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INTRODUCTION.   Chapter One   Chapter Two   Chapter Three   
Chapter One

THE CONFLICTS AND STRUGGLES, of ‘Donni-Jay De-Ville.’

{Excerpt from the book, CHAPTER ONE.}

   I come from a Colonial background with an Ancestral Home, Gwydir Castle, Llanrwst, in North Wales. I am directly descended from the infamous, Sir John Wynn, who owned the Castle in the 16th century. 

Castle, King, Queen Elizabeth, Royalty, Prince Charles

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  My background and my Ancestral Home, Gwydir Castle, Llanrwst, North Wales.

    I was born on the twenty-first of July, at The Towers, in ‘Millionaires Row,’ Bishops Avenue,  one of the most affluent areas in North London. Near Hampstead. The house belonged to ‘Gracie Fields,’ one of the UK’s top singers around at the time. The area is now known as 'Billionaires Row,' because of all the Saudi Prince's who live there.I visited some years ago and there are huge pillars at the front of the house, and I did not find them good to look at. I believe the culture of a country ought to remain recognisable.

   My late mother was part Polynesian, from what little she would talk about herself, part British and an heiress. Mother always had great dignity possessing a powerful presence which everyone recognized. We all knew she was an heiress, but Mum told me many stories of her past, which were not shared with the rest of the family. Her mother, it seems was a Polynesian Princess, (ran away to marry a British man) My grandmother was crippled by my mother's birth, which caused great psychological problems to all of the family.  At three years of age, mother was given an Ayah to stay with her as her nanny, when her parents placed both of them in a convent, for Mum to be taught by strict Irish nuns.

   When mother turned eighteen, the Ayah's job was completed and a painful parting of the ways ensued They were now to pursue their own separate lives.  Mum went on to train as a nurse, and whilst still in training, she lost both her parents.  Her mother died of a long-standing illness, and her father died of a broken heart one week later.

   Mother's wealthy parents had relocated to India soon after her birth, but during the Indian Uprising of 1947, she was forced to leave the country.  I listened as she described how people were attacked, and of one occasion when a man was knifed and died in front of her. (Strangely, this exact re-enactment happened to me later, when I was in Soho, London.) The Uprising was a very frightening time, and all who stayed would have had to take Indian nationality.  The India mother knew, governed by the British, had changed dramatically.  It was no longer possible to live the luxury lifestyle she had grown accustomed to, and she wanted out, quickly.

   There had been involvement with a man, John, who owned many movie houses, the friendship lasted until she met my father at a hospital dance.  Father was a pilot and a boxing champion in the Royal Air Force, and being a in a multi-instrumentalist, performed in an RAF swing band, called; 'The Blue Rockets.' My father found out about John and threatened him to stay away from my mother who often reminisced about John to me,  wondering if she made a mistake in not marrying him.  When the 'uprising' occurred, just after the death of her parents, mother was so alone and scared of the situation, that she became engaged to my father to consider moving out to where they made their new home. Papa (that is what we all called our Grandfather) had worked directly for the British Government. Mother eventually decided to join my father and his Colonial parents, who had travelled and arrived in England, to live in a large house in North London.

   Unfortunately, the uprising and Mum’s leaving was prior to her twenty-first birthday, when she would have reached an age to collect her inheritance. Her uncle had kept the money in trust for her, but subsequently disappeared with it at that time. Now, living in London, she was shocked to find everyone did not have servants, nor the kind of wealth they had all been used to.  Also, she thought that television reports were propaganda about India, when she saw on the screen the squalidness and the Indians who lived in poverty.  She had not been in these areas and so never saw that side of India.  Mother was now forced to find a trade to help support herself, while my father worked as an engineer and became a toolmaker.  She became a dressmaker, later on becoming a nurse again.

I remember vividly, my parents getting ready to go out dancing at Hammersmith Palais, in London, which they did regularly each week.  Father in his bow tie, smart shirt and suit and smelling of Old Spice aftershave.  Mother would lean over the rails of my cot to kiss me goodnight.  She smelled wonderful and looked like a fairy-tale princess, with her most beautiful face and eyes, long black hair, and usually wearing her favourite colour gowns, in emerald green.  I can still hear the swishing of the material, each time she moved.  I can smell her perfume and it feels as if I am still that three year old child, feeling safe, with my whole life before me, and such anticipation of all the good things to come. I can even picture the room and where the furniture stood.  It gives me an incredible feeling that is indescribable, and this memory is one of the best and most real.  My mother's beauty literally took my breath away, and I can see her exactly as she was at 23 yrs old, and I was always so proud of her. It was easy to think of her as a Princess and my father always called her that.

