The pandemic has seen many of us focus more on our local traders and high streets, and what they have to offer.

Some have changed considerably over time, and it's difficult to image how they used to be.

Today we look at one Flintshire community through the words of local historian and former Leader columnist, Elvet Pierce, who puts Hawarden in the spotlight...

ALTHOUGH Holywell RDC covered the largest area of Flintshire in those far off days of the 1950s and 60s, there is little doubt about the most affluent – Hawarden.

Starting from Treuddyn in the south, taking in Caergwrle and the detached portion of Maelor, it ended with the complete swathe of land from the English border at Saltney and industrial Deeside to beyond Connah’s Quay. Not bad for a village.

A very pretty village, with a massive history, especially that centred on the Gladstone family with William Ewart one of the leading Victorian Prime Ministers; and it is this association which is highlighted with two pictures from the Illustrated London News of 1880 - of the old castle and the family.

For further illustration, there are two pictures from the 1950s, both originating with the Wrexham Leader, and taken from opposite ends of the Glynne Arms on a quiet day.

Industrially, however, the rural district, run from offices in Hawarden, included chain and boxmaking in Saltney, planes at De Havilland in Broughton, chemicals at Sandycroft and Queensferry, steel at Shotton and the last of shipbuilding in Connah’s Quay.

There were also two distinct rail systems, the east/west Chester to Holyhead, and the north/south Wrexham to Bidston, plus the increasingly important gateway to Wales over the blue bridge.

At the other end of the district, it must not be forgotten that the area around Caergwrle had its own industries, while some of the best farm land in Flintshire lay within its boundaries.

It is to the contemporary advertisements for local industries that we turn to next.

The Leader: Advertisements for local Hawarden industries across Flintshire in the 50s and 60s.Advertisements for local Hawarden industries across Flintshire in the 50s and 60s.

Industry was not restricted to only the belt running along the Dee, and so we have Averill and Co advertising graphite products from their works at Caergwrle.

Moving on, and coming to Saltney, we see one of the old industries supplying the needs of the shipping trade in the way of chains and cables, and one of the new ‘No-Nail’ boxes supplying the need for packaging on a large scale.

There was also the Rustproof Metal Windows works, as well as a nearby concrete products supplier.

Leaving the aircraft production in Broughton by De Havilland – then as now a vitally important employer – and moving to Sandycroft and Queensferry, we see the growing chemical industry with producers large and small competing for sales, and it is surprising what could be sold then on the open market.

Many of the products listed would now be banned for health and safety reasons.

Not so the next product, with one of Hanson’s delightful advertisements for their milk products.

Their tankers used to be a common sight on the roads of the county as they travelled from farm to farm, collecting milk.

Also a very common sight were the lorries belonging to the last advertiser, Williams Brothers.

The latter I always associated with Treuddyn, but had its offices in the “Ferry”.

Dark green was its lorry fleet colour if I remember rightly, but I may be wrong on this.

There is no doubting, however, how busy and well equipped this company was.

Note that all the advertisements come from contemporary 1957-59 papers and magazines.