On 11 November 1918, ‘the war to end all wars’ came to an end. Abergele is remembering this on Remembrance Sunday. The poppies and cutout soldiers as you drive into the town have been a thoughtful reminder for the past weeks. This website has published many articles about WWI (keep clicking the Older Posts link at the bottom to see all the biographies and articles)
We thought we’d look back at the Cofia Abergele Remembers project in which AbergelePost.com worked with local historian Andrew Hesketh and Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan learners to list and record the names in audio of the people of Abergele and surrounds who participated in WWI. Click the triangle at the top-lift of this Soundcloud widget to hear the audio recording.
Here’s a list of students who made the recordings:
We’re grateful to Andrew Hesketh and the Emrys students for this touching tribute. We join with the whole nation, 100 years after its end, in remembering those who participated and those who died in the First World War.
Lee Rowland Williams has been in touch with Abergele Post to tell his dramatic story as an 18-month-old baby when he and his father, the landlord (from 1967-72) of the Pen y Bont pub in Abergele nearly drowned during the Abergele Floods of 1971. Here’s his story in his own words:
“My parents Sheela and Hugh Williams , ran the Pen-y-Bont pub on Market Street,
and the only pub that was built over the River Gele and during the flood , a car became stuck under the bridge , therefore causing massive build up of powerful water to engulf our pub.
“My parents decided enough was way too much and with myself (an 18- month-old baby) my mum and dad and Brian left the pub. Within leaving the speed at which the river was so forceful, my father had me in his arms, but a broken log hit him waist high, and he was knocked underwater with me , into the black water, he couldn’t see me.
“My mum’s heart stopped for what seemed like years. Our friend Brian reacted so fast and, without a second thought, dived under the water and literally grabbed me and raised me up. It sounds dramatic, but it truly was. I went to hospital, but mum tells me that day she saw her only son and husband almost too close to loss, that it’s truly a miracle and also it’s such a huge part of that flood.
“I, Lee Rowland Williams can’t find any archive story of this major story of the history of Abergele. Please help if you can.”
So now Lee’s story is documented on this site. Thanks to him for sharing it.
Ben Hingeley, the racing driver from Abergele, was honoured recently by The Welsh Racing Drivers Association who awarded him the 2017 Welsh Young Driver of the Year.
Rob Allender shares this story with us, and says:
“Ben who is only 20, finished 3rd in the 2017 British Formula 3 Championship. WRDA spokesman Robert Allender said ‘Ben has had a fabulous year, and won 4 races which was more than anybody else, except the champion Enaam Ahmed. However, more than that, although he has matured into a tough racer, who is no soft touch, but he still remains a warm and friendly person, which is great credit to his parents Bonner and Julie Hingeley.
“While considering his next step, Ben will be test a variety of powerful cars over the next couple of weeks and this should give some useful pointers as to Ben’s 2018 plans.”
Gyda’r diweddar Parchedig Isaac Jones yn y canol, dyma lun o gasgliad Dennis Parr o rai o flaenoriaid ac aelodau hun Capel Mynydd Seion. Debyg mai 1970au i 1980au tynnwyd y llun. Mae’r captiwn yn nodi enway Haydn Thomas, Mr Williams a Mr Hughes a dwi’n adnabod John Griff, Frank a Gwyn y trydanwr. Defnyddiwch y Comments i nodi eraill os gwelwch yn dda.
Here’s a Dennis Parr Collection photo of senior members of Mynydd Seion Chapel, Chapel Street, Abergele.
Abergele resident and biomedical scientist John Hepworth has been awarded with a prestigious 50 year medal by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).
Erin Johnson, Communications Officer with the Institute of Biomedical Science shared this story with us:
“John joined the Institute in 1967, and became a Fellow in 1974. His career began by working in the Public Health Laboratory in Wakefield. He continued in the microbiology department at the Algernon Firth Institute at Leeds University, specialising in bacteriology. He gained a Senior MLSO (Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer) post in microbiology at Wythenshaw Hospital in Manchester and was promoted to Chief MLSO in 1984. He earned a reputation as an expert in microbiology, with his work being published in journals such as The Lancet and Thorax.
“For the Institute, John joined the Manchester branch of the IBMS in 1981 and served as branch secretary from 1985-1993. He was the branch representative to the North Region in 1997-1998, and was a founding member of the IBMS North West region in 1994. He also acted as a regional representative to IBMS Council until his retirement in 2002. He was awarded Life membership in 2013.
“Outside the Institute, John is a skilled photographer and regularly wins prizes for his photos of the wild animals at Chester Zoo. He is also known by colleagues for his choice of flamboyant ties.
“In the UK alone, pathologists are involved in over 70% of diagnoses in the NHS. Biomedical scientists like John diagnose disease and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments through the analysis of fluids and tissue samples, handling over 150 million samples every year.
IBMS President Ian Sturdgess said, “Over the course of nearly 50 years of membership, John has been a wonderful supporter of the Institute and the profession. John’s hard work and professionalism have shown him to be an invaluable asset to the IBMS, and it gives me great pleasure to present John with the IBMS 50 Year medal.”
Local historian Goronwy Davies has done a great job of documenting Abergele’s agricultural history with his book “A brief History of the Markets and Fairs at Abergele North Wales”. There are some lovely old photos and the accounts of the visits to the town by the Royal Welsh Show, including lists of local prizewinners, show the huge research effort made. I’m not sure where this book is available to buy, so if you’re reading this and you know where to get hold of a copy, please use the comments form at the bottom of this page to let other AbergelePost readers know.
Gyda diolch i Gwynn Williams, yn enedigol o Lanefydd, wedi byw yn Abergele a bellach yn Rhyl.
Here’s a list from from local singer, actor and historian Gwynn Williams showing how many farms, outlets and dairy companies sold milk in Abergele in the first half of the 20th Century:
Glan Llyn – Williams
Bowdon House – William Jones
Hylas Dairies – up St George’s Rd
Tan Dderwen – Manners
Bryn Coch – Lewis
Nant Fawr – Edward Jones
I’m grateful to Gwynn for sharing this list.
When I showed this list to local historian Brian Haynes, he added another name an a nice story about :
Farmer Roberts the Weatherman in Pensarn.
“The Royal Welsh Show was held on part of his land. He’d come out of his farm in Pensarn every day with two half churns balanced on either side of his bike. His weather forecasting ability was second to none. But one day, someone asked him: ‘what’s the weather going to be like today Farmer Roberts?’ and he replied: ‘I don’t know, the battery’s just run out on me radio!'”
Brian printed a set of maps and ringed the commercial dairy outlets listed by Gwynn. Here’s a detail:
Mike Madden writes:
“I have attached 2 pictures. One of the Oldham Battalion (Pals) Manchester Regiment. And one with my Grandfather’s section, George Madden, seated in the centre of the front row. I think both pictures were taken in 1914 at Kinmel Park Barracks”
We’re grateful to Mike for sharing these gems from his family’s collection.