Brooke Bond Tea vehicles were an excellent way of advertising the brand. It was begun by Arthur Brooke, 1845-1918, of Ashton-under-Lyne. He opened his first tea shop in Manchester in 1869, and several others followed. He adopted the Brooke Bond & Co. name as it gave his customers his guarantee or his ‘bond’, to supply top quality tea. 

  His eldest son Gerald, 1881-1969, continued the business after his death in 1918 and a factory was built in Trafford Park. The PG Tips brand [1930] used the memorable chimpanzee adverts on tv from 1956. The collectable ‘tea cards’, which could be found in the packets 1954-1999, were very popular, especially with children. In 1968, the firm merged with Liebig meats, which held such well-known brands as Oxo and Fray Bentos. In 1983/4 it became part of the Unilever group.


2210 C


Lilywhite card, Brighouse. Market Place, Wetherby, Yorkshire, showing the red Brooke Bond vehicle.


   Trams in various parts of the country had extra duties as freight carriers – the Blackpool-Fleetwood service took coal, and in Cornwall, the trams took tin. Some trams and trolleybuses also took post and parcels. In some areas, goods trains ran on the tramlines. The Cruden Bay Hotel, on the coast, north of Aberdeen, ran a tramway between the station and the hotel 1899-1940. When the line finished, the 2 trams were converted into summer houses. The Dresden Volkswagen plant used trams to transport items around the area. In Zurich, trams had a trailer which was left at various locations to be filled with recycling. The trailers would be collected at a later date.


    In Scotland, a Travelling Art Gallery was housed in a former bus, which had been adapted for the job, with a translucent roof and light interiors.

2210 D


The Scottish Arts Council Travelling Gallery, 1978.


    Lawrence ended the display with a tribute to a friend, William McConnachie, who was disabled. He showed a selection of cards of invalid cars and carriages. Some were powered by pedals, others by donkeys and the latest by electricity.



2210 E


E.T.W. Dennis & Sons Ltd. Card B.1922.L

Newport Street, Bolton, showing a white invalid carriage, lower right corner – 137AWK


Thank you, Lawrence, for another trip into your wonderfully zany world!

We look forward to another visit next year.




 Report on the talk given to the club on August 10th 2022


The Annual 1-sheet Competition. The August meeting is when we hold our 1-sheet comptition, which provides a display for the fair. Entries can be of any subject or place and the winner is decided ina secret ballot those present. This year’s winner was Bill, who had selected this superb picture of a stand at an gricultural Show in Mold.

 2209 B

 We believe that this picture is of the Denbighshire and Flintshire Agriculturalociety’s Show c 1911


   The Society was formed at the Black Lion Hotel, Mold on 24th July, 1839, and its aim was to “promote agriculture and encourage industry”. It brought together some of the smaller societies in the 2 counties, and in 1842, part of Merionethshire was added. The show was held in various places in North Wales, but since 1990, it has been at The Green, Denbigh, in August, with a Countryside Day at Greenfield Valley Heritage Park during May.

  The picture shows stand 36, that of Samuel Hughes, Trosymynydd, Northop. The sign across the top of the stand tells us that he was the ‘sole agent for the latest success of the Alfa Laval Separator.’ This was a centrifugal separator for liquids such as milk and cream, to make skimmed milk. They consist of a drum on a stand, and a handle which creates the centrifuge. The cream comes out of one pipe and the milk another. They were advertised as so easy to operate that a child could use them. Alfa Laval was founded in 1883 in Sweden. The company is still in business, but has diversified into many other products, in many countries.

  On the left is another sign which reveals that in 1910, the Royal Agricultural Society of England awarded a medal to Alfa Laval for the separator. Two of the machines can be seen to the left of the picture, and another propping up the ‘Stand 36’ notice. One of the popular on-line selling sites has images of early adverts and equipment for this firm.

  The signs above and below the main ‘Samuel Hughes’ sign, are advertising equipment by Massey Harris.

  This company was founded in 1847 as Massey Manufacturing Co, Ontario, Canada. It became Massey-Harris in 1891, and in the 1950s, Massey Harris Ferguson, when it merged with the UK’s Ferguson Co.

  It was bought by AGCO in 1994, but still retains the Massey Ferguson name, which is one of the most well-known brands of agricultural equipment in the world. › en_us › discover-mf

  Congratulations, Bill!


A photo by John Lawson Reay, of Marion presenting Bill with his ‘letterbox’ trophy.


2209 A


   Other entries in the competition were:- 

   “A Warm Welcome to Wales”. 3 modern coloured cards published by British Rail Publications, ‘Beautiful Wales’ Series. The cards feature Snowdon, The Conway Valley and ‘Cymru am Byth’ [Wales Forever] with the Welsh flag, dragon, harp, lady and castles.


  “Wonderful Things”. A coloured card of the mask of Tutankhamun, and 5 black-and-white early postcards showing some of the contents of the tomb, discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. There is a general view of the Antechamber with a jumble of items, and then cards of individual items:- A Magnificent painted wooden box; The King’s Throne; The Second Coffin; The King and Queen’s Perfume Vase.


   “Fragments from France”. From May 1916, the publishers of Bystander, a weekly magazine, issued Bruce Bairnsfather’s WW1 cartoons as sepia postcards. They came in an illustrated envelope, issued monthly, at 8d per set of 6 cards. There were 9 sets, 54 postcards in all. Bairnsfather was born in 1887 and died in 1959.

  The 3 cards on the sheet are:-

    -‘The Things that Matter.’ – The Colonel is speaking on the phone whilst under fire in a trench. The caption is ”Scene: Loos, during the September offensive. Colonel Fitz-Shrapnel receives the following message from G.H.Q:- ‘Please let us know, as soon as possible, the number of tins of raspberry jam issued to you last Friday.’

   - 2 soldiers at a farm, which has been destroyed, with dead animals around them. One soldier writes.’ Dear………at present we are staying at a farm’.

  -‘The Soldier’s Dream. A “Bitter” disappointment on waking.’ A soldier is asleep and dreaming about a barmaid pouring him a beer back home.


  “R.A.F Shotwick, Sealand”. 3 superb rare photos of a little-known site in North East Wales. They feature:- ‘Shotwick, 30th June 1923’, showing planes on the field in front of the buildings. ‘Armstrong Whitworth Atlas Crash, 6th Jan, 1932’ a close-up of the remains of the plane. ‘Motor Transport, Shotwick, 1923’ A magnificent array of army lorries and other vehicles.


    “Girl Power Advertising” . 4 lovely coloured advertising cards with women as the central feature:- ‘Smoke Referee Tobacco’; ‘Price’s Buttermilk Soap for the complexion’; E.P. Shaw’s Dry Ginger Ale, The Hall Mark of Quality’; ‘Mrs Pomeroy’s Exquisite Toilet Preparations ensure Beauty and Refinement.’


  ‘”The Cross Word Craze of the 1920s”. 4 cards from Tuck’s very scarce ‘The Cross Word Craze’ series II’, Oilette set 3515. Each card has a crossword-square border. These artist-drawn cards show:- ‘

  The Cross Word “Special” ‘ a station platform with a train and passengers, and luggage covered in crossword squares.   ‘Cross Word Champions’ a family dressed in crossword clothes crossing a road, while the policeman stops the traffic. ‘    All at sea with the Cross Word Craze’ a capsized boat covered in crossword squares, with the survivors around it, some attempting to complete the puzzles.

‘That Cross Word Feeling’ A family dressed in crossword clothes walking along a pier, past people in deck-chairs.


    "Julien Mandel, 1872-1961 was a French photographer, best known for his comercial images."

   There are 4 black and white photographs on this page, one of a young child, sitting at a table. Another is of a lady holding flowers, with a ‘Bonne Annee’ [Happy New Year] sticker applied. The third card shows a romantic scene with a man standing next to a woman with a bouquet of flowers. The last card is of the head and shoulders of glamourous lady holding a rose.

  All the photos have red lip-colour, and slight pink tints applied to the cheeks of the subjects. His logo is a an ‘M’ with squared tops, incorporating a ‘J’, and surmounted by a crown. ‘Edit. J. Mandel, Paris’.


   “The Stamp House, North Bersted, Bognor Regis, Sussex.”

  3 cards, one of Mr. Sharpe and his dog in the garden; one of the exterior or the pub, and one showing the stamp-decorated interior. This is the story as told on the sheet. “The Rising Sun opened in 1895 with Richard Sharpe as landlord. He was a keen stamp collector. In 1882, a customer bet him that he couldn’t decorate an entire room of the pub using stamps. Mr. Sharpe took up the challenge, gluing stamps to the walls. He then started covering tables, chairs and picture-frames. People heard about him and started sending stamps. He threaded spare stamps into garlands using more than 2,000,000 stamps. The pub became known as the Stamp House. After Mr. Sharpe retired, the pub fell into disrepair. It was demolished in 1957.”

  Three cards depicting the life of Travellers over 100 years ago. [contemporary captions]

   A Tuck card “A Gypsy Encampment”, after the painting by Alfred Armitage. A caravan and a camp-fire. “Gypsies on the Common”. A caravan in the distance with a couple at a fire. “Preparing the Mid-day meal”. A wonderful image of the family on the roadside, sitting around the fire, above which hangs a kettle. The caravan is next to them, and the horse, which has been relieved of its harness, is standing nearby.



  I am looking for possible speakers for 2023, so if you, or someone you know, or know of, can come to us, please let me know. I will bring the list of meeting dates with me on 14th of September.




Report on the talk given to the club on July 13th 2022


The theme for the 2-minute talks in July was ‘A favourite place for a day out’……..

Keith’s card was this superb view of Queensferry Station, Flintshire.


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   When he was a young boy, the station was the starting point for the family’s days out. They had a 7-day Rover ticket, which allowed them to go to many exciting places. They would leave Queensferry Station at c9am and the train journey itself was an adventure. The favourite destination was Rhyl, with its many activities and amusements especially for children, such as the donkeys, the cycle track, skating rink and many more. The most popular places for Keith were the amusement arcades, and he enjoyed playing on the slot machines and other arcade games. The children would be tired out on the homeward journey, but they could look forward to another trip the next day.


Lynne’s story didn’t have a happy ending – this poster card says it all!


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    Lynne and Keith had taken their new car by ferry to Jersey, and they had a wonderful week on the island. However, on the return journey,     the ship had to call in at Guernsey, and unfortunately, the sea was rough, which made Lynne very ill with sea-sickness. The journey home     seemed to take forever, and she vowed then, that next time, she would definitely ‘Prefer Jersey Airways’!


