Cardigan and the Sea 2

Cardigan’s geographical location on the banks of the river Teifi leading to Cardigan Bay, the Irish Sea, the Atlantic and beyond, means that the sea has always had an influence on its history. Wandering through the burial records and reading the gravestones of those buried in the Church cemetery, reveals the hopes and aspirations of Cardigan’s youth and the tragedies that occurred in so many families.

The river has always been a dangerous place for young children to play.

  • David William, 11 years old and the 3rd son of John ac Elizabeth drowned in July 1844.
  • In June 1890 William Henry Smith, Mwldan drowned in the river.

Some drowned by crossing the bar.

  • George Jefferson, 17 years old, and John Pratt, 22 years old, both drowned when the brig Active sank, in June 1825.

Cardigan Bay was the last place for some to see daylight.

  • Richard Finch, the 27 year old son of Mary, drowned in March 1827.
  • Thomas Thomas, 15 years old drowned in October 1843.
  • David Davies, Parc Llwyd, Aber-porth, 70 years old drowned in 1851.
  • John Evans, 30 years old drowned in November 1866.

A little further afield, William Phillips, a second mate on board SS Cyfarthfa drowned when he fell into the East Bute Dock, Cardiff October 1897. He left a widow and 2 children.

The following were drowned on various sea voyages where the ship’s destiny is not revealed.

  • Morgan Morgan, 45 years old, in December 1846.
  • William Miles, 19 years old, son of John and Dorothy, in December 1847.
  • William James, 29 years old in April 1853.
  • John Charles, 31 years old, son of David in August 1893.

When places are mentioned the distances travelled by Cardigan sailors are revealed. It is clear that Cardigan was not “the land that time forgot” and Cardigan people could be found in all corners of the globe well before the opening of the Cardigan to Carmarthen railway, the coming of the motor car and bus trips, or the building of Cardiff airport!

Here is a small sample of the evidence:

  • Rowland Rowlands, 20 years old, died on 25 April 1796 in the West Indies.
  • James Evans, 26 years old, master of the schooner Nymph died near Cape Clear, February 1833.
  • Daniel Davies, 40 years old, died near Cape Clear [off the Irish coast], November 1838.
  • James Owens, 25 years old, son of David and Diana, died near Crow Head, North West Ireland, November 1838.
  • John Roberts, 20 years old, died near the  Cape of Good Hope, September 1848.
  • William Davies, 38 years old, master of the schooner Harmony died in Tralee, May 1849.
  • Thomas Jones, 19 years old drowned and all the crew of the Pomona, on the Scottish coast February 1850.
  • Isaac Griffiths, 23 years old, drowned near the African coast, June 1850.
  • David Morris, 23 year old son of Evan and Margaret, died in San Fransisco December 1850.
  • George Lord, 10 month old, born at sea and died in Valparaiso [Chile] 1851.
  • John Mathias, 26 year old died of cholera in Rotterdam September 1854.
  • David Owens, 52 years old, died on board the schooner Master De Carri sailing from Pomeron, December 1854
  • John Griffiths, sailmaker, 59 years old, died in Malta May 1855.
  • John W. Jones, 16 years old on the brig Hope in 1856.
  • John White, 44 years old died died in Rio de Janeiro March 1857.
  • Capten William Finch, 37 years old, died in Rio de Janeiro May 1857.
  • William White, 28 years old, son of George and Sarah died in Quebec October 1860.
  • Mary Runnegar, 35 years old, died in Richmond, Australia May 1861.
  • James Timothy, 20 years old, fell overboard the barque Jone of Sunderland February 1863 on route from Mauritius to London.
  • David Thomas, died on board the schooner William Edward from Gloucester in the Bay of Biscay June 1863.
  • Phillip Phillips, 39 years old died on board the brig Harmony of Cardiff near the Scottish coast December 1865.
  • John Stephens, 45 years old died in Cuba, 1867.
  • David Davies, 27 years old, died on board the Sclavonica, by Leith in 1867.
  • David Sambrook, 52 years old, died on board the Harlech Castle near Cape Horn, August 1868.
  • William Tudor Davies, son of Tudor and Elizabeth, 23 years old and chief officer died on board the Almora, on route from Bombay to Liverpool September 1868.
  • Captain William Jones, 41 years old, drowned on route from Philadelphia to Plymouth 17 September 1869.
  • John Owens, 23 oed, died on route from the Mediterranean December 1870; and his brother James, 35 years old died on route from Shields to Mollendo [Southern Peru] December 1871.
  • William Jenkins, 21 years old, son of David died near Cape Horn, September 1872.
  • John Lloyd 26 years old died of yellow fever in Rio de Janeiro June 1873.
  • John Thomas, 45 years old, died while managing the barque Maggie of Swansea. He died in Plymouth and was buried there in May 1874.
  • Evan Thomas, ship master, William St., 36 years old, died in St Helena, 16 October 1875.
  • Thomas Harries Griffiths, 40 years old died on board the brig Leading Star on route from Shields to Folkestone November, 1875.
  • Stephen James, 49 years old died in Geddes November 1876.
  • Thomas Owens, 37 years old, died on route from Bombay to London, on board the Flora August 1877.
  • Captain John Morgan, 56 years old, died in Quebec Hospital, 1881 and was buried in Quebec.
  • Henry Greenhill Trollip, second son of Jacob, 19 years old died on board the ship Easterhill April 1886.
  • Thomas Morgan, 35 years old, died in Pera Hospital, Brazil January 1887.

