An Independent congregation began to meet in a loft behind the house in 1799, styling the place “Bethlehem Dissenters Chapel”. Rev. James Phillips was the Minister. In 1803 work began on Capel Mair Congregational Chapel, Feidrfair, which succeeded this meeting place. One member here was 19 year-old Daniel Davies, who later became the Minister of Capel Mair. This was the location of the short-lived Penuel Baptist Chapel, reported as having been founded in Cardigan in 1833 by disaffected members of the town’s Bethania Baptist Chapel. On John Wood’s 1834 map of Cardigan the property is shown as belonging to Philip John Miles of the Priory. In 1837 another congregation that had met in the loft behind the building, moved to “Hope English Congregational Chapel” on Carrier’s Lane. Circa 1848 Thomas Davies or John Davies, merchant, and his family lived here.
During 1866 Owen William Thomas, printer, moved here from No. 14 St. Mary Street, and produced the ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser’ newspaper here. On 11th October 1866 Owen Lloyd Thomas and Thomas George Thomas, sons of Jane & Owen William Thomas, were both baptised at St. Mary’s Church. Owen William Thomas traded here as a printer and grocer in 1866-73. In 1869 Mary Margaret Thomas was born here. In 1871 the following persons lived here: Owen William Thomas, 39, printer; Jane Thomas, 43, his wife; Owen Lloyd Thomas, 6, their son; Thomas George Thomas, 4, son; and Mary Margaret Thomas, 3, daughter. On 27th June 1871 a son, William Richard Thomas, was born to Mr. & Mrs. Owen William Thomas. Owen Williams Thomas died on July 2nd 1873 aged 42, leaving the business to his widow, Jane Thomas – a daughter of Thomas Lloyd, former Controller of Customs for Cardigan.
Jane Thomas was the proprietor in 1873-85. In 1878 Jane Thomas owned shares in ‘The Cardigan Mercantile Company’. In 1881 the following persons lived here: Jane Thomas, 53, widow, printer/grocer; Owen Lloyd Thomas, 16, their son; Thomas George Thomas, 14, son; Mary Margaret Thomas, 13, daughter; William Richard Thomas, 9, son; and Mary M. Lloyd, 30, niece. On 4th September 1884 the property, formerly part of the Priory estate, was sold to the tenant, Mrs. Jane Thomas, for £800. On 29th March 1885 Jane Thomas died aged 56. On March 15th 1888 Owen Lloyd Thomas, eldest son of Owen Williams Thomas & Jane Thomas, died aged 24. On 2nd February 1889 the following appeared in the ‘Cardigan Observer‘:
“…OBITUARY.—We regret to have to announce the death of Mr. Thomas George Thomas, proprietor of The Cardigan & Tivy-side Advertiser, which took place at his residence, 39, St. Mary-street, in this town, on Monday evening last. Mr. Thomas was very much respected by all who came in con. tact with him, and his quiet unostentatious manner, and kindly disposition made him much beloved by his friends. He had been in failing health for many months…”
On 7th June 1889 the “Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser” and the “Cardigan Herald” were amalgamated. In 1891 the following persons lived here: Mary Margaret Thomas, 23, newspaper proprietor; William R. Thomas, 19, her brother; and Mary M. Lloyd, 40, cousin. In 1895-1916, the proprietors were Mary Margaret Thomas & William Richard Thomas. In 1901 the occupants were: William Richard Thomas, 29, printer & publisher; Mary Margaret Thomas, 33, his sister, printer & publisher; and Mary M. Lloyd, 49, cousin. All were born in Cardigan and bilingual. On 15th May 1901 William Richard Thomas married Miss Margaret McWilliam Auld of Edinburgh. On 16th April 1906 a son was born to Mrs. & Mr. William R. Thomas of No. 39. William Richard Thomas traded here in 1910-16. On 5th September 1916 William Richard Thomas died aged 44.
