This page features details of some of the many books about Llanfairfechan that have been published.
Do you know of any other books or publications about Llanfairfechan? If so, please send us details.
Margaret Roberts, the author of the extremely popular book of reminiscences of family life in Llanfairfechan, “Through Thick And Thin”, has a new book, “Days Gone By” which is which was launched at the Llanfairfechan Community Centre on Saturday 24 March 2012.
Liberally illustrated with about 400 pictures, the 327-page “Days Gone By” is another fascinating insight into the people and places in Llanfairfechan and the surrounding area, including Abergwyngregyn and Penmaenmawr.
“Through Thick & Thin” – by Margaret Roberts.
It isn’t unusual these days for people to trace their family history – the web is an ideal medium for doing this, and many have taken up the challenge. What is unusual, however, is publishing your family history as a 280-odd page illustrated book. This, though, is exactly what Margaret Roberts has done, despite the fact that she had never previously attempted to write a book.
The result is a very intimate, detailed account of more than 200 years of essential Llanfairfechan history, as lived by her family, bringing us right up to the present day, and including many characters that are well-known in the town. Indeed, the book adds significantly to the documented history of the town.
For a family to remain so deeply-rooted in a community such as Llanfairfechan is perhaps unusual in modern times, when people uproot and move to where their jobs or universities or other opportunities take them. To have such continuity is a big factor in making this account so compelling.
Not that the story is over-romanticised. It’s an honest, down to earth, but affectionate account of how the family lived, as the title suggests – through bad times as well as good – and it’s easy for her readers to relate to many of their own experiences as a result.
The book is liberally illustrated with photographs from Margaret’s husband Emrys’s private collection, many of which have not been published previously.
Margaret has taken the task a stage further by publishing the book herself, under the name of Henblas Publishing. A daunting task for a novice, surely, but the book is nonetheless very professionally produced, and has proved very popular.
It has been featured on the BBC web site, where extracts are available to read, and in the North Wales Weekly News, whose review is reproduced below.
The following article was published in the North Wales Weekly News on 1 June 2006, to report the book’s official launch:
Author Traces Village Family’s History – By Dan Owen
THE history of Llanfairfechan and one of its families has been encapsulated in a book.
Through Thick and Thin tells the tale of the Thomas family, who have been living in the town for more than 200 years.
Author Margaret Roberts, herself a member of the family, has spent the last four years researching her ancestors, family tree and the town, and last Saturday finally saw her work come to fruition at its official launch.
The book is a large volume, with 280 pages and more than 130 pictures, many of which are from her husband Emrys’ own private collection. This includes a mix of family and village shots, a selection of which are printed here.
The pictures chart the history of Llanfairfechan over the years, and Margaret, of Parc Henblas, came up with the idea so future generations of the family have something to look back on.
The book has been a real labour of love, [for Margaret] who has also published the publication herself. Even before its launch, she had a lot of interest from prospective buyers as far afield as The Wirral.
“Through Thick & Thin” (ISBN: 0-9552673-0-7 / 978-0-9552673-0-7) is available, priced £9.99, from bookshops throughout the Conwy and Gwynedd areas, and from the Llanfairfechan News Agency (Village Road), and the Beach Pavilion Café (Promenade). It can also be ordered online from Amazon. Contact the author, Margaret Roberts, directly via e-Mail.
“Llanfair Mewn Lluniau” / “Llanfairfechan – A Pictorial History” – by Lloyd Hughes
“Fresh As Yesterday – Memories of Old Llanfairfechan” – by Elizabeth Constance Ellis
“Teyrnged, Essays & Addresses By Lloyd Hughes – A Tribute” – by Dr. John Ll. W. Williams
”Teyrnged” was the obvious title for this collection of Lloyd Hughes” addresses, essays and notes.
It is a tribute from Llanfairfechan Historical Society to its founder, first Chairman and President. Our two exhibitions were inspired by, and very largely based upon, his accumulated knowledge and the treasury of notes and illustrative material he placed at our disposal. Of the Society”s four publications, he was the sole author of Llanfair mewn Lluniau and co-editor of Fresh as Yesterday: he also contributed an article to Rhwng Pandy a Phlas and was an invaluable member of the advisory panel that produced Lleisiau”r Graig.
As we began to formulate the aims of the Society in the discussions that preceded its founding, he more than once exclaimed: We don”t want a society of drones!” He himself set an example of dedicated, enthusiastic industry right up to the time of his death. He had been preceded by several gifted local historians, whose work he admired and transmitted to others, while adding to it a considerable volume of original research. For all his diffidence, through his various activities as speaker, writer, guide, correspondent and head of the Society he probably reached a wider, more varied audience than any of his predecessors.
