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)

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.
——————————————————————————-

     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

House photo

‘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

Acrobat Reader is required to read this file – if you do not have then download it here

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

John Evans Chauffeur to Lord Tredegar.

The following article was sent by Martyn Evans from Christchurch Dorset, formerly of Newport.

Martyn is a member of Friends of Tredegar house. Martyn’s great great grandfather John Evans worked at Tredegar estate until his death in 1861 as a stud groom. John was the first family member to work at Tredegar House. His great grandfather George worked as a stud groom, followed by his son, John Evans. His grandfather and grandmother Beatrice Mina Louise Coombs met John whilst working at Tredegar House. They married in 1922 in Dorset. His Pop was chauffeur to Lord Tredegar, Beatrice’s  cousin was Maud Williams housekeeper. Martyn’s grandparents lived at Tredegar Park Cottages opposite Cleppa Park also the two generations before them in the same house. Lord Tredegar gave them the house to live in until they died or moved out. His Nan stayed in the house until the early 1970’s, then moved to Dorset with her sister.   .

pop evans sat in car outside Tredegar House with 2 others

 

John Evans – Chauffeur to Lord Tredegar.

John Evans, born in 1892 was the third generation of the Evan’s family to work at Tredegar House, following on from his father & grandfather before him.In 1911 census he is shown as being a groom/domestic.

He was a keen sportsman & played rugby for Newport 1912/1913. In WW1 he joined the Royal Gloucester Hussars Yeomanry, he was captured by the Turks in 1916

When he returned to Tredegar House at the end of WW1, he resumed his job a groom & used to ride out with Viscount Tredegar. In 1923, he was made chauffeur & was responsible for looking after the vehicles at Tredegar House .

He was presented with this prestigious Chauffeur’s certificate by the Rolls Royce company as recognition of the fact that he could drive and maintain a Rolls Royce car.

Evidently Lord Tredegar was pleased with John, as the certificate was only awarded after information was received from the owner of the Rolls & periodical inspections by Rolls Royce. John drove the Rolls Royce cars at Tredegar House, for the period September 1923 to October 1935.

Rolls Royce certificate awarded to John Evans

 

Pop and Bike

 

Pop and the Rolls Royce

 

 

 

 

John Evans with cricket scoreboard (click to view larger photo

John Evans with cricket scoreboard (click to view larger photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Terrible Turk

NEWPORT CAVALRY MAN’S NARRATIVE,

Stripped and Beaten in the Street

“To be a prisoner in the hands of the Turks for two years and seven months is, as one may well imagine, not a pleasant experience, and Corpl. Jack Evans, of the Royal Gloucester Hussars (Yeomanry), who has been subjected to that trying ordeal, is very thankful to be back in Blighty again. Corpl. Evans, who in civil life was a chauffeur to Lord Tredegar, is well-known locally as a speedy Rugby wing three-quarter and path runner. His home is at Tredegar Cottages, near Newport, and he is a son of Mr. Evans, for many years stud groom to the late Viscount Tredegar and the present Lord Tredegar. Corpl. Evans took part in the Dardanelles campaign, being at Suvla Bay four days after the first landing there. The Yeomanry, it will be remembered, were dismounted here, and to all intents and purposes filled the role of infantry. Evans was here two months, and was slightly wounded in the arm. He afterwards went to Egypt, and was at Katra, in the neighbourhood of the Suez Canal when captured by the Turks on April 23, 1916. He was one of a squadron of about 87 men, who were cut off from the main force by an overwhelming body of Turks numbering some 3,000, with reinforcements many miles away, and no hope of reaching them, and about half the squadron were wiped out before they finally surrendered.”

Their Death Ride.

“They were marched across the desert a distance of about 200 miles, to Beersheba, and what they suffered en route is too terrible to relate. A German, said to have been a captain of the Goeben, was in command. The prisoners were stripped of all rations, and in some cases the boots were taken off their feet, and for five days whilst on the tramp they did not have any food to eat. All they subsisted on was water which they obtained from wells, found in intervals of about 30 miles apart. But whilst the ravages of hunger were in themselves awful to experience the lot of the unwounded captives was not nearly so bad as the plight of those who happened to be disabled when captured. Men badly wounded in vital parts were put astride upon camels, and not one of them survived the journey. For sheer cruelty it would want beating. At Beersheba the remnants of the party entrained for Jerusalem, where they stayed one night and then went on to Damascus. Here they remained a week, and afterwards continued their journey to Aleppo, where they remained but one night before being sent to Afion Kara Hissar where they were put to work road-making, starting work at 4.30 in the morning, and knocking off at eight o’clock in the evening.”