   Trebor’s card was a rare ‘Welsh lady’ pull-out of Penrhyn Bay.

    The seaside village is only a hop away from Craig-y-Don Community Centre, where we meet. Trebor had an extraordinary idea for a day out for us, based on the items we had displayed at the last 2-minute talk session in May. He suggested that we have a picnic in the village, and that Lindsay could bring the ginger-beer, and Keith, the whiskey. We could have tea with Lynne’s lovely crockery, John could take a photo with his spy camera, and I could read some of Dylan Thomas’s poetry. It sounds like a perfect day out to me! Thank you, Trebor for a lovely idea…let us know when you’re ready to host it…. Here is a view of the village.

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This is an early card by Valentine of Dundee. The road looks very rough for

the cyclist and there seems to be a horse and cart further back on the road.


    Marion took us for a day out at a Model village.

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    Every child who visited the Village must have been so excited to find such a wonderful tiny world. It was designed by the Dobbins               Brothers, Tom, Bill and Harry, and opened in 1956 by Sooty. {Did I hear that Trebor was there at the opening?} There was a model railway,   a castle, windmill, airport and sports stadium – over 200 models in all. Bill went on to create another village in Great Yarmouth, and Tom   designed one in Babbacombe.

  The Southport village closed in 1987 and a new Model Railway Village was opened nearby in 1995 by Jean and Raymond Jones. It was a    family business, and the models were based on local buildings, and all were constructed on the site.


    Roger brought two wonderful old engravings, one of which was of the South Stack bridge.

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    The South Stack lighthouse is one of the must-see sites on Anglesey. This is how you would have reached it on a day out in times past.

    The picture shows the steep steps [now 400 of them] down from the cliff, and the rather flimsy ropebridge over to the island. The       retaining lines from the bridge were attached to the large rocks below.

   I have added a similar view on a card by A.W. Hutton, of Colwyn Bay, for comparison. The Huttons’ cards were produced from the 1930s to the 1960s, and this picture could be from the 1950s.

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    The lighthouse was built in 1809, when a cable with a basket attached was used to get supplies over the c70’ drop to the sea. A box-cradle later allowed men and supplies to be lowered onto the island. Materials were also brought in by boat, to another part of the island. A rope bridge, possibly the one shown in the engraving, was also used, but they were both made redundant by the iron suspension bridge of 1828 which was inspired by Telford’s Menai Bridge of 1826. This was replaced in 1964, and the towers and chains were re-used. In 1983, the bridge was closed because it was deemed unsafe and was replaced in 1997 by a new metal bridge, this time with a roof, and the lighthouse could re-open to the public.

  The towers were Grade 2 listed in 1996, and still form part of the current bridge.


    John’s day out was to Portmeirion and Snowdon Summit.

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Salmon Cameracolour card No. 1-11-09-02/2430c


   Portmeirion was designed by Clough Williams-Ellis, 1882-1978, a visionary architect who came to live in this part of Wales. It was a very   brave idea, in 1925, to think that you could enhance the beauty of an already lovely area by building on it, but Portmeirion really is a   magical village. It takes recycling to a new level, as many of the buildings were brought in from elsewhere and rebuilt here. The village   opened on 2nd April, 1926, and it has been developing since then. The beautiful colours used on the buildings are a very important part of   the whole look of the village, and for repainting, the colours are matched to Clough’s original paints. Clough designed many types of   buildings, not just in this country, and as is usual, some were never built. In the Criccieth area, however, there are two which are well-   known. One is the sombre resting-place of David Lloyd George at Llanystumdwy, 1946, and the other is the delicious building, formerly the Moranedd café, which now houses ‘Dylan’s Restaurant’ on Criccieth foreshore. It dates from 1948 and is a glass extravaganza with two wings.

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Photochrom No.36214 Snowdon.The Summit. P/m 7/1920.


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Judges card No. 22094 Snowdon Summit.


   John cites another building by Clough, which was a surprise to some of us – the 1930’s restaurant and visitor centre at the Summit of   Snowdon. The previous building was the Snowdon Summit Hotel, left, which appears to be perched precariously on the very top of the   mountain. You can see a shed at the lower level, and the Train near the signals. The building in the other picture is Clough’s, in the same   position as the shed, at the end of the railway line. There is a terrace on the roof, from which visitors could admire the views on clear days. John proposed that the building may have been used for military purposes during the war, as a signal station, perhaps. It was replaced in 2009 by the new visitor centre, Hafod Eryri.


   Karlyn. Plas Tan-y-Bwlch.

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This is my photo of the view along the Dwyryd Valley from the Plas terrace – fabulous location!


   This is my favourite place to be for a day or two. The estate goes back to the 16th Century. It was mentioned in a will of 1602. The estate   was expanded following the marriage of the Evans family heiress Catherine and Robert Griffiths. Their grandson had the house rebuilt in   c1748. The estate continued to flourish.

    In the 19th Century, William Griffith Oakeley transformed the Oakeley quarry into the largest underground quarry in the world with 1,600   men working there. The Ffestiniog railway, which carried the slate down to Porthmadog, ran through the estate. In 1872, Chester architect, John Douglas made some alterations to the house.

   In the 20th century, the estate, owned then by William Edward Oakeley, was in financial difficulties, and much of it was lost. The   remaining part came down to his children, and his daughter, Mary, the last of the family, died in 1961, age 96.


   The property is now administered by the Snowdonia National Park Authority, as a centre for environmental studies, a conference centre,   hotel and wedding venue. The Welsh Postal History Society has an annual long-weekend meeting at the Plas, and I very much enjoy   being in such wonderful and peaceful surroundings.


   Lindsay has shared his research into the fascinating life of J.H. Smith, of the Bee Hotel in Abergele.


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    John Henry Smith. born 1873 at Buckley, Flintshire, Wales. Parents Thomas & Jane Smith

  1881 Census John Henry Smith is with the family and is living at the Mostyn Hotel, Mostyn where Thomas is the proprietor.

  1891 Census the Family are still occupying the Mostyn Hotel but John Henry aged 18 is a boarder at St Asaph Grammar School.

  Rhyl Journal 24th February 1900. There is an article regarding Victoria Works Mineral Water Manufactory.

  In which Mr J. H. SMITH BEGS to state that the above business has just been purchased by him from Messrs Jefferson and Burd.

15th September 1900 the MARRIAGE OF MR, J. H. SMITH AND MISS. Sarah Elizabeth(Bessie) BATES takes place. Bessie is the     daughter of Mrs Bates, of the Mostyn Hotel, Rhyl. and they take up residence at Haslemere, Bath Street Grosvenor Terrace, Rhyl.

  February 1904 Preliminary Notice. Haslemere, BATH STREET, RHYL. THURSDAY, MARCH 3rd, 1904, Important and Unreserved Sale    of Superior and Costly Household Furniture and Effects.

 MR GEORGE PERKINS has been favoured with instructions from J H Smith, Esq (who is giving up private housekeeping), to Sell by   Public Auction 

 Rhyl Journal 13th August 1904.

 Abergele Petty Sessions.Transfer of the Licence of the Bee Hotel from Miss Owen to Mr J H Smith, late of Rhyl.


  Flintshire Observer Mining Journal and General Advertiser…

  18th July 1907 Death Of Mr Thomas Smith. The death took place at Tyn Rhyl House, Rhyl, on Tuesday, of Mr Thomas Smith, at the age    of 70 years, one of the best known wine and spirit merchants in the Principality. Mr Smith at one time held the Mostyn Hotel, Mostyn.

  Rhyl Journal November, 1907 Auction at the BEE HOTEL, ABERGELE, at 6 o'clock WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, 20th NOVEMBER,   1907. Also, at same time, the following other properties, viz. The well-known FREEHOLD Bee Hotel at Abergele, with extensive   premises  and land. The interesting Manor House of Tyn Rhyl, with few acres of building land, on main road to St. Asaph, a few minutes   from Rhyl Station. The Victoria Mineral Water and Ale and Stout Bottling Works as a going concern, very near Rhyl Station.

  North Wales Weekly News

  10 April 1908 Transfer of the licence of the Bee Hotel, Abergele from J.H. Smith to William Featherstone.

  Rhyl Journal

  19th September 1908. TAKE NOTICE that on and after this date that I, J. H. SMITH, will not be responsible for any debts incurred by

  my wife, Bessie Smith. Ty'n rhyl, Rhyl.

  Empire News & The Umpire

  24 January 1909

  J.H. Smith a gentleman of no occupation who had been in the aerated water business who resided at Tyn Rhyl granted a divorce on the   grounds of his wife's adultery with his coachman, who when J.H. Smith bought the Bee Hotel Abergele in 1904, William Carson was his   coachman, when the Hotel was sold one year ago he went to live in one of the petitioners houses, when this was let in April last year   Carson was permitted to occupy the saddle room at "Tyn Rhyl".

   Of course, Abergele is a favourite destination for a day out for many of us, now that the Stamp and Postcard Fair has moved to      the Youth and Community Centre there.  K

Thank you to everyone who made the evening so enjoyable!.


Report on the talk given to the club on June 8th 2022


WELSH ISLANDS by Marion Turner.


     At the June meeting Marion Turner used first day covers as well as postcards to take us on a tour of the Welsh Coast visiting islands along the way. Most of them are uninhabited. Some are just a rocky crag which is used by nesting seabirds. Some have enormous colonies of Gannets, Manx Shearwaters, Guillemots to name just a few. Most are Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Many have lighthouses which are now unmanned, being monitored by Trinity House from their control centre in Harwich Essex. They use up to date technology including solar and green energy sources. Here are tales from some of the islands we visited.

   Her collection started when she heard about Marconi’s link with Flatholm – a small island off Penarth. In 1897 with the help of George Kemp, Marconi sent the first radio signal over water. The message was sent in morse and read “Are you Ready?” Marconi continued to develop telegraphy until he could send messages around the world. Flatholm has a long history. St Cadoc visited in the late sixth century. During the eighteenth century it was a base for smuggling. Later it was used as a cholera hospital and a military base. A fog horn was added to the lighthouse in 1904.


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    Worms Head off Rhossili Gower gets its name because it looks like a serpent. It consists of three islands – Inner Head, Middle Head and Outer Head. Just one mile long in total it is accessible by foot for two and a half hours each side of low water. But it could prove fatal to wade or swim across because of the disturbed waters. Dylan Thomas described it as “the very promontory of depression” after he was forced to spend a night there after being caught by the tide.

