Maurice Lewis: "Man of Letters"  
Enter here to see transcriptions of hundreds of letters over the period 1896-1913 from Maurice Lewis, Wynnstay Hotel coachman, to his daughter, Lizzie Ann.
Maurice had no schooling whatsoever, but was bilingual in Welsh and English and taught himself to read and write - he was always proud of this, especially when he was asked to open a service in the chapel, or take a class. His letters, although written in fluent and flowing longhand, often lack punctuation, capital letters, etc., so as a result we decided to upload the transcriptions rather than the originals, in order to make them that much easier to read. However, inevitably we will have made some minor mistakes in the transcription process, especially when it comes to surnames or place names. So, if anyone has any queries, it isn't difficult for us to refer to the originals. 
Maurice loved to tell Lizzie Ann all the local gossip, and his letters are full of those little stories and anecdotes that no history books ever include. As such, they provide an important setting to life in Machynlleth over those years leading up to the First World War, after which nothing was ever to be the same again. This surely makes them unique. He covers local fairs, floods, a tragic drowning of local lads in the River Dyfi, other deaths and funerals, and so on. He was an absolutely devoted chapel-goer, and often goes into great detail over the services and sermons. It's difficult from this distance in time for us always to understand just how important the chapel was to Maurice and his fellow worshippers, but his letters bring alive just how central this was to life in the town.

We've found a medallion that we believe was Maurice's, which commemorates the centenary of the founding of Sunday Schools in Wales by Thomas Charles of Bala.

Another medallion of Maurice's commemorates the visit to Machynlleth of the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra, on 25 June 1896.