No 76: Postcards from Uncle Tom before the war (1)
Following his advert in the "Tailor and Cutter" (see Blog No 75) Tom must have moved to Barnoldswick in Lancashire from where he sent postcards dated between June and December 1906. He worked with T S Atkinson, Ladies and Gents Tailors which looks from the postcard to be a rather modest shop.
From early in 1907 the post cards started coming from Colwyn Bay where he had found employment with H R Davies, of Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay. Apart from his time in the war he spent the rest of his working life working in this business in Colwyn Bay. I show a photo of the staff of H R Davies where Tom is standing behind the girl in the white blouse.
I now show two photos which would have been taken during his time in Colwyn Bay before he enlisted with the Liverpool Scottish in November 1915.
The first photo shows 5 young men sitting outside a tent having tea. They are all formally dressed with stiff collars, white shirts and waistcoat. Remarkably formally dressed for a group of campers! They have a table with a cloth and a jam jar with flowers on the table. They have china cups and saucers and a china tea pot. Tom is the second from the right as you look at the photo.
The second photo shows 4 young men in a posed photo with a dog which looks as if it has been taken in a photographer's studio. Tom and his friends certainly look as if they enjoyed dressing up smartly. These photos remind me of P G Wodehouse's "young men about town". Many of P G Wodehouse's numerous books were written about this period and they remind me so much of the Wodehouse characters.
The second Post Card shows the Pier Entrance, Colwyn Bay and was sent to my grandmother before she married on 20 July 1908. My grandmother was at this time the housekeeper in the family home, Talywaen, in Penmachno, my great grandfather having been a widower since 1896 and had engaged various housekeepers since then. The pier looks absolutely splendid and they are advertising the "Rivieres Grand Orchestra". This looks as if was a fairly permanent orchestra in the Pavilion as, in addition to the notice board, the name is up in large letters on the building.
The third Post Card, sent on 24 August 1908, again to my grandmother shows St Pauls Cathedral. This is the first of a number of post cards that show that Tom was taking regular holidays in London during the summer. Not many young men would have been taking holidays like this in those days but Tom must have been saving his money for these trips to expand his experiences.
Gwynedd Family History Society, www.gwynedd.fhs.org.uk Meetings for the next four weeks are:
Caernarfon, 29 March (In Welsh, last Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Library, Lôn Pafiliwn: Dennis Roberts: "Hedd Wyn, Hywel Dda, Cunedda Wledig a Chwstennin"
Bangor, (In English, first Tuesday of each month) 7.00pm at the Quakers Meeting Hall, Dean Street: No meeting
Conwy, 12 March (In English, second Monday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Ebenezer, Abergele Road, Old Colwyn: Stephan ab Owain: "Family History in Stone"
Pwllheli, 16 March (In Welsh, third Friday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Seion, Lon Dywod: Shirley Ellis: "Perthyn"
Dolgellau, 12 April (In Welsh, second Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Royal Ship Hotel: Dewi Prysor: "Rhyfedd be gewch chi dan garreg"
Llangefni, 15 March (In English, third Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Smyrna, Ffordd Glanhwfa: Melvyn Griffiths: "A Policeman's lot, a few gruesome cases"
Clwyd Family History Society, www.clwydfhs.org.uk
The meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month (except August) at 2.00 pm at locations that rotate within the former county of Clwyd.
Saturday 14 April: 2.00 pm at the International Pavilion, Llangollen, LL20 8SW. AGM followed by:
Ian Hartas: "BDMs on the internet" (A demonstration)