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Every village has its characters. Welsh villages, especially those close to the English border, have them in abundance. My own village of Hawarden / Penarlag has, over my lifetime, proven a particularly rich source of human interest and people of historic endeavour. This is a tale about one of Hawarden's most famous characters, four time UK Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone.
Once the Liverpool born, ambitious polymath, Mr Gladstone had meet and married Catherine, the beautiful daughter of Sir John Glynne, 19c squire of Hawarden, the couple took up residence in the majestic castle on the Hawarden Estate.
Mr Gladstone worked hard at being Prime Minister, but even this victorian, political colossus would need space for relaxation. It was to found in the fabulous private parkland on his doorstep. The "People's William" would, when not regaling The House with speeches of passion and intensity that reverberate to this day, often be at home in Hawarden, out-doors, tree felling-axe in hand.
This little film tells the story of such a time in the park when Mr Gladstone was somewhat disturbed. Its a tale researched and narrated by local historian RICHARD WILLIAMS. This production was devised and directed by community heritage volunteer JOHN BUTLER as part of his personal film archive. In these times of affordable cameras & free, easy-access, distribution media, such as Youtube and Peoples Collection Wales, he hopes that more, especially young people, might be encouraged to record & preserve aspects of their own local communities & culture through sound and video recordings. Please spread the word! 

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