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Aberarth, an old old village with a history going back to the times of St David in the sixth century.
In the 11th century monks came to Aberarth to carry stones back to build Strata Florida Abbey about 16 miles inland. Between 1805 and 1846 fourteen sailing ships were built in the village I would like to reminisce by recalling who lived and where in the village from 1925 to 1950. The village had a school, built in 1895 and a Flour Mill built in 1404, a woollen mill in 1865, two shops, a Post Office, two cobbler shops, a bakehouse and a carpenter shop.
I will begin down at the Ddol; where the river Arth enters the Sea.
On the side of the path leading to the beach there is a house named Dolarth. In the early 1800's my great grandfather, Michael Lampshire and his wife Elizabeth lived there. He died in 1883.
For a while in the late 1920's a retired Professor Philips lived there alone and in the 1930's a family from the Plough Inn on the way to Llanon came to live there. Mr Evans, his wife, three sons, Rhys, who was one of five from Aberarth on the S.S. Dalmore, William John and Ormond also three daughters Beryl , Morfydd, and Lillian . Next door a retired Vicar came to live and next door to him Mrs Jones and her son Brinley lived. Going round the comer and through the field (Ddol) on the west side was Ddol House where Capt. Jenkins and his wife Lizzie and their maid Maggie Morris lived. Capt. Jenkins had a few cars. He used his big Lanchester car as a taxi taking mostly seamen down to the railway station at Aberaeron to go and join the ir ships or meet seamen coming home on leave. When I went to join my first ship in November 1939 he took me down to Aberaeron and was paid half a crown ( 2/6) for the journey of 10 minutes but it was at 6.00 a.m. Capt. Jenkins was a keen fisherman however he didn't go up the river as all the others did, he preferred to sit in one spot in the lower pool of the river where the sea came in to it and sit there from dusk to the early hours of the morning to catch trout and Sewin ( Sea trout).
Going down the road past the garage towards the beach is " Maurice House" where Yrnor Jenkins ( no relations to Capt. Jenkins) and his two sisters, Enid and Mari Morris lived. Enid was a dress designer and must have had some influence on Yrnor's wardrobe as he was always smartly dressed, usually in plus fours. He was a Bosun with the Bristol City line trading between Bristol and Avonmouth to Eastern Canada, so the voyages were only 4 to 5 weeks. There are many stones about Yrnor, how tough he was but fair with the seamen. One of the stories bears repeating, he was very interested in motorbikes and he took his motorbike on the ship with him as it was more convenient for him to come home for a week end when the ship was in port. It must be remembered that it was war time with blackouts and food rationing in force and seamen would try and bring home extra tea, sugar etc which was against the rules. Once when his ship was in Avonmouth Yrnor strapped a suitcase on the pillion of his bike a nd left the ship for home. He had to go through security at the dock gates and they checked everything to stop anything illegal leaving. When asked what was in the suite case Yrnor said " I have the ship's cat that I'm taking home with me, not believing him they made him open the suitcase, sure enough a cat jumped out and headed straight for the ship. One can imagine Yrnor's nautical language that he now had to go back to the ship, catch the cat if he could and that it would be dark and in the blackout before he could reach his home in Wales. About an hour later Yrnor returned to the main gate and told the security he was damned if he'd open his suitcase this time. After the first tirade the guards said " Ok on your way" of course it wasn't the cat that was in the suitcase the second time.
Past "Maurice House" a path over a stile led to the beach and to "Pistyll Ddolguan" a small water spout that came down from the fields. In the 1920's and early thirties there was no water in the houses or the streets of the village and people would come down to Pistyll Ddolguan with their water pots to be filled there and while waiting would walk the beach collecting fire wood. If they could not carry it home in one parcel a large stone was placed on the pile denoting that it belonged to someone. No one else would touch the pile then.
Back up past Capt. Jenkins' garage (there have been houses built there now) past the old school yard wall, (today there is no stone wall or school.) Again houses have been built where the school was. In the old school yard was a water pump that supplied most of the villagers with water who came there with their water pails. Across the road from the old school was the village carpenter's shop, Mr John Williams, wheelwright and two sons John Arthur who led the singing in the chapel and John Gwilym. Today a concrete base remains only to remind us of this fairly large carpenter' shop(ED.Actually the foundation for a modern bungalow which fell foul of planning regulations).
