Along with many other buildings in Colwyn Bay, the Metropole Hotel was taken over by the Government during World War 2 to accommodate staff from the Ministry of Food who were moved from London and other cities to the safer location of North Wales.
The Colwyn Bay Hotel on the Promenade served for the duration of the war as the Ministry’s national headquarters. The Ministry also occupied Rydal School (which was evacuated to the Sychnant Pass in Conwy) and Penrhos College (evacuated to Chatsworth House, in Derbyshire), a further 35 hotels, and a shop and maisonette block.
Although food rationing continued for some years after the war the Ministry gradually drifted back to London after 1945. The once mighty legion of ration administrators was down to a mere 130 when the last department – the Bakery Finance Division – left the town on 29 September 1956.