The main project page for PEM is on http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/PEM/Hanes2.html where there is a complete Welsh only version of the entries for the PEM chapels in this book.
This page is for translations of histories as they are done, randomly selected
(Haverfordwest, St.Martin Parish)
Welsh version on http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/PEM/Hanes12.html
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The famous George Whitefield preached here a few times, and here as in most of the places he preached he was instrumental in bringing the souls of many back to the Lord. The ministry in the parish churches or the nonconformist chapel at The Green was not fiery enough for the followers of Whitefield they set up their own place at the home of Mr Wheeler, City Road, near to where Tabernacl stands at presemt. Having been worshipping here for some time withonly occasional ministry and the service of some of the Methodist preachers, they built Tabernacl in 1774.The trustees of the first deed were Benjamin Jones, John Roberts, James Morgan, William Higgon, Francis Noot, Peter Williams, John Thomas, William Edwards, and William Hurlow. It is evident that this was an Independent church from the beginning, despite the fact that the vicar and Methodist ministers administered the Sacraments here from time to time, because it is stated in the deeds of the chaprl that the minister must always be chosen by the majority of the members. Until 1800 the church depended on occasional ministry. The well known Rowland Hill and Mathew Wilks each preached here for four Sundays each every year. Mr Nathaniel Rowlands, son of Mr Daniel Rowlands, Llangeitho, came here regurlarlyto administer the Sacraments, and was the cause of a rift in the church. The story is as follows :- Captain T. Joss, a big friend of Whitefield, a notable and popular preacher, came here five or six Sundays each year to preach, and when Mr Rowlands understood that he was officiating at a christening and Communion, while not licensed by the Bishop, influenced a number of members to object to this, Mr Rowland Hill sided with Captain Joss against Mr Rowlands. This resulted in the church splitting. A large minority went with Mr Rowlands, and it was that faction that began the Calvinistic Methodist Chapel in Haverfordwest. In 1800 William Warlow was called to come and settle here. He began his ministry in February, 1801. He remained here successfully until the end of 1806 or the beginning of 1807 when he gave up this ministry and left to raise the cause in Milford. In 1811 a call was sent to Mr Thomas Luke, Gosport College. He was ordained on August 29th that year. The ordination began with a prayer from Mr T. Harries, Pembroke, Mr Stone preached on the nature of a church and also heard the confession of faith. The ordination prayer was given by Mr W. Griffiths, Glandwr, Mr W. Warlow, Milford, preached on the duty of a minister and Mr James Phillips, Clapham on the duty of a church. Mr Luke only stayed here for four years, and moved to Castle Road, Swansea in1815.Fter his departure the church was dependent on occasional ministry. It was the popular ministers from England that came here in turn, especially in summer. From 1820 to1824 Mr Daniel Warr was settled here as minister, after his departure the church had a long period of twenty seven years depending on occasional ministry. In 1851 a call was sent to Mr T. G. Stamper, Uxbridge, who remained here with great respect until 1862 when he moved to Odiham. The next minister here was Mr H. C. Long, a student in the Western College. He was ordained in 1864, and left in 1872. The church once again was left with no minister.
In 1851, the chapel was repaired and decorated, and this year (1873), it is intende to mostly rebuild. It is a large and convenient chapel, despite the fact that it has been built for 99 years. There is a call now to rebuild and bring it up to date.
Some occasiomal preachers were raised here over the years, but we have no record of them. The following have gone to the ministry after first preaching here, we only have their names - David Evans, William Morgan, Thomas Davies, Thomas James, and Howell Davies.
The church and congregation at Tabernacl for the last hundred years have been numerous, prosperous and influential. Many of the respected families in the area worshiped here from generation to generation, and some famous English preachers came here for a month or more every year at the times when there was no minister. We understand that there has been no great success of any minister here other than Mr William Warlow. From the beginning the congregation was used to changing talent nearly every month, and frequently listened to the most popular in the kingdom, therefore they found it hard to listen to a single minister continually. It was very difficult to satisfy a congregation, especially like this one who was used to some of the best and were quite capable of drawing the best and most popular in the kingdom.
