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Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair

JCLOTH 22 Jun 05 - 08:57 AM
Splott Man 22 Jun 05 - 11:08 AM
Jim Dixon 23 Jun 05 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Malcolm Speake 27 Jul 07 - 10:20 AM
BB 27 Jul 07 - 06:21 PM
Artful Codger 27 Jul 07 - 07:38 PM
Mick Tems 27 Jul 07 - 07:44 PM
BanjoRay 27 Jul 07 - 07:50 PM
Mick Tems 27 Jul 07 - 07:52 PM
Mick Tems 27 Jul 07 - 08:08 PM
BanjoRay 27 Jul 07 - 08:35 PM
Mick Tems 28 Jul 07 - 06:36 AM
BanjoRay 28 Jul 07 - 08:02 PM
Mick Tems 29 Jul 07 - 06:17 AM
Mick Tems 31 Jul 07 - 07:36 AM
BanjoRay 31 Jul 07 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,New Lynch Colliery and the Llanmorlais branc 31 Jul 07 - 08:10 PM
Mick Tems 01 Aug 07 - 05:58 AM
Mick Tems 02 Aug 07 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,SussexCarole 02 Aug 07 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,Beth Carlisle nee Edwards 11 Mar 13 - 01:57 PM
John MacKenzie 11 Mar 13 - 02:03 PM
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Subject: GOWERTON FAIR
From: JCLOTH
Date: 22 Jun 05 - 08:57 AM

Could anyone provide the lyrics (and music, if possible) to 'Gowerton Fair' - all I know is the chorus, which begins 'Ring the bell, ring the bell, Thompson did yell'


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Subject: RE: GOWERTON FAIR
From: Splott Man
Date: 22 Jun 05 - 11:08 AM

I've got it on a Calennig album.

I'll get back to you.

Unless Dr Price is listening in, he'd do it from memory.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jun 05 - 08:31 PM

GOWERTON FAIR is on two albums:

A Gower Garland by Calennig, 2000.

Gowerton Fair by Mick Tems (a member of Calennig), 1977.

The notes say "Mick collected this song from Mr Griff Edwards of Gowerton in the 1970s and made the tune to go with it."

Another website says " 'Gowerton Fair' is a first person narrative of an amorous swain thwarted by a coy miner's wife."

That's all the info I could find – no lyrics or sound samples.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: GUEST,Malcolm Speake
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 10:20 AM

Splendid Song with an unusual tune. I got it from the singing of Ken (Taff) Brisenden of Shrewsbury. I thought that Mick Tems wrote it but I see he got it from someone else and made up the tune. Well there you go that's the folk process I suppose. The lyrics are below:

Gowerton Fair

Well I met me darling Sue at Gowerton Fair
With her rosy cheeks and dark brown silken hair
I took her hand we wandered side by side
Happy was my heart and filled with pride

Chorus
Try your strength try your strength Tom Sims did yell
For a Tuppence try your strength and ring ring the bell
For the ladies like a strong man a real hit the gong man
Show your Tuppence try your strength and ring the bell

On the roundabouts I took her and the swings
And I bought her brandy snaps and sweets and things
At the shooting gallery my aim was true
And I gave my prizes all to darling Sue

There were coconuts I knocked down at the stall
And to my darling Sue I gave them all
And the prizes from the hoopla rings galore
That in my dreams were for a bottom drawer

On the chairoplanes I took her for a ride
And I thought how near I was to paradise
And as old Stud's organ played a merry tune
I dreamt of wedding bells in sunny June

To the Tiverly I took her for a show
For a kiss and cuddle when the lights were low
But as I put my arms to hold her tight
She said no kissing please that won't be right
For my Benny he's a working down the mine
And this afternoon he won't be back till nine
But I thank you sir for all I did enjoy
But we are betrothed and Benny he's me boy

So come all of you who've listened to my tale
Now the old fair's gone forever down the trail
And in my dreams I hear the organ blare
And the voice of her I met at Gowerton Fair


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: BB
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 06:21 PM

Lovely song. Enjoy singing it, JCloth.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: Artful Codger
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 07:38 PM

Dots/ABC?


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOWERTON FAIR (from Griff Edwards)
From: Mick Tems
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 07:44 PM

Thanks awfully for reviving Gowerton Fair! As the album Gowerton Fair says, I collected the words from Mr Griff Edwards in Gowerton (the northwest gateway to the beautiful area of Gower, South Wales) in the 1970s. Griff couldn't remember the tune, so I composed a melody to go with it.

