What a joy it was to be accepted and to enjoy one week in North Wales, funded by The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust. My wife Sylvia and I were very pleased to have been included.
We all congregated opposite the Brighouse Masonic Hall, to board our coach to Llandudno. The baggage was taken care of, and it was lovely to see so many of our Rulers helping to organise in the crowd of well wishers, to wave farewell.
Our driver was Richard Sheppard, from National Coaches, and this new Portuguese built vehicle also had a toilet facility on board. He was also an excellent guide, offering some very interesting information wherever we travelled during our stay.
The central position of the hotel could not have been better, as it is situated on the promenade of Llandudno, within only a few minutes walk to the Pier. Breakfast was either a full English or Continental. The selection of food was generous, as we had three choices of each of the three courses to choose from for dinner each evening.
We were all briefed on the itinerary for the week, and asked to be in the dining room for 6 pm each evening for dinner.
My wife Sylvia and I chose a table, at which Mrs Kathleen French of Barnsley and also Mrs Jean Twinham from Harrogate, shared with us during all our meals for the week.
Our itinerary for the week was shown on the hotel notice board. This gave information on the three coach trips which had been arranged during our stay. These had been prepared by Phillip and Judith Mann, and we found out later that their daughter Sarah and her husband Justin were also in the party, to assist all the guests and ensure that everyone was cared for. Wonderfully organised !!
The entertainment in Llandudno centre was excellent, and the hotel were also presenting entertainment each evening, from 8 30 till late!
We all assembled at 6 pm for our first evening meal, and were delighted to find that RW Bro Jim Steggles and his wife, Joan, had joined the party for dinner that evening.
Everyone was given raffle tickets for a draw to be made later in the evening and, to our surprise, everyone received a small prize.
We had a free day on Monday to view the local sights and on the Tuesday morning we were picked up by coach at 10.15. We drove into Snowdonia, through the Llanberis Pass, and stopped at an excellent Slate Museum. We crossed over to have lunch on the Isle of Anglesey, in the village with the longest name in Britain, known as Lanfair PG. and shopped and viewed the local sights, before returning to our hotel for dinner
Following two free days to view the local sights, we embarked on another well organised trip on the Thursday to visit Betws-y-coed
When we arrived we had a snack lunch that had been arranged in a delightful little hotel on the edge of town. We wandered the streets, parks and shops all afternoon, and enjoyed the tumbling waterfall on the river, before returning to our hotel for dinner.
On the Friday morning we were away by 10 am to Blaenau Festiniog.
This was a lovely run through the Welsh countryside, but the visit to the Llechwedd, Slate Cavern was comparatively disappointing, as the planned ‘Slate Splitting Demonstration’ had been cancelled. We enjoyed lunch in a local café in the centre of the town and, on the way back to our hotel, we were driven along the coast road which eventually gave us a splendid view of the castle at Caernarfon.
After dinner that evening we were all asked to assemble in the lounge. Philip and Judith, ably assisted by Sarah and Justin, brought everyone a spirit of their choice to enable us all to toast Philip on his forthcoming 80th birthday! After running The Cleeves and Whitehead Masonic Holiday for 20 years they were stepping down to enjoy their retirement.
A Raffle had been organised with a large selection of prizes.
Interestingly we found that during the Second World War, London had been so heavily bombed that the organisation of the war effort was being affected by the loss of Civil Servants, their premises and their records. An urgent solution was found by transferring a huge number of them to Llandudno. It was far enough away from Germany, had no armament production so the enemy would not bomb the area, and it had sufficient accommodation to house the 10,000 Civil Servants.
The BBC were also faced with losing their facilities in the centre of London, and again they moved their studios to Llandudno to continue broadcasting their popular shows to the nation, in an attempt to support and keep up the spirits of the British people. So most of the major shows, including ‘ITMA’ with Tommy Handley, were all broadcast from the theatres in Llandudno throughout the war years!
Sadly Sunday came too soon and we climbed onto our coach, at 10.15 for our return to Brighouse, arriving back in time for lunch. What a wonderful holiday it has been for us all.
Thank you so much to The Cleeves and Whitehead Trust and Mark Masonry.
Noel & Sylvia Moroney