The Repository of all Things Historical for the Ancient Welsh Town of Carnarvon

  Castle Square, Carnarvon. Published by Williams & Hughes, Bridge Steet, 1850



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From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: January 6th. 1905.


On Thursday morning, the body of Captain Lewis Owen, of Dinorwic-street, was found hanging by a beam in the bathroom of his house. It is believed that the deceased committed suicide. He had been in ill-health for months past. He got up as usual on Thursday, and took his breakfast, then retiring upstairs. He was found as stated about half-past nine. Some neighbours came in, and quickly cut him down, and Dr. Thomas was sent for, but he pronounced life to be extinct. The deceased, who was about 70 years of age, was for many years employed on the boats of Messrs. Humphrey Owen and Sons, and often sailed to the West Indies, being Captain of the ship "Mornington." - An inquest will be held this afternoon.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: January 13th. 1905.



The Electricity Works of Carnarvon are rapidly approaching completion. The cables were laid along the main streets last year; and for the past two or three months the work of putting up the generating station at Balaclava has been in the hands of Messrs. Heenan and Froude, constructional engineers, who have employed about fifty local men. It is hoped that the whole work will be completed in the course of a month or so, and that the installation will take place soon after. Mr. A. C. Goodman is the resident electrical engineer, and he has spared no efforts in bringing electricity as a motive power and an illuminant before the notice of the Carnarvon public.

The generating station is a fine building of brick, supported by strong iron girders, and admirably fitted up with the latest innovations. The boilers have already been put up, - large boilers 14 feet by 8 feet, and designed for a working pressure of 160lbs. per square inch. They are capable of evaporating 700 lbs. of water per hour. The boilers are of the economic type, with two internal flues and smoke tops extending the whole length.

The boiler house, which is 31 feet in length, has a concrete floor, and adjoining it will be the engine-room, 24 feet in length, and the accumulator-room, 26 feet. There will be a forced draught, the fan being capable of dealing with 9000 cubic feet of boiler flue gases at a temperature of 500 Fahr.

The engine is of the self-oiling type, with a double connecting cylinder arranged for long continuous runs at 400 revolutions per minute. An overhead travelling crane has been put up in the engine house, but this has not yet been properly fixed. It will be capable of hoisting, traversing, and travelling with a maximum load in perfect safety. The engine, to which is attached two steam dynamos, each set capable of delivering 100 kilowatts into the external circuit, is of the Peache high speed pattern. It is possessed of three high pressure and three low pressure cylinders, with a revolution of 400 per minute. The finished armature will withstand an alternating pressure of 1000 volts.

A switchboard has also been put up suitable for the distribution of current on the three wire system, and provision has been made for three feeders, two generators and a battery of 256 cells. A battery of accumulators is to be erected adjoining the engine-room.

As we have already stated, the cables have been laid in the principal streets mentioned in the Provisional Order, and these are ready to be connected with the works. It is now proposed to extend the cables along Llanbeblig-road and South-road on the one side of the town, and through St. David's-road on the other.

Quite a large number of the principal business establishments and the hotels have expressed their readiness to use electric light, and it may not be out of place to say that the very first to have his business premises wired through was Mr. R. H. Thomas, of Castle House, probably the oldest grocery establishment in the town. Electricity will also be used as a motive power in many places where gas is now utilised, and though the Corporation feel confident that the introduction of electricity will not reduce the profits of the gasworks, it may be fairly expected that the rivalry and the competition between the two departments will be a very keen one in the near future.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: January 20th. 1905.


On Wednesday, a traction engine belonging to Messrs. Thomas Lewis and Co. came into collision with the gable end of London House, and caused some damage, but fortunately no one was on the pavement at the time, and consequently no injury was done save to the kerb and the scraping of the paint off the wall.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: January 27th. 1905.


The Carnarvon branch of the St. John's Ambulance Society have at last secured their new carriage stretcher, which will in future be used to convey persons accidentally injured to their homes and to the hospital. It is a handsome and a useful acquisition and will be kept for the use of the public at the Carnarvon Police Station, though it is understood that it does not in any way belong to the police, nor the corporation, nor the county. The St. John's Ambulance Classes deserve every support, and the public ought to show their appreciation of the excellent work they are doing in order to alleviate pain and suffering.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: January 27th. 1905.



