Sunday, 18 September 2016

Mike

The Hall this morning

The centre of Trelawnyd is dominated by the Memorial Hall, which is a community centre rather than a church or indeed large chapel which it is often mistaken for.
It was built around 110 years ago and was the brain child of one of the most unlikely patrons a Welsh village could ever ask for.
Michael Antonio Ralli ( or Mike as he was referred to) was a Greek living in Odessa in the 1800s . He made a fortune importing cotton from Russia when the USA could not during their Civil war and after a spell working as the Greek consul to Liverpool, he and his wife Polymnia came to live in was to become Mia Hall, a grand red brick house situated west of the village.

Ralli was a bit of a dish

Ralli built the Memorial hall not only as a gift for the village, but as a way of giving the local unemployed a job. It's referred to as the Memorial Hall as it was build in memory of his wife who died in 1896
He, like a former founder of Trelawnyd , John Wynne in the 1600s , wanted to see the village flourish as a market town.
The Hall around 1910 with it's cupola 




44 comments:

  1. Nice piece of local history.

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  2. The story reminds me of the old TV series "Connections" by James Burke. I can imagine him explaining how Britain, in the industrial revolution, was importing cotton from the US only to have the flow interrupted by the US Civil War. etc. etc. all ending with him walking through the Trelawnyd flower show.

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  3. What a great philanthropic idea and a splendid hall is the result.

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  4. Do you have a photo of Mia Hall, the grand red brick house? I think the Memorial Hall is quite ugly even though it was built with good intent. I think you and the prof should grow beards like Ralli in his honour!!!

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  5. What a nice town center, and it certainly is remembered as a memorial.

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  6. That's an interesting story. Thanks for sharing it.

    In honour of Ralli, perhaps you could grow your moustache like his. You might have to apply some lard to stiffen it. (The moustache I mean)

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  7. Lovely.
    LOL @ Yorkshire Pudding.

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  8. He was indeed a bit of a dish.

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  9. I would love to see a pic of Mia Hall as well. Very interesting and unexpected history!

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  10. A beautiful piece of architecture. The copula is gone? Why?

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  11. Is there a plaque explaining the history of the Hall so people can find out about it? What a generous man. -Jenn

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  12. I thoroughly enjoyed this history lesson. Mr Ralli's story has great film potential.

    Best wishes.

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  13. I find that people who move into an area often know or research more about the local history than people who have lived there all their lives John. Great post.

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  14. He was a nice looking fellow wasn't he?

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  15. I was just watching a TV show which usually profiles the idle and entitled rich buying whole islands as hideaways. Yesterday it was a philanthropist plonking down 200 million for an island to turn into a camp for underpriviliged children. He was completely involved down to the last detail-woods for the kids to climb trees and build forts-spaces for them to get away from adults etc etc. There seems to be a clear divide between those who give back and those empty headed nitwits who don't. Many ways to invest in one's community as you exemplify, John.

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    1. I've watched that show too but missed the one about the philanthropist. That would have been a nice antidote to the other folks you mention. I get really incensed when the people on another show "House Hunters International" walk into a palatial mansion in a foreign country and then sneer about how small the kitchen or bathroom is. Ugh.

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  16. Well, that's an interesting tidbit of history! Coming to Wales from Greece via Russia is a heck of a life path for those days, when people didn't travel like they do now.

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  17. He deserves a brass plaque, what a generous guy, and it would be nice to see the cupola added as it was originally. Handsome man.

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    1. There is a plaqueon the side of thhe hall....there is another in the church where he donated more things to the village

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  18. And a good example of how an immigrant benefitted his adopted community for decades to come.

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    1. Brexit supporters please note

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  19. Nice story that he helped the unemployed this way. What happened to the cupola?

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    1. Do you know i dont know.... All we have is the turret!

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  20. A great gift to leave, and good to put some folks to work at the time, too.

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  21. A great history to have.

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  22. What a great post today.
    I am not sure the design is very Welsh to me. I haven't looked up building designs of the 1910 in your area.

    cheers, parsnip
    p.s. The names of the cats are Oliver Winston and Merda.

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  23. How nice that he felt the need to give back to the community and remember his wife.

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  24. This is the kind of local history I first read on your blog,John!! Since then I got myself a severe lesson in the amount of pets that fits into a normal household, flowersshows, odd neighbours, annoying issues and so this, absolutely love piece of heartwarming history. Trelawnyd seem to be nice place in the world!!

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    1. Most of the real history is on my sister blog...tomresd that just have a look down my side bar and click on the photo of auntie gladys ..it will take youmthere

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    2. Thank you! I have added it on my list, most interesting!!

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  25. He has nice eyes

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  26. is this the hall where the flower show is held?

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    1. Yes AM the one and only

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  27. Your village has such a community foundation & current inclusiveness that you bring to life for us all in your blog Thankyou :)
    I look out my door over sweeping paddocks with just fences and stock breaking the view for miles which I would miss terribly if I lived in a village but I do enjoy your sense if community & belonging

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  28. That was quite the undertaking. And quite the man. Some people just have such huge ideas and vision - and accomplish amazing things.

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  29. Thats a fabulous story!

    The hall looks very sturdy, building it must have provided quite a lot of employment, especially back in a time when everything was more labour intensive than these days

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  30. Are any of his descendants still around town?

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    1. When the hall was upgraded a few years ago,i think a great neice came to the hall to open it, she lives in prestatyn

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  31. It looks a bit more dashing with its cupola.

    Jo in Auckland, NZ

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  32. The changes over the years have not been for the better. It previously had a very 'Arts and Crafts' look about it, which has now sadly gone.

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    1. Indeed....but the hall does have a lovely feel to it when you go inside

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  33. It's a very striking feature as you come into the village, and definitely one of a kind in these parts.

    As you say most similar looking buildings are churches or chapels, with the village halls being an afterthought or plain boxy building.

    A lovely story too, benefitting the village at it's conception and ever since.

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  34. Good heavens - he looks a lot like the Canadian actor Ryan Robbins!

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