Nana and Grandad Harry

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Arthur George Harry and Gwendoline Maud Brinkworth (above in 1972) were married in Grangetown Salvation Army (Cardiff) around 1929.  Gwen was a Salvationist while Arthur attended Loudon Square Methodist in Roath. Gwen was already a third generation Salvationist. As well as normal family visits to them in Cardiff I used to go to stay with Nana and Grandad once or twice a year during school holidays.  I have very fond memories of those stays...I used to travel by train (on my own!) from the age of about 7 - all the way from Yorkshire, where we lived at the time!  I remember long train journeys, telling an old man off who started to smoke in a non-smoking compartment...and meeting the entire Manchester City football team who were travelling down to Plymouth for a friendly (I spoke to Mike Summerbee in a corridor and Tony Book patted me on the head.  Francis Lee just smiled and waved at me.)  Sometimes I had to change trains at Bristol.  It was less than forty years ago...but it was a different world then - nobody would dream of letting a seven-year-old child make a 250 mile journey on his own nowadays - what a sad indictment on our 'modern' times. Several year ago I wrote a song about those Cardiff holidays - 'Grandmother's Rocking Chair' - I now have the chair in my possession, sitting in my conservatory.

Arthur's father Arthur Harry snr.. later worshipped at the Hannah Mission & Mt Stuart Congregational church - a few years ago we were privileged to find some unique cine film of him helping out at a Sunday School picnic (probably in the 1930s).

Arthur (left, at daughter Gwen's wedding) had 3 brothers and sisters :-  Charlie, Tom and Eva.

Gwen (right) had 12 (living) siblings - listed here NOT in chronological age-order :- Sam (he jumped ship when he was 14 and went to NZ and joined the Anzacs in WWI - was a Sgt. long before he should have been because he lied about his age), Billy (William J Brinkworth who died at Narvick on HMS Eclipse in WWII.  He had also served on HMS Cornwall. Here is a clipping scanned from the South Wales Echo of Alan Brinkworth donating a picture of HMS Cornwall to his local pub in Grangetown.) , Jim (was in Royal Corps of Signals as principal trombone but died of tuberculosis), Lily, Walter (jr) (who became chief buildings inspector for Cardiff Corporation - he was married to Aunty Dolly and they had 2 children Alan -see above reference - and Margaret), Annie, Ronnie (a labourer - crushed to death by a lorry in  London), David - known as Dai - (died on HMS Galatea in WWII.  Before this tragedy he sent home a poem he had composed called 'When the British Lion Roars'), Violet, Eddie (Merchant Navy), Alice (married to Cyril) and George. I remember several of these siblings from my youth - most notably Walter (Uncle Wally - who took me to my first ever cricket match at Sophia Gardens - an event recalled in one of my songs 'Grandmother's Rocking Chair'), Auntie Lily (Notley) who had a deaf/mute son David who stayed with us many times.  David was a very funny young man who was a mad-keen Celtic fan.  When he died after an epileptic fit Celtic FC sent a massive green and white wreath to his funeral. David had two other brothers as well.)

Gwen's father, Walter Brinkworth (snr.) and the family lived at 163 Clive Street, Grangetown. 'Granda' Brink as my own father (Ken) always referred to him was a Salvationist who carried the Grangetown Corps flag at the funeral of General William Booth (below). Walter's own father had linked up with the Salvation Army in its very earliest days. He was remembered by my dad as a man who walked with a gait that became known as 'The Brinkworth Stamp' and he recalled him not clapping along to Army songs and choruses but banging his fist down on the arm of a chair in time with the music - something dad always did when singing 'O Boundless Salvation - The Founder's Song' and it is also something I can't help but find myself doing as well!

Later, the family moved to 232 Corporation Rd - immediately next door to the Salvation Army Corps, saving the children several long walks I am told!  Then it was to Templeton Avenue, Llanishen until all the family bar Dorothy had left home and then, after nana died, Grandad and Dorothy moved to a flat in The Crystals, also in Llanishen.

Coming from such a large family it should, therefore, be no surprise that Gwen bore 11 children herself.  Twins Eric and Eva and another son, Norman died in infancy but the other eight survived:-

Pictured below - left to right in 1985 - Marilyn, Gwen, Gwyneth, Dorothy, Ken, Trevor, Owen and Peter.

Kenneth Arthur (1930 -2002) married Jean Hedges (1940 - ) and, of course, was Marc's dad.  He trained as a pattern-maker at Renold's Chains, did his National Service in R.E.M.E. then became a Salvation Army officer until his retirement in 1993.

Trevor (1933- )  married Ivy Bailey.  Their children are Janet (1958 - ), Graham (1960 - ) and Brian (1969 - ). Ivy died in March 2007.

Dorothy (1935- ) never married but lived at Templeton Ave. and later The Crystals in Llanishen, Cardiff with Grandad, eventually becoming a nurse until she retired.  She now has her own house in Penarth, Nr. Cardiff and attends Penarth Salvation Army.

Owen (1937- )  married Ann.  They have three children, Sara, Meryl and Gareth.  Owen was the first member of the family to gain a degree in 1971 and then a PhD in 1974.  He lectured on zoology at Birmingham University then later moved to Northern Ireland and taught at Queen's University, Belfast.  Sara married and lives near Bromley, Kent<  She has two sons named Harvey and Jack.  I have neither met nor heard from Meryl or Gareth for nigh on 30 years.















Two views of the family home in Templeton Avenue, Llanishen can be seen above.  As you will see the front porch has altered somewhat although grandad's garage and the flowering shrub cut into a circular hole in the front lawn are unchanged from 40 years ago.  The picture on the right shows Ivy (with Janet), Dorothy and Gwyneth with Pam (Peter's first wife) behind.

Gwyneth  (1938-1990)  was a seamstress - the fastest operator of a Singer sewing machine I ever saw!  She did not get married until 1973 when she married Sammy Lucas, a cheery chap who had been widowed twice before.  Gwyneth rarely enjoyed the best of health and sadly died from a heart attack in 1990.  Sammy also died a few years later..

Gwen (1940- )   married Ernie Husson and they had four daughters - Andrea, June, Caryl Ann and Sian

Peter  (1941- )  has been married three times.  Firstly to Pam Belt, with whom he had daughters Beverley and Joanne.  Later he had a short marriage to Diane and he has latterly found happiness again with his third wife Mary (Bollom) whom he married in 198*. 

Marilyn (1946- ) married Emrys Watts in 196* 

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