   Mother discovered her dressmaking skill when my father's brother, Mervyn, secured her a job in this trade.  My uncle had been a medic in the Forces as he refused to use a gun and would not kill anyone, not even in self defence.  He, like all of Granny's children, is an accomplished musician and singer.  Mervyn is also one of the kindest people I know.  I loved to hear him play keyboards and sing.  He was likened to Sir Cliff Richard, of great UK fame in looks (when he was younger) and for his great singing voice.  A cherished memory is of the time he made a beautiful party dress for me. It was Christmas and he made one for my cousin, Lindy Benson also.  But, mine was far prettier in bright shimmery ice blue and I still remember how good I felt wearing it. Lindy went on to be a Page 3 model, with the SUN newspaper and became a 'bit' actress. 'To The Devil A Daughter' - by Dennis Wheatley, was one of the films she appeared in, and she was also the bride, in a 'Boy George,' music video.

   My mother taught me to read and write, by the age of four.  I could read aloud from newspapers, write letters and keep diaries.  I loved to write stories and make little books to sell when I started school.  I believed that made me a REAL writer!

   The books portrayed my thoughts and insights into adult behaviour.  I knew they did not completely understand the things I said or the way my mind worked.   Mostly, they only 'pretended' to understand.   I also wrote about incidents that happened around me, or to me.

   From the time of my birth until I was eight years old, the whole family lived with my grandparents. Granny spent the most time with me.  We sat together in her room for hours, while I listened enthralled to stories of her past Colonial life.  Granny and my Papa, had lived in India in a huge house with acres of grounds.  There were separate quarters for the many servants and three chefs.

   Papa worked with the British Government, as a high official with the Great Indian Railway. They lived in their mansion along with their four children.  They also entertained a great deal and had 'social events' which Granny used to call 'balls.'  Everyone wore either ball gowns or dinner suits.  I was fascinated as Granny described the dresses she wore.  Granny, part Scottish, was of Catalan, Spanish descent and Papa had come from Wales.

   Our ancestor, Sir John Wynn, owned ‘Gwydir Castle,’ in Llanrwst, North Wales, which is in the Conway valley, with Snowdonia behind it. Dating back to the close of the Sixteenth Century, when its deer park alone, occupied 36,000 acres.

   Papa changed our name from ‘Wynn,’ the Welsh spelling of it, to ‘Winn.’ He added his middle name of ‘Eden’ and our family became the 'Eden-Winn’s.' We were evidently fighting with the other half of the family, called the ‘Burgess’ Wynn’s.  There is much to say on this topic but, it is all too historical for me, although I am researching hugely into it all now, with a professional researcher.  I heard that the castle had been handed over to the Preservation Society, with some of my ancestors still living in the back.  My Uncle Merv has visited there and signed the guest book.  I wish I had listened to the stories Papa told me back then more carefully.  I do remember him saying that Sir John Wynn was the black sheep of the family.

Ten years ago, 1999, our castle was bought and renovated by Judy and Peter Welford.  Judy wrote a book about ‘Gwydir Castle, called, ‘Castles in the Air.’ I have this book and feel very drawn to the place.  It feels as if I’ve lived there before, in a past life.  After seeing the photos in Judy's book and on the internet, I remembered dreaming in the past, about being in and around this castle.  The dining room with it's fine panelling and carving looked very familiar to me.  Almost as if I had spent many times there.  My ancestral castle home, is known as the most haunted castle in Wales, UK.

One day I hope go go back and stay overnight, and at least sign the guest book, in my maiden name. I wonder if anyone, especially the infamous Sir John Wynn, will come back to see me? I am not new to seeing ghosts, but in a setting like the castle, it may be a tad scary! But, hey, he is a relative of mine, even if reputed to be a wicked man.  And, what of the fortune left by Sir John Wynn?  His direct next of kin did not see any of it.  I wonder what I'll be able to turn up by the time the researching reaches it's culmination.

There is approximately fifty-five billion dollars unclaimed.  Well worth a bit of research on my part I think.

Back to my Grandparents ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    My Granny and Papa had a Rolls Royce car, with a chauffeur.  Papa even had his own personal train. They lived an amazing lifestyle until Papa lost his high position during the Uprising.  At that point, he had to take his family out of India in a great hurry and only able to take part of their money with them. 


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CLICK HERE FOR CHAPTER TWO. {CHILDHOOD AND SIBLINGS}




Copyright ©2015 Donni-Jay De-Ville Entertainment and Publishing Company and its licensors

INTRODUCTION.
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three