The Sailors Institute Hirael

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The Sailors Institute Hirael



Plaque now at Penrhyn Port.

Reads:

THE SAILORS INSTITUTE
HIRAEL
IN MEMORIUM

THE FOLLOWING MEMEBERS OF THIS INSTITUTE GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918 "GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS" ST JOHN IV 13

RICHARD EDWARDS R.W.F.
JOHN ARTHUR EDWARDS R.W.F.
WILLIAM HUGHES R.W.F.
ALBERT JONES R.W.F.
EBENEZER JONES R.N.
RICHARD JONES R.N.
AARON JONES R.C.A.
THOMAS JONES R.W.F.
FRED PARRY R.W.F.
THOMAS PRYTHERTH R.W.F.
BEN ROBERTS R.W.F.
WALTER SEAMAN A.S.C.
HUGH HARRIS WILLIAMS LAB BATT
OWEN WILLIAMS R.W.F.
OWEN OWENS SS. STEWARD PRINCESS
LLEWELYN EVANS R.W.F.
WILLIE PRITCHARD R.G.A.
WILLIAM HUGH JONES R.W.F.
HUGH JONES R.W.F.
HUGH WILLIAM DAVIES O.L.I.
SAMUEL M WILLIAMS R.E.
CAPT GEORGE GRIFFITHS "DAISY"
THOMAS OWEN R.E.
THOMAS J WILLIAMS S.S. ALGIERS

MAY THEY REST IN PEACE AND LIGHT PERPETUAL SHINE UPON THEM
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Re: The Sailors Institute Hirael

Nelson Bangor Pub Sailors Institute
The Sailors Institute today as part of the Nelson Public House

Location:
At the foot of Strand Street where it meets Beach Road.
Brenda Jones Brenda Jones
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Hope you don't mind my getting in touch. My Nain and Taid lived at No. 8 Strand St. - next door to the Institute - and Taid's dad before him. They were Bucklands, many of whom were employed by the Penrhyn Estate. Initially there was Robert Buckland who came from Stoke Poges to be head game-keeper. He lived in Capel Ogwen, a lovely Georgian ''cottage'' near LLandegai. His son Robert was also game-keeper, and lived in the lodge on the way to Porth Penrhyn. Robert Snr. had 15 children. They and their descendents were typical of whole families in the Estate's employ. To my knowledge there was a shipping clerk, an agent and my lovely Taidi Tom - who loaded slate on the quay. There is a photo of him and my dad's dog Monty (in a wheelbarrow!) taken on the quay. The photo is in the beautiful ''Sibols'' book about childhood in Hirael. Taid's mam Katryn is also featured standing near her little house in Club St., grinning mischievously from under her hat, and possibly with a bottle of mother's ruin in her barclod pocket. My dad is Eifion, who as a lad scratched his name and Monty's on a slab of slate atop the wall leading down from the bridge towards the quay. This bridge was were we would be on many of our walks with him as children. He told us we were on ''bont-y-lon a bont-yr-afon.'' How thrilled we were to watch the placid water of the Ogwen transform into the boiling, curdling froth as it passed through the weir to join the sea!
My dad is unable to get about now, so very sad. We took him to see all the old haunts until it became impossible. He really is very ''hiraeth am Hirael.'' He was working in Dickies yard as an apprentice when he was first married, There was no money in that so he joined the Post Office. However, the sea and boats and ships is in him, and his drawings display that love as much as they do his artist's hand. The family were very close to the Cales. I have memories of sitting in Uncle Davey Cale's sail-loft with the sun streaming through the shutters and me turning the handle on the sewing machine as he guided the needle. We all had school pump-bags made by him, and he was so proud of us - Eifion's children - all eight of us. Auntie Cale (Blodwen) and he had only our cousin, Freda, now sadly passed away. They lived beneath and adjacent upstairs to the sail-loft, next door to Tommy Bakehouse's shop, cafe and bakery. The most wonderful smells emanated from there. It was a favourite place for Crosville men to stop for refreshments. Never tasted cream horns like it since. What a shame it's all ''Esso'' now.
How I do go on. Really I just wanted to tell you about staying at Nain's next to the Institute. Nain's tiny back yard (all slate, of course) backed on to theirs. Taid had a tiny raised plot of earth where he would grow his favourite roses. There was a coal shed with a sloping top. Nain would cover us in olive oil so that we could sun-bathe on it. That would be the very opposite to today's advice! Then there was an outside lavatory, no ''mod-cons'' afforded. Finally there was a cold tap and opposite that Nain kept a big old-fashioned mangle, which she still used despite the more modern version attached to her Acme boiler.
There was a middle-aged couple who kept the Institute. They were friends with Nain and Taid, and Auntie Alice next-door the other side, and Auntie Marie next again. Everyone was good neighbours with everyone else. I am sorry to say I can't recall the name of the people in the Institute, though I think this may be because they were conferred with the surname ''Institute'' as befits the best Welsh ways. They had a son who must be well into his seventies now. Lovely people anyway.
My dad got very upset with the idea of Hirael Bay Marina when it was first mooted. Along with other dedicated Hiraelites he campaigned against it. I don't live in Bangor any more, and I can barely take in the news of proposed developments. The stupid student halls at the top of Strand St. filled me with despair. Student habitation is crushing Bangor now, I feel. What is going on with the old Dickie's site? I bet that access will impinge on the playing fields. I remember Caradoc Jones the Mayor at the opening ceremony. We Garth School kids had our Sports Day on those fields, though I couldn't partake. Having just got over T.B. I didn't do physical jerks 'till Grammar School.
I'm glad the Institute plaque is saved, and Porth Penrhyn is an apt resting place. There was a widow called Mrs. Roberts who taught Sunday School to us kids at Seion Chapel on Ambrose St. She lived in a one-storey little cottage in a wild and gorgeous garden behind the main Georgian building on the quay. Her house has now gone. I wonder what happened to ''Gwenda Cei'' her daughter. She was a few years older than me, and had a beautiful voice. We were all expected to sing in Capel Seion. We were quite tuneful, the Bucklands. My darling mother Eleanor, who I consider a saint to have put up with all the poverty, hard work and my dad's eccentricities, provided a ready-made choir. Some of my siblings were little devils, but sang like the proverbial angels nevertheless. The high spot of the year would be the Cymanfa Ganu, when all the local Wesleyan Methodist chapels came together for a big sing-off - with Corona pop and sandwiches, cake and jelly afterwards.
I should leave my reminiscences there now, with my apologies again. I am soon to be sixty, and above are some of my memories from the 1950's through to the mid 1960's. Your photo tugged at my soul, you know.
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Some great history here Brenda! thank you for sharing it.