   Grassholm is an uninhabited nature reserve lying 11 miles from the coast. It has the only gannet colony in Wales with 39,000 breeding pairs. The island is thought to be the site of a castle mentioned in Mabinogi. The severed head of Brian the Blessed was kept alive there for 80 years while his companions feasted in blissful forgetfulness. Then the forbidden door to Cornwall was opened. They returned to feeling sorrow and remembered they had to bury the head at the White Mount – where the Tower of London is. Brian means Raven in Welsh – so this was the start of the need to keep ravens in the tower.

   Smalls Lighthouse stands on a rock approximately 20 miles west of Pembrokeshire. The first lighthouse was a wooden structure built in 1775 by Henry Whiteside. In 1777 when he visited the lighthouse he was stranded for a month by gales. He wrote a message to a friend in St Davids, placed it in a bottle inside a casket and threw it into the sea. Two days later it arrived near St Davids and was delivered safely. Tragedy stuck in 1801 when Thomas Howell and Thomas Griffiths were the two lighthouse keepers on duty. They did not get on well. When Griffiths became seriously ill and died Howell was so concerned he might be accused of murder he kept the body until the relief team arrived. Following this gruesome event Trinity House decided that three keepers should always be on duty together. Disaster again struck the lighthouse in 1831 when a wave hit the top of the tower breaking the floor of the lamp room injuring the keepers. The damage was repaired and the lighthouse survived another 30 years. The current lighthouse was built of stone in 1855. It was the first to be painted with red and white bands to make it more visible in daylight.


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   The Welsh name for Bardsey Island is Ynys Enlli which means Island of Currents. It is an important religious site and is also known as the Island of 20,000 saints. Since St Cadfan built his monastery in 516 it has been a place of pilgrimage. The first King of Bardsey was crowned in 1796. 3 more followed all crowned by Lord Newborough. The last king was Love Pritchard. He left the island in 1925 when the last residents left the island. Bardsey Island Trust now oversee the upkeep of the island.

   Ynys Mon or Anglesey is the largest island in Wales. Scattered around the shores are many smaller islands. Off Newborough beach you will find Llanddwyn Island. It has a chapel dedicated to St Dwynwen the Welsh patron saint of lovers. Situated to the North is South Stack with its iconic lighthouse. To gain access you have to negotiate 400 steps down the cliff to a suspension bridge. Nearly 2 miles North East of Holyhead are the dangerous waters around the Skerries. There have been many wrecks in this area including the Royal Yacht Mary which sank in 1660 with the loss of 69 crew and passengers. The wreck was discovered in 1971 with treasures including gold jewellery being recovered. This led to the first lighthouse being built. It remained in private hands with the same family as keepers until Trinity House took over in 1841. Guarding the north entrance to the Menai Straits in Penmon Lighthouse. Puffin Island is nearby. It seemed a good way to end our tour as many sea birds had been mentioned but the Puffin is probably most people’s favourite bird.


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   Thank you, Marion, for a remarkable presentation, which was very much enjoyed by everyone at the meeting, and for your report. K.




Club Bulletin, June 2022.


    The May meeting brought some surprises! We learnt a lot about some of our members, including one who is a whisky connoisseur….

    find out who it is later!

    Our next meeting is on Wednesday, June 8th, at 7pm, when Marion is visiting ‘The Islands of Wales’.




    I’m sad to tell you that the York fair has ceased to be. I‘ve been in touch with organizer, Jack Stasiak, and he tells me that ‘declining dealer numbers, covid, old age and Brexit’, together with the huge cost of hiring the racecourse building, are the reasons behind his reluctant decision to cancel the fair. It will be a great loss to the hobby. The first of Jack Stasiak and Ron Mead’s York fairs was in 1990 and I have been fortunate to have attended most of them. It was always a highlight of my year, especially as I was able to spend time with my postcard-friends, Gill, Sue and Gwyneth for the weekend. Sadly, we lost Gwyneth some years ago. It was also an opportunity to meet up with other collector- or dealer-friends, whom I saw only at York.

    The first Provincial BIPEX, run by the Postcard Traders’ Association, was in Harrogate in 1984, with a second at York Racecourse in 1989, which was a 3-day event, Thursday to Saturday. Jack and Ron decided to organize a fair themselves at York Racecourse, from 16th to 18th March, 1990, Friday-Sunday. The event was reported as “Very successful and the attendance justifies a repeat”. One of the most popular features of the 3-day fair was the “small dealers’ bourse” on the Sunday. The fair later became a 2-day event, Friday and Saturday, and the bourse disappeared. I am hoping that another fair in York or Yorkshire may be possible in the future, as it is such a pleasure to visit that beautiful area



    The next Wirral Fair is on Saturday, June 11th . Here’s a message from the new organizers:-

   “Hello All. We are looking forward to seeing those of you attending the Postcard fair at Thornton Hough on 11th June.

Those standing are

Ralph Stuttard       Renzo Garavello

Mark Keeley          Alex Wallace

Ian Boumphrey     Dave Seddon

Mick Liversidge     Harry Hicks

Glyn Thursfield     Andrew George

Steve McGreal     John Ryan

Mike Day              Simon Collyer


     Our normal contact details are either 01244 880904 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..]

    The emergency number for Saturday only is 0752 8368 94

   Our next fair will be 8th October     From Madeline, Doug and Gillian (The committee ) "



   The next Abergele fair is on Saturday, July 9th .


     Our Llandudno Fair is on 20th August. We are looking for help with the Fair, so if you can come on the day, please let us know. We will be able to give more information about what may be needed, nearer the time. Thank you!


    The next Criccieth Club meeting is on June 7 th at The Bishops Room, St. Catherine’s Church. The subject is “Anything from Europe”. For more information, contact Marion on 01766-590203 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    The topic for our May meeting was “Bring an item from one of your non-postcard collections”. As expected, there was a good variety of objects on display.

   Lynne was first off the mark, with some examples from her lovely collection of Crown Staffordshire china, “Kowloon” pattern. It is a very delicate and pretty design, in the Chinese style, in shades of green. The firm was operating from 1889-1985.


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    Keith is the whisky connoisseur, we were interested to learn. He collects all types of items relating to it, such as advertising-glasses and posters, and he prefers Irish whiskey to any other. The poster in the picture is for ‘Royal Welsh Whisky as Supplied to H.M. The Queen & H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. The Welsh Distillery Co. Ltd., Frongoch, nr Bala. The only distillery in Wales.’

  Frongoch later became a Prisoner of War camp

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    This very large and heavy old flagon was brought in by Lindsay, who is a bottle hunter and collector. It was used by T.O. Owen, Nassau Works, Llandudno, for Old Fashioned Brewed Ginger Beer. The firm was established in 1873, and made a variety of products, including fruit syrups to add to hot, cold or aerated water. From 31st December, 1874, Mr. Owen leased land from the Mostyn Estates for 99 years, upon which he built Augusta House, the Nassau Factory, stables and outhouses. Mr.Owen died in 1936

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    John’s life-long career as a photographer and BBC cameraman was inspired by this treasured ‘Photo Magic’ camera which had been given to him by his uncle, who had been a rear-gunner and radio operator in the R.A.F. in WW2. The smaller item is described as a ‘spy camera’, and was used to take ‘under-cover’ photographs


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    I took some items from my Dylan Thomas Collection, including this advertising coaster. I am especially fond of his work. I read some notes about significant elements in his short life, 1914-53, such as his father’s occupation as an English Literature teacher, and Dylan’s daily routine in Laugharne, which was morning - sleeping; afternoon – writing; evening - drinking in Brown’s Hotel. I read a paragraph about Christmas morning from this book. The photo shows Dylan reading in a BBC studio.


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Thanks to everyone who took part – it was a most revealing and fun session.


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   To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, I have used this card by Photochrom Co. Ltd., London & Tunbridge Wells. On the back, is printed “By arrangement with Studio Lisa, Welwyn Garden City, Herts.” It is a rather quiet study of ‘His Majesty with Princess Elizabeth’. The Queen’s father, born in 1895, was not expecting to become King, but following the abdication of his elder brother, Edward VIII, in 1936, he became George VI. Princess Elizabeth therefore became the heir to the throne. I do feel that, amongst all the Jubilee celebrations, we may forget the particularly difficult circumstances surrounding her becoming Queen in 1952.

   Princess Elizabeth, who was 25 years old at the time, was on safari in Kenya with the Duke of Edinburgh when she received the heart-breaking news that her father had died unexpectedly, but peacefully, in his sleep, on 6th February, at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth had become Queen Elizabeth. The rest of the world tour, which was to have been to Australia and New Zealand, was cancelled. The couple arrived back in England on 7th and the Proclamation was on 8th. The funeral of George VI was on 15th, and he was buried at Windsor. It must have been such a dreadful time for all members of the Royal Family.

   The Coronation was on 2nd June, 1953, and was a wonderful occasion for her, the family and for the country. She is the only monarch to have reached a Platinum Jubilee, and we hope that she enjoys many more years as our Queen.



Jane Matthews has sent us an item which introduces us to something new -

The ‘Flamboyant’ Empire Exhibition 1938

    Jane belongs to a postcard group where the members are given a topic which has to be illustrated by a postcard.

     The topic for this research was ‘Flamboyance’, and includes some interesting information about Liverpool.


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Valentine & Sons Ltd., Dundee and London produced the official postcards for this Scottish Exhibition,

although there are some cards by other publishers. The writer of the message was going to the Exhibition. K.


   Some of you may question the degree of flamboyance demonstrated by this card. However, given the stereotype of Scottish dourness, I shall say that this is ‘flamboyant for Scotland’!

   The postcard is a night-time view of the floodlit ‘Tait Tower’ and cascades at the British Empire Exhibition held in Scotland in 1938, following the success of a previous incarnation at Wembley Park (London) in 1924 to 1925. What interests me in particular is not the beating of the drum about Empire (that makes me really uncomfortable), but the beautiful modernist buildings together with what was on show in the pavilions. Pathé news described it as ‘presenting the Empire to the Empire’, but it also threw a spotlight on Scotland and what it had to offer. During the Great Depression of the early 1930s Scotland had suffered much deprivation and, as its recovery was slower than in the rest of Britain, prominent Scottish industrialists advocated for the exhibition in order to boost trade and development. Funding came via subscriptions from private companies/individuals, government sources and those countries taking part.

