A tribute to Tony Cattermoul

It was with much shock and sadness that we learned of the death of Tony Cattermoul. While he was away with his wife Carolyn at their holiday home in France, he was taken ill and admitted to hospital where he died on the 15th October.

Tony was one of the founder members of the Mold and District Civic Society in 1999 and served on the Executive Committee since then and as Vice Chairman since 2004. He was always in the fore in helping out with special events such as the Open Door events organized by the Society taking guided tours around the Town Hall or conducting architectural tours around Mold.

I first met Tony when we were both students at Bangor University in the early 1960s. He was my next but one neighbour at the Plas Gwyn Hall of Residence which opened in 1993. The student in the middle was Mehmet Gerguri, from Kosovo (then Yugoslavia)who we remained friends with over the years and who we, with our wives, had dinner with quite recently while he was over in the UK. At universityTony was very active on the student newspaper “Forecast” and was often to be seen whizzing around Bangor on his Vespa scooter on which he also used to travel back and forth to London for vacations.

After leaving Bangor, he became a History teacher, first of all at Ruabon Boys’ Grammar School. He was then appointed in 1966 to a teaching post at Mold Alun High School and moved to live in Woodlands Close, Mold. Members will no doubt recall a humorous article he wrote for the Ystrad Alun Journal about the characters on the staff and his reminiscences of his time at the Alun School.

It was at this time that I made contact with him again as we were both regulars at the Ruthin Castle pub in New Street. He then obtained the post of Head of History at Deeside High School, Queensferry, where I joined him as his second in department in January 1970 and we were colleagues for the next two years. After a brief interlude as an articled clerk at Shire Hall, he was back teaching History at the Blessed and later St. Richard Gwyn R.C. High School Flint where he remained as head of History until his retirement in 1994. During his years of teaching he came into contact with many youngsters and wherever he went ex-pupils would greet him with fond memories of lessons, events and school trips that he had organised.

Tony was a very active member of the community in all respects. He became a Liberal, later a Liberal Democrat, Town Councillor in 1973, a Delyn Borough Councillor in 1982 and, after Local Government Re-organisation in 1996, he became a Flintshire County Councillor for Mold South Ward. He was a very effective councillor with a particular interest in planning matters and he had an appreciation of the finer principles of good planning and development. He retired from the County Council in 2004, but remained a Town Councillor until 2012. During his 39 years of local government service, he was Mayor of Mold three times and was the first to hold that office in 1978-79 when the Town Council chose to call its leader Mayor instead of Chairman.

His interest in architecture and historic buildings led him to campaign for the restoration of the then Assembly Hall (now Lloyds Bank) in the mid 1980s. It also influenced both himself and Carolyn to buy as their family home Bryn Hyfryd, one of the oldest buildings in the town. The house was built by the Mostyn family in the 18th century and is adjacent to the Bailey Hill, the Norman motte and bailey castle which was the foundation and nucleus of the settlement of Mold. Not surprisingly Tony volunteered to write a recent Visitor Guide to the Bailey Hill.

Although not a native of the town he loved it. He often pointed out that those of us who were natives were so by accident of birth whereas he had chosen to live here because he recognized and valued the qualities the town and its people possessed which many of the natives take for granted.

He contributed to the life of the town in many ways. He was the Treasurer of the Mold and District Spastics Society (now Scope) for many years and was involved in fund raising and organizing trips for members. He was also a volunteer driver with the Community Car Service.  As a town councillor , he was always active in Keep Mold Tidy campaigns and stewarding events such as the Bailey Hill Festival, the Carnival and the Food Festival. Tony was well read and had a wide range of interests from architecture to gardening. This made him a much valued quiz team member and for over 40 years he regularly played for various pub quiz teams in the Mold inter pub Quiz League. He also played for the Civic Society Quiz Team. He was a great story-teller and conversationalist with a keen wit and sense of humour which made him good company in any social setting. He liked nothing more than to be in the company of friends with a pint of beer in his favourite local hostelry. Tony will be greatly missed by all who knew him, worked with him and had the enjoyment of his friendship, support and company over the years.

Chris Bithell.

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