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Description

Karel Lek came to Wales with his parents as Jewish refugees from Belgium during the Second World War. They settled in Bangor and Karel eventually moved to Beaumaris where he spent the rest of his life working as an artist.

Over the years, Karel Lek struck up a friendship with the Lynch family and sent them home-made Christmas cards. Frances Llewellyn remembers:

My parents (Group Captain J.B Lynch and Mrs Dora Lynch) were friends of Karel and his wife Phillys for many years - as were most people in the town. [The cards are] very typical of his work and also of his humour and his kindness to other people.
My parents had a long association with Beaumaris since my father's mother had a house there in the 1920s, next to the Sailors Return. They came back to live permanently in Beaumaris in 1957 when Karel's father was restoring the 15th century house, The Tudor Rose (which I think was probably a new name for it).
Karel's father Hendrik was an artist and kept an antique shop - a combination which Karel inherited. The restoration of the Tudor Rose was a major gift by the Lek family to the town. They saved a really important building and I think the work was largely at their own expense. It is a beautiful and useful building which so easily could have been swept away or inappropriately changed.

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