Powys Digital History Project 

Care of the poor 12
Changes at the Board


A new town in the Union
In 1878 the Board of Guardians, with the approval of the authorities, added a second Guardian to represent Cefnllys parish. This was probably because the new spa town of Llandrindod Wells was growing rapidly. Most of the town at that time stood in the parish of Cefnllys and quite rightly the Board felt that this new population centre deserved better representation. The elected Guardian was one Henry Hurst, succeeded by Robert Ellis of the Llanerch Hotel. In 1907 representation of the parish was increased to three Guardians.

A Master and Matron for the workhouse
With building at the workhouse site proceeding apace the Guardians took steps to appoint a Master and Matron (a married couple) to have charge of the new institution. They interviewed applicants from across the country with experience of working in workhouses, but appointed a local farmer and his wife Mr and Mrs Hamer of Bryncennarth, St Harmon.
The authorities pointed out that as no-one in the Board of Guardians had any experience whatsoever in managing a workhouse it was imperative that the Master and Matron had at least some experience, and promptly blocked the Hamers' appointment. Consequently a new appointment was made, as this entry records.

County Archives
  The entry reads:-
"Moved by the Chairman, seconded by the Rev. James John Evans, and carried unanimously,
That Mr Samuel Rose, and his wife Mrs Sarah Rose, be and they are hereby respectively appointed to the offices of Master and Matron of the workhouse of the Rhayader Union, subject to the approval of the Local Government Board."


Mr and Mrs Rose had previously been Master and Matron of the Belford Union workhouse before being appointed at this special meeting on April 30th, 1879. The Master received a salary of £40 per annum and the Matron £20 (plus food and accommodation).
by kind permission
of Winston Collins
  The above photograph (from about 1909) shows the Master and Matron of the workhouse with an inmate at the front of the building. 
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