November 10, 2015
A World War II ‘Florence Nightingale’ revisited Colwyn Bay recently to take a trip down memory lane. Catalina Bateman, aged 92, used to stay in the town during her childhood – with her last visit being over 70 years ago.
Thanks to Jason Lock Photography for the photo
Catalina journeyed to Colwyn Bay with her cousin, Michael Seel, a former Rydal school pupil between 1948-52 and the main reason Catalina used to come and stay in the town.
“Lots of things have changed but many things are still recognisable from when I was here as a child.” Says Catalina. “The last time I came to Colwyn Bay was in 1939 just before I began my nurses training in Manchester when I was 16 years old.”
Catalina took a rest from her sight-seeing tour to enjoy lunch at the recently renovated Colwyn Bay Townscape Heritage Initiative project, The Station, at the top of Station Road, Abergele Road.
While there she reminisced about places she used to visit as a child.
“I remember the Cosy cinema very well as we used to go there to watch the films which were black and white then, we preferred this one to the larger cinema [Princess Cinema] because it was small and much more intimate with really plush seats. Although I remember the projectionist was the same person for both cinemas and used to run between the two!”
Catalina’s father was originally from the Falkland Islands and came to Britain during World War I where he met her mother. After the war they moved to Chile where Catalina was born and returned to Manchester when she was a young girl.
“My Uncle was head surveyor for Flint which at that time spread right along the coast. I used to visit my Aunt’s house in Llanrwst and you have to drive through Colwyn Bay to get there.”
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