Tragedy struck some families across more than one generation.

  • Thomas and James, sons of Owen and Elizabeth Thomas, drowned at sea as well as their grandson John Lloyd
  • David Davies, Parc Llwyd drowned in Cardigan Bay in 1851 and his son David died from burns on board the ship Amazon, January 1852.
  • David Williams, 11 years old, and 3rd son of John and Elizabeth, drowned by the Quay in Cardigan in 1844; their 4th son William, 16 years old was washed overboard the Susannah on the North West coast of Ireland in December 1844.
  • William Williams, 52 years old, master of the brig Jane of Cardigan died in Limerick, October 1825; Lewis, his 23 years old son drowned in February 1833; another son John, 18 years old drowned off the coast at Holyhead in the Mary of Cardigan in October 1838; and a third son Thomas, 34 years old died in New York in July 1847.

Cardigan and the sea 1

According to Dr J. Geraint Jenkins in his book Maritime Heritage: the ships and seamen of Southern Ceredigion, Gomer, 1982:

p. 111 The port of Cardigan and, to a lesser extent, the riverside village of St. Dogmaels, developed into a very important shipbuilding centre and flourished tremendously, particularly during the first half of the nineteenth century. The following entries in nineteenth century Directories [below] indicate how important the industry was in Cardigan:

But an examination of the names listed in the census returns throughout the nineteenth century reveals further connections and thus gives a more accurate picture of the numbers involved in the shipbuilding and associated industries in Cardigan’s past.

Here are the entries quoted by Dr. Jenkins from nineteenth century Trade Directories:

Pigot’s Directory 1830

  • Shipwrights: John Jones, St. Mary St; Evan Jones, Mwldan
  • Blockmakers: William Phillips, Mwldan; Rees Rees, Mwldan
  • Sailmakers: David Davies, Bridge St.; John Edwards, Bridgend; Jonathan Jones, High St.
  • Anchor & Ships Smith: John Davies, Eben’s Lane

Pigot’s Directory 1835

  • Shipwrights: John Evans, St. Dogmaels; James Jones, Mwldan; Evan Morgan, Mwldan
  • Blockmakers: David Evans, St Dogmaels; Eli Griffith, St. Dogmaels; William Phillips, Mwldan; Rees Rees, Mwldan
  • Ropemakers: David Davies, Bridge St.; William Humphreys, near Turnpike; Jones & co. Pendre
  • Sailmakers: Thomas Edwards, Mwldan; Jonathan Jones, High St.

Anchor & Ships Smith: John Davies, Eben’s Lane

Pigot’s Directory 1844

  • Shipwrights: John Evans, St. Dogmaels; David Griffiths, Netpool; James James, Mwldan; William Jones, Netpool; David Owen, Netpool; John Williams, Netpool
  • Blockmakers: David Evans, St. Dogmaels; Eli Griffiths, St. Dogmaels; William Phillips, Mwldan; Edward Williams, Mwldan
  • Ropemakers: David Davies, Bridgend; Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; William Humphreys, Catherine Row; Thomas Jones, Quay St.
  • Sailmakers: David Davies, Bridgend; James Edwards, Bridgend; Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; Lewis Jones, Mwldan

 Slater’s Directory 1859

  • Shipwrights: John Evans, St. Dogmaels; Samuel Jones Evans, Mwldan; David Griffiths, Netpool; William Jones, Netpool; David Owen, Netpool; Thomas Tucker, St Dogmaels; John Williams, Greenfield Row
  • Anchor & chain cable manufacturers: David Davies, Bridgend; John Davies, Strand
  • Blockmakers: Rees Rees, Quay St.; David Rowlands, Bridge St.; Edward Williams, Mwldan
  • Ropemakers: David Davies, Bridgend; Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; Benjamin Humphreys, Pendre
  • Sailmakers: David Davies, Bridgend; Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; Benjamin Humphreys, Pendre