Going up the street we pass Frondolau where Mr Griff Williams and his wife Helen and their son John Hugh lived. Griff was a building contractor, Helen, his wife, had a particularly good alto voice and sang duets with my mother ( Hannah Lampshire) who was a noted soprano locally.
Going up from Frondolau we reach the flour mill and the house was called Felindre. In the forecourt was a well and before the pump was installed in the school yard, the well supplied a large number of the villagers with water. I remember going there to fetch water for household needs. To work the machinery in the mill there was a large wooden water wheel fed by water from the mill pond just above it and behind the house called Glandwr The mill was owned by E.T.Davies and his wife and two sons, Evan Glyn and Meirion. Mr Davies represented Aberarth on the Council in Aberaeron, so did his son Evan Glyn after his father's death. Evan Glyn was a noted building contractor. It was he who built all the houses in Pen Parciau (on the left) as you enter Aberystwyth. He was also responsible for bringing water pipes to the streets and eventually to all the houses in the village; he was also responsible for bringing electricity to the area. In later years he was made High Sheriff of Cardiganshire.
Across the road was the house where the Hicks family came to live from South Wales. Mr & Mrs Tom Hicks , two sons David and Maldwyn and a daughter Dilys. Next door are Number I and 2 Tower built over a rock with the river flowing below. About half a mile up the river Arth a partial wall had been built to divert water from the river down a "leat" or narrow canal 4 feet wide by 2 feet deep. This came down following the river but at a higher level so that the water would naturally follow the gradient down past the woollen factory under the. main road to the mill pond. Up from the mill is the house called Glandwr built on the edge of the mill pond, Aunty Mari Pendre and Dilys kept a small shop there. The family had a business in London and the son Emrys came back to the village as an evacuee during the war and soon learnt Welsh with the local boys.
From Glandwr we turn left on the main road and go half way up the hill to Laura Uchaf (Upper Laura) where Mrs Jenkins and her three sons, Maldwyn, Idris and Islwyn lived. Maldwyn was a Radio Officer at sea and earned the MBE for saving seamen after their ship was sunk. Idris was ordained at St David's in December 1941 together with Richard Glyndwr Williams, Esgairarth Farm , he is known fondly as Dic Esgairarth. Islwyn Jenkins became a schoolmaster. In Laura Isaf (Lower Laura) Capt. J. Jones and his wife lived. I remember him as a short stocky man with a bald head.
Behind the Laura is the house Y Glyn and the woollen mill run by Mr and Mrs Hugh Pugh. Mr Pugh was unfortunately deaf and dumb. Being deaf could have been an asset with all the clattering of the machinery in the mill. These were operated by a very large wooden wheel similar to the one in the flour mill and operated by the water that came down the leat from the river which then went past the house and under the main road to the mill pond. The woollen factory was built in 1864 and remained in the same family ( Pugh) for well over a hundred years until two years ago , 2000.
Back to the main road and the first house on its own Glasfryn was one of the village taverns in the old days. It was on a convenient location on the main road from Cardigan and Aberaeron to Aberystwyth at the foot of a long hill so that the coach Horses could have a break before tackling the hill and the coachmen and passengers have some refreshments. Going along the bridge built in 1756 and turning left we come to Bryn Dewi farm kept by Mrs McLaren and her two sons Owen James and Dai. Although their family name was not Welsh they certainly were. Owen James had a fine tenor voice, singing in the chapel and sometimes competing in the local eisteddfodau. They supplied the village with their fresh milk daily. Next door to Bryn Dewi is Ael y Bryn where Mr David Iorwerth Edwards, his wife and daughter Hettie Gwenda lived. David lorwerth sailed with my father and apparently was saved from drowning during the First World War by my father.
