Another ‘shop talk’ letter from cousin Rowland, out to impress and asking for word of home.
34 St. Mary St.
Feby 20 1879
My dear Cousin
I feel sure you must think me very unkind indeed in not writing to you before in your last note you wondered wether I was alive or not and now I fancy you must really think I am gone to the happy hunting grounds but I am still alive I am and have been in good health and spirits ever since I have been at Cardiff. I am getting on very nicely I have been here now just over 12 months and in that time I have had my salary raised twice our shop is now one of the finest Ironmongers in South Wales it is now 150 feet long and 3 stories high & it was only one before. We have not finishd the alterations commenced by our new master Mr Thomas yet. I hope however we shall be all right by July for it is really very troublesome and aggravating to have ones shelves pulled about by workmen and having the dust and dirt to clear away so often. Joiners are now fixing a patent Lift to carry goods from the ground floor up to the stock and show room. I will try to give you some description of the shop. One window is always filled with tools it is now filled with trowels of all descriptions and for some distance the shop is occupied with tools of all descriptions on command of the tool man as he is called then comes a department of ods & ends wire, Taps & Trimins fittings of all Kinds. Then comes the Builders department which I had for some time now in command of another young man. Opposite him is the Oil Paint & Color departm. as that counter we have to patint Pumps which draws the oil about as fas as T. Jones Yard to your shop and measures it at the same time one for Bingolene another for Paraffin which we sell @1½Pt. then comes to the furnishing departments which occupies the 2 sides of the shop as is bigger than any other two in the shop. I am in command of this branch which is I suppose the most important in the shop. I have a boy under my care who I keep employed in changing the things and dusting a villain he is I caught him one day mangling S Hooks if you please of course he spoilt the [illegible] and I had to take them off and get them turned. Then out in the back beyond the shop are the workshop etc the second story is one long show room where we show Boxes Bedstead etc the next and largest is a stock room where we keep all sorts of thing from german flutes to penny whistles. I can tell you George I have had to keep my eyes open & learn a thing or two since I came here, and I should advice you to employ all your spare time in getting at the prices of things, discounts number etc when I was in the Building department I was supposed to know the numbers and prices of all the sash Fasteners, lach Pullies, Locks, Hinges etc and so I did nearly. I had to order things too as they were wanted and keep up stocks and as I have now. I should like very much if you could just pop in for an hour some day and see us what a different master we have to the old one our present one gives us rather too much liberty whereas we did not have enough before he is quite a young man his father comes down for one thing nearly every day he is a [illegible] and we have to mind what we are doing when he is down. I now sleep out with an apprentice for company we are most comfortable together he is a nice little chap. I much prefer sleeping out to indoors for the young men are such a noisey lot and cannot read or talk quietly in the house. You have been home lately. I am sure you were pleased to see your dear father so far recovered. I had expected he would [illegible] prayer has had a good deal to do with his recovery. All the Llandudno news I have received for a long time has been from somewhere in the –dlands I believe it is a little town in Staffordshire called – what about all of my old pals M. Thomas Morris M Powell Mark & Co mind and write soon and tell me all and not [illegible] as I have seen all you as you [illegible] for correspondence. You may tell my friends [illegible] talk about [illegible]. Tell Florey I shall write to her soon and give kind love to her and George Hedley Uncle Aunt James & Arthur also to M. Thomas M. Powell Miss Symmond & Miss Perry of your affection. Cousin R Bevan
The last page of the letter has been reversed and Rowland continued writing across what he had previously written. Unfortunately this renders it almost illegible.