Some random pieces relating to the general history of Merthyr Tydfil and surrounding area, various contributors.
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Illustrated London News May 30th l846
"This town, on Thursday last week , was the scene of great rejoicings to welcome Robert THOMPSON CRAWSHAY Esq., and his bride. Previous to the appointed day the place was thoroughly alive with preparations of various kinds, and, on the morning, there was hardly a house without its emblem of congratulation floating in the breeze. In many parts of the town triumphal arches had been formed.
When the day of his arrival became known the gentry and tradesmen lost no time in forming a Committee for the purpose of arranging matters. The order of the procession was as follows: Band of music, gentlemen on horseback, two and two, wearing white rosettes, band of music, the different benefit societies, two and two - officers with white wands and white rosettes, workmen, four abreast. In this order the horsemen (about 300) proceeded about three miles; the people on foot about two miles; to meet Mr CRAWSHAY and his bride.
The procession returned in the same order amidst the firing of cannon and the huzzas of thousands upon thousands and, afterwards proceeded through the principal streets towards Cyfarthfa Castle, the residence of Mr CRAWSHAY. On entering the town the horses were taken from his carriage, the workmen taking their places. Mr CRAWSHAY and his youthful bride seemed considerably affected by the tokens of respect which met their sight in every direction, repeatedly acknowledging them.
When the procession reached its destination an address of congratulation was read on the behalf of the gentry and tradesmen by William DAVIS Esq., coroner for the county. Mr CRAWSHAY returned thanks. The workmen were then regaled with several barrels of beer and the gentlemen to the number of ninety, returned to the Castle Inn, where conviviality and harmony reigned supreme."
Diane Johansen 1 Nov 2001 to the Glamorgan mailing list
Adrian Stephens of Dowlais Iron Works
It is not generally known that the steam whistle was invented by Adrian Stephens who was an engineer at the Dowlais Iron Works.
In 1835, water in one of the boilers at the Dowlais Iron Works had boiled away and a small explosion occurred.
Stephens realised that unless a device was fitted that would give warning, there might be a more serious explosion. After trying to use organ pipes, he made a whistle from copper tubing. This was placed in the boiler and when the water was allowed to boil away, a slight hiss from the whistle showed the danger point had been reached.
He then increased the vent in his whistle and the strident sound of the steam whistle was greeted by human ears for the first time.
Based on The Story of Merthyr Tydfil compiled by The Merthyr Teachers Association 1932
Debbie Jones, 3 Aug 2000 to the Glamorgan mailing list
The early Postal Service
Linked up with the growth of roads during the 1800's, was the development of the postal service. For many a year, a mail coach had travelled regularly between Brecon and Abergavenny, but so bad was the road that the journey often took three days.
Letters for Merthyr Tydfil were collected by a messenger who met the coach at Talybont -on-Usk, and returned by way of the old mountain road over Penrhiw Galch and Twynau Gwynion. There were no postmen in those days. People who expected letters had to call at a local inn, which was also used as a post office.
When the Abergavenny - Merthyr road was opened, a mail coach service was established between the two places, but it was not until 1840 that mail coaches began to ply between Cardiff and Merthyr. In that year Merthyr Tydfil became the centre for the postal service of north Glamorgan and north Monmouthshire, a position which it held for many years.
Based on The Story of Merthyr Tydfil, compiled by The Merthyr Teachers Association 1932.
Debbie Jones, 18 Oct 2000 to the Glamorgan mailing list
Georgetown, Merthyr Tudful was the settlement built c1820s around the Ynysfach and Cyfarthfa ironworks owned by the Crawshays. It was named after George Crawshay the younger son of the second Wiliam Crawshay. In the late nineteen sixties and early seventies much of this settlement was demolished and many of the residents were rehoused on new housing estates e.g. Gurnos estate. The approximate area of the old Georgetown is called YNYSFACH on modern OS maps.
Deric John 17.4.2000 to the Glamorgan mailing list
Historical snippets re Merthyr Tydfil [Last Updated : 29 Sept 2002 - Gareth Hicks]