Tredegar House Late Night Friday

IT’S THE WEEKEND: Getting a taste of the party past of Newport’s Tredegar House

9:51am Saturday 7th June 2014

With Thanks to The South Wales Argus and Jen Mills for use of the article and Photos

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LOOKING THE PART Annie Parker strolls in with the Edeny Gates, behind.

Visitors to Newport’s Tredegar House have been getting a taste of the mansion’s decadent party past, as JEN MILLS discovered.

TREDEGAR House: the champagne is flowing, jitterbug music is playing and women in strings of pearls and flapper dresses dance across the floor into the arms of their partners.

It’s a scene that was once the standard in the decadent stately home owned by the notoriously decadent Evan Morgan, the second Viscount Tredegar, who held lavish all-weekend parties when he urged guests to skinny dip and take on his boxing kangaroo.

Except this scene didn’t take place at one of his 1930s get-togethers, but just last Friday, when a group of dancers put on their glad rags and took the house back in time.

On the last Friday of every month in summer, the house is taken over by dancers who do the Charleston, lindyhop and twist, while decked out in fabulous vintage outfits they sourced mainly from vintage shops or eBay.

Last Friday (May 30) was the first of this year’s dances, and the house looked beautiful.

The Trust is mixing the old and new together, putting on the dance just for the joy of it but also because the stately home was once a party-place and holding a dance does as much to preserve its memory as trying to find the original material the curtains were made from.

Chris Edmunds, from St Julians, one of the guides at the house with a special interest in the 1930s, was offering guided tours to visitors or any dancers who wanted a time-out. “You can be in no doubt we’re having a party here,”, he said. “Why? Evan Morgan. He was famous for his extravagant and often outrageous country house weekends here throughout the 1930s. Evan got to know all the rich and famous in London, went to parties with them and invited them here, such as Ivor Novello, Prince Paul of Greece and the actress Tallulah Bankhead.”

One of the dancers on Friday’s guest list was John Powell, 64, from Chepstow, who came along with his wife Claire for the dance. “I have been dancing for about eight years,”, he said. “It’s a good social event. We have a lesson or two a week and we have a dance a week.”

He came along with the other members from his dance ground, the Lydney Lindyhoppers. With so many of the group from Gwent, it’s a testament to their love for dancing that they’re willing to travel so far to get their dancing fix.

Their dedication is also shown by the clothes they wear, really putting in the effort. “We usually dress up in 40s or 50s clothes”, John said. “I get mine in vintage shops but the men have a job to find stuff.”

In his musical note patterned braces he was concerned he hadn’t quite nailed the fashion of the time, but cut a dapper figure nonetheless.

Although he has danced in many different venues, Tredegar House was something special he said. “We wanted to come to see this house – we were going to come this afternoon and we’ll definitely come again. It’s a good stress relief. I wish we started earlier.”

His wife Claire Powell agreed, saying: “Most of us started dancing around eight and a half years ago and it’s just taken over. We absolutely love it.”

Fellow dancer Christine Holliday, from Monmouth, has been donning her dancing shoes for slightly longer, saying: “I have done it about 14 years. It has been fantastic. It makes you feel happy. Sometimes I could be really tired but as soon as I get up there and I hear the music, it’s like a whole new energy comes through. You just feel the music. It keeps your mind active although sometimes you have a great dance and the next day you get out of bed and feel very stiff.”

She added that dancing could have benefits for many people: “It would be nice for more youngsters to come. You see youngsters on the street and they don’t know what to do with themselves.”

It’s not just 1940s music that they enjoy dancing too; in fact any kind of music can do, as long as the beat is right.

Merv Morris, 63, from the Forest of Dean, said: “You can dance to modern stuff. As long as the beat is right, it can be anything. Imelda May, Tom Jones…”

His friend Nigel Price, 63, from Llandenny in Usk, goes a step further towards modern pop, adding: “We had Aleesha Dixon at our wedding. It’s a really good beat.”

Friday’s party at Tredegar House was a stylish affair, but the National Trust weren’t able to recreate all of the original party atmosphere of the Morgan household, no doubt partly because of health and safety laws.

