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Old 3rd May 2019, 14.58:11   #621-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Just a general query ER (being nosey in other words), are you a Wrexham lad originally & if so whereabouts did you hail from?
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Old 6th May 2019, 14.29:46   #622-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

IMG_0091.jpg around 1920.
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Old 6th May 2019, 16.49:54   #623-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

That's a good pic never seen that one before...

So the question now is when did we first play Villa?

If the pic is 1920 did we really play then circa 1870?
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Old 6th May 2019, 17.00:19   #624-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastsussexred View Post
Having re-evaluated old maps of the area, I am now finally beginning to home in on the complete history of The Turf Hotel.

We know from a map that the older Turf Tavern section of the premises was already in existence in 1819, and a newspaper article from the same year stated that Joseph and Margaret Foulkes were the landlords, but another map from 1793-95 (previously attached) also shows either a building or a very small plot of land, in the tavern’s location, which was separated from the large field behind it (the course) by a boundary line or hedge.
As the Williams-Wynne Estate owned all of the land mentioned, it would therefore seem logical to presume that either the tavern was already in existence in 1793-95 or a plot of land had been sectioned off from The Racecourse, specifically for the construction of The Turf Tavern, when the area was surveyed, prior to the compilation of the 1793-95 map.

We also now know that the taller section of the premises, where the bar is today, was originally known as The Grandstand, and from other newspaper articles we know that meals were being served in this section, by the landlord and lady of The Turf Tavern, during sports events from at least 1841 to at least 1858.
I had originally thought that this taller section, called The Grandstand, was built as an extension directly onto the town end of the lower Turf Tavern, but I now think that is not quite true. The section called The Grandstand was separated from the tavern by a courtyard around 3mtrs wide, although it was in-effect, a part of the same establishment, owned by the Williams-Wynn Estate.
The Turf Tavern shown on the 1819 map is indicated by a dot, with the words ‘Turf Tavern’ written next to it, but the map gives no indication as to the size or shape of the premises, whereas maps from 1872, 1874, 1898, 1909, 1912 and 1938 all show the size and footprint of the two buildings, conjoined, pretty much as they are today as The Turf Hotel. However, there is another map, dating from 1833 (attached) which shows The Grandstand as an independent building, separated from the tavern, and which I had originally thought as being a stable-block, belonging to the tavern. But having recently found out that the taller section was called The Grandstand, I now believe that the separate block on the map is in fact The Grandstand. Later photographs and newspaper articles would provide an indication as to why The Grandstand was built, and when the two buildings were physically linked together.

Letters to The Wrexham Advertiser tell us that in the earlier days of racing, the course was frequented by the gentry of the land, but as the population of the town grew during the industrial revolution, the so-called working classes moved in and the meetings began to suffer from rowdiness, violence, theft and drink related issues.
The Grandstand would therefore appear to have been built as a kind of, what we might refer to today, as function rooms or corporate rooms, with direct views out to the finish post, where the more well-healed clientele could dine and drink in style, while watching the races, without the need to mingle with the chavs in the tavern or in the numerous food and beer tents on the course. They could also watch the races from the balcony, which incidently, may have originally been installed around the entire building (not just the racecourse side) as can be seen from the string course, at the same height of the base of the rear balcony, on both the Mold Road and kop gates elevations (attached).
The Grandstand was not just operational during race meetings though, as we know that it also served as the posh section of the tavern for events and meetings, as well as a restaurant that was used by The Wrexham Cricket Club and their visiting opponents after cricket matches: but it was the events associated with the Wrexham Races that would ultimately decide this buildings future. In 1854, the older Turf Tavern section of the building was renovated internally, to provide offices and a weighing room for race-officials, while a new permanent stone built grandstand was also built for the masses, at the opposite end of the tavern. Unfortunately, within four years, the races had been stopped, although pony racing would be gradually re-introduced, a few years later, but the gentry of the land ceased to attend theses meetings, and so the roof of the tavern was extended to join the two buildings together, with a covered alleyway (as can be seen in the photo from 1906 attached). At the same time, a growing rail network, and the taverns close proximity to Wrexham General Station, is likely to have provided an opportunity for the tavern to provide additional accommodation for travellers, and so The Grandstand was converted accordingly and renamed ‘The Turf Hotel’ sometime after 1858.
The name ‘Grandstand’ was eventually forgotten.

