(Pamffled am Wylia yn Nefyn)

Decamber 2020

For several years in the 1950's and 60's, Lawrence Owen was the Secretary of the Nefyn Publicity Committee. He was responsible with Richard John Hughes, Nanhoron House and Robert John Jones, Chemist for producing a Nefyn holiday guide/brochure for attracting visitors and tourists to the Nefyn area. Local businesses could, for an appropriate fee, advertise in the guide on the amenities and comforts they could provide to those people when they visited the area.

Nefyn had many things to offer and nobody was more capable of highlighting those than R J Hughes and R J Jones. Hughes was the expert on the history of the Nefyn Parish and its people from the earliest days, as acknowledged in the two books “Nefyn The Story of an Ancient Gwynedd Town and Parish” and “Nefyn, Morfa Nefyn and Porth Dinllaen”, authored by Roland Bond. Likewise Jones was the premier photographer from the Lleyn area in the 1950's and 60's and had a huge amount of photos displaying the picturesque landscapes and seascapes in the region. Those photos were crucial for presenting the areas natural beauty. Other experts were consulted as needed. Jim Bentley provided inputs both on the Porthdinllaen Lifeboat as well as the Porthdinllaen Golf Club. Owen as secretary was responsible for formatting the guide, for presenting the text as attractively as possible, for coordinating with the advertisers, and for procuring copies from the publishers.

The three were proud of being asked to participate in this important project. They were self taught in their expertise. R J Hughes was an avid reader and historian and could talk about any topic related to the history of the town and its people. R J Jones was the local chemist with photographic developing and printing equipment at his shop on the High Street. He was self taught in the art of photography and in using the latest camera techniques to optimize his landscape and seascape shots. The three spent many hours working together in the mid 1950's to form the first version of the guide. Second and third versions were issued in the 1960's and 1970's with the involvement of other people. Those versions reflected updates in advertising, expanded sections to highlight changes in pastimes, new walks, driving tours etc.

The main theme of the guide and most of the photographs remained essentially intact during the entire time. This was the period when a large portion of the British population went on holidays on home turf, before the mass exodus in later years to warmer Continental climates and other foreign places. The mission of the guide was a challenge for the committee since localities all around the country were competing for tourists in the same way and not only were they competing against each other but also against the large holiday camps. There was such a large Butlin's Camp at Afonwen, only ten miles away from Nefyn. Nevertheless, the guide accomplished its mission and the Nefyn area had plenty of visitors and tourists, with full hotels and a booming home rental business during the summer months of the late 1950's and 1960's.

If you happen to come across any of the Nefyn Guides, take a look - they are an interesting read. They provide a concise summary of what the Nefyn area had to offer in those days. The original 1950's introduction to the guide is shown below together with the cover photo (in black and white) of the 1974 version and a few adverts from the key hotels in the area.


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Illustration 9

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Dr. Brian Owen
Emmaus, PA, USA

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