The inhabitants of Carnarvon were startled on Sunday morning when it became known that a fire had broken out in Bank-street, and that an old woman, Dorothy Pritchard, living alone, had been burnt to death. How the outbreak occurred it is impossible to say, but a man passing the house about half-past six saw a light in the house as if Miss Pritchard was about the house as usual. Between seven and eight o'clock one of the Corporation workmen whilst putting out the street lamps noticed smoke emanating from the house and immediately raised the alarm. Several of the members of the fire brigade were quickly on the spot, and P. C. Guest arrived, but though several attempts were made to effect an entrance the flames were so fierce that this proved futile. The neighbours had endeavoured to put out the fire with buckets, and when the brigade arrived they put on two hoses, and in about half an hour afterwards the fire was got under, but not before the whole of the inside of the house had been completely gutted. Mr. J. Fletcher and P. C. Guest then went in and discovered the poor old woman lying prone of the floor of the kitchen face downwards, so badly burnt about the head and the upper part of the body as to be totally unrecognisable. She had to be carried to the Mortuary in a box. Miss Pritchard, who was about 78 years of age, was well known in the town and highly respected. Together with her brother, the late Mr. R. Pritchard, she at one time kept the Castle Hotel, at Llanberis.


Mr. Pentir Williams, the Carnarvonshire coroner, held an inquest at the County Hall on Monday, Captain Lewis being the foreman of the jury.

Mr. Edward Roberts, Bank Quay, testified that he knew the deceased well, and when he went to the house at eight o'clock on Sunday morning he discovered the place to be on fire. They were for three-quarters of an hour before an entrance was effected. He believed the fire must have been caused by the deceased falling from her wicker chair on to the candle on a small table close by, and that her clothes caught fire. She had had a fit a few months previously and probably had another that morning. She had refused to go to the workhouse and would have no one to live with her. She had a prefect horror of being buried by the parish.

P. C. Guest said that he was called to the place about a quarter-past eight. The fire brigade had already arrived and were attempting to put the fire out. It was fully twenty to nine before they effected an entrance, and when they did, they found the deceased lying on the floor frightfully burnt. He also believed that the old woman must have had a fit, for the place where she used to sit seemed to have been burnt more than the other parts of the house.

Thomas Parry said he lived close by and last saw the deceased alive about nine o'clock on Saturday night. The fire was first seen by Sam Williams. Witness climbed to the upstairs window, but he had to rush out because the flames were so fierce. The fire brigade had not then reached, and he and others were trying to put out the fire with buckets of water. The members of the fire brigade blamed him for going in.

The Coroner: I think your action was highly creditable.

William Jones said that when he passed the house about half-past six he saw the light of a candle in the window. The deceased used to get up early, and he did not think there was anything wrong at that time.

Mr. J. Fletcher, the captain of the fire brigade, said that the alarm was given about twelve minutes past eight. They had no telephone service connected with the firemen's houses, but he had often urged the Corporation to get it.

The Coroner thought that the present mode of calling the firemen was very primitive, and thought there ought to be telephonic communication.

Mr. Fletcher said that the men were there very soon after the fire broke out. There was plenty of water and the neighbours had been trying to extinguish the fire with buckets of water. They managed to effect an entrance within a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes after they arrived, but the fire had been a very fierce one whilst it lasted, because the woodwork was so inflammable.

The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: February 10th. 1905.


We understand that the installation of the electric light in the town will take place before the end of the month, and that the event will be commemorated by a banquet.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: February 10th. 1905.


Mr. Robert Williams, Dinorwic-street, is just now sojourning on the Continent, having travelled from Brussels to Italy, and visited Rome, Pisa, Venice, and the famous marble quarries at Carrara.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: February 17th. 1905.


Mr. Robert Ellis, a native of Carnarvon, has just died at Bevier, Mo., where he filled the office of deacon at the Welsh Chapel. Mr. Ellis was born in Hen Walia in 1841.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: February 17th. 1905.


The only case of interest brought before the Carnarvon borough magistrates, on Monday, was a charge against John Lewis and Alfred Jeffreys, two lads residing at Uxbridge-street, of stealing a number of brass keyhole escutcheons from street doors in the town. - The police stated that the lads afterwards tried to sell the articles to Mr. Pozzi, but the appearance of the escutcheons proved that they had been forcibly torn away. - The magistrates ordered each of the defendants to receive seven strokes with the birch rod.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: February 24th. 1905.


