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George and Martha Jane (nee Wright) Lewis: George Lewis' Diary Parts One and Two"


The Buckley Society Magazine Issue Eleven, March 1986

see 28.324 for a picture of the 1912 miners' strike which was included in the article.



PART TWO, 1906 TO 1912Edited by J. Brian Lewis


(The numbering of the notes follows on from those in Buckley, No.10)



Jan27Sat The Election Day between Mr. Herbert Lewis (54) and Mr. Harold Edwards (55). Lewis 6294, Edwards 3572. Lewis' majority 2722.


Jan29MonBromfield Colliery (56) Mold begun for the second time.


Feb8Thur The first snow this winter.


July14Sat Mr. W.G.C. Gladstone came of age (57) and a large bonfire was lit at Stoney Hill (58) and Newtons Bank (59)


July25WedFor the following three days a fete was held at Hawarden as Coming of Age celebrations for Mr. W.G.C. Gladstone.


July30MonThe Rev. T.M. Rees (60) preached his farewell sermon and was presented with a purse of gold by members of the Congregational Chapel.


Oct16TueI purchased a pig for 16/- of H. Tomlinson, Pentre (61).


Dec9SunThe first snow this winter.



Mar2SatThe County Council Elections. Ewloe Ward George A. Parry (62) 213, James Newton (63) 210. Bistre Ward James Peters (64) 369, Henry Hughes (65) 116.


Mar19TueA fire broke out at the fever hospital, Dob's Hill (66)

and burnt it to the ground.


Apr13SatMy grandmother died and was buried at Bistre Church

on April 17th aged 84 years (67).


May26SunMr. John Watkinson, proprietor of the Elm Colliery, died and was buried at Northop (68).


June3MonMr. Charles Price sold up and went to Canada after failing at Etna brickworks to make salt glaze (69).


Aug1Thur General Booth visited Buckley in a motor car and lectured in the Tabernacle Chapel (70).


Aug 27TueThe effects of Mrs. Sarah Ellis (71), The Ship Inn, were sold in the Parish Room (72).


Sept 22 SunMr. Dampier (73) preached at St. Matthew's for the first time since he went away. He was vexed when he had to leave. I stood with him in the aisle after the service. When he had had a good look at the church, he said, "I will forgive now. I see that the Lord called me away so that the church could be rebuilt: a thing which I could never have done".


Nov 13 WedMr. John Dunn, Oaks Farm, gathers wheat in through bad

weather. (74).


Nov26 TueIt snowed for the first time this winter.


Dec18Wed John Lee, the Babbicombe murderer was released: the man they could not hang. (75).


Dec30 MonThe Druce Vault was opened in Highgate Cemetery and the remains of T.C. Druce aged 71 were found. (76)



Mar13FriSome person broke into the Ewloe Place Co-operative Stores through a window at the back.


Mar31TueThe Buckley Volunteers (77) were disbanded and they Marched to St. Matthew's Church at 3 o'clock on Sunday April 5th for their last parade.


May1FriE.H. Griffiths (78) sailed to Australia.


May3SunThe Rev. Emrys James (79) started his ministry at the Congregational Chapel.


May13WedThe Chester Cup was won by Glacis, Wise Mason 2nd and Asticot 3rd. King Edward VII visited the races on the three days and drove in a motor car to Hawarden on Friday 15th and visited the church and the Library (80).


May15FriA meeting was held in the Parish Room, Lane End, to set up The Buckley Artillery. (81)


June30MonThe Elm No.3 Pit caught fire and burn itself out. Many had to find work at other pits for a good few weeks.


Aug 18 TueA dreadful explosion occurred at the Maypole Mine, Abram (82) resulting in the death of 75 men; only 3 escaped with their lives.


Dec27SunThe first snow this winter. The Mail could not get to Buckley from Chester. (83) When I

opened the door in the morning the snow was higher than the top of. the door.



Mar3WedThe big guns came to the Mill belonging to the Territorial Artillery.