WILLIAM WARLOW - see history of Milford
THOMAS LUKE - See Castle Road, Swansea
DANIEL WARR - only facts - Minister here 1820 to 1824 - Published a series of essays on"Taith y Perein" (Pilgrim'sJourney)
THOMAS GILDEROY STAMPER - born Chichester March 31st, 1800 - confirmed by Mr John Hunt at 16 - Gosport College under Dr Bogue at 19 - 1823 Reading to support Mr A. Jack - ordained Uxbridge April 4th, 1826 - Haverfordwest 1851 to 1862, gave up due to ill health - 1862 to 1863 Odiham - Died July 1st, 1863.
(Pembroke St. Mary)
Welsh version on http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/PEM/Hanes12.html
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Pater or Pembroke Dock as it is now known was sparsley populated until the Government opened the Royal Dock Yards here around 1821. Since then there has been rapid growth with the population at about ten thousand for some years now. There were many members of the Independent church in Pembroke living here, and because they had about two miles to walk there , they felt that there was a place of worship needed in their own area. They began their search for some land in 1823, and they were successful eventually. The chapel was builtand opened on April 16th, 1824. The church was not formed then, but occasional preachers came here every Sunday. On January 19th, 1825 Mr Harries, Pembroke , gave leave to as many of his congregation as lived in this area and established an Independent church based on them. William Williams, Phillip James, and James Hancock were chosen as deacons, the young church remained under the care of Mr Harries for about two years. On Good Friday, 1826, Mr Thomas R. Williams was ordained hereand remained here until January 3rd,1830 when he moved to Templeton. He was followed by Mr W. Lewis, from Carmarthen College, on February 12th, 1830, until he gave up the care in 1834. April 17th, 1835 Mr John Josiah Braine was ordained here and remained until 1837 when he moved to Tenby. From then until 1839 the church was dependent on occasional ministry, in that year Mr Thomas Jones was ordained here, but he left in September 1842 because of ill health.There is no record of where Mr Jones came from or wher he went after leaving. Mr Josephus Williams settled here on February 3rd, 1843 and his ministry continued until Sunday October 27th, 1850, when he and a fair number of members left, because of a disagreement, and set up another cause in the town. We know nothing of the cause of the split. After this the church here survived on occasional ministry until May 5th, 1853, when Mr C. J. Evans settled here. Mr Evans had received his education in America. He gave up his ministry on June 2nd, 1856, when he went to visit Palestine.On February 1st, 1870 Mr E. L. Shadrch began his ministry here, and remained to the end of his life in 1869. In April 1870 Dr Thomas Davies of Ross, Herefordshire began his ministry here and remains here today. There have been eight ministers here in the space of twenty six years the natural conclusions are that either the church was very unfair to their ministers or that they were very unfortunate in their choices as only one of them died here. We hope there is a long and succesful period here ahead of Dr. Davies. The first chapel was built here in 1823 as noted, in 1841 it was restored and extended, by 1862 it was in a poor state and too small for the congregation so they had to find a piece of land to build a new chapel. They succeeded in buying a convenient piece of land for £561, near the old chapel. The plans for the new chapel were drawn up by R. Sutton, Esq., of Nottingham and th fondation stone was laid by Mrs Jenkins, wife of D. Jenkins,Esq., Londonon June 20th, 1865. The work was completed and the chapel was opened on June 28th, 1867. The cost was £4462, but considering that it is one of the most beautiful chapels in the principality, with a large schoolroom below, and manyconvenient rooms within, it is one of the least expensive chapels we have seen. It has seating for twelve hundred people. There is a large congregation listening every Sunday, a good Sunday School and the future looks hopful. If things were unpleasant here previously, there has been a vast improvement.
ELIACIM L. SHADRACH - born Talybont, Cardiganshire in 1805 - son of Azariah Shadrach, minister in Talybont - educated at Neuaddlwyd, began to preach there - moved to Rotheram College - called to Ebenezer, Doncaster, Yorkshire. Ordained August 19th, 1829 - shortly returned to Aberystwyth to be joint minister with his father - 1835 moved to Dursley, Gloucestershire - Pembroke Dock, 1857 - Died April 8th, 1869 age 64 years - Never married.