In 1919 Brindley R. Jones went into partnership with Miss Mary Margaret Thomas to publish the ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser’. In 1919-39 ‘M. M. Thomas & Company’ traded here. On 4th November 192? David Miles, painter & decorator of No. 39, died aged 75. On 28th September 1927 David Davies of No. 39, former mail coach driver, died. On 27th October 1936 Miss Blodwen Davies, eldest daughter of Mrs. C. J. Davies of No. 39, and the late Mr. W. T. Davies of Cardiff, married James Davies of Rhydlewis. Mr. D. S. Davies lived here in 1939-43. On 25th June 1939 Miss Mary Margaret Thomas of Napier Street, only daughter of the late Owen Williams Thomas, died aged 71 and Brindley R. Jones of Treforgan, Llangoedmor, became the sole proprietor of the newspaper. In February 1940-September 1943 D. S. Davies was a Private in the army. In October 1940 Mrs. C. J. Davies lived here. On 3rd November 1945 Miss Ann Eluneed Davies of No. 39 married Cllr. Aneurin Jones of Stepside. On 29th August 1946 Brindley R. Jones died.
On 7th November 1952 the first issue of the “Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser” to be produced at the new Carrier’s Lane print-works, was printed. Eric C. R. Hughes was then the managing director and remained so in 1956. In 1965 Charles Braham became the owner of the newspaper until 1988. On 3rd June 1966 the 100th Anniversary issue of “The Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser” went on sale. In 1976 Dennis Underwood became the General Manager until 1993. On 3rd December 1976 Aneurin Evans, 26, became the new editor, succeeding John Thomas. The newspaper was still produced here in 1976-2011. In 1988 the ‘Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser’ was transferred to the East Midland Allied Press. They later sold it to Express Newspapers, who in turn sold it to Newsquest Media Group. The building was ‘listed’ in 1992. In 1993 Dennis Underwood retired. In June 1994 the newspaper became ‘The Tivy-Side Advertiser’. In 1998 the old Hope English Congregational Chapel gates were still stored here. On 2nd June 1999 the newspaper became a tabloid. In January 2008 Sue Lewis became the new editor, succeeding Aneurin Evans. In October 2008 the building was advertised for sale. The newspaper was still produced here until 30th April 2011. On that date the building was sold for use as a clinic, and the newspaper office moved to Creative Mwldan, Bath House Road.
The property was described by CADW in 1992:
“…Early C19 house, now newspaper office, with roughcast front, imitation slate roof and red brick west end stack. Two-storey, 3-window front with bracketed eaves and raised plinth. Three 12-pane sashes above, 2 larger and probably altered sashes below, with marginal glazing bars and central 6-panel door with traceried overlight in doorcase with reeded piers and small brackets to shallow hood.
Long range of colour-washed stone 2-storey outbuildings behind, taller one-window range of 12-pane sashes with south end stack, then 2-window range of 12-pane sashes with stone end stack. Single storey outbuilding beyond…”
The following observation was made in 1999:
The gates to the former ‘Hope Chapel’ on Carrier’s Lane stand against a wall in the back yard here. Tall decorative wrought iron gates with ‘Hope’ and ‘Chapel’ in gold relief beneath elaborate scrolled heads.
Parish Register of St. Mary’s, Cardigan
Pigot’s Directory 1830; 1844
Holwyddoreg Am Dduw 1830
Map of Cardigan, J Wood 1834
Pembrokeshire Record Office: Port of Cardigan Shipping Registers
NLW Minor Deposit 490-9B
Almanac, Isaac Thomas 1846; 1848; 1852
Census Returns 1851; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1866-2011
The History of Cilgerran, John Roland Phillips 1867
Slater’s Directory 1868
Register of Employees – Tivy-Side Advertiser 1868
Post Office Directory 1871
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1884; 1895; 1914; 1926
Almanac, Jane Thomas 1885
A Guide to Cardigan & District, William Edward Yerward James 1899
List of Voters – Cardigan 25/07/1910
Register of Electors – Cardigan 1912
All About Cardigan, Cardigan Chamber of Commerce 1923
NLW Maxwell Fraser A/2186
Capel Mair, D J Roberts 1955
Official Programme – National Eisteddfod 1976
A History of the Cardigan Lifeboats, Donald Davies 1990
The 1992 Cardigan Guide
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Cardigan, CADW 1992
The Cardigan Guide 1994
People of Seion, David Russell Barnes 1995
Cardigan Annual Show Catalogue 02/08/1995
The Phone Book 2003.
© Glen K Johnson 18/06/2013