Former Zaloudek fashion shop, Llandudno

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Former Zaloudek fashion shop, Mostyn Street, Llandudno

This property was once Hynek Zaloudek’s ladies’ clothes shop and furrier. Hynek was born c.1871 in Bohemia, in the present-day Czech Republic. He married Alice Lauener at Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1894.

Photo showing H Zaloudek shop frontBy 1901 Hynek was lodging with widow Annie Davies and her sons in Manchester. They married in April that year – although he was still wedded to Alice!

Hynek and Annie moved in 1903 to here, 72 Mostyn Street, where Hynek traded in ladies’ clothes and specialised in remodelling furs. The advertisement is dated 1903. The photo shows part of his shop front.

Hynek visited London and Paris in search of new women’s fashions. Annie and Hynek had two children together. In 1905 his first wife Alice divorced him. To further complicate Hynek’s marital affairs, he married Emma Eugenie Hewitt in 1912 while Annie Zaloudek had moved to Rugby. Hynek and Emma had three children together.

At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the British government ordered the internment of foreign nationals of German or Austro-Hungarian descent who had not been naturalised as British citizens. Although the Czechs fought on the allies’ side during the war, Hynek was incarcerated at a camp near Queensferry. He said the guards there “treated us like gentlemen”. A keen athlete, Hynek organised a gymnastic group in the camp to improve inmates’ physical condition and pass the time.

After his release, he returned to his family in Llandudno and said that some of the Germans left in the camp were confident they’d be released when the German Emperor invaded the British Isles. Adverts for his shop reiterated his Czech roots, presumably to avoid him being mistaken for a German or Austro-Hungarian.

H Zaloudek advert from May 1903

In the post-war years, Hynek immersed himself in community activities. He sponsored events and supplied dresses for Llandudno’s May Queens, crowned at an extravagant ceremony every year at the Happy Valley. He died in 1930 but the shop bearing his name continued until at least the late 1930s. Today the shop is home to Harvey’s New York Bar & Grill.

With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front Museum, Llandudno

Postcode: LL30 2SB    View Location Map

Website of Harvey’s New York Bar & Grill