Since the end of 19th Century, The Racecourse had been competing against other grounds in Wales, to host Welsh football international matches, and in December of 1912 Wrexham FC officials made a pledge to The Football Association of Wales that the club would upgrade the pitch and facilities, in order to host the international match against Scotland on 3rd March 1913. Improvements were made to the existing stands on the course and new terraced banks were constructed behind the goals, while renovation of The Turf Hotel was also started as part of the improvements at this time. New windows and doors were installed and the false-half- timber- panels at the rear of the property were ripped out and replaced with the rendered panels that can still be seen today. The original door to the balcony was blocked off with rendered panels and the covered alley between the two buildings was finally bricked up, forming the lounge that connected The Grandstand and the tavern sections, as it is today.
The extent of building works during this period also forced the guarantors of The Wrexham Races to announce that they would no longer fund the October race meetings, and so the races were abandoned; though, the building works were most likely just the final nail in the coffin for race meetings on the course as the number of guarantors had dwindled from 24 in 1890, to just 6 in 1912, and public interest in the races had all but dried up.

The Turf Hotel has been renovated many times over the years, but there are still plenty of internal and external features, which provide a great deal of indication about its past. By combining this information with historic newspaper reports and the details recorded on old maps, it is has been possible compile the following Chronology.

The first building on this land appears to have been The Turf Tavern, which was either, already in existence in 1793-95, or had been allocated a plot of land, ready for its construction, around this time.
The Grandstand was added later, sometime prior to 1833.
The tavern section was renovated to include office space for race officials in 1854 and the two sections of the property were brought together and renamed The Turf Hotel at the end of the 1850’s. Initially, the two sections were linked only on the first floor, with an alley dividing the properties at ground level, but both ends of the alley were bricked off to form a lounge area, sometime after 1906, and most likely during the 1913/14 renovations.
The hotel has since been renovated periodically, including the 1990’s, when the original cast iron columns that held up the balcony were removed and a new wall was added at the back of the hotel in order to extend the bar area. At the same time, much of the dividing wall between the original two sections of the property was removed at ground floor level, to give the open plan floor space of the lounge area that can be seen today.

Turf Hotel- date of construction- circa 1793.

