Jane Williams (1898 - c. 2016)

Jane Ellen Williams was born 10 June 1898 at Bryn Ffynnon, Aberllefenni, Talyllyn, Merioneth to Robert Williams, quarryman of Aberllefenni Farm, and Jane Jones of Penrallt Goch, Llanllyfni, Caernarvonshire. Jane's mother tragically died in 1910 during childbirth complications for a stillborn child. Jane and her father then lived with his sister and brother-in-law, Jane's aunt and uncle Richard and Anne Rees (née Williams) at Fronwen, Aberllefenni.

Jane went to the local primary school where she won several prizes, after which she won a scholarship to study at Towyn County School, where she boarded from Monday to Friday and went home on weekends. In school, her family recalls she was good at games and maths and was on the school hockey team in 1913. Jane studied piano with J T Rees, Machynlleth, and attained an ALCM (Associate of the London College of Music) at the age of 18.

After leaving school, Jane studied Education at F.L. Calder College of Domestic Science, one of LJMU’s historic colleges, where she qualified as a teacher. Her mother's sister, aunt Maggie, lived in Nicander Road, Sefton Park and may have been Jane's residence whilst she was at the college. Whilst at F.L. Calder College, Jane attended two courses of instruction with the St John's Ambulance Association, whose secretary at the time was Fanny Louisa Calder.

In November 1919, she was awarded a First-Class diploma and obtained a good testimonial from Fanny Louisa Calder herself for her skills as a future teacher. She also obtained a certificate of diploma for Teachers of Domestic Science for two years of a three-year course, which she was unable to complete due to ill health in 1918.

With her reference from Fanny Calder, Jane obtained teaching posts as a peripatetic teacher in Wales, including at Barry School and at Brynrefail Intermediate School near Llanberis, with friend and fellow teacher Margaret Evans. In September 1925 she obtained a permanent post at Ardwyn County School, Aberystwyth, as a domestic science teacher. Here she introduced a dinner service for out-of-town pupils, which was very successful and reported on in local newspapers. She remained at Ardwyn until 1931 when she left to get married.

In 1924 Williams bought herself a Morris Cowley car and she and her friend Margaret Evans were able to afford a holiday together to Switzerland to visit glaciers in Interlaken. Margaret Evans, also a quarryman's daughter, was from Cwm y Glo, Caernarvonshire, and received an MA in Welsh from Bangor University.

Williams’ papers have been catalogued, alongside many more archival papers, as part of the 2023 Bicentenary celebrations to commemorate 200 years of university history, beginning with the opening of the Liverpool Mechanics’ and Apprentices’ Library in 1823.

We are grateful to her family for their kind donation of her papers for future research, study and promotion of the history of our students at LJMU. To view more of Williams’ archive material, use reference LJMUH/FLC/3/5/1 to view online or visit in person at LJMU Special Collections and Archives.