American Abergelite seeks info about Albert Roberts

Siân Roberts has written to ask for readers’ help:

“I’m Americian-born with a strong Abergele connection, my Father moved from there in 1968 to the US. I’m hoping to find out more information about my Taid Albert Roberts, died perhaps 1960? My father refers to his Roberts grandparents are Nain and Taid Pensarn….Might these folks be related to Roberts’ that are the topic above?

“His mother’s maiden name was Wynne-Jones, and he called her parents Nian and Taid Cadau, short for the name of the family farm south of Abergele called Cadau Mawr. I’m curious to know if my Nian (Jane Roberts, nee Wynne-Jones, died Nov. 1993) might have been related to Edward Irwine Wynne-Jones, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during WWI, and if so how.

“Any help would be tremendously helpful, it’s been twenty-five years since I’ve been back, and sadly I don’t think I’m going to be able to come check the records myself any time soon.”

Sian posted her comment here, so feel free to reply to her comment if you have any useful information.

Kinmel Camp appeal for information

Here’s an appeal which initially arrived at this site as a comment. It’s from author Jerry whose email address is jedbone at talktalk ot net. If you can help Jerry, please feel free to contact him directly, and leave a comment if you’d like to share what you know with other readers.

Here’s what Jerry wrote:

“I’ve been carrying out research for the last two years on Kinmel camp, mainly relating to its construction and layout of the camp during the Great War..

“I have several plans from 1938 onwards and a sketch of the camp from Julian Putkowskis book on the riots. I have also spoken to Julian about the camp.

“I’m currently trying to locate a plan of the camp during the Great War and have looked in every conceivable place locally and out of the area, including, National archives, McAlpines, local authority, council, libraries,records offices, IWM, MOD, highways, Cadw, CPA, National library of wales, Lidle collection, Royal Engineers museum, WFA, Canada, Kinmel Camp, etc, etc..

“Would anyone have an idea where else to look?

“I’m also trying to locate photos of the camp, its buildings and the men who served there and would kindly ask if anyone has photos of relatives. If so, would it please be possible to have a copy of them..

“This is part of a large project which hopefully culmunate in a memorial site to those who served there.”

Gwrych Castle consultation

The Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust has launched an online survey to consult with people in Abergele and all over the country about potential development of the Castle.

The Trust says it wants to assess the need for community space and for people to share their feelings on planned educational and artistic programmes to be included in the planned Gwrych Visitors’ Centre Project and cafe. The results will feed into a Heritage Lottery funding bid.

Some of the ideas to be submitted are brand new and Mark Baker, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Gwrych Trust, said: “Amongst our Trustees, Members, Volunteers and Staff we have an incredibly mix of talent and ideas that has created the current plans for the Visitor’s Centre Project. These include the formulation of an educational programme to bring the history of Gwrych to all in the local area, provide space for art installations and an archive of Gwrych Castle items collected by the Trust, bring training opportunities to the area for traditional skills, and, provide space for many community-led activities.

The Trust says it’s grateful to EPM UK Ltd and the Edwards family, the owners of Gwrych Castle and Estate, for their continued support with the Visitor’s Centre Project.

Photo of Gwrych Castle taken on one of the 2014 Open Days by David Hughes
Photo of Gwrych Castle taken on one of the 2014 Open Days by David Hughes

New York Terrace, Abergele

New York Terrace Sea Road Junction 1872

Norman Williams recently enquired if anyone could help him to locate Eurog House, New York Terrace, Abergele. Two of his late relatives, Mary Roberts (nee Williams) and her husband, Owen Roberts, had lived there prior to their both dying in early 1901 (see The Old Pubs, Inns & Taverns of Abergele in the 1800’s). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find anything marked on any of the surviving terrace buildings to indicate which it might have been. There again, it’s not unknown for house names to change down the years either.

There was, however, another adjacent terrace which no longer exists (see the 1872 map section above). That was called New York Street and comprised 10 properties, whereas New York Terrace had only 7 properties originally. The Terrace and Street, like Roche House which faced them, were all built by John Jones prior to 1861.

The above postcard shows Roche House on the extreme left. The right side of the same image shows the gable end of the first/last of the terraced houses in New York Street with the access just visible beyond.

Can any of our readers, perhaps with a more intimate knowledge of the area, shed any light on Norman’s query? My only other thought would be for him to contact the Local Archives in Lloyd Street, Llandudno to see if the 1900 Rates Books might clarify matters. I’ve put their contact details on the Pubs, Inns & Taverns page which has Norman’s original enquiry.

Nigel Hilton.

Emyr ac Elwyn

Do you remember Emyr ac Elwyn?

They were a duo who used to perform at Nosweithiau Lawen and concerts all along the north Wales coast in the 1960s. They opened a record shop in Colwyn Bay in the 70s. They came from an era of duos; Iola a Nia were Abergele’s most famous.

These 45rpm EP records were often displayed for sale in the window of Jenkins shop, between the George and Dragon pub and Hywel the Barber’s.