Recently, a fire broke out close to the room used as a Sailors' Institute at Castle Hill, Carnarvon, and much damage was done to the premises. The sailors' room was flooded and some things were damaged, while the bagatelle table was rendered useless. Mr. Taylor, the missionary, appeals to the friends of the sailors for help to enable him to replace the things damaged by the water.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: February 24th. 1905.





On Thursday, the opening of the electric light works took place at Carnarvon. The whole of the contract has been carried out for the Corporation by the National Electric Construction Co. Ltd., who have undertaken to run the station when completed. The scheme was carried through in face of strong opposition, there being a section of the Town Council and the ratepayers in favour of a rival scheme, which they felt would have been more economical to the community. A public inquiry resulted in the proposals of the National Electric Construction Company being adopted. Under this scheme the Corporation provide the capital - 16,300 being required for the purchase of the site - and all annual charges thereon are to be paid by the Construction Co., whose share of the net profits on the working will be limited to 3 per cent. The Corporation will have the option of taking over the works in 10, 15, or 25 years, and every provision has been made to safeguard the interests of the ratepayers in the meantime by precluding the possibility of any part of the cost falling upon the rates.


The plant consists of two Davey-Paxman "Economic" boilers of 7000lb. per hour evaporative capacity; two Peache high-speed engines direct, coupled to two "Lancashire" 100 K.W., generating sets with balancer and booster; a Hart battery of 400 ampere hours capacity, and a 96 tube "Green" economiser. Cables have been laid along all the main thoroughfares with extensions into principal streets, and supply is arranged on the three wire continuous current system at 230 volts. Fifty services have already been connected, whilst the present capacity of the plant provides for the supply of 10,000 eight-candle-power equivalents. The prices to be charged are 5d. per unit for lighting, and for power a maximum of 2d. per unit, with a sliding scale. Mr. Price F. White is the consulting engineer for the Corporation, and Mr. A. C. Goodman the resident engineer, acting under the supervision of Mr. E. A. Mitchell, M.I.E.E., the Company's chief engineer, and Mr. D. O. Evans, A.M.I.E.E., of Bangor, the Company's manager for North Wales. The building, consisting of a boiler-house, engine-room, battery-room, office, &c., is of the latest modern construction, of a steel framework of vertical H section stancheons and tight steel roof trusses, the spaces between the stancheons being filled with a screen of brick-work, the floors being of concrete and expanded metal. The whole of the structure has been carried out by Messrs. Heenan and Froude, of Manchester and Worcester, under the supervision of Mr. S. Wilkinson, A.M.S.A. Applications have already been received for upwards of 3000 8c.p. lights, the majority of which are already connected.


The opening of the works took place at five o'clock on Thursday afternoon. Great interest was taken in the event, and there was a large attendance. Among those present were the Mayor of Carnarvon (Alderman D. T. Lake), the Mayoress of Carnarvon (Mrs. Lake), the Mayor of Bangor (Councillor W. Baynes), the ex-Mayor and ex-Mayoress of Carnarvon (Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Thomas), the members of the Carnarvon Town Council, the Town Clerk (Mr. R. O. Roberts), Mr. G. H. Humphreys (borough treasurer), Mr. A. Holden (borough accountant), Mr. E. Hall (borough surveyor), and other officials of the council.


The Mayor (Mr. D. T. Lake) said it was very encouraging for those connected with the works to see so many friends present that day, and he hoped it was a guarantee for the success of the undertaking. He would like very much to impress upon those interested in the welfare of Carnarvon, that it was not electric light alone that was going to be provided but also electric power, which he hoped would be a stimulant for many to support the new enterprise. The undertaking was really one that was much needed in the town (applause).


Letters were read from the Lord-Lieutenant of Carnarvonshire, Mr. Darbishie, Mr. Ellis Jones-Griffith, M.P., the Mayor of Conway (Alderman Hugh Hughes), and the Mayor of Pwllheli, regretting their inability to be present.


