A MAN who was evacuated to the old Marconi transmitting station in Caernarfon during World War Two is appealing for memories and photographs that people or their older relatives have of the site.

Ronald Holme, 86, spent roughly nine months at the site but he and his son, Jeff, have struggled to find any record of the place existing during the war.

The long-wave wireless transmitting station, the first of its kind in Britain, was opened in 1913 by Guglielmo Marconi, who sent the world’s first transmission across water in 1897.

The facility proved vital during World War One but storm damage led to its closure in 1938, a year before the beginning of the Second World War.

Jeff said: “He had a rough time when he was there and he’s never heard anything about the place. I’ve tried to find some information on the place but haven’t been able to find any trace whatsoever of this place during the war.

“We went there about six years ago and it was a climbing centre (CHAmois Mountaineering Centre, who purchased the property in 1975), and called into the library in Penygroes and there was nothing there on it.

“We just wondered if anybody locally knows something about it – perhaps they had a father or mother there, or they were there themselves if they are my dad’s age – and if they have any recollections of the place.”

Ronald particularly remembers the awful food he was served, the repeated incidents of bullying he encountered especially towards the smaller children, and that he returned home dirty, undernourished and full of lice in his hair.

He was removed from the hostel by his father, who was disgusted at his condition upon visiting, and returned home to Liverpool before being re-evacuated to Ludlow, Shropshire.

Ronald said: “It’s like we were never there. I remember we went on the train with my brother and sister, this man with a clipboard went round taking names, and he stuck a red band on my arm.

“When we were getting well into the countryside, the train just stopped on a line, not even at the station, and all those with red bands climbed off. We were marched up the road and taken to the Marconi building, and that’s where we stayed.

“I believe the red bands were for all of us who wet the bed!” joked Ronald, who was separated from his brother and sister as an evacuee at the age of ‘only about six or seven’.

He added: “I don’t think my mum and dad knew where we were either because it took them a while for them to find out.

“The food was terrible. All I remember was lumpy semolina; you wouldn’t use it for wallpaper paint. There was a couple of older lads who used to go around sticking pins in you while you tried to eat your dinner; it was horrible.

“I stayed with another little lad called Ronnie Morrison – he had red hair. I met him years later in Marks and Spencer in Liverpool and had a chat with him, but he couldn’t remember anything.

“He was a bit younger than even me. There was only the two of us who were that young, and when they went to Penygroes for a day out, they left us behind, saying we were too young.

“My head was full of lice. When I got home, she (Ronald’s mother) noticed my scratches, got the Liverpool Echo paper and combed my hair onto the Echo. All these lice were bouncing onto the paper.”

Ronald, from Anfield, went on to serve three years in the army, and also worked for Ford Motor Company and the Schweppes beverage business.

If you have any relevant photographs or memories you would like to share, you can email Jeff at: jeffholme1961@gmail.com.