Here's the report of the last meeting on August 12th…..

  In a busy session in August, we made our final arrangements for the fair, and then went on to vote for the Best Talk of the Year. The winner was Keith Hough, for his well-researched presentation on the lost buildings of the north-east corner of Wales, from last November. 

            The focus of the meeting then changed to the Annual Competition. This year we had 10 entries, all anonymous, and a secret ballot decided the winner of the Brass Post-box Trophy.

            The topics were:-

Oil, Cotton, Electric – scenes of our industrial heritage, showing how these things were produced.

Disaster at the Palace - the fire at Rhyl's Queen's Palace entertainment centre, 1907. –  one photo showing the building before the fire, and 3 of the dome falling onto the pavement below.

Yes, it is Wally' - varieties of the identical 'Curly Locks' set 8706 by Tuck artist WF - Wally Fialkowska. In one set, 949, there are German language backs, and another, as set 3128, has WW1 rationing captions.

Action shots of the Amlwch Football Team, Anglesey,, by local photographer, R. Lewis Williams, who was able to produce photos showing movement, at a time when photographs required a long exposure time, and subjects which were still.

Memories of Childhood Villages - 4 lovely views of Gronant,  taken at various times in this small village near Prestatyn,

3 Exquisite Flower-studies from the Smithsonian, Washington, in the delicate far-eastern style, and one showing a heron on a fallen tree-branch.

 

Village Post-Offices. including some animated scenes in Cemaes, and Llansannan, This display reminded us that, at one time, almost every village had a Post-Office.

Old Family Homes in Gwespyr, a hamlet near Prestatyn – a record of houses occupied by this person's relatives, and a good way of illustrating their family tree.

Early transportation – These cards show happy holiday-makers on packed Chars-a-banc in locations such as Rhyl and Dwygyfylchi.

The decision wasn't an easy one, but the winner was Marion Turner, for her remarkable set of cards from the Fron Goch German Prisoner-of-War Camp, near Bala. It was housed in a disused whisky distillery, and used in WW1, and after the Easter Rising 1916, when Irish prisoners, including Michael Collins, were kept there.

Last year's winner. Keith, presented her with the Trophy.

 

Club Bulletin, October 2019.

   The September meeting began with a welcome to a new member, Andrew.  We then had reports from the Fair Team-Leaders, which showed that the event had been very successful for the Club, and also that there were one or two things we could improve. 

We asked people for ideas for talks for next year's programme, and several members, including Andrew, offered to speak – thanks to everyone who came forward.

Our speaker for the evening was Club member Lawrence Corrieri, who is well-known for his many and varied collections. The subjects  of his talks are always a closely-guarded secret, until he delves into his bag and reveals the contents. This time, we were astonished to find that he had brought his collection of cards of hearses and coffin-carriers.

Before motorised transport was available,  the deceased person was carried on a pedestrian bier, in a coffin, or on horse-drawn carriages. Undertakers often had several other occupations in a community, and Lawrence showed a particularly nice card of a horse-drawn hearse outside an undertaker's shop.

  In the 19th Century, London was short of space for new cemeteries, so they were built in the outskirts of the city. As few people had their own transport, railway lines were specially designed to take the mourners and coffins from the city to the cemeteries. One of the companies was the London Necropolis Co, which, in 1854, began a train service, the London Necropolis Railway,  from Waterloo Station to the huge new cemetery in Brookwood, Surrey, a journey of some 23 miles.  The train operated almost every day, and the service ended in 1941.  Sydney, Australia, also had a Necropolis Station until the 1930s. The funerals of Queen Victoria, George VI and Sir Winston Churchill  had all used trains and the Bluebell Railway in Sussex had a special compartment for coffins.

In road transport, we saw cards of buses, motor-cycles with trailers or sidecars, and trams  adapted for this special purpose. One of these American tram carriages was later repurposed as a camping car for train-spotters. Another  in Buffalo had a drop-down side for the coffin to be housed, and a shelf above for the flowers.  In a Glasgow Museum, there are hearses by Rolls-Royce and Vauxhall.

Other vehicles which have been used are tandem-cycles, a military tank, a Reliant-Robin, and a Morris Traveller. When some of the motor-hearses had finished their work, they were used as camper-vans or converted for Banger-Racing.

