As I have written some of the histories already posted and continue the drafts of a few for later, I am surprised how many of my ancestors came through Albert Docks in Liverpool, England. Most of my ancestors that came to America during the 1800’s came in the latter part of the century and passed through this series of warehouses/docks. Doing some research, this was the first non-combustible warehouse system in the world. The world’s first hydraulic cranes were also used here.
I took this picture on 13 April 1999 as we visited as a part of our mission tour. Since so many church history sites were in our mission, we were taken on tour and the Albert docks were included. At that time I had no knowledge that a single one of my ancestors walked these very stones. Since a good portion of my ancestry is German, I assumed they would not have traveled through Liverpool. I was wrong. As far as I can tell, every ancestor that immigrated in the 19th century came through this very port. German, Swedish, Norwegian, English, Welsh. One was even married on the water as they waited for their turn to leave the port.
Looking back, I wish I had known this at the time. But still, I am glad I have a picture from that day I visited. You can see The Three Graces between the Albert buildings. The Royal Liver Building is the farthest with the clock tower. This building also has the storied Liver birds on the top of each tower. The next building is the Cunard Building, built by the Shipping Company. The closest one, with the dome, is the Port of Liverpool Building. All three are pretty buildings and when I lived across the Mersey in Liscard, I would often see these impressive buildings from the opposite shore. I had no idea Albert Dock even existed then, otherwise I may have snapped a shot of it at that time.
I have told a number of people about this little shop in Llangollen, Wales over the years. Nobody seems to believe me that this sign and place really exist. Here, for all to see, is the photo. It says, “YSIOPFACHGARDIAUWRTHYBONTDROSYRAFONDDYFROWYYNLLANGOLLEN.” You will have to click on the picture to see it more clearly.
If you do a search by the name, you find only a few hits for it on the web. I do not know why they placed it all as one word since Welsh does permit spacing when you write it. Perhaps it was to create a novelty to attract tourists. At any rate, it means something like “the card small shop by the bridge over the river Dee in Llangollen” and is to clarify just in case you should confuse it with other card shops in Llangollen. My welsh was pretty weak as I learned some of it in Wales and is even worse these days, so I hope that is kinda close.
We visited one Preparation Day in early 1999. I only lived and served in Wallasey, Liscard, Moreton, Seacombe, West Kirby, and New Brighton in the Wirral Peninsula from around the 23st of December 1998 to about the 19th of January 1999 before being assigned to Hyde. We made my first trip to Chester in Cheshire and Wrexham and Llangollen in Denbighshire, Wales. The Valentine’s Day decorations in the window would seem to hint at later January. My journals would tell, but they are in Idaho.
Llangollen is a small town, probably not more than a few thousand people. I really remember very little about it. I remember seeing the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the drive down but not a whole lot more. We drove down just to see this little store. Which, now that I have posted the picture, everyone can rest assured it really does exist.
Perhaps some day I can return to Llangollen. Maybe we can arrange it so it corresponds with the International Eisteddfod. Or maybe some day I can visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Only time will tell. Until then I will just have to make due with the Welsh Festival in Malad, Idaho.
FYI, I cannot pronounce either, so please do not ask.