Our guide Chris outlined some of what guests might expect at one of Evan’s shindigs: “Parties like this didn’t come cheap. He had a boxing kangaroo called Somerset. Young men were invited to take on the kangaroo – and of course, it always won. He also had a honey bear called Alice. She was extremely tame and was allowed to wander the grounds quite freely. Then there was Bimbo the baboon. If he got bored, Evan thought nothing of letting Bimbo around the bedrooms. Imagine you have had a long evening partying and you come back and there’s Bimbo the Baboon in your bed.

“There was also skinny dipping in the lake. He would encourage the men in particular to strip. Princess Olga used to put the blinds down when that started.

The parties started on a Friday and finished somewhere the following Monday.

It was a really wonderful time. The people of Newport had no idea what was happening in the house.”

Many may not be aware of the Trust’s new parties either, or of the thriving dancing scene.

Nigel’s wife Bev, 54, said she started dancing in Usk and was hooked ever since. “I thought it’s something with my husband we can share,” she said. “We love it. We have built up a large circle of friends. We all go to dances, we dress up. We still do lessons and demonstrations.

“We started having lessons in Usk, but there was poor attendance. Lydney is a 40 minute drive for us, but every week on a Wednesday we have driven there for five or six years.”

The activity has become more and more a part of life. “In Abergavenny they do vintage festivals and we were once asked to do a flash mob”, she said. “We came out from the audience and suddenly started dancing.”

She has even started teaching, at a Dance Blast class in Abergavenny.

Although there were no excesses to the level of Gatsby or Viscount Tredegar immediately obviously at Friday’s affair, she said the social side of the dancing scene was excellent, with everyone friendly and welcoming.

After the party was over, she said, the group planned to go to the Greyhound in Llantrisant.

In her white dress with black detailing at the sleeves and flapper headress, Bev certainly looked the part. “I got my dress from Coast,” she said, “and the headband is from Accessorise. I do look up genuine 40s or 50s clothes on eBay.”

Her husband kept the standards up with a dicky bow and matching yellow pocket square, sourced from Extons of Raglan, he said.

The powerhouse teacher of the group, 60-year-old Lyn Crossman, was exhausting just to watch as she hopped and jived around the floor. “They just dance now. They don’t need teaching,”, she said. “This is my first time at Tredegar House so we were excited. We don’t usually get dressed up quite as elaborately. I’d like to come back.”

She said anyone should come along and try – but especially the men, as “there’s always a shortage of blokes at dances.”

The event is held on the last Friday of each month from May to September, with the house and grounds open until 9pm. Anyone can come along for no additional fee and there is no need to book.

Guests don’t have to join in the dancing, but could simply sit out in the grounds enjoying the summer sunlight and imaging the scene that once went on as the party

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IN STEP Lyn Crossman, right puts the ladies through the routine

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Claire Powell observes the floor

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Claire and John Powell put on the style

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Couples show off their dancing skills

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Dressed for the occasion

Link to The South Wales Article

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/11263596.IT__39_S_THE_WEEKEND__Getting_a_taste_of_the_party_past_of_Newport__39_s_Tredegar_House/

Alison Neil Evening – Mrs Beeton, My Sister

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Click on above poster for a larger view

One woman play performed by Alison Neil at Tredegar House

16th March 2016 at 7:30 pm

Further details contact Judith Rice on 01633 894108

‘Fantastic mum’ had big impact on Newport’s Tredegar House

‘Fantastic mum’ had big impact on Newport’s Tredegar House

 Article In The South Wales Argus    8:14am Friday 31st January 2014 in News

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A STALWART supporter of one of Newport’s biggest visitor attractions has died following a short illness.

 Phyllis Mary Roberts (nee Soffe), 91, was a founder member of the Friends of Tredegar House and part of a team of women who made and restored many of the soft fabrics which still adorn the house.

 Today the registered charitable organisation aims to conserve and spread public interest in the historical importance of Tredegar House.

 Mrs Roberts had a very active role as a founding member of the organisation and took part in re-enacting the history of the house.

 Her son Christopher Roberts said she loved playing the part of a parlour maid alongside her husband Frederick, who acted as a butler, during tours of the house for around 20 years.

 He said she was saddened when she grew too old to participate.

 Mrs Roberts, brought up in Pill, Newport, was the fourth child of five born to Sylvester Jesse Soffe and Frances Emilina (nee Williams).

