Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Our Good Friend Pussykins...

Very sad news today, I'm afraid.

Our own family cat, the cat we chose at a rescue centre and the cat we all loved for so many years, Pussykins, died today.

She was run over by a works van going down our street, around 4.45pm.

A very kind lady stopped her car and gathered Pussykins up in her jacket and brought her to our house. One of the boys had, by pure chance, noticed our cat on the road and called out. I got to the front door just as the lady stood outside our gate with poor Pussykins.

She died as we stood there. It was a horrible moment and it sounds silly, but I really didn't know what to do.

Luckily Mrs H and the little one were out, so I had time to bury Pussykins and was able to break the news to them gently (you can imagine it was quite tearful).

Some will say "it's only a cat" and so she was, but she was our own family cat and we'll sure miss her purring and her miaows (they told us she was a "noisy cat" at the rescue home).

It is a sad, sad day in the Hurley household.

The March of the Romans

Our youngest is doing a school project on Rome.

If anyone out there has any hints, tips, pointers etc. please do drop me a line.

Better still any Roman or Italian looking in - please get in touch as your mundane  offerings could be a God-send.

It could be to do with Ancient Rome, Roman culture, the Vatican, modern Rome - her portfolio is quite wide.

Molto grazie!

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Injured at Merville were Under the Care of the German Army

The personal papers of a WW2 Austrian doctor
A great debt of thanks is due to Stephen Smith, who's grandfather was photographed standing next to my uncle in their battalion photograph.

I have been in touch with him and discussed my brief research into my uncle's death, and he came back just the other day with this insight which I quote verbatim:

I was thinking about your question "In what action was Your uncle wounded?".  I think he may have been wounded in an action which took place after the assault on the battery for the following reasons.  If he was wounded at the battery two possibilities come to mind 1- he would have been left in the care of the Germans and later laid to rest by the Germans some where other than Ranville or  2- If you read Fred Glover's story in the appendix of "The Day The Devils Dropped In" all men wounded at the battery during the assault who could not keep up with the march to the battalion's next objective where left either at the battery in the care of a German doctor or they where made comfortable where they fell behind on the roadside and later collected by the Germans.  Either way the burial site for those who died from their wounds received at the battery  would most likely not have been Ranville. As Daniel rests in the Ranville War Cemetery his burial was overseen by allied soldiers which means he was taken to Ranville for burial by the allies.  Those who fell at the battery to my knowledge have no known grave.  Presently I am aware of only one group of casualties who where collected, from a temporary grave near to where they fell, after the breakout from Normandy and later reburied at Ranville. Those men were in Brigadier Hill's group which was bombed by allied planes at about 6am on the 6th of June some where between Gonneville-en-Auge and Varaville.  This group included Emile the A Company dog handler.  Though this is just an idea based on the information I have got from Neil Barber's book.  I hope this is of some help to you.
I had completely overlooked the fact that those who died or were seriously injured at the Battery on 6th June were cared for or buried by the Germans. Given that my uncle is buried at Ranville, it seems likely that he was not seriously injured at the Merville Battery.

This does not explain why my nan told my mum that my uncle was injured on the 6th and died of his injuries on the 7th, unless this was misinformation or Chinese whispers... unless of course his injuries weren't deemed serious, but he deteriorated the following day.

Time will tell.

In closing, Stephen's family in Australia suffered badly in the floods we've all been watching on TV. Again to quote him "The place has been devastated, there are over 50 homes and families missing from the local community.  I am extremely lucky that everyone in my family is OK though they will be in camps for the next three weeks or so."
I'm sure all our thoughts and prayers are with them and the other victims of the flood who have lost relatives and their homes.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

A Male Hurley Bought Something: The End is Surely Nigh!

It took me a while (you may or may not be amazed at that) but I eventually found out exactly what I'd bought.

But let's bend the laws of time and space (just like Gok Wan bends the laws of morality and decency on so many levels) and travel back to Wednesday. That's it, take my hand....

There I am look: walking into a charity shop, betwixt the relative boredom of queueing in a bank with just one teller on duty, and the joy of a sausage and egg ciabatta at my favourite eatery.