(Pembroke, St Mary)
Welsh version on http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/PEM/Hanes12.html
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This cause started when Mr Josephus Williams and about fifty members from Albion Square split from there on October 27th, 1850. They worshipped in the Temperance Hall until the chapel was built. The foundation stone was laid by Mr W. F. Mowat ( Original spelling - correction - should be W. F. Mount, father of Mary Ann Susanah Mount, wife of Rev. Josephus Williams), London, brother in law of the minister, Mr Williams on February 12th 1851, and it was opened in December the same year. Sermons were given by Messrs D. Rees, Llanelli, and J. Davies, Albany Chapel, London. It is a pleasant and comparatively large chapel, but as a great deal of the material was donated and many of the craftsmen worked free of charge, the cost was under seven hundred pounds. Due to ill health Mr Williams was forced to give up his ministry in May 1864. When he left he was presented by the church and the congregation with some valuable silver dishes, to show their respect. He still lives in the area and held in high esteem by people of all the denominations. Soon after Mr Williams left a call was sent to Mr J. C. Ramsay, who was preaching with the Primitive Methodists, and he was ordained in 1864. Mr Ramsay became a popular preacher, but soon after his ordination, some unpleasantess developed and he decided to leave which he did in 1866. The unpleasant atmosphere nearly tore the church asunder and they were without a minister for two years. Mr C. Goward, the present minister, began his ministry in January 1868, and it is good to see that peace and harmony has been restored. In the last three years the church is on the increase. In 1871 the chapel was repaired and decorated. When the work was complete Mr Thomas Jones, Swansea, preached to two large congregations. The future looks very promising.
Welsh version on http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/PEM/Hanes12.html
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This chapel takes it's name from the farm on which it was built. It stands on a slope below the mountain at the end of the Llanfyrnach valley. Mr Morgan Jones, Trelech, was responsible for the setting up of this cause. There had been members of Glandwr and Trelech had lived in this area for a long time before a chapel was built and a church was established. Mr Jones, the minister, gave the land to build the chapel. The date of the lease is January, 1806. it states that the place is the property of the Independents that beleive in the doctrines of the Triumvirate and the Five Points of Calvinism, for 999 years or from June 29th, 1805, as long as there is water in the Taf, the river that runs through the Llanfyrnach Valley, for the sum of one shilling a year. The names of the trustees are John Jones, Esq., Trefawr, Llanfyrnach; John David, Ffosfantach - Father of Mr D. Davies, late of Colwyn ; Edward Thomas, Blaencneifa ; William Lewis, Llandre, and Thomas Griffiths, Mochwaen. The lease was signed in the presence of Thomas Morris, Llandre, and John Jones, Blaiddbwll. These and many others cooperated with Mr Jones to start and build the cause. Mr Jones was the minister here from it's beginning until his death. Mr Evan Jones had been ordained as his helper some years before he died, this church and the other two were under his sole care until he moved to England about 1837. After Mr Jones departure the church placed itself in the care of Mr Edward Rees, Bryn Seion, and remained under his ministry until he moved to Penmain, Monmouthshire in 1843. For the next three years they were dependent on occasional ministry. In 1846, they joined with Capel Iwan to call Mr William Jenkins, who was ordained minister for the two churches in June of that year. He was only here for some four years, but God smiled on him and the two churches. There was a fiery and effective revival and hundreds were confirmed into both churches. In 1850, Mr Jenkins moved to Nantyglo to minister to his mother church. For a time after he left Mr Jones, Ffynnonbedr, came here on a monthly basis. When Mr Isaac Williams settled in Trelech, June 1851, he also took on the care of Llwynyrhwrdd, the two churches remained in his care until 1872 when he moved to Pantteg, Carmarthenshire.Since Mr Williams left the church has not had a settled minister, it had always been in joint ministries with other churches , but now decided to have it's own minister, which it is able to supportand the area is large enough to keep a minister fully occupied. The current officers of the church are Samuel Davies, Pantymaen, Governing Elder; and John Jones, Llwynyrhwrdd, son of Mr Jones, Trelech, the first minister; Thomas Owen, Rhydygarth ; Thomas Thomas, Llwyncelyn, and John Sandbrook, Dolpwll, deacons. Members number 355. There is a stromg Sunday School in the chapel and also at the branch in Cefncribwr, where it is intended to build a new place to keep a school and hold religious meetings. There are also two prayer meetings a week being held by members of this church in the parish of Llanfyrnach. The Three Counties Festival was held here in 1852.
