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Friends of St Mary's Church at Caerau

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The following are a selection of personal recollections from people involved with St Mary's Church at Caerau. All views expressed therein are the authors' own.

St. Mary's Church Caerau-with-Ely, Cardiff
By Father Jones
The Reverend Victor Jones was the driving force behind the rebuilding of St Mary's in the 1950s. He wrote about the experience after Delia and Rosemary visited him in 2006.

The Little Church on the Hill
By Charles Jewell
Charles Jewell was a local resident who assisted Father Jones with the rebuilding. He wrote these recollections in 1981. His daughter kindly gave us permission to reproduce them here.

Memories of St Mary's
By John Sjölin
John Sjölin emailed us from Sweden, where he now lives, with his memories of St Mary's.

St Mary's Church
By Mike Clements
Mike Clements emailed us with his memories of St Mary's after reading about our book in the Cardiff Post.

The Little Church on the Hill: A Poem
By Ivan Woodberry
Ivan is keen supporter of The Friends of St Mary's. He is often to be found up at the church tidying up the graves and meditating. He wrote this poem to express his feelings about St Mary's past and present.

Fr Jones Returns to St Mary's Church
By Brian Robjohn
In this article from St Timothy's parish magazine, Brian Robjohn shares his impressions of Father Jones' visit to St Mary's on 15th August 2009 and the memories which it brought to mind.

A Tribute to the late Reverend Victor Jones
By the Founders of the Friends of St. Mary's Church at Caerau
The founders remember Father Jones on the occasion of the Celebration of his life, 4th June 2011.

Father Vic Jones
By Viv Head
Read at the Celebration of Father Jones' life on 4th June 2011.

Growing up with St Mary's
By Michael Cridland
Michael Cridland grew up in Caerau and now lives in the United States. He recounts his early memories of the church and his hopes for its future.

Pain of Church Damage
By Mr Liddington
Mr Liddington emailed us with recollections of his Uncle John (Johnny) Smith and his concern over damage to St Mary's.

Memories of St Mary's
By Roger Wools
Roger Wools grew up near St Mary's and co-wrote a history of the church aged 15. He came across our website and emailed us with his memories.

Memories of Ely
By Maureen Clifford
Maureen Clifford is a long-time resident of Ely. She emailed us with her memories.

Memories from Australia
By Terry Western
Terry Western now lives in Australia but he grew up in Caerau and helped with the rebuilding of St Mary's.

My Memories of St Mary's
By Tony Jay
Tony Jay is the husband of co-Founder Delia Jay. He recalls his first introduction to St Mary's and the picture he painted of the site in the 1970s.

Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Caerau
By R.M. Wools and J. Guy
This history of St Mary's was written in 1960 and is reproduced by kind permission of the authors. The Bishop of Llandaff commented in his forward to the booklet that "it is an odd reversal of fortune that a site originally chosen by the fort builders as a place that could easily be defended has made this little church almost defenceless." Roger Wools looked after the churchyard for many years in his late teens for Victor Jones' successor Alfred Hawkins. He also served many a Tuesday morning at the communion service.

Prize-Winning Photographic Study of St. Mary's
Courtesy of Mr D Liddington
In 1989 local teenager Sussanne Lawson won the Ely Festival photographic competition with an "eloquent study of the nearby, vandalised St Mary's Church."

Recollections of St. Mary's Reconciliation
By Michael Pulvermacher
Michael Pulvermacher was the Notary Public who witnessed the Reconciliation of St. Mary's after its rebuilding by Father Jones. He emailed us with his recollections.

Memories of Caerau
By Les Phillips
Les Phillips grew up in Caerau - his father owned the Hill Dip shop where Delia would buy her sweets. He now lives in South Africa but recently visited the excavations at Caerau Hill Fort. He contacted us soon afterwards with his recollections of the area.

St. Mary's in the Cardiff & Merthyr Guardian
Courtesy of John Williams
John Williams very kindly contacted us with copies of the following articles from the Cardiff & Merthyr Guardian in the 1850s, relating to customs and local inhabitants at or near St. Mary's Church at Caerau.

Memories of St. Mary's
By Stan Phillips
Stan Phillips was born in Cardiff and now lives in Ontario, Canada. He got in touch to share his memories of growing up near Caerau.

Memories of St. Tim's Church Youth Club
By Mike Chamberlain
Mike Chamberlain was a youth worker at St. Tim's Church Youth Club in the 1960s. He shares his memories of the time.

Stonehenge and Wales and Possibly Caerau
By Les Phillips
Les Phillips speculates on possible links between Caerau and the prehistoric builders of Stonehenge.

Church House Farm, The Thurstons & St. Mary's
By Jean Crozier with additional material from Ben Thomas
Jean Crozier shares her family's historic connections with St. Marys, as well as more recent memories. Local resident Ben Thomas read her account and was prompted to contribute additional thoughts on Church House.

St. Mary's Film
By Chris Lloyd
Local film maker Chris Lloyd has made a short film about St. Mary's.

Growing Up in the Parish of Caerau with Ely
By Delia Jay
Friends' Founder Delia Jay remembers her time growing up in the area.

My Memories of Caerau 1950-1970
By Rosemary Lewis
Friends' Founder Rosemary Lewis remembers the Caerau of her childhood.