Apr1Thur The new Act came into force to prevent children from entering a public house or buying tobacco.


Nov12FriA fire broke out at Moore's shop, Lane End, next to The Bull Inn (84) and burnt it to the




Jan22SatIn the election the result was Mr. Herbert Lewis (85) Liberal 6610 votes, Col. Howard (86) 4454. Majority 2156.


Jan22SatAn awful week of storms, snow and frost. Paris, in France, is all under water and 100,000 people are homeless.


Mar21MonJohn Griffiths, Sexton at the Cemetery (87) was killed at the Mountain Colliery, aged 55.


Mar31ThurThe Rev. Harry Drew died at Hawarden Rectory, where he had been Rector for 5½ years. They tolled the passing bell at St. Matthew's Church for him at 8 o'clock at night and rang a muffled peal for him at 11. He was interred at Hawarden on April 4th and hundreds attended the funeral. (88)


Apr28ThurThe Budget which Lloyd George brought out for the good of the people (89) was passed in the House of Lords.


May6FriKing Edward the Peacemaker (90) died at Buckingham Palace and was interred at St. George's Chapel, Windsor on May 20th. Memorial Services were held at Hawarden and Buckley. The Territorial Force marched to Hawarden. Elizabetta won the Chester Cup.


Aug4FriA serious explosion occurred at the Galchog Colliery, Dublin (91), burning five men and a horse. The casualties were John Lewis, Robert the son of John Lewis, George Jones, the fireman (92), Joseph Latham, John Ashington. John Lewis and Robert Lewis died in Chester Infirmary.


Aug18ThurA boy aged 17 was killed while treading with the horse (93) at the Etna brickworks.


Oct22 SatDr. H. H. Crippen was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey for poisoning his wife.


Nov13SatA concert was held at the Central Hall (94) It was given by 16 blind singers from Liverpool in aid of the Shepherd's Club (95).


Dec ? A terrible explosion at Pretoria Pit, Atherton, (96) resulting in the death of 350 colliers.



Apr24MonWork began at the Globe brickyard making Staffordshire ware and a number of Staffordshire

men and women have been employed there (97).


Apr30SunThe Rev. Emrys James (98) preached his farewell sermon

at the Congregational Chapel.


May3WedChester Cup was won by Willonyx.


June22ThurKing George V and Queen Mary were crowned in Westminster Abbey. His majesty took his oath to the Nation and The Established Church in a clear voice. The children were all given a tea at their own schools, and then marched around Buckley. Sports were provided on Belmont (99) by the council with fireworks and a bonfire at night.


June26MonWilliam Tarran started to keep The Jockey Hotel. (100)


July13ThurInvestiture of the Prince of Wales at Caernarvon. (a long account follows. Ed.).


Aug6SunA motor bus began to run for the first time from Mold to Buckley (101).


Aug5SatWilliam Burgess swam the Channel in 24 hours from (sic) Dover to Gris Nez (102).


Aug30SunAll the worst and most terrible features that can be associated with a great strike and general lockout have been in evidence this week in Liverpool, where a labour war of a fierce and determined character has been raging. Scenes of unexampled violence were witnessed. Over 200 people had to be taken to hospital. All sections of railway passenger and goods workers, dockers and coalheavers and carters are out (103).


Oct1SunAt Penymynydd Crossroads two motor cars were in collision. T.H. Ashcroft of New Brighton and Dr. Cargin of Liscard were killed and a number of others were hurt (104).


Oct23MonThe five bodies which were buried in the new ground near the Vicarage at Bistre Church were taken up and buried in the Churchyard.


Dec8FriThe first snow this winter.



Jan13ThurVery deep snow which lasted three weeks.


Feb28WedA national strike of Colliers throughout England, Scotland and Wales for a minimum wage. Over a million miners are out. The Buckley miners came out on 28th Feb. Hundreds of tons of coal has been got in Hancocks, (105) Gibson's and Catherall's clayholes and sold at 23/6 per ton.


