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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59. Schools.

Rhosymedre National School, 1885. The school was opened in 1840 with John Jones of Llandynan and his wife as headmaster and mistress. lts longest serving headmaster was Mr. J. Grimshaw who is shown seated in the centre. Standing behind him is the 'Singing Vicar', the Reverend J.D. Edwards. He was a well-known musician with a deep bass voice. He is renowned for having composed the hymn-tune 'Rhosymedre': an aprocryphal story relates that he had discarded the rough copy of this tune but it was rescued by a watchful friend who later played it back to him, The theme tune of 'Rhosymedre' was later transcribed into an organ-prelude by Vaughan Williams. During bis visit to North Wales, Mendelssohn called to see the Vicar. To the left of Mr. Grimshaw is the Vicar's daughter, Miss Edwards, one ofthe school-staff.

60. Cefn Council School, 1910. The school opened as a Board School under the Ruabon School Board in 1874, following Forster's Education Act of 1870. Cefn and Rhos Board Schools opened in the same year, and were the first, although efforts were made in 1872, to set up a Board School for Cefn area in the English Wesleyan Chapel ('Hopley's Chapel') by Acrefair bridge. This served until the official schoolopened. Pupils were obliged to pay ld. or 2d. per week for their education until payment was abolished in 1891. Up to 1937, the school had three headmasters only: W.H. Davies for two years, (he left to study to become a doctor), John Archer, from 1876 unti11903, and David Williams from 1904 unti11937. The old school was demolished in the 1960s.

61. Acre/air Council School, 1925. Built in 1877 under the auspices of the Ruabon School Board, it catered for girls, boys and infants in separate departments. Like other schools of this period in this district and beyond, it was built of a reddish Ruabon-brick (not the terra-cotta red) and patterned with yellow and blue brick. There was a British School set up in 1846 to cater for the nonconformist children but it only lasted for a few years in Cefn and Acrefair. The Church School at Rhosymedre survived for a longer period. Apart from small Adventure and Dame Schools, there was no form of education for the majority of children until the Board Schools arrived, at Cefn in 1874 and Acrefair in 1877.

62. Acrefair Council School, 1923. This was an average size class at the time. The 'big room' catered for three classes and assemblies and music lessons were held there for the whole school. There was one big roaring hot fire in the middle, next to the headmaster's desk. The headmaster at the time was R. Wynn Evans who had followed William Parry. The teacher shown here was Trevor Davies who followed as headmaster in 1936. The writer of this book is standing before him, and in 1970 became headmaster; to my left (facing) is Glyn Williams who followed his father in the established bakery at Cefn; and to his left is Tegid Watkins, displaying bis father's shirts and ties; he too, followed his father in the business in Cefn.

63. Personalities,

Benjamin Pritchard, 1890. The first Ruabon School Board was elected in 1871, following the 1870 Education Act. The first attendance officer to serve the Board was Benjamin Pritchard. His work was to see that children attended the Board Schools, and apart from not playing truant he had to see that the children were not forced to go out to work by their parents. His area included not only Cefn Mawr but also the parishes of Ruabon and Rhosllanerchrugog. He was followed in this post by his son, Eben Pritchard, who raised fear in the hearts of wayward children in the 1920s. Benjamin Pritchard had another son, also named Benjamin, who was the founder and owner of the 'Cefn Chronicle', with its offices near the Crane Corner.

64. William Parry (1857-1932). William Parry, was a native of Fishguard and a nephew of Joseph Parry, the Welsh composer. He came to Acrefair in 1883 and spent the rest of his life serving the locality, not only as its schoolmaster for thirtynine years, but also as one of the founders and deacons of Trinity Chapel, Acrefair. From 1900, the lesser 'Parry's Chapel' grew sa rapidly that in 1910 a much larger chapel had to be built by the side of it. Also, there was an Institute erected with a billiard room for the young people. He was a J.P., a member of the Parish Council, and coopted member of the Denbighshire L.E.A., as weIl as a governor of the Ruabon Grammar School. Like his uncle, he was a talented musician. The picture was taken in 1905.

65. Mr. and Mrs. lohn Archer, Cefn, c. 1900. Mr. Archer was the second headmaster of the Cefn Board School which was opened in 1874, and he remained there for twenty-seven years. He was noted as a hard-werking, strong disciplinarian, carrying out the Board's instructions to the letter, and according to some administering the 'Welsh Not' rigorously. In 1902, His Majesty's Inspeetor reported: 'The school is generaIly in a good state of efficiency. The First Class is very weIl taught. The singing is especiaIly good'. The following year he retired, He was followed as headmaster by his assistant, David Williams, who then served Cefn School for over thirty years. On his staff was a grandson of John Archer, an accomplished musician, and church-organist and choir-master,

66. Dr. George Macdonald (1867-1939). He was born in Morayshire and qualified at Aberdeen University in 1888. Soon afterwards he came to Cefn Mawr as an assistant to Dr. Lawton Roberts of Ruabon. After a few years he bought the Cefn practice and after marrying Miss Sinclair of the Orkneys, he lived in and served Cefn and district for nearly fifty years. He had a provocative tongue with a crisp sense of humour. He travelled round his parish in all weathers, up to the mountain lands of Fron and Garth on horse-back or in horse-andtrap, until eventually he was chauffeur-driven by car. Many workers had tontines and other clubs to pay their doctor's fees but others had to pay their own. For such people, Dr. Macdonald had a sliding scale according to their income or the size of their family.

67. Sir Miles Thomas and Mr. Hopley the Builder, 1910. The boy on the brake in the photograph was Miles Thomas (1897-1980), who was knighted for his services to industry in 1971. He began working for Morris Motors at a young age and soon won the esteem of Lord Nuffield. From 1940 to 1947, he served as the company's managing-director. From there he moved to B.a.A.C. and became chairman of the company between 1949 and 1956. From 1956 to 1963 he acted as chairman of Monsanto Chemieals Ltd. - sa retuming to his native heath of Cefn Mawr. As a boy he Iived in Garfield Villa facing the works which was then Graessers Chemicais. Behind hirn on the brake is his mother, Mrs. William Henry Thomas. His father owned an ironmongery business in WeIl Street, Cefn. The man with the beard was Mr. Robert HopIey, who lived next-door at Fernieigh, King Streel.

68. Richard Roberts, Bont, 1890. Richard's family lived in the locality for many generations. He lived in the cottages near the salmon-pool above the old bridge at Pontcysyllte where he used his coracle to help hirn with his fishing. Across the River Dee, at Argoed Hall, Fron, lived R.F. Graesser who of ten fished with hirn in his coracle. Near this spot too, was the old Com Mill, now modemised, and between this and the old bridge was the favourite baptism-site of the Baptists in the area. Crowds gathered to witness the baptisms here, having gathered together first near the large oak tree at the roadside by the bridge. There the preacher conducted the service from his lofty pulpit, afterwhich he walked into the river with his convert.

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