The first chapel was built here in 1805, rebuilt in 1817 and built a third time in 1846.This year (1873) it is intended to rebuild again. In 1860 a spacious schoolroom was built near the chapel. There is a large cemetery, which is to be extended this year. Among those resting here are the two first ministers Mr Morgan Jones and his son Mr Evan Jones.
This church, like it's mother church at Trelech, have been famous for the raising of preachers. The following were raised here :-
Originally members of this church are John Davies, Zoar, Aberdare, and Thomas Phillips, Horeb,Cardiganshire, but they began to preach in other churches.
This church has always been exceptionally peaceful and blessed with strong religious revivals. If an industrious minister was to come here he could plant two or three branches in the outlying areas without weakening the mother church.
(Rhodiad Chapel - St David's Parish)
Welsh version on http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/PEM/Hanes3.html
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Mr John Richards, minister of Trefgarn, used to preach monthly at Carnachenlwyd, in the parish of Mathry. One Sunday afternoon around 1782, one William Perkins, Pwllcaerog, among others went there to listen to him. Mr Perkins was a member of the Established Church, but he was a thoughtful man, and liked what Mr Richards had been saying. He went to listen again the next month, and this time Mr Perkins asked Mr Richards to come to the St David's area. He replied that he was more than willing if there was an open door for him. Mr Perkins replied that his door was open until somewhere more suitable became available. Mr Richards preached many timesat Pwllcaerog, after that he went to a place named Llaethdy near St. David's Head. He also preached many times in the home of Mr William Pugh, and in the open air outside the door of the Lion Public House. The principles of nonconformism were unknown to the people of St. Davids.There was no nonconformist chapel in the area, although the Methodists had preached in the area for more than twenty years, yet within two years of the Independents first preaching their chapel was built. After Mr Richards had been preaching in the City and surrounding area for two years, many residents had been confirmed at Trefgarn and a chapel was desirable, they made an effort to acquire some land but the objection to nonconformism in the city was too strong. A small piece of land about a mile from the City on the road to Fishguard, srom Mr William Meyler, Tremyni or Tremynydd. The chapel was built in1784 and it was named Rhodiad y Brenin, or Rhodiad today. The story goes that the old prophet Mr Edmund Jones, Pontypool, was walking between St Davids and Fishguard when he stopped here and told his fellow travellers " There will be a dissenter service here one day". There was not one house there at the time, the few houses that are there now were built after the chapel.* A church was established here soon after the chapel was built, consisting of twenty members mostly from Trefgarn. Mr Richards continues to work in association with Trefgarn until he emigrated to America in 1795. The care of Rhodiad fell to Mr William Harries an occasional preacher belonging to Trefgarn, who had supported Mr Richards in his work here. He was ordained on October21st, 1795, although as previously mentioned , it was intended for the four ministers ordained to rotate their ministry, each one soon restricted themselves to their appropriate areas.At this time we find
William Perkins, Samuel Dayid, and Thomas Howell, were Governing Elders at Rhodiad, and George Cunnick, Gilbert Howell, William Howell, and Richard Howell were Deacons. Soon after his ordination Mr Harries began to preach with some regularity at Solva, and in 1798 a small chapel was built there as a branch of Rhodiad, although ministers and members of Trefgarn helped with the building. Mr Harries was very industrious and successful in his work. In1811 Mr JAmes Griffiths, Machynlleth came to the area through marital connections and spent most of his time here, and when he was here supported Mr Harries in his ministry. In 1814 Mr Griffiths came to live permanently in the area and a call was sent to him to be joint minister with Mr Harries at Rhodiad and Solva, which, despite having two chapels, were considered to be one church. In November that year a meeting of ministers was held in Rhodiad to confirm the bond being formed between the church and Mr Griffiths, in the absence of the old minister, because of illness. The appropriate prayer for the occasion was given by Mr Richard Howells, one of the deacons, who was also an occasional preacher. The cause brightened considerably with Mr Griffiths settling here, and a new spirit entered the members.Occasional preaching had continued in a dwelling house in St. David's and Mr Griffiths felt