Apr 6 Sat Men (Colliers ITJ.) resumed work after standing out for 5 weeks and 2 days and worked the following Easter


Apr 14 SunThe Rev. Douglas Raymond Pelly (106) finished his ministry at St. Matthew's Church.

A world thrilling calamity happened. The greatest vessel ever built, the White Star Liner Titanic went down in the North Atlantic Ocean claiming 1,300 lives.


May 7 Rathlea won the Chester Cup.


May 19Sun The Bishop of St. Asaph (108) instituted the Rev. Gilbert Heaton, MA (109) as vicar of St. Matthew's.


May 25 Sat A child of J.S. Shone, The Common, was drowned in the Pottery Pond, and a child of Fred Thompson, Field Farm, was drowned in a pond near a lane leading to Field Farm on the same day. (110)


June 20 ThurThey pulled down the big chimney at Gibson's Top works and began to pull the sheds down (111).


June 29 Sat A disturbance in Mill Lane, Buckley, between Shotton men and Buckley men.


July 13 Mon The Insurance Act became law (112)


Aug 20 Tue The Rev. William Booth died aged 83 at his home in Hadley Wood.


Oct 1 Thur War began between Turkey and the Balkan Allies (113). Joseph Peters started to keep The Prince of Wales Inn, Lane End.


Nov 29 Fri It snowed for the first time this winter, lasting 4 days.


Dec2SunThe Rev. David Evans (114) began his ministry at the Congregational Chapel.





54.Rt. Hon. Sir John Herbert Lewis, MA, L1D, DL for Flintshire, MP Parliamentary Secretary Board of Education; MP for Flint Boroughs 1892-1905; Flintshire 1905-18. He lived at Penucha, Caerwys.(Who's Who in Wales, 1921, p.282) -


55.Not known.


56.This colliery was started on land between Wrexham Road and Gas Lane, Mold.


57.See Viscount Gladstone, W.G.C. Gladstone, A Memoir (Nisbet 1918). He was the son of Mr. William Henry Gladstone, eldest son of W.E. Gladstone, and Gertrude, youngest daughter of the l2thLordBlantyre, b. 14 July 1885. He succeeded his father as heir in 1891. He was shot trying to locate a German sniper in 1915 in the trenches. (ibid., p.123).


58.Situated at the top of the Warren Hill near Dobshill.


59.In Drury.

60.Minister of the Congregational Chapel from 1899-1906. The present Manse in Mill Lane was bought for £450 for his use. He was an impressive preacher and of poetic temperament. He was author of a book of poems entitled Breezes from the Welsh Hills. See Rev. Robert Shepherd, MA, A History of St. John's Congregational Chapel, Buckley. His son, Rev. Bryn Austin Rees, wrote Hymn No. 422 in Congregational Praise.


61.Either in Drury near 'The Twenty Row' or at the Bottom of the Wylfa Hill. H. Tomlinson is not known to editor.


62.George Armstrong Parry, Director of Edward Parry and Sons Ltd., Brickmakers, Buckley, who lived in a house on land now occupied by the Co-operative Stores in Brunswick Road. For an account of Edward Parry and family see Buckley, 5 (1979), pp. 23-4.


63.Colliery Manager of Drury. Father of Councillor Brettle Newton.


64.Butcher, The Market, Buckley. (The Market was next door to the Tivoli Theatre)


65.Grocer, of Liverpool House. (Now the site of the Fire Station). Father of Mr. Alec Hughes, The Mill.


66.Now the Geriatric Hospital.


67.Her name was Elizabeth Thornton (his mother was Ann nee Thornton) daughter of Robert and Anne Thornton of Pentrobin. Elizabeth was born 17 May 1822 and was the first baby to be baptized in St. Matthew's Church on 29 September 1822. The Rev. John Husband, MA, the first Curate-in-Charge at St. Matthew's baptized her. He had been a fellow of Magdalen College, Cambridge, where Rector Neville of Hawarden was the Master.


