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As mentioned on the home page here is the response to my comments about criticism by people who went away, about what the village has become.
Many of the comments in the remarks below can be applied to most English villages and many northern towns up to the 70s - not just the 50s
To complete the picture I add two other documents at the end of the remarks.
One a summary of the 1901 census of Aberarth and the other a "Nuicances Report" about the village in 1914
To Webmaster", re. your uncalled for remarks added to
"Reminiscences" by I. Lampshire-Jones.
The Townies who now live in Aberarth would not have considered doing so before the late 1940's and early 1950's. Reasons.
1. NO ELECTRICITY. Lighting by oil lamps and candles. No reliable radio. Sets were powered by heavy wet batteries which needed frequent charging in Aberayron Heating. No central heating then, just coal fires and oil stoves. Towns and cities had the luxury of power.
2.NO PIPED WATER TO INDIVIDUAL HOUSES. All water had to be carried from street corner taps (late 40's), before that from wells, water spouts and a pump in the school yard. No bathrooms (until after 1950). It was a case of a zinc bath in front of an open fire, water heated on it in buckets and large kettles. Some households had outside boilers (wood fired) for doing the weekly wash and heating the bath water. No water closets (toilets to you). Usually there was a building at the bottom of the garden which had to be emptied periodically, either when the river was in flood or buried in the garden. All drinking water had to be carried, some sources more favoured than others - no taps for a quick "cuppa". And by the way there was no fridge to keep the milk fresh.
3.THE ONLY TELEPHONE IN THE VILLAGE WAS IN THE POST OFFICE.
4. INDIVIDUAL CAR OWNERSHIP, ALMOST NONEXISTANT. That's just a few reasons. HOW YOU WOULD HAVE HATED IT.!!!!!!!
I, a "townie", spent long periods in Aberarth as a child and in later years, saw both sides of life. They were so different. You speak about Aberarth in the past showing complete ignorance of the mode of living in the village from before 1914 till the 1950's. Consider this. Look at the jobs vacant pages in the Cambrian News today, none of the companies and organizations advertising had even been dreamt of. For menfolk choices of earning a living were very limited, in fact four.
1. Work on the land.
2. Go to sea - Aberarth had always been a seafaring village.
3. Enter the local economy cycle, being a local tradesman (finance limited this), becoming a carpenter, bricky, etc., for which there was limited scope. The latter were required in greater numbers during the last war for building army camps locally.
4. Make the most of limited education, qualify and move away. Because going to sea was what a large number of the men had to do the female population did what they had done for generations, brought up their families, in the absence of husbands, with the assistance of close extended families, but with very limited incomes. The population of Aberarth was a close knit community.
Unfortunately, today, because the village has no school, shop, post office, etc., and people not being very neighbourly, the spirit of community can never be recaptured.
Another group receiving your critiscm. are the people who are in the latter group , the "London Welsh" and "People living in Vancouver". The fact that these people regularly returned to Aberarth and gave support to those remaining ( financial and moral) contributed a great deal to the family life of the village. It was a financial necessity for those people to make a living elsewhere BUT THERE WAS ALWAYS A LIVE VILLAGE FOR THEM TO RETURN TO. You mention new activities in the village today, you must be joking. How many residents do they employ?. I'm quite sure that I am correct in stating that 95% of the employable population of Aberarth today work away from the village and to them it is a dormitory. The quality of life you enjoy today has blinded you to the difficulties of living without what you today accept as the norm. Think before you criticize. One undeniable fact as stated by ILJ is that you can, today ,walk around the village all day and not see a soul, in a village which in the past was vibrant.
The forms cover the lower village and Drefnewydd and Morfa which are outside
There were 308 people counted of which 179 were female 129 male. There were 11 children under 3 years of age. 186 were born in Aberarth and 106 in Cardiganshire with 5 or so miles of Aberarth. 7 were from other parts of Wales and 9 from outside Wales. 152 people spoke Welsh only, 138 were bilingual and 9 spoke English only, one of these, unfortunately, was the deaf and dumb son of a Welsh only family who was sent to an English school to learn sign language.
23 homes had widows as head of the family, 3 had widowers.
17 homes showed a married woman as the first entry, suggesting the husband was away perhaps at sea.