that a better arrangement was needed. He owned some land there through marriage and offered it to the church to build a chapel. The offer was accepted and the chapel built in 1815, named Ebenezer. There was regular preaching here although it was Rhodiad that was considered the church. Around this time there was some difficulty with the lease and it was feared that they might lose the chapel. It appears that William Meyler, who had given the land for the chapel to be built had included it in the lease of the field to Henry Tegan, it was therefore necessary for Tegan to give the land back to Meyler before he could lease it to the chapel trustees, and so it was done. Some time after the death of Meyler and Tegan the lease thaat Tegan gave Meyler was missing and so the lease from Meyler to the chapel was invalid. Under these circumstances William Tegan, son of Henry Tegan, laid claim to the land, the chapel and ths houses that had by now been built on the land. This caused a great deal of distress, but not one of the trustees had the courage to defend the church's rights. Mr William Tegan was at the time in prison for his debts and Mr Griffiths went to see him and acquired the land from him for £25 to transfer his rights and sign a document in the presence of witnesses, from then on there was no danger of the church losing it's rights.In the following years there seems to have been some disagreement between Mr Griffiths and the old minister, the opinions of the church were being split, although all appeared peaceful. The difference was in their views on the principles of Divinity. Mr Harries was from the old school of high Calvinism, but Mr Griffiths beleived in the so called New System. he was condemned as heretic by some who did not understand what they were talking about. Although there was nothing definitive in his sermons, some felt that there was an unusual tone to them.There was a matter of discipline came before the church, which brought the matter to a head and many members left in 1823 and formed a church in Solva, they chose the venerable Mr Harries to be their minister. Mr Thomas Mortimer had started to preach many years before the church was established and when it was he went there with his old minister, and soon he was chosen as joint minister, as we shall discuss again.Some ill feeling continued for a while, and the feelings of the ministers was divided, but in time things settled down. The cause in Rhodiad continued to flourish. In 1833 a small chapel was built associated to rhodiad further along the road to Fishguard, it was named Berea. St. David's chapel became too small and in 1838 it had to be rebuilt. These three places worked together and considered themselves to be one church. Services were held morning and night at St. David's and Berea every Sunday, except once a month when the whole congregation met in the morning for Holy Communion in Rhodiad, It was at Rhodiad that all the church meetings were held, because it was the most central to the whole church.By now there was a need for two preachers every Sunday, but there was no occasional preacher within the church. Under these circumstances Mr Griffiths suggested that they took on a young man to work alongside him, or if they preferred he would give up his ministry so that they could have a minister to take full care, and he would help where needed. The church would not even consider the latter so a call was sent to Mr John Lloyd Jones, a student at Brecon College. He was ordained at St. David's on October 7th, 1847. On the occasion Mr D. Hughes, Trelech, preached on the nature of a church, the challenges to the minister were made by Mr D. Davies, Zion's Hill. The old minister was asked for his views, and indicated complete agreement and joy with the situation. The ordination prayer was given by Mr B. Griffiths, Trefgarn, Mr W. Davies, Rhosycaerau, preached on the duty of a minister, the duty of a church was addressed by Mr J. Evans, Hebron. Matters continued smoothly, except for the members of St David's and Berea complained of having to go to Rhodiad monthly for Communion.It was then decided to have Communion at each capel once every three month, this soon became unpopular and the result was that two Independent churches were formed, one at St. David's and the other at Berea, and all the members should join the church that was most convenient to them. This was acheived peacefully on the part of the ministers and the church, and it was decided that the two ministers should continue their joint ministry. At the end of 1854 Mr Griffiths felt unable to continue his ministry, and gave up his responsibilities totally, but continued to preach as long as he could. Around the same time Mr Jones confined his mininstry to St. David's only, thus the bond betwen the two churches was broken. Mr Jones worked here until 1857, when he moved to Crwys and Penyclawdd, Glamorganshire.He preached his farewell sermon on in Ebenezer on November 22nd, 1857. In April the following year the venerable Mr Griffiths died, after an association of forty seven years with the church, as minister for more than forty years. In 1863 a call was sent to Mr Jenkin Jones, Brecon College, who was ordained on July 8th that year. He remained here for three years then accepted a call from the English church at Capel Ivor, Dowlais, and moved there. After about two years without a minister, a call was sent to Mr John Foulkes, a student
