Three Towns Forum - Talk about Llandudno, Colwyn Bay & Conwy

The Local => Genealogy & Research => Topic started by: A.Muse on December 28, 2018, 04:52:17 PM

Title: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on December 28, 2018, 04:52:17 PM
Not sure if I'm in the right place, but here goes.  Please correct me if I'm wrong....

I'm trying to find out more about Harry Scribbans a Birmingham baker and cake manufacturer who commissioned the architect Harry Wedon to design Villa Marina, Craigside, Llandudno.

I believe a local historian, Chris Draper has information about him and his property in the Midlands, - Little Aston Hall, but I have no way of finding out more information apart from what a web search brings up.

My interest is that I currently own a car that was first owned by Harry Scribbans and his wife in the 1920's and 30's. I'm hoping to turn up a photo from that era or anything that might add a little to his biography.

Thanks for your interest.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: SteveH on December 28, 2018, 06:11:27 PM
Hello there, sorry can't help with your search, but, there are a few links to Villa Marina on our search tab, top of the page, good luck, also I and a few others, I am sure, would like more detail's on your motor, AH3000?  looks fantastic, and photos please in the hobbies section, "Cars",   
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on December 28, 2018, 07:14:36 PM
I can't help you much either, but I have a book called "Llandudno through time" and it was written by Chris Draper and John Lawson-Reay and there is a photo of Ada Scribbans standing by her car in front of the Villa Marina.
They say that Ada hated the building and after her husband died she sold it for £5000.00 to a Uttoxeter concrete manufacturer over dinner at the St George's Hotel, at a fraction of the £30,000.00 it cost to build
Don't ask me for the make and model of the car as I have no idea what it was, but it looks like a convertible
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on December 28, 2018, 08:30:46 PM
Thanks Steve H and Hugo.
I've just looked at Abebooks on the net and I can get a copy of 'Llandudno through time', so I'll be ordering that.
In the meantime does the picture of the car show a registration number please? Curiosity killed the cat!!
 
The car in my profile is our 1958 MGA 1500 Coupe. 32 years younger than the Scribbans car.  I'll put a bit on the hobbies section soon.

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on December 28, 2018, 10:54:00 PM
The registration number is shown on the photo but is partly obscured and as far as I can make it out it is BOP 626.      The P 626 is clearly visible it's just the first two letters that I cannot be 100 per cent certain of.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on December 28, 2018, 11:04:58 PM
Many thanks for the speedy reply Hugo. Sadly not the registration I was hoping for - I wanted it to end 717.

I believe Chris Draper may have more photos if I could find a way of getting in touch, assuming he is still around.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on December 28, 2018, 11:06:08 PM
Have a look at this link and that is the car in the book I have.     Chris Draper is still around and living in the Llandudno area as far as I am aware.    I met him in Llandudno Library some years ago and had a good chat with him about his various books
If his contact details are not available then you could try John Lawson-Reay who I've found to be very helpful in the past     lawsreay@hotmail.co.uk



https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dPI6DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT95&lpg=PT95&dq=harry+scribbans&source=bl&ots=QP-vYcBy3z&sig=ORc4bUICoLJMCWz4T5X4VZG3c6k&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwip2YmB0MPfAhUCUBoKHXp1AocQ6AEwB3oECAUQAQ
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Bri Roberts on December 29, 2018, 09:20:57 AM
Chris Draper lives in C-y-D, Hugo, and there’s a telephone number here for John Lawson-Reay.

http://llandudnoandcolwynbayhistorysociety.co.uk/ (http://llandudnoandcolwynbayhistorysociety.co.uk/)
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Jack on December 29, 2018, 12:04:05 PM
If you message me your email address I will forward it to Chris Draper for you.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on December 29, 2018, 01:04:45 PM
Many thanks Jack,  I have tried to send you a PM but I get ' an error has occurred - you are not allowed to send private messages'
Would it be possible for you to send me a PM and I try to reply to it?

Thanks Barry
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Ian on December 29, 2018, 01:10:23 PM
Hi, Barry.  Being able to send PMs is restricted to members who've been with us for a certain amount of time. However, with your permission I will forward your email to Jack.

