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MEL "GINGER" JONES (1946-1955 at RGS)

   MEL * GINGER* JONES 1914-2005. A BIOGRAPHY Kindly contributed bv his sister Harriet.

Gwilym Melville Jones was born into a Welsh speaking family in Y Tymbl, a mining village a short distance from Llanelli in Dyfed. His father was one of five coal hauliers allowed to transport coal from the Mynydd Mawr Anthracite Colliery, and who was quite an athlete, playing rugby in the local team, being a Fives Champion and never failing to supply the family with coconuts won in fairs.

As Wales was a matriarchal society, the mother was in charge of discipline and finance. Melville had an older brother Glyn, and by the time he was six, they moved to Llanelli with their younger sister Harriet. Melville was a quiet child, but caused quite a stir in the community when at the age of seven he choked on a collar stud. The doctor nearby was summoned. He took one look, and plunged his penknife into a kettle of boiling water- always kept on the hob and there and then, on the kitchen table, performed a Tracheotomy operation on the now unconscious boy, before whipping him off to the hospital. Needless to say, Melville made a remarkable recovery from the ensuing shock.

Being of a retiring nature he never wanted fuss, was amazingly very popular and never short of company. On many Saturday afternoons, as small boys did, he and Glyn would sneak into Stradey Rugby Field. Glyn in adulthood became Detective Chief Superintendent of Dyfed Powys Constabulary, and knew innumerable ways of getting in, while retaining their entrance money for better use. Melville passed the Scholarship examination and became a pupil at the Llanelli Grammar School. He was a good student in that he got down to the work he was given, and tackled his hour's piano practice with less fuss than his brother and sister, thus becoming quite a proficient pianist being able to play, amongst other classics, Rachmaninov's 'Prelude in C-Sharp Minor'. I doubt if anybody outside the family ever heard him perform.

As he grew older he worked on Saturdays in the Cooperative Store, and during the holidays, "rubbing" for his Uncle - a Monumental Mason - that is smoothing with pumice stone and water, marble and granite. His earnings helped to pay for school books, since only tuition was free. He attended the school for six years then elected to study Mathematics and Physics at Aberystwyth University. Since War was imminent, the Science Graduates were commandeered for service at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough where he remained until he decided to become a Schoolmaster.
Harriet Griffiths, Llanelli

Mel, as you know, joined RGS in 1946, and taught 5 Science in their final School Certificate year. In the 1955 Mel moved to Langley Grammar School to become Head of the Mathematics Department. He later became Deputy Headmaster at Langley GS. On retirement he moved hack to High Wycombe. It was our goodfortune to have had Mel for a teacher. His patience, and tolerant humour at our inability to grasp new concepts at first acquaintance, made the trauma of preparing for our final year exams less of a drama. Mel celebrated his 90th last December. He died on 17th June 2005.

Guide Me 0 Thou Great Redeemer
Words by Peter Willkims (1728-94)
Guide me, O thou great redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
Iam wek, but thou art mighty,
Hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven
Feed me till II want more;
Feed me till II want more;

Open now tfte crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through:
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer;
Be thou still my strength and sbieid:
Se thou still my strength arid shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside:
Death of death. and hell's destruction
Land me safe on Canaan's side: -
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee;
I will ever giveto thee.

Ron Wynands sent this in and writes " Our Class of 5Science 1948 still publishes a class mag twice a year and has a Dinner once a year"


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© Tony Hare 2015