at Carmarthen College, and he was ordained on July 2nd, 1868. On the occasion a sermon on the nature of a church was given by Mr J. Lewis, Henllan, the questions were asked by Mr E.T. Davies, Abergele. A prayer was made by Mr S. Evans, Hebron, Prof. Morgan, Carmarthen, preached to the minister and Mr R. Williams, London, to the church. Soon after Mr Foulkes had settled here the chapel was felt to be too small for the congregation, and that it needed extending. There was much talk about this, but the burden was frightening. The old chapel had been built on land owned by Mr Griffiths, but due to some oversight the deed of transfer was never made, despite the fact that the land was free of charge. The church contacted his son Mr Henry Griffiths, Bowden, to ask for an additional piece of land, eventually a lease was granted for 999 years for the sum of £1 per year. A beautiful chapel was built, worth £1200, not counting transportation, which was given free by the local people. It measures 48 x 36 feet witha large convenient room underneath where a Sunday school and weekly srvices were held. It was opened on September 26th and 27th, 1871. The following preached at the opening:- Messrs T. Rees, D.D., Swansea; J. Thomas, Liverpool; D. Jones, B.A., Merthyr; J. Lewis, Henllan; J. Davies, Aberdare; L. James, Carfan, and D.Evans, Narberth. £550 had been collected by the opening and the remainder of the debt was soon cleared by the efforts of the minister and congregation. The membership is around 200. There have been faithful and industrious people here from the beginning, and an enlightened and well informed class of people were raised here and still are. We do not have the names of these people, but from personal knowledge we can refer to Mr David Griffiths, Trelwyd, son of the venerable minister Mr James Griffiths. He served as a deacon for many years. He was chosen while young, and gained great respect. He was a knowledgable and understanding man, and wrote a great deal under the pseudonym Dilectus, St. David's. He died in his middle years, and he was greatly missed. The following were raised to preach here :-
JAMES GRIFFITHS -Born August 2nd, 1782 at Clungwyn, Meidrym, Carmarthenshire - Parents, David and Margaret Griffiths, father deacon at Bethlehem, St. Clears - youngest of eight children - W. Thomas, Llwynbychau, maternal uncle, was his inspiration to preach - at 10 years old spent time with his brother Mr Benjamin Griffiths, in business in Llanboidy - confirmed at Bethlehem in 1798 age 16 - Mr Evans' school in St. Clears for 2 years -
First effort to preach was a complete failure - Second effort better planned used his plan " when persecuted in one City, escape to another" in this case move on to expound the next verse - at 18 went to Carmarthen College, went to preach in the north on invtation from Dr George Lewis - promised to Graig, Machynlleth, also invited to Bridgend, Llanedi and Llanelli - ordained Graig March 7th, 1807 - 1811 published a booklet on the order of the church - married Miss Sarah Phillips, Llanferan, member at Rhodiad - for the first year after marrying travelled 2 Sundays a month to Machynlleth, then moved there with wife and child - 1814 moved back to Llanferan, called to Rhodiad with Mr Harries - 1854 gave up his ministry, but preached occasionally - Last seen at Henllan festival 1856 - Died April 11th, 1858 - Buried at St. David's Cathedral.
* Ysgrif y diweddar Mr. Griffiths, Tyddewi.( Text of the late Mr Griffiths, St. David's)
Vol 3, p 126
Welsh version on http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/PEM/Hanes10.html
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In the year 1862 a number of members went peacefully from the church in St Florence, and they had formed as a church in this place. They built here a small, pretty and convenient chapel here. Mr S Morley A S gave a generous portion towards the expense of the building, and the community assisted on behalf of the Englishman in South Wales helping yearly towards having a ministry here. Mr William Davies who has been a minister here from the beginning, in connection with Horeb. The outlook is hopeful for the young cause in this place.
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( Gareth Hicks - 24 May 2008)
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