Avro Anson Service of Commemoration

On February 10th 2024 a Service of Commemoration was held outside at the Llandudno Junction Community Club to mark the 80th anniversary of the Avro Anson crash at Cae Erw, Marl. At 11am, on a miraculously sunny morning, about 60 members of the local and wider community gathered in the Memorial Garden which had been created 10 years previously. The congregation included personnel from RAF Valley, members of Llandudno Royal British Legion, Blind Veterans UK, Royal Air Force Association, Sea Cadets, Air Training Corps, members of the History of Deganwy Group (HoDG) and other friends.

The service was led by The Reverend Canon Philip Barratt, Padre of Llandudno Royal British Legion, and after the opening prayers a short talk was given by military historian Adrian Hughes of the Home Front Museum, reminding us of the circumstances of the crash in February 1944. He also gave us the biographical details of the five young men who tragically lost their lives.

Adrian Hughes

Vicky Macdonald, Secretary of the HoDG, read the poem High Flight by John Gillespie Magee – particularly apt as he also lost his life in an air accident during WW2. This was followed by the hymn Abide With Me led by Rosy Hearn, and then the Act of Remembrance. The Last Post was played by Ruth-Coleman Jones of Llandudno Town Band and the Two Minutes Silence was broken only by the sound of blackbirds and robins. Following the Reveille, wreaths were laid by Squadron Leader Clare Sharp of RAF Valley, Frank Bradfield, President of Llandudno Royal British Legion, Clare Forrester of the Royal Air Force Association, and the History of Deganwy Group.

Mayor of Conwy Evie Roberts & Mayor of Llandudno Greg Robbins

After the closing prayer, the congregation moved on to the Community Club, where refreshments were served and display boards with detailed information about the crash could be examined. Cllr Mike Priestley reminded us of the 70th Anniversary Commemoration, which was instigated by Gwyn Hughes and his meticulous research. Mike also reminded us of the work which went into creating the Memorial Garden ten years ago, especially thanking Mel Lewis for her part in this.

Cllr Mike Priestley

This was followed by a very moving speech by long-standing HoDG member Gwyn Hughes, delivered with characteristic charm and emotion. He described how he was contacted some years ago by John Harris, who had been a pupil at Woodlands School and had witnessed the crash aged just 13. Gwyn told us how he had taken John on a tour of the area, and John had given him a copy of a letter which he had written to his parents on 20 February 1944. Gwyn read out the letter, which describes the plane approaching the playing field where pupils were playing rugby: ‘with little bits falling off the wings, it turned round and started to spin and it was coming straight for the games, the pilot must have seen us because the plane turned again and crashed in a field next to the school. The pilot could have bailed out if we were not there, but he must have stayed at the controls to save us, all the five in the plane were killed’.

Gwyn Hughes

Closing remarks were made by Kevin Slattery, Chair of HoDG, who thanked attendees including personnel from RAF Valley, members of Llandudno Royal British Legion, Blind Veterans UK, Royal Air Force Association, Sea Cadets, Air Training Corps, Mayor of Conwy Evie Roberts, Mayor of Llandudno Greg Robbins, staff at the Community Club who generously declined to take payment for the room hire, Tesco for providing cakes and biscuits, and members of the History of Deganwy Group for their work in the garden and for producing display boards.

Gwyn Hughes with Warrant Officer Max Wall and Squadron Leader Clare Sharp from RAF Valley

Many thanks are due to Gwyn Hughes for his tireless efforts over the years in commemorating the crew of Avro Anson N5130, Adrian Hughes for organising the event, Steph and Dewi for donating the slate used to resurface the path, Funeral Directors Lord-Brown & Harty Ltd. for printing the Orders of Service, and Cllr Mike Priestley for all his help. All in all this was a memorable and moving event, and as Diane Williams, Vice-chair of HoDG, remarked: everyone who was there will have felt that they were part of something special.

Lucinda Smith

Visit to Rhuddlan Castle

On 22nd June members of the history group visited Rhuddlan Castle and were given a tour around the site by our Committee member, Morgan. The weather was glorious as can be seen by the following photos taken by Danny Nissim. Thanks to Morgan for organising this visit and Danny for allowing us to share his photos.

Deganwy outdoor bathing pool

Another interesting article appeared in the Daily Post newspaper recently featured our local, but sadly now missing, Deganwy outdoor bathing pool. The following link takes you to the online Daily Post article on their website.

