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The photograph accompanying this
article is of considerable interest to Penmaenmawr, as nearly every member of
the group played a prominent part in the trade and public life of the town 50 or
60 years ago.
On the top left hand is Mr. C. W. Smith, Tyddyn Bach, brother of Mr. W. Smith, the proprietor of the Penmaenmawr Hotel, now the Grand Hotel. Both hailed from Chester and were engaged in the corn trade. They bought the hotel from Dr. Norton, by whom it was built, and C. W.. Smith managed it, while his brother travelled daily to Liverpool. where he was in business on the Corn Exchange.
The second of the be-whiskered and hard- hatted gentlemen is Mr. Robert Pritchard. of the Mountain View Hotel, and next to him is Mr. Robert Lloyd Jones. Perhaps the latter is the best remembered of the group; he died as recently as 1925. He, with his brother, John William Jones, had a butcher’s business at the easternmost of the two shops (now Messrs. Wright’s), moving later to Shop Newydd (now Messrs. Walford’s). Mr. R. Lloyd Jones possessed an uncommon gift as a public speaker, and for over 50 years was prominent on Liberal platforms. He also served on local government bodies. He was a nephew of the famous preacher Robert Jones, Llanllyfni.
Attired in elegant livery is Mr. James Lucas, station porter. In the later years of his life he took up gardening His widow died but a few years ago at the ripe age of 91. He was a loyal Churchman, and was sidesman at St. Seiriol’s for 17 years and a member of the choir. Next to him is David Roberts, Conway (Dafydd Roberts Gatehouse), boots, porter, carver, etc., at the Penmaenmawr Hotel, as his portrait here suggests. The hearty old lady Mrs. Jane Jones. widow of the gifted Joseph Jones, Cwmlws, is his only surviving child.
HELPED TO MAKE PANTYRAFON.
All but eclipsed by the great men before him is Mr. John Jones, Canton House (John Jones Bach), to whose son, Mr. Shem Jones, the writer is greatly indebted for the loan of the original picture. John Jones will take a place a one of the pioneers in the establishment of Pant yr afon as the shopping centre of the district; he participated in the migration of that centre from Penmaenan, when old Mary Evans, Bee Hive, sent him as a young man to manage for her a branch grocery business at a lock-up shop on the site of the present National Provincial Bank. (This shop was later taken by John Davies Gilfach), and again by O’Leary, fishman from Bangor. He then moved to Canton House and shop when the Cambrian Buildings block was built by Edward Roberts, Lonfa, in 1870.
The second livened gentleman is Mr. Crosby, the stationmaster—a position he occupied for many years. Mr. Parry, the first official chemist, sits next to him. The stock of physic in his little lean-to shop that stood against the gable-end of Bryn Hyfryd (supplanted later by Mr. J. W. Jones and Mr. R. Lloyd Jones’ butcher’s shop, to which reference has been made) did not, however, drive out of favour “Physic Tycapel-” and “Physic Brynmor” produced at the “laboratory” of the saintly Margiad Williams, Ty capel, Penycae.
The gentleman in typical Victorian garb, in a sitting posture, and turning either to receive or to give the paper seen, was a visitor whose surname is doubtfully remembered. The bespectacled old gent standing, and as if absorbed in reading, is Thomas Patrick, another of the pioneers of Pant yr afon.
“Patrick’s Bazaar” was emblazoned on a large sign over the length of a lock-up shop stocked with souvenirs, toys, alpine sticks, sand-pails, etc. Mr. Shem Jones is of opinion that the present photograph was taken in the garden behind this shop, and that it was just a fortuitous meeting of old pals in those leisurely days. Patrick replaced this little shop when he built the Gladstone Hall and two shops (now Messrs. Dunphy’s and Westminster House). The Hall was the first to be built in the district. The writer has in his possession a ticket for a concert held in it on August 29th, 1879. The designation tells of old Patrick’s friendship and admiration of the great statesman, then a regular visitor to the place, and who was wont to chat freely with him on the great questions of the day. The portly gentleman, standing, is Mr. Robert Davies, Hill Cottage, another conspicuous personage in the life of Penmaenmawr in his day, serving on the Vestry and on the Local Board. He, with his brother, Price Davies, were probably the first to introduce that four-wheeled monstrosity, the bathing machine, so indispensable to the visitors who were bold enough “to brave the ocean wave.” For this reason ha was known as “Davies Machine.” The late John and Henry Jones succeeded to the “Machine” business after them. In a subscription list dated 1872 f or the purchase of the horse-drawn hearse that served the parish up to a few years ago the sum of five shillings stands to his name- Robert Davies built Blaen y mor.
Finally, sitting composedly, is Mr. Jonah Andrews, Manor House (now Noddfa), retired draper from Stafford). For a short while he carried on such a business at Bank House (now Hempsteads).
News paper clipping from about 1925-30 (Picture taken approx 1860 - 1870)