Dolforgan 1900-


    A tea party on the Dolforgan Estate, Kerry.   Owner of the estate, John Bancroft Willans, is pictured holding the cake stand

Keeping the gardens tidy, from sometime in the 1890s, was the responsibility of one Maurice Jerman, followed by his son John Maurice Jerman.  They moved sometime after the 1891 census from Llanidloes to this estate near Kerry.  The elder Maurice Jerman was the first son of Maurice Jerman of Bedw Farm, near Llanidloes.  The census image for 1901 records them:



Maurice Jerman is shown as head, aged 58,with wife Mary (60), sons John M. [Maurice], 25 and Daniel [20].  A visitor, Ellen Beedle, is also present: she is probably related through the marriage of Maurice's sister Eleanor to a John Beedle.   Both father and eldest sons are shown as Gardeners; Daniel is a groom.

This link to an interesting collection of JB Willan's photographs shows a Newton ironmonger's invoice to "Mr Jarman of Dolforgan Lodge".

Shortly after the census, in 1903, John Maurice Jerman married Winifred Evans.  In 1911, they were living, both aged 35, in a "Gardener's Cottage" on the estate, with their son, Herbert Noel, recorded aged 1.  Parents and now grandparents Maurice and Mary Ann are also recorded in a Gardener's Cottage, aged  68 and 70, Maurice still employed as a Gardener.

The infant Herbert Noel Jerman is worthy of mention here.  It appears that the estate owner, JB Willans had a philanthropic streak and as such paid for Noel Jerman's education, probably up to degree level at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.  The National Library of Wales, also at Aberystywth holds the following information about him:

Herbert Noel Jerman (1909-1994) was a civil servant, archaeologist and local historian. He was born on 11 December 1909 at Dolforgan Gardens, Kerry, Montgomeryshire, his father working for J. B. Willans of Dolforgan. He attained a first class honours BA degree in Geography, followed by an MA, both at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. He worked at the National Library of Wales, then served as a Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserves, 1939-1945, liaising with the US Army. After the War, he joined the Ministry of Town and Country Planning, 1945-1951, and then the Welsh Office, where he became an Assistant Secretary, 1957-1970, until his retirement. He then served as Chief Officer for Wales on the Council for Small Industries in Rural Areas, 1970-1977, and as a consultant for the Welsh Development Agency, 1977-1980. He was a member of Powys Rural Council, 1974-1977, and sat on the Board of Celtic Studies, the Council of the National Library of Wales, and the Council of the University of Wales. He was also chairman of the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust and the Cambrian Archaeological Association, and chairman, 1980-1985, then Vice-President, of the Powysland Club. He was awarded the CBE in 1967 and the Order of St John in 1984, and was High Sheriff of Powys, 1983-1984. He wrote articles and books on the history of Kerry and Montgomeryshire, and accumulated materials relating to the Dolforgan Estate. In 1939 he married Blodwen Elizabeth Jenkins (died 1987). He married Kathleen Edfryn Jones, Llanwnnog, in 1990. He died 19 May 1994 at Dolforgan Gardens.

I am keen to learn more about HN Jerman's life and times from any of his family or acquaintances.   

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