97 people are shown as in employment or living on own means,
10 of these are seamen,
6 are living on own means.
21 people are listed as in business on their own account or employers.
Their trades include:- Woollen Manufacturer, Shoemaker, Stonemason, Oil Merchant, Blacksmith(2), Coach builder, Grocer(3), Coal Merchant, Dressmaker(4), Baker, Inn Keeper, Egg Dealer, Butcher, Flannel weaver, Garter Weaver, Clogmaker and Passenger Carrier.
The School had a head teacher, two assistant teachers and a pupil teacher.
The Post Office, in what is now Arosfa, had a postmistress and two letter carriers.
8 people are charwomen or domestic housemaids.
6 people are farm workers and 5 are dress makers or drapers assistants
Surprisingly, considering the importance of the woollen mill, only three people are listed as wool spinners or weavers.
Other occupations include a Calvinistic Preacher and a corn grinder.
The picture is of a self sufficient and self contained village only an undertaker seems to be missing.
Interestingly Evan T. Davies, son-in-law of Rowland Pugh, woollen manufacturer is listed as an unemployed carpenter and builder. He went on to become the pillar of Aberarth Society and his building company built most of Penparcau.
Unfortunately we do not have a detailed report of each house
as mentioned in the report.
INSPECTOR OF NUICANCES REPORT. 1914. A house at Aberarth where two cases of Diptheria have been notified, I have not been able to trace the origin of the outbreak, but the house and its surroundings are not satisfactory. The house is damp, there is a pigsty within 20ft of the front of the house, the water supply is very suspicious, being at the lower end of the farmyard, the farmyard drains toward it.
. I herewith submit to you a summary of my inspection of the village of Aberarth. A detailed report on each house has been prepared on the house inspection record.
Number of houses inspected 74
Number of vacant houses not inspected 8
House rents £4 and under 12 houses
House rents £4 to £8 24 houses
House rents £8 to £12 4 houses
Over £12 1 House
Owner occupiers 33
Insufficient light in living room 11
Insufficient light in bedrooms 9
Ventilation Insufficient ventilation in living rooms 8
Insufficient ventilation in bedrooms 13
No through ventilation 6
Circulation of air around houses.
6 houses have soil abutting against portions of their back walls and higher than their floor levels.
11 houses have dampness in their walls and floors due chiefly to the absence
of eavestroughs and to soil abutting such walls. Eavestroughs and downpipes.
15 houses have no eavestroughs and 16 other houses have non except on one side only
60 houses derive the whole of their water from the 3 supplies of the village? Ffynon Felin, Brynlewis Spout, and Dolgian Spout.
12 houses have rainwater tanks or cisterns mostly constructed of stone flags.
3 houses have their private supplies of water from wells bored in rocky soil. There is a scarcity of water in the village during periods of draught.
The 3 village supplies appear to be water from shallow wells and are liable to surface polution The rainwater stored in cisterns is used by some for cooking purposes during the winter mouths, but the majority of these houses obtain such water from the 3 village supplies and utilize the rain water for washing and other household purposes. I would reccomend that a series of samples of the 3 village supplies be procured for analysis.
Pail closets 27
Privy middens 38
Earth Closets 3
Water closets 2
No privy accomadation 2
Consruction of closets.
Wooden building 8
Corrugated iron building 15
Stone building 47
Closets with earth floors 10
Closets with concrete or brick floors 14
Closets with boarded floors 46
The contents of the the pail closets are generally buried in the gardens. In these cases where the gardens are small and under cultivation in spring and summer, and also in those cases where the gardens are a good distance from the houses, there is no doubt that the pails are deposited to the river thereby causing polution and a nuisance especcialy so during the summer months.
The privy middens are generally cleaned out every spring and buried in the gardens.
The two water closets discharge to covered cesspools.
Houses with no drains 35
Houses with drains discharging to soak away pits in gardens 24
Houses have drains that eventualy discharge either seperately or collectively to the river 15
Paving of yards
Number of yards not paved 20
Number of yards paved with bricks 5
Number of yards paved with concrete 12
Number of yards paved with cobbles 15
All the houses in Water Street have no yards as they are erected with their backs right on the river bank and their fronts close on the street.
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