Organisers have hailed a memories session, held at Caergwrle’s Presbyterian Church Hall as a success. Caergwrle Sense of Place Project Coordinator Dave Healey said:
“There was a steady stream of people coming to the event throughout the day, with over 50 people passing through. Caergwrle residents have a very strong attachment to their heritage and were very keen to share photographs and memories.”
The event included a mock-up of a 1950s shop which was staffed by ten-year old Sarah Massey, with assistance from her mother Karen. The first customer of the day was Mark Tami, MP for Alyn and Deeside, who purchased goods using pre-decimal currency and traditional scales for weighing. Several residents shared their memories about some of the shops that were run by members of their families in bygone times. Mark Tami MP said:“Events like this one are very important in giving people a sense of belonging in a community. Caergwrle has a fine heritage and one that the people rightly take a pride in.”
Heritage Consultant Lorna Jenner commented:“It was good to see so many local people calling in to look at the exhibitions and share their memories. We gathered a wealth of new material, including receipts for beer purchased from the Birkenhead Brewery Company that were found under old skirting boards during the renovation of the former Derby Arms, an invoice and receipt book from the 1940s for Jack Hurst, Grocer, baker and confectioner, adverts for Gwalia Forge and Rhyddin Hall Park Spa plus numerous photos. 94 year old Doris Clark recalled how pleased she had been to move from a cottage on the mountain into one of the new council houses in 1950 as they had running water and electricity! All these memories, photos and memorabilia will help us to build up a bigger picture of life in Caergwrle through the ages.”
Photo above: Bill Smuts and Lorna Jenner record memories of Margaret Jones.
The event was part of the HLF-funded Caergwrle Sense of Place Project which aims to collect memories and publish A Ramble Around the Historic Village of Caergwrle.
Photo below: Doris Clark and Margaret Marsh discuss old newspaper cuttings from the Leader.
Those who attended were captivated by many old photographs that were on display and became actively engaged in discussing these, old newspaper cuttings and artefacts about the village. Videos of the famous Historical Festivals, which were held at Caergwrle in the late 1980s and 1990s, were shown throughout the day and several visitors commented that they had seen themselves on film.Special thanks should go to Hope Parish Church members Blodwyn and David Ellis who provided refreshments and were of great help with the event. Members of the Caergwrle Community Action Group also played an active part in organising a comments and suggestions box. This proved to be a valuable exercise in community engagement with many comments in support of the trip down memory lane and pertinent suggestions for village improvement.
As part of the Project tours of Caergwrle Village will alternate with tours of the Castle each Wednesday until September. Tours start from High Street Car Park at 6pm, and last approximately one and a half hours. Donations will be invited in support of Hope Community Library which will provide host to a local history archive.
Arrangements for the tours are as follows:
Tours of Caergwrle Castle on 3rd, 17th & 31st August
Tours of Caergwrle Village on 10th & 24th August
Stout footwear is recommended for the tours. The tours will be family friendly with certificates for each type of tour being issued to children who take part. It is hoped that volunteers will agree to become ‘Caergwrle Ambassadors’ and arrange tours themselves in support of worthy causes. Materials can be provided to assist those who are willing to play a part in a Project which aims to raise the profile of the local heritage.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the policy of Flintshire County Council. Readers are welcome to contact the author with any news or views on the local heritage at DHealey204@aol.com or by telephoning 01978 761 523.