Deganwy History Group were treated to three interesting speakers on Thursday 16th February. The Snippets of History talk is the group’s annual event where members are invited to present a topic of interest or share information with the History Group.
The first talk was by Dr Stephen Lockwood who gave an illustrated talk about boat building on the Conwy River. As the former head of the marine laboratories in Conwy, Stephen has a keen interest in local maritime history. (click on the link below for Stephen’s full report)
Our second talk by Vicky Macdonald had us all guessing. The title was “Fish Weir, or A Pile of Stones” which could have been a cairn on top of a mountain or a rockery. However it turned out to be a series of stones on the beach at Deganwy that Vicky had come across during her walks on the beach during the recent Covid virus lockdown.
The line of stones in the sand not far from her home intrigued her as they never changed position and were embedded in the sand not shifting position despite severe storms pounding the beach.
Vicky had contacted Nigel Bannerman, an expert on fish weirs as she thought he could have explained their use and in fact he suggested the stones could have been the base of a type of fish trap that was centuries old. Over time the sand would have eroded leaving behind this line of stones. Further investigation lower down would be needed to see if this could be a possibility.
Vicky accompanied her talk with exceptional photos of skies over West Shore and Anglesey and the audience were encouraged to walk the shore and draw their own conclusions as to whether the stones were indeed of ancient origin or a natural rock formation.
The third talk by Adrian Hughes “I can see my house” had another intriguing title. Adrian had acquired film shot during the Second World War by the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit flying over the North Wales area. These films in the skies over Llandudno and Deganwy showed us the topography of the land from a great height.
We saw how much green space there was at that period before the town was built up. Adrian pointed out particular buildings like the Craigside Hydro and the Arcadia that no longer existed. He then panned along to Deganwy where we could again see open land before houses were built and several members of the audience could see their own house on the screen.
It was interesting to reminisce but sad to realize how much land had been developed in the last seventy years.
Many thanks to Stephen, Vicky and Adrian for their entertaining and informative talks this evening. The aim the Snippets of History evening is to provide an opportunity for our members to share some research they have been doing, or provide a talk on a topic close to their hearts. We welcome volunteers from our members to share their stories with the rest of the group and perhaps help someone to understand more about our local heritage and history.
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