Recently, I had the pleasure of presenting a magic lantern show at the Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth, Wales. My forty minute performance was part of a ‘Good Old Days’ music hall evening. The lively audience needed no encouragement to join in with quips and heckles and I received some lovely comments afterwards. My presentation included slides about the sinking of the titanic, amusing stories, tear-jerking melodramas, a man swallowing rats whilst asleep and local photographs.
I’d not been to Aberystwyth before but was very impressed. It has everything a Victorian seaside town should have ….. a pier, ruined castle, beach, harbour, cliff railway, theatre and the truly wonderful Vale of Rheidol narrow gauge steam railway. All in all, it’s a delight.
These photos date from the early 1900s. The boats on the beach would have been for ‘trips round the bay’ and the bathing machine (hut on wheels) enabled Victorian and Edwardian ladies to bathe in the sea with a degree of privacy. In Victorian times, young men were lucky if they saw a lady’s ankle and presumably they would have exploded had they seen a woman in a wet bathing costume. Ladies changed inside the ‘machine’ which was then drawn into the sea by a horse. They descended the steps (the lady, not the horse) once in the water. Ah ….. simple pleasures! No doubt bathing machines will make a comeback one day, most things do.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these photos of Aberystwyth.