Kelly’s Directory 1871

  • Shipwrights: John Williams, Netpool; David Griffiths, Netpool
  • Mast & blockmakers: David Rowlands, Quay
  • Ropemakers: Benjamin & John Evans, Pendre
  • Sailmaker: Lewis Evans, Mwldan

Worrall’s Directory 1875

  • Shipwrights: Thomas Evans, St. Dogmaels; David Griffiths, Netpool; John Williams, Netpool
  • Block, Mast & Spar makers: David Rowlands, Quay St.; Edward Williams, Netpool
  • Ropemakers: David Griffith Davies, Bridgend; Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; Benjamin Evan, Pendre
  • Sailmakers: Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; John Lewis, High St.

Slaters’ Directory 1880

  • Shipwrights: Thomas Evans, St. Dogmaels; Thomas Tucjer, St. Dogmaels; John Williams, Greenfields; David Griffiths, Netpool
  • Ropemakers: John & Benjamin Evans, Pendre
  • Sailmakers: John Lewis, Eben’s Lane; Henry Thomas, Mwldan

Kelly’s Directory 1884

  • Ropemakers: Cardigan Mercantile Co. Ltd., (Ship chandlers, rope makers and merchants); Benjamin & John Evans

Below are the entries listed in census returns for 1841–1901. Remember also that the census happened every ten years. Many people could have been and gone between each census. It also contains names of those identified in the burial records of the Church and town cemeteries. Names are in chronological order, alphabetical order, ages given and address. The list appears under the following headings:

Anchor and Ships Smith; Blockmakers; Ropemakers; Sailmakers; Shipbuilders; Ship’s Carpenters; Shipwrights; Shipwrights J

ANCHOR & SHIPS SMITH: From the information given [smith] it is not clear how many of the following were “ships” smith.


  • John James, 30, smith, Greenfield Sq
  • John Jones, 30, smith, Quay St
  • Henry Thomas, Henry, 14, apprentice, Quay St.

1851 John Griffiths, 17, smith, Lower Mwldan

1871 Evan Jenkins, 27, smith, St Mary’s Lane


  • David James, 38, Cardigan, smith, Strand
  • William James, 24, Cardigan, smith, Strand
  • John D. James, who died 11.5.1878, 58, Bridge Parade
  • David James, who died 5.5.1893, 49, Strand
  • John James, 11.7.1893, 81, Strand



  • William Phillips, Mwldan
  • Rees Rees, Mwldan/Stryd y Cei/Lower Mwldan until 1861, 74 oed

1835 William Phillips, Mwldan


  • Michael Garnal, High St Red Cow
  • Edward Williams, 30, Lower Mwldan until 1871 [Ned y Bloc}


  • John Davies, John, 16, Pendre
  • David Rowlands, 36, St Mary’s Lane until 1871

1861 William Garnon, 19, St Mary’s Lane

1871 William Rowlands, 29, Pwllhai. He died 17.08.1879 at 37 years. Buried in the town cemetery.


1830 Evan Griffiths, Pendre

1835 David Davies, Bridge St.


  • Thomas Jones, 25
  • John Thomas, 55, Greenfield Row
  • John Thomas, 20, Greenfield Row
  • William Thomas, 25, Quay St


  • John Davies, 50, Strand
  • John Evans, 18, Walkfach
  • Evan Griffiths, 1851, Walkfach, who died on 13.10. 1853
  • William Havard, 34, Lower Mwldan
  • William Humphreys, 52, Catherine Row
  • Henry Jones, 32, Bridge St
  • Thomas Jones, 39, Pendre
  • David Lloyd, 71, Black Lion Lane
  • John Thomas, 67, Walkfach
  • John Thomas, 35, Walkfach
  • John Thomas, 13, Walkfach
  • William Thomas, 41 years died 20.09.1852
  • Henry Harries, 67 years died 01.12.1854, Bridgend
  • Mary Lewis, 60, ropemaker’s widow, Lime Kilns; Quay House


  • Benjamin Evans (1842–12.15.1897), 55 years old, Pendre
  • John Evans, (1861–4.1.1904), 65 years old
  • Benjamin Humphreys, 24, Catherine Row
  • John Thomas, 12, St Mary’s Lane
  • Thomas Thomas, 18, St Mary’s Lane
  • William Thomas, 16, UpperMwldan
  • Hannah Thomas, 45, ropemaker’s widow, Upper Mwldan