Mr. W. G. Thomas (chairman of the Electric Lighting Committee) expressed his gratification at being present at the formal opening of the works, and said that a great deal of work had been successfully faced in connection with the lighting of the town by electricity. Considerable time had been also spent in disscussing how and when electrical energy was going to be supplied, and he was glad to see that day that something had been attempted and something done. He quite agreed with the Mayor's remarks with reference to the supply in addition, of electric power, which undoubtedly would tend to enhance the prosperity of their ancient town (applause). They had secured fine electric plant, of which they should be proud, and the prices were as low as any in the kingdom, when they took into consideration the size of the town. The works had been in charge of the National Construction Company, and they had shown how well they could carry out their contracts. He was glad to state that not a single thing in the place was of foreign manufacture, and that showed that Britain was able to compete with any other nation in the world (applause). He was glad to see present that day one of the directors of the company, Mr. Fowler, ex-Mayor of Taunton, and one of the pioneers of electric lighting (cheers).


The Mayor of Bangor (Councillor W. Bayne) wished every success to the new enterprise. Mr. Thomas had said that the people of Carnarvon would be so pleased with the electric light that they would soon begin to wonder why they had been without it so long, but in his opinion it would have been better for them to have it longer (laughter). He had opposed the electric lighting at Bangor for four years, and he was sorry that they did not keep it back for another four years, because then they would have benefitted from the experience of other towns. Electric light was very convenient, and altogether he could but recommend it. He was pleased to state that electric lighting was beginning to be a success in Bangor, and he hoped that it would also prove a great success in Carnarvon.


Mr. Fowler said he had had a great deal of experience in connection with electric lighting, and he was bound to say that sooner or later it would prove a great success everywhere. Referring to the Corporation he said that the method adopted by them with regard to the lighting of the town was a very wise one. In his opinion, it was quite proper that lighting and water, and perhaps traction undertakings, should be in the hands of the governing body of a town, and he considered that the arrangement which had been made between the Corporation of Carnarvon and the company was a very wise one in every respect.


At this juncture the Mayor was presented by the Construction Company with a silver switch, and the Mayoress with a silver salver, and the ex-Mayoress with a silver rose bowl, as souvenirs of the opening of the works.

The engines were next started by the ex-Mayoress (Mrs. W. G. Thomas), and a few minutes later the Mayoress switched on the brilliant light.

On the motion of Dr. John Williams, seconded by Dr. Griffith, votes of thanks were passed to the Mayor, the Mayoress, and the ex-Mayoress for their services.


In the evening, the contractors entertained a large company to dinner at the Sportsman Hotel. Mr. W. Herbert Fowler was in the chair, and among those present were the Mayor, Aldermen and Councillors, and the officials of the Corporation, and the officials of the Company, Colonel Savage, Messrs. R. W. Newton, W. Farren, Phillip Williams (Holyhead), G. H. Humphreys, A. O. Evans, Alwyne Carter, Pryse F. White, D. O. Evans, &c.

The Royal toast having been honoured.

The Chairman proposed "The Carnarvon Corporation." He said that the popular idea of a council's work was that the members assembled monthly with the only object in view of creating a scene. That, however, was not the real work of a council. The real work was done in committee, and the sooner the better it would be for the public to understand that. With reference to Carnarvon Corporation, he was bound to say that the Company had been treated exceedingly well by them, and to this treatment he attributed the tremendous success of the undertaking.

The Mayor, in responding, said that the introduction of electric light to the town was a step in the right direction. When the scheme was first brought before them, they thought it was a very good one, but extraordinary precautions were taken. They had a sort of family inquiry, and now, when they had the banns published, they hoped that the union would be a happy one. They were marching with the times, and ere long, all the old lamps in the town would be exhibited at the Castle (laughter). Whatever else could be said about the scheme, it had given work to the unemployed during the winter, and had been a great help to keep away the effects of a very bad depression.

Dr. Parry also responded. He said that at first he was not in favour of the scheme, but when the Council decided to go in for it, he did not raise any objection, and he was now thoroughly convinced of the good terms which the Corporation had secured from the Company. He hoped that small industries would make use of the electric power (hear, hear).

The next toast, "The Prosperity of the Undertaking," coupled with the name of the chairman of the Electric Light Committee, was proposed by Mr. John Pritchard. The work, he said, required experience and energy to bring it to a successful issue, and he thought that the officials of the Company had proved themselves to be capable and business-like men in every detail. With regard to the undertaking, he was sure that if there was a chance of electricity proving successful in any place, it would do so at Carnarvon.

Mr. W. G. Thomas, in responding, said he was glad to be at the formal opening of the works that day. The undertaking had meant very hard work on both sides, but the little opposition they had had to meet was the means of carrying it through successfully. It had brought the Corporation and the Company closer to each other, and that augured well for the success of the future (cheers).