Next door is Pendre where Dilys Glandwr lived and the last house is Plâs where Capt. Tom Jones and his relatives lived, Mrs Catherine Williams and her four sons. The eldest, Garfield became master on the coasters, the second son Thomas John was slightly handicapped and started as a cobbler in the village. The third son Daniel Elwyn left the village to join his first ship the "MV Loch Katrine" in London on the same day as I left to join my first ship the " MV Lottie R" in Avonmouth. The youngest , David Oliver, and I were great friends, always fishing together, not always with a rod and line but bare hands when the river was low. Up from the Plâs was a lane that led to the common land "Cnwch". Today houses have been built and the lane is no more. I well remember Dai Llangadog and the Gypsies coming there with their horses and caravans. They made and sold pegs and other knick knacks around the village. Occasionally their horses would escape during the night and gallop around the village scaring everybody. On the way to the Cnwch there was a narrow steep path leading up to "Brynmor" where Mr John Jones, the school master lived with his wife and two sons Caredig and Aneurin. Aneurin followed in his father's footsteps and became a teacher and eventually the Headmaster of Lampeter Comprehensive School. Back down the road and opposite the Plâs was a water spout coming from Bank Bryn Dewi where the local houses got their water before it was piped to the village. Back down past the cowshed towards the old bridge, that was built in 1756, on the corner is Alicia another pub in the old days.
Capt Jenkins and family lived there and he was related to Capt Jenkins Fron Villa. A low wall is on the side of the house where an electricity pole was placed with a wooden box 20 feet up on it which housed a timing device to automatically turn on the street lights and turn them off at 10.pm. The village boys soon found that if the box received a sharp tap at 10. 01 pm the lights would again come on for a few more hours. Further along was Mr Dai Isaac Jones' shop setting animal feed and other materials to farmers. He was also on the local council.
Next are two houses Awelfa where Mrs Annie Evans lived with her daughter Blanche and two sons Ieuan and Geraint. Blanche became the District Nurse, Ieuan lost life in North Africa during the war and Geraint was a "Consciencous Objector" during the war. In Oralto lived Mr Tom Jones, Special Constable, and his wife Mary Sarah, my mother's sister, the twins Charles and Patricia, John Malcolm and Barbara Evelyn. Back past Dai Isaac's shop and up a narrow steep footpath to Fron Villa where another Capt Jenkins lived with his family. His grandson, Bernard and I were very friendly. Capt Jenkins became famous when he brought the first British ship through the Panama Canal. Next door is Messina Park where Capt Tom Rees and his wife lived. Unfortunately she lost her life in a Fire accident in their coal shed. Going down the lane the large house looking over the village and Cardigan Bay was called Gowan Bank, today it is called Cam Nesaf.
Across the main road was a thatched cottage, Penffordd, where a Mrs Davies lived with her son Morgan. Penffordd, the cottage disappeared many years ago and the main road has been widened. Next on top of the hill is Dewi Villa's garage then going down the hill towards the bridge on the left is Dewi Villa where Captain Evans "Ianthe" (named after his ship) lived with his sister Annie. Capt. Evans was an avid chapelgoer and had a deep bass voice.
Across the road is Rock Villa the family had a business in London and were related to Mr D Isaac Jones. Down from Dewi Villa on the comer of Union Street is Rosehill where my uncle Lawrence James Jones lived with his wife Olwen ( nee Mathias) and daughter Iona. When Captain Rees died they bought and moved to Messina. My Uncle Lawrence was the Chief Steward on the second ship I joined, the "S. S. Dalmore". Also in the crew was Capt Johnny Evans, Llwynderw and A. B. Milton Chapman, Seaview. Across the street and slightly below is Gwynfa where Mr Davies Wern Farm and his sister lived after retiring from the farm. He was in great demand as an adjudicator at agricultural shows.
Down Union Street the house on the left BroDawel where Mr John Arthur Williams lived with his wife. Across the street is Glen View where John Williams Wheelwright lived with his son David Gwilym and daughter-in-law Rosina. Next door is Llwynderw where Capt Johnny Evans lived with his wife Lizzie, son Clifford and daughters Betty and Jean. Garth Vale is across the street where Stephen (Styfyn) Jones lived with his wife, son Morgan James and two daughters Nellie Louvaine and Tsarina. Stephen Jones sold paraffin to the farmers and outlying districts. Next door to "Garth Vale" is Trenova. where Mr Williams and his sister lived. He became an Inspector with the Crosville Bus Company. Next door to Trenova is "Preswylfa" where Irfon Jo nes and his sister Mildred lived. Irfon bad been to sea and used to tell me that he had visited Vancouver a few times and thought it to be the prettiest city and harbour he'd ever seen. After living here for over 30 years I agree with him. Across the street was Minawel. where Dai Davies, a bosun at sea, and his wife Marged Jane lived with their two sons, Gwynfryn and Gordon. Gwynfryn is exactly one week older than I am Back across the street was the stone wall surrounding the orchard of Captain Jenkins, Ddol and next to Minawel was the hay rick of Union Villa.
