The presentation of the Charter of Incorporation to the Borough of Colwyn Bay took place on September 20th, 1934.
The Right Honourable Lord Colwyn, born Frederick Henry Smith in Eccles in 1859, was a very popular choice as Charter Mayor. He was made a peer in 1917 taking the title Baron Colwyn, having always had a great love for north Wales, and especially Colwyn Bay.
Both Lord and Lady Colwyn (formerly Miss Elizabeth Savage) were great benefactors of the town, were active supporters of the Colwyn Bay and West Denbighshire Hospital and presented the beautiful west window of St. Paul’s Church.
Early on the morning of Thursday, September 20th, 1934 the Charter Mayor placed a wreath of remembrance at the foot of the War Memorial in front of the Town Hall on Conway Road. It was Lord Colwyn who had unveiled the War Memorial on November 11th, 1922.
A procession of over 30 cars then left the Town Hall and travelled along Abergele Road to the open space in front of the Railway Hotel, Llanddulas to greet the Lord Lieutenant of Denbighshire, Lieutenant-Colonel R.W.H.W. Williams-Wynn, C.B., D.S.O., accompanied by Mrs. Williams-Wynn, who brought the Charter of Incorporation on behalf of King George V.
The presentation ceremony and celebrations took place at Eirias Park where a large crowd had assembled and where a stand and marquee were built and music provided by the Band of the Welsh Guards. A guard of honour was drawn up at the entrance to the main marquee, including detachments of the 243rd battery of the 61st medium brigade Royal Artillery, British Legion, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. The Lord Lieutenant and the Charter Mayor inspected the guard of honour while the distinguished visitors, Councillors and Public Servants filed into the main marquee.
At twelve noon the Lord Lieutenant presented the Charter of Incorporation to the Charter Mayor, who acknowledged its receipt and then handed it to the Chairman of the Urban District Council, Councillor W.G. Knowlson.
The hymn “O God, our help in ages past” was sung to accompaniment by the Band of His Majesty’s Welsh Guards, conducted by Andrew Harris, and followed by a lesson read in Welsh by the Rev. G. J. Owen and in English by the Rev. Alun Lewis. The Right Rev. Thomas Lloyd, the Bishop of Maenan, conferred the blessing of the Charter. The singing of the national anthem “Hen Wlad fy Nhadau” concluded the ceremony.
Following a luncheon at the Pier Pavilion the Charter Mayor returned to Eirias Park to plant an oak tree to commemorate the day.
As part of the celebrations a Special Gala and Fancy Dress Carnival Ball were held at Rhos-on-Sea Swimming Pool.
During the evening a Mayoral Reception and Ball were held at the Pier Pavilion and a “Grand Aerial Pyrotechnic Display” by Messrs. Brocks Ltd of Crystal Palace, London, was released from Bryn Euryn on Thursday and Friday evenings.
On Friday, September 21st, more informal celebrations took place with entertainments for children and for the unemployed at local cinemas and at Eirias Park. A supper for unemployed men and their wives was arranged in the marquee at Eirias Park and tickets were sent to about twelve hundred people.
Lord Colwyn was appointed the first Mayor of the borough the following year, but resigned after Christmas. In 1939, at 80 years of age, he received the Freedom of the Borough.
Lady Colwyn, who was once described as “the uncrowned queen of Colwyn Bay”, passed away in 1945 and Lord Colwyn in January 1946.
This article appears in Eunice Roberts and Helen Morley’s book “The Spirit of Colwyn Bay: 2” and is reproduced here with their kind permission.