I should have taken a photo of my lovely brunch, but:

  • I didn't have a camera on me
  • I would have looked like a real weirdo! 

But If I had have broken the cardinal rules of food, photos, weirdness et al, this is what the gorgeous feast would have looked like (only moreso).

Anyway, pay attention! I've already moved inside the shop and am browsing. You nearly missed the important bit.

Look - Mrs H (she who must be obeyed - or at least nodded to, whilst sneaking items from the basket back onto the shelves) is in at the china section in a deep and worrying way.

I am there, extracting my daintily spotted hanky from my breast pocket and gently wiping away the beads of sweat on my forehead.

I look worried don't I?

Oh how embarrassing, I am actually clutching my wallet with a look of sheer terror in my eyes. I am indeed my father's son. As they say in San Diego "tighter than a duck's arse on water" (how rude those San Diagons can be!).

But what's this? I have picked up an item! I am checking the price. I have not fainted, nor reached out to stabilise myself.

Oh mercy! Who is that, moments later, stood at the till opening his wallet? It is our hero (look at the moths set free). What's that white note in his wallet? Could it be an Edwardian fiver? Is the Queen blinking in the daylight?

And look! Oh woe. I am paying (yes, paying) for the cluster of items being carefully wrapped by the shop attendant. Little old ladies in the vicinity are swooning at the very idea. Generations of Hurley forefathers are spinning in their graves.

Somewhere in deepest, darkest Pembrokeshire, Old Pa Hurley (out working to keep Old Ma Hurley in the luxury to which she is accustomed) felt a shudder travel the length of his spine. He knew a Hurley wallet was being opened!

"Sacrilege." Old Pa Hurley mouths the word, barely believing what must be taking place. Is this what he has climbed out of restaurant toilet windows to leave Old Ma Hurley to pick up the tab for all those years?

Hold on tight dear reader, we are travelling forwards in time to the present day. Do you want anything from the Duty Free trolley? No? OK.

So here we are. Back at Saturday the 22nd.

What was this item that caused such an outrageous expenditure of money? What could possibly result in the rusty padlock being taken off that wallet (seen in public less often than Arkwright's battered old Oxo tin)?

Now we come back to the info I found online about the item (see my opening sentence) which had caused me to break the unwritten rule hitherto followed by all Hurley men, since the Archangel expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, viz spending money (i.e. don't do it).

The Antediluvian rule was finally broken on this piece of Devonmoor Blue China.

Prior to today I had no idea what this type of porcelain was called, though I had seen it before.

It had always tweaked my interest. It is quaint, seems to generally be associated with seaside towns (though I'm sure there are many examples that break that observational rule) and seems to lend itself to being collectable.

On seeing this particular piece I felt obliged to get it and it now sits in our bathroom.

The name on the jug (which I assume is a milk jug given its size) is 'Freshwater East' and having spent many a Summer Holiday at that part of the Pembrokeshire coast as a wee bairn, I felt honour-bound to cause uproar amongst the Hurley members of the Church Triumphant in Paradise by spending some money.

And so it is, circa 30(ish) years later a little part of Freshwater East (the vague association being the carved name), though I like to think it may have had a spell in a gift shop in or near to the delightful seaside holiday destination of yesteryear, has found its way to our Hurley household today.

Now whenever I see it my mind is cast back to those happy days holidaying, especially with my Nanna Huzzey and Da  (Grandad Huzzey), now passed away.

I just hope that when Old Pa Hurley reads this blog entry he can find it in his heart of hearts to forgive his erring son on this matter.

Yes, I spent money. Yes, it is a trinket. Yes, I didn't even try to trick Mrs H into paying for it... Hitherto unforgivable crimes amidst the pantheon of my forefathers.

Materially, my only excuse is that I promise to work extra hard over the coming weeks to make up the 30p that the jug cost.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Calling All American Relatives!

It has long been known to me that a branch of my maternal family settled in America (initially a Huzzey, but the family name has changed since, via marriage).

I have noticed some visitors from the States looking up info on my maternal great-grandfather Henry Vivian Pugh Huzzey (the international rugby and baseball player) and can only surmise a possible familial link with these browsers.