Stripped and Beaten.

“A Turkish naval officer was in charge of the camp, and the prisoners were at times brutally beaten with a “cowhide” whip when found guilty of imaginary offences. Evans himself was on one occasion kicked, punched in the jaw, and then knocked senseless for daring to exchange a few words with another prisoner, and later the same day was stripped in the street, outside the baths, and was struck across his naked back with a “cowhide” whip.”

“The prisoners were also called out early in the morning to steal stones that had been blasted from a rock by the Armenians, and this stone was used in roadmaking. Corpl. Evans was afterwards put upon a much lighter and easier task” water fatigue” which meant overlooking a water party.”

“Later he was removed to the neighbourhood of Constantinople, and was here for three months.

The prisoners were subjected to much better treatment at this quarter, and they used to cheer the British aeroplanes as they came over and bombarded the place. Occasionally, however, the raiders dropped their missiles too near to where the prisoners were housed for the latters’ peace of mind. The armistice was signed on Thursday, but it was not until the Sunday that the glad news leaked through to the captives, and they gave way to rejoicing.”

No Medical Attention.

“During the whole time Corpl. Evans was in Turkish hands he never saw a doctor, but they had medicine sent to them through the Dutch Legation in Constantinople. Men died through want of medical care. He was at Constantinople when the British Fleet arrived, and they had a good time compared with their previous experiences at the close of their stay in that part of the world.”

“Corpl. Evans took part in sports and enjoyed a fine measure of success, capturing six firsts, one second, and one third prize. Strange to say, however, it was in putting the weight, throwing the cricket ball, long and high jumping and wrestling etc., and not as a runner that he was most successful. He seemed to have lost a lot of his former dash as regards speed.”

“The statement, previously made, that the Turks took very few prisoners in the Dardanelles campaign, is lent colour to by Corporal Evans, who says he saw very few men who had fallen into the hands of the Turks during the fighting on the Peninsula, and there can be no doubt that many were killed by the enemy after they had been taken prisoners. Corporal Evans refers with deep regret to the fact that Corporal W. Morgan of Michaelstone, who was captured by the Turks in October 1917, died from dysentery just before the armistice was signed.

pop evans at tredegar in yeomanry uniform0001 (2)

pop evans at Tredegar in Yeomanry uniform

 

 

pop at bullford camp salisbury

pop at bullford camp salisbury

postcard to home click here to see larger photo

postcard home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Newport Dragons supporters will be familiar with the ultimate sacrifice made by players and others associated with the club in the two World Wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45. The memory of such sacrifice is honoured each year by the laying of commemorative wreaths at the club’s memorial gates.

What will be less well known are the sacrifices made during those two conflicts by those who survived. John (Jack) Evans was a chauffeur to Lord Tredegar, keen on all sports, he played for the Newport first XV just three times between 1911-12 and 1913-14. According to newspaper reports he “was considered one of the fastest threequarters in Wales”. Enlisting in the Royal Gloucester Hussars he was captured by the Turks in 1916.

Whilst a prisoner he wrote home, on one occasion asking “Is Map. Williams still at home? If so, remember me kindly to him, and thank him for the & pound  he and W. Kelly sent. I have not had it yet, but I will get it allright” (Mapson Williams was a fine Newport forward playing around 150 games for Newport between 1911-12 and 1923-24).

pop evans 1912 team photo

pop evans 1912 team photo

Letter from Captain Morgan

Click on letter to see larger image.