68. See Buckley, 6 (1981), pp34-6.


69. The Etna Brickworks was situated to the north of St. Matthew's Church. Charles Price probably correctly refers to Frederick Price, brother to Charles, who went to live in Canada and died there. Charles did not do so.


70. Founder of the Salvation Army.


71. The diarist's mother-in-law.


72. This is the Bistre Parish Assembly Room where dances were held. Demolished 1984/5.


73. William Dampier, 1st son of Rev. William Dampier of Great Yeldham, Essex. Educated at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford BA, 1874. Vicar of Buckley, 'Co. Chester'. (J. Foster, Alumni Oxonien, si, p.335. Mr. Dampier had, presumably, been asked to give place at St. Matthew's in order that Rev. & Mrs. Drew could effect the rebuilding of the Church, hence his former bitterness.


74. Oaks Farm is situated in Pinfold Lane.


75. John Lee the Babbicombe murderer was convicted, on circumstantial evidence, of cutting his employer's throat in 1884. He was her footman. Berry, the hangman, failed to hang him three times in Exeter prison. He served 22 years in prison and after his release in 1907 married and emigrated to the USA, where he died at the age of 68. Lee had dreamed he would never hang.


76. It was unsuccessfully contested that the body of Thomas Charles Druce was in fact that of the fifth Duke of Portland. The litigation apparently lasted from 1898 until 1908. (see T. Besterman, The Druce-Portland case (Duckworth Pub., 1935).


77. The Buckley Volunteers trained under Major Gibson at The Mill, Mill Lane. (q.v. Buckley, 8 (1983), p.7; 10(1982), pp.37-40)


78. Not known to editor.


79. Minister of the Congregational Chapel from 1908-1911. Gas lighting replaced oil lamps in the chapel during his ministry. He was a forceful public orator and, of course, a famous Welsh Bard. For an account of his life see Buckley, 7 (1982), pp.37-40.


80. St. Deiniol's Library was founded in 1895 by the Rt. Hon. W.E. Gladstone, MP.


81. The Artillery also trained at the Mill.


82. Abram is about 5 miles south of Wigan.


83. The mail was collected at this time by horse and van driven by Mr. Langford who also kept a grocer's shop on land now occupied by the Precinct.


84.This probably refers to Moore's shop situated in Brook Street and not Lane End. The Bull Inn was kept at this time by Mr. Richard Griffiths.


85.See note 54.


86.Conservative Candidate, of Wigfair, St. Asaph. Ancestor of Lord Kenyon.


87.Not known to editor.


88.Rev. Harry Drew, 2nd son of John Drew of Kenton, Exeter, gent. Educated Keble College, Oxford. BA (1878), MA (1881), of Middle Temple 1877. Married Dorothy, dau. of W.E. Gladstone. See Buckley, 2 (1971).


89.The Budget which brought in the Old Age Pension, previously thrown out by the House of Lords in 1909.


90.A very popular King who lived to keep the peace between the Lords and the Commons.


91.Dublin is a district of Northop Hall.


92.This man was in charge of the explosives in a pit and blew the coal out for loading into the tubs - a very important member of the team of colliers.


93.Treading was part of the blunging process, i.e. mixing the clay to the correct consistency. For a full account of this and other brickmaking techniques see, George Lewis, 'The Buckley Clay Industries', Buckley, 1 (1970).


94.The Tivoli was built on the site. The Central Hall was owned by Mr. W.H. Wilcock and Mr. R. Rowlands.


95.A friendly society. The Lodge HQ was first at the Feathers Inn, Brook Street, and later, at 'The Cosy Cafe' in Brunswick Road, near the Precinct.


96.South-east of Wigan and south of Bolton. The diarist's interest in coal was linked to his interest in Lancashire. He worked in Ashton-in-Makerfield and his third wife came from Leyland.


97.The Globe Brickworks belonged to Messrs. Davisons and was situated opposite to the Etna Brickworks.


98.See note 79.


