I (Gwyn) was having a huge office clearout in April 2016. As I emptied a fat file into the WPB, an Indenture of Sale fluttered out. It was the record of the purchase of Murmur-y-Don by my hên nain Jane Williams in 1923. As we knew, she bought it from a Mr. T. Wilks. We discovered his name was Thomas; we discovered he lived in Ewshot House, Ewshot, Hampshire, 250 miles away from Harlech.
So I rang my niece Emily.
Because five years ago, unaware of any connection, she bought Ewshot House, Ewshot, Hampshire.
I remain, literally, gobsmacked.
And there’s more: Emily immediately launched an investigation into Mr Wilks, and discovered he was a leather manufacturer. He had two sons, Spencer and Maurice, who played here in the garden and on Harlech beach. They grew up and went into the motor industry. Spencer became Managing Director, then Chairman, of Rover Cars, and a few years later so did Maurice.
In 1946, on Maurice’s farm on Anglesey, the brothers invented the Land Rover.
Things we’ve learned as a result:
- The house was named Murmur-y-Don before hên nain Jane bought it.
- It wasn’t the Standard Motor Company, it was the Rover company.
- Mr Moore wasn’t the Chairman of the motor manufacturer, it was the sons of Mr Wilks.
- Murmur-y-Don was a formative experience in the lives of two young boys who went on to create one of the most iconic marques in motoring history.