The Cynefin Project

Have you ever wondered about the land on which your house stands?  Who used to own it? What was the land used for?  Did the field have a name?  To what farm did it belong?  Thanks to the Cynefin project all this can now be explored from the comfort of your own home.  The project, which is now complete, has repaired and digitised around 1,200 tithe maps and they now form a wonderful online resource for the all those interested in local history and family history.  (To learn more about tithe maps click here.)

 

Click on Places of Wales (part of the National Library of Wales website) to start your search.  I typed “Rhuddlan” into “Find a place” then moved the map to the area I was interested in.  The numbers indicate where there is more than one result and by zooming in these separate out. I looked at the area on which Morrison’s now stands on Marsh Road in Rhyl, and discovered that the field on which it stands was called Cae Morfa and it belonged to a farm called Penyddan Glawdd.  Peter Parry farmed the arable land there, which was owned by The Right Honourable Lord Dinorbin – I was also able to view the map and apportionment.

In another example I looked at land adjacent to the Community Fire Station on the Coast Road, where Rhyl History Club meets once a month.  The field name was Ffridd Fawr, part of Ty Newydd Farm, which was occupied by Hugh Hughes.  The land was used for pasture.  The landowner was Mrs Penelope Warren.

There is an excellent help page on the website.  Maps can be viewed as “modern”, “satellite”, “historic NLS  (1888-1913)” and “tithe map overlay”.  Have a go –  find out about the history of the land where you live.  This is a fantastic, free, new resource that will have you spellbound!

 

 

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Our new programme 2017-18

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August 10, 2017 · 7:57 pm

Roy Turner 1927-2017

A few years ago the Rhyl History Club invited Roy Turner to reflect on Rhyl – the town and family resort.  It was an excellent choice for the audience was enthralled with his story – so much as an insider – having served as chairman on so many committees eg. Rhyl Urban Council – specialising on developing  Rhyl as a resort,  Rhyl Operatic Society and he became the U.K’s longest serving governor serving Christ Church School for 60 years, over 50 as chairman.  In recognition of this he was invited to 10, Downing Street, to meet the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

He died whilst on holiday in Spain in March 2017 and on August 5th, on what would have been his 90th birthday, there was a celebration of his life fittingly in the Town Hall, Rhyl.  It was full to capacity when family and his numerous friends remembered with great affection, Roy Turner, “Mr Rhyl”, the first Freeman of the town.

Many thanks to our programme secretary and former chairman Mr Rufus Adams for writing this tribute.

To read the obituary in the Rhyl Journal click here

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Our Summer Trip 2017.

Rhyl History Club has had many and various Summer outings over the years – and almost without exception they have been hugely enjoyable.  This year’s trip to Caernarfon yesterday was a great success, a good time was had by all.  In the morning some of our group visited the castle, including the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, others visited Segontium.  An excellent lunch was taken at the famous historic inn – The Black Boy.  However, the highlight of the day was our afternoon “Town Tour – a guided walk through the streets of the Medieval town of Caernarfon” with our informative and entertaining guide Emrys Llewelyn.

Emrys is passionate about his town and is exceedingly knowledgeable about its history.  He has a wonderfully humorous style, weaving anecdotes and funny stories into the wealth of history that he presents.  Thoroughly recommended!!  See Trip Advisor for more reviews

Many thanks to Rufus Adams and Maggi Blythin for their organisation.

Our programme for 2017-18 will be available shortly – check this website for updates.  Our year consists of monthly lectures/talks, a Christmas lunch and a Summer outing – we look forward to seeing members old and new in September.

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Sgt. “Tony” Turner

Two years ago we published an article about a village called Marly in Moselle, France where five British airmen lie buried after being shot down during the second world war, in February 1944.  One of them was a Rhyl man – Tony Turner.

