Rydal Penrhos Community
Dr Mark Baker lends support to 50th anniversary celebrations at Abergele Library

Dr Mark Baker lends support to 50th anniversary celebrations at Abergele Library

A former Rydal Penrhos pupil lent his support to a prominent community event in his hometown.

Cllr Dr Mark Baker, who left the school in 2003, was a special guest speaker at the 50th anniversary celebrations at Abergele Library earlier this month, which officially opened on their current site, at Market Street, on January 1, 1969.

The Conwy County Councillor gave a talk regarding his latest book - Gwrych Castle An Official Guide – at a special Open Day event that attracted more than 500 people to the facility.

Dr Baker was inspired to form the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust 21 years’ ago, aged 12, after passing the castle every day on his way from his Prestatyn home to Rydal School.

He hopes the castle, which still has 300 acres (121 hectares) of grounds surrounding the walls, turrets and towers, will eventually offer holiday accommodation after Dr Baker officially acquired the site last year.

Gwrych Castle was built by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh from the early 1810s and completed by 1822.

It was a stately home for more than 100 years with its own stables, brewery, dairy, bakery and ice house and was visited by Queen Victoria before she took the throne.

It was also used to house Jewish child refugees during World War Two and after the war it became a theme park complete with a zoo and a small private railway.

Speaking to the Rhyl Journal, librarian Myfanwy Jones, said: "The celebrations went really well. We had 500 people visit throughout the event.

"We had a full house when Mark Baker paid a visit. As a child, he used to visit the library.”


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