Voices from the Past

This forum is open to all of the villagers of Trelawnyd past and present

I would like for them to share their memories, old photographs, family histories and past Village news with me so that I may be able to present a comprehensive record of this small. ancient and facinating Welsh Village Community throughout the ages.

All photographs will be returned after being scanned and published

For those that want to read a comprehensive study on the History of Trelawnyd, please refer to the Book "TRELAWNYD PAST & PRESENT" by Daphne and Ken Davies

The Village Flower Show Blog can be viewed at

and my personal Village based blog can be seen at


Best Wishes

John Gray

Trelawnyd 571838

Email : jgsheffield@hotmail.com
Many thanks to the following citizens of Trelawnyd for their conributions so far:
Mrs Gwyneth Jones, Mrs Gladys Jones, Mrs Olwenna Hughes, Mr Trevor Evans, Mr Hubert Evans, Mrs Bryn, Davies, Mr Islwyn Thomas, Mrs Pat Bagguley, Mrs Joanne Hewitt, Mrs Beryl Evans, Mrs Daphne Jones, Mrs Audrey Jones,Mr Basil Davies, Miss Mona Davies, Mr Graham Jones. Mrs Iola Endres

Old Trelawnyd

I was "sent" this old photograph by a lady from Ohio, USA
It shows clearly the allotments and gardens to the right of High Street, an area nicknamed The "Roft"
Apologies for not updating the blog for so long. I have a few "interviews" set up for the next few weeks

Thespian Trelawnyd

Much has been made of the "Cultural" side of the people of Trelawnyd
(See previous the 1958 Journal review of the Memorial Hall in the previous blog entry)
But up to relatively recent times pantomimes and plays were the norm in village life.
The above programmes are from two productions from 1966 and 1967 both produced by Terence A Jones who played the dame in both productions! (with music by the ubiquitous B.A.Jones!)
Rene Jones, David Owen , Margaret Roberts and Doreen Evans in Sleeping Beauty

Helen Ross, Susan Lewis,Margaret Owen, Glenys Jones and Tecwyn Savage in SLEEPING BEAUTY

The Rhyl Journal February 21st 1958

This is a copy of the original article published over fifty years ago.
I think as a historical document in itself, it is worth keeping and reading
Thank you to Iola for sending it in

The Memorial Hall
Hub of Social life for half a Century

"This is the story of a building which has become a well known and familiar landmark in Flintshire.....
but it is something more than a landmark! Indeed, it can almost be said that it is a building with a soul- the soul of the village and the community which it has served in so many different ways for nearly a half century.
It is the story of the memorial Hall at Newmarket (or Trelawnyd as it is called today)

The story is being told, because it "deserves" to be told....could there be a better reason for its telling?
And it deserves to be told because its history is a proud record of a place which has been the pivot around which much of the life of this lovely village has been woven in the last half century.
It has housed countless Eisteddfodau at which singers, poets and craftsmen from all parts of North Wales ( and indeed far beyond) have matched their prowess far into the early morning hours; likewise, it has down the years been a famous rendezvous for many famous concerts, dramas,popular dances, Christmas parties and other notable festivals. It has had its romantic experiences too, for many marriages owe their early beginnings to "first encounters" at the Memorial Hall.......
In past years the fees obtained from hiring out the memorial hall to all the diversified events which have taken place there were adequate to maintain the building  in good repair and ensure full scale decoration and renovation from time to time. But times have changed and today- although the Memorial Hall is still the recognised social centre of village life-bookings are less frequent than of yore.
The Eisteddfod, for instance is a much rarer event at the Hall than it used to be- not so much because of a waning in popularity as for economic reasons. For a big-scale eisteddfod today the prize money has become a "box office headache"- for whilst prizes have o necessarily be twice or treble their former values in order to give some recompense to the expenses incurred by those competing- the walls of the Memorial Hall are too solid and rigid to be pushed out to accommodate bigger audiences...and thus there is the almost insurmountable problem of trying to balance eisteddfod income against expenditure. Similarly with celebrity concerts and other such events.
The advent of television, too has had a far reaching economic effect . Entertainment within the home as presented in today's television programmes has an ever widening influence on social life in villages as well as the towns and cities, and social events which formerly could be depended upon to attract an attendance of several hundreds are today rarely an anxiety and question mark in the minds of those responsible for promoting them!
Nevertheless , without places like the Memorial Hall at Trelawnyd communal social life would disappear completely and the loss would undoubtedly be immeasurable.
The Trelawnyd Memorial Hall  and all its village contemporary centres must be kept going, and at Trelwnyd there are-fortunately men and women determined to see this is done.

