History Week in Llandudno

2 January 2018 12:00

Late last year we held History Week at our Llandudno centre and it was a huge success.

The week started with a Llandudno Historical Society lecture on the area. Our blind veterans had the chance to visit Lord Mostyn’s house, called Mostyn Hall. He is the main land owner in Llandudno and according to Jim, one of the veterans attending: 

"He owns about 75 per cent of Llandudno including the mountains at either end of the valley and the whole of the promenade."
Jim is 83 and a former Army National Serviceman who suffers from macular degeneration.
Blind veterans attending History Week at our Llandudno centre in 2017

Mostyn Hall sits in a 25,000 acre estate, so as Jim says: “they are not short of a bob or two” and have a family history which goes back hundreds of years. Our blind veterans learnt about the Mostyn family links with Llandudno and the history of this amazing family stately home originally built in the 1500s.

Visiting Bangor University’s history facility, the vision-impaired ex-Service men and women were honoured to be taken into the Council Chamber. The lecturer in charge of their visit admitted, it was not somewhere even he was usually allowed access to.

Jim was particularly impressed by the Council table which he estimated was “25 to 30 feet long and surrounded by the most beautiful carved and upholstered chairs.”

Blind veterans attending History Week at our  Llandudno centre in 2017

“Telling stories is the best way to teach, to persuade and even to understand ourselves”, Jim says. And that was the idea behind inviting history students to chat to some of our blind veterans. They listened to their stories and it was a wonderful experience for veterans and students alike.

The University’s archivist showed them a land grant, signed by Richard I ‘Lionheart’, their oldest item and written in Latin. The highlight of the week was a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum. A tour around this amazing and emotional exhibition led Jim to comment: “To say it is moving is underestimating its effect.”

A group of blind veterans and their helpers attending History Week at our Llandudno centre in 2017
"“Walking through the Arboretum reminded me of last year, when I was lucky enough to march to Cenotaph representing Blind Veterans UK, and the feeling leaving Horse Guards and marching into Whitehall.”"
Blind veteran Jim

He was especially pleased to be allowed to touch Blind Veterans UK’s memorial, a bronze statue - Victory over Blindness - that was on display until early December.