Malcolm's (or Taff's) words are fairly accurate, but I think it's best to use Griff's words. "Studt's organ" was commonplace in South Wales; Studt's steam organs. "the Tivoli" was the Swansea (or Mumbles) Tivoli, a music hall. (Sorry to be a bit vague - I'm away for the weekend.)

Gowerton had the Elba steelworks, which closed in the 1870s. The Landlord of the Commercial Hotel, had a 19th-century picture of Gowerton Fair, which he kindly lent me to go on the record cover.

Here are Griff's words:


I met my darling Sue at Gowerton Fair,
With her rosy cheeks and dark brown silken hair.
I took her hand, we wandered side by side,
And happy was my heart and filled with pride.

Chorus
"Try your strength, try your strength," Tom Sims did yell,
"For a tuppence try your strength and ring, ring the bell,
For the ladies like a strong man, a real hit-the-gong man,
Show your tuppence, try your strength and ring the bell."

On the roundabouts I took her and the swings,
And I bought her brandysnaps and sweets and things.
At the shooting gallery my aim was true,
And I gave my prizes all to darling Sue.

There were coconuts I knocked down at the stall,
And to my darling Sue I gave them all;
And the prizes from the hoopla rings galore
That I fondly hoped were for our bottom drawer.

On the chairoplanes I gazed into her eyes,
And I thought how near I was to paradise;
And as old Studt's organ played a merry tune
I dreamt of wedding bells in sunny June.

To the Tivoli I took her for a show,
For a kiss and cuddle when the lights were low.
But as I put my arms to hold her tight,
She said: "No kissing, please, that won't be right.
For my Benny he's a-working down the mine
And he's afternoons and won't be up till nine
But I thank you, sir, for all I did enjoy,
But we are betrothed and Benny he's my boy."

So come all of you who've listened to my tale,
Now the old fair's gone forever down the trail.
And in my dreams I hear the organ blare
And the voice of her I met at Gowerton Fair.

Mick Tems


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: BanjoRay
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 07:50 PM

I assume the Tiverly is a miss-spelling of Tivoli, the old picture-house in Gowerton (I saw Rock Around The Clock there when I was a lad in Gowerton Grammar School). It was pronounced locally as tivverly, though it was mostly known as the Tiv.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: Mick Tems
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 07:52 PM

I'm ever so sorry - the steelworks didn't close in the 1870s, but the 1970s. I'm typing in the gloom, you see!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: Mick Tems
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 08:08 PM

I stand corrected, BanjoRay! I'm indebted to you. It does make more sense to keep the song local - and there was Mountain colliery at Gorseinon and Brynlliw colliery both within very close reach of Gowerton.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: BanjoRay
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 08:35 PM

My grandfather, who died in the sixties, told me about an even closer mine between Gowerton and Penclawdd, which took coal from under the Burry Estuary. Apparently it suddenly filled with water between shifts one day, without loss of life. I've never seen an account of it anywhere, and I've never heard any dates for it.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: Mick Tems
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 06:36 AM

Llanmorlais Colliery? I think there was a North Gower railway branch, adjoining the main line just west of Gowerton station, which served Llanmorlais Colliery. The branch ended at Penclawdd station - Station Road and Station Terrace are clues. You can still see the railway bridges from the B4295 road.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: BanjoRay
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 08:02 PM

Yes, Llanmorlais Colliery is a possibility, but I don't remember my Grandfather giving me a name. I remember the line between Penclawdd and Gowerton, it was still open when I was in school - pre Beeching.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: Mick Tems
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 06:17 AM

When I get home I'll have to look up the Penclawdd branch and the name of the colliery it served. This is getting interesting!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: Mick Tems
Date: 31 Jul 07 - 07:36 AM

Well, Ray, I looked up the North Gower branch in my Forgotten Railways of South Wales book by James Page, and it seems I was mistaken. I'd supposed that the branch ended at Penclawdd. It didn't, and went on to Llanmorlais (the village.) It was built by the London and North Western Railway; I had described to you the way that the branch connected to the Great Western main line at Gowerton Station - it didn't, and remained separate from the GWR main line until it connected to the Central Wales line (which was owned by the LNWR) at Gowerton South station.

Page does not say what the colliery was called, merely saying the line was "built to serve mineral interests in the area." Describing the branch as "lonely", he says: "The line ran along the edge of windswept saltmarsh for much of its way, through scenery reminiscent of the north Brittany coast, west of Mont St Michel. It is remembered today for the cockle traffic that originated at Penclawdd, providing the staple traffic of the branch for many years until the advent of the motor lorry. Pessenger services ceased in 1931, freight in 1957."