 
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Jack on December 29, 2018, 02:34:04 PM
Thanks Ian
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on December 29, 2018, 10:21:32 PM
I think I'm in a 'Catch 22' situation. Not sure who or how to send the e-mail to. I did send a note via 'report to moderator' but not sure if that is the way. 

Thanks Barry
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on December 29, 2018, 10:29:44 PM
Barry,  click on the little icon below Ian's name, then a box should appear where you can  post your message there.   I'm sure that Ian can sort the rest out for you
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on December 30, 2018, 12:07:07 AM
I think that is where the problem is - there is no envelope below Ian's name as I have not been a member long enough. Anything else I click on in that area just brings up a summary of his posts.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Ian on December 30, 2018, 09:23:39 AM
It's no problem, Barry;  I already have your email from when you joined.  If you're happy that's the one I'll forward to Jack.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on December 30, 2018, 09:51:06 AM
Yes, please do that, sorry to have caused all this trouble.

Many thanks, Barry
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Ian on December 30, 2018, 10:00:47 AM
You're welcome, Barry.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Jack on December 30, 2018, 12:16:40 PM
Thanks Ian. Barry, have forwarded it to Chris Draper.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on January 02, 2019, 05:59:59 PM
Many thanks for your help Ian and Jack. Chris Draper has been in touch but unfortunately does not have any information.

I'm still trying to identify the car in the link that Hugo provided - all I can tell so far is that it was registered in Birmingham sometime after March 1936.  Unfortunately Birmingham destroyed all of their registration documents when vehicle registrations were centralised in Swansea.

The make and model are still puzzling me and a good friend who is a car 'nut'.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on January 02, 2019, 10:41:04 PM
Apart from the different coloured grill, Ada's car looks like a 1936 Ford Standard
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on January 02, 2019, 10:47:10 PM
Here's another one with white wall tyres
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on January 03, 2019, 10:50:57 PM
Thanks Hugo, that put me out of my misery, I might do a bit more digging about the car and its' Birmingham origins.

Thanks again,

Barry 
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Helig on January 07, 2019, 01:31:01 PM
I remember my mother, born Llandudno 1923, saying how splendid it was inside Villa Marina as she had visited it at one time. She said that the insides of all of the rooms were curved and didn't have corners.

I take it you have seen this:

https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/scribbans-bakery.11340/

Is this the picture of Ada with the car?

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dPI6DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT95&lpg=PT95&dq=harry+scribbans+birmingham&source=bl&ots=QP-v4fBq5v&sig=lk5xVeBfpnHrYchApWHOj1xZj-0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi_1ZOK4dvfAhUoURUIHbybBtAQ6AEwDHoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=harry%20scribbans%20birmingham&f=false

Helig
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Cambrian on January 07, 2019, 02:28:14 PM
Some years ago I saw a drama on TV which featured the interiors of Villa Marina as the home of one of the leading characters.  Unfortunately I can't recall the name but it involved murky dealings about a development and planning officers - although Villa Marina was featured, the external sequences were shot in Aberystwyth.  Anyone else recall this ?
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on January 07, 2019, 02:56:35 PM
Happy New Year to you Helig, hope that you are keeping well up there in Scotland.  Mull and I wondered how you were as we hadn't see you posting on here recently.

Yes, that's the car in Chris Draper's book but not the one A Muse was looking for.   Your mother was lucky to see inside the property as I've often wanted to see inside.   I believe that Lenny Holland's daughter lives in it now and it really looks good again.    Lenny was an old neighbour of mine in Cwm Place and worked for the RAC,   my old car used to break down frequently and Lenny often came to my rescue
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Ian on January 07, 2019, 02:59:26 PM
I remember as a child being transfixed by Villa Marina;  it seemed the epitome of the exotic and continental.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on January 07, 2019, 03:09:22 PM
Thanks for your interest Helig, unfortunately the picture in the book is of a car similar to the one that Hugo has posted above, a 1936 Ford Standard.

Our car is a 1926 Bullnose Morris MG Super Sports, now in two tone blue, but in Scribbans ownership it was originally engine turned aluminium on the bottom and maroon on top, although the log book shows that he had it re-sprayed to green and putty in 1928.  Perhaps a sop to a more sombre era of the coming depression?