So I'm asking anyone related to or descended from HVP Huzzey in the States: please do get in touch.

Please don't be put off by our links (through my in-laws) to Maynard in New England (I won't be any more precise for the shame!) -- he isn't a blood relative, more an in-law of the in-laws and so our mutual genetic codes are quite safe ;-)

It would be great to hear from some of our American cousins - literally or otherwise.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The King's Speech and the 4 Broken Wittertainment Rules

You know sometimes you find yourself in an everyday situation that is so weird, or that you have spoken about recently, or where someone acts like a character out of a Victoria Wood sketch, that you have to pinch yourself to make sure you're not dreaming?

This happened to me, or I should say to us, today when we went to the cinema to see the much talked about film, The King's Speech.

We popped along to our local "world of cine complex" and duly bought our tickets for a Sunday matinee showing. I had heard that the matinee performances were being packed out by OAPs and, according to reports on the radio (and the personal experience of my mother-in-law), the pensioner audience was very audible; breaking two of Radio 5's Wittertainment Code of Conduct (see right) re. cinema etiquette, viz noisy food wrappers and audible 'participation' in the plot-line.

So it was my heart leapt for joy when we entered just 5 minutes before the scheduled start to find an empty and very large auditorium.

Oh joy. Oh rapture.

We settled into our seats in the centre of the auditorium, sure as we could be that the theatre was unlikely (to say the least!) to fill in the few minutes left.

The minutes passed by. The seconds ticked down. The tension was palpable.

How exciting.

Then, just as the first adverts started (as a rule I hate adverts, always remembering what Hilaire Belloc said of them, and always wondering why skateboarding, skydiving and mountaineering sells - ahem! - 'ladies items' or why car adverts so very rarely tell you anything useful about the car they are selling) in walked a couple...

Cue the ominous music!

Now - oh faithful and patient reader - let me ask you one question. With an entire cinema theatre (or 'screen' as it's called in these here days) to sit in, where do you think these two people chose to sit?

A few rows away? A few seats off?

If only.

They sat directly behind us!


I suppose it could have been worse, but only if they'd sat in front of us with Carmen Mirandaesque fruit hats on, smoking Old Holborn in sailors' pipes with the worst halitosis since mangy old dogs drank out of portable toilets at a music festival!

As it was they sat right behind us. I know I'm repeating myself, but even now I can't believe they sat where they sat. I mean, to quote that great sage of the 20th Century Bart Simpson, aye carumba!

It would be bad enough if the story stopped there. But oh no.

Worse was to come.

They proceeded to break four of the ten 'Code of Conduct' rules as detailed above.

They began as soon as the film began.
  • They ate. Loud enough to notice. Sweets and what sounded like biscuits. Munch, munch, munch.
  • They rustled. Sweet wrapper after sweet wrapper was unravelled. Rustle, rustle, rustle.
  • They kicked my seat (I don't think purposefully, but nonetheless, the seat was indeed kicked).
  • Last but not least shoes were removed.
Thank the Good Lord for His Mercy, the unwrapped appendages did not smell, but the sound of velcro being pulled apart twice (yes: velcro!) signalled the removal of a pair of God-only-knows-what. I could only imagine that the offending articles were from the Innovations catalogue (RIP 2003).

I was tempted to move, but the film had begun and the upheaval of us moving might have annoyed my familial companions and I more than the drip, drip, drip of Chinese water-torture style cinematic misdemeanours I could hear and feel.

I was tempted to turn around and request they behave in a more civilised fashion, but the fear of them refusing, or ignoring my courteous supplications and me "blowing a fuse" as a result was too much for me to contemplate, and so I thought silence was the better part of valour, in this instance.

The film itself was superb and a joy to watch, moreover for the struggle of an individual to overcome his personal shortcomings, albeit with the added ingredient of the Royal Family and its environs in the 1930s in the shadow of the rise of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. It deserves all the plaudits it receives and the awards that will surely follow.

