Fairbourne 2001

Gilbert (my Dad) was associated with Fairbourne for 80 years (1923 - 2003) and at one time seriously considered moving to spend his retirement there.

In 2001, with his illness getting worse Gilbert made one of his annual trips to Fairbourne, taking these few images at that time.

Fairbourne is a small welsh seaside resort that has grown steadily in recent years. Back in the 1890's there were very few houses in the locality until  Victorian entrepreneur Sir Arthur McDougall (of the flour family) appeared on the scene.

He decided to capitalise on the growing Victorian trend of taking seaside holidays and build a “planned” new seaside resort on the land occupied by a number of farms.


From this plan a number of three-storey buildings were erected along with a small parade of shops. Unfortunately, Mr McDougall’s money ran out before the planned pier could be constructed, although the tramway was built., initially to aid the delivery of bricks from  the local brickworks created  to build the planned village.

The village that exists today still retains the original, McDougall built properties with a mixture of buildings built over the years as it expanded. The tramway eventually became the Fairbourne Miniature Railway and today is called the Fairbourne Steam Railway.


The resort features a safe sandy beach with rock pools at either end of the two-mile stretch of golden sands.

Some 200 meters from the beach are a number of shops all catering for the visitor and resident alike. Situated close to the shops is the connecting bus stop and Network Rail Cambrian Coast mainline Station. Overlooking the village is the western end of Cader Idris mountain range with the Friog Slate Quarry very prominent; access is via public footpaths in Friog and neighbouring Arthog.

Images all Bill Hyde collection