Page 6 - Art Trail Magazine April 2019
P. 6

Passing Places on the Ceredigion Art Trail
   #2: Aberaeron

                          featuring the Tourist Information Centre

                                                                                                        by Paul Flude

         he year is 1807.  Napoléon Bonaparte is master of much of Europe. The Royal Navy fights the First Battle at
         Copenhagen with Horatio Nelson leading the assault . The world’s first gas streets lights are illuminated in Pall Mall,
  TLondon. The British Parliament and United States Congress introduce Laws that are the beginning of the end of the
   Slave Trade.

   In Art J.M.W. Turner gives us “Sun Rising through Vapour, Fishermen Cleaning and Selling Fish” which is a very apt
   introduction to the beautiful Seaside Town of Aberaeron:

   A man with great Vision, The Reverend Alban Thomas Jones Gwynne, receives approval by Special Act of Parliament in
   1807 for improvements to the harbour at Aberaeron using his own money. The Regency Houses around the harbour were
   built around 1830-55 and were the design of Architect Edward Haycock.  I think they would not look out of place in
   Cheltenham or Leamington Spa. The genius of this, I believe, is that although the land was sold off in lots the building
   design was retained . It is that conformity that has made Aberaeron such a special place. The bright colours and layout
   continue to inspire Artists and delight Holidaymakers to make Aberaeron “The Jewel of Cardigan Bay.”

   The harbour and shipbuilding flourished until the coming of the
   Railways in the early 20th Century but the line, that was built to
   link the town with Aberystwyth and Carmarthen via Lampeter,
   terminated at Aberayron Station . It never reached the harbour, as
   had originally been planned, due to resistance of the shipowners.
   The railway did later serve to bring evacuees from cities such as
   Liverpool and London in WW2 before carrying only freight for
   its last 14 years, finally closing this end section in the mid Sixties.
   Note the obsolete Town name of Aberayron which you still find on
   some old minor road signs.

   Start walking at the north end of  the coast road by the Murco
   petrol station. Walk up Princess Avenue which becomes South Road.  Almost immediately on your left is the local hospital
   which was built in 1839 as a Workhouse. Carrying on past the garage and take a look at sculptor David Mayer’s 2005
   Cob statue on your right.  Continuing along you will find  the sign indicating the site of the train terminus. This is now a
   builders merchants with the entrance road going over the river on the railway bridge. Cross over and trace the very pretty
   footpath along the left side of the river back towards the sea. Past ‘Lover’s Bridge’( pedestrian ) and follow the Aeron as it
   descends through a series of shallow weirs before passing under the coast road and into the harbour.
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