Boxer Randolph Turpin at Gwrych Castle Abergele 1950s

Boxer Randolph Turpin lived at Gwrych Castle Abergele in the early 1950s whilst preparing for his  fight against Sugar Ray Robinson.

Turpin met his second wife Gwyneth (née Price, 1925-1992) the daughter of a Welsh farmer whilst training for the Robinson fight at Gwrych Castle. They married in 1953 and had four daughters, Gwyneth, Annette, Charmaine and Carmen.

Randolph Turpin in 1951
Randolph Turpin in 1951

Here’s a British Movietone 30″ video clip of his triumphant return to north Wales after beating Sugar Ray :

He was born in Leamington in 1928 to a black Guyanan father and white English mother at a time when there were almost no people of mixed race in the country.

When European champion, Turpin won the world title after beating the legendary Robinson, widely regarded as pound-for-pound the greatest fighter in history, on a 15-round decision at Earls Court in July 10, 1951.

Randolph Turpin famously trained at Gwyrch Castle in Abergele in the summer of 1951 when preparing for his contests against the seemingly invincible Sugar Ray Robinson. The training sessions were always attended by hundreds of fans and tourists.

He became an instant celebrity and, for a brief period, spent each day being mobbed by fans at his Abergele training base at Gwrych Castle.

Laater in his career, he bought a pub on the summit of the Great Orme , Llandudno, which today keeps some artefacts from his boxing career. He was the registered licensee of that pub between 1952 – 1961.

According to articles, reports and a biography, Turpin couldn’t deal with the obscurity resulting from the loss of his crown. After being declared bankrupt , Turpin shot himself dead in May 1966.

It was a tragic end for a man linked with Abergele who did so much for British sport, for British Black History, and whose achievements as a boxer will never be forgotten.

Despite his life’s tragic ending, one-time Abergele resident Turpin had briefly been one of the most famous men in Britain and an inspiration for many ethnic minorities.

Turpin was inducted as a member of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in Canastota, New York in 2001. There is a statue of him in Market Square, Warwick.

Gun and dogs in photo of staff of Gwrych Castle, Abergele, long ago

Here’s a photo of the staff of Gwrych Castle Gate, Abergele, in the building’s very early days from the Dennis Parr Collection. Date unknown.

It’s great that the gamekeeper holds both a gun and a gundog or two. It’s quite a warm pose for the time, with people putting their arms around each other’s shoulders. The top hat on the back row  is a standout too.

Abergele Fire Station, Pentre Mawr Park 1948

Here’s a photo from the Dennis Parr Collection of the old Abergele Fire Station, Pentre Mawr Park 1948.

Abergele Fire Station, Pentre Mawr Park 1948
Abergele Fire Station, Pentre Mawr Park 1948 from the Dennis Parr Collection

See also this old fire engine, now restored and owned by Colin Knowlson. It’s possible that the engine owned by Colin was called out of the fire station that used to be next to the Bee Filling Station, Slaters.

Tlws jewellery shop in Abergele: end of lease

There’s a heartfelt note by Gaenor in the window of the Tlws jewellery shop in Abergele. Her end of lease is in February 2018 and she’s decided not to renew it. But the shop will remain open over Christmas and right up until the end of February, says the note.

This has been a great place to buy locally-based Clogau gold rings and pendants, as well as reasonably-priced silver pendants and gifts.

It’ll be a loss to Abergele when it’s gone and we wish Gaenor all the best. Diolch.

Tlws general email enquiries post@tlws.co.uk
Tlws
67 Market Street
Abergele
LL22 7AF
Telephone
01745 827900

Shop Opening Times

9.30 – 5pm Mon – Sat

Abergele and Pensarn Railway Station

 

 

 

 

Wikipedia says: “Opened as Abergele by the Chester and Holyhead Railway on 1 May 1848,[1] it became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway during the Grouping of 1923. The line then passed on to the London Midland Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948.

The station in 1962

When Sectorisation was introduced, the station was served by Regional Railways although Intercity Sector trains passed through on their way from London Euston and the Midlands to Holyhead.

The Privatisation of British Railways led to services being provided by Arriva Trains Wales.”