Would that those attracted to view it at their local multiplex behaved in a fitting manner for such a cinematic treat.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Medieval Cardiff: Roath Tewkesbury, Roath Keynsham, Roath Dog Field - and the Benedictines

A Pre-Reformation Welsh Church in all its beauty.
I am very grateful to the vicar (Rev Paul Williams - though not, he tells me, a Welshman) and the archivist of Tewkesbury Abbey (in temporary tenure of the Anglicans) both of whom took the time to write to me after I contacted them with a query regarding St Margaret's of Antioch in Roath, being a daughter Chapel of the Benedictine Order based at the Abbey in the Medieval period.

The following kind email is reproduced in full (with typos) and contains many nuggets of info, as regards Roath's relationship with both Cardiff Castle and Tewkesbury Abbey.

It's clear that the Benedictine monks would have seen to the spiritual needs of the inhabitants of Roath and received tithes from the tenants.

What would be interesting to see is the partition of Roath into "Roath Tewkesbury," "Roath Keynsham," and "Roath Dog Field" as described below (the former two monastic lands and the latter manorial) especially in their relation to later maps and modern Roath.

Still, I'm pleased to find out I grew up on Benedictine land. It ties in Roath with huge swathes of European and Catholic history (see the link at the end of this post to read how the Benedictine Order converted Germany to Catholicism).
Dear Gareth

Fr Paul has sent me a copy of your email in the hope that I may be able to find some information regarding a connection between Roath and Tewkesbury Abbey.  Sadly very few documents regarding the abbey before the dissolution have survived, but we do have the account of the commissioners of Henry VIII who catalogued the possessions of the abbey at the time of its dissolution.  Unfortunately this is in Latin, and I afraid that my Latin is very limited and now extremely rusty.  James Bennett in his History of Tewkesbury gives a summary of the properties  mentioned in the account, and this includes ”Cardiff and Roth – Rents of assize of free tenants, Rents of customary tenants And Perquisites of Courts”.

I passed a copy of your email to a friend of mine who has a very considerable knowledge of the history of Tewkesbury abbey, and he sent me the following: -

St Margaret Roath founded by Robert Fitz Hamon in 1100, known as the chapel of Raht.  It was a Chapel of Ease to the Priory of St Mary at Cardiff.  Apparently its pasture lands were used as the Home Farm of the Castle of Cardiff, supplying meat, butter, cheese and fish.  St Mary and St Margaret were given to Tewkesbury , which provided clergy, wax and wine for their us.  Only the chapel at Roath received them.  In return Tewkesbury received it’s tithes.  Lands attached to the original manor of Roath were vast and extended far beyond the boundaries of the Parish of Roath, taking in parts of Llanedeycn, Lisvane and even Whitchurch (spellings may be incorrect!).  During the 12th and 13th centuries the manor of Roath was divided into three parts.  Large areas came under the juristiction of the Abbeys of Tewkesbury and Keynsham, and were names Roath Tewkesbury and Roath Keynsham.  The remaining land came under the direction of the Lords of Glamorgan and were known as Roath Dog Field.

You may have already discovered all of the from the internet, but I am afraid that I have been unable to find anything else from our archives.

With Best Wishes

Pat Webley
Honorary Abbey Archivist
 By Llanedeycn I assume the friend of the archivist means Llanedeyrn, a current suburb (though some would describe it as a series of 60s-style sprawling estates) of Cardiff.

I have found one history of Tewkesbury which mentions various Chapels in Wales (which must include St Margaret's). Click on the second link below to read more. Here's some of the pertinent quotes (the footnotes can be accessed at the original site):
Tewkesbury profited by the conquests of Norman lords in Wales and received before 1103, amongst other benefices, the parish church of St. Mary of Cardiff with eight dependent chapels. (fn. 12

