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Family Notices


----.;--.-;--:;;;.. Election.

Mr Brace to give up his seat.

Aberpergwm Federation ,Lodge.

"A White Slave."

----------------. TO CORRESPONDENTS.

Old Aberdare.


Old Aberdare. Leading Men and Establishments 50 Years Ago. Mr. D. T. Alexander, in the "South Wales Daily News" on Saturday, gave further reminiscences of the Aberdare Valley fifty years ago:- I remember that once a month on Sunday afternoons, Dr. Price, the Bap- tist minister, used to baptise his recent converts in the Cynon River, alongside the iron bridge at the bottom of Com- mercial Street. I have seen as many as 25 or 30 converts, men and women, on the same afternoon. On these occa- sions the whole of the Baptist communi- ty used to meet at the chapel and march ii procession through the streets with the converts, the men converts being attired in long black robes and the women in white. They marched through the streets from the chapel to the place of baptism singing hymns. As a matter of course, large crowds gathered on the river banks to witness the immersions. My residence in the Aberdare Valley enabled me to make the acquaintance of the families of Lord Merthyr, of the Davieses of Blaengwawr, the Thomases of Ysguborwen, the Williamses of Ynvs- cynon, the late fr. Thomas Joseph, Mr John Nixon, and others, who during my subsequent professional career were of the greatest possible service to me, and I look back now with the greatest possible pleasure to my three years' re- sidence in that town. Portraits of many of these gentlemen are still in my possession. In those days there were but four medical men, Dr. Roberts at Gadlys, Dr. Davies at Bryngolwg, and Dr. Sloper at Aberaman. Dr. Evan Jones, who still lives, and who is a well-known man at Aberdare, was then an assistant with Dr. Roberts. Dr. W. E. S. Davies was at Mountain Ash. I don't recollect that there were more than two lawyers in .the town, and they were Mr. Henry J. Hollier and Air. Isaac D. Reos, the Registrar of the County Court. A good ileal of the legal work was then done by Messrs. C. and F. James and Messrs. Simon and Plows, of Merthyr. Both those firms had branch offices at Aberdare. Messrs. C. and F. James were the father and uncle respectively of Air. Frank James, of Merthyr, and Col. A. P. James, of Car- diff. There were at that time two banks at Aberdare, one of which was Wilkins' Bank, afterwards known as the Brecon Old Bank, and the other was the West of England Bank, subsequently merged in the London and Provincial Bank. The former had for its manager the late Major Powell, while the West of Eng- land Bank was managed by Air. Tom Davies. There was also in those days a very notable character in the person of Air. Griffith Jones (Caradog). I well re- member him, not only as the leader of a choir, but also as a great violinist. At that time the famed "Cor Mawr" had not been formed. While I was at Aber- dare a peal of hells was erected in St. Elvan's Church. The day of the in- auguration of these bells was observed as a general holiday. All the shops were closed, and the committee engaged the services of the Painswick bellringers from Gloucestershire to come down and ring for the day. This was a great event in the history of the plcae. Alany of the tradesmen of those days were people of good standing. Promin- ent tradesmen were Messrs. Thomas & Pardoe, ironmongers; Messrs. Samuels and Dykes, Lewis, Gabriel and Sarvis, Mrs. Wood and her sisters, the Misses Evans, drapers; Messrs. Sherbone and Evans, the jewellers; and Messrs. Peg- ler, Philip John, Lodge, and John Lewis, grocers; William Morris, the Post Office; Larke, the tailor; and Mor- gan Williams, the saddler. The leading builders included Messrs. Eustace Richards, Hugh Pritchard, and Bethuel Williams. There were three chemists, Messrs. John Jones, Watkin Thomas, and Thos. Evans. Of the leading hostelries, the Boot was kept by a well-known lady, Mrs.















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Old Aberdare.