News from America

News from America from Monty Dart

lady

image002         It is always thrilling when we greet our American cousins at Tredegar House and we love to hear their connections with the Morgan family. Readers of the website will remember the acquisition of Godfrey’s cigar cutter that turned up from South Dakota – see that article here

http://www.friends-of-tredegar-co.uk/?s=cigar+cutter

An interesting email arrived from Janice Fix – ‘I’m trying to find out information for my aunt who has a document that is a lease of property from Lord Tredegar what she says looks like it’s on vellum.

She spoke with someone from the local library and said that these documents were a dime a dozen. She said the lease is for property at 4 Gainsborough Street, Mile End, not sure if that is correct or if it is supposed to be near Tredegar Square.

I can’t locate anything near Tredegar Square.  She would like to donate it but not sure who to contact.  She doesn’t remember where the document came from or even that she had it.  If you would be interested in the document, please let me know and she would be more than happy to forward it to you.’

Thank you. Janice Fix

What was this document doing in America? It is sad that this document was described as ‘a dime a dozen’, someone had seen fit to conserve it but why?

Carolyn Fix goes on to explain how it ended up in her possession

The document in question is a deed of sale for a property Godfrey Morgan, Lord Tredegar owned in London dated 5th August 1862.

We know that the Morgan family owned property and land all over London.

terrace hous

             An example of the houses around Tredegar Square

 

lady

Carolyn Fix – Janice’s aunt

Carolyn is now coming up to 94 years of age and this is a photo of her in a WAC uniform as she was a WAC during WWII and is still active in meetings and luncheons for WAC Veterans. This is her story.

‘Sometime around the end of November, 1977, I went to the Estate sale of Cleveland Fisher in Manassas, Virginia.  I was interested in some books and bought a few in a box lot.  Since it has been some time, I believe the document was included in that lot from the estate sale.  We’re not sure how Mr. Fisher came to own it, but he was known to collect old things.’

INDENTURE

Lease 77 ¼ years to 1938 – 4 Gainsborough Road, Hamlet Mile End, Stepney, Tredegar Square to Widow Mrs. Sarah Broodbank

The document measures 26.5 X 22 inches on vellum (two pages).

‘I didn’t remember having the document until recently while looking for something.

My niece Janice Fix, of New Jersey, USA, looked up the names on the document and found that it was possibly related to the Morgans and Lord Tredegar and from there, she found Friends of Tredegar House and was in contact with Ms. Monty Dart.  We are happy and excited to have the document back where it belongs. We hope that the document is being enjoyed as part of the history of Lord Tredegar.’

Carolyn Fix of Vienna, VA, USA.

Looking at the area now it is filled with £1,50000 houses and there is even a public house named ‘Lord Tredegar’ though Gainsborough Road has since disappeared.

pub

 

image010

‘Portrait of Lord Tredegar on an inn sign in Lichfield Road. Lord Tredegar, formerly Sir Charles Morgan of Tredegar, owned an area of land in the area. Between 1820 and 1832 buildings of a superior class were erected around what is now Tredegar Square. They still stand out from much of the surrounding housing. Lord Tredegar has a pub, a square and a street named after him, for there is also a Morgan Street nearby.’ From www.exploringeastlondon.co.uk

But what of Mr Cleveland Fisher – what connection if anything did he have to the Tredegar Estate?

The 1930’s USA census shows Cleveland Fisher lived with his parents in a house worth $3500 – check this site for values. https://www.measuringworth.com

image012

1930 Census – USA

He was born September 22nd, 1918. November, 1977 and passed away in Manassas, Virginia at the age of 59.

What was his connection if any to the Morgan family and Godfrey in particular? I’m still checking American newspapers and articles so watch this space.

Monty Dart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Courtney MBE 101st Birthday

image001

UNFORTUNATELY MARY PASSED AWAY ON 13TH NOVEMBER 2014.

Link to South Wales Argus Tribute to Mary(click here)

PLEASE TAKE TIME TO RE-READ THE ARTICLE BELOW.

1st July 2013

Mary Courtney MBE of Aneurin Bevan Court, woke this morning to scores of ‘happy birthday’ cards. It isn’t every day that you are 101 years old. When she joined her fellow residents in the lounge for morning coffee, little did she know that not only would she receive a present, but that she would be making a presentation herself, to Newport’s Mayor, Councillor Cliff Suller, who was accompanied by his wife Christine.

