History of Aberystwyth
1920-1940


1922

Tutankhamen

Discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb

March: Trains

'Cambrian Railway Company' merges with the 'Great Western Railway Company'

July 19: College Jubilee

Prime Minister David Lloyd George in Aberystwyth to celebrate 50 years of the university.

War Memorial

Work stared on the 82ft tall war memorial built in castle grounds [7] surmounted by a statue of the Angel of Peace with a figure on the pediment embodying the idea of Humanity emerging from the entanglements of war designed by Mario Rutelli of Rome.

August 5: Army attack Police

A pair of drunk soldiers from the 53rd Welsh Division were arrested for brawling while 'celebrating' their pay day. In response 500 Territorials rioted and attacked the police station.

December 22 Statue

Unveiling of a statue of Edward the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) also by Mario Rutelli.

1923

Easter: Tennis

Opening of the municipal tennis courts

College Hall

College Hall opened (built near the current municipal tennis courts - burnt down on the 13th of August 1933)

September 14: War Memorial

Opening ceremony of the War memorial built in castle grounds. Many regard this as the grandest war memorial in the UK.

Bronze Sculpture by Rutelli
Bronze Sculpture by Mario Rutelli
in the Grounds of the Tabernacle

October 30:

Prime Minister David Lloyd George in Aberystwyth to salute the war memorial.

1925

October 22: Transistor

Transistor invented and patented by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in Germany

New Railway Station

Railway station built on the site of the much smaller one.

1926

January 26: Television

JL Baird demonstrates his 'television' in London

May 3-12: Strike

General Strike as 3 million union members go on strike. By taking over some of the essential jobs businessmen and students help break the strike.

June 29-July 3: League of Nations Union

Tenth Plenary Congress Conference of the International Federation of League of Nations Societies and the Annual Conference of the Welsh National Council of the League of National Union held at Aberystwyth

Tenth Plenary Congress Conference of the International Federation of League of Nations Societies and the Annual Conference of the Welsh National Council of the League of National Union

The Corporation possess an excellent Isolation Hospital of 16 beds for the isolation of the general infections diseases, also a well isolated residence known as Alltglaise, about 2½ miles distant from the town, ready for use at any moment in case of an outbreak of small pox.

....

After the war, there were over 1,100 students in residence - in Arts, Science, Law, Music, Agriculture - students drawn from every of the Principality and other countries, who are trained for their degrees in the Welsh University at a reasonable cost well within the means of the working peasant.

....

The shopping facilities in Aberystwyth deserve full consideration before deciding in favour of any great city's allurements. The prices are low, chiefly owing to the enterprise of the traders, and partly because keen competition have developed the best business instincts and up-to-date methods. Prospective visitors will be bound to be impressed that Aberystwyth is really a high-class shopping centre, even should they only confine their inspections to the window display of the many high-class shops.

To avoid any inconvenience or delay in shopping on arrival, it is respectfully suggested to prospective visitors that their initial orders should be posted a day previous to arrival, when they may have every confidence that the resultant services will justify these recommendations. More especially should should this course be adopted when the arrival is on Wednesday, the early closing day in the district.

1927

October 28: Storm

Prom damaged by worst storm since 1866

Storm damage to Marine Terrace 1927
Storm Damage to Prom - Marine Terrace 1927
By kind permission of the British Geological Survey Image P252857 © NERC

Storm Damage to Alexandra Terrace 1927
Storm Damage to Alexandra Terrace 1927
By kind permission of the British Geological Survey Image P252862 © NERC

Storm Damage to Prom - Alexandra Terrace 1927
Storm Damage to Prom - Alexandra Terrace 1927
By kind permission of the British Geological Survey Image P252859 © NERC

(cf Storms in 1703, 1866, 1887, 1896, 1910, 1938, 1987, 2002 and 2014)

1928

October: Flood

Flood. Boats line Terrace Road.[7]

National Library 1928
National Library in 1928[8]
Thanks to Will for allowing me to use the image

1930

Lloyd George

David Lloyd George visited circa 1930. [7]

Sea Pool 1930
Sea Pool

1930/31

Prom

South Marine Prom extended at a cost of £12,000

1931

Census, National Youth

Population 9473
Inhabited houses 1962
Urdd established with headquarters in Aberystwyth

Coliseum Cinema

The Coliseum Cinema opens. The 1904 building was originally an entertainments hall and arcade and would become Ceredigion museum in 1976.

