Day two of my recent road trip around North West Wales, visiting some Beatles locations along the way.
After spending the night in Porthmadog we were up and out early and heading towards the west coast of North Wales.
Originally I’d thought about driving to Pwllheli to see the site of the Butlins' holiday camp where Ringo had appeared with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes in 1960.
However, a bit of research beforehand confirmed the site as it was back then had been obliterated by redevelopment and I thought it was unfair to drag my family to look at something that ‘used’ to be there.
Instead we headed North to Caernarfon (or Caernarvon as the English used to call it).
Like Harlech, the small town of Caernarfon is dominated by another English-built castle, this one counted amongst Wales's most prized architectural treasures. As you approach, it’s easy to imagine how formidable it must have appeared in medieval times.
In addition to being one of the largest castles Caernarfon is also one of the best preserved and much of the structure is still intact.
Unfortunately due to the current lockdown restrictions the Castle wasn’t open to the public. In fact most of Caernarfon was shut, either due to the pandemic or the earlier recession. Even the charity shops looked to have permanently closed down. The Specials should write a song about it.
So, we didn’t get to go inside the castle this time, though we have done on a previous visit. This was a little disappointing because I wanted to take a Now and Then style photo recreating the image of the Harrison family taken on the grassy central area here in the late 1940s, on pretty much the same spot where Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales in 1969.
Instead we settled for a nice pint at the Anglesey Arms, enjoying the fresh outdoor air on the harbour front and admiring the views of the Island of Anglesey just across the Menai Strait whilst sitting suitably socially distanced from other customers.
The Harrisons: George's sister Louise, George, his father Harold and his brothers Peter and Harry snapped on the same trip to Wales.
Being a sailor had a certain appeal for the ladies as well, Ringo later recalling chatting up girls using the line 'I'm in the navy. I just got back'. The suitably impressed young lady would then say 'when did you leave?' and he'd reply 'Ten o'clock this morning.'
He lasted about 5 weeks, arriving for work hung-over and insolent one morning he had words with his boss and was sacked on the spot.