    Bellahouston Park in Glasgow was the chosen site and the nearby Ibrox Stadium, home of the Rangers Football Club, was made available for associated sporting events. The various planning committees launched the project in 1936, with Cecil Weir taking the helm. He was chairman of an international leather company based in Glasgow, an able linguist and an active member of the Liberal Party who supported social and economic reform. In 1943 he would suggest to Winston Churchill’s government that a Design Council should be initiated in order to aid post-war recovery and this was created in 1944. Knighted in 1938, Sir Cecil Weir played a crucial part in business and industry in West Germany from 1946 to 1949 and on his return to the UK served as chairman of various companies.

    The chief architect appointed to the project was Thomas Smith Tait (1882-1952), originally from Paisley, and who was educated at the Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Academy. At the time he was a senior partner in Burnet, Tait and Lorne of Glasgow and London, the foremost architectural practice in the 1930s and renowned for its modernist buildings. Tait designed most of the 100 buildings on the site, assisted by younger Scottish architects while some of the national pavilions were designed by architects from those countries under Tait’s supervision. In addition to the main pavilions and halls, there were 62 representing commercial and industrial concerns.

    The Liverpool architect Herbert Rowse designed the British Government Pavilion. After studying in Liverpool Rowse took inspiration from his travels in Italy and North America, opening his own practice in his home city in 1914. Rowse worked in a variety of styles and his stunning Liverpool buildings are testament to his considerable talents. The Martin’s Bank building on Water Street, (opened in 1932) is said to be one of the finest interwar classical buildings in Britain and is described as a masterpiece. I first came across this seven storey building when I got lost in Liverpool and was intrigued as to its origins. It is built in Portland stone on a steel frame and the design is American classicism; the sculptural reliefs in the grand entrance have references to the slave trade, many banks making vast amounts of money from association with slavery and the sugar trade. The interior can certainly be described as flamboyant and the ornate banking hall has featured in the film ‘Fantastic beasts and where to find them’ and the TV series ‘Peaky Blinders’. When a German invasion was feared in 1940, much of the country’s gold was stored in the bank’s vaults in a top secret operation. In 1969 the Liverpool HQ building and 700 branches were taken over by Barclays. When that company vacated the premises in 2009 plans fell through for a luxury hotel, but it has now been bought to house hybrid workspaces and to be used by businesses and the community. Some of Rowse’s other significant Liverpool buildings include the India Buildings, the Mersey Tunnel approaches and ventilation towers and the Philharmonic Concert Hall.

   Construction on the site began in 1937, the commemoration stone being unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and the project was completed in ten months. Roadways were built to a high standard and on the various avenues were the pavilions, Engineering Hall, Industrial Hall, Concert Hall, Palace of Arts, three churches, cinema, a lake and other attractions. The United Kingdom and Scotland had their own avenues, the latter having a life-size model of a highland village. Holiday resorts had provided inspiration for facilities and Billy Butlin (of holiday camp fame) was in charge of constructing and operating the 12 acre amusement park which showcased 28 large rides and over a hundred sideshows. The luxurious Atlantic Restaurant was built and operated by the Anchor Line shipping company and it was designed as the bow and superstructure of a liner. I’m pleased to say that a restaurant is located in the original booking office of the company, named ‘The Atlantic Bar and Brasserie’ in honour of the 1938 exhibition and serving French cuisine.

    The ‘Tower of the Empire’, or ‘Tait Tower’, as shown on this postcard was the symbol of the exhibition and its image can be found on a lot of the merchandise still to be found on eBay. The Tower was 300 feet high and was the tallest building in Scotland at the time and as it was built on a hill it could be seen from 100 miles away. There were three observation decks and the view over the 170 acre site must have been spectacular, especially at night when the colourful water fountains were ‘dancing’ below. [See postcard below. K]

    The Beresford Hotel opened in 1938 in order to accommodate visitors and at seven storeys high it was said to be Glasgow’s first skyscraper. The building is a fabulous example of Art Deco architecture and during World War II it was a popular haunt for American servicemen. After being converted for office use then student accommodation, it now houses private apartments. A café, bar and event space seems to be set to open there this year.

    King George VI and Queen Elizabeth returned to open the Empire Exhibition on 3 May 1938, the ceremony being attended by 146,000 people at Ibrox Stadium. The admission charge to the exhibition was one shilling for adults and sixpence for children and over the period May to October there were nearly thirteen million visitors, although it had been hoped that many more would attend. Factors influencing lower numbers than had been predicted were the good old Scottish weather (cold, wet and windy) and the lack of international advertising due to developments in Europe prior to World War II. I like the fact that the sender of the postcard says someone they knew went to the exhibition yesterday and that they are going the next day. I bet they had a great time, despite the weather. Passenger trucks ferried 10,000 visitors per day around the site and there were 19 restaurants, and lots of milk bars and places to eat snacks. Entertainment featured classical concerts, drama, jazz and dance bands, variety shows and cinema presentations including documentaries, newsreels and cartoons. Parades and displays were scheduled throughout and competitions were held. The international football tournament was won by Glasgow’s Celtic team and they received the Empire Exhibition Trophy.

    On the last day of the exhibition (29 October 1938) a new day-record was set when 364,092 people attended. The weather did its best to dampen the excitement with a three hour downpour, but nevertheless people crowded into the attractions and onto the rides. Only the Palace of Arts remains on the site and this functions as a sports hall. Tait tower was demolished in 1939, the Palace of Engineering was dismantled and re-erected as factory space for Scottish Aviation at Prestwick, the South Africa pavilion was moved to become a staff canteen for ICI in Ayrshire and the Empire News Theatre eventually became a cinema and now the Empire Travel Lodge in Lochgilphead. Bizarrely, the highland village was shipped to San Francisco!

    How I would have loved to have visited the Empire Exhibition, as the spectacle would have had flamboyance in spades. Maybe some of the Scottish members have relatives who attended and perhaps have family photographs or memorabilia. If so, I’d love to hear about this.

Thank you, Jane. We hope to have some more items from you in the future. K.



I have added these views of the Exhibition from my Art-Deco collection. K.

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The view over the site from the Tait Tower.


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The United Kingdom Pavilion by Rowse.


  The 13th July meeting will be another opportunity to reveal a bit more about ourselves. The ‘2-minute talk’ topic will be:- “A card showing your favourite place for a day out.”

  At 10th August meeting, we will have final arrangements for the fair, and our usual 1-sheet competition. Please join in if you can. The entries can be on any location or subject. The more variety we have, the better, as the sheets will be on display at the fair, to give visitors an idea of the range of cards available.

  Please don’t use original cards – photocopies on an A4 sheet will do just as well for this.


Jubilee Tea Party

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Barbara, who is a dolls’ house enthusiast, has sent this photograph of a Jubilee Tea Party, which we can all enjoy!

It is her representation of her family home when she was young, including the 2 pet tortoises. The detail is amazing.

Thank you, Barbara!


 I hope that you can join in with the Jubilee events in your area. I look forward to seeing you on June 8th for Marion’s presentation.     Best wishes for now, Karlyn


Club Bulletin, May 2022.


    I was so disappointed not to be able to join everyone at the meeting in April, especially as I had asked John to give the talk about the Rev. William Hughes. Those members who were there found it a most interesting story. John has kindly written a summary of his talk, for those of us who missed it….see below.

    Thank you to everyone who has sent cards and messages to me, following my recent operation. They have been a great help at a difficult time.


Our next meeting is on Wednesday 11th May, when the topic for the 2-minute talks will be "An item from your non-postcard collections" – and we know you have them! [If you collect full-size buses, cars or military tanks, please leave them in the car-park .

What's NOT on…

. The Anglesey Antiques fair at the Mona Showground in May is Cancelled, but the October one is still on, according to the Continuity Fairs website. Contact:- 01584 873 634 / 07703 558 600 / 07802 267206 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What IS on…

Next "Colwyn Bay" fair in Abergele - Saturday, 14th May. Contact Steve on 01745-826434 and email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Next Wirral fair, Thornton Hough - Saturday, 11th June. Contact:- Madeline Dearman - 01244 880904 email:- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Gill Jackson :- 07741-316847


Criccieth Club. May 3rd 2 Sheet Competition We meet on the First Tuesday every month at The Bishops Room, St Catherines Church, Criccieth.

Secretary - Marion Turner 01766 590203 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Here's a topical card for the holiday weekend, in the Valentine A Series.

It was posted in June 1960 from Aberytswyth


Rev. William Hughes

a summary of the talk by John Lawson-Reay.

    Rev. William Hughes was sent by the Baptist Missionary Society to Africa, to be in charge of a remote community at Bainston. Just getting there was a nearly impossible task, but the one good thing to come out of the ill-fated venture was that the Baptists managed to get an engineer to design a boat suitable for use on the Congo, which could be dismantled, packed into crates, and re-assembled in Africa. The crates and the engineer arrived, but the poor engineer succumbed to the climate. However, William and several helpers did manage to carry the crates 200 miles to Bainston and assemble the boat, and sailing it was a big improvement on hacking through the jungle.

    William’s health was failing and he pleaded to come home. Eventually he was allowed to do so and, based in Llangollen, and accompanied by Kinkasa and Nkanza (see photo) he travelled around the Baptist Chapels in Wales trying to raise funds for further missionary work in the Congo. Around this time he married his fiancee, Katy Jones.

    The Baptists were keen for the couple to set off for Africa, and it must have been a huge relief to William and Katy when they were found to be medically unfit to do so. William became Minister of Old Colwyn and Llanelian baptist Chapels, and it was hoped that he would oversee the building of an additional Chapel in Colwyn Bay. At this time he was living at the first Congo House, which was in Bay View Road, Colwyn Bay, which Katy ran as a guest house


    William succeeded in getting a Baptist Chapel built in Colwyn Bay, whilst continuing to raise funds for his own project; a ‘Congo House’ where African students could live and be taught useful trades, which would enable them to return home to better lives. The Congo Institute opened at Myrtle Villa, Nant-y-Glyn Road in 1890. Students were taught tailoring, shoe-making, printing, photography, and first aid. But even when 12 years old Kinkasa died, who had accompanied the missionary on his return from the Congo, it didn’t seem to occur to William that just as the heat and humidity of Africa made it ‘the white man’s grave’, so the cold and damp of Wales would send many Congo House students to their graves.


    William met his hero, the explorer H.M. Stanley when he came to speak at Caernarfon; and as well as offering his own patronage of the Institute, Stanley persuaded the later disgraced, King Leopold of the Belgians and the owner of the Elder Dempster Shipping Line to do likewise. This meant that all students travelled free of charge courtesy of Elder Dempster.


    At one point William returned briefly to Africa to set up a ‘Feeder Institute’ to supply further students.

   Over the years, many Congo students died and were buried in the little churchyard at Llanelian, William’s wife, Katy, died at the age of just thirty-three, and two of his daughters died. He did eventually remarry, but his second wife, Bessie, stayed in Colwyn Bay for just one week before returning to Ashton under Lyne, never to be heard of again!

    But William’s downfall came in the shape of a black actor, John Franklyn, who, whilst performing in Colwyn Bay, attended a Bible Class at the Congo Institute. Despite being warned about Franklyn’s criminal past, William employed him to raise desperately needed funds for the Institute - its illustrious patrons all, by this time, having been disgraced. A national newspaper report headed “Black Baptist – Brown Baby” appeared and Horatio Bottomley of John Bull magazine (similar to today’s Private Eye), named Franklyn as the father of the baby, born to a Colwyn Bay girl. Further, Bottomley alleged financial impropriety by William.

    Despite his precarious financial state – by this time he had written many cheques knowing he had no funds to cover them, William sued Bottomley, but inevitably lost. Congo House and its contents were auctioned.

   William’s sister-in-law took him in, but when he turned to alcohol (who could blame him?!) and his son Stanley, who was a successful professional footballer, failed to honour his offer of financial help, she couldn’t afford to keep William any longer; and tragically he ended his days in Conway Workhouse. He was buried – and remains with Kinkasa and many other Congo Institute students in Llanelian Churchyard, although the church no longer exists.


'    Ripples from Colwyn Bay' - William Hughes' lasting legacy. One of his students Davidson Don Tengo Jabavu returned to South Africa where he established the first black university in South Africa. One of his students was Nelson Mandela who later declared that "Fort Hare and Professor J.D.D.T. Jabavu are virtually synonymous". So through his students and his students' students, his influence lives on. Just before he shuffled off into penury and obscurity William Hughes begged of old friends and supporters, and perhaps of us to-day: 'Please do not forget to remember me.' On the back cover of the book I have a photograph which I took of the gravestone of his first two boys. As I was about to take it a Robin flew down and posed on the memorial stone. I am sure he was there to guard the boys.


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    This is the cover of the book written by Christopher Draper and John, and I have been reading it over the past weeks. I find the story so very sad, as the Rev. Hughes genuinely wanted to help African communities, with no thought of gain for himself, and it ended badly for so many people. Thank you, John, for shining a light on this tragedy for us. K

The book was published in 2012 by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, and the isbn is:- 978-1-84527-400-9




“Finding Mr. Gooby” – Jane Matthews’ account of her investigations into the message

on the Elmer Keene Llandudno Lifeboat card featured last month.


    The card’s message is written upside down, which may be an attempt to make it less easily read by the postman. It reads: ‘Dear Mr Gooby, Thanks for letter received. Sorry not to have answered before, but have been so busy. Pleased to hear you had a good time at the J. (or T.) O.M. I suppose you have quite settled down to work again. Kind regards, M.Breeze.’ It was posted in Llandudno on 15 July 1907.


    At first I thought it was a message from a holidaymaker to someone back at work in London, but it seemed odd to have given the excuse of being too busy if on holiday. I therefore started to think that Mr Gooby had been to Llandudno on holiday and this was a card from someone he met there and had subsequently written to. Mr Gooby’s initials are ‘AW’ and his address is ‘74 Packington Road, Acton, London’. Although the name Gooby is not common, it’s strange enough for mistakes to be made by enumerators and a quick search revealed nothing.


   To narrow down the search I tried using ‘Albert William’ then ‘Alfred William’ and I experimented with 1887 +/- 10 years for date of birth and…success! Albert William Gooby was born on 8 October 1882 to parents Walter and Mary. On the 1891 census Walter is listed as a ‘Horsekeeper’, which makes sense, as he was an agricultural labourer in 1881. The family is living at Packington Road in Acton. In 1901 there is more than one family at each number in Packington Road, so also at number 74 is Emily Bayley, a widow of 63 who is on Parish Relief, which would have been an alternative to the workhouse. There are many laundry workers living in the street and they all appear to be working from home; apparently this was common in the South Acton area. Albert Gooby is 18 and a railway clerk, a job he has been doing since the age of 14.

    If my theory about Albert having visited Llandudno was correct, then he could have been mentioned in the Visitor lists. Sure enough, there he was, but in July 1906 when he stayed at ‘Sundorne’ in nearby Colwyn Bay. Either he visited after that, or the mysterious M Breeze took a very long time to answer his letter! I haven’t been able to find anything else connecting the two people.

    Albert married Winifred Farmer (whose father was…a farmer) in Longford, Derbyshire on 19 October 1910 and in 1911 they were living at 11 Rosebank Avenue in Harrow, Albert still being a railway clerk. In February 1916, at the age of 33, Albert was conscripted into the Royal Engineers (Railway and Canal Troops) as part of the British Expeditionary Force sent to France. He was Acting Lance Corporal when he was transferred to the Reserve after examination in Boulogne in September 1919 and in 1922 he received the Victory Medal.


      In 1939 Albert and Winifred were living with their 27 year old daughter Joyce Mary at 14 Dalkeith Avenue in Harpenden, Hertfordshire and Albert was still in the same occupation. Joyce was a shorthand typist at the Ministry of Agriculture.

Albert William Gooby died at the grand old age of 95 in 1977.


    It's fascinating to see what can be discovered from a random postcard message from over 100 years ago! Thanks so much for sharing your research with us, Jane.


    I hope that you can enjoy the holiday weekend, and I'm looking forward to meeting up with everyone again in May. Best wishes, Karlyn


Club Bulletin April 2022.

    The March meeting was well attended, but Maralyn was unwell, and couldn't come, so we wish her a speedy return to full health. Everyone brought an album of cards to share with the group, so we had a most interesting and entertaining evening.

  Keith had a wonderful collection of real photo cards by Idris James Pierce, a photographer with a Post Office and shop in Queensferry, Flintshire. The cards were a record of the village, and included images of Prisoners of War. Following his death, the contents of the shop were put up for sale at an auction.

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Idris James Pierce's P.O. and shop in Queensferry – one of his own cards.

     Jamie’s collection was of Rhyl, the place in which he grew up. He started it when he was about 16, and he used to visit the local antiques and ‘junk’ shops, looking for cards of the area. He now has a magnificent range of cards covering all aspects of this holiday town which he loves.

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John Clay, Merllyn Farm Dairy. private address: Church Street, Rhyl.

   [My mother used to go out on a milk-round when she was about 15 in 1925. She drove a horse and cart, and stopped outside houses in her village. The occupants would come out with a jug, and mother would ladle milk into it from the churn in the cart. It is lovely for me to see a photo of a milk-cart similar to one she would have used. K.]

  Marion belongs to the fast-growing and world-wide postcard-exchange service “Postcrossing”. It began in 2004, and invites members to send a postcard to a random person who is registered in the service, and then they will receive a card from someone else. It's a great way of collecting cards and getting in touch with fellow enthusiasts. For more information, go to:-

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A card advertising the service.

     Trebor is a Tuck enthusiast, and his album contained the beautiful and distinctive children's cards of Phyllis Cooper, 1895-1988.

  Many have dark backgrounds and the designs are very much of their Art-Deco period. Unusually for the time, Tuck employed female illustrators. Phyllis also designed an advert for Ovaltine, in which a child is asleep in a chair, with her teddy in a rocking-cradle, while two fairies bring her a tin of Ovaltine. Phyllis later went on to write articles for interior design and architectural magazine.

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Tuck set no. 3487. Happyland series VII. Dolly Wood and Dolly Dutch are Making Bread for tea….c1930.

6 cards in the set.

    This card perfectly captures a scene from rural Wales in the early 20th Century. It is from Lynne's collection of Broughton, Flintshire, and nearby villages. The church is St. Mary's, Broughton, and the house on the right is still there, I think, but the tree has disappeared. The man with the scythe is tidying the grass verges, and the man and boy in the pony trap could be a father and son out for a ride. The little girls are wearing hats and pinafores, perhaps on their way home after school.

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    Lindsay's collection focuses on Whitford village near Holywell, Flintshire. This view, by Holywell postcard publisher, Scotcher, was taken on the wedding day of Caroline Beatrice Tate, and Major Frederick Winwood Robinson at the village church of Saints Mary and Beuno, on 22nd August 1905. Caroline was the daughter of Sir William Henry Tate, of Tate & Lyle, the sugar refiners, whose summer residence was Downing Hall, Whitford. Sadly, the Major died in action in April 1917, and Caroline passed away in 1965.

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    Japan has captured Sue's heart, and she very much enjoyed her recent visit to this intriguing country. Her collection of cards covers many aspects of Japanese life, such as the beautiful fabrics, the many traditions and the enchanting kimonos. However, the vibrant illustration on this card represents the Japanese planes in action in WW2.

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   Local historian and author, John, had an album containing a vast array of cards depicting Convalescent Homes in Llandudno, Conwy and Deganwy. Our North Wales coastal area was considered to be an excellent place for recuperation, and many such homes sprang up in the late 19th – early 20th Centuries. Among the better-known homes were Plas Mariandir, with an Art-Deco entrance; Marle Hall, until October 2021 an Outdoor Education Centre, but for sale at the moment, and the Lady Forester Home, later the North Wales Medical Centre and from 19th September 2011, a training and rehabilitation centre for Blind Veterans.

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The Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund, 1873-1938, had some properties in the area, but the thing which surprised

me most, was that the Tyn-y-Coed Home had its own herd of cows.

   Air-ships were the topic of Roger's album There were images of the famous ones, such as the R100, R101, and the Hindenburg, and many of the less familiar ones. A most unusual set of cards showed how the air-ships were constructed. This card shows a UK military airship protecting a convoy in WW1, and is a "War Bond Campaign Post Card, issued in connection with the National War Savings Committee's Campaigns. From material supplied by the Ministry of Information. Design No.6. Passed by Censor". In the stamp-frame is "National Savings. Feed the Guns with War Bonds". The publisher is A.M. Davis & Co., Quality Cards, London. Price 1d.

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Airship on Convoy Duty – card no.6 of the first set of 6 issued.

    I brought along one of my albums of "Illuminated Manuscript" style cards. I have always been attracted to this type of art-work, and I began collecting these beautiful coloured cards issued by Sporgi of Florence many years ago. Most are numbered on the back, and subjects include Popes, angels, and religious paintings. Before the meeting, I searched on-line for some information about this publisher, but the only results I had were pictures of SPORGI dogs – spaniel-corgi cross – and no mention of the publisher!