 She had ambitions of becoming a pharmacist, but the financial climate meant she had to leave school before taking exams, to find work to help support the family.

 The Second World War intervened, and Mrs Roberts was employed in the office at the Royal Ordnance Factory off Corporation Road, where Bofors anti-aircraft guns were manufactured.

 Later, she recalled night shifts with dancing during the mid-shift meal break. The war exacted a heavy toll on Mrs Roberts and her family.

 Her brother Frederick (Ted), who had joined up along with her eldest brother Jack, was killed while working as a wireless operator when his aircraft crashed with the total loss of the crew.

 And later, her boyfriend Brynley Capel, who was in Bomber Command, was shot down and killed over Germany. In 1945 Mrs Roberts married Frederick and they had two children, Mr Roberts and Jane Paske.

 They lived in Malpas and later Gaer and, when she was in her 80s, she moved into Monmouth Court on Bassaleg Road leading an active life despite health problems.

 She enjoyed flower arranging and always loved poetry, reciting many pieces from memory, including Shakespeare’s sonnets.

 She had two grandchildren, Daniel and Chloe, and lived to hear of the birth of her great granddaughter Cordelia Lily (Dilly) on January 20.

 Christopher Roberts said: “She was a fantastic mother.”

 Her funeral will be held on February 12 at 1.30pm at the Gwent Crematorium.

Two New History Books with Morgan Connections

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A NEW BOOK November 2013

The Williams Family of Maesruddud House (now known as Maes Manor Hotel) Blackwood

This book traces the history of the Williams family who by a, system of purchasing, inheriting and probably the most important method, marrying, over a period of nearly 400 hundred years assembled an estate of at least 23 farms in the old parishes of Bedwellty and Gelligaer. In the early 1800s the family fortunes greatly increased because of the coal that lay beneath their lands, furthermore some towns were built on their farm land. The town of Pontlottyn in the Rhymney Valley was virtually built solely on Maesruddud estate land. One of the sons of Maesruddud became one time vicar of Undy ,near Newport. His son EDMUND KEYNTON WILLIAMS went to Oxford with the intention of also taking Holy Orders, but he entered the army and had a distinguished career, finally, as Sir Edmund Keynton Williams, he concluded his military career as General of the Central Division of the Madras Army, East India. He was made a Freeman of the Borough of Newport in 1816. But, back at Maesruddud, the family fortunes increased and in 1894 the old, but substantial, farmhouse was replaced by the present day building. The house was built by Edmund Davies Williams who died in 1895, his estate was valued as the equivalent to £4.5 million in today’s money. In his funeral report it was said that his nephew, Edmund Williams Tom Llewellyn Brewer of Dan y  Graig House near Christchurch, Newport was the next male heir to the Maesruddud estate; in 1907,by Royal license, he was allowed to take the additional surname of Williams. The photographs below are, left to right, Maes Manor hotel, and E.W.T. Llewellyn Brewer-Williams in his uniform as a Deputy Lieutenant (of Monmouthshire) outside the Great Castle House, Monmouth.

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Mr Brewer-Williams was called to the Bar (The Inner Temple) in 1894, but he never practised as a Barrister. He did not need to work because of his fairly substantial income from the Maesrudud estate. Instead he maintained a flat above a jeweller’s shop in Vigo Street (which is just off Regent Street) London. He had an “arrangent” with Willie Bertolle, the jeweller; Brewer-Williams had the cash and Bertolle the expertise and reputation as a jeweller. Bertolle had in fact made Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubille bracelet; he supplied,in 1923, the Queen mother’s engagement ring. In 1947 he gave the remains of the nugget of Welsh gold, which had been used to make Royal weding rings, to the present Queen Elizabeth II when she married the Duke of Edinburgh. Brewer-Williams and Bertolle had a very comfortable life style, they travelled around the world together.

In 1909 Mr Brewer-Williams married a very young widow by the name of Etienne Dunbar, she was age 30 and had a daughter who regrettably spent most of her adult life in care because of mental health issues. In the 1930s Mr & Mrs Brewer-Williams loaned many paintings, items of furniture and porcelain to the Newport Museum. Following the death of Mr Brewer-Williams in 1945 the loan was converted to a donation, there are now nearly 1000 items held at the museum which form the Brewer-Williams collection. Foremost amongst the collection is a leather bound book containing sketches by Turner.

