"Just some old memories"
Graham Bell ~ November 2006
My name is Graham Bell (a 64 year old, who is clearing
away a few cobwebs of the mind), and I thought you
might be interested in the attached photos and some
the following information.
Image: The Victoria Hotel in Penygroes
Victoria Hotel's business card c. 1950.
My grandfather, James (Jim) Messer was the Licencee
of the Victoria Hotel, Penygroes from around 1946
to 1955 having moved from being the licencee (c. 1942-1946)
of the Rhuallt Hotel in Llanrug.
wedding photo is of my uncle, Roy Messer to Peggy Rimmer
both families and
ouside the "Vic".
Jim Messer (Snr) is 3rd from left on the middle row.
At some time this period
Jim and Roy owned and managed the slipper factory on
the small industrial estate
on the way to Llanllyfni.
Also in the photo are my uncle and aunt, George and
Anne Messer ( centre middle row) who ran the fish
and chip shop in Llanrug, some people might also
her mum and dad Mr and Mrs Crossley, owning the small
grocery shop next to the bridge and the horse and
cart that took out the groceries etc.
receipt from Gwylfa Stores, Penygroes for the Victoria
Hotel. (The numbers next to each item are
for the number of coupon points required from their
I and my parents
came to Penygroes in about 1946 from Weston Point
My parents Don and Nancy Bell were the licencees
of the Llanfair Arms in Y Groeslon, from around
1952, when I, my brother Gordon and parents moved
back to Runcorn in Cheshire.
My mother and father ran the pub plus the attached
garage, repairing anything from farm implements
to lorries and cars.
Petrol was dispensed from a hand cranked pump and
all the village glass electric battery accumulators
brought in for re-charging. He also ran the local
Taxi service. I remember the 2 cars, a big dark blue
Austin Twelve that could
get the driver, 6 adults and a couple of children
and the Armstrong Siddley saloon (even then, it had
electric windows, a pre select gearbox controlled
from the steering column and an electrically operated
partition seperating the driver from the passengers).
know we never had much money, but we ate well as
most of the local farmers seemed to work on the barter
During time off from running the garage etc my
father played football for Nantlle
I dont know
I have many fond memories of living
and being brought up in Groeslon and Penygroes,
not the least of which was attending the old
primary school on the
eventually passing my 11+ in Welsh, before coming
back to England to learn a trade.
My Welsh language speaking has all but disappeared,
as a result of the education system trying to
get me to learn French, and I can't speak that
I do have a school photo c. 1949 somewhere,
with all the class names on it.
Some names I can recall are Elmer Price, the
twins Di and Iorwerth Ellis, Bobby Grifiths,
Dewi Williams and
Keep adding to the nantlle.com website,
as I'm sure there are many more memories out there
- typically the weekend double header steam
trains that came
the North West loaded with holiday makers on their way to Butlins at
Pwllheli, stopping in Groeslon station to
let the return train pass - the waiting
train drivers knocking at the back door of
the pub for a bucket of beer in return
for a hundredweight of coal off the tender.
Pubs did not open on sundays in those
Update: 8th January, 2009
Some time ago I sent in my Memories of Penygroes
which you presented on the website. In them was
a photo of my uncle Roy's wedding day.
moved to Canada back in the 60's and still lives just
outside of Toronto , he is now 82 years old and we
often talk of times in "the
His christmas card this year 2008, contained a newspaper
cutting that he obtained from papers that are sent
to his friends in Canada, and it just shows that -"What
goes around, comes around".
»» Please follow this link for a scanned pdf document of the cutting (253kb)
We both hope that someone will
find a means to preserve the building, as either
offices or even as a Pub
Even if they don't, we still have many fond
memories of living and growing up there.
»» Read more about Graham's Memories on the Groeslon village History pages