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    I had also brought an album of Club programmes, so that members could see what we've been doing over the past decades. There are some gaps in the series, but I hope to be able to fill them from other information which I have.

   Thanks to everyone for a lovely evening, and for sending scans of your cards, as my phone-camera had a melt-down on the night!

Our good friend, Jane Matthews, has sent us an item, telling the rather surprising story of the Llandudno Lifeboats.

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     As I live by the coast, it seems appropriate to choose a card celebrating the lifeboat crews who have risked their lives to rescue those in difficulty on the sea. Only a few nights ago there was a rescue going on further up the coast, with lifeboat and helicopter involved. This card, dated 1907, shows a dramatic picture of the Llandudno lifeboat being launched into heavy waves, surrounded by what looks like men in sou’westers. The crew are about to row out to sea, which would seem almost impossible in such a swell. The wheel, which can be seen at the side of the lifeboat, belongs to the horse drawn trailer which was used to pull the lifeboat to the beach.

      The first Llandudno lifeboat was a rowing boat funded in 1861 by two Liverpool ladies in memory of their sister, who died the previous year and it was named ‘Sister’s Memorial’. The coxswain was a copper miner and he was alerted to any emergency by his daughter banging on the pipe at the top of the shaft. The lifeboat station was located by the railway station in the town centre, so the boat had to be taken on a horse drawn trailer to be launched on either the North or the West Shore. There were accidents during transportation, with two men losing their lives in the 1890s after falling under the wheels of the carriage. The location by the station was originally intended to enable the boat to be taken by rail to nearby places, but this never transpired.

       The boat we see on the postcard appears to be the self-righting lifeboat ‘Theodore Price’, which was stationed in Llandudno 1902-1930. It would have been pulled through the town and across the sand by 50 men, so presumably these are the men standing by. Horses were not used after 1899 due to the difficulty in obtaining them quickly and the cost.

    In 1903 a boathouse was constructed in Lloyd Street which enabled easier access to both shores, but the lifeboat still had to be towed through the town. This remained the case right up until 2017 – the only place in the UK where this happened. The first lifeboat with a motor was obtained in 1933, together with a tractor and new carriage for transportation through the streets. Up to this point the lifeboat was still being pulled to the launch site by men.  

    A splendid new lifeboat station opened in 2017 on the North Shore. The current main lifeboat is a Shannon-class called the

William F Yates, after a donor to the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), who had great affection for Llandudno. As there is no natural harbour, it is launched from a very sophisticated tractor unit and mobile slipway known as the Shannon Launch and Recovery System. There is also a small inshore lifeboat and the crews of both boats are mainly volunteers. Receiving no government funding, the RNLI is a charity which relies on donations to support its 349 lifeboats around the UK. Does this happen in other countries, I wonder?

     There is a small signature (‘Elmer Keene’) on the bottom left of the picture. Ezra Elmer Keene (1853-1929) was originally a miller and baker, but later became a photographer and painter. Many of his coastal and rural images were used on postcards and his romanticised moonlit landscapes were very evocative.

The card has a message which prompted Jane to do some more investigating, and we’ll see the results next time in

‘Finding Mr. Gooby’. Thanks for your articles, Jane, they are always very much appreciated. K.

     Next month's meeting is on Wednesday, 13th April. The speaker is John Lawson Reay, and his subject is "The Congo House Scandal." This really is a remarkable story, so do come along if you can.

Criccieth Club.

April 5th 2.30pm.       Spring is in the air

                                  Do you have anything new to share

May 3rd                    2 Sheet Competition

We meet on the First Tuesday every month at The Bishops Room, St Catherines Church, Criccieth

Secretary - Marion Turner 01766 590203 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Next Abergele [ex-Colwyn Bay] Fair:- 14th May.

Next Wirral Fair:- 11th June

Anglesey, 2-day Mona Showground Antiques Fair in May – Cancelled!

I am sorry to say that the 2-day antiques and collectables fair, which should have been in May, has been cancelled.

The October event is still in the calendar. Tel:- 01584-873634 or 07703-558600

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I could be out of action for a while if I have to go into hospital, so unfortunately,

I may have to miss the next meeting.

I'll sign off this month with a lovely seasonal card, and I wish everyone a very happy Easter. Karlyn.

Club Bulletin March 2022

The February meeting was the first of the year, as the January one was cancelled. We continued to stay apart and wear masks in the room, even though the Centre wasn't asking us to, but I think that we did feel safer. We can continue with these precautions for as long as members want to.

    The delayed AGM was held at this meeting, and we are delighted to tell you that we have 2 new Committee members, who volunteered their services. The Committee is now:-

Chair: Marion.

Vice Chair: John Lawson Reay.

Treasurer: Sue Crawford.

Secretary: Karlyn. Membership records: Lindsay.


     The next meeting is on Wednesday, 9th March, at 7pm., when we invite you to bring one of your postcard albums to display. It's always a most interesting evening, so I hope that we get a really good show.

As you will know by now, I have sent out a selection of basic fair posters and flyers for you to print if you wish, to take to other meetings, events and fairs you may be attending. All publicity for our fair is valuable, so thank you if you are able to help. We hope to have the usual colour-flyers as well, and we are trying to save paper and Club funds by reusing the leftover 2020 flyers, covering the 2020 date with the 2022 one. I think people may appreciate it as an environmentally friendly option.


Criccieth Club meets at the Bishop's Room, St. Catherine's Church, Criccieth on the first Tuesday of the month at 2pm.

Phone Marion for more information on 01766-590203.


Colwyn Bay Fair.      Change of Venue for March 12th .      Contact Steve on 01745-826434

Saturday, 12th March 2022 at Abergele Youth and Community Centre.

Market Street, Abergele LL22 7BP     9.30 am until 2.30 pm

There is free parking on-site, and the nearby Library and Tesco have car-parks which are free for a time, but they are monitored, and fines would be levied for overstaying.

The talk for February was the story of Talacre, given by a former resident of the village, and Club member, Jack Jones, who has given me a lot of help with this report. Talacre is a tiny village, situated at the tip of the Dee Estuary on the Welsh side, and opposite to West Kirby, Wirral, on the English side. It lies 4 miles east of Prestatyn, which is one of the most popular holiday resorts on the North Wales Coast.

In the early 1930s, during digging work in the Talacre area, a Viking grave was discovered. It was lined with stone slabs, and contained a skeleton, and two weapons. It would date from c1000AD., and it is known that the Vikings were in the Cheshire and North Wales area about that time. Sadly, the grave was sent to Manchester for further investigation, but is now lost.

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The Mostyn family had owned the land in this area since the 16th Century, and their home, Talacre Hall, dated from the 17th Century. Between 1824 and 1829, a new Hall was built, to the designs of Thomas Jones. Shortly after the sale of the estate, from 1920 to 1988, the Hall was a Benedictine Covent, and was renamed Talacre Abbey. It is now a luxury hotel and wedding venue, 'Westbury Castle'

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This card is a correspondence card from 'The Talacre Stone Company, 15, Newgate St., Chester. Works at Mostyn.' It was posted on June 3rd 1881 at Chester, and sent to the Sandycroft Foundry Co., Hawarden. The message reads:- "We should be much obliged if you could return the Piston to Mostyn for our Crane sometime tomorrow as it most urgently wanted."

The Stone Quarries in the Talacre and Gwespyr area have been suppliers to builders and farmers for many years. Basingwerk Abbey and Flint castle were built with Talacre Stone.

The Talacre scythe-sharpening stones from Sir Pyers Mostyn's Talacre Quarries were reported as having been awarded 1st prize at the Great Exhibition of 1851, and Talacre stone has been exported to other countries such as Australia and the USA.

For more information about the Talacre Quarries, go to:- pp18-20

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Point of Air Lighthouse in distress. c 1900.

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Photo Precision Colourmaster International 24232PLX The Old Lighthouse Point of Air Nr. Prestatyn. c1960. 

   The River Dee has been used for transporting goods for centuries, but the estuary area is particularly dangerous for shipping, so in 1776/7, the first lighthouse, designed by Joseph Turner, was built at Point of Air, Talacre. It later collapsed, and a new building appeared in 1844, and although it ceased to be operational 40 years later, it remains as a landmark in the village. Talacre's lifeboat house opened in 1894 and closed in 1923. Local horses were used to draw the boat to the water, and a report of 1843 says that, on one occasion, when the weather was too bad for it to sail to Rhyl to help with a rescue, the horses drew it the 8 miles by road.

    After several aborted attempts to mine coal here, in 1883, the Point of Ayr Colliery Company found a workable seam, and the Colliery opened in 1890 and closed on 23rd August 1996.

For more information go to

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Warren from Sandhills, Talacre. Valentine card W6172 c1955.

   The Warren was an area of sand dunes in which rabbits lived. They provided food for the Mostyn Estate and locals, and were also farmed for their fur. Jack's great-grandfather had moved to Talacre around 1900 and worked for Lord Mostyn as a gamekeeper. He lived in Warren House, which was the only stone building on the Warren. Jack's family lived in one of the many wooden chalets which had been built in the Warren from the 1930s. They had no mains water or electricity, but they provided homes for a good community where people helped each other. During WW2, following the heavy bombing of Liverpool, evacuees from Merseyside came to live there, in any shelter they could find – chalets, old buses or railway carriages. The Warren was a safe place for children to play, even during the war, as it was far from the main roads. Pill boxes and some coastal defence measures were put in place to prepare for possible enemy attacks, and some are still visible today.

   The concrete road was built during the war, and from 1942-45, part of the Warren, from Talacre to Tyn-y-Morfa was used for target practice by RAF pilots, air-to-ground and air-to- air, and it may still be possible to find spent cartridges and bullets in the ground.

   In the early 1960s the area was sold to the Cornish China Clay Company who had big plans to develop it into a major holiday park with swimming pool, launderette, club-house, shops etc. However, it was then discovered that the there was a diversity of wildlife and fauna, and progress was halted at the Tyn-y-Morfa end of the Warren. It was sold to Bourne Leisure in the late 60s and a conservation order was put on the Warren to protect it from further development. It was renamed Presthaven.

    In 1973, the Warren was cleared and more plans were made to develop a holiday park, but that idea was shelved. In the 1990s Hamilton Oil bought the site on condition that they protected the Warren and its wildlife. There are some modern holiday and residential parks in the village.

