Eagle-eyed Shotton volunteer reunites Welsh castle with a piece of its history
An eagle-eyed volunteer has reunited a Welsh castle with a piece of its history.
Mair Martin, of Shotton, who gives two days of her time at Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith’s Flint store, was sorting through some new donated stock when she came across an old photograph and instantly recognised it.
Bodelwyddan Castle, near Rhyl, is now a luxury hotel owned by the Warner chain but originally dates from 1460 when it was built by the Humphreys family of Anglesey as a manor house.
Over the years the Castle acted as a recuperation hospital for wounded soldiers in World War II, a training ground for trench warfare, a museum, and later the Lowther College for girls between 1920-1985, before becoming a National Trust property.
Having been brought-up around history with a father and grandfather both interested in years gone by, Mair conducted a bit more research on the photo and with a little help from her husband set about getting the picture back to its original home.
“Neil, our delivery driver had brought some things over from one of our Shropshire stores and mentioned an old photo, saying there may be more interest in it here,” Mair.
“I knew it was Bodelwyddan Castle as I’d been there a lot as a child.
“I was aware it had been turned into a school or college over the years so assumed it would have been the pupils and staff in the picture.
“The photo is actually from 1945.”
She said: “It was actually my husband who persuaded me to get in touch with the hotel.
“He made the initial phone call and I spoke to the Duty Manager there and told her where I was from and what we had.
“She explained that they only had one old photo from the school days hanging in a room of the hotel as the National Trust had cleared the property before sale, so it would be nice to see it and have the pair.
“We went down to visit them and the hotel made a donation to the hospices in exchange for the photo.”
This was not Mair’s first historic find during the 12 months she has been a volunteer with the children’s hospice charity.
Mair recalled: “The first interesting find I made was a signed photograph from World War II of a soldier from Queensferry, Scotland.
“The soldier in it turned out to be a veteran of the Battle of Britain.
“I tracked down a specialist collector and he paid £100 for it which went to the hospices.”
Pictured: Mair Martin (right) hands the photo over to the castle’s Duty Manager Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com