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IN AND AROUND BABltY. The public meeeing of Commoners on Friday night resolved itself into a public meeting of everybody except the Commoners. In any case, there were only five or six Commoners present, while there were any amount present of the noble army of martyrs to do duty who honour the dis- trict by managing its affairs on the Local Board. By looking at them all sitting in a long row, with their happy faces shining benevolently on each other and the assembled public, it would never be guessed that there was such a thing as envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitable- ness existing within twenty miles of them. They were all on their best behaviour, like child- ren having tea in a neighbour's house, and right well did they act their parts. Mr. W. Thomas, of Vere-street smole a bland smile on Mr. George Thomas. Dr. O'Donnell, and Mr. John Robinson looked as if toll-gates were not in existence, and t, Mr. Meggitt and General Lee seemed to be un- conscious that there ever were such things as Local Board or County Council elections. Looking at the row of smiling faces, one missed indeed the grave face of Mr. Jewel Williams and the Sage of Palmerstown bearded like a pard but for that the family circle was complete. The Clerk smiled, knowing that Mr. Jewel Williams was not there to draw attention to the portent the surveyor knew he was free from the professional criticism and advice of Mr. Barstow and was content; and the mild and genial rate collector threw over the cares and anxieties of the world and private im provements, and was at rest. I went there, I don't mind owning it, to witness a shindy. Tales and traditions had come down to me from prehistoric ages of lively meetings of the vestry, and of the primitive way in which the old commoners were prepared to assert their rights against the intruding new-comers. It does seem a shame that the lives of the old Cadoxton people should be upset altogether by a horde of money- getting carpet-baggers but it's the way of the world, and we new-comers think it no hardship that we have turned a charming little old-world village into a muddy, dirty, bustling town. The commoners have not yet been reconciled to the new state of things. They keenly regret—at least the oldest of them—the intru- sion they are jealous of outside interference; they are prepared to fight for their rights and, with an old-world notion of independence which we, of a later and more civilised era, rightly regard with deserved superiority, they were willing to fight for them with their own money," as Mr. Edward Evans said. Mr. Evans seemed at first in- clined to resort to the old vestry ways and means but, alas the time has gone by, and the old manners are changed. He could get no one to help him, and at least even the sturdy wayward himself had to consent to the modern way of settling things by committee. Xo doubt, the committee will come to an agreement. The Board are willing for the Commoners to continue grazing their sheep on the Common. All that is wanted is to rail the Common in, and to prevent its being cut up as it is now. As was said at the meeting the present condition of the Common is a shame and a disgrace, and I for one hope that some one will be appointed soon who will have authority to look after it. General Lee deserves the thanks of the district for indefatigable way in which he has worked to briag about a better state of things. The concert at the Market Hall on Saturday night was very enjoyable and well-attended, in spite of the wet weather. Miss Annie Williams has a charming voice, and it seems a pity that she isn't properly trained. Of course for an amateur her singing is. even as it is, wonderful, but I feel sure that with more training she would make a mark as a professional. Will Miss Williams allow one of her sincerest and warmest admirers to make a suggestion That is, it would be well for her to take more pains in selecting her songs. It struck me that the songs she sang on Saturday night-with the exception, perhaps, of Zuyder Zee"—didn't quite suit her voice. I hope she doesn't mind a word of advice from one who, compared with her, is a musical duffer; but she looks so good natured that I have ventured to act as a "candid friend." The Cadoxton Band is a wonderful institution. The chair- man called for an overture, and an over- ture was speedily given. He called for a duet, and suddenly one noticed two vacancies in the band. Then one saw two caps with white bands doffed, and heY presto! there appeared two singers. The Chairman called for a love song, and another cap was doffed, and an ancient gentleman charmed the audience with an old-world love ditty. The competitions were great fun. and Mr. Edward Thomas's address on Love" was unanimously awarded the prize. The Chairman said, without consulting the audi- ence that this was the best address. Many smole at this, for the address was in Welsh, and that is a language the chairman is not supposed to understand. When, however, later on he called for I Bias Gogerddan in pure Welsh.,we remem- bered that his better half was Welsh, and we re- membered also the historic influence of Morwyn- ion Glan Morganwg." The School Board members have raised a storm in a teacup. I said that the children of some of the School Board members had been ordered not to clean their slates, and that other children had to clean them for them. This is what I had heard- on good authority I thought—but Mr. Blackmore on Monday said that he had asked two of the schoolmasters, and that they had denied any know- ledge of the thing. I don't know why