    If you would like to read more about the village, the book which was produced by the 'Talacre Then and Now' project, is called 'Atgofion Talacre Memories', and is written in Welsh and English. It has a brief history of the village, and is full of memories contributed by residents, former residents, visitors and holidaymakers. If you remember Talacre, it will be a joy to read. If you don't know the village, the book will surprise you with many personal stories and a wealth of postcard views and family photos. The book is available from the Talacre Community Centre for £3, and there's a video for £3 too.

We thank Jack for a most entertaining and informative talk on his home village, and he has promised to complete the story of the village in wartime at a future meeting

The 2022 programme for the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Historical Society. Tel. John on 01492-582185.

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John from Menai Bridge has sent us a snippet which I think will surprise you!

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    The illustrated postcard, produced by W.Williams of Castle Square, Caernarfon, shows Jerry M’s triumphant return to Vaynol, Portdinorwic, after winning the Grand National at Aintree in 1912, along with Sir Charles Assheton Smith, the horse’s proud owner and an invited crowd of his employees. This success was the first of a remarkable hat-trick of Grand National winners by Sir Charles, with Covertcoat in 1913 and Sunloch the following year. If a similar feat was achieved today it would undoubtedly make sporting headlines, with Vaynol besieged by television programmers.

Thank you John!

I'll sign off this month with two cards to mark St. David's Day on 1st March.. I look forward to seeing you on 9th. K.

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St. David's Cathedral. Valentine W series 391. Photograph registered in 1934. It was the site of a 6th Century monastery, and the current building was begun in 1181. The Cathedral Records in our National Library go back to 1397

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St. David's Cross Square. Photochrom No 63704. The market cross dates to the 14th Century, and the market is still held in the square. There are 2 motor-cycles with side-cars in the lower left corner – tourists?

Club Bulletin, February 2022. 

Hello again!

     The meeting on Wednesday, 9th February will go ahead. The only rules are:- sanitise hands on entering, and wear masks in the corridors. If members prefer to have distancing in the room, or if anyone wants to wear a mask, that's fine. There will be a short AGM too. You will have seen the accounts already, and there is nothing to report about meetings. We will have some changes to the committee. If you have any issues you would like to raise, you can let me know in advance, or on the night.

    'The story of Talacre' is the title of Jack's talk for the meeting, and it is a fascinating story, from Viking times to the present, so do come along if you can.


Please look out for emails or phone calls from me, to tell you if there are any changes, or you can phone me on 01492-440763 for the latest information that I have.


   I am sorry to report the passing of Liz, who came to the Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Wirral fairs with Renzo Garavello. Liz passed away on Friday 7th January, and she will be very much missed at these events. She was a very lively and interesting person, who always enjoyed a chat with the collectors and other dealers. Renzo is, of course, very upset, and I have sent a card to him from the Club, and I have asked him to convey our sympathy to her family.

Colwyn Bay Fair. Bryn Cadno Community Centre, Upper Colwyn Bay. LL29 6DW.

        I went to the fair on 8th January, to support Steve, who has had many months of trying to find an alternative venue for the event, [we know how difficult that is!] and the dealers who had come along. It is quite a wide, but steep and winding road up to the estate where the Community Centre is located, but there were Steve's usual signs along the way to guide us. The no.23 bus stops nearby.

     There were fewer dealers than at Eirias Park School, but there was a good mix – some stamp dealers, Keith and Alec with postcards, and Glyn with ephemera and postcards – so something for everyone. There was also the usual refreshment bar in the foyer, which I wasn't expecting. We were asked to register our phone numbers for covid alerts, and use hand-sanitiser as we went in. We had to wear masks and stay socially distanced, but as there were fewer people in a large room, that wasn't a problem.

      It was so nice to see members and friends again, and I very much enjoyed the morning. It was good to have our popular local fair back. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. K

The next fair is scheduled for 12th March. 10am-2.30pm.

The other dates for 2022 are:- 14th May, 9th July, 10th September, 12th November.

These fairs are subject to the covid rules in place at the time, and could be cancelled at short notice. I will try to get the latest information for you from Steve, but if you want to contact him direct, his phone number is 01745-826434 and email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Wirral fair, Thornton Hough Village Hall.

Manor Lane, Thornton Hough.CH63 1JB

5th March - 10am - 3.30pm, entrance £1. Contact Ian on 0151-608-7611

Criccieth Club.

The Criccieth Club met on Tuesday 1st February, and it was a very enjoyable afternoon, Marion tells us.

For the latest information, please phone Marion on 01766-590203

Adrian's Home Front Museum, Llandudno will be reopening on March 22nd . Tel 01492-87103

On February 1st we welcomed in the Chinese Year of the Tiger.

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This card is by Theochrom, a Klio Postcard.


Marion has sent a topical item for us. She writes:_

      As it was St. Dwynwen's Day on 25th January, [she is the Welsh Patron Saint of lovers], and St. Valentines Day this month, I thought you might like some cards about Welsh kissing. It's interesting that each card has different towns with the similar text. The two that mention Llandudno both say the girls suggest a walk to the pier. The horizontal versions have no publishing name on the back. I like the one with a Welsh lady on top published by Everton telling you how it's done. I have added a transcript of the text to make it easier to read. I've also added a couple of uses for the Welsh hat.

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Some of the more advanced prehistoric physicians have declared that kissing spreads disease. The only disease the Welsh girls declare is matrimony, so notes a nice young man who has recently been practising the Art in Wales.

He found that Carnarvon girls keep quite quiet till they are kissed.

A Bangor girl when kissed, thinks it delightful.

The damsels of Llandudno on being osculated timidly suggest a walk to the PIER.

The young ladies of Pwllheli recognise the rights of man and turn the other cheek.

The charming young ladies of Rhyl when kissed, propose a walk along the PROMENADE.

A Conway girl only allows one kiss for every 12 laps around the town.

Girls of Penmaenmawr object to be under any obligation and insist on giving as good as they get.

After 47 kisses a Llanfairfechen girl refuses to have any more and returns all those she already has.

When a Llangollen girl is suddenly kissed she says “Oh!” very softly for fear someone should come

A marriageable maiden of Colwyn Bay of being kissed, tries to look stern, fails, then slides her little hand into that of the bold bad man, and in a voice as soft as melted butter whispers shyly, ‘O Rudolf! what are your intentions?’

A Portmadoc will fall into your arms and sigh aloud, ‘Oh how nice, do it again’

The Holyhead girls say, ’Well I never thought it of you, and I am surprised, but don’t do it again: but don’t stay here in the light, let us go out of the town for a while where no one can see us.’

The girls of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll – llantysiliogogogoch suggest a kiss for every letter that spells their village.

But the girls of LLANGOLLEN are the spooniest of them all

Card published by Thomas Bros & C o Everton Liverpool

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Both cards published by Photochrom - artist George Fyffe Christie.

George Fyffe Christie was a Scot who moved to Bushey Hertfordshire. He had a long career writing and illustrating children's books and drawing comic postcards. publishers included Misch & Co, Photochrom and Wrench. All his cards include his recognisable initials or signature. His wife Ethel had two children Andrew and - confusingly - Fyffe George who became a successful artist and mural painter. In 1930 Ethel died and the family moved back to Glasgow. There he had some success with a cartoon strip Scottkin published in a Glasgow newspaper. But he struggled financially especially through the years of recession. He later worked for American style comics published in Scotland. He died in 1951.

Thank you for these, Marion – lovely cards!. K.


       Here's an update on the item about The Smithy Arms in Rhuallt. It's a much more recent picture of the pub, c1970s? with lots of changes from the last time we saw it in the October Bulletin. It looks as though it has been completely re-modelled, and bears little resemblance to the original building. By 2009, it had been renamed the Smithy Arms, Pub and Restaurant, with a new sign above a verandah across the front of the three ground-floor windows, and a large car-park. The two posts by the wall are a pub sign to the right, and a box to show the current menus to the left. It has been closed for some time, and is now a private house, according to some local websites.

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The postcard has no publisher details, and is continental-size c4"x6".

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These images are the front and back of a card which has a copy of "The first ticket issued in England for a transatlantic aeroplane flight to the United States – July 1939"

"Pan American Airways System and Associated Carriers. Passenger Contract Ticket. Not Valid Unless Officially Stamped. Identification Coupon. Not Transferable."

It was issued to "Maj. A.P. Woodburn-Bamberger. From Marseille to Port Washington. Commencing on July 9 th 1939. Passage must be completed by July 9th 1940. Departures will not be delayed for passengers arriving too late for inclusion in flight documents."

The card was posted from Boston Massachusetts on 21st July 1939, via Air Mail, to an address in Stafford, England. It has a United States Postage Trans Atlantic 30-cent stamp, and a facsimile? signature of the passenger to the left of the address.


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We look forward to seeing you at the February Meeting.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Club Bulletin January 2022

We are sorry to tell you that the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, 12th January has been cancelled. Those members who replied to the recent email, which described the regulations in place at Craig-y-Don Community Centre, told us that they did not feel that they could risk being with others indoors at the moment, because of the rising numbers of infections. We will keep you informed of any further changes. Marion and Karlyn.

A New Year message from Marion.

   To all the members of North Wales Postcard Club, I wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year. Here's hoping 2022 will bring an end to Covid and we are able to continue meeting and enjoying our hobby.


Ken has not been well enough to come to the meetings, but he sends his best wishes for 2022 to everyone, and hopes to be able to join us again soon.

I spoke to Elizabeth this week, and she sends her good wishes to all the members for 2022, and hopes to attend the meetings later in the year.


Marion has sent a card which illustrates an old Welsh tradition for this time of year:-

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     Mari Lwyd is a grey mare who joined in Wassailing in the period between Christmas and New Year. He travelled round the village singing in the Welsh language, exchanging rude rhymes with the person he was visiting. It was said that if Mari gained entry to the house there would be good luck for a year. Mari was known to be mischievous even trying to steal things and chasing people he liked. It is first recorded in 1800 but was criticised by the non-Conformists for his bad behaviour. Because of this the tradition slowly died out. Now it only takes place in a few villages.

Thank you Marion.



Colwyn Bay Fair.

I have spoken to Steve Chapman today, Monday 3rd, and he tells me that the fair will be held on Saturday, 8th January, at the Bryn Cadno Community Centre, Upper Colwyn Bay. LL29 6DW. 9.30am-3pm. For the latest information, phone Steve on 01745-826434.

The phone number for the Centre is 01492-532602;


  Our meeting in December was enjoyable, though attendance was down because of the virus and bad weather. Several dealer-members had brought cards for us to browse through

  We congratulated Marion and Walter on their Golden Wedding Anniversary which had been on the Saturday before, and there was some anniversary cake for all those present at the meeting. The couple had asked for donations to Ty Gobaith, the Children's hospice, in lieu of gifts for themselves – a lovely idea!