Going down Union Street one passes Garth Vale's field where the village football team played their games. During bay harvesting the lads then helped with the haymaking and took it to the rick in Garth Vale. Today there are houses built in the field. Down towards the path leading to the beach are three houses, the first one No 1 Terrace where my paternal grandfather and grandmother lived. He was a retired sea captain. In No 2 Terrace lived Mr Tom Parry Jones and wife with his son Olaf and two daughters Nancy and Peggy. Tom Parry was the Postman for the outlying district and in winter it was a hard route up to Esgairarth farm, down the dell across the river Arth and climb up the other side to the farms Pant yr Onnen, Lluest, Caebislan and Brynpeithyll. His father was called Tom Parry Mawr and therefore he was called Twm Parry Bach. No 3 Terrace was occupied by Miss Annie Jones Adolphi. Back up Union Street to Union Villa where Mr John Jones and his wife Dilla and two daughters Edwina and Llinos lived. Mr Jones owned the first four houses in Water Street also the cobbler's workshop an old thatched roof cottage.
Near the workshop was Mr Jones' garage, he was the first to bring a motor car to the village. Across was Corby Coal Yard where Tim Jones had his stable and stockpile of coal. He had a large Shire horse to pull the cart when selling bags of coal around the village, Next door to Union Villa is the Belmont, Captain James Jones and his wife Peggy, three sons and four daughters. One of his sons was Lawrence Jones Rose Hill, another son Henry, was captain on Shell Tankers. Aunt Peggy was my grandmother Sarah's youngest sister. There were four sisters living in Aberarth, Peggy in the Belmont, Sarah Lampshire in No 1 Water Street, Lizzie Pugh in Tegfan and Nell Jones in No 1 Picton. Next door to the Belmont is Gwelfryn where another retired sea captain lived with his wife and son Melville . In Gwelfryn was a so called Chinese Room as everything in it came from Hong Kong and China Across the street is Sea View where a family from Scotland came Capt. Chapman, his wife Gertrude and two sons from a previous marriage. Sidney became Chief Inspector of Police at Aberystwyth and Eric, who during the war served as an officer on HMS Achillies at the Battle of the River Plate with the Graf Spee. After the war he married Rhondda and lived in Christchurch, New Zealand and became the New Zealand Consul General in Hawaii. All the children learnt Welsh and were fluent in both reading and writing. Eric won a first prize at school for Welsh beating all the locals. He visited Vancouver a few years ago and as we had been corresponding we met and enjoyed a get together. Unfortunately he passed away in November 2000. From the second marriage there were three boys, Teddy, Milton and Bobble and two girls Rosalind and Elsie. Teddy had been to sea with Uncle Lawrence and eventually became a Chief Steward. Milton served with me on the SS Dalmore under the command of Capt Johnny Evans Llwynderw. Only the two sisters survive today.
