Penmaenpool is a small village about three miles west of Dolgellau. Its main claim to fame is the old toll-bridge which crosses the Mawddach. It used to be a stop on the railway, which was closed in the 1960s. The old railway line now forms The Mawddach Trail which runs the nine miles from Dolgellau to Barmouth.
The 1966 Tragedy
At 10:55am on July 22nd 1966, the first day of the school summer holidays, the “Prince of Wales” pleasure boat left Barmouth on it’s regular two-hour return trip to Penmaenpool. The boat was carrying the captain and forty-two passengers, As it arrived and turned to join the jetty, it hit the Penmaenpool bridge. As a result the boat sunk and fifteen of the passengers lost their lives.
On the jetty was Mr. John. A. Hall, the proprietor of the George III Hotel. Mr. Hall embarked in his nine-foot rowing boat “The Daisy May” (which he had only taken possession of five days beforehand) and together with two of his employees; David Christopher Jones and Robert Jones, was responsible for saving many lives. Mr. Ronald Phillip Davies, an employee of the Dolgelly Rural District Council, also waded into the river twice and saved the lives of two children.