Fifty Years Ago

We have looked at the present and peeped into the future....now let us look back awhile, back to 1908-9 when the site on which this imposing hall now stands was mainly a block of dilapidated cottages.
There was a stir of great expectancy in the village when it became known that Mr A Rali, of Mia Hall, had bought this old property and intended to demolish it and in its place put up a fine new village hall. Mr Rali did not take long in getting the project going, and on November 22 1910, he handed over the Memorial Hall to the Parish Council for  safe keeping. The Hall soon became the venue of a spate of events whci it had never been possible to hold in the village before-eisteddfodau, drama, concerts whist drives, jumble sales.......
The in 1914-18, the Hall took on a new significance. British soldiers ( and at one time a number of Belgian refugees) were billeted there, and it became a centre of military activity.
In 1920 Mia Hall was sold to Captain Ernest Hoggarth and he and his brother, Mr J R Hoggarth together with Mr Hemelryk of Henryn Hall took a big interest in the Hall and badminton and billiards were added to its amenities, and once again it became a busy centre of social activity. In the 1930s funds were beginning to get depleted and then came the second world war and once again the Memorial Hall became a useful wartime venue- this time for evacuees, Home Guard and Welcome Home Activities.....and a steady income started flowing in again

A Noble Job

But Father time was beginning to take toll.....there were repairs needed, a heating installation, decoration etc. A practical illustration of the deep attachment which the villagers of Trelawnyd have for their Memorial Hall is the fact that a group of young men immediately came forward and volunteered to paint the exterior of the building if they could be provided with the paint. This the Parish council readily provided and the exterior has been painted no less than three times in recent years by completely voluntary labour in this way - a noble job, well and truly done!
The women of the village too, have played their part in keeping the the hall spick and span. Twice a year, every year they banded together and gave the hall a wholesale scrubbing and cleansing. To all of these the work was a labour of love and efforts represented an enormous saving towards the upkeep of the hall.

Welfare Committee

Although the management of the Trelawnyd Memorial Hall is vested in the Parish Council, its affairs are largely supervised and cared for by a welfare committee , comprising twelve members. This was first elected at a parish meeting in the spring of 1943 with the primary object of raising funds to defray the cost of installing a new heating apparatus for the building. From the onset this committee has been extremely fortunate in having Mr JW Jones, Garreg Lwyd, as their energetic Chairman. His services in this and in other capacities were recognised in 1949 when he was awarded the British Empire Medal. The committee's hon treasurer is Mr J Parry, Delfryn; the secretary Miss B.A.Jones, Bryn Teg; and the auditor Mr I.P Jones, Siop Ganol.

In addition to raising over £1000 for the maintenance of the hall, the committee has also substantially aided other charitable and worthy causes to the extent of almost £500.
In recent months their efforts have been directed towards effecting several adjustments to the hall in order to comply with the regulations of the County Fire Service. Throughout its existence the welfare committee has shown an exemplary team spirit and absenteeism at meetings without genuine cause is a rarity!
Last Autumn through the medium of a bumper bazaar, the sum of over £150 was raised towards maintaining and beautifying the memorial Hall. Now the committee are contemplating ways and means of defraying the cost of interior decoration. This entails the erection of scaffolding and much preparatory work and is beyond the scope of voluntary effort however readily forthcoming that may be.

Male Voice Choir

Right down the years, the Memorial Hall has from time-to-time been the venue of some truly lovely and inspiring singing. Keeping pace today with these traditions of the past and still making the walls of the building resound with the glory of music is the Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir, whose competitive successes, concerts and broadcasts has made them famed throughout the country.
Regulary every week the choir consisting of over sixty men of all ages, who sing for the sheer love of it - rehurse in the memorial Hall and every year, on the Sunday preceding August Bank Holiday, they stage a wonderful concert and give the entire proceeds towards the maintenance and upkeep of the building.

