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Family Notices

TO CORRESPONDENTS AND READERS

DISTRICT INTELLIGENCE.

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system are winding their tortuous ways along the valleys, and piercing the mountain sides of old CWMRY, superseding the rugged mountain path, and bringing hitherto secluded regions into easy commu- nication with our large towns and manufacturing centres—carrying away the rich mineral productions of mother earth to the readiest and most remunera- tive markets, and bringing in return the comforts and luxuries of life, and the arts of civilization. Yet, in the face of such advantages, there are those amongst us, even at the present day, who will argue that rail- ways are a curse to the country, and that it were better they had never been invented-these are, how- ever, but remnants of the past, such as must always accompany a transition so great as that effected by the introduction of railways—such opinions are now, for the most part, only held by persons whose memories will carry them back to the" Good old times (as they were called), when monopolies were rife, and snug fortunes were made from the sheer necessities of the public, and its inability to resist exhorbitant charges. But the day of this sort of thing is past -tradesmen of one town are brought into honorable competition with those of another, or even with those of the Metropolis itself, and true merit becomes a necessary qualification for success—therefore, railways should be looked upon, not only as inducements for purchasers of one locality to effect their purchases elsewhere, but also as affording facilities for trades- men to supply their goods upon terms equally ad- vantageous with those of other localities. The occasion which has led us to the foregoing re- marks, was the opening, on Monday last, of the first section, of 8 miles (Abergavenny to Brynmawr), of the Merthyr, Tredegar, and Abergavenny Railway, and the demonstrations of appreciation of the enterprising spirit that conceived the idea of connecting the above towns by rail, and of satisfaction at the successful con- summation of the scheme, so far,'which celebrated the event. We will now proceed to a description of the leading features of the day. The proceedings commenced at an early hour, the good people of Abergavenny being aroused from their slumbers, and at the same time, reminded of the con- templated events of the day before them, by the merry peals of St. Mary's bells, and the booming of cannon from the Castle Hill. This early commence- ment may perhaps not have been very acceptable to some of the late-rising fraternity, yet, it had the ef- fect of bringing a great number of people about at an unaccustomed hour, so that, as the song goes:- "The good old town, soon after five, Like a rich old cheese, was all alive." Not a few were those, who, freed from the restraint of monotonous business life, preferred spending a n 11 quiet day with their friends in the country, or in some of the neighbouring towns, to taking part in the busy throng; numbers of such may have been seen hurrying away to catch the morning trains, or taking their seats in the four-wheel," for a pleasant drive out of town. But whether this or that, it was evi- dent by the lightsome footstep and happy counten- ance of each passer-by, that all were in for a day's pleasure, however sought. Nor was there any lack of outward signs of the general spirit of rejoicing, for there was scarcely a house in the principal thoroughfares but had some decoration in the way of flags, evergreens, &c., amongst the most noticeable of which may be men- tioned a string of masonic and other colors across the street from the Angel Hotel; a flag bearing the inscription Welcome to Abergavenny," at Mr. J. Morgan's, draper; a neatly executed inscription, Success to the Merthyr, Tredegar, and Abergavenny Railway," spanning the street from Mr. J. Hopkin Morgan's to Mr. W. Taylor's a number of pretty little Union Jacks, at Mr. John A. Lewis'; a flag at the Golden Lion, inscribed, Success to the Merthyr, Tredegar, and Abergavenny Railway an inscrip- tion to the like effect crossing the street from Mr. J. Watkins, junior's, and, last though not least, an arch at Mr. Hailstone's, near the new station, composed of evergreens, and bearing the inscription, Success to the Rail, worked in dahlias upon a white ground. The station itself was also decorated profusely with evergreens and flowers. Shortly before ten o'clock, a procession was formed at the Angel Hotel, and proceeded to the station in the following order — Monmouthshire Militia Band. Abergavenny Rifle Corps Drum and Fife Band. Abergavenny Rifle Corps. Crawshay Bailey, Esq., M.P.,(Chairman of the Company), J. C. Hill, Esq. (Deputy-Chairman). Isaac Isaacs, Esq., ) JohnJayne, Esq., j Directors. Shareholders. Messrs. King and Greene, Contractors. Mr. Gardner, Engineer. W. Foster Batt, Esq., Secretary. E. Y. Steele, Esq. (Chairman of the Management Committee). Members of the Committee. Tradesmen, &c. On arriving at the Station, the procession was greeted with cheers by a large assemblage, and a volley of cannon. Mr. E. Y. Steele then read the following address To the Directors of the Merthyr, Tredegar, and Abergavenny Railway Company.