Culture

New exhibition to shine a light on the Jewish history of a Welsh town

17 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read
Janet Finch-Saunders at the exhibition with Cllr Philip Evans (a trustee of the Museum)

A new exhibition is shining a light on the Jewish history of a Welsh town.

The ‘A Jewish History of Llandudno’ exhibition at the Llandudno Museum & Gallery, was officially opened by Aberconwy MS, Janet Finch-Saunders.

It shows how the Jewish community has played a huge part in the area’s development, as well as its economy, culture, political life, and sporting achievements.

It has been produced by ‘The Menter Fachwen Walk and Discover Project’ and was financed and produced in partnership with Bangor University and The Bangor Fund, is a celebration of that heritage.

A series of photos by photographer Jim Tan are on display illustrating the Haredi communities’ connection with Llandudno.

The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation has also contributed to the additional interpretation and ongoing exploration of Llandudno’s Jewish community.

In Victorian times, the commercial opportunities afforded by Llandudno’s emergence as a holiday resort attracted many Jewish merchants and the town also developed into a popular holiday destination for the Jewish community.

Janet Finch-Saunders has spoken of her delight at the work being undertaken to unveil one of the town’s hidden histories.

Speaking after opening the exhibit, she, said: “It was an honour to have been asked to officially open this timely exhibition, which so beautifully shines a spotlight on the pivotal role that the Jewish community has played in making Llandudno the Queen of the Welsh resorts.

“This exhibition rightly captures the fact that North Wales is a melting pot of different individuals and communities who have chosen to settle in the region; some fleeing persecution, others searching for better economic opportunities or simply for the experience of living somewhere new.

“It’s my hope that, being nestled in this muti-period museum, that this exhibition will become a springboard for people to explore this history of diverse characters and stories. I encourage residents and visitors alike to explore the exhibit and take the walking history tour of our very special town.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the efforts of Dawn and her team here, who in contributing to the research continue to embed Llandudno Museum & Gallery at the heart of the community. It was lovely seeing their magnificent biodiversity garden, too!

“I also congratulate The Menter Fachwen Walk and Discover Project, Bangor University and The Bangor Fund for their work on the exhibit and the broader walking tour, including the individual efforts of Professor Nathan Abrams and Gareth Roberts.”

‘Wider effort’ 

On the exhibit, Professor Nathan Abrams of Bangor University said: “I’m delighted that Llandudno Museum & Gallery is hosting our exhibition which is part of a wider effort to capture, preserve and publicise the vibrant Jewish history of north Wales. Watch this space for more to come.”

Dawn Lancaster, Museum Director, commented: “I am grateful to Gareth Roberts of Menter Fachwen for his amazing work at pulling all of this information together to create a walk and tying this so beautifully to exhibition boards, and Professor Abrams who has worked tirelessly to uncover the Jewish history and experience in North Wales.”

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