A Marly historian, Stéphane Cottel, is searching for more information, and especially a photograph of Sgt. Patrick Anthony “Tony” Turner. Tony was born on October 14th, 1922 at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Rhyl.  His parents were Thomas Turner and Norah Sheila Turner nee Phillips of the Foryd Harbour Hotel.  This is what we know about Tony:

TURNER Patrick Anthony, Sergeant Mid-upper gunner, 1661472, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (100 Sqdn.). Born in Rhyl October 14th, 1922. Died in Marly, Moselle, France February 24th, 1944 at 10:00 P.M. Commemorated on Rhyl War Memorial, Abergele Town Hall Memorial and Towyn War Memorial.
To read the article in this blog again click here
To read an article by historian Stéphane Cottel of Marly, please click here

The restoration of the mural in homage to the airmen of Lancaster JB604 in Marly, Moselle, France.

Unfortunately we received no leads or more information after publishing the article.  However, recently we have discovered more information which may help.  The Turner family were originally from the Manchester area.  Tony was an only son.  His mother, Norah Sheila Turner died in tragic circumstances on July 19th, 1938.  She was discovered dead on the floor of the washhouse of her home in Crugan Avenue, Kinmel Bay by her niece, the cause of death was electrocution due to faulty/incorrectly installed wiring.  Mrs Turner was about 50 and Tony was 15.
We also now know where Tony worked before joining up, and some other details.  This is from the Rhyl Journal, July 6th, 1944:

“Killed in Action – News has been received that Sergeant Air Gunner Patrick Anthony Turner, the only son of Mr and the late Mrs Turner, Foryd Hotel, Rhyl, and who, since his mother’s death, had resided with his cousin, Mrs Owen, Ferry Hotel, Foryd, has been killed on active service.  The news is contained in a letter which Mr Edward Owen of the Ferry Hotel, has received from the War Organisation of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St. John of Jerusalem.  Sergt. “Tony” Turner, who was 21 years of age, was reported missing in February following his first operational flight over enemy territory.  Before joining up he was a bricklayer with Messrs W. H. Jones and Sons, Pen y Bont House, Abergele.
M. Cottel has photographs of four of the five brave airmen but not one of Sgt. Tony Turner.
The village of Marly never forgets.

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The Sea and the Skylark

Gerard Manley Hopkins Photocredit: Wikipedia

On a recent walk along the promenade, the sea on one side and the golf links and dunes on the other, a skylark rose from the ground and treated us to its song and wonderful aerial display, which is the essence of Spring. This brought to mind the poem “The Sea and the Skylark” which was written by the famous Victorian poet and Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins in 1877.  Hopkins spent three years at St. Beuno’s College, Tremeirchion and whilst there he was sent to Rhyl for five days for “the good of his health”.  In the book “Gerard Manley Hopkins in Wales” Norman White writes: “It was not the ideal place for Hopkins to relax in, and with nothing to do but twiddle his thumbs he – not surprisingly – produced yet another poem contrasting the permanent grandeur and fresh beauty of nature’s phenomena with the sordidness of man – ” The Sea and the Skylark”.   White goes on: “Unfortunately, walking on Rhyl sands, without means of escape from the petty architecture and shrill tourist vulgarities, Hopkins’s disgust was evoked”    ( So, Rhyl had its detractors in the 19th Century!  The poem below contains the line “How these two shame this shallow and frail town”)

The Sea and the Skylark

On ear and ear two noises too old to end
Trench – right, the tide that ramps against the shore;
With a flood or a fall, low lull-off or all roar,
Frequenting there while moon shall wear and wend.

Left hand, off land, I hear the lark ascend,
His rash-fresh re-winded new-skeined score
In crisps of curl off wild winch whirl, and pour
And pelt music, till none’s to spill nor spend.

How these two shame this shallow and frail town!
How ring right out our sordid turbid time,
Being pure! We, life’s pride and cared-for crown,

Have lost that cheer and charm of earth’s past prime:
Our make and making break, are breaking, down
To man’s last dust, drain fast towards man’s first slime.

To read more about the poem see the Guardian’s Poem of the Week

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