(The History Group cannot be responsible for this article)

Deganwy outdoor bathing pool

Our secretary, Vicky Macdonald, has written an excellent book on this topic titled “From the First Plunge to the last Porcupine. A History of Deganwy Bathing Pool 1933 – 1964”. It contains many photos of the pool.


Archbishop John Williams in Daily Post newspaper

Some of our members may have seen the article in the Daily Post newspaper about a local Conwy man, Archbishop John Williams. The following link takes you to the online Daily Post article on their website.

(The History Group cannot be responsible for this article)

Archbishop John Williams, Daily Post article


However, we have a report on the History Group’s website following a talk given to our members in January 2023;

Archbishop John Williams, Life & Times


Betty’s Path in Daily Post newspaper

Some of our members may have missed the article in the Daily Post relating to Betty Mills. The following link takes you to the online Daily Post article on their website.

(The History Group cannot be responsible for this article.)

Betty’s Path Daily Post article


St Mary’s Well and Betty’s Path, Spring 2023

Some photos taken of St Mary’s Well and Betty’s Path, Spring 2023.

St Marys Well & Betty’s Path, Spring 2023


Deganwy in Bloom Competition

7th July 2021

Members of the History of Deganwy group who have been tending to the garden next to St Mary’s Well at Llanrhos were invited to meet the Wales in Bloom judge to explain the location.

As you may recall several members have been tending to the land around the Well for a number of years, the fence and display panel were erected in 2017. On a regular basis Kevin arranges a gardening day to tidy up the area, ensuring the well is clear of leaves and the ground is maintained in a good state of repair. In 2020 the History Group were successful in obtaining a Local Places for Nature – Wildlife Garden Starter package from Natur Cymru, which is part of Keep Wales Tidy. This kit comprised of a raised flower bed, trellis work, bird feeders and a variety of bulbs and plants, was installed next to the well. The plants are slowly maturing and the birds seem to love the food too!

In June 2021 we were informed that the Well would be included as part of the Deganwy in Bloom competition. We are now keeping our fingers crossed that we have helped in some small part for Deganwy to be recognised this year. Our thanks to Kevin, Arfon, Ifor, Gavin and Trefor.


Where Would We be Without Zoom?

Our Webmaster tells his story.

4th March 2021.

We have just held our second Zoom talk for the group, and it seemed to have gone well. OK, so I am a little biased as I was the presenter of the “What’s Under the Cheese Counter at Lidl” snippets talk. But please bear with me.

Whilst many of us have attended Zoom meetings with friends and family due to the lock down in the UK, not many have had to create a Zoom meeting for a large number of participants. Most of us have attended Zoom meetings as participants, having been sent a link via email. Once you click on the link you are put into a Waiting Room until the Host allows you to join the Meeting Room. Then you can enable your video and microphone, (after having checked yourself in the mirror first and cleared your throat). Oh yes, place that wine glass just out of view of the camera, – you may not want everyone to see how you are surviving lock down!

If you are a meeting Host, you need to log onto your Zoom account and create a meeting at a time and date convenient to everybody. This is a lot easier than “normal times” since everybody is staying indoors – nowhere is open at the moment, is it? Once you have created the Zoom Meeting, you send the link to your participants.

Then at the appointed hour, start the Zoom meeting and wait for participants names to appear in the Waiting Room. As people attend you click on the names to allow them to join the Meeting Room. Easy. As long as there are only a few people attending the meeting.

Larger Meetings

Hosting a larger meeting like our History Group talk is slightly different. The basics are the same as for a small gathering; create a Zoom Meeting, email the link to the participants (the History group members). Then at the appointed hour, open up the Meeting Room, and allow Participants to join once they enter the Waiting Room.

The task gets interesting when you don’t recognise the participant’s name. Who is “Ipad”, or “NainAndTaid”? Are they members of the History Group? Should we risk allowing them access and watch their video closely? More importantly, ….. have they paid to join this meeting?

Also, as more members attend the meeting, the list grows and your screen fills up. How can we add more participants? Zoom handles this by adding another screen, so now we have “Screen 1 of 2”. You need to click on “Screen 2 of 2” to make sure no-one is waving at me, and talking, …… with their microphone on Mute.