 Also in the collection were views of Funeral Directors' premises and comic cards. There is a Museum of Funeral History in Houston, Texas, which produces postcards of the various kinds of transport used for this particular purpose

  We wonder how Lawrence can top this superb presentation in the future.

 For more about the fascinating story of  the London Necropolis Co., go to:-

www.bbc.com/autos/story/20161018-the-passenger-train-that-carried-the-dead

Club Bulletin, October 2019.

   The September meeting began with a welcome to a new member, Andrew.  We then had reports from the Fair Team-Leaders, which showed that the event had been very successful for the Club, and also that there were one or two things we could improve. 

We asked people for ideas for talks for next year's programme, and several members, including Andrew, offered to speak – thanks to everyone who came forward.

     Our speaker for the evening was Club member Lawrence Corrieri, who is well-known for his many and varied collections. The subjects  of his talks are always a closely-guarded secret, until he delves into his bag and reveals the contents. This time, we were astonished to find that he had brought his collection of cards of hearses and coffin-carriers.

  Before motorised transport was available,  the deceased person was carried on a pedestrian bier, in a coffin, or on horse-drawn carriages. Undertakers often had several other occupations in a community, and Lawrence showed a particularly nice card of a horse-drawn hearse outside an undertaker's shop.

   In the 19th Century, London was short of space for new cemeteries, so they were built in the outskirts of the city. As few people had their own transport, railway lines were specially designed to take the mourners and coffins from the city to the cemeteries. One of the companies was the London Necropolis Co, which, in 1854, began a train service, the London Necropolis Railway,  from Waterloo Station to the huge new cemetery in Brookwood, Surrey, a journey of some 23 miles.  The train operated almost every day, and the service ended in 1941.  Sydney, Australia, also had a Necropolis Station until the 1930s. The funerals of Queen Victoria, George VI and Sir Winston Churchill  had all used trains and the Bluebell Railway in Sussex had a special compartment for coffins.

In road transport, we saw cards of buses, motor-cycles with trailers or sidecars, and trams  adapted for this special purpose. One of these American tram carriages was later repurposed as a camping car for train-spotters. Another  in Buffalo had a drop-down side for the coffin to be housed, and a shelf above for the flowers.  In a Glasgow Museum, there are hearses by Rolls-Royce and Vauxhall.

   Other vehicles which have been used are tandem-cycles, a military tank, a Reliant-Robin, and a Morris Traveller. When some of the motor-hearses had finished their work, they were used as camper-vans or converted for Banger-Racing.

 Also in the collection were views of Funeral Directors' premises and comic cards.

 

Club Bulletin November 2019.

                In October there was a change to the programme, following the sad loss of our good friend, Wirral Club Chairman, Bill Johnstone, who was to have been our speaker. Instead,  we had a 'Show and Tell' session with some of our recent  'finds' :-

- Lawrence had found a modern b/w photo-card of an 'Easy-Rider' style motor-bike with a coffin on its trailer, in-keeping with his recent talk on funeral transport.

- Railway enthusiast, Walter, brought  a set of 7 cards issued by Virgin Trains. They were designed by Barry Redfern and were brightly coloured, in collage-style, featuring various towns and cities including Edinburgh, Carlisle, Penrith and Wigan. The Edinburgh card showed the train with the Castle, Greyfriars Bobby, Burke and Hare and a skull-and-crossbones. George Formby appeared on the Wigan card.  

- Trebor trawled his collection of Tuck Oilettes and came up with two unusual cards – one was from a 1938 set by Wambach, for a pretty house in Deauville, France, now called 'Villa Strassburger'. It was originally built in 1907 for Henri de Rothschild as a holiday home for his wife, to take advantage of the local horse-racing and the glamorous seaside society. Its name was 'La Ferme du Coteau'. [The Hillside Farm]. It later passed to Henri's son and in 1924, was bought by the President of Singer Sewing machines, Ralph B. Strassburger. In 1980, the building was given to the town by his son, and is now available as a beautiful location for weddings and other events.
Trebor's other card, with the heading "The Growth of Our Empire beyond the Seas", showed a scene of Scottish soldiers supervising the departure of Ottoman troops from Cyprus in 1878

 - Andrew's beautifully presented sheet of cards from his Anglesey collection showed 2 lovely real photos of an incident which happened on 11th January, 1920 at a farmhouse called "Penslates" in Llanelian. The gable-end chimney was  struck by lightning and fell down while the people were asleep in the room below. Fortunately, no-one in the house was injured, but two cows in the garden were killed.  The house is still there today.

