Great Orme summit complex

Link to French translation


Great Orme summit complex

iamge of great orme telegraph stationThis building was erected in 1909 as a golf club house. An 18-hole golf course was laid out nearby. In Victorian times, there was a semaphore station on the site (pictured right). It was part of a chain of signalling stations from Holyhead to Liverpool which would give the Mersey port authority notice of approaching ships. Station keeper Job Jones opened the site to visitors, complete with a tearoom, in the mid-19th century.

Later the building became the nine-bedroom Telegraph Hotel for golfers. During the Second World War it was requisitioned by the RAF as a radar station.

The war made Britain’s supply of imported food vulnerable to Nazi attack, and Britain’s Merchant Navy was needed for transporting troops and munitions.  The Dig for Victory campaign, masterminded from the Colwyn Bay Hotel, encouraged people to grow vegetables in gardens, parks and sports pitches. The Great Orme golf course was turned over to potato production. Local children helped pick the potatoes in early October. They weren’t paid, but enjoyed days off school to work on the golf course!

The mast at the eastern end of the building was put up in the 1960s mainly to provide communications for the gas exploration which was then taking place in the Irish Sea. The complex is now owned by a member of the Llandudno Forte family and is popular for itsimage of randolph turpin café, bar and magnificent views of Snowdonia. To read and hear the names of the mountains you can see from the summit, click here.

In 1952 the complex was bought by middleweight boxing champion Randolph Turpin (pictured left) and his partner Leslie Salts. It became Randy’s Bar and featured an open-air boxing ring for demonstrations by Turpin.

In 1961 Turpin sold the complex to Llandudno Urban District Council. He was heavily in debt, after having been served an Income Tax writ for £16,000 dating back to his boxing days. In 1966 he shot himself, aged only 37.

With thanks to John Lawson-Reay, of
the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society and  Adrian Hughes of the Home Front museum

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: LL30 2XF

Website of the Great Orme summit complex

Other SPORTS HiPoints in this area:
Former office of JC Parke - Olympic tennis medallist and Irish rugby international
Conwy Golf Club - may have hosted Wales' first game of golf, in 1869

Other MILITARY HiPoints in this area:
Gunnery school site - training on really big guns from the Royal Artillery
Llandudno war memorial