  • John Jones, 60
  • Evan Jenkins, 20, Castle Court
  • David Jones, 14, Greenfield Sq
  • James Lewis, 14, St Mary’s Lane

1901 John James, 16, apprentice, Middle Mwldan


Evan Thomas who died on 28.11.1828, 77 years

1835 Thomas Edwards, jr. Bridge St.

James Edwards who died on 1.08.1839 94, years Bridge End


  • John Griffiths, 40, Lower Mwldan. He died on 2.05.1855, 59 years
  • David Thomas, 50, Lower Mwldan
  • Jonathan Jones, who died on 1.12.1843, 57 years


  • John Bowen, 16, Quay St.
  • William Edwards, 43, Pendre
  • John Griffiths, 54, Quay St.
  • John Ferrier Mathias, 1851, 19, apprentice, St Mary St
  • David Miles, 26, Greenfield Row/Netpool until 1871, 48 yrs
  • Harry Thomas, 18, apprentice, St Mary’s Lane


  • Lewis Jones, 31, High St
  • Henry Thomas, 28, William St. He died on 12.08.1881 at 49 years
  • Jane Thomas, 18, Pontycleifion
  • Thomas Thomas, 23, Cardigan Arms
  • James Wigley, 17, apprentice, St Mary’s Lane


  • William Jenkins, 18, Priory St.
  • James Lewis, 24, St Mary’s Lane
  • Thomas Jones, 16, sailmaker apprentice, Pendre


  • John Bowen, 44, Quay St.
  • James Wigley, 35, Arthur’s Quay
  • Thomas Harris, 68, Pwllhai
  • Eleanor Miles, 44, wife, Green St.


  • Evan Morgan, 1830 until 1835, ship & boatbuilder, Mwldan
  • James James, 1835, ship & boat builder, Mwldan

William Jones, 1841 until 1861, 30, ship builder, Netpool, 48 yr


  • David Owen, 38, Pendre
  • David Thomas, 28, Walkfach
  • Samuel Jones Evans, 1858, ship & boat builder


  • David Owen, 46, Pendre


  • John Williams, 36, Greenfield Row
  • John Williams, 64, Greenfield Sq
  • David Owen, 57, retired, Eben’s Lane

1881 John Williams, 52, unempl, Greenfield Sq

  • John Elias James, 1924.10.03, 68, shipping agent, St Mary’s Tce Devonia,

Ship’s Carpenter


  • John Davies, 1851, 61, Pendre
  • Joseph Rees, 1851–61, 47, High St 14
  • David Jones, 17, apprentice, Pwllhai,
  • Evan Williams, 28, Pontycleifion
  • John Williams, 45, Greenfield Sq


  • John Bowen, 16, apprentice, Bridge St,
  • John Davies, 48, Greenfield Sq
  • William Evans, 38, St Mary’s Lane
  • Daniel Harris, 50, Upper Mwldan
  • William Jones, 58, Pwllhai
  • Richard Morgan, 22, Green St Half Moon
  • David Thomas, 38, Upper Mwldan
  • John Thomas, 18, Upper Mwldan


  • John Augustus, 1871–1901, 32, Eben’s Lane
  • Daniel Davies, 38, Chancery Lane Swan
  • Daniel Davies, 22, unempl, Greenfield Sq
  • Thomas Griffiths, 27, Greenfield Sq
  • David Jones, 37, Netpool
  • James Williams, 32, Drawbridge
  • James Williams, 22, Lower Mwldan

 David Evans, who died on 11.9.1880, 41, Catherine Row


  • Daniel Davies, 32
  • John Davies, 42, Netpool Cott
  • Owen Davies, 36, Bridge Parade
  • David Jones, 47, Netpool
  • John Jones, 18, Netpool
  • Thomas Jones, 21, Netpool
  • David Thomas, 40, Upper Mwldan
  • Evan Tucker, 1881–91, 57, William St


  • David Bowen, 1891/1901, 50, Greenfield Sq
  • Thomas Harries, 60, St Mary’s Lane
  • Sophia Jenkins, 22, ship carpenter’s wife, Upper Mwldan

1895 Thomas Jones, Queen’s Tce


  • Daniel Davies, 1901, 52, Queen’s Tce
  • David Jones, 1901, 68, Greenfield Sq


  • Catherine Davies, wife of Owen, died 26.4.1818, 75 years old
  • David Morgan, 27.10.1818, 72 years old
  • Margaret Evans, wife of Samuel J., died 6.2.1826, 90 years old


  • Thomas Evans, 1841, 40, /1851, Netpool
  • Owen James, 20, Quay St
  • Thomas Richards, 40, Upper Mwldan
  • John Williams, 35, Greenfield Sq.
  • Thomas Young, 20, Quay St