- A superb view of a policeman directing traffic at Queensferry crossroads was Keith's choice. The card came from a local auction of the belongings of the late postmaster.  In the background is the Elite Café, which had been made into an American diner in 1938. It had an authentic interior, which had been sent over from the States.  Unfortunately, the army took over the building during the war, and the café was destroyed.

- Lynne had brought a series of beautiful hand-painted cards of Japanese scenes, some painted on very thin slivers of bamboo. Also on the display board were some coloured photographic views of the country. Lynne said that the cards were a tribute to the Welsh Rugby team who were competing in the Rugby World Cup in Japan at the time. [at the time of writing, they are about to play against New Zealand in the bronze medal match, having reached the semi-finals.]

- A card from a grandfather 'On Active Service' in 1917, and a memory of a trip in the 1940s with his father to Puffin Island were John's very personal selection from recently viewed family archives. The grandfather's card, dated 3/11/17, was sent to John's mother from East Africa, where he was a communications engineer. The card of Puffin Island showed the ruined and abandoned signal station where they found a pot-egg. The building was later used as a marine laboratory for the University and retreat house

- My choices were a lovely real-photo card of The Ship Inn at Wincle, Cheshire, which was a stop on one of the routes of the mobile library on which I worked for 4 years in the 1970s. These very rural routes around Wildboarclough and Forest Chapel, south-east of Macclesfield, were my favourites. My other card was view of the magnificent art-deco Winter Gardens in Llandudno, now sadly disappeared.

- Marion cards told the amazing story of William Walker who saved Winchester Cathedral. In the early years of the 20th Century, cracks appeared in the stonework of the building.On examining the problem, it was discovered that the foundations were waterlogged and that a collapse of part of the Cathedral was possible. It was decided to build new foundations, but the area underground continued to fill with water, so a deep-sea diver, William Walker, was called in. From 1906, he worked for 6 hours a day with no lights to take concrete beneath the building to shore it up so that it could then be made safe with new foundations and external buttresses. The task was completed in 1911.  Sadly,  William died in the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918 aged just 49. There is now a statue of him in his diving gear in the Cathedral. There is also a pub nearby, named in his honour.                          
 for more on this story, see William Walker: The diver who saved Winchester Cathedral on the Cathedral website.
 
 
 

It was a very entertaining evening, and showed that we all have a wide variety of collecting themes.

Thanks to everyone who took part.

Club Bulletin December 2019.

            Our November meeting fell on the 100the anniversary of the first Armistice Day, and our speaker, Trebor Roberts, commemorated it by starting his talk with a Tuck Oilette card showing a Bugler of The Royal Welsh Fusiliers (set 9162) It was a perfect image to remind us of what the day stands for.

                The theme of the presentation was "Fairies and Brownies", illustrated with cards from Trebor's extensive 'Oilette' collection. Cards by artists including Agnes Richardson, Florence Hardy, Mabel Lucie Attwell, A.L. Bowley, as well as some having German backs were shown. Biographical information about the artists was in part, taken from Peter and Dawn Cope’s exceptional book, Postcards from the Nursery. It was noted, for instance, how large families were in the Victorian age. Trebor also drew attention to the rising generation of female artists who had undertaken formal training and had become commercial artists. Some cards by Phyllis Cooper who was renowned for her Art Deco style, feature striking dark blue or black backgrounds, a device also used by Alice Marshall, who produced two sets of cards for Tuck. Thomas Maybank and Fred Spurgin were two of the male artists in the mix. Thomas  was a surveyor from Kent who became an artist for 'Punch' and the 'Daily Sketch'.  Fred was born in Latvia, and moved to London with his family.
The cards shown included some fairies, brownies, elves, imps, gnomes and pine-cone people.  Santa’s helper with a pine-cone body (unsigned Wally Fialkowska set C1883) is seen painting children's toys for Christmas.

