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1956 - Tabernacle Register

1833 - 1837 Tabernacle Chapel Baptism Register

1872 - 1911 - Records of Various Deeds and Conveyancing Documents

1919 For sale

1920 Tabernacle Anniversary

1929 - Appreciation of land transfer from G E Fitzhugh to Esclusham Below Parish Council

1956 - New Black Horse Tontine Christmas Savings Club

In years gone by the simple, old-fashioned Tontine or common or garden family (or in the case of Rhostyllen a pub!) savings club existed whereby one elected a trusted family member - generally someone senior as the treasurer, and everyone gave them an agreed weekly sum to put aside for them.

Whole families saved towards Christmas in this simple but effective manner. Starting in the first week of January, each family member would give their mother, father, grandparent or whoever was elected as treasurer, that weekly cash sum. It would be recorded in a simple notebook, and withdrawn and redistributed at an agreed date generally a couple of weeks before Christmas. How complicated is that? It has even been known for whole villages to adopt the Tontine method of Christmas saving.

Because it was an agreed (and affordable) weekly sum, everyone knew exactly how much they would have to save and therefore how much was due to them when the time came to cash in their savings.

Because there were numerous savers and everyone liked to know the other’s business, it was that much harder to fall off the wagon because everyone else would know!

You could buy your Christmas goodies with ‘real’ money and get the best value for your savings without paying a premium as you do with traditional Christmas Savings Clubs.

The New Black Horse (more commonly known as the Top Pub) is now sadly long gone as are Tontine Christmas Savings Clubs. The Top Pub has been replaced by a row of houses and the Tontine by credit cards! That’s progress!?

1856 - Two children drowned in Bersham

“On Monday last, Two little children, belonging to Mr. EDWARD WALMSLEY, Taylor, Rhostyllen, near Wrexham were unfortunately drowned in the river which flows down the vale of Bersham, past Felin-Puleston.  Formerly there was a bridge over the stream where the road leads from the Little Vownog (also pronounced Fawnog – see maps) to the Turnpike Road between Wrexham and Ruabon but about a twelve month ago it was pulled down by some strolling vagrants from Wrexham, it was stated this bridge was somewhat elevated above the river, and was quite safe; but when it was pulled down a narrow plank was placed at the bottom, a few inches only above the bed of the stream.  There has been some talk during the year of replacing the bridge, but although one gentleman offered £5 as a contribution towards the expenses, nothing came of it, and the plank was allowed to remain.  The father of the poor children has buried his wife only four months ago, which must greatly add to his distress on the present melancholy occasion.  On Monday the two children, it would appear, went down to the water and attempted to pass over the plank, when from some cause both of them fell into it.  No one was by at the time, and therefore it is impossible to state precisely the cause of their doing so.  The oldest girl, MARY, was 12 years of age, and the younger, named JANE, was only 18 months old, they were not immediately missed, but on enquiries being made, another girl stated that she had seen them going down the road.  Search was then made for them, but no traces of them were discovered on the Monday night.  On Tuesday morning the body of the elder little girl was found by EDWARD LLOYD, a Labourer working on the railway and in another hour or so, WILLIAM ROBERTS, a labourer in the employ of Mr. R. W. JOHNSON, Esless farm, also discovered the body of the younger one.  On Thursday last an inquest was held on the bodies, at the Black Lion, Rhostyllen, before B. H. THELWALL, Esq, the coroner, and a respectable jury, JAMES EDISBURY, Esq, Bersham, being foreman.  etc......... etc.......

The jury found a verdict of "accidental death by drowning, by walking over a plank substituted for a bridge crossing the Bersham river upon the 30th of December, 1856, which river runs over a road from the little Fownog to the Wrexham and Ruabon Turnpike road" - Press Cutting

“The eldest child was Mary Whomsley born Dec 1844. The youngest was Jane Whomsley born sometime in 1855 (no baptism record for her.) Both children of Edward and Jane Whomsley. The surname was spelt in various ways, depending on how the powers that be decided on it at the time, However, the spelling was settled on eventually and stayed as Whomsley” – Ann Evans

The incident was thought to have happened at the ford, near Little Fawnog. This is where the narrow plank over the river was believed to have been situated.

1941 Rent Book for 27 Vicarage Hill, Rhostyllen

“My parents were caught up in the blitz ....... German bombing WW2 ......... in Liverpool/Birkenhead in 1941. Their house in Birkenhead was flattened but they survived and ended up evacuated to Rhostyllen. This is our family's rent book starting that same year. 7/6 a week”

Bob Leadbetter.

1948 National Registration Card

British identity card systems have been introduced twice between 1915 – 1919 and 1939 – 1952. Every civilian had to carry such a card at all times as proof of identity and address. These cards had to be produced on demand to the police, members of the Armed Forces on duty and National Registration Officers. During the war years the card had to be produced in order to renew a food rationing book.

Many thanks go to Bob Leadbetter for supplying these fascinating documents.