I have posted a picture on this forum under the 'Hobbies and interests' - 'Cars'  on Page 50, Reply No 745.

Try getting DVLA to register 'putty' as a colour on a V5!

I had seen the Birmingham History web page, but did not post on it as it was the same day I joined here, and didn't want too much going on at once. There is also
another good thread about the Local Defence Volunteers that were based at his residence at Little Aston Hall nr Sutton Coldfield.

As it says in the history of Villa Marina Harry died in 1936 before it was completed, sadly also the year he was banned from driving for life following an accident in one of his Rolls Royces.   
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Helig on January 10, 2019, 10:28:09 AM
Hello Hugo,

Happy New Year to you too. Please pass my best wishes on to Mull.

I haven't been very well of late and my online activities have been curtailed. At the moment I am waiting for the results of some tests and return to the consultant next week.

I seem to think that my mother knew someone who lived at the Villa Marina, or that she had visited someone there when it was a convalescent home perhaps. She did tell me about it but she has been dead for nearly 20 years now, so memories tend to fade.

I have seen the photo of the gorgeous 1926 Bullnose MG Super Sports car. Would there be any history on this in any of the MG Owners clubs?

The reason I thought the car was the one with Ada posing by it was because it looked to have the registration number B.P 626.

Helig
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on January 11, 2019, 11:30:28 AM
Hi Helig. we were sorry to hear that you hadn't been well of late and hope that you get some good and positive results from the consultant when you go there.

The Villa Marina is really impressive from all directions and I'd love to see inside it one day.   I had a look at that  1926 Bullnose MG Super Sports car and it was really a fabulously looking motor.
In 1964 I took my driving test in a Morris Bullnose van and that was good to drive.     I remember it having a starting handle in the front which was to crank up the battery when the car wouldn't start but you had to be careful when doing it or you could have your hand damaged
My Dad taught me to drive in that van so I didn't have any other lessons and it only cost me £1.00 for the driving test fee so I was very  lucky then
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: mull on January 12, 2019, 08:32:25 AM
Happy new year Helig , nice to have you back on the Forum. Sorry to hear you have not been well , hope things improve.

Always thought Villa Marina was a beautiful house. Passed it so many times between Penrhynside and the town. Probably one of the reasons I have always liked late 1930s style.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Helig on January 12, 2019, 11:02:58 AM
Thank you, Mull. My best wishes to you and Mrs Mull for 2019.

I had a few thoughts on how to progress the information gathering on Harry Scribbans. First to use genealogical methods to find out more on him (and Ada). I have had a quick look and seem to have found him in the 1911 census. His correct name is John Henry Scribbans. He was age 34 in the 1911 census, so he was born about 1877. This shows him to be a Cake Manufacturer, born Birmingham. Ada was aged 30 in 1911, she was born in Birmingham as well. They had been married for 9 years then and had 4 children of whom 2 had died. There are two children with them, Leah Scribbans, daughter age 4, born Smethwick, and Stuart Scribbans, son age 2, born Sutton Coldfield. Their address is: Rosemary Hill Road, Streetley, Sutton Coldfield. They had two servants in the household.

I wonder if it would be possible to trace their descendants to obtain more information?

Also, given Harry's lifestyle, businesses and wealth, I should think there would be something on him in the archives. Which ones are open to speculation but Birmingham might be able to advise.

Helig.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Helig on January 12, 2019, 11:08:42 AM
Just found the Probate details for John Henry Scribbans and these are as follows:

John Henry Scribbans of Little Aston Hall, Little Aston, County of Stafford, died 5 February 1935 at same place. Probate granted to Barclays Bank and Lyon Clark the executors, value of Estate: £2,563,609 12s 4d.

Helig
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on January 12, 2019, 12:00:03 PM
Thank you Hugo and Helig.   Was this the type of van that you took your test in Hugo? There are a few still about, probably more of those about than the Vauxhall HA Viva that I took my test in in 1966.

Helig's comment about MG clubs: We belong to most and also the Bullnose Morris Club  http://www.bullnose.org.uk/ (http://www.bullnose.org.uk/) who have been most helpful with knowledge and spare parts. If you are interested in the cars the there are lots of pictures on the website.