Trebor produced some beautiful Fairy Cakes, made by Catrin, which was a lovely way for us to round off the evening.

Thank you Catrin!

Club Bulletin, January 2020.

At our December meeting, members were invited to bring an album to show to the group.  The idea produced a good variety of locations and themes, and a most enjoyable evening.  

We had two foreign albums – Sue's lovely collection of early Japanese views and costume, and cards by Karlyn's favourite Russian artist, Ivan Bilibin ,1876-1942, who painted landscapes of his homeland, and also designed sets and costumes for the theatre.

Children's cards included Marion's album of everything to do with babies - multi-babies, comics, and storks, and Trebor's album of charming studies by T. Parlett, in the Tuck Oilette series.

Three albums showed cards of North Wales – Lynne's was of Broughton, Bretton and Penyffordd, villages a few miles south of Chester, with some of the lovely "Perfection" series cards;  Andrew's featured the superb real-photo cards by Bootle photographer William Wright, W&Co.,who regularly holidayed on Anglesey and produced many cards of the area, in addition to his cards of Merseyside;  Alaw brought a selection of recently acquired cards of the north-west, including a fine view of Cerrig-y-Druidion with the local bus in the high street.

The others were:-

- Roger's impressive collection of comic cards, including well-known artists and popular themes.

- Olivia's family album of  photos and messages, and a treasured postcard-photo of her father as a small child.

- Keith's display of a distinctive real-photo series of Cheshire views,  the publisher of which has not yet been identified.

-  Lindsay's album containing a selection of beautiful, most interesting and informative  letterheads and invoices from Welsh businesses.

Thanks to everyone who took part.

We were sorry to have news of two of our friends who have passed away recently:-

Robert [Bobi] Owen, aged 88, a well-respected former member and celebrated local historian from Denbigh, and Alan Roberts, 72, an enthusiastic collector of cards and postal history, from Llangefni, Anglesey, who, although not a member, contributed to our research into the North Wales postcard publishers, and always attended our fairs.

 

Our Next Meeting is on Monday, January 13th.

It will be a social evening  and AGM. If there are any issues you would like us to discuss, please let us know in advance, or tell us on the night. 

AGM AGENDA.                      ELECTION OF OFFICERS.

Chairman's Report                              Chairman.

Treasurer's Report                              Assistant Chairman.

Secretary's Report                              Treasurer.

Fair Manager's Report.                       Assistant Treasurer.

                                                            Secretary.

                                                            Assistant Secretary.

                                                            Fair Manager.       

Any other business.

 

Criccieth Club.

February 4th                 Marion Turner

                                                Island Hopping                 

We meet on the First Tuesday every month.

WINTER MEETINGS BEGIN AT 2PM

The Bishops Room, St Catherines Church, Criccieth.

Secretary -  Marion Turner -  01766 590203

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Club Bulletin, February 2020

                Storm Brendan did not wash out our AGM in January, as we had a good turnout despite the strong winds and heavy rain.

                As Chair, Marion Turner thanked everyone for their help in making the Club so successful, and creating "a friendly atmosphere where collectors can share knowledge, provide support and help each other to enjoy our hobby."  The dealer-members were given a special mention. We are very fortunate to have so many dealers willing to bring their cards for us to browse through each month.

                Other members featuring in Marion's report were Maralyn and Roger, who provide us with refreshments; Lindsay for keeping our membership records up-to-date; Trebor, who translates our posters and information into Welsh, and ensures that a notice for the Club meetings appears in the Daily Post each month; Jane, for having organized our ever-popular Annual Dinner at the Marine Hotel for many years. Jane is unable to come to our meetings at the moment, as they clash with those of another society to which she belongs; Keith for his excellent service to the Club, by having organized the very successful Annual Fair for several years – "A  hard act to follow"; Karlyn for arranging the programme and some of the publicity. There was a plea for help for the Committee members, and later in the evening, several members came forward with offers of support.

As Treasurer, Marion revealed that we had had a very satisfactory financial year, with the proceeds from the fair supporting the room hire and guest speakers' fees.  As a thank you to the members, she has waived the annual subscription for 2020. Charity donations this year were to  Children in Need, via the sale of their postcards and the profit on the sale of the 2020 Postcard Annuals, and the Welsh Air Ambulance, with the possibility of donating to two charities as well as Children in Need in 2020. We have also bought a new display board, and more lanyards for the Fair. We will be financing the Club's 40th Anniversary Postcard. Marion had asked for help to design and make some new display boards for our talks, and a friend of Ken Marsh has offered to make the new boards for us – Our thanks go to him.