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Old 6th May 2019, 17.05:24   #625-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Wrexham played in the Birmingham and District League around 1920, so it's possible Aston Villa had a side in it.
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Old 10th May 2019, 17.22:27   #626-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastsussexred View Post
As confirmed by Alfred Neobard Palmer, Richard Williams (the brother of the first Sir Watkin Williams Wynn) lived at the property known as The Crispin, on Crispin Lane, during the 1730's. He would later become an MP for Flint and he also inherited the Penbedw Estate (Nannerch).
Ogilbys Road map of 1675 (previously attached) had shown that The Crispin was a substantial property in the region, at least on par with Plas Coch, but the entire area had previously been named after the Crispin, including the land that The Racecourse was built on, as shown on the map from 1793-95 (attached).
Richard Williams of Penbedw died at Oswestry in 1759, but an artcle in the Shrewsbury Chronicle of 1774 (attached) confirmed that he had been a breeder of hunt and race horses 'The above mare was called Vendecea and bred by the late Richard Williams Esq of Penbedw' and that he was still being credited with his stud, some 15 years after his death.
The property known as The Crispin was known to still have stables in the mid 19th Century, when it was demolished, but Richard Williams occupancy of the the property during the 1730's also makes it likely that he was breeding horses on Crispin Lane, as he was a man of means; landed gentry who was a member of the two most powerful and wealthy families in Wales (the Williams's and the Wynn's). When added to this, the fact that The London Evening Post were advertising The Wrexham Races on the 'new Course' in 1739, while Richard Williams lived at The Crispin, and the William's Wynn's were promoting the races, then it seems probable that it was Richard Williams who bought horseracing to those fields off Crispin Lane, some 70 years before Sir Watkin Williams Wynn (5th Bart) was credited with building Y Cae Ras.
As previously corrected in an earlier post, it was not Richard Williams who lived at The Crispin in the 1730’s, but the other brother of the first Sir Watkin Williams Wynn- Robert Williams of Erbistock.
Like all of the brothers, Robert Williams (1695-1763) was a man of means, who had been born into one of the wealthiest families in Wales. He was the owner of Erbistock Hall and was elected MP for Montgomeryshire (1741-42 and 1742-47) as well as receiving the title of The Recorder of Oswestry.
Alfred Neobard Palmer stated that Robert Williams lived at The Crispin from 1731 ‘and for a few years after’ although he must have leased the property, as Palmer also reported that The Crispin had been owned by the Ambrose Lewis family since at least 1704 until the year 1820. This begs the question as to why Robert Williams would lease, and live in a property on Crispin Lane, when he himself owned Erbistock Hall and other substantial estates in the region, while his family were also the largest landowners in Wales?
It would therefore seem that it may have been the location of the property, which was the most important factor when Robert Williams lived at The Crispin, as it was a substantial house in its own grounds, which adjoined a large area of open fields that were owned by his brother- Sir Watkin Williams Wynn. This becomes apparent when we look at the timing of the lease, which corresponds with a period in which we know that his family were promoting The Wrexham Races ‘on the new course’ (as recorded in The London Evening Post of 1739 and 1740) while we also know that his other brother- Richard Williams of Penbedw (MP for Flint) was building a reputation for breeding racehorses at this time. And so it may have been a family project, which first brought horse racing to Y Cae Ras in 1739 and 1740, although a lack of information in the archives in succeeding years, suggests that the races were not firmly established as a major annual event until the end of the 18th Century. A newspaper report from The Chester Courant further indicated that The Wrexham Races of 1792 were more of a rustic event, at that time, and in his memoirs, Major Charles James Appleby, (the brother-in-law of Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn) also described the races as being ‘ little more than leatherplate races’ at the end of the 18th Century. Other, much smaller venues are also known to have been used for private races at different times and in other locations around town, with individuals, such as the landlords of public houses using the fields adjoining their premises to facilitate races between customers, while making money from the betting associated with such races. But it was the construction a new public house, called The Turf Tavern in 1793-95 which suggests that Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn (5th Baronet) had decided to upgrade the old racecourse off Crispin Lane, and establish Y Cae Ras as the only public horse racing venue in town. His decision might also have been swayed by the need for a suitable training ground for a new cavalry regiment, known as The Gentlemen and Yeomanry Cavalry of Wrexham, which was established, under Sir Watkin’s patronage in 1795. The regiment, along with its successors and other local military regiments would maintain a long association with The Racecourse, and Sir Watkin commissioned a new silver trophy, called ‘The Silver Cavalry Cup’ specifically for the members of the cavalry who would race in their own event, during the annual Wrexham Races, from the beginning of the 19th Century.

In The Welsh History Review, an academic paper from The University of Wales, it has been recorded that the Myddleton family of Chirk Castle had been regularly subscribing to horse racing in Wrexham since before the year 1700. Although the exact location of those early races may have now been lost, it would seem that the Williams brothers had invested in the construction of a new course, off Crispin Lane in 1739, and the course was later revamped, due to military considerations, as well as commercial opportunities, by Sir Watkin Williams Wynn (5th Baronet) around 1793.