Thanks for your comments on his will Helig, and the genealogy, I've started working on the genealogy and also found out that Harry's nephew Denis Scribbans did some racing driving in an ERA in 1936. As he was left a substantial bequest (£10,000) in his uncle's will one wonders if he used that to buy the car, although his own father would have had money from his share of the business.

Ada was left the interest on £1m for life if she remained a widow, however she remarried in 1945 to a Lieutenant Colonel Thomas South of Llandudno, whom she had met through golf.

I think the Birmingham archives would be a good place to start digging as the second owner of the car, a Mr Ketch, also lived in the Birmingham area, but that is another story.... (and I live far from Birmingham).
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on January 12, 2019, 05:50:36 PM
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Thank you Hugo and Helig.   Was this the type of van that you took your test in Hugo? There are a few still about, probably more of those about than the Vauxhall HA Viva that I took my test in in 1966.

Come on,  I know I'm old but I'm not that old!        ;D
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on January 12, 2019, 07:22:57 PM
Sorry Hugo, no insult intended. Perhaps it was a bit more like this, many survive as they were used in thousands by Royal mail and GPO.

I bought a model of a Scribbans van on eBay a few weeks back, but it probably relates to a time after Harry's death. 
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on January 12, 2019, 08:17:24 PM
Still too old for me, I'll see if I can find a photo but it was like the Royal Mail vans only a later model
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on January 12, 2019, 09:21:27 PM
Tried to attach this before, but it failed security checks for some reason!
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Hugo on January 13, 2019, 11:26:05 AM
It was like this van that I took my test in.   It was a nice vehicle to drive and had a 1100cc engine, my driving test didn't go without any incidents but at least I passed first time so in total it only cost me £1.00.
I remember my father telling me about those commercial vehicles and that a front passenger seat was considered as an optional extra


Another photo of a Scribbans van and I must add that it was well before my time!       ;D
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Helig on January 14, 2019, 10:13:38 AM
Have you attempted to trace the descendants of Harry and Ada Scribbans? This may be worthwhile as they should have some family memorabilia, photos etc. I will have a try if you haven't done so already.

Helig
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on January 14, 2019, 01:51:31 PM
Are you psychic Helig?  I made contact yesterday with a distant cousin of Harry Scribbans who is interested in the Scribbans' family history, and we have started exchanging information. In turn she has been in contact with closer family members, so I am hoping to get more information and photos. 
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Helig on January 14, 2019, 04:14:00 PM
There are at least three Family Trees for Harry Scribbans on Ancestry. These show there were three children, one was born 1913, after the 1911 census.

The three children had children as follows:

Leah 1907-1989, four children.

Stuart, 1909-1967, no children shown for him.

Pauline, 1913-?? two children one of whom is named. Pauline is shown as having been adopted.

There are some lovely photos on some of the trees. One has a photo of a collection of cars, mainly Rolls Royce, which I take to be Harry's.

There is a shot of one Rolls Royce, described as "Ada's Rolls Royce" it has the registration of ADA 558.

Helig
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on January 15, 2019, 04:14:02 PM
Thanks Helig,

I have quite a bit of information from Ancestry and Find My Past, particularly press cuttings, but could not find the tree with the pictures you refer to on any Ancestry tree, would it be possible to PM me the details of the tree you refer to as having the collection of cars?

Thanks Barry
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: Helig on January 16, 2019, 10:15:04 AM
Hello Barry,

I have sent you a PM. Let me know if there are any problems.

Helig.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on January 16, 2019, 12:03:39 PM
Many thanks Helig, message received.
Title: Re: Villa Marina and Harry Scribbans
Post by: A.Muse on May 11, 2019, 03:18:03 PM
I was in North Wales last week for a short break and managed to drive past Villa Marina. Unfortunately it was Bank Holiday Monday and it was not possible to stop outside because of the traffic restrictions around the motoring event.   

At least I have seen the building 'in the flesh'. Shame about the huge security gate, I'm sure there must be a less austere design (or maybe the owners want to send out a certain message :-[   ).