Accounts attached below…..

                Secretary, Karlyn Goulborn, looked back over the 2019 programme,  and thanked members who had taken part as speakers. We had a good range of topics, from Llandudno May Queens to Funeral Vehicles. Our "show and tell" evenings are always popular, and the new 'Bring an Album' session in December proved very entertaining. Thanks to all who took part in these DIY sessions.

                Our internet presence is due to the excellent work of Marion and Walter Turner, who service the Facebook page and our website.

There was an update on the August 2020 Fair preparations, and we were glad to hear that table-bookings were now coming in, and that posters and flyers would soon be ready.

                We remembered four of our friends whom we lost in 2019. Gwyn Williams, a former member from Anglesey; Bill Johnstone, Wirral Club Chairman;  Bobi Owen, a former member from Denbigh, and Alan Roberts of Llangefni, who was not a member, but who contributed to our 'North Wales Postcard Publishers' project, and always publicised and attended our fairs.

                The 2020 programme is under construction, and we asked for ideas for our 40th Anniversary celebrations from November 2020-November 2021. We have launched a members' competition for designs for the special Anniversary postcard.  

                "We are fortunate in this Club that every member contributes in some way to its success, so we thank you all for your support"

The Committee was re-elected.

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     Karlyn read an item from one of the early issues of "Picture Postcard Monthly", Number 11, March 1980, known then as "Reflections of a Bygone Age – Picture Postcard Monthly", where readers had been asked to write essays on the theme of "My Forecast for 1980", as a competition. The winner was Mrs. R.A. Hards from Welling in Kent. Amongst her prophesies were " all dealers being, at last, forced to file behind the guide cards – because they are tired of having to re-sort their stock"

and "a third class postal system for postcards announced by the Post Office, one penny cheaper than the second class and guaranteed to arrive before your next holiday."

It was a very productive and enjoyable evening +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NEWS.

Walter has had a few days in hospital recently, and he has been told to take things easy for a few weeks. He is improving now,  resting, and walking a little further and doing a bit more each day, without overdoing it. We all hope that he will be well enough to join us again soon. Marion says that he is already chasing up the Fair-flyers for us!!!

Maralyn  is much better now too, I'm glad to say, and hopes to be back with us in February.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

CRICCIETH CLUB.

February 4th               Marion Turner

                                                Island Hopping                       

March 3rd                    Trip to Aberystwyth Postcard Club

We meet on the First Tuesday every month.

WINTER MEETINGS BEGIN AT 2PM

The Bishops Room, St Catherines Church, Criccieth.

Secretary -  Marion Turner -  01766 590203

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

OUR NEXT MEETING:

Our next meeting is on Monday, 10th February, when Local Historian, John Lawson-Reay,  will be taking us on a postcard tour of Llandudno, based on his new book " Llandudno – The Postcard Collection". 

I look forward to meeting up with you then.

Best wishes, Karlyn.

Inline image

 

 

Club Bulletin, March 2020

In February, Local Historian and Club member, John Lawson-Reay, took us on postcard day-trip to Llandudno, based on his new book "Llandudno, The Postcard Collection".

The tour featured many hand-tinted cards, a process which preceded colour-photography, and gave the cards 'eye-appeal' in the souvenir shops of the early 20th Century.

We ambled along the prom, past the parades with private houses and hotels. Many of the houses later merged to form new hotels. We saw the crowds on the beach, with the donkeys, boats and sand-castle competitions. The horse-drawn bathing huts arrived in 1855, and departed in 1958. Two of the popular Prom entertainers were Codman's Punch and Judy, a show which began in 1864, and is still run by the family, and Ferrari's Performing Birds,  a popular summer attraction in town from 1880 to 1920.

The Pier dates from 1877 and after an 1884 extension, it is the longest in Wales at 2,295'. The superb Pier Pavilion Theatre opened in 1886, and was a venue for some of the most famous entertainers in the country, as well as for political conferences. It was destroyed in a fire set by vandals, in 1994.