Thus and in so many different ways, is the voluntary spirit exemplified in Trelawnyd. Despite the welfare state and its influence and effect of voluntary service today, there is a big spark of this splendid spirit still burning brightly in Trelawnyd , and as long as this continues, the village need have no fear of losing something which,- as always- it still regards with pride and affection and which still remains the hub of its communal life - the Memorial Hall, presented as a gift to them by a very generous and warm hearted benefactor fifty years ago"

Rene Hancock (nee Jones)

This morning I recieved this following email and contribution for the blog
I hope this kind genture will galvanise more offers of help, there are so many old stories that deserve to be heard

ps Can anyone tell me who the rather frightening guy is on the right and what an earth he was dressed as?
"Hello John,
I am Rene Hancock, Gladys Jones' daughter.
I have found the Trelawnyd blog a joy to read as it is my history. I have some photos here which you may find interesting. The first one is taken at the 1953 carnival . The man in the pram is " Emrys the Black", my father Bob Railway is wearing the suit and his brother my uncle Ned is carrying the potty. I do not remember the other two but I am sure that there are many people who will remember.
I have here at home photos from the pantomimes that we used to do in the 1960's , next time I am at my mothers, which wont be till July  I shall bring them over as there is no room  for me to send to you electronically.
Carry on the good work it is wonderful

Mrs Iola Endres (nee Jones)

I.P Jones and Beryl Jones outside Siop Ganol
The poster in the window is advertising a concert by what was then Newmarket male voice Choir
when was taking place at the palladium in Prestatyn

Iola Endres (nee Jones) was born and brought up in Trelawnyd.
Her father was IP Jones who owned and ran the most popular shop in the village "siop Ganol" from 1929 until 1969. Iola and her husband took over the shop from 1969 to 1986,
This blog entry displays only some of Iola's extensive collection of village photographs, memorabilia and newspaper cuttings that she has collected over the years.

This document is a wartime licence detailing what foodstuff IP Jones was allowed to sell at siop ganol
It is dated 1941. The foodstuffs he was not allowed to sell was uncooked meats, game and rabbit
This photograph was taken around 1938  when a biplane came down on the Gop fields behind the council houses.
Iola is the baby being carried by Megan Lewis ( who was the previous blog contributor Audrey Jones' best friend)

I.P Jones and Arthur Evans outside the shop.
Arthur Evans was the husband of Beryl Evans who has been interviewed earlier in this blog

IP Jones with Iola in front of the shop when it was decorated for the kings coronation
A bill from the shop written out at the time that Newmarket reverted back to it's Welsh name of Trelawnyd
Mrs Edwards' weekly bill was just over 2£

Mr Parry, Jack Hollinworth and E Hughes Jones sitting infront of the "new" Trelawnyd sign around 1957

Iola is standing next to the Trelawnyd sign.

The Trelawnyd "Young wives club" was popular in the 1970s Many of the "Chinese" ladies still reside in the village 2nd on front row Christine Davies, Irene Murray (who is treasurer of the Village Flower Show) and Pat Bagguly (an earlier contributor to this blog)

Mrs Audrey Jones

Mrs Audrey Jones
Age 87
Years in the Village 87

"My Grandfather John Ithal Jones was born in your cottage.....the date was sometime in the 1870s...born and brought up in that cottage he was......When he married he had two daughters....my mother Ceridwen and my aunt Rose.
When my mother married they lived in the prefabricated house Winstays, which was at that time a shop which sold sweets , tobacco and the like . It was also  fish and chip shop!
I was born there in 1924. The Woman that delivered me lived in Erw Wen and was a midwife in Liverpool or the Wirral. Her husband came to the village as the baker.

Audrey and her brother "blacked up" outside Winstay Cottage with their father
The district nurse that usually attended the births was on holiday so this Mrs Leese came to my mother to help.
She only delivered two babies in the village...me and Bob Davies...she wasn't official or anything...she only came to help....people did in those days."

A rare photo of Winstay house with Audrey's father with the horse

"My father turned his hand to anything jobwise and got a job on the bins in the 1930s. His sister, Nellie Hughes was the landlady of The Crown and her husband Tom Hughes was the blacksmith. In the 1940s my father bought Gop Farm and I had so much to do with looking after the cattle I didn't have time to join in with the village's civil defence"
Trelawnyd's Wartime Civil defence.
Bessie Bryn Teg is on the second row 5th from left.
Audrey's best friend Megan Lewis who lived in number 1 London Road is bottom row 3rd from the right.
The shop keeper I.P Jones is on the top row 2nd from the left
Audrey could name all but two of this group

"Things could be tough in the village when I was growing up, but generally people shared what they had....I remember Ester Parry who was an older lady who lived in the house that was the Cross Keys pub at one time. She used to go from house to house around the village doing washing up here and peeling potatoes there...all for a meal!
She adopted a little boy who was called Frankie Chalk! That was his proper name! He was born out of wedlock to a woman who had a bit of money and every now and then she would come to visit and give old Ester Parry some more money.......apparently the father was in the navy"

"You know I remember the very first sixpence I ever saw! we were all round at Ester Parry's for a sing song and Hywel Stuart who used to play the piano accordion gave me a sixpence to go to the shop on Chapel Street for him. I had to buy 2 pence chocolate, a packet of woodbines and laces for his shoes! (she laughs)
funny what you remember after all these years isn't it?"
Audrey's family home. When Audrey married she farmed the next farm down the hill to Dyserth Ty Newydd
Audrey's husband Lennis lived at the oldest house in the village Siamber Wen before his marrage to Audrey

Snapshots of Trelawnyd by Trevor Evans

 Trevor Evans kindly sent me several slides documenting some of the buildings no longer present in the village.They prove to be a fascinating record of Trelawnyd in times gone by.