Thankfully the Chairman joins the Meeting and introductions are made. The meeting is brought to order and the Host is requested to Mute all participants microphones. Ah, the POWER of the Host..! I quickly scan the 2 screens to make sure all microphones are muted, and tell the Chairman he can un-mute his to talk and continue with the meeting. Of course nothing stops any participant from un-muting their microphone, but etiquette prevails and only the Chairman is un-muted. Phew.

Our History talks are usually presented using a PowerPoint set of slides or photographs. So the Host has to set the Guest Speaker as “Co-Host” so he can “Share his Screen” via Zoom. One click of the mouse performs this act, thereby passing POWER over to the Guest Speaker, …. who has also hopefully un-muted his microphone. The History talk starts.

During the talk the Host continues to scan the Waiting Room for late arrivals to be admitted into the Meeting Room. Happily all History Group members have read their instructions and have joined the meeting well in advance. They all seem to be enjoying the talk, and the cups of tea, coffee or glasses of wine are being consumed. Some have bought biscuits too. Well done.

We have more History talks planned via Zoom over the next few months as we cannot meet in person. However, we are all looking forward to gathering again in person, when it is safe to do so. The vaccine is rolling out quite fast now and many people have had their 1st dose. We shall have to wait for the government to relax the rules on mass gatherings and determine what changes we can make to keep everyone safe.

Meanwhile, thank you for joining our Zoom talks, and please consider your Host who is trying his best to understand Zoom too. Stay safe.

Trefor Price


St Mary’s Well Wildlife Garden



Chairman Eric Smith retires from group

After five years, Eric Smith has retired as Chairman of the History of Deganwy Group and been replaced by Cllr. Vicky Macdonald.  Eric will continue to play an active part of the group and we thank him for his leadership and support during his term as Chairman. Vicky has been a member of the Committee since inception of the Group and will be known to most members for her interesting talks and contribution to the committee meetings and events. The Group will be in safe hands with Vicky.


2018 Sunday Lunch

Once again the History Group met at The Paysanne Restaurant in Deganwy for our Annual Sunday Lunch, and again we were not disappointed with the quality of the food and ambiance of the location. Considering the number of diners it really is amazing that Cai and his team managed to serve us all so promptly and with an excellent meal. It is no wonder that we return there as a group each year, and I know that many of us return at other times throughout the year!

Our after dinner speaker was Judith Phillips, a reporter for the North Wales Weekly News and a columnist for the Daily Post. Judith entertained us with several stories from her life in journalism reporting on many of the main events in North Wales. The explanation of meeting Martin Bell during his reporting of a royal visit to Llandudno was quite funny and just goes to show that not everything is reported in the press after such events. Your secret is safe with us Judith…..!


National Eisteddfod 2019 Proclamation Festival

Arfon and Lucinda were proud to represent the History of Deganwy Group at the Conwy County National Eisteddfod 2019 Proclamation Festival on 7th July 2018. They joined hundreds of people representing local organizations, and paraded through the town on a gloriously sunny day.

Eisteddfod Proclamation Festival

The Proclamation Ceremony was then held outside Bodlondeb, culminating in the announcement by Archdruid Geraint Llifon that his successor will be Myrddin ap Dafydd, poet and founder of the Gwasg Carreg Gwalch publishing company in Llanrwst. He will take over from Geraint Llifon next year, and this is especially fitting as of course next year’s Eisteddfod will be held in Llanrwst.

Eisteddfod Proclamation Festival

The History of Deganwy Group is pleased to support the Eisteddfod, and is always open to suggestions from members of other ways to get involved. Keep an eye out for future events!


The Influence of the Ffestiniog Railway on the Slate Industry

Our speaker Chris Jones gave us a fascinating talk on the Ffestiniog Railway.

The Influence of the Ffestiniog Railway on the Slate Industry


Deganwy Pearl Kitchens & Other Gems

Several members joined Elan and Adrian for a walk around Deganwy to hear about the Deganwy Pearl Kitchens and other gems. 

Deganwy Pearl Kitchens and other Gems


Annual Trip 2018, Ironbridge, Shropshire

Annual Trip 2018, Ironbridge


Annual Open Day 2017

The bi-lingual exhibition attracted a steady stream of interested visitors throughout the entire day (Saturday 2 December 2017)  to see the four Deganwy themes selected this year and assembled by Committee member Adrian Hughes.





Albert Nevitt –

A  new Research article on Albert Nevitt World War 1 hero ….by Adrian Hughes .

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