1932-1933

Ukrainian Famine

Bad weather during the unwelcome transition to collectivization causes a famine in and around Ukraine. This natural tragedy is turned into a man-made disaster by the Stalinist regime continuing to export food out of the area and restricting population movement. These measures lead to millions of excess deaths. Combining the famine with a brutal policy of integrating Ukraine into the Soviet Union has led most observers to conclude that intensifying the famine was a deliberate act of genocide that claimed the lives of over a fifth of Ukraine's, mostly rural, population.

Ukrainian Famine

One of the few journalists that reported on the Ukrainian famine was 1926 Aberystwyth graduate Gareth Jones after which he was banned from entering the Soviet Union. In 2006 a plaque was unveiled in the old college for his efforts in bringing the world's attention to these events.

1933

Drinks

Alcohol legalised in USA

Crosville

Crosville took over the Jones Bros bus services.[7]

August 13: Fire

College Hall fire.[7] (now Health Centre next to tennis courts)

1934

Driving test

Driving test introduced

June 27: Kings Hall

Costing £21,000 the Municipal Hall opened on the site of the Waterloo Hydro which burnt down in 1919.[7]. The building provided a theatre, concert hall and dance hall. It was renamed - Neuadd Y Brenin/The King's Hall in 1937.

Aberystwyth Map 1868 Aberystwyth Map 1868
TimeMachine Municipal Tennis Courts
1934‾    _2014

1935

February 28: Nylon

After evaluating many synthetic polyamide fibres Dr. Carothers at DuPont chose one for commercial development. Nylon became the world 1st fully synthetic textile.

Flood

Flood covers North Parade. [7]

February 20: Palladium

Palladium Cinema (Corner of Market Street and Eastgate) burns down

May 6: Bandstand

New bandstand opened on the day of king George V's silver jubilee.

New Bandstand in Aberystwyth on Marine Terrace 1935
New Bandstand - 1935

Photographic Postcard of Penglais from around 1935-6
Photographic Postcard of Penglais from around 1935-6.
Interesting in as much for what is doesn't show as what it does show.
eg no Hospital or Penglais Campus Buildings

Plas Crug
Plas Crûg - demolished in 1968

National Library
National Library - still under construction

1937

Logical Electronics

Claude Shannon brought together Boolean logic and electronics switching circuits in this masters thesis A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits

July 16: Big Library

The part of the National Library of Wales that was complete, was opened by King George VI. ...more in 1955

New Campus

Start of work on the Rural Science Block, the 1st building on Penglais Campus.

1938

January 15-19: Storm

Storm lasting 5 days causes considerable damage to promenade and shortens the pier by 200ft. Rebuilding work is hampered by another gale in November.
(cf Storms in 1703, 1866, 1887, 1896, 1910, 1927, 1987, 2002 and 2014)

Storm damage to Marine Terrace 1938
Storm Damage to Marine Terrace 1938[8]
Thanks to Will for allowing me to use the image

Storm damage to Marine Terrace 1938
Storm Damage to Marine Terrace 1938
By kind permission of the British Geological Survey Image P257998 © NERC

Storm Damage to Marine Terrace 1938
The Prom Shelter seems to have survived this storm

July: Toll House

Northgate Toll House (junction of Penglais Road and Llanbadarn Road) demolished

1939

Welsh School

The 1st Welsh primary school 'Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth' opened.

Treasure

Art treasures from National Gallery (London) were hidden in a cave under the National Library - the entrance was behind the Milk Marketing Board buildings off Llanbadarn Rd, just opposite the entrance to the cemetery.