In 1109 Abbot Gerald resigned and returned to Winchester. (fn. 13) In 1123 the church was dedicated by Theulf, bishop of Worcester. (fn. 14) About 1137, Robert, earl of Gloucester, founded the priory of St. James at Bristol as a dependent cell to Tewkesbury, (fn. 15) and he is also said to have been the founder of the cell at Cardiff. (fn. 16)...
Abbot Peter was engaged in a number of lawsuits in defence of the rights of the house. (fn. 19) In 1221 owing to disturbances in Wales, he was obliged to recall the monks from the cell of Cardiff and let the priory on lease for some years. (fn. 20)  
Of interest is material from the Valor Eccles. (Rec. Com.), ii, 471-86. The Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1535 was the first book of reports commissioned by Henry VIII, controlled by he hated Thomas Cromwell. I do not know if the second volume (ii) was of the same year, but the report from Tewkesbury would have happened prior to its dissolution in 1540. This is what the royal commissioners had to say of Tewkesbury:
The monastery, including the three cells, was surrendered on 9 January, 1540. (fn. 61) It is probable that the number of monks then in the house was about thirty-seven; thirty-six were included in the pension list, (fn. 62) and of these a prior and two monks lived at each of the cells. John Wakeman, the abbot, received a pension of £266 13s. 4d., and drew it until September, 1541, when he was consecrated to the newly-founded see of Gloucester. The prior got £16 a year, the priors of the cells of Deerhurst and St. James, Bristol, £13 6s. 8d., the prior of Cranbourne and one other monk £10, two of them £8, another £7, and the remaining twenty-seven £6 13s. 4d. each. Wages were paid up to date to 144 servants. (fn. 63)
The possessions (fn. 64) of the monastery included the manor and borough of Tewkesbury, the manors of Coln St. Dennis, Compton Parva, Preston-upon-Stour, Alvescot, Welford, Washbourne, Prescot, Gotherington, Tredington, Fiddington, Oxenton, Walton Cardiff, Forthampton, Ampney Crucis, Hosebridge, Lemington, Church Stanway in Gloucestershire, the manor of Pull Court, a moiety of the manor of Queenhill, the manors of Bushley, Pirton, Ashton Keynes and Leigh, in Worcestershire, the manor of Burnet in Somerset, the manor of Taynton in Oxfordshire; in Dorsetshire the manors of Cranbourne, Chettle, Upwimborne, Boveridge with Estworth, Tarrant Monachorum; in Sussex the manors of Kingston and Wyke; in Devon the manors of Loosebeare and Midlande; rents in Gloucester, Cardiff and other places; and the rectories of Tewkesbury, Fiddington, Walton-Cardiff, Aston-upon-Carron, Southwick and Tredington, Compton Parva, Preston-uponStour, Washbourn, Forthampton, Thornbury, Ampney, Fairford, Eastleach, Wotton-underEdge, Marshfield in Gloucestershire, Sherston and Aldington in Worcestershire, Taynton in Oxfordshire, Great Marlow and Chetelhampton in Buckinghamshire, St. Wenne and Crewenne in Cornwall, Tarrant Monachorum in Dorset, Kingston in Sussex, in Wales Llantwit, Llanblethian, Llantrisant, Penmark with the chapel of St. Donat and Cardiff, and tithes and pensions in a number of other churches in England and Wales, and the priories of Deerhurst, St. James Bristol, and Cranbourne.

So no specific mention is made of St Margaret's in Cardiff/Roath but "other churches in England and Wales" are mentioned. Could the "Chapel of... Cardiff" be St Margaret's? Or might the monks have let the Chapel go to another order prior to the Reformation?

One last very interesting site (well worth visiting and perusing!) is Monastic Wales, whose page on the Benedictines has their Priories in Cardiff, Kidwelly, Carmarthen and other places, but sadly no mention of the daughter chapel in Roath.

According to the Monastic Wales site the Cardiff Priory was dissolved in 1403. Their timeline goes:

pre 1106Foundation - Robert fitz Hamon granted the church of St Mary with its eight dependent chapels to Tewkesbury Abbey, to establish a cell for five monks. [2 sources]
1173x83Rebuilding and re-dedication - The church was rebuilt and re-dedicated to St Mary and St Thomas the Martyr. [1 source]
1220Community flees - The community escaped the turbulent conditions in Wales and took refuge at Tewkesbury Abbey. [4 sources]
1233Administration - The prior of Cardiff returned from Tewkesbury to administer the priory's holdings but the weir on the Taff was leased out for five years. [2 sources]
c.1291Wealth - The priory’s holdings were assessed at £20 for the Taxatio Ecclesiastica.  [2 sources]
c.1300Patronage - Patronage of the house was vested in the earls of Gloucester; it then passed to the Despensers and thereafter to the Crown.  [1 source]
1403Dissolution - The house was dissolved although the site may have been abandoned prior to this. [2 sources]
c.1403Destruction - The priory was sacked by the rebel, Owain Glyn Dŵr (d. c. 1416). [1 source]

