SH7982 : Gazing out to sea, Craig-y-Don Paddling Pool, Llandudno

taken 3 years ago, near to Penrhyn-Side, Conwy, Great Britain

Gazing out to sea, Craig-y-Don Paddling Pool, Llandudno
Gazing out to sea, Craig-y-Don Paddling Pool, Llandudno
Spent a happy few hours walking the prom at Llandudno yesterday with my camera. At the farthest end from the pier is an old pool - now empty - and there among the faded seaside glamour sat an old boy in a buggy staring out to sea. This tableau seemed unbearably sad. I thought I'd say 'hello'.
Far from being doleful though I was greeted by a warm smile, and we spent a good thirty minutes talking. His cravat and handsome moustache marked him out as a gentleman of the old school, and he was indeed a charmer. Having asked me where I was from and established my Kent and Warrington links, he started talking about the many venues he had played in Margate, London and the North. And Warrington, where he had met his wife Joan in a show; it was love at first sight!
"What were you? A song-and-dance man?"
"Oh no, no, no" he laughed, "You'll have to look me up!"
I learned that he had been on the stage since 1938 and that he had retired, at 99, last December. He turned 100 in January and settled on the North Wales coast. Looking out to sea made him so happy.
"Do you have You Tube?", he asked, "Search for Mark Raffles"
"I will" I assured him. He shook my hand with a surprising strength and we went on our way after I had taken his portrait. "Enjoy your life!" he said with a wave.
Naturally my curiosity got the better of me and I whipped my phone out and delved. The term 'legendary' is dotted around to describe Mark Raffles, the gentleman pickpocket and magician who was born in Manchester in 1919. He's a veteran of the British stage and TV; in fact there is a clip of him on "3-2-1" in the 80s which I remember AND he appeared on Crackerjack ("Crackerjack!").
Anyway, it just goes to show that not everything is as it seems and there is a lot to be said for taking off the headphones and saying 'hello'. I did check my wallet though.
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SH7982, 180 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 22 February, 2019   (more nearby)
Sunday, 24 February, 2019
Geographical Context
Coastal  Sport, Leisure  Public buildings and spaces  Suburb, Urban fringe  People, Events 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SH 7998 8218 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:19.3736N 3:48.2017W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SH 7999 8219
View Direction
Southwest (about 225 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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