theatre and actors came to be regarded as satanic devices to trip the unwary. The town's first printers, being Nonconformist, refused to print handbills for the theatrical companies because they believed such work to be inconsistent with their religious beliefs.60 The first company to perform at the new theatre made a very poor impression on one visitor. He describes how he visited the theatre in August 1831 and found it new but unfinished. He found the audience so few that he was able to enter at half price. The play billed was She Stoops to Conquer and both scenery and acting was poor the players paid no regard to the text and said just what came to their minds with frequent repetitions and hesitations. His comment was Nothing could have been more wretched than the performance'.59 A very popular feature of the season was race-week. Horse races were held during the summer but at no fixed time though the third week in August did come to be the week at one period. They were started before 1807 and were part of the summer's entertainment for most of the century, being the concern throughout of the Gogerddan family. Until the coming of the railway the course covered that enormous field which lies between Bow Street and the wooded slopes below Ffynnon Caradog and now cut up by the road and the railway. As one writer put it, they were attended by most of the beauty and fashion of the county' as well as by the visitors. 61 The popularity and increasing prosperity of the town led to the establishment of some small industries. One of these was printing until 1809 the town's printing had been done in Carmarthen or Shrewsbury. In that year Samuel Williams and John James, a local Baptist minister, were licensed to set up a printing press in Great Darkgate Street.62 They continued in partnership for two or three years when Williams took over the business himself until his death in 1820. The business was then carried on for many years by his wife, Esther Williams. Another printer who started work in the town in the early 1810's was John Cox. He too started in Great Darkgate Street but in 1825 he moved to Pier Street. It was he who first opened a library in the town and Cox's Circulating Library' was a great boon to residents and visitors alike.63 The town's third printer was a Samuel Thomas, who started his press in 1827.64 Another small industry was that of the lapidary. There were two practising this craft in 1824 William Jones, Watchmaker, who lived near the Assembly Rooms, and John Parry of Portland Street.65 Both specialised in preparing and mounting into rings, brooches, etc., the beach stones collected by visitors. In time, Aberystwyth became well known for its beach stones and there were six lapidaries at work about 1840.66 One lady visitor claimed to have picked up enough