Letter from Captain Frederick Morgan sent to John Evans

(Great Great Grandfather of Martyn Evans)

 

John Evans my grandfather with 2 others on Cardiff Rd with the horse & cart.pop is on the extreme left.the gentleman on the right we think is Mr Lambourne,who i think was a coachman at Tredegar House,he lived next to nan & pop

John Evans my grandfather with 2 others on Cardiff Rd
with the horse & cart.pop is on the extreme left.the gentleman on the right we think
is Mr Lambourne,who I think was a coachman at Tredegar House,he lived next to nan & pop

With thanks for all research material to Martyn Evans

 Link to the 2nd Article

 

Lady Of Mystery

Rachael The Mystery Lady

Article and Photos By Monty Dart

Lady of Mystery

 Where did she come from? Known fondly as ‘Rachael’ by the gardeners at Tredegar House,

The statue in the corner of the Cedar Garden is a lady of mystery.

The volunteer hosts are developing short Garden Tours and it would be interesting to know her origins.

Rumour has it that she was brought to Tredegar House by the Nuns of St Josephs

But do you know the how she came to be there? Let us know.

 

 

Spring 2013 has arrived –
the Hellebores are in flower despite the recent snow

Christmas at Tredegar House 2013

logo2

 

 

Christmas at Tredegar House

Join us this Christmas as we deck out Tredegar House

With lavish Victorian decorations for a special celebration

of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.

 

Take a wintry walk through our gardens to the house where there will be music and merriment throughout, with traditional activities for the whole family. Visit Santa who will have a gift for all the children (additional cost of £2.50).

Explore the bedrooms and meet our ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future…but beware!

Scrooge might be just around the corner.

There will also be food and craft stalls in our courtyard so pop down to pick up a festive treat.

Event details

  • Booking Not Needed Tickets for admission and Santa visit can be purchased at Visitor Reception, opposite the car park.
  • Normal Admission Charges Apply
  • Suitable for Groups
  • Wrap up warm – scarves and mittens will be essential to enjoy the festivities across the whole site.
  • Assistance Dogs only are welcome
  • Don’t forget to visit our shop to pick up some last minute festive gifts and decorations. Before you leave nip into the Brewhouse tearooms to sample the delicious seasonal treats on offer.
  • Lift to ground floor of house only.

Price: Adult £7.50, Child £4, Family £21, Per Item £2.50 (Santa Visit)

 Dates: 30 November 2013 11:00am and 1 December 2013 11:00am

Dates: 7 December 2013 11:00am and 8 December 2013 11:00am

Dates: 14 December 2013 11:00am and 15 December 2013 11:00am

Dates: 21 December 2013 11:00am and 22 December 2013 11:00am

More Information: Tredegar House Office, 01633 815880, tredegar@nationaltrust.org.uk

St. Joseph’s Convent High School Reunion Friday November 16th 2012

Michele Lewis (Left) & Paddy Landers (R) sporting the old summer boater & winter felt hats worn many years ago. Both Michele and Paddy are members of Friends of Tredegar House. Paddy is also a N.Trust Host Volunteer working at Tredegar House.

 

REUNION OF “OLD Girls”  by Michele Lewis

On Friday November 16th 2012,  a cold wet blustery day, the serene surroundings of Llantarnum Abbey echoed to the sounds of “Old Girls” of St. Joseph’s Convent High School Tredegar House. The invitation was extended to all girls from the 1951-1966 ears. 

This Old Girls Reunion, the first for nearly 10 years was the culmination of months of hard work by the organisers.  Michele Lewis, Paddy Landers and Veronica Walsh, who had spent the previous 6 months contacting old girls from around the globe and arranging the afternoon at the Abbey. 

At first it was likely that there would only be about 15 in attendance but this number soon crept up to 75.  Girls came from Germany, Ireland and all over the country.  The squeals of delight as friends met friends unseen for many years were heard all over Ty-Croeso.  For many who could not attend previous reunions it was the first time they had met since leaving school.  Very quickly the groups mingled; looked at photos, exchanged addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.  All were delighted to watch a film of the school taken in the early 60’s by members of St. Mary’s Camera Club.

The Sisters welcomed everyone with open arms as many of them not only taught at the school but were old girls themselves!

A happy day was enjoyed by all and for many of the old girls the Mass, dedicated to the deceased staff and pupils of the school, in the Abbey’s lovely chapel was a fitting end to a memorable day.

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