If the main priory (where the original 5 monks were based in 1106) was dissolved, one wonders if the Church of St Margaret (which stood as a Norman church until it was replaced in Victorian times) came under the auspices of a parish priest or another religious order in the 130-odd years from 1403 until the Reformation.

So we have found out a good deal more, but have a way still to go!

A History of the Benedictine Order
The Monks at Tewkesbury
English Monastic Archives: Tewkesbury
Monastic Wales

Private D R Hurley on the Para Data Site

Great News.

At last my Uncle Roddy (D R Hurley) is on the Para Data site (click here).

When I first started searching for reference to him on official web sites, his name was virtually non-existent.

I have submitted his photo to the Para Data site and once it is accepted by their moderator I'll let you know via this blog.

btw - here's a great page on the memorial activities at the Merville Battery site. The 'Traditional 9th Battalion Curry' (pictured right) looks like something not to be missed.

I have to wonder, if Private DR Hurley's brothers turned up would there by any curry left???

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Mr & Mrs Daniel Hurley, Cork City.

This photo of my grandfather and grandmother, Daniel Hurley and Ann Hurley, is undated. My father believes it was taken in Cork City when they stayed there on holiday.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

HVP Huzzey: International Welsh Rugby & Baseball Player

My great-grandfather, HVP Huzzey, was not only the Shane Williams of his day -- a winger with a huge number of tries scored for his club (Cardiff RFC) and an impressive try-per-match record for Wales -- he also went on to score a large number of tries of Oldham RLFC (see previous post), and played international baseball.

This article, written by Howard Evans in the South Wales Echo on 30/12/2008, details HVP Huzzey's track record with Cardiff, Wales and Oldham.
"These days [HVP Huzzey] would be a world-beater..."

How strange to read that, in 1908, he played Baseball for Wales at the Harlequins Ground in Roath, playing fields where I would play as a child some 70-80 years later.

I recall climbing worryingly high trees there, fishing for sticklebacks, climbing to the disused old rail branch line from which you could look-over much of the industrial units of the Colchester Avenue area of Penylan.

Halcyon days!

Click on the image here to read the full article by Howard Evans in the South Wales Echo.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Financial Planning

Financial Planning

Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business. 

When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed a wife with whom to share his fortune. 

One evening at an investment seminar, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. 

"I may look like just an ordinary man," Dan said to her, "but in just a few years my father will die and I'll inherit $200 million."

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card ... and three days later she became his stepmother.
Women are so much better at financial planning than men.


This joke was sent to me by my "uncle" Maynard in America (hope that makes him feel old). Some of his jokes are amusing, and a few are even printable!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Hannah the Chicken: Mortua Est

Hannah the Chicken in happier times 5th Jan 2010
Sad news this week, one of our chickens - Hannah - passed away on Thursday night.

For about a week she had been noticeably weak and in the last couple of days we had been helping her to eat, simply making sure she had her fair share of corn, pellets and left-overs, and helping her in and out of the coop.

We knew she was on death's doorstep on Thursday as she could barely move, so we got a cardboard box, filed it with hay and placed her comfortably in it. We then placed the box in the coop so she benefited from the warmth of her compatriots overnight.

Come Friday morning and Hannah was dead.

And so there were three, still healthy, still laying eggs.

We bought our ex-battery hens on Shakespeare's Birthday/St George's Day (23rd April) 2009 and back then we were told (by a chap who was buying some at the same time, who had bought them before) to expect "a couple of years laying" from them.

The weird thing was that a couple of weeks back Hannah seemed in fine fettle and wouldn't have been the prime candidate to pop her clogs first.