  • William Davies, 29, Catherine Row
  • Thomas Harries, 52, St Mary’s Lane
  • Thomas Isaac, 68, Lime kilns
  • David Jones, 65, Greenfield Sq.
  • Thomas Phillips, 19, Quay St.
  • David Jones, who died on 24.2.1853 at 31 years old
  • John Griffiths, who died on 4.12.1854, 77 years old


  • David Bowen, 20, Greenfield Sq
  • Owen Davies, 16, apprentice, Greenfield Sq
  • Thomas Griffiths, 19, Greenfield Sq
  • David Jones, 27, Greenfield Sq
  • Thomas Phillips, 29, Bridge St
  • Theophilus Rees, 29, Lower Mwldan
  • David Williams, 15, Greenfield Sq
  • John Williams, 26, Greenfield Row
  • John Williams, 55, Greenfield Sq
  • John Stephens, who died in 1867, 45, in Cuba


  • William Evans, 48, St Mary’s Lane
  • David Griffiths, 49, Pendre
  • Griffith Griffiths, 23, Pendre
  • John Griffiths 25, Pendre
  • Daniel Harries, 54, Upper Mwldan
  • Thomas Harries, 73, St Mary’s Lane
  • William Jones, 68, Pwllhai
  • David, Thomas, 48, Upper Mwldan
  • David Williams, 26, Greenfield Sq
  • David Williams, 75, Greenfield Sq
  • George Williams, 45, Quay St
  • William Jones, who died on 1.06,1878, at 76 years


  • John Davies, 96, Pendre
  • William Evans, 59, St Mary’s Lane
  • John Griffiths, 35, William’s Row
  • Thomas Griffiths, 37, St Mary’s Cottage


  • Owen Davies, 46, Greenfield Sq /1901
  • David Jones, 57, Greenfield Sq
  • David Thomas, 67, Mwldan Upper
  • John Davies, who died on 5.07.1904, 66, St Mary St
  • David Jones, who died on 8.02.1913, 76, Greenfield Sq
  • John Jones, who died on 15.02.1923, 59, Drawbridge



  • David Davies, 45, shipwright J, Upper Mwldan
  • David Griffiths, 45, shipwright J, Lower Mwldan
  • David J. Griffiths,15, shipwright j, Quay St,
  • John Griffiths, 60, shipwright J, Lower Mwldan
  • James James, 50, shipwright rtd, Quay St,
  • David Jenkins, 60, shipwright j, Quay St,
  • David Jones, 15, shipwright J, Greenfield Row
  • David Jones, 25, shipwright J, Lower Mwldan
  • Thomas Jones, 20, shipwright J, Lower Mwldan
  • Benjamin Joseph, 20, shipwright J, Upper Mwldan
  • Peter Lewis, 45, shipwright J, Greenfield Sq
  • James Thomas, 35, shipwright J, Greenfield Sq
  • William Thomas, 50, shipwright J, Quay St,
  • John Davies, 1871, 83, shipwright rtd, Pendre
  • David Griffiths, 1881, 59, shipwright mm, Pendre

 David James, who died on 20.06.1922, 82, shipwright rtd, Feidrfair



  • Evan Jones, 20, Greenfield Row
  • James Jones, 15, Greenfield Row
  • Owen Jones, 15, Lower Mwldan
  • Benjamin Lewis, 15, Lower Mwldan
  • David Thomas, 15, Greenfield Row
  • Owen Thomas, 18, Quay St


  • Ann Davies, 39, shipwright’s wife, Greenfield Sq
  • Mary Jones, 26, Cardigan, shipwright’s wife, St Mary’s Lane


  • Hannah Jones, 42, shipwright’s wife, St Mary’s Lane
  • Charlotte Griffiths, 67, shipwright’s widow, Upper Mwldan
  • Frances Phillips, 1861, 75, shipwright’s widow, Lower Mwldan
  • John Griffiths, 15, shipwright’s apprentice, Pendre


  • Anne Davies, 61, shipwright’s wi, Greenfield Sq
  • Joseph Rees, 67, shipwriter rtd, Eben’s Lane


1990s: school governors

1990s, School Governors

Back row, l-r: Mrs Eirlys Jones, Marteine Richards, Mrs Lynwen ap Gwynedd, Clr. T. Haydn Lewis, ?, John Adams-Lewis, Mrs. Rhian Sollis, D. Gatehouse, Clr D. M. B.Davies.

