A short history of New Quay in West Wales
The Pier was built after 1834 when Daniel Beynon was invited to submit a plan which was carried out after the formation of the New Quay Harbour Company. The small stone lighthouse, 30 feet high, was not built until 1839 and was placed at the end of the pier. It was known locally as the 'Pepper Pot' - an item that it clearly resembled.
Bathing tents on the Harbour beach
SS Atalanta visits New Quay, 1017
A severe storm in 1859 damaged the pier and washed the lighthouse away. It was rebuilt but destroyed a second time almost 80 years later during another severe storm on 28th February 1937. The New Quay Regatta was first held in 1874 when the larger fishing boats raced for a silver cup. There were also many other events including rowboats, sculling, swimming and climbing a greasy pole over water.
Sailing boats by the pier
Visitors had been coming to New Quay in small numbers aboard steamers from Liverpool and Bristol. However, the increased ease of transportation by land into the area, brought about the next phase of New Quay's development. Lodging houses started to appear in New Quay and visitors wrote glowingly of its benefits. One visitor wrote in the 'Christian World' of 1885: ' ..a little town, white in the bright sunshine, built along the steep sides of a shimmering Bay.....this little town was the quaintest most picturesque one could wish to see.
The sands and lifeboat house
The first printed Guide book to New Quay was :'Being a short description of New Quay as a watering Place,' printed in Lampeter by the Welsh Press in 1885.
The Fisherman' Rest - now the 'Dolau'
John Street - the property is 'Cliffside'
Horse drawn buses brought visitors from the stations at Aberystwyth and Llandysul in the 1890's. It is noted that by 1895 New Quay had some 10,000 visitors in the year.
New Quay from the pier
The earliest motorised bus system was set up by Great Western Railways who established a line from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen in 1860. The buses served to connect various communities to the railways. In 1911, the station was opened at Aberaeron to connect with the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line at Lampeter.
GWR bus 1907
New Quay charabanc 1907
A considerable change in recent years has been the immense growth of the caravan industry in the areas around New Quay, along the coast towards Gilfachreda and along the Llandysul Road at Cross Inn. The greatest impact being on land at Hengell Farm behind Traethgwyn from New Quay to Cnwc y Lili - known in the sixties as 'Hengell Park and today as the Quay West Holiday Park.
'The Two Bays' Traethgwyn about 1920
Transformed by about 1960 into 'Hengell Park'
Today New Quay is a thriving holiday resort from Easter until October. Off season however, it remains a haven of tranquillity.
© 2003 Rod Attrill
'New Quay and Llanarth' by W.J. Lewis. pub 1987 Aberystwyth.
'New Quay at the time of the 1851 census' by Susan Passmore. Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society Vol. X, No.3, 1986.
'Shipbuilding at New Quay' by Susan Campbell-Jones, Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society Vol. V11, No.3/4, 1974 / 1975.
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