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The Origin of Mumbles Names



A light-hearted look at the popular surnames in Mumbles
by Grafton Maggs






“Save the Best ‘til Last!”

Aeons and aeons ago, in the hope of bringing some sense of order to the rapidly expanding, and migrating, population of the world, the Recording Angel was given the unenviable task of bestowing names upon all those families, or tribes, that had evolved. They had multiplied and spread. Wherever they found peace and plenty, they had settled. Chaos was imminent as they came to occupy, more and more of this spacious and glorious Creation. The first essential was to give identity.

This was, indeed, a most formidable task.

However, undeterred by the immensity of this vital mission, he travelled with enthusiasm far and wide, accompanied by his diligent scribes. Eventually, there was only one place left- Mumbles!

He arrived for the final namings: –

“Saving the best ‘til last!”

By now, he was very weary, as were his zealous scribes. They gathered about him on the pinnacle of Mumbles Hill (that part overlooking the Conservative Club- which wasn’t there then). This was the last chapter and just one more supreme effort was needed to complete the task.

Fortified by a laverbread sandwich, he briefed them:

Take a dozen and call them Ace,

Two or three and call them Grace.

Cottles and Noels pick just a score,

Of Gammons name a legion more.

Norton folk are prideful selves,

Name ten, Collier, the rest call, Delves.


Beynons, Balsdons, Baglows, Bales,

One day they’ll be the pride of Wales.

Woolacotts, Webborns, Williams, Ways,

Will multiply and have their days,

Lynches, Eynons, Haywards, Venns,

Rogers, Davies, Hixsons, Penns.

Thomas, Timothys, Vanstones, Rees,

Meyricks, Claypitts, Howells, Preece.

Michaels, Hunts and Kifts will trawl,

And Pressdees make that final call.”

The sun was low o’er Cefn Bryn,

A chill came down, as night drew in.

The weary sage, he dropped his head,

“Oh! Enough! Enough! Enough!”, he said.

And murmured then in languid tones,

“Anyone left, just call them, Jones!”

Mission accomplished.

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