Front row, l-r: Dyfrig Davies, Dr Gwynfor Griffiths, headmaster, Llwyd Edwards, Islwyn Evans, ?, N. Newland.

120 years of education: County School 1898–2018

1950s: Staff

An exhibition was held a few years ago to raise money for an upgrade to the gymnasium. The collection of over 200 photographs is now included on the “Cardigan through the ages” website. Thanks are due to KEITH LADD for permission to include this material from his vast collection on the history of Cardigan. Diolch yn fawr Keith.

Click here “Cardigan County School 1898–2018: 120 years of education”

The photographs have been arranged in order of decade. PLEASE send names if you recognize anyone. If you have any photographs, or memories that you wish to include please send them on.


Saturday Night at the Black: review by Lyn Ebenezer (Cambrian News 16 March 2017)

… a highly revealing book, which looks at the rock sub-culture of the ’60s and its relevance to one town. But its relevance to Cardigan is relevant to Wales as well.      … Cardigan in the ’60s was Wales’s pop-singing capital.

… The book is much more than a slab of nostalgia. No, it’s a reasoned chronicle of the forces which changed society for young people.

… This is one of the most interesting books I have read for a long time. It contains many interesting anecdotes, and is full of pictures of bands, the tickets, the programmes, newspaper cuttings and general memorabilia of the time.

… It is a volume you can turn to again and again, open any page and enjoy every word.

Lyn Ebenezer

Read the full review in the Cambrian News 16 March 2017

Saturday Night at the Black – new book

Copies selling fast: email

to order a copy by post £12.50.

Cardigan in the Swinging Sixties!

Cardigan in the Swinging Sixties! (front cover)

Cardigan in the Swinging Sixties! (back cover)

Cardigan in the Swinging Sixties! (back cover)

Saturday Night at the Black: Cardigan in the Swinging Sixties. 183pp. with over 100 illustrations, many of which you will not have seen before, by William H. Howells. Price £10. Printed by E. L. Jones, Aberteifi. ISBN 978 1 78280 7698

Is Cardigan ready for this?

It’s a remarkable story! The background is the close connection between some of the town’s characters and those linked with the emerging Liverpool music scene at the time. People like the dramatist Alun Owen, who came to live in St Dogmael’s between 1963 and 1967; Allan Williams, the Beatles’ first manager; Bill Harry, founder and editor of the pioneering Mersey Beat newspaper; Bob Wooler, the Cavern’s famous DJ; and George Melly, who bought a summer house in Pen-y-bryn. This motley crew, with their partners, were warmly welcomed by Frank Aspinall, of the Black Lion, and with their help organised Liverpool bands to play in the Black.

The book contains a complete list of all the groups who played there between 1963 and 1973. At first they came from the Cavern – many via the Kaiserkeller and other Hamburg clubs. Do you remember the visit of Screaming Lord Sutch to Cardigan? What about Rory Storm and the Hurricanes; Ian and the Zodiacs; The Clayton Squares; Vince Earl and the Talismen; Freddie Starr and the Nightriders; Sony Webb and the Cascades; Derry Wilkie and the Pressmen; The Kirkbys; The Masterminds; The Chessmen and The Kinsleys and many more?

Later the groups came from South Wales: do you remember James Hogg, The Iveys; Haverson Apricot; Peter Shane and the Vikings – and let’s not forget local groups including Ricky and the Raiders and Strawberry Maize?

Every Saturday night over 200 teenagers flowed into the town from a wide area of Cardiganshire, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire to dance, to listen to music and to enjoy.

But not everyone was happy with these developments. Parents warned their offsprings not to go near such a place, and the respectable town councillors were unhappy that the Black gave the town a bad image.

Cardigan has not seen anything like this before or since.

Read the truth about the connection of the Beatles with the local Eisteddfod!

Read about the close link between ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and St Dogmael’s.

You’ll be surprised to read the candid memories of those who were a part of the scene.

Available in bookshops NOW £10.

or email to order a copy by post £12.50.

Donato Nardiello, Welsh Football International b. Cardigan 9 April 1957

Donato Nardinello (1957-  )

Donato Nardiello (1957- )

Donato Nardiello has recently retired as a police officer with the West Midlands Police. He used to play for Coventry City (1977–81) and twice appeared in a Welsh shirt (1977). He was born in Cardigan on 9 April 1957. He left the area when he was 6 years old? Anyone have any further information on the Cardigan connection? Is there a house in the town with a plaque??

