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Organ plaque in Saint John's United Reformed Church before dismantling"

Saint John's United Reformed Church, Buckley


This section, the last, covers episodes 22 - 23: 1933 - 1934 and an "epilogue" by

Mrs Avril Burrell.

EPISODE 22 1933


18th Jan.We all went to Tivoli to see Dick Whittington

2nd Feb.Jonathan Catherall died

4th Feb.Fred and I at funeral

8th Feb.Gave talk on Hymn Tunes at the Tabernacle

22nd Feb.Deep snow

5th MarchI addressed the Cong. Sunday School scholars in afternoon and distributed the prizes

22nd MarchGwynedd and I at Mold Church re Organists' Association. Mr Middleton introduced me to Malcolm Boyle, Organist of Chester Cathedral

26th MarchPresided at Mixed Glee Party's Concert at the Tivoli

29th MarchAt the Buckley Choral Society's performance of "The Messiah"

16th AprilGave organ recital at Bistre Methodist Chapel

28th AprilPollie and I at Tom Roberts' Organ Recital at Buckley Church

3rd MayAnnie, Edward Emily and Mary went to Llandudno

6th MayPollie, Gwynedd, Trevor, Freda, Emrys and I went to Moel Fammau. All save Pollie and I went to the top

22nd JuneFreda and Alma arranged a "birthday menu" as it was Pollie's birthday

22nd JulyJonathan Catherall's will in newspapers. He left £44,539

25th JulyWent with Gwynedd to Chester for her first lesson with Miss Walker

1st Aug.At St. Deiniol's Library with Frank Burkhill

10th Aug.Pollie, Trevor and I went by car to Llangollen and visited Vale Crucis Abbey. Splendid ride over the heather clad moors

15th Aug.Fred, Pollie, Trevor, Freda and Emrys at new Brighton

17th Aug.Fred, Pollie, Trevor and Freda at Shrewsbury Flower Show

21st Aug.Fred, Pollie, Trevor and Freda at Rhyl

26th Aug.Gwynedd, Freda and I walked up Hope Mountain, came back via Coed Talon

15th Oct.I was taken ill in evening

16th Oct.Dr. Dobson attended me for pleurisy and Nurse Croft came

21st Oct.Allowed out of bed

23rd Oct.Had attack of Haemorrhage

1st Nov.Had tea downstairs again




4th MarchRev. Keyworth Lloyd-Williams commenced his ministry at St. John's

6th MayI was received into Fellowship at St. John's Cong. at Buckley for the second time

7th MayFred and Rev. Lloyd-Williams went to London for May Meetings

27th MayGwynedd and I gave "Famous Marches" at Mynydd Isa

3rd JuneGwynedd, Freda and I at Moel Fammau

7th JuneWent to London and Southend. Stayed with Annie and Robert

9th JuneAt Bowling Green

13th JuneWent to Euston, found I had lost my return ticket. Arrived at Buckley at about 6p.m.

10th JulyBuckley Jubilee. Elvet Lewis and his daughter called. (His father, the late Joseph Griffiths, was one of the founders of the Jubilee. Elvet Lewis - the renowned Minister, Hymn writer and Bard who commenced his ministry at St. John's and from his bardic name "Elfed" the Comprehensive School in Buckley is known - Editor)

11th JulyAnnie and Edward went to Buxton. Emily and Mary went to Blackpool

11th Aug.Fred, Pollie and children went to Blackpool and returned on the 18th

2nd Sept.Gwynedd, Freda and I at Moel Fammau

9th Sept.They and I to Loggerheads and through the Leete

7th Oct.I played at the Congregational Church

3rd Dec.With Dr. Middleton at Chester Cathedral Service

25th Dec.Christmas Day. Willie and the boys here

31st Dec.Pollie, Trevor and I saw New Year in. Fred was at the Congregational Service


And so ends the Diary of my Great Uncle John, which has made such interesting reading for the past twenty-three issues of "Common Interest".

To everyone who has connections with his family this has been a particularly absorbing account of his life, but I am sure that for every reader there have been many items of great interest.

For a man of his era he was extremely well travelled, regularly visiting Germany, France and Switzerland. He was fluent in German, French and Esperanto and found no difficulty at all with the languages.

He was a brilliant musician, organist and composer and although he was resident in the South of England for most of his life he visited Buckley at least twice a year

My own recollection of him is of a tall (to me at any rate, as I was just three years of age) white haired and wax moustached gentleman, sitting at a desk in the Dining Room at my Aunty Pollie and Uncle Fred's house at the Cross. He would say to me "Hello, Sobersides" or "Hello Stick-in-the-mud) because I would never speak to him. I can clearly remember thinking "What will he call me today."

One item of his diary is of great interest to David, my husband and I. On 9th April 1923 he wrote that he had attended St. John's Church, Barmouth and mentioned a "delightful lady soprano". At this time David's mother who was a singer "Madam Mary Evans" (her maiden name) sang regularly at that church. Unfortunately, Uncle John did not give her name. We are almost certain this would be David's mother who was a well known singer in Barmouth. What a coincidence if this is true! A pity he didn't write her name in his diary. What would he have thought that day? "Sobersides - will marry this Soprano's son"

My grateful thanks to his grand-daughters, Misses Gwynedd and Freda Griffiths for allowing me to take extracts from these precious diaries.

I am told that my Auntie Pollie would ask "Why are you writing that diary" and he would reply "because I think my life has been as interesting as that of anyone else." How very,very true.

Avril Burrell


Author: Griffiths, John Robert 10,1857-1936


Year = 2000

Building = Religious

Extra = WW1

Extra = Music

Extra = 2000s

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