Last edited by eastsussexred; 10th May 2019 at 17.29:33..
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Old 10th May 2019, 21.17:31   #627-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhosymedre Red View Post
Wrexham played in the Birmingham and District League around 1920, so it's possible Aston Villa had a side in it.
Wrexham were in the Birmingham & District League in1919-20 and 1920-21, but Villa weren't.
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Old 22nd May 2019, 21.57:12   #628-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

A new impetus from the poster named ‘Canary’ has helped to finally confirm the identity of the last unknown player of the 10-man-team who played against The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, in our first ever game on 22nd October 1864.
Joseph Roberts was born in Oswestry, on the 21st May 1837 and he was baptised at The Welsh Chapel on Castle Lane, on 9th July 1837
The son of Frederick Roberts (b- 1804) and Jane Davies (b- 1807) Joseph Roberts had a brother- Benjamin (b 1843) and two sisters- Jane (b-1833) and Elizabeth (b 1836). His father was a Miller/Flour Dealer and Maltster
The family moved to Wrexham where they were recorded in the 1851 Census as living near to The Racecourse, at 46 Mold Road. Frederick, then 51, was listed as a Miller and Corn Factor (dealer) who lived with his wife- Jane (45) daughter- Jane (17) Elizabeth (15) and Joseph (13). Joseph’s brother - Benjamin (9) is believed to have been living at a boarding school in Chester at this time.

Frederick Roberts owned a bakery on Town Hill, Wrexham, which was destroyed by fire on 28th November 1853 https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...96/4462500/38/ and he wrote a letter to the directors of The Provincial Welsh Insurance Company, to thank them for their ‘great promptitude and fairness with which they had paid the claim’ which was published in The North Wales Chronicle on 10th December 1853 https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...505/4462506/1/ although the property was only partially insured and the losses incurred as a result of the fire brought a period of financial instability for the family.
By 1861, the family had moved to 5 College Street, Wrexham, where Frederick was described as a Provisions Dealer and Malster, who lived with his wife-Jane, his son- Benjamin, daughter- Jane and grandchildren- Thomas Howes (1) and Elizabeth G (2 weeks). Jane’s husband, an accountant by the name of Thomas Howes Roberts is also listed as living at the property, as too is Joseph’s wife- Martha Roberts (30) although Joseph is not mentioned, as it is believed that he may have been away on business in America.
Frederick Roberts was later declared a bankrupt; although he was subsequently discharged from bankruptcy at Liverpool Bankruptcy Court on 13th May 1864
https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...16/4446922/49/ and he continued to trade at his shop in Wrexham, as reported in 1868. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...07/4580012/27/ Frederick was then listed as a miller and baker, who lived with his wife and two daughters at 2 Abbott Street, Wrexham, in the 1871 Census, but he died at the age of 76, at Manchester House, in Colwyn Bay, on 26th April 1880. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...65/3559069/34/


Within the context of this general history of the family, it has been possible to determine the events that would lead to Joseph Roberts being employed as an agent or clerk for The Provincial Welsh Insurance Company, where he was enrolled onto their cricket team, and subsequently made the connections that would result in him being one of the 10 founding players of Wrexham Football and Athletics Club, in 1864.

