While it is all still fresh in my mind, I thought it would be nice to post some more about our week in Anglesey.
Our cottage overlooked this bay, called Bull Bay. It was a fishing harbour until some time in the middle of the twentieth century but the fishermen moved out of their little cottages and the holidaymakers moved in. Now its slipway is used to launch much smaller boats, used by anglers, divers and people who just enjoy messing about in boats.
Our nearest town was Amlwch (pronounced something like “amluck”), which is a completely different kettle of fish and still has working fishing harbour. Fishing boats, the pilot boat and yachts all use it and it’s a busy little place.
I visited Anglesey many times in the 80’s, staying mostly on campsites or in cheap bed and breakfast places. At that time I was a member of a sub aqua club and we launched our inflatable boat from several of the bays and harbours around the coast of Anglesey to dive in its waters. They were often very murky, being so busy with large boats and having often quite stormy weather. In fact most of my memories of Anglesey are more of the local pubs and rather down at heel lodging houses than of memorable diving experiences. We seemed to spend more time in the pub than in the water.
A decade later, some friends moved to live and work in Anglesey, not far from Amlwch, and I spent several weekends with them, exploring the island and its hostelries. That’s when I discovered that it’s such a lovely place.
We spent a few hours just nosing around the harbour and then ventured into one of its hostelries for lunch. There was, not surprisingly, plenty of fresh fish and shellfish on the menu.
Inside the pub there were many framed photos on the walls of Amlwch as it used to be. The port was close to the copper mine on Parys Mountain, one of the largest mines in the world in the 18th and 19th centuries. The little museum in the village tells the story of copper mining in great detail and we came out both fascinated and also feeling rather humble and glad that we had been born in the 20th century. Life was hard for the miners and their families and the effect of copper smelting in port meant it was a hellish place to live and earn a living. You can read more about that here.