We went up the Great Orme in the tram, which was built in 1902-3. Originally powered by steam, it now runs on electricity, and the passengers have to change trams at the halfway point.  The summit gives us a panoramic view of the North Wales coastline. There were two open-air theatres on the Orme, Happy Valley and Rock Castle, where we watched the Minstrel shows, before enjoying the Rock Gardens, and having refreshments at Mr. Roberts's Farm Inn.

Over on West Shore, we saw racing on the Model Yacht Pond, and the 1933 'White Rabbit' statue commemorating the town's association with Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell. The Liddell family's holiday home was the splendid 'Penmorfa' at the base of the Orme near the Yacht-Pond. It later became the Gogarth Abbey Hotel. Although it was hoped that part of the building could be saved, it was completely demolished in 2008.

Finally, we took the 5-mile charabanc ride around the Orme, on the spectacular Marine Drive, of 1878, passing the lighthouse 325' above the sea, which is now an unusual B&B with fabulous views..

It was "A Great Day Out!"

=======================================================================================

News.

Bob Daimond.

It was so very sad to hear of the passing of Bob Daimond. He was such an interesting person, and his enthusiasm for engineering, especially in North Wales, made his talks at our club most memorable. It was good that he was able to finish his superb book about the Menai Bridge.  He will be greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues. I have sent a card from the Club to Mrs Daimond and the family.

The funeral service will be on Thursday 5th March at St Mary's Church, Menai Bridge, [next to the Telford Centre and opposite to Waitrose] at 10.30am., followed by a private cremation.

I am hoping to go to the church,  but it will depend on the weather.

Walter.  I spoke to Walter yesterday and I'm delighted to say that, although he isn't 100% yet, he is improving every day, and hopes to be with us on 9th.

The 40th Anniversary Postcard  Design Competition.

It has been suggested that the entries should be anonymous for voting purposes, to encourage more people to take part. If your artistic skills are not very good [ I have no skill at all]   then a description of your idea will be fine. Please could we have your entries as soon as possible, as the cards will have to be printed well before November, which is the actual month of the anniversary. You can give them to me at Club or email them to me at any time. Thank you!

The Fair

The Flyers for the Fair have arrived – thanks to Marion and Walter for getting them done. If you can help publicise the fair by taking some to other groups, events or clubs you go to, that would be good. Nearer the time, we could put some up in local shops or on notice-boards in our areas. I put one up in my car window if I'm parked anywhere. 

The details are now up on 'Visit Conwy' website - put in the date in the  'What's On' section and it will be on the list.

We're still waiting for some more dealers to confirm their bookings, and I hope that we can do that either at Wirral Fair or Colwyn Bay in March.

=======================================================================================

I have sent two items to PPM, at Mark's request, which are updates on a few of the publishers we have been researching over the past years. One is on the Thompson/ Elias story -The Postcard King of Llandudno, and Lloyd Elias, a Llandudno photographer who sold the rights to his own photographic postcards to Thompson in the late 1920s. The other item featured a few publishers or retailers for whom we had extra information, or relevant new images. I don't know whether Mark will be able to use the items, but if not, we can keep them as 'Emergency mini-talks' if we have a late cancellation from a speaker.

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I have been looking through my records, and I have found some lists of cards which may be of interest.

Please let me know if you would like to borrow any of them. They may not be complete listings, and some are from a while ago.

Festiniog Railway – all publishers.

Rhyl Marine Lake – all publishers.

Harold Haines of Tarporley – Cheshire and North East Wales.

Hutton of Colwyn Bay.

Shurey and Christian Novels.

Leeds Postcard publisher

Picturegoer, Cinema Chat and Pictures Portrait Gallery.

"JaJa" Stoddart's series of Heraldic cards.

Charles Dickens – all publishers.

"Headlines", Blackpool [B/w cards of  stories in the news]

E.T. Bush, photographer of South Wales.

A type-written notebook of cards from the Lleyn.  F.H May?

=======================================================================================

Club bulletin April 2020

In March, a magnificent display of c150 cards by photographer Owen Richard Morris, of Cemaes, Anglesey,

was the focus of a presentation by Club member Andrew Morris [possibly related!]