A court case from 1857 showed that Joseph Roberts had worked for a Mr Evans of Queen Street in 1854, most likely due to the financial issues endured by the Roberts family, due to the fire at their Bakers shop, in the previous year.
https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...83/4586986/12/
Another court case relating to the unpaid wages for a thirteen week period from September 1856, showed that Joseph Roberts had also worked as a book keeper for a Malster in Wrexham, named as Mr Hughes. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...57/4587461/38/
Joseph then became a new member of the Wrexham Cricket Club and played his first match against Hawarden, on The Racecourse Ground in June 1857 https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...08/4586911/12/ and again played for the cricket club against a united team of Wrexham, on The Racecourse in August 1857. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...n%20racecourse
Joseph married Martha Hughes at Penybryn Chapel, Wrexham on 5 May 1859. They had three daughters: Elizabeth Jane (b-1860) Annie Poole (b-1863) Edith Alice (b-1868) and two sons David Frederick Roberts (b-1864 and Frederick E D Roberts (b-1865) although David died in 1864 and Frederick in 1865.
In February of 1863, Joseph Roberts was one of 32 insurance clerks and agents who wrote a letter of thanks (published in The Wrexham Advertiser) to the directors of The Provincial Welsh Insurance Company, after the company had installed a new gymnasium and reading room at their office in Wrexham. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie.../55/Provincial
Most of the clerks identified in the letter would later become founding members of Wrexham Football and Athletic Club, and many would play for the team in the earliest days of football on The Racecourse, including George Rumsey Johnson, who had also partnered Joseph Roberts as a member of the Provincial Welsh Insurance Cricket team in a match against Wrexham Cricket Club on 25th June 1864. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...09/4579214/28/
Four months later, both G. R. Johnson and Joseph Roberts would play for Wrexham Football and Athletic Club, in the clubs first ever game against The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade at The Racecourse Ground, on 22nd October 1864. https://newspapers.library.wales/vie...55/4579360/19/


Joseph Roberts later moved to Chester where he was listed in the 1871 Census as living at 11 Pathway, St John’s Chester with his wife Martha and two daughters – Annie P (11) and Edith A (3). Joseph’s occupation was listed as an “agent and corn dealer employing 1 man and 2 boys”. But by 1881, the family had moved to St Asaph, where they lived with Joseph’s brother-in-law, Thomas Howes Roberts, at Jesamine Cottage. Thomas, who was an accountant by profession, was also the Chairman of The St Asaph Board of Guardians and of the St. Asaph Rural District Council. The census for this year stated that Joseph (43) was a retired victualler whose wife-Martha was aged 43 and his daughter Edith was aged 13.
It is not known when the family moved from St. Asaph, but the 1891 census recorded that Joseph Roberts was living at 85 Huskisson Street, Liverpool, with his wife and two daughters – Annie P Roberts (28) and Edith Alice Roberts (23); his occupation was listed as ‘accountant’.
Joseph Roberts died in Liverpool in 1894, while Martha remained in Liverpool, where she died in 1907.

Joseph Roberts
Born Oswestry- 1837
Died Liverpool- 1894

Charles Edward Kershaw (Captain)
Born Saddleworth (Yorks) 1839. Died Southport 1874.

William Tootell
Born Nottingham 1831. Died Wrexham 1866

Thomas Henry Sykes
Born Huddersfield 1840. Died Nottingham 1910

Thomas Broster
Born Wrexham 1845. Died Bethlehem, South Africa 1921

Thomas Hanmer
Born Overton 1839. Died Wrexham 1887

Edward Ephraim Knibbs
Born Chester 1837. Died Wrexham 1875

Thomas Heath
Born Ramsbury (Wilts) 1824. Died Wycombe 1887.

John Taylor
Born Wrexham 1842. Died Newcastle 1895

George Rumsey Johnston
Born Bangor 1843. Died Denbighshire 1912

This concludes the list of the 10 men who played for Wrexham Football and Athletic Club in the clubs first ever game against 10 men of The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, at The Racecourse, on 22nd October 1864.
I will now forward this list to the club, the FAW and Coflein to seek approval for a plaque to be erected at Y Cae Ras in recognition of these pioneers.

Attached is a photo of Joseph Roberts and his wife Martha. The date of the photo is unknown, although it was obviously taken in their later years
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Joseph and Martha Roberts.jpg (28.7 KB, 40 views)
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Old 23rd May 2019, 09.29:23   #629-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Don't know if its my computer or the links but I'm getting this error when I click on the links.

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Severity: Warning
Message: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, class 'Error' does not have a method 'index/404'
Filename: core/CodeIgniter.php
Line Number: 532
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Old 23rd May 2019, 09.52:20   #630-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Great reading ESR thanks
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