Former Land Girls’ rest home
This house near Haulfre Gardens was a wartime rest home for the Women’s Land Army (WLA). In the 1930s it was guest house called Cwlach, run by Mrs and Miss Goodwin. They advertised it as being four minutes from the pier and charged 3 to 3.5 guineas. Guests were fed “our own garden produce”.
According to Professor Hywel Wyn Owen, “Talar y Kwlach” appears in a 1623 document. “Talar” means the edge of a field. “Cwla” = feeble, ailing or weak, while “-ach” is the diminutive suffix. Cwlach = “Little poor one”. It could refer to a small field which was particularly unproductive or may have been a disparaging term for the owner or tenant. “We should allow for both interpretations unless the location of the original field shows it was uncommonly poor land,” he advises. To hear how to pronounce Cwlach, press play: Or, download mp3 (13KB)
On 17 April 1944, the WLA opened their second holiday and rest home here. Like the first hostel in Torquay, Devon, the Llandudno house was funded by the British War Relief Society of USA, an American charity which supplied non-military aid such as food, clothes, medical supplies and money to people in Britain during the Second World War. Cwlach was refurbished and accommodated up to 14 Land Girls (pictured right) at a time for breaks of one or two weeks.
It was intended for women “who had been in agriculture since the beginning of the war” and needed “a complete rest”. The first warden was Mrs May Jones, who welcomed 600 Land Girls to the rest home in the first year.
On VE Day (when the war ended in Europe), the Land Girls held a party in Llandudno and invited American soldiers billeted in Llandudno. A “victory cake” with red, white and blue icing was a great treat, as sugar was rationed during the war.
Today the building is a private house, with no public access to the front garden.
More about the WLA:
The WLA was established in the First World War and re-established in June 1939 to provide extra agricultural labour during the expected war. Britain relied heavily on imported food, vulnerable to German blockades, and many male farm workers would join the armed services. The government wanted to increase food production by reclaiming pasture and unused land. Land Girls did various jobs including milking cows, lambing, ploughing, gathering crops, digging ditches and catching rats throughout Britain.
Postcode: LL30 2HT