This volume is also a tribute in another sense: it is Lloyd Hughes” own tribute to his native parish. None ever loved his birthplace more than he. When he wrote to Aylwin Hughes (son of R.J. Hughes, the architect) in July 1989: “Your roots are deeply entrenched in this parish and your ancestors were associated with old farmsteads which have been in existence for many centuries”, that was for him the ultimate accolade. The pride and devotion that he rarely expressed directly can be read between the lines of every essay in this book, diverse and often seemingly prosaic as the subjects are. For him the landscape was a history book, the obscure farmers and tradesmen of previous centuries were familiar acquaintances even when not demonstrably his kinsfolk, as many of them were: the characteristics of people still alive could be traced back to ancestors of two hundred years ago. No wonder that the title he suggested for our first collection of essays was “Rwy”n Perthyn!” (I belong). He was careful to write objectively, meticulously sticking to recorded fact, but his conversation showed that his memory was alive with vivid anecdotes and bits of local folklore.
He had a deep respect for academic authority, but not even Professor Bedwyr Lewis Jones could shake his conviction that the name recorded in the Baron Hill Papers as “Cadlisse” meant not enclosures for animals” but “Battle Voices” (Cadleisiau), suggesting that the hillside near Camau”rnaint still resounded with the clamour of ancient warfare. As Dr. John LI. Williams observes with deep perception in his tribute to Lloyd Hughes:
“Such men belong to the old, old lineage of the cyfarwydd (professional storyteller), who in our early society was the bridge between the remote past and the immediate present and who thus created the consciousness of being and of belonging that would enable that society to steer confidently to its future”.
Lloyd Hughes could assume such a role all the more surely because he was no academic recluse but had always been actively and responsibly involved in business and in local government, and knew the life of Llanfair at many levels and from various points of vantage. His qualifications as a local historian were unique.
His achievement should challenge the present members of the Society to continue his work and emulate his example, while recognising that his vision, devotion and ultimate knowledge are beyond them and that his place in Llanfairfechan must remain unfilled.
For few or none
Hears her voice right, now he is gone.
David T. Jones
About The Editors:
The late Gweneth Lilly…
Gweneth lilly was a graduate in English Literature who devoted most of her career to teaching the subject at Liverpool University and St. Mary’s College, Bangor. In her later years she published numerous novels and stories, chiefly in Welsh. A founder member of Lanfairfechan Historical Society she organized exhibitions on the history of the area and was associated with all the publications of the Society, having co-edited “Fresh as Yesterday” with Lloyd Hughes and edited “Lleisiau’r Graig” with the help of an advisory panel.
David T. Jones…
David is Vice-Chairman of Llanfairfechan Historical Society. A native of Llanfairfechan, he has spent his whole life in the parish. His keen interest in its history has long been stimulated by courses of extra-mural study, exploration of the ground on walks and archaeological digs, and an ever-growing collection of histories, maps and photographs, both old and new. He has contributed to all the books of the Society, particularly by the maps and plans of Fresh as Yesterday and the illustrations of the present volume. Both editors regard themselves as disciples of Lloyd Hughes, and consider that the insight they have gained through their collaboration with him in the many projects of the Society is their chief qualification for the work of editing his writings.
“Mr. Vogel” – by Lloyd Jones (Winner of the McKitterick Prize 2005)
Lloyd Jones is a former farm-worker, nurse, newspaper editor and lecturer. After nearly dying of alcoholism and undergoing spells in hospital and living rough, he quit drinking and set off on a trip, on foot, around Wales – a jorney of more than a thousand miles, and the inspiration for this book.
“Mr. Vogel” is published by Seren Books (ISBN 1-85411-380-1) and can be obtained from Amazon.
“Mr. Cassini” – By Lloyd Jones (Winner of the Wales Book Of The Year 2007 award)
For “Mr. Cassini”, Lloyd Jones changed tack, crossing Wales seve times in different directions. The result is a sad and brilliant exploration of lost childhood and the distortions of the past. Learned, funny and tragic, punctuated by picnics, enlivened by monsters, insects, snow, islands and drugs, seeking justice and magic, “Mr. Cassini! is a rainbow-hued epic of dazzling ambition.
“Mr. Cassini” is published by Seren Books (ISBN 1-85411-425-5) and can be obtained from Amazon.
Love, angels, addiction and death; they’re all here in “My First Colouring Book”, a collection of short stories from award-winning novelist, Lloyd Jones. Themed on all the colours of the rainbow – and a few extra, for luck – these stories and essays paint a superbly crafted picture of criss-crossing lives. They are spoken by an unexpected variety of voices; a young girl has adventures in the night; a surgeon becomes a shepherd; a middle-aged man seeks love for the last time.
In a virtuoso performance, lloyd Jones takes the traditional short story form and twists it round his little finger. And his travel essays, sent from the compass points of his home country, are not to be missed.
“My First Colouring Book” is published by Seren Books (ISBN 978-1-85411-478-5) and can be obtained from Amazon.
- Search the British Library Catalogue
- Search the University of Wales, Bangor’s Catalogue
- Search the Library of Wales’ Catalogue