Category Archives: Religion

One Christmas card that escaped the recycling

This Christmas card was sent to my great aunt Paulina, probably some time in the late 1890s. By 1903 she was employed as a teaching assistant at Dinas school (paid £35* per year) and would shortly marry Thomas Maurice, the … Continue reading

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Improving literature

When the Welsh non-conformist chapels had congregations that filled the pews and most households  owned a family bible that was large enough to record the family’s births and deaths on blank pages, the other devotional book with which most chapel-goers were familiar … Continue reading

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Seeking the person behind the inscription: DAVID CHARLES JONES

The Reverend David Charles Jones was not originally from Dinas and indeed Jones is not a common surname in the village. However, he spent many happy holidays in the area and chose to be buried, with his wife and son, … Continue reading

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On your marks, get set, don’t leap into the void!

This first photo shows the side view of Tabor: a lovely chapel, cherished by a dwindling congregation that manages to maintain the building, with its precious links to Dinas’ history and emotional ties to past generations. The chapel, with its wall and railings, is one … Continue reading

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Free university education for Welsh immigrants and their children

In the late 1930s about 9,000 young people, in total, graduated from UK universities per year: an experience that was out of the question for my father and his sisters – with my grandfather a fireman and recent economic migrant. But when his … Continue reading

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Our blue-eyed boy (and another mystery solved)

It would be churlish to ignore totally the little man on the left. He was the Secretary of State for Air, Howard Kingsley Wood, and his visit to RAF Kidbrooke in 1939 occasioned the arrival of the photographer and hence … Continue reading

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Hedd Wyn (Blessed Peace)

In our Christmas 2014 exchange of letters, Gill (an old friend from Abergavenny)  and I both wrote about films we had seen during the past year. Her chosen film was Hedd Wyn and she has inspired me to search it out to … Continue reading

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And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

By the time the photo* was taken in the 1960s, these walls had withstood the wild sea weather for 60 years at least and provided an apt example for the local Vicar to use when teaching the parable of the house built … Continue reading

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Haunting Churchyards

 In Memory of LETITIA and GEORGE children of the Rev.d David GRIFFITHS, VICAR of this Parish, who died in their Infancy AD 1794. ——— They tasted of life’s bitter cup. Refused to drink the potion up But turned their little heads aside … Continue reading

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Stitched in a chapel to be hung in the cathedral

I was privileged to see the beginning of St Caradoc’s journey from a converted chapel, where he was being hand-stitched by Amanda Wright, to his appointed place in the great Cathedral of St Davids, where his bones are thought to … Continue reading

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When Wales was the envy of Russia

To those of us who find it hard to resist the opportunity of wandering around a graveyard, a headstone will often offer a personal, privileged glimpse into largely undocumented lives. This inscription marks a grave in St Mary’s churchyard, Newport, Pembrokeshire. John Morgan, a … Continue reading

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Menna Gallie – For when you’ve read your Dylan Thomas

We are nearing the end of Dylan Thomas’ centenary year. I hope that all fans have re-read ‘Under Milk Wood’ a few times in these past months and now have a little gap in the reading schedule before reminding themselves … Continue reading

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