Mr. Fowler also responded. He said that everybody could do their share to ensure the success of the undertaking. The Company had done theirs, and it now rested with the people of Carnarvon to do that which rested upon them. Everyone should have electric light in his house, because it was a convenient light and added considerably to the comfort of the house (hear, hear).

Councillor W. G. Thomas proposed "The National Electric Construction Company," coupled with the names of Mr. W. B. Cownie (general manager and secretary), and Mr. E. A. Mitchell (chief engineer). Mr. Thomas said that the Company was a company that well deserved the confidence of any Corporation. It had undertaken several large contracts in various parts of the country, and wherever it had been, it had left good work behind it. The Carnarvon Corporation had had terms from the Company such as had not been granted to any other town in the country (hear, hear).

Mr. Cownie and Mr. Mitchell responded, acknowledging the kindness received at the hands of the Council and its officials.

The next toast "Our neighbouring Councils," was proposed by Councillor Richard Thomas, who referred to the claims of Carnarvon to the National Museum and the National Library. Every Council in North Wales, he said, should support Carnarvon in its endeavour to secure the Museum and Library (cheers).

Colonel Savage responded, in a humorous speech.

Other toasts followed, including "The Visitors," coupled with the names of Colonel Hugh Savage and Mr. C. A. Jones, proposed by Alderman John Williams; "The Borough Officials," coupled with the names of Mr. R. O. Roberts, Mr. A. Holden, and Mr. Price F. White, proposed by Mr. W. B. Cownie; "The Press," proposed by Councillor Nee, and "The Chairman," proposed by the Mayor.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: March 17th. 1905.


Captain Henry Thomas, brother to Mr. Robert Thomas, Cafe, Castle-square, has been appointed pilot for Port Wiliam and Stanley, in the Falkland Isles.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: March 24th. 1905.


On Monday evening, at a meeting of the members of the Salem Congregational Church, it was decided unanimously to light the edifice with electric light instead of gas. The Rev. D. Stanley Jones presided over the meeting.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: March 31st. 1905.


Martha Evans was sentenced to imprisonment for 14 days at a Special Court on Monday for indecent conduct. She was at one time a school teacher.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: March 31st. 1905.


6d., post free 7d. These useful articles will be exhibited at Messrs. Edward Hughes and Son's Ironmongery Establishment in Bridge-street, daily from Monday next to Saturday. Demonstrations daily.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: April 7th. 1905.


On Tuesday, Ann Williams, Mountain-street, a greengrocer, was found by Owen Berrington, Castle Ditch, floating with the tide near the gasworks. He at once went to the woman's rescue, and brought her ashore. She was in a semi-conscious state, but soon recovered, and was removed to the workhouse.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: April 14th. 1905.


There is a movement to form a fund for the purpose of erecting a monument on the grave of Mr. William Owen (Prysgol), who composed the famous hymn-tune "Pen Calfaria." Mr. Owen was buried at Caeathraw.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: April 14th. 1905.


In the course of building operations at Vaynol-street, some men employed by Messrs. Williams and Roberts found a Roman earthenware drinking cup. The vessel is about three half pint measure, tapers towards the botton, has a small handle attached close to the brim, and is in excellent state of preservation.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: April 21st. 1905.


The Corporation are contemplating purchasing the steamboat "Nelly" to meet the North Wales Steamship boats at Menai Bridge, and on Thursday morning some of the members went on a trial trip to Menai Bridge.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: April 21st. 1905.


Whilst employed in the harbour, the other day, a mishap occurred to the dredger, A plug became displaced with the result that the dredger was filled with water and sank. Some difficulty was experienced in floating the dredger.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: May 5th. 1905.


An inquest was held on Saturday, before Mr. J. Pentir Williams, on the body of Mr. Robert Williams, licensee of the White Horse Inn, who died the previous Thursday, as a result of injuries sustained by slipping on a piece of orange peel and falling down the steps of the cellar while checking the flow of water from a hose-pipe. A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: May 5th. 1905.


The lighting of Salem Chapel with electricity was inaugerated on Thursday evening, and proved an entire success. Great have been the complaints for many years of the intense heat in the chapel, especially on crowded occasions, but on Thursday evening, though the chapel was filled to its upmost capacity, there was an absence of the usual suffocating heat. The fittings were put up by the National Construction Company, and are giving great satisfaction. The chapel has been fitted with five 200 candle power Nernst lamps, and four smaller of the same kind, suspended from the ceiling, while under the gallery there are 17 16-candle power lamps, and on the big pew are two lamps which can be switched on when required. The different schoolrooms are also to be fitted throughout with the electric light. Salem is the first place of worship in the town to adopt electric lighting.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: May 12th. 1905.


