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Montgomeryshire collections


Vol. 69 1981

Obituary : Cecil Edward Vaughan Owen, F.S.A., 1901-1981.

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With the death on 7 March 1981 of Cecil Edward Vaughan Owen of Glasgoed,
Llanidloes, the Powysland Club lost one of its most loyal and popular members.
He died suddenly and unexpectedly probably as he would have wished as
he was on his way one Saturday morning for his regular daily visit to his sister
Ettie in the local hospital before going on to Welshpool to welcome the speaker
and take the chair at one of the meetings of the Club.
Mr. Vaughan Owen was born on 13 March 1901, the fifth child and second son
of Dr. and Mrs. John Vaughan Owen of Castle House, Llanidloes. He was
educated at Llanidloes County School and at Oswestry School before going on to
Edinburgh University where he began a medical course. This, however, did not
appeal to him, and he abandoned it for a course in historical studies which
became his life-long interest at Durham University. He did not take a degree,
but embarked on a devoted teaching career. He taught first at Emscote Lawn
School, Warwick. This school was evacuated during the war to Clochfaen,
Llangurig, but he remained in charge at Warwick. After the war he moved to
Akeley Wood School, Buckingham, and then to St. Piran's, Maidenhead, where
he remained until his retirement.
With his bent for historical studies and his deep attachment to his native
Llanidloes and to the countryside around, he became the acknowledged authority,
through his researches, on the history of the town itself and of Arwystli. He
developed a special interest in vernacular architecture and in collaboration with
his close friend, Mr. Peter Smith, now the Scretary of the Royal Commission on
Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales, he contributed three articles on
Montgomeryshire Houses to the Montgomeryshire Collections (Vols. 55, 58 and
59). Mr. Smith pays this tribute to him in his monumental book 'Houses of the
Welsh Countryshire: 'Mr. C. E. V. Owen deserves my warmest thanks. He not
only introduced me to Montgomeryshire, but helped with the survey of all the
houses in that county illustrated in the volume. He also read through the text and
suggested many amendments.'
Mr. Vaughan Owen joined the Powysland Club in 1932, becoming a member of
its Council in 1948; and he was the obvious and natural successor as its chairman
when we lost his great friend, Dr. J. D. K. Lloyd. Sadly he was destined to hold
the office for less than two years. He was one of three members of an Index
Committee set up by the Club in 1958 to edit the draft Index of Vols. 1-54 (1868-
1956) of the Collections and to see it through to publication in 1962. This entailed
much revision of the draft and the consequent devotion of a great deal of effort
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