See: Birmingham Mail

Renewed Threat to Cardigan Hospital


For many years the people of Cardigan and district, who established for themselves a hospital to serve the area, have experienced concern over the future of the hospital they had created but which the state assimilated. Again and again assurances were sought – and given – that the status of the hospital would be maintained. Now it transpires that these assurances, no matter how well intended, may yet turn out to be merely diplomatic evasions to keep the mob quiet. It is possibly of little avail to indicate to the authorities that the most important person in any hospital should be the patient. Now, with the bureaucrat holding sway, convenience of planning must apparently be given priority and centralisation is the watchword.

For some time the more violent Welshmen have protested vigorously against rule from Whitehall. It now appears that even in Cardiff the functionaries of the welfare state are too far away to hear the demands of the rural areas.

At this stage we can urge one thing, and one thing only, to fight wholeheartedly this project which will deny to local people the services of an institution for which, in the past, they have made many sacrifices.

If ever Cardigan believed in anything, now is the time to show it. It should be made abundantly clear to the district authorities that we need the services provided by the hospital here, in the centre of the area for which it was designed and that we mean to fight to the utmost to maintain that position.

Cardigan and Tivy-side editorial dated 13 January 1961

31 December (1983) Bon Marche closed

  • 31 1983 (Sat.) Bon Marche closed. When the shop opened in 1907: “The support of the upper structure of the premises is by an iron girder weighing over five tons, which does away with all columns, and gives additional space internally. It is the first of its kind in Cardigan.”
  • 31 1887 (Sat.) Reported that a crayon study by Frank Miles was to appear in the January edition of Cassell’s Magazine.


25 December (1176, 1888, 1889, 2103) Merry Christmas to all who were born within the sound of the bells of St Mary’s

  • 25 December (Wed.) 1176 The first Eisteddfod

And then the Lord Rhys held a special feast at Cardigan, and he set two kinds of contests: one between the bards and the poets, and another between the harpists and the crowders and the pipers and various classes of string-music. And he set two chairs for the visitors in the contests. And those he enriched with great gifts. And then a young man from his own court won the victory for string-music. And the men of Gwynedd won the victory for poetry. And all the other minstrels received from the Lord Rhys as much as they asked, so that no one was refused. And that feast was proclaimed a year before it was held throughout Wales and England and Scotland and Ireland and many other lands.

1176 Brut y Tywysogyon

  • 25 (Tues.) 1888


A very successful concert was given in Capel Mair, in this town, on Christmas night, under the presidency of the Rev. W. Jones (Mayor). The building was well-filled, and excellent order was maintained throughout by the conductor, the Rev. T. J. Morris, which was certainly not the least pleasing feature of the gathering. The programme was contributed to by a number of local amateurs, assisted by Eos Myrnach, and a male party from Llanfyrnach, and it will not be considered invidious to say that it was in a great measure owing to their valuable assistance that the concert was one of the best that has been given in the town for some time.

Eos Myrnach possesses a capital voice, and sang several high-class songs with excellent taste and feeling. His rendering of “Alone on the raft” was particularly deserving of mention.

The Llanfyrnach male party, too, proved a great acquisition, and gave evidence of close and careful training, and their rendering of the choruses allotted to them was admirable. “Comrades Song of Hope,” and “Martyrs of the Arena” — the latter including a splendidly rendered quartet- fairly delighted the audience, and were deservedly encored. Mr. Davies led the Llanfyrnach party in the first chorus, and Eos Myrnach afterwards.

Among the locals, the Capel Mair party, led by Mr. Reynolds; Mr. W. Thomas and party, Mr. D. Charles and friends, and Mr. D. Davies and friends, were deserving of commendation, as were also Misses Lowther and Letitia Evans, and Mrs. Jones, and Messrs. W. Thomas, D. Thomas (Tyrhos), and T. Lewis. Miss Daniel and Miss Edith Daniel accompanied with much taste throughout the evening.

The following is the programme:

  • Pianoforte duet, The Little Sailor, Misses Daniel and Lowther;
  • glee, Croeso’r Boreu, Capel Mair Party;
  • solo, Gitana, Miss Lowther;
  • glee, “Beautiful Rain,” (encored and repeated) Mr. W. Thomas and party;
  • solo, “Llwybr yr Wyddfa,” (encored and sang Bwthyn bach melyn fy Nhad”)
  • Eos Myrnach quartet, “Geiriau Mam,”
  • Mr. D. Charles and friends solo,
  • Mr. D. Davies solo, Baban diwrnod oed,” (encored)
  • Mr. D. Thomas, Tyrhos .Song, Darby and Joan,”
  • Miss Letitia Evans chorus, “Comrades Song of Hope,” (encored)
  • Llanfyrnach Party solo, Jerusalem,”
  • Mr. T. Lewis; duet, “As it fell upon a day,”
  • Misses Lowther and Evans. Part 2-Glee, Yr Haf,”
  • Capel Mair Party duet, O Gartref yr Eryr,” (encored and sang a duet from Blodwen “)
  • Eos Myrnach and Mrs Jones solo, Hen Ffon fy Nain,” (encored)
  • Mr. D. Thomas, Tyrhos; solo, Alone on the Raft,” (encored)
  • Eos Myrnach; chorus, “Y Gof,”
  • Llanfyrnach Party; solo, Pleser-fad Niagara,”
  • Mr. W. Thomas;
  • trio, Tri Chymro,” (encored)
  • Mr. D. Davies and friends; chorus, “The Martyrs of the Arena,” (encored)
  • Llafyrnach Party
  • finale, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau,” air by Eos Myrnach and chorus by the audience.

