No 77: Postcards from Uncle Tom before the war (2)
The first Post Card shown, sent on 15 October 1908, to his brother Owen to the family home saying that he's pleased to hear that he is better and will be coming to see him on Saturday. I show a photo of Owen, an auctioneer's clerk, who had been ill for some time and died on 1 November 1909 at the age of 27. The card shows the "Pwllycrochan Hotel" which looks a splendid building. There is no present day hotel of this name and I have no recollection of a hotel of this name in or around Colwyn Bay. Having worked in the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay hotels during the summers of my student days I used to know the hotels quite well during the second half of the 1950s. I put the name into Google and found an excellent article dated 14 August 2009 giving full history on the Three Towns Blog and I would recommend anyone with an interest in the Colwyn Bay and Llandudno area to look at this highly informative blog http://llandudnoandcolwynbay.blogspot.com
From this article I found that it was the sale of the Pwllycrochan Estate that that kick-started the development of Colwyn Bay as a seaside resort. Pwllycrochan Hall was the heart of the estate and was remodelled as a hotel. It flourished as a hotel into the beginning of the last century and in 1937 hosted the Grand Coronation Ball. During the war it was requisitioned by the Government and didn't reopen as a hotel until 1948 with 75 bedrooms. Business wasn't so good after the war and the hotel closed in 1952 and was then sold to Rydal School who moved their Preparatory School there in 1953. The full history can be found in the article.
The splendid building shown on the Post Card is now the Rydal Penrhos Preparatory School and is still a splendid building today.
The next PC that I show is from Tom to his father dated 22 November 1909. He refers to a letter received from his father and says that that he was pleased to receive it but thought that it was best to delay replying. Tom's brother Owen had died on 1 November so I assumed that his father's letter was referring to this sad family event. The other interesting aspect of this card is that it is addressed to Gwiga rather than Talywaen, the established family home since 1866 when my great, great grandfather William Williams rented the terraced house. On 20 July 1867 William purchased Talywaen with the aid of a mortgage from the North Denbighshire Permanent Benefit Building Society (details in Blog 25, April 2009). William's wife died and on his second marriage William moved out of Talywaen to set up a new home and sold Talywaen to his son and my great grandfather, William Pritchard Williams, on 21 February 1891.
Tom says that he is pleased to hear that the family had moved to Gwiga and that they liked the place and that he would be coming to see them in their new home on Saturday. My mother was born in April 1909 and she told me that she had moved to Gwiga by the time of her first birthday but I now knew from this postcard that the family had moved to their new home in the 13 acre farm, Gwiga, in November 1909. There is an additional note on the top asking "how is Kate" who was about 7 months old at this time. Gwiga was the home where I spent my formative years during WW2. However, the 43 year link with Talywaen did not come to an end in 1909. My cousin Madeline Mahoney, whom I discovered through this blog, told me that her grandfather had given Talywaen as his address on his marriage certificate. The 1911 Census shows that Talywaen was occupied by David and Ellen Davies and their 1 daughter and 3 sons with Madeline's grandfather staying there as a boarder. Ellen was originally Ellen Williams, one of my grandfather's cousins, so he had sold the house to one of his own family.
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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, 9 April (In English, second Monday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Ebenezer, Abergele Road, Old Colwyn: Members' Evening
Pwllheli, 20 April (In Welsh, third Friday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Seion, Lon Dywod:
John Dilwyn Wiliams: "Gair o brofiad archyddol"
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, 19 April (In English, third Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Smyrna, Ffordd Glanhwfa: Amanda Sweet: "The QuarterSessions of Anglesey" In the Archives
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)