Deryl Ann Mahon, whom I knew as Deryl Roberts at Ysgol Glan Morfa, wrote about Emyr ac Elwyn’s song “Sibrwd Cariad”. Her father wrote this song. Deryl picks up the story:

… “Dad gave them the song which he’d come up with on piano … He was a good pianist ! he played the piano for them on this track … They wrote lyrics … I’m trying to find a copy that dad played on in particular as I think the one we had has been mislayed years ago – long shot I know ! Searched internet .. No luck !”

I haven’t found a copy of the record, but here’s a photo of the cover. If you can help Deryl find the vinyl, please use the Comments section below.

Emyr ac Elwyn Photo of 45rpm by Nic Dafis from Flickr
Photo of 45rpm by Nic Dafis from Flickr

Coed-y-Gopa woodland fete

Sunday 17 August is the date of this fete at Tan-y-Gopa, Abergele.

Visitors on the day can experience willow artwork, bushcraft, storytelling, face painting, and more.

Organisers Woodland Trust say this will be a chance to see some of the improvements such as waymarked trails, benches, etc., with a £32,000 grant from Biffa Award.

There’ll be a minibus shuttle every 20 minutes or so from Tesco, Water Street bowling green, and opposite the Pensarn beach car park between 11.45 and 4.15.


Llanfair TH charity cyclists reached Paris

parisLlion Griffiths and Clive Williams of Llanfair TH have sucessfully completed their 450 mile journey to Paris. They did it to raise money for the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity. You can read the background here, along with Justin Hinchliffe’s updates in the comments.

Here’s Justin’s final entry on 16 July:
“JOB DONE!! Arrived here in Paris at around 7pm. 14 hours on the bike today so a long last day, but well worth it! Off out now for some well-deserved cool beer and some food. Going to do some sightseeing tomorrow then make our way back to Wales. . . . .by VAN! Many thanks to all who have donated to our challenge. It’s been tough, but worth it!”

Many congratulations to the cyclists.

Paris or bust, by bike from Llanfair TH

llion1“Two local lads from Llanfair TH, Abergele have this morning set off in the early hours on their 450 mile journey to Paris, France.” writes Justin Hinchliffe of Bodfari, Denbighshire.

“Llion Griffiths and Clive Williams were waved off this morning by myself from the bridge in Llanfair TH and they headed off towards St Asaph, Denbigh, Ruthin and onto Llangollen over the stunning Horseshoe Pass. They aim to finish today’s stint over 100 miles away in Worcester. Here they will have a well deserved rest and then start the next days cycling.

“They are doing this to raise money for the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity so every penny they raise will be going straight to this well worthwhile cause. Llion and Clive have been training very hard for over 12 months now and are extremely determined to complete this mammoth task. ”

One of the cyclists Llion Griffiths says: “We really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations. Here is the link for the Virgin Giving Money page that has been set up for Donations.

Chapel Street’s Mount Cottages

Local historian and AbergelePost stalwart Andy (Nigel) Hilton has responded to the discussion about Mount Cottages over on this page.

He says: “I’ve managed to cobble together the relevant sections of two halves of the 1872 OS Map covering the Chapel Street/High Street area. They may shed some light on Andrew Hesketh’s comments regarding the 2 other Mount Cottage properties in the vicinity of the Old Police Station. I’ve also found an aerial photo which shows that same area, probably in the 1930’s I’d guess.”

Chapel St.1872 aerial view of Abergele



If you’d like to make a local site like this…

I’ve heard three pieces of news this month which will be of interest if you think you may like to make a local website like

1. Starting in April 2014, Cardiff University is offering a free five-week Community Journalism online course. It’s called a MOOC, which stands for massive open online course. Cardiff University’s is the first ever community journalism MOOC. It’s led by Richard Sambrook who was editor of BBC News Online at the time when I worked as a content producer with BBC Cymru Wales Online. You can sign up for this course via the provider Future Learn, which is the Open University’s MOOC brand. I first heard of MOOCs though my interest in digital storytelling. The #ds106 course was a pioneer in this field. I’ve signed up for a computational linguistics MOOC by the University of Lancaster which begins next week.

2. Existing to help local organisations with communications, the Local360Network offers training and support to get local news sites and other local websites to get publishing regularly. I heard of this from Andy Smith, a former BBC colleague who trained me to use BBC News’s content management system many moons ago. He’d like to see more local journalism being published around the UK, and says:

“Local360 Network (is) a UK-wide community of citizen journalists, community reporters and local storytellers, providing the tools, skills and connections to get more from local news.”

Andy wants to “expand the existing network and to try and find local groups that may benefit from the opportunity of joining the Local360 Network.  I was wondering if you had any local groups or organisations you were in contact with that may benefit from getting involved.”

Feel free to contact the Local360Network directly if you’d like to find out more.

3. #DoSomethingBrilliant is a project I’m going to be learning more about soon following an invitation from a third former BBC colleague and experienced radio broadcaster Steve Lloyd. It’s a collaboration between the Media Trust and Community Channel, funded by Big Lottery Fund.

You can find out more about these three exciting projects by following the links above.

And remember, we always welcome contributions to; do get in touch if you’ve got a story to share.