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North Wales' best wheels.


THESE photographs show how little the wheelwright's shop in Llawr Pentre, Old Colwyn has changed in 115 years.

Many a cartwheel was built or repaired there before the mass production of motor cars.

It was a slower-paced age towards the end of Queen Victoria's 64-year reign when horse-drawn carts were a familiar sight as they trundled from Old Colwyn to Colwyn Bay and beyond.

Local historian Dilys Thomas wrote about the wheelwright Edward Davies in her book Memories of Old Colwyn.

She said: 'Edward Davies was reputed to be the finest wheelwright in North Wales.

'He would have made wheels for carts, wagons and three-wheeled bicycles - the old penny farthings.

'He sold his business in about 1900 and moved to Lavister, near Chester, where he became wheelwright to the Duke of Westminster.'

Thomas' book, now available only in libraries, tells how all local business was done in Llawr Pentre as it was the hub of Old Colwyn. Even the coastguard lived there in the 1860s.

Llawr Pentre, which could be translated as 'floor of the village', is a long road. There was a mill at one end where Mill Drive is now The wheel at Llawr Pentre was driven by water from the millpond in Penybryn. Twice a day, a gate was opened so the water flowed down from Fairy Glen into the pond and turned the wheel to grind farmers' corn. And the wheelwright was on hand to replace or repair wheels from corn and flourcarrying carts.

A slaughterhouse in Llawr Pentre which closed when an abattoir opened in 1912 is now part of a private house.

Cottages on Llawr Pentre had one major disadvantage for their occupiers. The only toilets were outside - across the road
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 9, 2005
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