Walter Beaumont memorial
“Professor” Walter Beaumont, a professional swimmer, used to give spectacular high diving demonstrations off the pierhead at Llandudno. He also amazed the public with his underwater displays in a glass-sided tank in the Egyptian Hall at the Pier Pavilion.
He held the world record for staying underwater, which he managed for 4 minutes 35 seconds. He would drink a bottle of milk, smoke a cigar and pick up 49 coins by mouth, retaining them all in his mouth until resurfacing. His daughters Alice and Lilly later joined him in the act. Alice is in the middle in the photo.
When he was not doing displays he taught swimming, his pupils being mainly ladies and children. He was appointed ‘Rescuer of the Beach’ by the Town Commissioners of Llandudno, and in 1903 the town gave him an illuminated scroll for assisting in the saving of 113 people from drowning (at different times!).
Born in Hammersmith, London, in 1854, he took up swimming at the age of six. By the age of 12 he had already saved seven lives. He made rapid strides as an amateur, then turned professional. He held many world records for saving lives, for remaining underwater, for scientific and ornamental swimming and fastest swimmer. He lived in Llandudno for nine years and later toured the world with his displays. He was the Licensee of the King’s Head public house in Llandudno from 1898 until he went bankrupt in 1911. He died in 1924, aged 69.
Click here for more information about him on our page about his grave at St Tudno’s churchyard, on the Great Orme.
The memorial plaque to him beside Llandudno Pier disappeared in 2013, a year after the HistoryPoints QR codes were installed alongside it.
With thanks to John Lawson-Reay, of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society
Postcode: LL30 2LP