High Street. The Cottages on the left are all now demolished.
The building with the rounded steps was the location of the pub "The Black Boy"
Maldwyn "the Black" and Bob Y Black were well known villagers that lived there
Below is the same scene taken from the top of High Street

The Cottages on Upper Bonc Terrace before they were demolished
The Bottom of High Street showing the start of Mostyn Terrace
The Village before many of the newer bungalows were built.
The rectory drive can be seen ( Without trees)
The round concrete structure to the left of the photo was the top of a water tank

Bessie "Bryn Teg"

B.A.Jones (left) with her sister Ginny

Miss B.A Jones
"Bessie Bryn Teg"
Born 23.01.1903
Died 17.07.1990

There is perhaps a small handful of Village characters that linger long in the minds of the older residents of Trelawnyd to this day and one of the most well remembered and respected of those is Miss B.A Jones.
She is still referred to by many that were taught by her in the village school  as Miss BA Jones although many that worked with her on the many committees she helped to run call her simply as B.A. Jones.
Of course those that knew her well refer to her with her village nickname as "Bessie Bryn Teg"

Miss Elizabeth Ann Jones was born in 1903 at Pen Isa Mynydd in Cwm.
She moved with her younger sister to the small holding known as Bryn Teg sometime in the 1920s and from an early age she threw herself into village life, politics and affairs with some gusto, a passion she carried on throughout her 70 odd years as a Trelawnyd resident.
The photograph on the right is Bessie as a small girl.

Miss Jones is always referred to by villagers as the academic of the two sisters. Indeed one present day Trelawnyd resident described the pair thus:-
"B.A. Jones was the school teacher and literally ran the village..
Ginny stayed home and looked after the cow!"

Bryn Teg in its former glory
You can just see Ty Wynne and the Nonconformist Chapel to the left
Bryn Teg in 1982 before the modern bungalows "swamped it on all sides
Miss BA Jones ( left) with the village school staff in the 1950s
Miss Jones is always remembered as a "firm but fair" school mistress She instilled into her pupils punctuality and discipline ( she ran the Sunday school and the Girls society so woe betide any child not turning up for either of the extra school activity) and was not adverse from giving an over talkative pupil a sharp wrap over the knuckles with her ruler. (As Arfon Jones will testify to)......some former pupils do state that she could be overly harsh at times, but perhaps that was a sign of the times

She taught the famous Welsh author  Emyr Humphreys whose father left a rather touching dedication to her in his son's  novel "A Toy Epic" John Humpreys was the village school headmaster for many years.

 The dedication states
"For Miss B.A.Jones O.B.E.
with admiration and affection for a devoted teacher/friend...who taught Emyr to write"

He refers to Miss Jones as being an O.B.E. but in actual fact Miss Jones was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 1960s for her community work (below)
The B E M

A letter signed by The Queen detailing B.A's award

Miss Jones was an integral part of village left.
She was an active member of the Wartime Defence , the Village Welfare committee , The Church ( where she played the organ for decades and refused to give up the organ key to anyone!) and later in her life she ran the Flower Show Committee with precision and care.
She ran the village Girls' Society, The Sunday School and played a huge part in The British Red Cross and the Woman's Institute as well as a score of other societies out of the village.
Bessie "Bryn Teg" dedicated a lifetime of service to the community of Trelawnyd.
A service record that should be remembered for many years to come
B.A Jones ( centre bottom row) with the rest of the village welfare committee

The Ghost of John Wynne?

