West Shore Model Boat Lake History

There has been a lake or pool on West Shore for a long time; the image below is from an OS Six Inch map dated 1830-1880.

The lake was known as 'Penmorfa Pool' (possibly 'Pen Morfa').

OS Six inch 1830-1880


The provision of model yachting lakes by local authorities dates back to Victorian legislation allowing, though not requiring, local authorities to spend up to a penny rate on the provision of parks and open spaces. A small number of such parks included water intended from the outset for model sailing; most had some ornamental water and in many places this was quickly adopted (and if necessary adapted) for model sailing.

The lake at Llandudno is one of a number that were provided at seaside locations specifically for the practice of model yachting. It is amongst the oldest, having been in use at least since the very earlty years of the 19th centuary.

The National Library had a newspaper article dated 1888 about Llandudno Model Yacht Club's first AGM that read A cordial vote of thanks was then passed to the Chairman and Committee of the “Unemployed Relief Fund” in consideration of their having come to the aid of the club by having Penmorfa Pool cleared, embanked, and otherwise improved, and so rendering it fit for sailing purposes.

In bygone years, the local council used to organise regattas during the summer as part of the attractions for summer visitors and seem to have done so on a larger scale, and with more organisation than most.

Trader and regatta

The current lake was built in 1896 and has seen unguided, vane steered and radio controlled yachts of many classes throughout the years; plus some wonderful scale electric models and speed boats.
[see https://greatorme.org.uk/westshore#:~:text=At%20the%20head%20of%20the,regattas%20with%20model%20sailing%20yachts. for more on pictures from 2005 and 2006]

The lake also hosted an international regatta between the USA and UK in 2013, after it was nearly lost to a planning application to site an island in the centre for a statue (although there is a slight raised area near the middle, which may have been the start of the base). The event closed with calls from the M.Y.A. for more race meetings to be held at this excellent location!

So, we aim to please...
Below is one of the oldest known images, with the house called 'Penmorfa' in the background - built for the father of Alice Liddell, who Lewis Caroll wrote his story Alice in Wonderland for:
A selection of others have been put in a photo album: