Cardigan People 26: John B. Ferrier J.P. (1843–1911)

From Catherine Row, Cardigan to Cardiff City Hall”

John Ferrier left Catherine Row, Cardigan as a 13 year old in 1856. His father, also John, was a master mariner. John (jr.) began his Cardiff career in the offices of Messrs. George Insole and son. He migrated to the firm of Burnyeat, Brown and Co. – one of the most prosperous in the Welsh Coal Industry. He became general manager by 1873, and later managing director. Associated with the firm of Messrs. Watts, Watts and Co, (Ltd) and the United National Collieries (Ltd) they owned the Insoles-Merthyr pits and the Ynysddu collieries in the Sirhowi Valley, which together had an output of one and a half million tons of coal per annum.

J. B. Ferrier took a prominent part in Cardiff Chamber of Commerce: vice-president in 1886, 1893; president in 1894 and again vice-president in 1897. He was one of the most energetic promoters of the Cardiff Exhibition of 1896. Mr Ferrier frequently appeared before Parliamentary Committees as a witness in connection with the railways of the coalfield.

He also found time to devote his services to the Cardiff Infirmary, and was a member of the management committee for many years.

At one time he was a director of the Newport-Abercarn Steam Coal Company (Ltd) and the Stranaghan and Stephens’ Stores (Ltd) but resigned these owing to the increasing calls in his own company. He was also a director of John Williams and Son (Ltd).

From 1896 he was a vice-president of the Liberal Unionist Association and was an ardent Tariff Reformer. He retired in 1910, and died in a nursing home in Llandrindod Wells. He was cremated at Liverpool crematorium.

Information from the Evening Express 29 Sept., 1910

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