In Honour Of It’s Splendour



Although I often think of myself as a bit of a miserablist (and thanks but there’s no real need to confirm this to me), I’m actually remarkably content. That said from time to time the idiocies of modern life (Mr Albarn and friends were possibly onto something) push me nearer to the ‘grumpy old man’ demographic than is probably good for me.

Thankfully when this happens Mrs Weir and I are lucky enough to be able to pack up our necessary, and to be honest many unnecessary, belongings and get out onto the tarmacadamed roads of Great Britain. Over the years destinations have varied although somewhere that’s always guaranteed to return me to my natural resting point is the village of Portmeirion.

We’ve managed to visit the village designed and built by Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis a number of times on our travels and I can think of no place I’d rather be than sat in the sun outside of the Hotel Portmeirion looking out across the Dwyryd estuary.


So whilst in the deepest darkest recesses of this impossibly gloomy ‘winter’ I was a pleased as punch to come across this guide to the village (published in 1965) boasting “fresh words and bigger pictures”.

And what words they are. I have to presume that those found in the guide come from Clough Williams-Ellis given that they are as florid in their construction as the village itself, with this paragraph that comes towards the end of the guide entitled ‘The Welcome Guest – And The Other’ being a particular favourite.

“Portmeirion desires to thank the great majority of its visitors for their gratifying courtesy in helping to maintain a high standard of seemliness within its bounds. It hopes that this admirable example may perhaps shame the small and less thoughtful minority into the same mannerly behaviour. It is encouraging to record that practically no malicious damage of any consequence has been suffered in thirty years. But even the careless shedding of litter, the picking of flowers and trespass into places that are obviously private, or even so marked, are offences that, oft repeated, can prove extremely tiresome not only to the Portmeirion Trustees and the residents, but to the more civilised section of the general public as well.”

I’d like to think that I would be considered a welcome guest at Portmeirion but given the requirement of maintaining such a “high standard of seemliness” I can’t really be sure.


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