Mr Brewer-Williams  bequeathed the estate to his wife, but there is a distinct possibility that he had an amount of jewellery stashed away in London. Etienne, died in 1960, by then she had moved out of Maesruddud House. She set up a trust for the lifetime of her daughter, and upon her death the trust went absolutely to Dr Barnado’s charity.

Thank you Newport Museum for your invaluable assistance

THE BOOK, 199 pages, is available from the author, David Mills for  £8.50 plus postage of £1.50

Contact david.mills1947@hotmail.co.uk or tel. 02921401684 or 07816604234

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A New Book

THE HISTORY OF THE TREDEGAR MINERAL ESTATE.

Whilst researching the history of the South Wales Iron and Coal industries with a view to writing a local history of the village of Aberbargoed, a village in the Rhymney Valley and its roots, including Pontaberbargoed, a chance visit to Tredegar library in 2011 and a meeting with Janet Carn the librarian, turned up a set of old books named “The history of the Development of the Tredegar Mineral Estate”, a narrative written by J. Hopkins Thomas in 1933/34. Mrs Carn referred to them as “The Skip books”.

Further enquiries revealed that the books, along with other materials, had been thrown into a skip in Mynydd Y Garreg, near Llanelli, in 2002, after the death of the owner of a house in that village.

Fortunately, the books were discovered before they could be dumped and were sent for safekeeping to Tredegar library where they remained until Mrs Carn brought them out for inspection.

 At the time, some notes were taken but it soon became apparent that the information contained in the books was virtually unique as it did not appear in any other local history book. From then on, several visits to the library over a two year period with a camera meant the every page was copied one by one and transcribed into “Word” documents. It was in the summer of 2013 that I sought permission from Janet to publish  a new book based on the old narratives. This was granted and the book appeared in early October 2013.

This first book, called “The History of the Tredegar Mineral Estate” covers a large number of leases granted by Sir Charles Morgan and his son Charles Morgan Robinson Morgan to a variety of coal owners and prospectors in Monmouthshire and Brecknockshire from the early 1820’s up until 1934. It also describes in detail, the negotiations and wrangling that led to the granting of the leases. The second book, which has not yet been published, will be named “The History of the Tredegar Mineral Estate in Glamorganshire”. The publishing date has not yet been set. It will, however, follow the original narrative very closely with some additions based on information that was not available at the time of writing in the same way that book 1 was produced.

The book is available by post from the Publisher, Park Mile Publications, details 01443 822649, from the Author,(email gw0giq@hotmail.com), from the Winding house at New Tredegar and on Amazon. It is priced at £10-95 plus £2-80 postage.

W. Smith

Hilary Barrett interview with John Watkins, who worked at the house from 1950 -1956

In 1950, at the age of 15, John Watkins started a 5 year Apprenticeship as a Maintenance Fitter in the Tredegar Park Workshops which were situated in the Home Farm complex of the Tredegar Estate. He completed his apprenticeship and worked on the estate until 1956.

He had been born and brought up in Pencarne Cottages, Coedkernew. A tenanted cottage on the Tredegar Estate.  The cottage had no electricity, running water or indoor toilet. A family of frogs lived in the well in the garden. His mother cooked on a black lead grate and candles and oil lamps were in use to light the cottage. John shared a bedroom with his brother and grandfather. The rent on the cottage was 3s 6p a week.

His father ran his own business building farm carts but had previously worked on the estate and had driven the first estate lorry – a Morris Commercial vehicle which operated out of the Tredegar Estate Rhiwderin workshops. This lorry conveyed workers to undertake repair work on the estate farms.

The iron work for Johns’ fathers carts was undertaken by the Tredegar Estate blacksmiths. It was on an occasion that Johns father was visiting the workshops that they mentioned they needed an apprentice in the blacksmith and fitting shop. John was taken on to learn his trades.

There were 2 adult engineers and 3 apprentices in the workshops who undertook all maintenance work within Tredegar House and the outlying buildings and grounds.

He worked a 46 ½ hour week, including Saturday mornings. 8am to 5pm (30 mins lunch with no other breaks during the day). He had one weeks holiday a year and earned 9 old pence per hour in the first year. In 1956 when he left estate employment John was earning 3s an hour.