John Wynne's family lived in a mansion which is now Gop farm
According to Bangor Professor Robert Jenkins the industrial pioneer John Wynne (1650-1714) was instrumental in the development of Newmarket. He had a vision of developing the hamlet into a market town proper. He built houses, established a weekly market and established the Nonconformist chapel in 1701 as well as building a grammar school at "plas yn dre".
His wish to develop Newmarket into a large market town ultimately came to nothing, but Wynne was responsible for the village's growth and its population did top over 600 residents.
John Wynne died n 1714 and his remains was buried against the wall of the Chapel which still exists in Chapel street.
Ty Wynne ( or Wynne House) which adjoins the Chapel wall where John Wynne is supposedly buried
Now all this gives a little background to the "ghostly" goings on at Ty Wynne, which is the house situated right next door to the chapel and John Wynne's burial place. The present owner always thought that their house was haunted by a strong male character. Indeed the lady of the house always made a point of saying "goodnight" to the ghost before she went to bed. They always presumed that the "ghost" was that of John Wynne
In the early 1970s Ty Wynne featured in a somewhat creepy tale. Local small older Graham Jones was just leaving the memorial hall one wintry and rainy night.. He had been playing snooker  and as he got on his bicycle he saw a figure of a man standing in the gateway of Ty Wynne.
The man was wearing an old fashioned long coat and hat, and seemed to acknowledge Graham before he cycled for home.
Literally a minute later Graham approached his home along London road and was astonished and frightened to see the same man standing alone outside his own home!
Graham wisely stopped and returned for the morale support from his friends back in the hall and by the time he returned mob handed the "man" had vanished
Could the figure be that of Trelawnyd's founder John Wynne?
Who knows?

As a footnote , I have added this faint clipping from the 1908 "Welsh Coast Pioneer"
It shows a very old photograph of the chapel prior to the insertion of the large windows. It looked very much like a large cottage rather than the chapel that we know today

Trelawnyd Carnivals

A carnival from 1952 with a most unlikely and dare I say unattractive gaggle of  "carnival Queens"
It was held on the fields in front of Erw Wen

The 1995 carnival programme designed by Tim Jones
The late Pat Ellis (centre) surrounded by village children

Thanks to Peter Ellis for the loan of the photographs

Mr Basil Davies/ Miss Mona Davies

Mr Basil Davies                                                                             Miss Mona Davies

Basil and Mona's Grandfather lived in the police house Bryn Hyfryd which is located in the village at the junction of High Street and the lane to the farm "Ochr-y-Gop"

He was then the village policeman and in this photograph which was taken at the turn of the century he can be seen standing before the typically rural looking home which did in fact house a functioning prisoner cell. although it is unknown whether or not it was ever used. One of the little girls is Basil and Mona's mother

Bryn Hyfryd
  Basil " Most villagers in those days had their own policeman. Trelawnyd, Dyserth and even Llanasa had one.
The policemen in those days were tough, big men who had to be able to handle themselves and as you can see my grandfather was a broad chap"

Mona and Basil's mother and father went on to farm Ochr-y-Gop, which is one of the grandest farm houses in the village. Apart from Mr Bryn Davies (Chapel House) Basil and Mona are the only two Trelawnyd residents that still live in the house in which they were born.
The Beautiful Ochr-y-Gop (above) before it was obscured by the Maes Offa Bungalows
This family bill from 1921 is the November and December bill covering bread purchased from Siop Newydd (G.O.Griffith)
Note the penny red which was applied as "bill paid"
Hubert Evan's father at the bakery next to the Mostyn Arms probably sold the bread to Siop Newydd

School Children at the village school around the 1940s
Basil is the second boy on the left
The girl in the centre of the group with her smiling head raised is Daphne Jenkins
Pat Bagguley is just behind her to the left ( with all the hair)
This fascinating document is an invoice of payment from the point of Ayr mine to Mona and Basil's father for the rather larger sun of twenty Nine pounds/ ten shillings.
The date was 1921 and Basil suspects that it was payment for Haylage for the mine's pit ponies

Basil and Mona highlight a common but hitherto largely unsaid phenomenon from the 1920s and the 1940s, and that was the fact that times were very hard indeed.
"We used to have a a great many tramps turning up at the farm. Men without a home or a job. Many would work on the farm, paint a wall or so for some food and a bed for the night. They used to sleep up in the hay loft where it was warm, but my father always used to demand that if they had a box of matches on them, they would have to hand them over to him...my father would not risk a fire"
Audrey Jones in her testimonial told a story that an old lady from the village Ester Parry, used to come to their family farm (Gop Farm) just to darn socks . Her payment again would be a meal or a bag of potatoes.
   OlwennaHughes recalls that most people had their own piece of land given over to the growing of vegetables. Indeed the allotments for Bonc terrace can be still seen today and have recently been converted back to their allotment roots.  Pat  Bagguley also recalles a local piece of history when around ninety years ago a local man who was down on his luck lived and indeed died in the Dove house of Gop farm ( below)

                                                 Milk delivered by Basil and Mona's Brother Tommy ( known as Tommy Ochr-y-Gop) around 1960. The horse was called Polly.