Cefn-Mawr in old picture postcards

Cefn-Mawr in old picture postcards

:   Ifor Edwards
:   Wrexham
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-4770-5
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Cefn-Mawr in old picture postcards'

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9. Hughes & Lancaster's Works, Acrefair. c. 1920. The offices are on the left, while on the right is the mobile crane which served the works admirably for a long period in the early 1900s, conveying goods to the large warehouse across Llangollen Road. The chimney stack which had belonged to the earlier works was demolished in 1948. In the works yard may be seen a number of Shone's sewage ejectors as well as compressors which were exported to Australia, China, Russia, Chile and Egypt, apart from home sales. The works also specialised in wool washing machines, in great demand not only in Yorkshire but in Holland and Belgium. In the Wembley Exhibition of 1924, the firm of Hughes & Lancaster had a stall displaying these and their other manufactures.

10. Chatham's Quarry, Rhosymedre, 1925. The photographs shows some of the workers who worked the Cefn freestone. The steam crane was a permanent feature in the raising of large blocks of stone from the quarry. These in turn were conveyed on trucks to the dressing yard. The Cefn Rock lies in the upper horizon of the Middle Coal Measures, and outcropped mainly in a line from Newbridge through Cefn and Rhosymedre to Ruabon and along to the Wrexham area at Minera and Brynteg. It is a quartzose sandstone and as such formed the great ridge ('Cefn Mawr') between the shallow outerop coal to the west and the deeper coal to the east, which in turn was covered by the Ruabon marls of the Upper Coal Measures.

11. Dressing Stones in the Yard, 1925. The Cefn stone was worked from early times. Examples of Cefn freestone may be seen at Valle Crucis Abbey, in the window and door-surrounds, as weil as in the bases and capitals of the columns. Also at CasteIl Dinas Bran may be seen a similar use of Cefn freestone, and at Chirk CastIe, and in the large houses in the area, as at Wynnstay and Erddig. Further afield, at Liverpool, the St. George's Hall and the Walker Art Gallery are good examples of the stone; Chester too, in the Castle and Bridge which Harrison constructed. Two of the finest examples using dressed stone in the Cefn area are the two wonderfui bridges over the River Dee, the Aqueduct and Viaduct.

12. Old Warehouse, Pontcysyllte, c. 1920. After 1805, when the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was completed, this formed the hub of Cefn's industrial development. It was part of the canal arm which extended into the centre of Cefn Mawr, originally built by Piekering for his colliery near Cefn Bank. Only the base remains of the oid warehouse through which all Cefn's imports and exports passed. To the left of the photograph is J.C. Edwards' Trefynant Clayworks (now vanished), to the right is Abemant and the beginning of Monsanto Chemical Works. It was a very busy quarter: barges were tied up near the workers' cottages and the Canal Tavem, now all gone. After the 1860s trade on the Ellesmere Canal slumped in competition with the railway.

13. Penbedw Fireclay Workers, 1890. H.R. Bowers who developed the fireclay works on land near Penybryn Hall was a Chester man. The presence of good quality fireclay on the North Wales Coalfield, especially in the Buckley and Wrexham-Ruabon areas, prompted a number of men to work them. Commercial development accelerated after 1850. Henry Bowers arrived at Acrefair about this time, and manufactured bricks, sanitary pipes and ornamental chimney-pots. Soon afterwards T.H. Seacome opened the Delph Clayworks nearby. By the 1860s, H.R. Bowers also opened up the first of the terra-cotta works at Ruabon. The young man, with bowler hat, on the right of the photograph was possibly one ofthe two sons, Herbert Bowers, who came to live in the locality.

14. J.e. Edwards' Penybont Works, 1930. The Ruabon marls extended south to Newbridge, and it was here at the Penybont (head-of-the-bridge) Works that a local man, James Coster Edwards, bom in Trefynant, began to work the richest area of marls. His terra-cotta ware, architectural mouldings and tiles became renowned over the country. By 1880, the works at Penybont was connected to the main Chester-Shrewsbury railway by the company's own line, connecting near the end of the Viaduct. The G. W.R. had to send special engines to meet consignments of up to fifty loaded trucks. J.c. Edwards established hirnself soon after 1850, and opened a fireclay works near his horne at Trefynant.

15. Trefynant Clayworks, Acrefair. 1930. The photograph shows the ful! extent of this famous works. On the left, the section with bottle chimneys and sheds handled the terra-cotta and lustreware. The right section dealt with fireclay bricks and sanitary ware. Near the chimney stack may be seen the last of the pit-shafts which raised coal and fireclay. The long stone embankment and bridges, shown in front ofthe works, carried the railway from Trevor Station (above) to link up with their clayworks at Copi, Rhos. It also provided a link, via Trevor Station, with the Penybont terracotta works. The smoke in the mid-distance comes from the chimneys of the Australia Silica Works at Trevor. Today, al! these works have vanished.

16. Early Brick Press, Trefynant Works, 1890. This fireclay works ofJ. e. Edwards is recorded in 'Slater's Directory' as early as 1856. His work-force was renowned for being faithful to him, and no man was forced to retire unless he chose to do so, as will be seen by the elderly character in the photograph: they were men who 'knew clay' and were highly respected. By 1896, when J.e. Edwards died, there were almost 1,000 men working in his various clayworks. Of special interest is that this brickpress was patented and manufactured by W.H. Hughes at the Plaskynaston Foundry nearby: it was Patent No. 9596 with brickfeed and delivery slides as many hands were lost in the earlier machines.

17. Old Canal Wharf, Monsanto Works, 1918. This was known as Ward's Wharf as it enabled supplies to be brought to, and delivered from, Ward's lronworks which was on the site of the present Monsanto Works, near the old Plaskynaston Foundry. Barges came to this wharf and handled all kinds of merchandise - coal, ironstone, freestone, bricks, time for fluxing for the Black Country furnaces, as well as food supplies for Cefn Mawr. The house in the centre of the photograph is Berwynfa, recently demotished, which served as the manager's house and the office to the early chemical works which had been built by R.F. Graesser. Barges arrived at this wharf, in the early days, almost daily from the Midlands with loads of crude carbotic acid and cresytic acid.

18. Robert Ferdinand Graesser (1844-1911). He was bom in Saxony and came to Britain as a qualified chemist in 1863. In 1867 he became a partner with Crowther in Cefn extracting paraffin oil and wax from the waste shales of the Plaskynaston cannel coals, but soon he worked alone. By 1870, oil-wells had been opened in Pennsylvania and prices slumped. He turned to tar distillation from coal for the production of carbolic acid. Eventually he had to change to the distillation of tar-acids, and in this he was fortunate in that the canal system was able to bring tar-acids from the Midlands right to his works; there was a law forbidding transport of tar acids by land. By 1880, he was providing more than half the wortd's supply of 'ice-crystal' phenol.

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