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Traditional Welsh costume

Published on February 26th, 2018

To mark St David's Day we bring you this special selection of photographs of people in traditional Welsh costume from The Francis Frith Collection.

Photo: Rhiwbina, Welsh Girl c.1960.

The two ladies in this view outside the post office on the main road in Pensarn have been identified to The Francis Frith Collection as Emma Morgan outside the post office on the main road in Pensarn, as Miss Jones on the left, who was from the post office, and Emma Morgan on the right, who was 16 years old when this photograph was taken.

Photo: Pensarn, Women In Welsh Costume 1895.

Photo: Caernarfon, A Welsh Tea Party c.1900.

This was a very popular cafe near Llandudno, photographed when marketing meant painting the service you offered in bold letters on your roof! Waitresses in traditional Welsh costume brought your tea and lemonade to enjoy al fresco – weather permitting.

Photo: Llandudno, Pink Farm Café c.1955.

Photo: Holyhead, Welsh Costumes 1894.

The Welsh costumed young lady outside the Rock Shop had an unlimited supply of Pwllheli Number 8 rock. A joy to eat, unlike so many of today's softer offerings at other seaside resorts. On a day visit to Barmouth from my home village of Dyffryn the three main events were the Rock Shop for a free sample, the Milk Bar for lunch and an hour or so on the seafront before catching the Crosville service home." - A memory from F Hughes. Perhaps the young lady featured in the following photograph is the girl in question!

Photo: Barmouth, The Shopping Centre c.1965.
Memory: Rock Shop

Perhaps this is the young lady that gave out free samples at the Rock Shop in Barmouth (read the memory above).

Photo: Barmouth, A Girl In Welsh Costume c.1960.

Photo: Holyhead, Ladies In Welsh Costumes 1894.

Many photographs of ladies in Welsh costume appear to have been posed shots taken for use on tourist souvenirs, but this lovely period view from c1900 seems to be the real deal – two ladies dressed in traditional Welsh bonnets and shawls enjoying a day on the beach, complete with bathing machines in the background. Everyone is fully dressed – no one in this view is going to get sunburnt!

Photo: Pensarn, Welsh Ladies On The Beach c.1900.

Photo: Llanfairfechan, Welsh Groups And Costumes c.1930.

Photo: Bala, Lady With Spinning Wheel c.1860.

Dressed in traditional Welsh bonnet, large white collar and apron, the station mistress at Ffestiniog cheerfully poses for the camera. The Welsh Highland Railway ran from Dinas Junction to Porthmadog; it was constructed to serve the quarries, although many closed shortly afterwards. It was re-opened as a heritage steam railway in 2012.

Photo: Tan-Y-Bwlch, Ffestiniog Railway, The Station Mistress 1935.

Photo: Pensarn, Welsh Costumes 1906.

Posed here on Goscar Rock on Tenby’s North Beach, these women were fishwives from the village of Llangwm, eleven miles cross-country from Tenby. Each day they would walk from Llangwm to Tenby to sell their prawns, cockles and oysters. They are shown here wearing their traditional costume.

Photo: Tenby, Llangwm Fishwives 1890.

A posed photograph of a harp choir dressed in traditional Welsh costume set against the backdrop of Beddgelert, Snowdonia. Oh, with goats! Do you think you could see a more 'Welsh' scene? Of course, we simply had to include this Archive photograph from 1938.

Photo: Beddgelert, The Snowdonia Harp Choir c.1938.

Perhaps you'd like..?

If you liked our "Traditional Welsh costume" Blog Feature, you might like to see and follow this Francis Frith board over on Pinterest.

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