-In the name of Aber- gavenny, we offer you our congratulations on the auspicious day which dawns upon the successful accom- plishment of the first, most arduous, and most important stage of your undertaking; your labours have been beset with obstacles and with anxieties, the full extent of which is probably known only to youi-selves; but we have watched those labors with interest; we, in fear and in hope, have shared those anxieties, and we now hail the crowning success with cordial rejoicing. To your adminis. trative talent, and persevering energy, supported as they- have been by the public spirit of shareholders full of con- fidence in your prudence and integrity, it is owing that the scheme for constructing a railway from Abergavenny to Merthyr was launched, and has been so far guided safely onwards stage by stage. To the skill and indefatigable exertions of your engineer—your contractors, and those employed under their supervision, is due the satisfactory construction of this—the most difficult section of the line, through a district which, to most men, seeming to be closed by the hand of nature herself, might well have daunted hearts less bold and less enterprising. To the wise counsels and careful management of your legal and parliamentary advisers, is due that final triumph which has placed your undertaking under the protection and fostering care of one of the greatest, wealthiest, and most liberal corporations in the world. From this spot, so well chosen for its convenience as a station, and for the scenery of unrivalled beauty which surrounds it, you are about to now Convey, for the first time, a train of carriages, which scaling the mountain precipice, shall carry to our friends at Byrnmawr, the joyful tidings of your success. Thus, by a direct line of communication, opening out a new and very populous district, you will contribute to the material prosperity, and promote the social comfort and conve- niences of the inhabitants. Participators in these valuable benefits, we tender our cordial thanks to you, and to all who, under your auspices, have helped on the success of your undertaking. May that success be to you an earnest of future triumph, when, carrying the iron road on from Brynmawr to Tredegar, and to Merthyr, you may com- plete the communication between this-your starting point—and the shores of South Wales." Mr. Crawshay Bailey, on behalf of the. Directors, thanked Mr. Steele, and the gentlemen of the committee, for the kind sentiments conveyed in the address. In the course of a brief, but humorous speech, he spoke of the great engineering difficulties that had been en- countered in the construction of the line, and how skilfully they had been overcome, of which they would have an op- portunity of judging. He also dwelt upon the great benefit the line would confer on the neighbourhood through which it ran, and congratulated the shareholders upon having transferred their property to such a large and in- fluential company as the London and North Western, and upon such advantageous terms, viz,: 5 per cent on the capita], in addition to half the profits. The Directors with their friends and the gentlemen forming the procession, together with a large number of other persons, then took their seats-in a train of seven carriages, and started, amidst deafening cheers, on their journey to Brynmawr. The only intermediate station is Govilon, where the train stopped to take up as many more passengers as could be accommo- dated. The little station was tastefully decorated, and a large number of people had assembled, who lustily gave vent to their feelings of satisfaction. On reaching Brynmawr, the Directors were met at the station by the members of the Local Board of Health, the clerk to whom, Mr. J. Cox Davies, read the fol- lowing address To Crawshay Bailey, Esq., M.P., the chairman; J. C. Hill, Esq., the deputy-chairman; and Thos. Brown, John. Jayne, E. C. Strode, and Isaac Isaacs, Esquires, the Direc- tors of the Merthyr, Tredegar, and Abergavenny Railway Company.—We, the undersigned, members of the Bryn- mawr Local Board of Health, on'behalf of ourselves, and other shareholders in the company, and inhabitants of Brynmawr and its neighbourhood, beg you to accept our hearty congratulations on your arrival at this station, for the purpose of opening the first section of the line from Abergavenny to Merthyr. We recall, with pride, the energetic efforts made by all classes, at all places along the line, successfully to launch this scheme at its inception in 1858. We recall, with gratitude and satisfaction, the sagacious and unvarying attention bestowed by yourselves and the officers of the Company, upon their affairs, and the gratifying success in which your efforts have resulted. We regard the opening of this line as the commencement of a new era for the Hill districts, on the borders of Mon- mouthshire and Brecknockshire. We hope to see the agricultural wealth of many a lowland vale poured forth along this line, to supply 'the necessities of these mining populations, and returned by abundant supplies of the inexhaustible mineral treasures here produced. We an- ticipate the time when this and other improved facilities of communication, shall lead to the establishment in our district of some of the many more advanced manufactures in which iron is employed, attracted here, by the abundant supply of metal, and the cheapness of labour and fuel, and I we are sanguine enough to hope that time will find Bryn- mawr the centre of a system of railways, converging upon it from Biaenavon, Blaina, and other adjacent districts. We see such of the slopes of our surrounding hills, as cultivation has touched, if incapable of growing corn, yet producing a sward of grass, which for greenness