I think the colliery was called Llanmorlais, but I'm not 100 per cent sure on it. I used to have an invaluable index, published by the Coal Board, which must have had the colliery in it - however, the stroke coupled with two moves played havoc with my South Wales history. Sorry!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: BanjoRay
Date: 31 Jul 07 - 08:25 AM

The last three paragraphs of this page go into some detail about the pits that worked in the Llanmorlais/Wernfrwd/Llanrhidian area - maybe 34 of them. A pit called the Old Llanmorlais Colliery was closed by flooding.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: GUEST,New Lynch Colliery and the Llanmorlais branc
Date: 31 Jul 07 - 08:10 PM

I suspect the colliery your contributor is referring to is the New Lynch, which operated from 1906 - 1916 and was closed by flooding. It was served by a long siding from the Llanmorlais branch railway (traces still visible in the fields if you know where to look). The railway was known officially as the Penclawdd branch. It was constructed by the Llanelly Railway & Dock Co. in the mid-1860s, opened to Penclawdd on 14 December 1867 (although the passenger service doesn't seem to have started until early 1868, initially on Saturdays only). The line passed into the hands of the London & North Western Railway in 1873. Extension to Llanmorlais was authorised by the LNWR General Powers Act of 1874. The track was in situ by the time the Ordnance Survey came along in 1877, but opening to passengers was not until 1 March 1884. (The station building at Llanmorlais bore the date 1883 - it was demolished about 3 or 4 years ago.) For its length (5 miles) the Llanmorlais branch served a large number of collieries at various times, but the heavy faulting of the coal measures in that part of the coalfield meant that the local mines tended to operate on a ten-yearly "boom and bust" cycle. The "Old Llanmorlais" is a case in point - following its closure under that name the New Lynch was opened on an adjacent site, only to suffer the same fate. There were other mining accidents in the area - most famously an explosion at the Elba in 1905, and another at the Brynlais slant in the Morlais valley in 1929. The biggest and most successful colliery connected to the Llanmorlais branch was the Berthlwyd (connected underground to Wernbwll, near Three Crosses), which didn't close until the late 1930s. Passenger service on the railway was withdrawn on 5 January 1931, freight (latterly very sparse and run very much as required) on 2 September 1957. Track was lifted in the winter of 1959/60, after a period of use for wagon storage. Notes by Nigel Wassell, Hon. Secretary, The Railway Club of Wales, Swansea.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: Mick Tems
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 05:58 AM

Thank you for all the invaluable information about Gowerton Fair, the Llanmorlais branch, the New Lynch colliery (or the Old Llanmorlais colliery) and all the interesting snippets and facts about Gower. Mudcat rules OK! I have visited Gowerton several times (I used to be a journalist on the Swansea Evening Post) but my knowledge of the place is considerably advanced since Jcloth started this thread.

How about Gowerton Fair? It was one of the biggest fairs held (so the story goes) and revellers used to come from Gower and Swansea as well. The album Gowerton Fair had a 19th-century picture of the fair, but it ended on what date?

Mick Tems


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: Mick Tems
Date: 02 Aug 07 - 04:36 AM

Refreshing... to invite some of the Gower enthusiasts and to share with them their local knowledge. The Halfpenny Folk Club, which meets on Sundays at the Greyhound in Oldwall, for instance... Crane Driver and Sussexcarole, and Joy and Tony Toole; are you there? Sally and John Clayden could provide some useful and welcome information. This thread is too valuable and interesting to give up.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: GUEST,SussexCarole
Date: 02 Aug 07 - 09:12 AM

When we put Gowerton Fair into our repertoire (brilliant song) we looked around the net for pictures & more info. There's quite a few old pictures of the Fair available via google. I'll trawl the latest publications of local history books to see if there's any more info.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: GUEST,Beth Carlisle nee Edwards
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 01:57 PM

I recall my father writing numerous songs including Gowerton Fair . He enjoyed writing local news for the Llwchwr Chronicle in the 1950-70s. he also wrote a song about the steel works and sleeping in the warm sand in the Bimbo, which I think was near the engine room. If you want the words of any of his songs please let me know


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gowerton Fair
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 02:03 PM

I went out with a lovely girl from Gowerton, back in the dark ages. Kathryn Elaine Jones was her name. Must try to learn this song.


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