Among those who had an audience of the Pope at the Vatican, last week, were Messrs. W. Gwenlyn Evans and D. W. Davies, Carnarvon. They obtained the neccessary introduction from Bishop Mostyn, through the Rev. Father Jones. We are informed that there is no foundation to the rumour that the two Nonconformist deacons are to be called upon to explain.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: May 12th. 1905.


About eleven o'clock this morning a fire broke out in a cellar at the well-known drapery establishment, Nelson Emporium, Carnarvon; and but for the timely assistance of the Fire Brigade the result, no doubt, would have been very disastrous. It seems that some of the employees noticed smoke coming from the back of the establishment; and when the premises were searched it was found that a fire had broken out in a cellar, which was full of empty packing cases and other articles. The Fire Brigade was at once summoned, and when they arrived the cellar was so full of smoke that with great difficulty they could locate the fire. In the meantime the clothing department was emptied by the employees, assisted by the police, who worked hard for about half an hour, and goods were taken into another department. After the arrival of the Fire Brigade the fire was soon got under, and we understand that the damages are not at all serious.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: May 19th. 1905.


While Captain Thomas Williams, Llys Helen, was digging in his garden at the back of the house, he came across an old coin, of the size of a British penny, bearing on one side, surrounding a head, the name of the Emperor Vespasian, and on the other the figure of a Roman soldier between the letters S.G. The coin is in a good state of preservation. Vespasian was Emperor from 70 to 79 A.D.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: May 19th. 1905.


Sir, - On behalf of myself and many others, kindly allow me to express our astonishment at the organisers of the above ceremony in engaging a band from a distant village, whereas there are two bands in our town, which are well known to all. Often at great sacrifice, they have gratiuitously rendered their services for public demonstrations and charitable objects, and they are not deserving of the patronage of our Corporation in such a simple performance as the opening of our Baths? If there were any pay for a band service, in the said ceremony, would it be anything but just and reasonable, let alone being honorable, to engage one of them, especially so the one that is composed of our own workingmen and ratepayers, and who have always been at our call for any trivial occasion. I write this without prejudice to the band that is engaged. I have a high opinion of them. Our grievance is against the Corporation who engaged them at the expense of ignoring their own two bands. Yours, &c.,


[We have received several other letters to the same effect. - Ed.]

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: May 19th. 1905.





Thursday was an ideal for the opening of the new sea-water bath at Carnarvon. The weather was exceptionally fine, and a cool summer breeze blew softly across the Menai Straits with refreshing effect. The townspeople, who lined the river banks, were in holiday attire, and everyone seemed to take the greatest interest in the proceedings of the afternoon. Flags were to be seen in several places, and the Town Hall was bedecked with bunting.


The bath measures internally 250ft. by 95ft. 6in., and will contain at high tides about 800,000 gallons of water, ranging in depth from 3ft. to 4ft. at inner part to 9ft. to 10ft. at outer part.

Water will flow in through two 12in. pipes, fitted at inner end with flap valves, and set about 2ft. above beach level, and will discharge through a 12in. penstock valve set at bath bottom, and manipulated from a cast-iron pillar or capstan arrangement fixed above top water level.

The wall of the bath is designed to stand when empty a wave pressure of one-fourth ton per super foot, in addition to the ordinary water pressure from without, and is constructed of concrete composed of four parts approved gravel and shingle capable of passing through a 1in. screen, two parts coarse sharp sand, and one part Portland cement of 400lbs. minimum tensile strength, and 3.1 specific gravity, which is periodically tested for the Corporation.

The footings of the wall are 11ft. wide, and 4ft. deep at centre, and porportionately diminished shorewards.

The wall is 3ft. 6in. thick at top throughout, and surmounted with a 3ft. parapet wall 2ft. thick, finishing at 13.0 above ordnance datum, or about 4ft. above high-water mark of ordinary spring tides.

Bird-mouthed, or V-grooved, sheet-piles, 7ft. by 3ft. by 9ft. deep, have been driven into the beach at front of and along whole length of the bath wall for convenience in execution and future protection.