and luxuriance, few valley meadows can surpass and we hope as work expands with the increased facilities of commu- nication, that greater breadths of this land will be brought under cultivation, for the benefit alike of the landowners and the resident population. We trust the brightening prospects which seem now dawning, after the long de- pression of the South Wales iron trade, will open into the full daylight of prosperity; and we fervently pray that it will please the Almighty disposer of all worldly events, who has made labor the lot of man, to give a long con- tinued and unclouded success to the work which you have this day so far prosperously accomplished." (Signed) JAMES PHILLIPS, Chairman, (And 12 members of the Local Board of Health). Mr. Crawshay Bailey also returned the thanks of the Directors, for the kindly expressions towards them, con- tained in this address. Great demonstrations of rejoicing were prevalent throughout Brynmawr, and the surrounding district; business was suspended; flags and other decorations lined the streets, and a procession, comprised of the Members of the Local Board of Health, and the prin- cipal tradesmen, headed by the band of the Second Brecon Volunteers, marched to the station to welcome the arrival of the train. After spending a couple of hours in the town, the Directors and the greater portion of those who had accompanied them from Abergavenny, started on their return, taking with them as many of the Bryn- mawr folks as could find room in the train. Several other trains ran backwards and forwards between the two towns during the day, carrying passengers free of charge. Everything in connection with the line appears to have been prepared with the utmost regard to the comfort and convenience of passengers, even in the minutest detail. The stations are commodious, well arranged and easy of access whilst to insure safety to passengers, a novel contrivance has been adopted, by means of which, the guard of the train is enabled to apply a break to the wheels of every carriage, so that a train can be brought to a stand within a few yards. Shortly after the return of the train to Abergavenny, the Cricket Field became the centre of attraction, a -great many persons being attracted there to witness the rural sports. They consisted of foot races, jump- ing, donkey riding, &c. and created "no end" of amusement. Several gentlemen, amongst whom we may name Mr. W. Williams (Manchester), Mr. J. Watkins (painter), and Mr. John Michael, were most active in superintending the arrangements, and seeing that the proceedings were carried on in an orderly manner, thus contributing much to the enjoyment of the lookers on. TFIE DINNER Took place between three and four o'clock, at the Angel Hotel. Mr. Morgan catered in his usual excellent style for about 80 guests who were supplied with sparkling champagne, AD LIBITUM, through the kindness of the Directors. The Chair was taken bv Crawshay Bailey, Esq., M.P., and the vice-chair by Captain Hill; they were supported by the most respectable tradesmen of Abergavenny, Mr. Geo. Findlay, of the London & North Western line, and other officers connected with the same company. The toasts were of the usual description, and comprised, in addition to the loyal and patriotic, many of a local and general application. The toast of the evening," viz. Prosperity to the Merthyr, Tredegar, and Abergavenny Railway." was given in a suitable address by Mr. Steele, who made some apposite remarks on the progress of rail- ways from 1830, when the Liverpool and Manchester was opened, to the present time. He enlarged on the diffi. culties which beset the construction of a railway up hill, from Abergavenny to Brynmawr; and papsed a high com- pliment to the zeal and untiring exertions of the Direc- tors in carrying out the undertaking to a successful issue -an undertaking which was certainly fraught with bene- fits to the town of Abergavenny, as well as to the district generally. Overflowing bumpers were quaffed in honor of the toast, the proposer being vooifarously applauded at various stages of his address, which, throughout, indeed, was cordially and even enthusiastically received; all present whether personally interested in the line, or merely trades- men of the town, being fully prepared to endorse Mr. Steele's sentiments on such a subject. Mr. Jayne, in an address, characterised by customary smoothness and c hoice of expressions, returned a very suitable, though brief, ac- knowledgement, on behalf of the Board of Directors and with a reference to the close connection of this local line with the London & North Western, proposed Success to the London and North Western Railway Company, cou- pled with the health of Mr George Findlay," who returned thanks. The evening was spent in festive enjoyment. Before 8 o'clock, the Chairman vacated his seat, and with other gentlemen left for the ball at Clytha. The day proved delightfully fine, which was so much the more acceptable as the morning gave indica- tions of an opposite character; and it is gratify ing to have to state that the proceedings throughout were of the most satisfactory nature, not being marred by any accident, that we have heard of, as is too often the case on such occasions. The trains commenced running for regular traffic, at convenient times, on the 1st inst. In conclusion, we re-echo the sentiment, Success to the Merthyr, Tredegar, and Aberga- venny Railway."

IUSK.

IRAGLAN.

CHEPSTOW.

.PONTYPOOL.

ABERGAVENNY.,.

LLANTRISSENT.

Monmouth Races.