PeopleOf Cwmamman

Griffith John Madge and Daimler c.1910

Griffith John Madge and Daimler, c.1910.

Griffith John Madge was reputedly the first man in Garnant to drive a Motor Car and worked as a driver for the Garnant Anthracite Collieries Ltd, as well as for the local doctor. At the time of this picture, he lived at Beupre Lodge in Garnant. This may have been in the area which is now Garnant Park. He later became a professional engineer.

Griffith John Madge was, in his youth, very keen on physical culture and wrestling and on one occasion wrestled 3 rounds with the world champion, George Hackenschmidt, "The Russian Lion."

Certificate awarded to Griffith John Madge in 1908. It is interesting to see that he had to travel to Liverpool for the course.

Reference from Garnant Colliery Company, dated 16th March 1911.

An article written by Iorylle Evans for the Amman Valley Historical Society, claims that the first car in Garnant was owned by Mr D. Edwards who lived where Brooklands Garage now stands. He was apparently the proud owner of a Beaufort single cylinder, which on one occasion made the journey from Garnant to London, carrying four passengers. Mr Edwards sold this vehicle to Mr J. Owen Parry, a surveyor in Ammanford, who later sold it to Mr D. Edwards' son, Mr J. M. Edwards. The car was dismantled by Mr J. M. Edwards and the engine was used to provide light for his house for several years.

The article went on to state that Mr Edwards recalled Doctor Price of Wind Street, Ammanford, owning a steam car at the same time.

Despite spending part of his working life as a professional driver. Griffith John Madge's personal vehicle was a motorcycle and the following photograph was taken at the yard of Garnant National School on Cwmamman Road, now the location of the Raven Garage.

The image below shows the original vehicle licence document, dated June 15th 1905. The licence was renewed in December 1905. The document shows that the "Motorbicycle" weighed 170 lbs. The manufacturers name and address appears to be "Brown Bros Ltd, Great Eastern St, London EC."

Thanks to John Madge for the pictures and information on Griffith John Madge. Thanks also to Dilys Jenkins for the information from the Amman Valley History Society article, which was written by Iorylle Evans.

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