For this second instalment of “Postcards of Castell Coch”, I’ve chosen a trio of postcards featuring pencil drawings by Joyce Capon.
Dating the cards is tricky because they haven’t been posted. They were printed by “William Lewis (Printers) Ltd., 43, Penarth Road, Cardiff.” Some quick research tells me that William Lewis died in 1918 but operated the business as sole proprietor from 1873 to 1913. If we assume that the postcards were produced during his lifetime, then they’re at least 100 years old. The business was taken over by William’s son, Sidney William Lewis.
The next cards feature detailed sketches of the courtyard, Well Tower and Keep.
The final card has some writing in Welsh on the back and a list of names. The final line is “July 1st (19)33”. This date makes me wonder if the postcards were produced when William’s son was running the business. Perhaps he was known as William Lewis and kept the business name.
I posted the text on Twitter and Rhys Owen suggested that this translates to, “A pretty face is priceless.”
- wyneb = face
- tlws = pretty
- sydd = which is
- uwchlaw = above
- gwerth = value/worth
Carol Spackman thinks the translation is, “A pretty face is above worth” and has been kind enough to ask Matthew Williams, the former curator of Cardiff Castle, to take a look at the postcards.
I love these drawings and it’s great to see Castell Coch inspiring artists all those years ago. If you have any information about Joyce Capon, I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks to Rhys Owen and Carol Spackman for helping with the translation.
This post is based on an article originally published on Tongwynlais.com.