Ironically perhaps poor student accommodation is not the fault of students but locals (not objecting to proposals) the Council (Counselors and Planning for having no coherent plan/vision) and also local construction businesses (which seek profit and at any cost to the population).  That said there are some notable developments that have been positive (e.g. British Hotel)    

The University keep their buildings well on the whole, have a defined campus accommodation site and may be bringing the St Marys site back into use too. Students do add vibrancy, youth, multiculturalism and money and we'd be massively worse off without them. What's needed is mechanisms to make sure landlords and tenants in private rents care for the houses. Overall Students do get a bad rap when a fair whack of issues are home grown.

I can see the point of having a Marina, it would be an added string to the bow of what Bangor offers, it also links in with the old fishing/boat building history better than dire cheaply built (expensively sold) estates of houses being thrown up. But the Marina plan would need allot of thought and such plans have come and gone over the years. The front is just a wasted opportunity of tyre garages and sites suited better to industrial zones so it's understandable that Gwynedd and developers mull over ideas.  
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Re: The Sailors Institute Hirael

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In reply to this post by Brenda Jones

North Wales Chronicle - Saturday 16 May 1863

There are allot of references to keeping in the old papers, they were obviously good at catching the tinkers.
Brenda Jones Brenda Jones
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Thanks for that reply, Matt - didn't expect it. I have no quibble against students, have stayed in Neuadd Rathbone myself, and my afore-mentioned Nain worked there for a while in the 60's. Just that with my background in Bangor I have been able to come back and compare. I have to say that, and I think there is agreement, planning has been catastrophic - or perhaps non-existent. I say this in as much as the whole development of Bangor has resulted in an imbalance of student dwellings to the exclusion of everything, or anything for the residents. It's so sad also to see the lack of care in what is left of Bangor. It looks so frayed at the edges. I hope common sense can prevail.
Brenda Jones Brenda Jones
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Matt, how thoughtful that you have sourced and posted a court report from an 1863 N. Wales Chronicle about my ancestor's prowess in keeping salmon tinkering at bay. Our family research stops at Robert Snr's parents, and is not that revealing. We wonder about the Bucklands: some were very well-to-do and important. In addition there are those of that surname much esteemed as a tinker family. This totally makes sense, if Colonel Pennant decided to hire keepers who were well versed, not to say born into, these ways. I have seen the film ''Eldra'' which tells the story of another Penrhyn keeper, who was a tinker, and whose daughter felt the pull of the old roots. She poured this into her music. So interesting. Thank-you once again.
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