A caretaker's office and twenty bathing boxes are provided on a terrace at inner part of the bath, and space provided at either side of same for future extension and erection of hot and cold private baths.

Room for spectators is provided above the bathing boxes.

The bath and buildings were constructed by Mressrs. Geo. Roberts and Bro., Llandudno, at a total cost of 2690, for which a loan, repayable in 20 years, has been obtained, and the work was commenced in August last.


A procession, headed by the Nantlle Vale Silver Band, left the Town Hall shortly before three o'clock. It comprised the Mayor (Alderman D. T. Lake), the Town Clerk (Mr. R. O. Roberts), Aldermen John Williams, R. Parry, Norman Davies, Edward Hughes, and J. P. Gregory, Councillors W. G. Thomas, R. W. Newton, Peter Angel, J. T. Roberts, Richard Thomas, Griffith Owen, D. T. Edwards, R. E. Evans, Nath. Roberts, John Prichard, Edward Parry, G. R. Griffith, J. Fletcher, and T. Armstrong.

All the available seats on the balcony were filled long before the procession reached the bath, and the walls were lined with people. Among those present were the Mayoress (Mrs. Lake), Mr. Lloyd Hughes and Mr. Trevor Hughes, and several other well-known people.


A gold key was presented to the Mayor by Mr. Roberts, one of the contractors, as a souvenir of the occasion. It was a handsome key. One side bore the arms of Carnarvon, and the other side the inscription, "Presented to the Mayor of Carnarvon (Alderman D. T. Lake) by Messrs. George Roberts and Bro., Llandudno, as a souvenir of the opening of the Carnarvon Open-air Sea-water Bath."


The opening ceremony of the Public Swimming Baths. 18th. May 1905.  K. Morris
The opening ceremony of the Public Swimming Baths. 18th. May 1905. K. Morris

The Mayor (Alderman D. T. Lake) next formally opened the bath. He thanked the contractors (Messrs. Roberts Bros.) for presenting him with a gold key, which he would treasure as a memento of that happy occasion. With reference to the bath it gave him a great pleasure to take part in the opening ceremony and to see so many present, which he hoped prognosticated that the undertaking would have the support it deserved. It had been said by some people that the Council was fond of embarking upon several projects but only carried out few or took a very long time to carry then out. That could not be said of the present undertaking. The inquiry for the loan of the money for the work was only held in February, and the contract was only let in August, and there was the whole work completed. Whatever difference of opinion might be as to the advisability of having a bath, he thought they would agree that they had secured an excellent building, which reflected great credit upon the designer and the contractor. The solidity of the basement, the splendid conveniences, and the great beauty of the whole place admirably suited their purpose. The Council did not embark upon the project without considering the interests of the ratepayers. They felt it was their duty to have a bath in Carnarvon, not only to encourage visitors but also for the use of the residents, upon whom its success depended.

Councillor W. G. Thomas said it gave him also a great pleasure to take part in the opening ceremony of so fine an undertaking. Every Corporation, he thought, should have a bath of that kind or of a similar kind. He believed that the bath was one of the best in the whole country, and that there was not one in England and Wales better constructed. People who would come to the town to see the Castle, and, perhaps, the National Museum, would always be glad to know that there was a good bath in the town. Before concluding he said that it was his duty to thank Mr. Lloyd Hughes, the owner of the land upon which the bath had been constructed, for his great kindness in granting them that excellent site. He had received him most kindly, and expressed a desire to further the interests of the town in every way.


The swimming exhibition by Professor Shepherd, the attendant of the bath, was highly appreciated, and consisted of various exhibitions of remarkable skil and proficiency.

Professor Greasley, Leicester, also gave a remarkable fine exhibition of ornamental swimming and high diving.


The swimming competition for boys was an excellent one. There were six competitors, and the first prize was awarded to Meurig Jones, and the second to E. Wilkinson.

Selections were given by the Nantlle Vale Silver Band during the afternoon.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: June 16th. 1905.


On Whit-Monday, a swimming gala took place at the new bath. There were three prizes offered to boys under 16 years of age. The first and third prizes went to Bangor, and the second to Carnarvon. In the comic costume competition, the first prize was won by Edward Williams, and the second by William Williams, both of Carnarvon. An interesting polo match took place between a local Y.M.C.A. team and the electric works team. After a hard struggle the latter team proved victorious by a goal to nil. Each member of the teams received a silver medal. A life-saving exhibition was given by Messrs. R. O. Jones and R. Roberts, Pool-street. Professor Shepherd (the attendant) gave an exhibition of ornamental swimming. The band of the 4th. Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers (under the leadership of Sergeant Moreland) played selections during the afternoon.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: June 30th. 1905.