 All members of the engineering staff worked in the blacksmiths forge and did all the forge work apart from shoeing the one horse that was left on the estate. There was a shoeing iron, 3 anvils and bellows (which were later replaced by a big blower which fed the three forges). The workshop was situated in the buildings now occupied by Isca Woodcrafts.

John had to turn his hand to any remedial or new work that was needed and remembers how Tredegar House was left bare after the building and contents were sold in 1951. He was then part of the conversion team installing plumbing and electrical wiring and turning rooms into classrooms.

He states the nuns were “pretty good to us” “although the boarders were warned to keep away from me after I had taken some for a ride on my motorbike in my lunch break”!

“Nothing changed” on the estate when the nuns took over.  “The farm was still working in the 1950’s and possibly for another 20 years, after which there a was compulsory purchase order for part of the grounds for the building of the new Duffryn school”. “The gardeners were also kept on in employment by the convent”.

There was a rick yard and a poultry farm in front of the estate workshop (with thatched roofs) and John remembers, when food was still under rationing, locking the chickens in their shed until they had lain an egg for his dinner.

Potatoes grown on the estate were stored within clamps in the rick yard area and sold in sacks to local shops. Local labourers picked the potatoes in season.

“In the orchard behind the workshops were lovely fruit trees. Pear trees grew up the walls. “

There was an Apple House in the kitchen gardens used for storing all the ripe apples.

Where the car park now exists was the sports ground for staff, overlooked by two sports pavilions, and surrounded by chestnut trees. After the war when there was no timber available to be purchased these pavilions were dismantled and the wood used for repairs in the house

The open sheds over looking the sports ground housed the farm equipment – tractors and combines.

During WW11 John remembers American Forces being billeted in corrugated iron Nissan huts built on the sports ground. “There were military vehicles parked all over estate land, around the lake and as far as the eye could see. There were sentries posted at the entrance to the estate. The forces were being prepared for the Normandy Landings and there were men sleeping in vehicles. Along Forge Lane were French and Canadian troops, with tanks and tank carriers. Behind the walls were stacked cans and cans of petrol”.

John remembers one day during that time when 5 small planes circled over the area and came into land alongside his cottage. American jeeps came to meet the passengers and took them away to Tredegar House where they were negotiating the Normandy Landings. Sentries were left on duty to guard the planes. Johns’ parents allowed the sentries to sleep on the floor of their cottage. John remembers the cocoa the soldiers provided.

One morning John when walked to school and the area was like a ghost town – the forces had all left for the beginning of the Allied Invasion.

After the war the “War Agriculture” set up base in the Nissan huts. This was a government led initiative which hired out plant to farmers for ploughing, hay making and seeding to grow food during the rationing years. Johns’ boss bought a big charging system to charge batteries for the “War Ag”. One of Johns’ jobs was to use a small valve charger in the workshop to charge radio batteries for the local residents.

After the war the Nissan huts were also used to provide housing for demobbed soldiers and those without housing.

In the fields opposite the estate worked Italian and German prisoners of war. They were very clever people and would barter for pieces of clean board to use when making willow baskets. They would also take 2 shilling and half crown pieces and tap the metal out to make “nice rings”. “One German blacksmith prisoner made the farmer many unbelievable things”.

In the 1950s, when there was still running water to the mill, the engineers attempted (but failed) to get the old Mill machinery working. They did however repair the laundry machinery for the convent. “The washing tubs were like half beer barrels, it was so long since they were in use they were leaking and had rusted bands. They had to be re banded with new bands made in the workshop”. “We made flat strips on the anvil and measured and riveted them together, fitted them and then took the barrels to the lake to soak and swell them”.

“There was also a big ironing machine which went back and forth. It was full of bricks to weigh it down”. “There was a Bendix paddle operated washing machine which had an open motor on the side and open gears driving it it”. “There were lots of people working in the laundry”.

John describes a bell with a rope pull over the porch of the Brewhouse. There were servants quarters downstairs in the Brewhouse and a games room upstairs in the Morgan room, with table tennis and a snooker table.

The weigh bridge outside of Brians House was not working in the 1950’s.

The Barrett family lived in Home Farm cottage.

