Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fields Of Dreams

I am always moved by people that have dreams, people that aspire to something.
You see it everyday in the High Street when another shop opens.
A livelihood that has to face the gauntlet of recession and hardship.
That shop is someone's dream.
A passion and a hope.




Last night I went to the Trelawnyd and Gwaenysgor Community Council meeting and in passing had chance to read a photocopy of the Prestatyn Weekly Newspaper dated the 23rd of October 1909.
In it was an article discussing an initiative by Mr Michael Antonio Ralli,who was the Greek Consul in Liverpool, to build our village Hall as a way of giving jobs and motivation to the local unemployed.
Ralli was a somewhat colourful character to be found in a predominantly Welsh village. He was a Greek from Odessa who made a small fortune importing cotton from Russia when American could not export it's own during the American Civil War and I find it fascinating that after a period living in London and Liverpool
he and his wife Polynmia, would end up dominating an insular and quiet backwater village.
A Ukrainian Greek as Lord of the Manor
How Exotic!


Polynmia Ralli


Trelawnyd ( or Newmarket as it was formally known) was Ralli's dream, he clearly wanted it to develop in status when he gifted the Memorial Hall to the village
The newspaper cutting eluded to that fact when it stated that Ralli's wish was to make Newmarket a "Garden City", a rather grand dream for a village of 600 simple souls, but a rather sweet one nevertheless.
 I wonder what Ralli would have made of the fact the Newmarket title was renamed Trelawnyd in 1954...
The "new" name was in keeping , I suppose, for it has a name that Ralli might of liked
.....Trelawnyd  literally  means " a town full of wheat"

32 comments:

  1. That's amazing - and cosmopolitan. What's the Welsh for 'A Town Full of Chickens'?

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  2. How interesting. What would Newmarket be in Welsh surely not as attractive as Trelawnyd or is it?

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  3. "Marchnad Newydd" Cuby
    not the same eh?

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  4. hmm... funny how people seem to think that people coming to our shores is a) a modern thing b) a threat to the status quo. Britain wouldn't be Britain without this kind of person coming here to make/spend his fortune

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  5. Not the same at all! Really fascinating - thank you. I really should get more involved in our local history society in Chagford.

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  6. You do have some very interesting history.

    No tornado, no rain. Very hot weather.

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  7. Was it 600 souls in the time of Ralli, or now? Every village needs a Ralli.

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  8. cro the population was over 600 in the late 1890s ( a product of less houses and bigger families!)

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  9. A fascinating piece of history....I used to live near Newmarket in Suffolk which is still known as ..........Newmarket

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  10. I think I might give my village a Welsh name. We could have 'how to pronounce it' classes in the village hall.
    Jane xx

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  11. I agree with you about shop owners. To keep a shop going in the current economic climate must require a great deal of ingenuity, determination and financial wizardry. I would hate any of the very useful specialist shops in our local shopping street to go under.

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  12. John here is a link to the genealogy of the family scroll to the middle part.
    http://www.agelastos.com/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I874&tree=agelasto

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  13. Fascinating stuff. Do we know what became of Ralli?

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  14. American not the only 'melting pot'

    Interesting story of a vision.

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  15. he died in Rhyl ( a nearby town)at the age of 72. His wife died at the age of 42. They had three children .

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  16. Well isn't that interesting. I would have thought with a name like Trelawnyd it would have been there since the beginning! It's nice to know the history of your village...at least I think so. I hope your day is a good one John :)

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  17. From how you have described about your lovely town, no wonder he decided to settle down there.

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  18. We could do with a few more philanthropists like that at the moment I think John.

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  19. Were rich people more generous back then? Seems like it. Reminds me of Sir Titus Salt, who had the village Saltaire made for all his workers at the mill and a hospital and even almshouses for the elderly (right beside where I used to live in my flat).

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  20. Nice history lesson there. It makes me wonder if you were born in Trelawnyd or if you're a transplant?
    In any case, the village is lucky to have a community-minded organizer and historian like you!

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  21. interesting...how a civil war in the USA can affect so many...a Greek in the UK exporting cotton from Russia because the US had extreme social ills! talk about throwing a pebble into the water and watching the ripples spread out and out and out!

    I vote for the name Trelawnyd!

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  22. sparrow
    I was born in the nearby town of St Asaph and brought up in Prestatyn which is 2 miles north

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  23. And a handsome rascal too - Well, that is if one could shave off all that strangely styled facial hair.

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  24. Great post, John.

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  25. Unfortunately, I've seen the dream of private shop ownership dashed twice among my own offspring here in California. Not what one expects when town populations are typically 1000 times 600. However, if I remember the noise level when the kids were small, there might have been 600 in this house alone.

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  26. Fabulous local history.

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  27. I might be slightly "off topic" here - which will come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with ANY of my comments......

    Yesterday whilst walking through fields of wheat.... as the dogs ran around the fields and you could only work out their position by either a flushed pheasant hastily exiting or by the disturbances in the sea of crop heads......

    I turned to Ben and said "what's the name of that bloody awful film where they come out of the field to play baseball"..... which was of course Field of Dreams.....

    I think we both finally decided that the dogs reminded us more of "children of the Corn".

    OK diversion over...... you may resume normal service now....

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  28. Amazing that he ended up in a Welsh village!! What a story.

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  29. I thought polynmia ralli was an STD until I read this account of a most unlikely local hero. Very interesting.

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  30. Our friends Geoff ad Tina live in Mia Hall, a Victorian pile just outside Trelawnyd, which I think was where Mr and Mrs Ralli lived. I believe the house was named after Polynmia Ralli.

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  31. Our friends Geoff ad Tina live in Mia Hall, a Victorian pile just outside Trelawnyd, which I think was where Mr and Mrs Ralli lived. I believe the house was named after Polynmia Ralli.

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  32. I liked that story - I often sense that the past had more vision and endeavour than we have today. That's probably not true, but certainly there were some great individuals with dreams and aspirations

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