Votes of thanks to the Chairman and those who took part concluded the proceedings (probably early Boxing Day!)

  • 25 (Wed.) 1889


A grand evening concert was given in Bethania Chapel on Christmas night, and there was a crowded audience. A letter was read from Mr. Morgan-Richardson, Noyadd-Wilym, who had been announced to preside, regretting his inability to attend, and inclosing £2 towards the funds. In the absence of the chairman, Mr. W. Lewis, Brecon Old Bank, was unanimously voted to the chair. The Rev. T. J. Morris acted as conductor.

The following was the programme :

  • Pianoforte solo, Miss Gwynne, R.A.M. solo, “Baner ein Gwlad,”Gwyn Alaw” (encored, and responded with “My Pretty Jane”);
  • solo, “Remember me,” Miss S. A. Esau;
  • solo, Death of Nelson,” Mr. Wm. Thomas (encored, and responded with a Welsh song);
  • solo, The Blind Girl to her harp,” Miss S. A. Jenkins (encored, and responded with “Trip, Trip”);
  • solo, “I had a dream,” Mrs. S. A. Owen;
  • solo, The White Squall,” Mr. W. Jones
  • solo, “O dywed im’, awel y Nefoedd,” Llinos Gwent;
  • solo competition, “Mair Magdalen,” ten competed, three singing on the stage, the best being Miss Lizzie Jenkins, Greenfield-square
  • duet, Martial Spirit,” Gwyn Alaw and Mr. William Thomas;
  • juvenile choir competition, Y Galwadau,” three choirs, namely, Bethania (led by Mr. William Jenkins), Tabernacle (led by Mr. John James), and Mount Zion (led by Mr. D. Ivor Evans), and the prize was divided between Bethania and Mount Zion
  • choirs quartet, Mount Zion Party duet, “Howel, Howet, Llinos Gwent and Gwyn Alaw (encored, and repeated);
  • solo, Pleserfad Niagara,” Mr. William Thomas;
  • solo, Good Shepherd,” Gwyn Alaw
  • solo competition, Y Morwr Lion,” five entries, prize awarded to Mr. William Jones
  • choral competition, Cwynfan Prydain,” two choirs competed, namely, Tabernacle (led by Mr. E. Ceredig Evans), and Bethania (led by Mr. William Jenkins), and the prize was awarded to Bethania Choir
  • song, Aunty,” Llinos Gwent (encored, and responded with The Donkey Cart”)
  • finale, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau.”

It is but fair to say that the singing of Miss S. A. Jenkins (Llinos Gwent) was much admired she possesses a beautiful soprano voice of great power and compass, and should have a great future if she becomes a professional singer. Votes of thanks to the Chairman, Mr. Morgan-Richardson, the Conductor, Miss Gwynne (the accompanyist), and the singers, concluded the proceedings.

  • 25 1888 (Tues.)


On Christmas Day the inmates of the Workhouse were, as usual, through the generosity of Mr. Brigstoike, the much respected chairman of the Board of Guardians, treated to a splendid dinner, composed of roast beef, plum pudding, and beer, with two ounces of tobacco to those who smoked, and oranges to those who did not, and to the women and children.

Mr. Thomas Llewelyn and Mr. Lewis Davies superintended the distribution. A hearty vote of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Brigstocke for their kindness, to Messrs. Llewelyn and Davies for superintending, and to the master and matron for the great trouble they had taken in preparing the good things, were unanimously passed.

Dinner being over, Mr. John James, St. Dogmells, and his choir, attended, and several pieces were sung, to the great delight of the inmates.

  • 25 1909 Bethania
Bethania Christmas Night 1909

Bethania Christmas Night 1909

  • 25 (Wed.) 2013 Tonight it’s Downton Abbey v. Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special (Progress or what?)


Next year  – more meat on these bones!