10-year-old Rhyl town crier follows in Rhyl ancestor's footsteps


Suzanne Jordan

A 10-YEAR-old boy followed in the footsteps of his great-great-great grandfather when he took on a starring role in a school stage production.

William Paul Howes, a pupil at Trelawnyd VA School, performed as a town crier in Cinderella. William’s great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Watkin Roose, was the last official town crier of Rhyl in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Janette Howes, William’s grandmother, said: “He did really well.

“He had a great big bell. I told him about Thomas – who was my great-great grandfather – and he did take it in.

“I don’t know if he quite understood but he was ever so proud to play such a role. He was brilliant, I was in tears. He is the apple of my eye.”

Thomas Watkin Roose was born in Greenfield in 1863 and was one of four children.

His mother, Martha, died when the children were very young and, because their father was a sea captain and away most of the time, they all moved to Rhyl.

He married Jane Roberts in Rhyl in 1888. They had no children and Jane died in 1907.

He went on to marry Ellen Moulton (née Littler) in Rhyl in 1908 and they had six children.

Cliff Howes, Janette’s husband, said: “Thomas’s brother, John William Roose, opened a grocer’s shop in Queen Street, married and had nine children. One of the nine children was William Stanley Roose, councillor and headmaster in Rhyl.

“We are delighted William had the role of the town crier. It was fantastic to explore a bit of local history too.”

Cliff shared words from a letter – received by the editor of the Journal In August 1896 – which read: “I think it is high time that the Rhyl Council should set above appointing an official town crier.

“At present the office is filled by anyone who cares to take the bell round the town and their cries are not always pleasant.

“The other day one of the criers was pitching into an opponent and altogether the performance of a town crier’s duty in Rhyl is by no means satisfactorily performed. Yours, a quiet man.”

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