Mr. Robert Williams, of the White Horse Inn, left estate of the gross value of 1358, of which the net personalty has been sworn at 795. Probate of his will has been granted to his widow.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: July 28th. 1905.


At a special meeting of the Town Council to hear the report of the sub-committee appointed to deal with the question of the treasure trove recently unearthed in the town, it was decided to dismiss Foreman William Evans and to suspend for a week the workmen who kept the money found, and the town clerk was instructed to apply to the Treasury for a return of the money.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: August 11th. 1905.


Dr. Parry's eldest son swam across the Straits, on Tuesday evening, in 40 minutes.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: August 11th. 1905.


Mr. O. J. Elias, butcher, met with an accident last week. He fell from his machine whilst descending Pen Twll Gro-hill, Waenfawr, and sustained rather serious injuries. He was conveyed home in a trap.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: August 11th. 1905.


Two tourists were bathing in the new swimming baths, on Saturday evening, when one of them was seized with cramp. He was sinking for the third time, when Mr. William Glynne Griffith, 14, Thomas-street, jumped in, in his clothes, and brought him safely to land.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: September 1st. 1905.


Mr. Wm. Glynne Griffith, 14, Thomas-street, has received the thanks of the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society for his action in rescuing a man seized with cramp in the swimming baths at Carnarvon.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: September 1st. 1905.


The National Provincial bank has secured the option of buying "Coventry House," next door to the cornershop at the bottom of Pool-street. The Highway Committee of the Town Council (under the chairmanship of Dr. John Williams) are now engaged in negotiating with the directors of the Bank for a strip of land for widening the street. The surveyor of the Bank attended a meeting of the committee this week; but nothing was concluded, for the plans were not ready, and the committee had not decided as to the quantity of land to be acquired. The Bank, it is understood, is willing to meet the Council in a reasonable and friendly spirit.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: October 6th. 1905.


We understand that the directors of the National Provincial Bank of England have engaged Mr. Rowland Lloyd Jones, county architect, to prepare plans of a new bank proposed to be built at a cost of between 4000 and 5000 at a site which has been purchased at the bottom of Pool-street.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: October 6th. 1905.


On Monday, the death took place of Mr. Hugh Hughes, 7, Pepper-lane, aged 63 years. The deceased was a native of this town, and went to America when a young man, and enlisted in the American Army. He took part in the American Civil War, fighting with the North, and served with two regiments. He was in receipt of an annuity from the United States Government. After returning to this country he took to a seafaring life, and joined the R.N.R. at Carnarvon. He often spoke of the American Civil War.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: October 27th. 1905.


Mr. Gwenlyn Evans lectured at the County School on Tuesday afternoon on his trip to Rome.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: October 27th. 1905.


On Saturday, the property at South Pen'rallt and Pool-side, offered for sale by Mr. William Hugh Owen, auctioneer, was bought by the Mayor (Alderman D. T. Lake) for 460.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: October 27th. 1905.


At the Y.M.C.A. Rooms on Monday evening, Mr. J. Hughes, Clarke-terrace, presiding, a debate took place on "Alien Immigration." Mr. A. V. Evans supported Immigration of Aliens, and Mr. Rhys Williams spoke against.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: October 27th. 1905.


We understand that Lord Mostyn, Lord Castletown, the Bishop of Bangor, Dr. Henry Jones (Glasgow), Mr. Andrew Carnegie, and the chairman of the Executive Committee (Mr. W. G. Thomas) have assented to act as presidents of some of the meetings of next year's National Eisteddfod.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: December 1st. 1905.


On Saturday afternoon, Mr. Alexander Fraser, father of Dr. Fraser, was knocked down by a trap in Bridge-street, but received no serious injury.

From the Carnarvon & Denbigh Herald: December 8th. 1905.


On Saturday morning, Mr. Jeremiah Hughes, painter, met with an accident. He was walking past the flour warehouse of Messrs. Lake and Co., in Pool-side, when a sack of bran, which was being heaved up from a cart, fell on him. He was taken into the warehouse, and was attended to by Dr. Tom Roberts.

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