99.Where Belmont Crescent now stands.


100.In Church Road.


101.The early bus services in Buckley were in the hands of Mr. Reginald Jenkins and Mr. Edward Ellis.


102.A Cape just south of Calais.


103.During the hot August days of 1911 Liverpool was a city in crises. What started as an unofficial strike by railwaymen had escalated to a general strike with 70,000 workers involved. The crippling effects of the strike, the revolutionary pronouncements of the leaders, and the clashes between the pickets and the police, led to serious Government concern. The violent scenes of 'Bloody Sunday', as police broke up a mass demonstration, led to some of the most ferocious rioting witnessed in the city. Three thousand troops were brought in the gunboats that moored in the Mersey. Two men were shot dead before the strike was finally settled after more than a fortnight of intense conflict.


104. Not known to editor.


105. Local brickworks : in the Lane End and off Pinfold Lane resp.

There is a photograph entitled 'Coal Strike 1909' in Fitzpatrick & Griffiths, Burtonwood and Drury in Times Past, p.15. There seems a discrepancy.


106. Educated Harrow School. Pensioner of Emmanuel College Cambridge, BA (1886), MA (1894). Principal of Diocesan Memorial College, Mashonaland 1897-9; Curate of Salcombe, Devon, 1899-1901; Vicar of Buckley 1905-12. Org. Sec. deco. of Southern Rhodesia 1912-14. Chaplain R.A.C.D. World War I. D.S.O. and mentioned in dispatches. Rector of Wool bedding, Sussex 1924-32. Served Deco. of Bristol and Salisbury to 1932. Married Noelie, dau. of Rev. George W. Herbert. Died Manor, Wyke Champflower, Somerset, 1943. His son Rear Admiral P.H. D. Pelly C.B., D.S.P., lives in the Channel Islands and his daughter Claire is the Countess of Pembroke and Montgomery (J. & J. A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigenses, ii (2), p.80 Who's who 1975).

107. The official figures for the Titanic are 2206 on board; 730 saved; 1476 drowned.


108. The Most Rev. Alfred George Edwards, DD, 1st Archbishop of Wales. 5th son of William Edwards of Llanymawddwy, Meirioneth. Educated Jesus College Oxford. BA(1874), MA (1876). Vicar of Carmarthen 1885. Warden and Headmaster of Llandovery College 1875-85. Appointed to the See of St. Asaph 1889. (Foster, Al.Oxon, ii, p.409).


109. Educated Worcester College Oxford, MA 6th son of Rev. Hugh Edward Heaton of Betws yn Rhos, Denbs.


110. On Higher Common. Field Farm lies between The Willow and Alltami. Mr. Fred Thompson, later moved to Aberllannerch Farm, from which he operated his 'fleet' of horse-drawn rubber-tyred carts, which carried slack used for firing the kilns at the local brickworks.


111. For Gibson's Brickworks see Buckley, 6 (1981), pp.25-40; 8 (1983), pp.24-34; 9 (1984), pp.26-31; 10 (1985), pp.10-13.


112. Lloyd George's Insurance Act, like Balfour's Education Act of 1902, were very unpopular measures, but, the one, giving universal free education and the other insurance against sickness, having proved a very great blessing to the working class. (See note 89).


113. This led to the murder of the Archduke Ferdinand at Sarajevo and thence to 'The Great War'.


114. Minister of the Congregational Chapel, 1912-23. He came to Buckley from Blackburn in Lancashire. He was a great advocate of the Christian Endeavour Movement, which flourished during his ministry. Having carried the church through the difficult period of the 1914-18 War, he was instrumental in the erection of the brass War Memorial, which surrounds the pulpit. His daughter was Headmistress of the Board School Infants' Department for many years and he died and was buried in Buckley. (See Rev. R. Shepherd, op. cit., pp.49-52).






Author: Lewis, George, 1877 - 1963, Part 2


Year = 1922

Gender = Mixed

People = Couple

Extra = Formal Portrait

Extra = 1920s

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