There was no outward sign of disease, no sneezing or coughing, no loss of feathers, she just gradually seemed to lose strength until she died.

Black armbands aren't compulsory of course - but may be worn at family functions for a few months.

Hannah pullum mortuus vivat pulli.

Monday, 3 January 2011

When Roath was Rural, 1886

This map of Roath in 1886 shows Albany Road (unnamed on this map) running through the middle (West to East, ending as it still does at Roath Court).

Wellfield road as yet does not exist, but where it will run is written "Fynnon Bren" (though the last name is unclear) - fynnon being 'well' in Welsh.

Roath brook runs to the north, almost parallel to, Albany Road, though the gardens that would eventually run along it aren't present (presumably put there once the roads to the north and south of the Brook were built (including Alma Road, where I grew up).

Oakfield Street and Partridge Road (where school friends lived) can be seen at the bottom of the map. Where the small dark word Roath is written, you can see Roath Court (now the site of the Roath Court Funeral Home) and just across the road is St Margaret's Church (recently rebuilt by the Marquis of Bute).

The original Norman-built St Margaret's Church was a daughter chapel of Tewkesbury Abbey and so would have been serviced by the Benedictine Monks until the monastery was dissolved in 1540.

The overwhelming picture of Roath from this map is the rural nature (Albany Road surrounded by fields!) but the creeping urbanisation of the large houses on and off the Newport and City Roads.

For more history visit: Penylan & Roath

For history on Tewkesbury Abbey visit: Tewkesbury Abbey

Sad news: Pete Postlethwaite Dies

Very sad news, the death of Pete Postlethwaite at the age of 64.

There was a time when I thought 64 was ancient, a veritable lifetime away, but as the years tick by 64 seems what is - a young age to die.

His most endearing role was in the 1993 classic film In the Name of the Father, a film full of the heartache, fear, terrorism and repression of the 1970s in which innocents (like his character) suffered.

Since then he went on to star in many varied films, always seeming (to me!) to bring a wry smile to the character.

There are a few actors and actresses whose names will make you gravitate to a film, TV show or play, and his was surely one.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Welsh Team, 7th January 1899 at St Helens ground, Swansea.

My great-grandfather HVP Huzzey is 2nd from left in the 2nd row.
This photo is from the Swansea RFC site.

To quote the site directly:

Wales Team v England 7th January 1899.
Wales (26) v England (3) played at St Helens.

Back Row(L to R): T Dobson(Cardiff), F Scrine(Swansea), W Parker(Swansea), J Hodges(Newpot), A Bryce(Aberavon), J Blake(Cardiff), D J Daniel(Llanelli).

2nd Row(L to R): R T Skrimshire(Newport), H V P Hussey(Cardiff), W J Bancroft(Captain  - Swansea), W Llewellyn(Llwynypia), E G Nicholls(Cardiff), W Alexander.

G Bowen(Linesman), Evan James(Swansea), David James(Swansea).

(Image made available for copy by John & Ira preece. Ira preece is the Grand daughter of David James).

Again my (maternal) great-grandfather's name is erroneously spelt 'Hussey.'

It does not say the positions etc. but he generally played Wing for Cardiff and Wales and was/became Vice Captain of both.

H.V.P. Huzzey at Cardiff RFC

The following page give the fixtures and results for Cardiff RFC for the season 1899-1900:

CRFC 1899-1900.

This was the final year that my great grandad Vivian Huzzey played for Cardiff before switching codes to play for Oldham RLFC.

As you'll see on the page it misspells his name as Hussey, which is a great shame.

Cardiff, already ensconced in the Arms Park were a formidable team winning 23 out of 30 matches.

I have a clipping from the South Wales Echo which details the number of tries scored by the Cardiff Vice-Captain, Henry Vivian Pugh Huzzey, and the total is a formidable.

I hope to scan the article and put it on this site in the coming days.

HVP Huzzey's photo appears in the Cardiff Yeseterday book, according to the Index Site:
Huzzey, H.V.P., Vice Captain, Cardiff RFC (Team Photo), 1898-99, III-131