The Carpenters shop was situated at the end of the Great Barn. He made the cart wheels which were then taken to the engineers shop for banding on the large metal circle which lay outside the workshop, but now lies outside of the Great Barn doors. The carpenters shop business eventually

became private and did work for local schools as well as Tredegar House. Bert Marsh was the Head Carpenter. “He was a fine carpenter with an unbelievable tool chest”.

Next to the carpenters shop, the last door at the end of the Great Barn was Alan Rees’ cart shed. “Alan was quite a character and lived in the Lodge at one time”- “Alan moved anything with his cart and took ashes away from the boiler house. He sold cigarettes and wheeled and dealed out of his shed”.

Horse drawn sleighs hung from beams in the barn next to Alans’ shed. They were still there after the house sale but the rest of the house was bare.

There were Indian canoes and a gondola on the lake and on the side of the lake, now grown over, was a “massive fire pump incase of fire in the house”. It worked the emergency points – around the outside of the courtyard were red boxes with stand pipes and fire fighting equipment. 

Upstairs in the stables there are carved names on the walls and there are also names scratched on the lead weights of the window sashes in the Nursery wing. (The sash cords were renewed in the early 1950s  – when John and his team also added their names).

During WW11 a 2 metre flat walkway was built around the chimneys to enable fire watching duties and John describes massive tube like structures for sliding down in an emergency from the upstairs rooms. In the 1950’s the estate had very large wind up fire escape ladders, used for undertaking repairs to the roof. These ladders had to be taken apart, with wheels taken off, to get them into the inner courtyard.

The main water tank on the roof was lined with lead and soldered. Galvanised tanks were later put inside this tank. There was a big cast iron boiler in the cellar which was taken apart in the 1950’s

The chandelier over the main staircase was re wired in the 1950’s. The chandelier was put on a trolley and taken to the workshop. It was originally manufactured to be used with candles and it proved a difficult task to thread the wires through the parts.

John states two of his jobs on a Saturday were to run the fire pump by the lake and to wind up the stable clock. This mechanism was on weights, with a big handle to pull the weights up. He also remembers walking through Cleppa Park Woods to the water reservoir to take  daily meter readings at the Filter House. He had to clean the filters and fill up the chlorine jar, which pumped chlorine into the water supply to purify it. This supply served the whole Tredegar Park Estate and surrounding areas, almost as far as Castleton.

John describes a big culvert running under the courtyard (big enough to crawl into). This became blocked in the convent days and had to be cleared – the nuns were cutting up telephone directories for use as toilet paper!

In the kitchen gardens was a sub station to provide electricity for the house – with the electricity cables entering via the back door. When there was a big event on in the House the engineers had to increase the electrical voltage by pulling out the trip switches. All electricity lines were open copper and dead birds would be found on the ground where they had perched on these wires.

John states Evan Morgan was “Nutty as a fruit cake”. He travelled in a chauffeur driven Humber Snipe car but the the family also possessed a French made Hotchkiss car and 2 Rolls Royce. During the war, when no petrol could be obtained, the Rolls were put up for sale for £25 each.

The hunting lodges were situated behind the stud farm in Church Lane Coedkernew. The stud farm was farmed by the Harris family.

There were two lodges off the Forge Lane entrance to the Tredegar estate. Tom David (footman) and his wife lived in one lodge and slept in the other. Every morning, on his way to school John observed Mrs David emptying the contents of their chamber pots into Tredegar House lake.

John also recalls passing “The Lodge” (a cottage located on the A48 opposite the present Greggs bakery). It was lived in by Jack Vaughan and his wife. John states ‘he was always dressed in top and tails – it frightened the life out of us as he looked like an undertaker”.

 There was a footpath to Ruperra castle directly from the gamekeepers cottage.

Tredegar House Engineering staff remembered by John Watkins

George King – Chief Engineer

Charles King (bosses son) was a trained engineer on the estate. He was 35 and had been in the army.

Bryn Phugh – Engineer. Left to go into the services. Became a police inspector.

Derek Street – Apprentice. Was killed in the forces.

Gwyn Bistow – Apprentice. ?lived in Tredegar Street Rhewderin

Jack Sidneys – WW11 veteran

Lionel Short – worked in workshop

Dorothy ……… worked in the engineering office. Had a cockney sort of accent

Other Estate workers

Allan Rees – Handyman/carter.

