21 October 2011
Last updated at 07:40
A new exhibition pays tribute to Victorian photographers who put Llandudno on the map with early holidaymakers.
Llandudno Museum is showcasing the images of pioneering photographers who focused on the resort with the arrival of the first trains and newly opened hotels in the 1850s. Photographer William Silvester Laroche (born 1840) took this image in the Rock Studio, based in a cavern created from quarrying at today's Happy Valley.
With Victorian guidebooks referring to Llandudno as the Naples of the North, the gentry began to arrive, and even royalty in the form of Elisabeth of Wied, Queen consort of Romania, whose literary name, Carmen Sylva, features in street names and buildings around the resort.
Photographer Thomas Edge (1829-1900) settled in the town after being employed by the London Stereoscopic Company to picture parts of Britain. His cameras had two lenses casting twin images on large glass plates. These stereocards were viewed through a binocular device.
In 1860, William Lot (1841-1919), one of Llandudno’s first postmen, erected a periscope on a hill above the Happy Valley. He entertained paying guests in his "magic" shed with living panoramas of the town and bay below. A moving image of Llandudno life was cast on to a circular screen in the building via a lens and mirror mounted on the roof.
Llandudno's original wooden pier was replaced by a cast iron version in 1877, with this small hexagonal bandstand providing the first permanent pier entertainment overlooked by the Great Orme.
The Mostyn family were the main landowners and chief architects behind the resort's development and also feature in the exhibition created from a collection by John Lawson-Reay, vice chair of Llandudno and Colwyn Bay History Society.
The exhibition runs until 14 November and people are invited to take along their old photos and other memorabilia on 2 November for copies to be made to add to the collection. This photo is said to be typical of the period when people posed in clothing and with equipment often provided by the photography studio.