Mr. Blackmore didn't ask the the third, but I am willing to take his word for it that such a thing was never done. I and my readers will be glad of it, and I think the mem- bers should be glad to have a chance to contradict what was undoubtedly extensively rumoured, if not believed. I don't quite understand Captain Davies's attitude in the matter. I can't see that the occasion merited the bounce and bluster that he introduced into the discussion. Of course, press-men are liable to make mistakes as well as other people; even Captain Davies may have made one or two in his life. I am willing enough and glad enough to admit that I have made a mistake, but not out of fear of the Alsatian bravado of Captain Davies, but out or the sincere regret that I should have unduly reflected on the conduct of a Board which I unfeignedly respect, and for which I have always expressed my esteem. The Local Board meeting on Tuesday was un- eventful. The only notable thing that transpired was the discussion on Mr. Barstow's motion that the Board should take the scavenging of the district in its own hands. I have always said that though the Board—or rather the Health Committee—have persistently refused to listen to Mr. Barstow's ideas on the point, that Mr. Barstow's fad would some time or other be adopted. And lo and behold the old adage was again verified, and the heresy of yesterday is becoming the dogma of to-day. Mr. Barstow's motion wasn't exactly carried, but it is in a fair way of being adopted. Mr. Barstow was quite jubilant over his success everybody, but Dr. O'Donnel and the two Mr. W. Thomas agreed that it was 1 good scheme. Mr. Barstow was so elated that he forget his usual chivalrous courtesy. He called our Only General Major Lee." the absent doctor he called Mr. Treharne," and himself he called plain Barstow, and another member plain George Thomas. The chairman wished to refer the matter again to the Health Committee, and Mr. Barstow turned his eyes up to Heaven and begged for mercy. The Sage of Palmerstown would have his little joke. and proposed that the matter be left open till after the election, for both the Health and the Finance Committees would then probably be differently constituted. And the chairman and Dr. O'Donnell and General Lee and Mr. Robinson chortled in their glee. A very jolly little dance was the Tennis Club Dance at Barry on Tuesday night. There were not too many people for the room, but it was just com- fortably full. Some of the dancers-and there were some splendid dancers there—said there weren't enough waltzes, but I and a few more would have liked a few more polkas and square dances. I wish I could describe the dresses, but, unluckily I have misplaced my note book. where I had jotted down full descriptions. I have only an indistinct but most pleasant recollection of charm- ing faces, beautiful figures, graceful carriage, and a general impression of exquisite loveliness. I hope the great success of this will encourage the Tennis Club to go in for another. The club owes a lot to Mr. Sibbering Jones, and the other secretaries, for working so well. The sacred cantata Esther" was performed— and very well performed—by the Cadoxton Choral Union at the Market Hall on Wednesday night. The conductor had evidently trained his choir very carefully, and the rendering of the choruses re- flected great credit on the Union and on Mr. Howe. May I suggest to him that the cultivation of a little more repose of manner would not be amiss? I don't know whether I am too fidgetty or not; but I don't like to see a conductor gesticulating promiscuously as if trying to scratch the faces of invisible Mahatmas. I know lots of Welsh choir leaders do do it. especially Mr. Richards, the leader of the celebrated Pontycymmer Male Voice Party, but I've never seen a good English conductor do so, and I confess in this I am with the English. The cantata itself was—well, not up to much. The music, I thought (speaking as a poor dull amateur) rather clap trap, and the choruses smacked more of the Savoy stage than of a "sacred" platform. You fancied that you had heard every bar and every note somewhere before. There was nothing new or striking about the music, but that was the only fault to be found with the performance. The singers did splendidly. Miss Williams was really first-rate as Esther," Mr. Afn,nhis" Lewis (whatever that means), who took the part of" Mordecai," is the possessor of a rich, highly-trained tenor voice, and Mr. Sandford Jones and Gwyddonfryn Price, of Merthyr, have excellent voices, which were well adapted to their parts, "Hainan" and the" King" respectively. Miss Cassie Lougher was just a bit nervous, but sang and looked well, and Miss David sang natu- rally and easily. She has a good contralto voice, but it was unfortunate for her that she was nervous. It doesn't strike me as being quite right that the wife of "Haman" should urge her husband in a quaking voice to build a gallows fo "Mordecai". Next time, I hope Miss David will notr be so nervous, and her charming voice and good intonation will be then heard to better advantage. Mr. Spinks has a good high tenor voice, and did well as "lIarbonah." His singing in the quartet and solos was very pure, but he should pay a little more attention to articulation. I hope no one will think of these remarks that I didn't enjoy myself. It was quite the other way about. I have never been at a concert in the district which pleased me more. All the chorus hail from the locality and some of the soloists, and I am looking forward to many such treats again in the future. <>









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