Last year an email was received by Monty Dart archivist for the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge – coincidently, she is also archivist for the Friends of Tredegar House, the email read:

 I am the current Historian for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology’s (SDSMT) American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) chapter.  Our chapter recently acquired what appears to be a cigar cutter from the Newport Transporter Bridge.  An alumni of SDSMT bought this cigar cutter at an antiques store and had it on his mantle for several years.  In 2007 he donated it to SDSMT.  He recently sent us a letter and was wondering if we still had it.  We found it.  The alumni would like us to get it to someone who will appreciate it, hopefully its rightful owner. SDSMT ASCE  Historian.

Brian Ruppelt

The cutter ties two famous Newport icons together –  Tredegar House and the Transporter Bridge, or three icons if you include Mary!

The cigar cutter was given to Viscount Godfrey Morgan by the contractors Alfred Thorne Ltd of Westminster on the occasion of the opening of the Transporter Bridge, Godfrey Morgan was of course Viscount Tredegar of Tredegar House. The handle that opens the cutter is a replica of the handle Viscount Tredegar would have used on the Transporter Bridge, to send it on its first journey across the Usk on 12th September 1906.

Mary worked as volunteer for the Friends at Tredegar House until the age of 98. She was a founder member (now honorary member of the Friends of Tredegar House) for over 30 years and on the occasion of her 101th birthday was pleased to present the cigar cutter – on behalf of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology – to the Mayor, who accepted it gratefully on behalf of the City of Newport. He then led the assembled company in a rousing chorus of happy birthday. Mary acknowledged the singing saying that ‘she was very pleased to be able to present the Mayor with such a unique gift’.

image002

Mary presenting the Cigar Cutter to the Mayor

 

image003

Newport’s Mayor, Councillor Cliff Suller, with the Cigar Cutter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spoke to Newport Museum Curator Oliver Blackmore and he said they would be pleased to have it but again, couldn’t promise to display it but it would be available for people to see on request. So that was better than nothing!  I took it to the Museum on Monday and Oliver was so thrilled to receive this unique object that he has moved things around in one of the cases and it has already gone on display! Those who can’t visit Newport Museum can see it on this short animation made by Tom my husband on the link below

Monty Dart (Archivist FOTH)

Link to the Opening of the Transporter Bridge(click here)

Godfrey Morgan, Viscount Tredegar Opening the Transporter Bridge

 

Here is a photograph of Godfrey Morgan, Viscount Tredegar on the opening day September 12th 1906. When the big day arrived, the rain was relentless, as you can see in the photograph, everyone has an umbrella.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Monty Dart the archivist for the Friends of Tredegar House.

 Recently I received an intriguing email from America

 ‘I am the current Historian for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology’s (SDSMT) American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) chapter.  Our chapter recently acquired what appears to be a cigar cutter from the Newport Transporter Bridge.  An alumni of SDSMT bought this cigar cutter at an antiques store and had it on his mantle for several years.  In 2007 he donated it to SDSMT.  He recently sent us a letter and was wondering if we still had it.  We found it.  The alumni would like us to get it to someone who will appreciate it, hopefully its rightful owner.’

 Attached was a photograph of a magnificent silver cigar cutter with a request to know more about the Transporter Bridge, Godfrey Morgan and Tredegar House. I was pleased to send the American Society of Engineers a film about Tredegar House and coincidently, as I am also the archivist for The Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge I could send details about the Bridge and the Opening Day.  This is where the cigar cutter comes in, it was presented to Godfrey as a memento of the opening of the Transporter Bridge by the Contractors – Alfred Thorne Ltd. This newspaper article mentions it as a ‘silver controller’. It was so called because the little handle that opened the cutter is an exact replica of the handle Godfrey used to start the Transporter Bridge!

 Just a week after our initial correspondence by email I received a surprise parcel from America. Our generous friends from South Dakota had sent the unique artefact, a real piece of Newport history.  I have accepted it ‘on behalf of the people of Newport’ and the Friends are discussing where best it could be displayed.

 

This animation of both the cigar cutter and the Transporter Bridge in action

was made by Tom Dart for the FOTH website.

 

 

Link to Mary Courtney MBE 101st Birthday and Presentation

of Cigar Cutter to the Mayor(click here)

If you would like to know more about the Transporter Bridge visit  via the link  in Sites of Interest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Friends of Tredegar House