• Photoscoot 2020: former site of Promemade Shelter, Aberystwyth

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The 'Borough Guide' published by the Town Council and Edward J Burrows Co around 1905 marks the site of the shelter on the map. Its glowing descriptions of the promenade as a health resort - between mountains and sea, very exhilarating air, abundant supply of sunshine, seawater of extraordinary purity and immunity from piercing winds.
The physicians proving Aberystwyth with recommendations a health resort included Sir William Withey Gull. He served as the Governor of Guy's Hospital, Fullerian Professor of Physiology and President of the Clinical Society. In 1871, he successfully treated the Prince of Wales during a life-threatening attack of typhoid fever. A feature that appeared in The Times on 18 December 1871 reported that Dr Gull 'combined energy that never tired, watchfulness that never flagged ; nursing so tender, ministry so minute, that in his functions he seemed to combine the duties of physician, dresser, dispenser, valet, nurse,-now arguing with the sick man in his delirium so softly and pleasantly that the parched lips opened to take the scanty nourishment on which depended the reserves of strength for the deadly fight when all else failed, now lifting the wasted body from bed to bed, now washing the worn frame with vinegar, with ever ready eye and ear and finger to mark any change and phase, to watch face and heart and pulse, and passing at times twelve or fourteen hours at that bedside'. Gull is quoted as saying "He was as well treated and nursed as if he had been a patient in Guy's Hospital." Baronet and appointed to be one of the Physicians-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria. Gull made a number of significant contributions to medical science, including advancing the understanding of myxoedema, Bright's disease, paraplegia and anorexia nervosa (for which he first established the name).
Another was Sir James Clark, who had been recommended as physician to the young princess Victoria in 1834. He published Treatises on 'Pulmonary Consumption' and the 'Treatment of Tuberculous' in 1835. An article in the Lancet 9 July 1870 notes that "He gradually became most unwittingly a power in the State. Always about the Court, high in the favour of the sovereign, and known to be greatly esteemed by the prince consort, he became the person to whom statesmen constantly referred for advice connected with medical matters and polity. He was always ready with advice, with suggestion, and wise, carefully-considered counsel. To him the medical section of the University of London owes its shape and much of its usefulness, and to him the College of Chemistry chiefly owes existence, and many other institutions much of their support.'
The guide notes that both had spoken of the stimulating properties of Aberystwyth air. It also notes that human ingenuity had provided specially-prepared hot water baths for invalids, pleasant walks for those forbidden to undertake violent exercise, and a plentiful supply of seats. The shelter was still noted 20 years later in the 'Aberystwyth Official Guide and Souvenir' published by Aberystwyth Corporation, but it has since been replaced by a miniature golf course. Other shelters on the northern portion of the promenade continue to provide wind breaks, seats and shade.

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