  The theme of the 2-minute talks was "Bring a card or an object which takes you back to your childhood Christmases", and 5 members took part.

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   Marion showed a recent book of Cicely Mary Barker postcards which brought back memories of a well-loved flower-fairy book which she had received in her Christmas stocking, and a card advertising a Bayko building-set, a present which she had shared with her brother.

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    Lynne had kept a lovely 'Avon' Honeysuckle skin cream pot, which she was given as a Christmas gift when she was 6 years old. She said that she could still smell the perfume.

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    Keith's elder brother, Jack, was on a tour of duty in Germany in 1962, and he had sent this toy police car to Keith for Christmas when he was 8 years old.

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    This card brought back fond memories of Christmas to me. I was a member of the church choir for several years, and at Christmas, under the direction of choir-mistress, Miss Nora Pemberton, we went carolling around the village, collecting funds for the church. Our last stop was always the Manor House, where hot drinks and mince pies awaited us.

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   Walter's item brought the biggest reaction of the evening. He had a large bag, and we couldn't see what was inside, but when he revealed his gorgeous teddy we were all touched by the fact that he had been given it when he was just few weeks old. Walter and teddy are still good friends after all those years.

Thanks to everyone who took part. K

. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

   Can you help? John from Ruthin would like to know when and why the "Patronised by Royalty" award was given to Owens & Sons, Purveyors of Meat, of 9 Water St and 51A High Street, Rhyl. The card was posted in May 1908, which gives us an end-date. The nearest Royal visit was in 1902, when Prince George and Princess Mary came to Rhyl to open the Alexandra Hospital

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 William Ewart Gladstone and Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

    Burne-Jones was leading light in the Arts and Crafts and Pre-Raphaelite art movements, and a close associate of William Morris. His art works are wonderfully rich in colour and detail. Gladstone created the Baronetcy of Rottingdean for him on 4th May, 1894.

   William Ewart Gladstone was born at 62, Rodney Street, Liverpool on 29th December, 1809. His father was Scottish.

  William was educated at Eton and Oxford. He was elected to Parliament in 1832 and his official Maiden Speech was on 3rd June, 1833. It was in defence of his father who had been accused in Parliament of working slaves to death on his West Indies' sugar plantations, during a debate on the emancipation of slaves.

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This card is published by J.H. Worley, Stationer, Hawarden,

"A Souvenir of my visit to Hawarden Castle."

   Gladstone lived at Hawarden Castle following his marriage to Catherine Glynne on July 25th, 1839, in a double wedding with her younger sister, Mary, and Lord Lyttelton. William and Catherine had 8 children, one of whom, Catherine Jessy, sadly died at the age of 4, on April 9th, 1850. William was a good father, well loved by his children and grand-children. The couple celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1889, and the fountain which was unveiled on Gladstone's 81st birthday, stands in the middle of the village, and commemorates that occasion.

   Catherine was well known for her philanthropic acts which included establishing an orphanage in the village. Her great compassion was shown when, just 5 days after she had lost her own husband, she visited a lady whose husband had been killed in a local pit the day before.

     After a remarkable life, which included 4 terms as Prime Minister, William passed away at 5am on Thursday, 19th May 1898.The church bell announced the news to the village and this notice was posted:- "In the natural course of things the funeral will be at Hawarden. Mr Gladstone expressed a strong wish to have no flowers at his funeral: and the family will be grateful if this desire is strictly respected". However, Mr. Balfour asked the Queen to grant the honour of a public funeral for Gladstone. His body lay in the house, on a couch in the library, the 'Temple of Peace' and the estate tenants and neighbours came to offer their condolences. On 25th May, at 6am, his body was taken in a plain coffin to the church, where it lay in state during the day. It was visited by thousands of people from the local area and beyond.

    At 6pm, the coffin was taken to Broughton Hall station by a procession, along roads which people had lined to pay their respects. At the station, the coffin was placed in a funeral carriage on a special train. Mourning crowds gathered at the stations along the route to London, where, on arrival, the coffin was transferred to a hearse and placed in Westminster Hall at 1am. At 3am, a service was held for two of Gladstone's sons, Henry and Herbert, who had accompanied the coffin on its journey south. The service was attended by some Members of the House of Commons. Over the next few days over 200,000 people came to honour the Grand Old Man. On Saturday, May 28th , at 10.30am, the funeral cortege moved from Westminster Hall to the Abbey for the service. When Catherine and the family arrived, in a rare tribute, the entire congregation stood and remained standing until she was seated, near to the coffin.

   The service was a simple one, in accordance with the family's wishes, and afterwards, Gladstone was laid to rest in Statesmen's Corner in the Abbey, near to his old adversary, Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield. A small gold Armenian cross was placed in the coffin just before it was sealed, to recognise the support that Gladstone had given to that nation. 

   Hawarden church was an important place for the Gladstone family, and they attended regularly. William had his own seat, and read the lessons at the morning service whenever possible. In 1896, the children commissioned Burne-Jones to design the Great West Window as a thank-offering for the long and blessed life of their parents. It was to be his last completed work.

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Wrench series No 3701. Hawarden Church, Gladstone Memorial.

   Sadly, the window wasn't placed in the church until May 30th, 1898, 11 days after Gladstone's death, and Burne-Jones died 2 weeks before it was in place. The window depicts the Nativity, and is unusual in that the picture crosses the lines of the mullions as though they aren't there. In the central two panels is the Virgin Mary in blue robes, in the stable, with the baby in her arms. Angels gaze down at the child from the background.

   The Wise Men with their gifts are to the left, and the shepherds are to the right. At the front of the picture, kneeling before the mother and child, are angels in long white robes, with wreaths around their heads, and their blue wings folded, in a pose of worship. The dominant colours are blue and white.

   Other Gladstone family memorials in the church include a window given by the Anglo-Armenian Society in 1896, and designed by Edward Frampton, "In memory of the martyrs and other sufferers in the late massacres, and in grateful remembrance of British sympathy, and in particular of Mr. Gladstone's noble efforts on their behalf"

  On the wall near the pulpit is a marble tablet containing the words of the Revd. Toplady's hymn 'Rock of Ages', together with Gladstone's Latin translation of it from 1848. The tablet was placed in his memory in 1899 by his grandchildren.

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This card is published by W. Bell Jones, Post office, Hawarden. No 1004/5

   On the east side of the north aisle is the Gladstone Memorial Chapel, which houses a beautiful sculpture. It was given by their son Henry Neville, as the tablet on the north wall explains:-

   "To the Glory of God and in reverent and loving memory of William Ewart Gladstone and of Catherine, his wife. This shrine has been built and this Monument placed within the Church where they worshipped in the home that they loved, by their son, Henry Neville Gladstone, July 28th, 1906. " Catherine had passed away on 14th June, 1900.

   The chapel once housed the church organ, but it was moved at the expense of Henry Neville Gladstone, so that the space could be used for the monument, there being no grave, as both William and Catherine are at rest in Westminster Abbey.

   The sculpture, which was by Sir William Richmond, shows Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone in the boat of life, watched over by the figure of "The Angel of Victory over Death", which forms the 'prow' of the boat. It is a beautiful and moving image. There are many references to their life and interests on and around the memorial, such as the large Crucifix which lies between them, an Owl for wisdom, 4 poets and the 4 Patron Saints of the UK. Also represented is the motherhood of Catherine – not only to her own children but to all the poor, and those in need of kindness.

  The figures of the Gladstones and that of the angel are made of white Carrera marble. The base is in various marbles, with silvered bronze panels.

  Other windows by Burne-Jones are The Angels of Paradise, a memorial to W.H. Gladstone, from his family in 1908.

  A memorial to Mary, daughter of Sir Stephen Glynne, and wife of Lord Lyttelton, commissioned by her sons and daughters. It depicts angels with musical instruments.

  The East window depicts the Crucifixion and is a memorial to Mrs Gladstone's father, Sir Stephen Glynne. It was made by Morris & Co, to Burne-Jones' designs, and put in place in 1907, a gift from Mrs Drew, Sir Stephen's grand-daughter.

  His lasting legacy in the village is St. Deiniol's Library, begun in 1894, which was originally formed from Gladstone's own collection of 30,000 books on Humanity and Divinity, housed in a corrugated iron building in the village. It is now a large residential library, housed in red brick buildings most of which were designed by Douglas & Minshull, architects, of Chester.

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Tuck card HDN 67. Gladstone Memorial, Hawarden. The buildings at the back are part of St. Deiniol's Library.

   The memorial has an Irish harp at the front of the base, because the Gladstone National Memorial Committee commissioned 3 statues, one each for London, Edinburgh and Dublin. Dublin rejected theirs because of the unrest in the country, even though its sculptor, John Hughes, was from that city. It was placed here instead, in 1925.

  It is remarkable that Gladstone died in 1898, when postcards were in their infancy in this country. He had embraced their use straight away when they were introduced to the U.K. in 1894. Most of the cards in the Hawarden collection are from the 20th Century, because people flocked to the village to see the place where the G.O.M. had lived, and the local publishers continued to produce postcards for some years after his death.

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The Late Rt. Hon. W.E. Gladstone in his Library at Hawarden Castle. 

   The Castle has been open to the public on very few occasions, but we were privileged to be able to visit it some years ago. Unknown to me, Bruce had contacted Sir William Gladstone and told him about our Hawarden collection. He asked us to come to the Castle, so that he could look through the cards. We were taken into the 'Temple of Peace', and it really felt as though W.E. Gladstone had just left, and was expected back at any moment, as the room seemed to be just as it is in the old postcard views.

  Sir William was interested in the postcards, but for him, it was almost a 'family album', as he recognised many of his relatives and friends in the pictures, which brought the collection to life for us. Sir William, who was the great-grandson of W.E.G.,was born in 1925, and, sadly, passed away on 29th March 2018. The funeral, which was open to everyone, was at St Deiniol's church on 13th April, with a reception at the Castle afterwards. The collection was for the Clwyd Special Riding Centre. He had served in the Royal Navy in WW2, became a teacher, and headmaster at Lancing, was Chief Scout from 1972-82. and Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd 1985-2000. Sir William was also a talented artist, and one of his paintings is part of our Hawarden collection.

  For more on the interesting life of Sir William, go to:- Sir William Gladstone, 1925 - 2018 (

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Here are two New Year cards from Marion, to complete this bulletin.

May I wish you all a happy and healthy 2022.