He has very generously allowed me to copy his account of Morris's life, for the bulletin and website.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

During the early years of the Twentieth Century, Cemaes Bay village life was captured on camera by a most prolific photographer, Owen Richard Morris (O.R.M.).  His images included local industry, religious revival, The Eisteddfod, buildings and people.

His work is unique to Anglesey, and no other photographer of the period took as many published photos of one area as him. The views are largely of Cemaes Bay and the surrounding villages of Bull Bay, Amlwch, Llanfechell, Llanfairynghornwy etc. They have been recorded as far away as Llanallgo, Tyn-y-Gongl and Rhosneigr. However, for some reason, he excluded popular areas such as Moelfre and Church Bay / Rhydwyn.

The real-photo postcards are quite distinctive with his white writing. A further printed series was produced including previous photo views, a series published by his father Richard Morris, and a hard-bound book was printed by Valentine & Son of Dundee. The Pictorial Stationery Co., (Peacock) also produced a series of cards of which some have been identified as O.R.M. views.              

Owen Richard Morris was born in 1874 to Richard and Mary Morris. His father was from the Newborough area. He was a respected local businessman, and Church Deacon at Bethel Chapel in Cemaes. His mother was born in Llanbadrig. The family are buried at Capel Ebenezer, Llanfechell.

Owen was one of eight children, of which three died from T.B. before the age of one. His brother Ivor was Postmaster of Cemaes in later years.

The Census records for 1891 tell us that Owen was a shop assistant, living at 23 Bethel Street (another name for High Street), and by 1901 as a photographer. The Slaters Directory also lists him as a photographer in 1895.

He trained in Liverpool at a Commercial Photographers, presumably to extend his amateur status. His cabinet and portrait photographs are known prior to 1901. He opened a studio in Cemaes Bay at 25 High Street, called "The Stanley Studio".

The story takes a twist in July 1901, when he and twenty-four other local men enlisted in the Prince of Wales Light Horse Regiment under Sir Owen Thomas (The Father of the Welsh Army).  He  served in  South Africa during the Boer War, and was discharged on Christmas Eve 1901 for unknown reasons. The Vigour Pub visitors' book records former comrades staying from South Africa in the early 1900s.

Owen married Jessie Lincoln in September 1902 in Liverpool. They later had two daughters which were born in Cemaes Bay, the birth certificates gave their address as "Casper House, Cemaes Bay".  No further information has come to light about his life at this time.

Medical records show that Owen was an alcoholic and epileptic. This could explain the randomness of his writing styles and sometimes cropped and poorly produced images.

His postcard business appears to have commenced around 1904. Before 1910, few other publishers covered his patch, with the exception of a printed series by Photochrom, Wickens of Bangor and some unidentified printed and photographic postcards. The Morris cards were sold from the family shop in the high Street, where his range of views were displayed in the window, and believed to have still been available as late as 1911.

On 6th August, 1908, there was an altercation in the street between Morris and his brother-in-law W.J.Owen.  Morris fell backwards and hit his head, fracturing his skull. The Doctor had been attending him for a weak heart and extraordinary convulsions, even when sober. The Deputy Coroner's investigation decided that he had died of natural causes.

After the death of O.R.M., the photographic glass negatives were reputedly thrown into the River Wygyr at the rear of the shop. During the 1950s, when the family premises were cleared out, masses of photos and albums were thrown into skips, fortunately, the local Postmaster rescued a handful, and remain in his family today.

It is possible that Morris family members continued to publish the views by O.R.M. After his death, there are similar cards, but with different style writing, recorded as being posted until about 1915.

Cemaes Bay local historian, the late Cliff Corker estimated in the 1980s that perhaps 100 views have survived. I believe more like 500.

Andrew surprised us by giving everyone an illustrated 10-page A4  booklet of information about O.R.M., setting a very high bar for future presentations, and adding to our publisher research. If you were not at the meeting, Andrew gave me a spare 'library' copy, which you can borrow. It contains a lot of "forensic" details, including the various signatures and identifying initials,  and information on the many and varied Morris postcard-backs – 50 so far!

