This section of the website is about Bwlchgwyn as it used to be, generally speaking, before 1960 or, more accurately, before modern building of houses began in the village in any great quantity.
The various pages recall a village of extended families, small businesses, decent houses and poor cottages; open vistas unblemished by overgrown hedgerows, long walks across the fields and into Nant-y-Ffrith; quarry workers, coal and lead miners, schools, pubs and beerhouses, and chapels and church on Sundays.
A lovely little Church in the heart of the village; where I read one of the lessons in the Harvest Festival, where I used to play the organ when June was doing some tidying in the Church, where Sunday School was very cold in the winter and where most of the family milestones were recorded.
My first memory is of trying to navigate around the galaxy to Mars – no, not high on magic mushrooms, just playing in the back bedroom in the dark because, when we moved in, there were no lightbulbs.
Some memories are so important that they need to be remembered. My parents moved into Brooklyn Stores in November 1957, at some after that, when we had settled in, they had a shop sign made up and attached to the porch. The signwriter was Fred Edwards, better remembered with affection as Fred the bus. I also remember his father, George driving the brown and cream coach, George Edwards & Son, Bwlchgwyn.
Who were the men from the village who died in the two world wars? Their names are recorded and I’ve added some notes about them; people I never knew, but they mattered then, and they are still important. Lads who went to war and didn’t return.
There were four chapels in Bwlchgwyn: Nebo, Salem, Bethesda and Peniel. Look carefully into the centre of this picture and you can see “Salem 1879”, the front of Salem Chapel that stood on Brymbo Road.
Only one of the old Inns is still open for business, but where did the miners and quarrymen quench their thirsts? And what is the difference between a public house and a beer house? It’s not just sawdust…
Although there had been an earlier school (now Christ Church), this was the village school for over a hundred years.
1939 – 1944, by Gwenda Lewis
A young girl’s memories of being evacuated from London to stay with her relatives in Bwlchgwyn
Read Extracts from Gwenda’s Book Here
All of Gwenda’s copies of her book have gone now, but Gwenda has asked me to print excerpts on here and I’ll see to that soon.
Nant View and Nant Road, Bwlchgwyn
People do send me pictures, and I can’t remember how I got this postcard, the view is from the hairpin bend (by the War Memorial) up to Nant View on the left and Nant Eos and Nant View on the right. In the distance are buildings at the entrance to the quarry. (The photographer’s assistant is studying the flowers amongst the grasses at the edge of the road – he seems to be an apprentice with him, too; it surely was hard work lugging around cameras and bicycles all day, but at least they could have stopped at the Hwntw Arms, which always offered good rates for cyclists, as they made their way up towards the four crosses).
Once part of iron-mad Wilkinson’s estate, this was once an almost self-contained collection of farm and lead miners’/colliers’ cottages at the east of the village