Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Coincidence

I just love the power of the internet.
A few days ago I received an email from a Mrs Grenough, a stranger.
By chance she had come across my village history blog and shared with me the following information

........"my Nain and Taid [ Grandparents] were Norman and Maggie Jones of Plas yn Dre in Trelawnyd. My father (their son) was Cledwyn Foulkes Jones ( he died 1989) but was brought up in Plas yn Dre.
Trelawnyd is (or was) full of relatives; I had 2 great Aunts; Lizzie and Mary Foulkes who lived in a cottage opposite the Church, another great Aunt and Uncle, Harry and Rene Lewis lived on London Rd....one of the houses next to the hall and is now derelict....I think their son Colin is still in the area.....
Anyway, the point of all this is that many years ago my father was involved in some way with the Village Eisteddfod and at the time someone gave him a beautifully bound copy of; 
"A list of place names in the Parish of Newmarket 1920" by 
Helena Banning Roberts of The Laurels Newmarket
It was the winning entry for the Eisteddfod that year (it went under the title of "An Essay and History on the place names of Newmarket" by Rustic)"
The Greenoughs yesterday

She also went on to kindly offer me the book, and told me she could drop it off herself when she came to visit with her elderly mother who lives down the coast.
Yesterday she and her husband found me collecting eggs.it had been over forty years since she had come down the lane to Bwthyn Y Llan, for the spinster aunts , she had mentioned in her email as living in the village had actually resided in our cottage!
Apparently the sisters had both been sent away into service in Liverpool when young and had returned to live in the village where they grew up. Mrs Greenough remembers their ( our)  cottage very well, always having the fantasy that she would live in it when she grew up.
Mary & Lizzie's grave in the churchyard
I will put some flowers on it today
I find it fascinating that our paths crossed in such an arbitrary way, but it does feel that the book has " come home" in a strange sort of way

The book, as it turns out is a fantastic chronicle of the old village. Every house and cottage has a mention. Historic place names, fields, farms and house names are all referenced with brief histories, information and anecdotes , it is a comprehensive snapshot of the village past....I couldn't have asked for a better gift.
The book..

Funny too, that I am giving a talk on my history blog, to the village friendship group tomorrow afternoon. I shall take Helena Banning Robert's book with me.
Funny how things work out eh?




46 comments:

  1. That's wonderful John, an old book being reunited via modern technology - marvelous.

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    1. I think ultimately it should be kept at somewhere like the memorial hall or even, as affable despot jason , suggested, the county archive department

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  2. Wonderful; the power of the net!

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  3. What a wonderful turn of events John …… I love a bit of history, me !!
    When we lived in our 17th century cottage, I couldn't get enough information about it. One of the covenants in our deeds was that anyone could knock on our door and graze their sheep ….. we got £15 a year for the privilege !!!! XXXX

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    1. I trust you had a field?

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  4. the little wire that brings people together...without it, I would never know you exist!

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  5. The world is even smaller these days. Great stuff.

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  6. We have met the most wonderful people through bogging, some in person, some only online.

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  7. Coincidence is a funny thing John and crops up in the most unlikely places. Travelling abroad a lot as I have done throughout my earlier life, I have so often come across folk in remote places and when we have got talking we find a common link.
    I am glad that book has come home - where is it going to be kept?

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    1. These are the sort of kismet moments I love pat

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  8. This is very serendipitous John, it was meant to happen. So amazing how things work out like this.

    Oh and I will definitely check out Gerald Durrell per your recommendation.

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    1. Don't forget to read his stories of when he was a boy in Corfu.....
      With his homemade boat which was called
      The " bootlebumtrinket"

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  9. The internet has made the world a smaller place....and bring more people together in amazing ways!

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  10. i think that book made it's way home too. it could not have been placed in better hands!

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  11. A village treasure...the book and you.
    Jane x

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  12. That is soo cool! How wonderful to have that book, and how sweet that the Greenoughs gifted it to you.

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    1. The power of blogging eh..

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  13. The global village has been made that much cozier
    What a delightful outcome.

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  14. An amazing gift, indeed. It couldn't have fallen into better hands (assuming you washed the duck shit off first).

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  15. A real treasure to have, John.

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  16. Sweet...and they look like a jolly couple too!

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  17. Serendipity John....just like you and Winnie....serendipity.

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  18. Your blog is a living book John. I am sure you will cherish the book and dip into it for reflections of long gone village life in Wales.

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  19. How wonderful for you and perfect timing. I hope you gave her some of those eggs you had been gathering.

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    1. They were given three boxes!

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  20. What a lovely and interesting surprise.

    cheers, parsnip

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  21. I love the headstone. Very pretty and unique.

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  22. I've been in one such adventure. The internet is like the sea, washing everything to shore, in time.

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    1. What a nice way of putting it

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    2. That's a wonderful image, Joanne.

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  23. This is the really good side of the internet. how cool

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  24. What an amazing coincidence and how wonderful that the Internet has afforded you receiving this book. I just loved this story especially that the spinster aunts. I'm sure you rewarded the visitors with the eggs you were gathering. xx

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  25. What a wonderful story and happening! I'm glad they were able to stop by and see you in person. You must have felt a little thrill when you got that book in your hands!

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  26. The power of the internet. How wonderful that she was able to get in touch with you. And what serendipity that you live in the same cottage as the aunts. I love that you put flowers on their grave.

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  27. What a wonderful thing to happen! And, your cottage, of all places! Perfect!

    I don't suppose you know Colin?

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  28. Chills. You've given me chills. The book was meant to be in your hands.

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  29. What a small world, hey, John? Kind of like when I met the lady, back in 1994, who had also grown up in this house where my hubby grew up; and where we live now.

    What a wonderful gift of history, indeed. Enjoy!

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  30. This is great, and really goes to show how much the online parts of our lives can influence the offline parts.
    I notice that you must be out collecting eggs quite a lot, and it seems to lead to interesting conversations or visits often.

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  31. That's an incredible story, John. How wonderful to have made such aconnection.

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