There are superb illustrations of some of his cards, and early cabinet photos, including  a self-portrait .  The booklet is an excellent overview of Morris's life and work. 
There are some scans of Morris postcards at the end of this email 
 
I have a correction to the Bulletin account of O.R. Morris's life....the carte-de-visite on page 3 of the booklet which Andrew gave us at the meeting is not a self-portrait of Morris, as I said. Sorry!...Andrew says that it is an 'unknown person'. Wishful thinking on my part, I'm afraid!
I hope that everyone is staying safe.
 

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It was good to have Marion and Walter back with us at the meeting, and we wish Walter a speedy return to full health.

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News.

I went to Bob Daimond's funeral on 5th March at St. Mary's Church, Menai Bridge. He was 73 years old. The ground floor of the church and a large balcony did not have enough seats for all the people, and many had to stand. The service was about an hour long, as family, friends and colleagues wanted to pay tribute to 'a very special person'. He came from England, but became a fluent in Welsh ,so that he could speak to everyone in their preferred language. The service was conducted in both languages.

He was a former Director of Highways for Gwynedd,  a former Chairman of The Menai Bridge Community Heritage Trust, and a  member of the Gorsedd of Wales. He was passionate about engineering, and encouraged young people – girls and boys – to come into the profession. He was also a musician and particularly enjoyed the clarinet.  On the service sheet there is a lovely photo of Bob, as we knew him, proudly holding a copy of his recent book about the Menai Suspension Bridge, and another photo in which he is dressed  as Thomas Telford.  The donations were for the Menai Bridge Community Heritage Trust and St. David's Hospice, Hafan Menai Day Centre.

We very much enjoyed his talks at our Club, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts are with his family.

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We've still had only a couple of entries for the 40th Anniversary Postcard Design Competition, so please try to think of something to send in…we want to have a good range of ideas, so that the one we all choose by voting will be a good advertisement for the Club.  You don't need to draw or paint it – just the idea will do if you prefer.

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I'm sad to say that the May issue of Picture Postcard Monthly will be the last, for now, at least, as Mark and Sally Wingham are giving it up. I haven't heard if anyone is in the running to take it over, but it will be a huge loss to the hobby. I have sent an email to Mark and Sally, thanking them for all the help and support they have given to the Club since they took over some years ago. There was a note on the address sheet of the April issue ,telling us the bad news, but nothing inside, so it seems to have been a very recent decision. Perhaps there will be more in the way of an explanation in the May issue. [ I've only just today received the April issue- it is sent to the shop, and the shop is closed, so we have to go and get the mail ourselves]  

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Some members have asked me how Alec and Jo Wallace are, as Jo hasn't been well, and Alec has been worried about her, so we have been concerned for them. The latest news, via Sue, is that they're fine at the moment. I emailed Alec a day or so ago and sent them our good wishes.

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Next Meetings.

We have cancelled the next three meetings, April, May and June, and we are hoping to reschedule the talks for later in the year or next year. We will let you know if we need to cancel future dates.

Criccieth Club meetings are also suspended for the time being, of course, as are the Welsh Postal History Society meetings, and the Anglesey Antiques Fair at the Mona Showground in May.

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Our Fair.

The fair is still on at the moment, and we are promoting it whenever we can. The decision to resume the meetings and hold the Fair will depend mainly on when the Community Centre can open again, so it is out of our hands to some extent.

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As we're not meeting up at the moment, we thought we could perhaps invite everyone to send in a card by post or scan, and some lines of information relating to it, so that I can put them together for the bulletins over the next few months.  The information can be relating to the picture, the message, or a story relating to the card or its producer.

Also, as many of us can't get out much, it may be an opportunity for some of us to do some research for the North Wales 'Publishers' project.

If you'd like to select a photographer, publisher, or retailer in your area, or any area in North Wales , please let me know, and I will send you the information we already have on that person or business, if any. If you have a postcard showing the premises of the person, that is always nice to have in the list. The list covers business correspondence cards as well as photographic views, so there's a lot to choose from. You may know the person's family if they're still in the area and they are usually a good source of information.  If a family member was a producer of postcards c100 years ago, I'm sure that the current family would be pleased to know that they are being appreciated and not forgotten. I understand that isolation means that we can't go to see the possible contacts for this at the moment, but if we do some ground work at home, we could expand it later on when we can go out.

Stay safe in these unsettling times.

Best wishes,

Karlyn

 

 

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