……. Allen – Head Gardener

Goff Rees – Gardener. Lived in Marshfield when retired. Father of Goff Rees

Oliver Seymour – Gardener

(John remembers the gardeners being permanently bent over when walking. There was no petrol for machinery, they had to dig the large gardens by hand.)

Bert Marsh – Head carpenter

Phyllis Short – worked in kitchen in Evan Morgans time. Sister of Lionel Short

J O Cullimore ran Home Farm,  his son Pat Cullimore then took over. He moved to Greg farm Forge Lane.

Courtney Williams – Land Agent for Tredegar Estate. Collected rents each month.

Friends of Tredegar House Gala Evening Wednesday 24th Sepember 2014 7.30pm

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 NOTICE OF NEW TICKET PRICE FROM 18TH SEPTEMBER  –  NOW £7

Maud Williams – Housekeeper -Tredegar House.

Click Photo to see larger one

Click Photo to see larger one

The above photo shows the servants in Mauds sitting room along with chauffeur John Evans’ mother .

she is the elderly lady sat at the table at tea time.

Martyn Evans has put togeather this article about Maud Williams.
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     Maud Williams – Housekeeper  Tredegar House.

Born Fanny Maud Williams June1879, in Buckhorne Weston North Dorset.
Daughter of George Williams & Mary Hayter.

Maud was the youngest of 5 children,her father was an agricultural labourer.

 In the 1901 she was working as a servant at 39 Portman Square London for the
Hon. Humphrey Sturt MP ( Lord Alington) from Moor Critchell near Wimbourne Dorset,

& Lady Feodora Sturt.

They had 3 children Diana aged 16.Napier G  aged 4,& Lois J Sturt aged 7 months.

In 1911 she had become housemaid still working at Portman Square for the Sturt family.
Lois at this time  was aged 10: in 1928 Lois married Evan Morgan.

In 1920 approx maud became housekeeper at Tredegar House.

when she left tredegar she moved back to Buckhorn Weston North Dorset

  to be in later life she moved to North Mymms to be near her neice.

She passed away the 18th july 1966 aged 87. and is buried along with her parents at Buckhorn Weston.

A Study into the Material Culture of the Morgan Family of Tredegar House in the late-Seventeenth Century

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‘We are indebted to Becky Gingell for allowing us publish her dissertation about the Morgan Family of Tredegar House in 17C, it is a piece of work towards a Degree of BA (Hons) History. Well researched, with useful references, this will satisfy the curiosity for those who want to know more about the family.’

The focus of this work is upon the material cultures owned by the Morgan family in the late-seventeenth century. Such an investigation is important because there is little surviving information which relates to the Morgan family, and an in-depth study from a collection of remaining inventories offers an insight into how the Morgan family chose to live. When two inventories are compared from different time periods, phases of spending are uncovered which helps to profile individual characteristics. The inventories also give the opportunity to examine the servant’s quarters, highlighting the changing material goods that had been bestowed on the servant’s over a decade. Indeed, it has been noted that the servants had excellent living conditions and were highly valued by the family.

 

For this study, the research method includes working closely with the Tredegar inventories for the years 1676, 1688, 1698, 1692 and 1699, and although primary sources are scarce they are used whenever possible. Greater focus is placed on secondary evidence relating to material culture from the seventeenth-century. This research would suggest that during the seventeenth century the Morgan family were prosperous and influential, and after the great restoration work of Tredegar House between 1664 and 1672 they had great aspirations of being the most powerful family in south Wales. Through this research it could be argued that Thomas Morgan, for whom there are few surviving records, was a flamboyant and rather frivolous person who knew what he wanted and certainly obtained it. If he had lived longer he may have become as influential as his father, Sir William Morgan.

The read Becky’s full dissertation  – Click Here

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Motor Cycle Training at Tredegar House

Harold Roberts

Mr. Harold Roberts, Training Organizer – 1960’s & 70’S

 

Motor Cycle Training in the Grounds of Tredegar House

 Article submitted by Steve Barber

During the 1960’s and through the 1970’s I was involved in training people to ride motorcycles on the Home Farm Roads of Tredegar House.  Most of the instructors were provided by experienced voluntary members of a Newport motorcycle club under the auspices of the Royal Automobile Club and the Auto Cycle Union.  This training scheme was a branch of a national organisation, with similar schemes taking place over the U.K.

