Tywyn, Travel Britain
What has New York State got in common with a small Welsh village on the edge of Cardigan Bay? The village of Tywyn today boasts a 3 manual 9 rank Wurlitzer organ built in 1937 and which today has pride of place in Neuadd Pendre, the hall in Tywyn.
Around the end of the 19th century a family from Droitwich in the Midlands moved here and began developing the land. John Corbett had become a partner in his father’s canal barge business which he sold when the advent of the railways started to threaten canal traffic. The proceeds of which he then invested into purchasing brine pits and salt works – hence on his arrival at Tywyn in around 1870 he was known as the “Salt King” and during his time there erected the esplanade and sea wall. The Salt King’s estate was known as Ynas-Maen-Gwyn and it stretched from Aberdyfi and Tywyn to Bryncrug and Dolgich. Around 1865 the Talyllyn Railway was opened to carry slate from the quarry at Bryn Eglwys to Tywyn and the newly built mainline coast railway, the quarry closed in 1947 but the railway survived.
It was already a popular resort for tourists and this continued until the Second World War where Tywyn’s history takes an interesting twist and started attracting more than tourists. During the Second World War the army arrived, there were two main reasons for this – the first was that it was away from the south coast and therefore couldn’t be easily bombed and the second reason, the beaches were ideal for practising every type of landing here, from the mud of the Dyfi Estuary to shale and sand, in preparation for the Normandy landings. Tywyn played host to marines, soldiers, tank crews and DUKW (amphibious vehicles) crews, during the war there were eight large army camps nearby!
Tywyn today has returned to the tranquillity that made it popular, the railway that survived is today the Talyllyn Railway which regularly runs from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn taking in some spectacular scenery including the Dolgoch Falls, thanks to the efforts of the railway enthusiasts. Tywyn is an interesting place for the tourist and if you find yourself in this part of the country then spend a little time here, enjoy the village and what it has to offer.
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