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Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource)

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Kenfig - The Complete History
A Welsh Documentary Heritage Website
Identified by The National Library of Wales Kenfig - The Complete History
A Welsh Documentary Heritage Website
Identified by The National Library of Wales

The Maids of Sker

The Maids of Sker || Home Section



Documenting the entire history of the old kenfig borough / old bro cynffig

www.kenfig.org.uk
An important part of Wales documentary Heritage
Identified by The National Library of Wales

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Sker House || The Maids of Sker



Background

The Maids of Sker
There was more than one Maid of Sker. In truth, however, the title properly belongs to Elizabeth the daughter of Issac Williams who died in 1776.
The other real-life "Maid of Sker" was Martha Howells (b.1771) - both these two were daughters of well-to-do gentleman tennent farmers who lived and worked the farm at Sker House.

The Maid of Sker

The Maid of Sker - R D Blackmore

R.D. Blackmore - (1825-1900)

R.D.Blackmore's ficticious "Maid of Sker" was called Bertha Bampfylde and the book (Maid of Sker) was first published in 1872.
The Victorian novelist R.D.Blackmore (1825-1900) achieved fame with his classic "Lorna Doone".
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The Folk Song - Y Ferch o'r Sker

Elizabeth Williams (d.1776)

Out of his attempts to woo Elizabeth Williams came the folk song "Y Ferch o'r Sker".
The harpist, Thomas Evans of Newton Nottage was no composer, far less a poet, so he pevailed upon a local bard, David Llewellyn of Nottage, to write the words, which were set to the hymn tune called 'Diniweidrwydd'.

Translation (Welsh to English)|| Diniweidrwydd

Innocence
Simplicity
Purity
Music
Music - Listen to folk song
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Location Map || Sker House, South Wales



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Maid of Sker || Australian Connection

The Maid of Sker Paddle Steamer (built 1885)


Maid of Sker - Australian Connection
Maid of Sker Paddle Steamer c.1900
Image: Courtesy Gold Coast City Council Library Services
Maid of Sker - Australian Connection
Maid of Sker Paddle Steamer c.1970
Image: Courtesy Gold Coast City Council Library Services
An Australian connection with the Maid of Sker story has been unearthed since the development and design of the Kenfig.org website - A paddle steamer built in Brisbane in 1885 was named the 'Maid of Sker'.
Built at the Evans Anderson Phelan Shipyards in Brisbane for the Gentner & Kleinschmidt families for the ferrying of general cargo and passengers between Brisbane and Nerang from 1890 to the early 1930s.
It is believed the boat was named after a popular novel of the time – apparently a common practice.

Images courtesy: Gold Coast City Council Library Services

R.D. Blackmore

R.D.Blackmore's 'Maid of Sker' (1st published in 1872) may well have been that popular novel of that time from which the vessel was named.

Alternative Story

It has emerged that local peoples from the Kenfig / Porthcawl areas who emigrated to the Brisbane area of Australia may have themselves been involved with the actual building of this paddle steamer - naming the vessel 'Maid of Sker' to remind them of their homeplace back in the United Kingdom.

Restoration Project - Nerang, Brisbane, Australia

Situated in Nerang’s Bischoff Pioneer Park, the restoration of the 'Maid of Sker' paddle steamer is currently underway.
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Learn more about this story Gold Coast City Council, Brisbane

Related Website Links ||

Acknowledgements ||


Bibliography

(1) Bridgend County Borough Council
(2) Wendy Lawday, Via emial (Old Photograph of Sker House)
(3) Kenfig History Society
(4) Rob Bowen - Kenfig.org Local Community Group
(5) Gold Coast City Council, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Webpage Author

(1) Mr Rob Bowen - Kenfig.org Local Community Group, 2009.
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