The local scheme was also run with the help of the then Newport Borough Road Safety Department, controlled by a Sergeant of the Newport Borough Police force.  Theory lectures were given to the trainees, once a week, in the Police lecture room at the Newport Civic Centre, with training films also being shown.  Members of the Newport Police Motorcycle Patrols also assisted with instruction, and shepherding the trainees on the roads surrounding Tredegar House.  The practical training was, for many years, organized by a Mr. Harold Roberts (see photograph).

Many of the trainees used their own machines, but for those who did not possess a motor cycle, the Scheme had about three small training machines for pupils use.  These machines were kept in the old stable block at the rear of Tredegar House, with the permission of Mr. Cullimore of Home Farm.  Who also allowed us use of the farm access road, running through to St.Brides Road.

The usual courses lasted about three months and the practical training took place on two evenings a week.  Lectures and training films were usually given on a Monday night in the police Lecture Room at the Civic Centre.  Fees charged for the courses were minimal, usually between two or three pounds.

The training scheme ended with a practical test, held at the Tredegar House venue.  Pupils were tested for their riding ability on the private and public roads.  They were expected to demonstrate skill in riding and controlling the machine, including being tested in maneuverability control in slow riding.  They were also tested for their knowledge of the Highway Code and expected to have an understanding of elementary maintenance of motorcycles.  The appointed Examiners were all experienced motorcyclists, members of the R.A.C. and a police officer for the Highway Code.

The tests were quite strict and only the trainees who showed a high level of skill received a pass mark.  All trainees who received a pass were presented with an ornate certificate and a button-hole badge.  These awards were presented at a special prize-giving event, held late in the year, at Newport Civic Centre.  Presentations were made at this event for the annual Newport Road Safety Rally, school children’s Safe Cycling Awards and the Motorcycle Training Scheme.  Newport’s Mayor, members of the town Council and the Chief Constable and Road Safety Officer attended this event.

Pupils who passed out successfully on this course normally had no difficulty in passing the Ministry of Transport Driving Test.  However, responsibility for training motorcyclists was eventually taken over by the road Safety Department of Gwent County Council.  Training in the grounds of Tredegar House then ceased.

 

 

Henry Morgan Pirate and Governor of Jamaica

Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan

 

One of the most asked questions at Tredegar House prior to the  National Trust was –What about Henry Morgan ?

For those wanting to know more about Henry Morgan the Pirate –  latterly the Governor of Jamaica.

A relative of the Morgan Family of Tredegar House – his portrait can be seen in the Brown Room there,(c) National Trust, Tredegar House; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Welsh genealogists of repute concur however in stating that he was the eldest son of Robert Morgan of Llanrhymney, a small estate in Glamorganshire, near Tredegar Castle, where he was born in 1635.  The year of his birth is ascertained with tolerable certainty as an affidavit made by him in Jamaica on the 21st November, 1671, definitely states his age as thirty-six.

The family of Tredegar was recognized as the head of the clan, of which the Morgans of Llanrhymney were a cadet branch.

Llanrhumney Hall

The book suggests that he was born in Llanrumney – this is apparently the place, Llanrumney Hall until recently a pub

The book can be read at the Gutenberg Press Canada Site by following this link:

 

http://w.w.w.gutenberg.ca/ebooks/cruikshank-henrymorgan/cruikshank-henrymorgan-oo-h-dir/cruikshank-henrymorgan-oo-h.html

NB :- When on the site scroll down to read book

 

THE LIFE OF SIR HENRY MORGAN WITH AN ACCOUNT OF  THE ENGLISH SETTLEMENT OF THE ISLAND OF JAMAICA  (1655-1688)

BY  BRIG.-GENERAL E. A. CRUIKSHANK, LL.D., F.R.S.C., F.R. Hist. S.

More Books about Henry Morgan

Sir Henry Morgan, the Buccaneer, Volume 1

Sir Henry Morgan the Buccaneer

The voyages and adventures of Capt. Barth. Sharp and others, in the South Sea

 henry

Copyright © 2012 Friends of Tredegar House