I was born in Llandudno North Wales in October 1950.
My Family lived literally a Stone's throw from the Beach (little did I know at the time how important that word would become to me later in life). From when I was about 8 or 9 years old in the 50's and through to the 60's I spent most of my time on the Beach playing with my Friends, my Dogs and Kids on Holiday that I just met on Llandudno's Sandy Beach. In those days it was safe to let your kids play on the beach unattended. (Also there were plenty of people that worked on the beach that my Mum & Dad knew that were looking out for me). When I reached Ten or Eleven I helped out with the Donkeys that used to take kids for a ride along the Beach, I was never happiest seeing a young child with a big grin from ear to ear on his/her face sitting on top of a Donkey while I led it along the beach.
One Summer when I was about Twelve years old I was standing on the Jetty watching the Boats coming in and going out when the guy who used to own the Rowing Boats (a man called Davy Nicko) asked me if I could row a boat, I said of course, (I'd never been in a Rowing boat on my own before...) he said he was short handed and told me to jump in one of the boats and row around by the Jetty until he called me in, that was the start of Six amazing years of my life working on the Boats in Llandudno Bay. The following Season the rowing boats ceased. My Dad Andy Shields was always helping Ted yr Ogof and his son John yr Ogof with the Pleasure Boats that took Tourists on Trips around the Great Orme's Head and Fishing Trips a couple of miles out in the Bay so I begged him to get me a job with them. They took me on and eventually I applied for a Boatman's Licence, sat an exam about Llandudno Bay, passed it, and received a Badge and Certificate entitling me to Pilot Motor Boats in the Bay and around the Great Orme, (one of the proudest moments of my life). Ted and John let me take the Helm of their boat the "Welsh Maid" on the Pleasure Trips and Fishing Trips on many occasion, steering that magnificent boat around the Great Orme's Head on a Sunny day with a calm Sea was one of the best feelings in the world.
In them days Llandudno Beach had approx 10 to 15 Steps leading down from the Promenade to a beautiful Golden Sandy Beach with a few rocks scattered around the Tidal levels and it was always packed with holidaymakers from Easter till the end of September sunbathing on the Beach, sitting in Deckchairs or relaxing on the Steps. Llandudno was a thriving Holiday destination and the Boats did a roaring trade. At eighteen I got a job working on the Llandudno Pier Crew, repairing the Decking, Railings, etc in the Winter and patrolling the Pier in the Summer. Also in the summer Season we (The Crew) were responsible for bringing the Isle of Man Boats alongside the Pier Head for the Tourists to board for day trips to Douglas.
I met my Wife Sue whilst working on the Pier, she worked for the Pier Manager George Rodgers in the offices inside the Pavilion and we're still happily married to this day. As you can imagine, Llandudno Beach means an awful lot to me and I got quite emotional that day when I saw what they were doing to it... I suppose what I'm trying to say is, My Life, from the tender age of 8 until approx 22 years old was spent on or around Llandudno Beach, I basically grew up on it and I'm not happy about what's happening to it...
Fast Forward to 2014, 5.05pm Monday the 24th of March to be exact... I was driving home from work along Llandudno Sea front when I noticed several JCB's on the Beach. I parked my Car and walked onto the Promenade to see what was happening. What I witnessed in that short time on the Prom that day was to bring about something that has turned into a full blown Campaign to Restore Llandudno beach to its former Glory. As I drove home I wondered who could do this to the beautiful beach I spent most of my childhood on. I did some Internet Surfing and discovered that the Conwy County Borough Council was "Replenishing" the beach with Stones to bring it back to the 2002 guidelines for Sea Defence... The next evening I was updating my Photography page on Facebook and noticed upon the "Create a Page" button and I thought "Why not, it may attract a few Likes and if anyone was to agree with me about what I thought was the destruction of our Beach, maybe someone in authority might just sit up and listen". That it seems was an understatement, in just 16 days the Page has received over 3,000 Likes..! Locals, Visitors, ex Pats, even people from as far away as Vietnam, Australia, America, and other worldly places who have never visited Llandudno but think that what is being done to our Beach is... Just Wrong...!
I'm a keen Amateur Photographer and I love to experiment with all kinds of Photography, not just one particular style. The soothsayers say you should stick to a style you are good at, but my passion for Photography won't let me do that. I will tackle headlong any challenge that comes along...