Conwy Coronation Contrasts

A fascinating photographic display at Conwy Culture Centre shows how communities in Conwy county celebrated the coronations of this year and of the last century.

In a joint project with Conwy Archive Service, on coronation weekend 2023 Conwy Camera Club members returned to places which are depicted in archive photos from coronation celebrations in 1902, 1911, 1937 and 1953.

The archive photos depict processions, parties, brass bands, flags, and soldiers on parade or firing a gun salute – but the new photos show that there was nothing unusual at those locations to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation.

New and old photos are arranged as matching pairs in the ‘Conwy Coronation Contrasts’ display, which is in the library at the Culture Centre.

Conwy Camera Club members also photographed some of the coronation parties which did take place – in Old Colwyn, Rhos-on-Sea and Conwy – and celebratory displays in shops, hostelries and vehicles.

You can also see some of the images from the project in a special gallery on our website.

Club member Rhodri Clark, who organised the project, said: “Most of the archive photos of the 1937 and 1953 coronation events in our area were taken by Walter Harris, who was one of the first members of our club when it was founded in 1945. So it felt as though we were accepting the baton from him when we, as current members of his club, went out to record how Conwy county looked during the first coronation after his lifetime.”

Kate Hallett, Archivist and Collections Manager for Conwy, said: “Conwy Archive Service were delighted to work with Conwy Camera Club on this fascinating project which documents our current times and is able to contrast them with Conwy’s history so precisely.”