Next door to Sea View was Colombo, now renamed Tal-y-Werydd. It was named Colombo as one of the sons had died at sea and was buried in Colombo Ceylon. There lived my Uncle Capt David John Davies and his sister Jane Mary. Their father Capt John Davies was master of the steamer Norseman trading between the Bristol Channel Ports and Cardigan and Aberaeron. When the ship was expected, my mother often told me she and Jane would climb on top of the garden wall in Colombo with binoculars so that they could see out to Cardigan Bay and when the ship was spotted they would high tail it to Aberaeron to meet the ship. Across from Colombo is Wenallt where Mr Williams, Bank Farm lived in retirement and next door is Greenland where Capt Tom Jenkins lived with his wife. She was Irish and unfortunately could not speak Welsh. Directly across the Street and next door to Gwelfryn is the Corby where Mr Tim Jones Coal Merchant lived with his wife and maid, Catherine. Next door to Corby are two large houses overlooking the village centre, Arfryn and Ardwyn; built for sea captains on their retirement. Capt Tom Jones, his wife and daughter lived in Ardwyn. His last command before retirement was the Empress of Australia. Across from Ardwyn are two cottages Morawel and Penbanc. I was brought up in Morawel. James Thomas (Jiams) and his wife lived in Penbanc. He was a village character. He had not had much of an education. Before the First World War, as a young man, be worked as a farm hand on the farm Penrhiw on the outskirts of the village on the road to Pennant reputedly at the time the largest farm in the county. As a farmhand he was exempt from Military Service, however unwittingly he signed on the dotted line of a call up form by mistake and was called up for military service. During his training the army found he was excellent with animals especially horses, so Jiams was posted to Ireland to train mules and horses who hauled the guns on the Western Front. Over a million horses were killed during the war. Jiams never saw active service and remained in Ireland for the duration. On his demobilization and return finding work was extremely difficult, even on farms. By this time he was married and to pr ovide food for the table he started a "Rag and Bone " business. He also kept two ferrets to catch and sell rabbits. He also did odd jobs around the village and dug graves in the local cemetery on top of Banc Bryn Dewi next to the church. It was all rock and occasionally water seeped during the digging. One of the many stones of Jiams' life is that on a hot day in the middle of summer Jiams was nearly finished digging a grave and was up to his knees in mud , taking a short rest he happened to look up towards Llanon and saw the Crosville bus coming down past Bryn Haul on its way from Aberystwyth to Aberaeron. With a healthy thirst from his efforts Jiams ran down the hill to Cilgwgan to meet the bus on the main road to go to Aberaeron for a pint or two of beer. In those days the buses stopped anywhere for passengers. So Jiams got on the bus and the conductor was Dai Bach Aberaeron, who seeing the state that Jiams was in asked "Good God, man where have you come from?" Jiams slowly answered " I have just risen from the grave."
Down the street a little from Penbanc on the right hand side was the bakehouse and next to it the cottage where Mrs Ann Mary Badger and her daughter Nancy and father Twm Parry Mawr lived. Mrs Badger baked bread, scones etc. her father had been a seaman and I used to like getting her permission to go in and listen to him playing his concertina and sing sea shanties. Further down the street was the cobbler, Dai Hughes' workshop. He came down on his motor bike every day from Llanon and was friendly with Yrnor Jenkins as they were both interested in motor bikes. Next to the workshop was Union Villa's garage.
Facing Water Street is Bethel Chapel built in 1803 and was the centre of the village life. Service every Sunday morning and evening, Sunday School in the afternoon with a special for class seamen whether retired or on leave. On Wednesday night Band of Hope run by Mr Jones Minffordd, the other coal merchant who together with his partner Alban Glo who lived next door to Minffordd at Golygfor on the way to Pennant. Mr and Mrs Jones and their niece Nancy lived in Minffordd; Nancy taught music and was Bethel's organist. She was very friendly with my mother whom she regarded as her second mother. She used to visit and practice on the organ that mother had. That organ is here in Vancouver now and still sounds great although it is over 125 years old. Up the hill a little from Minffordd was the large farm Penrhiw, at that time reputed to be the largest farm in the county. There Mr and Mrs Lewis lived with their two sons John Gwilym, David Daniel and daughter Margaret Mary. Penrhiw provided the village with butter.
No 1 Water Street is where my grandmother Sarah Lampshire lived with my mother Hannah and I. I was born in No 1. My grandmother lived in Mount Pleasant until my grandfather Capt. Charles Lampshire was lost with the big sailing ship Cape Wrath off the Columbia River in Oregon USA in a severe Pacific Storm In January 1901. It took three months for the sad news to reach Aberarth. Being the Commodore Captain of his company he was supposed to take command of the Company's first steamship on his return. In No 2 Water Street Mr John Daniel Edwards, wife Olwen sons Hywel Teifi and Ken and daughters Alice and Myfi lived. John Daniel was a carpenter at sea having learnt his trade from John Williams Wheelwright Glen View. He was a prisoner of war in Germany for three years. Prof. Hywel Teifi Edwards needs no introduction. His brother Ken, joined the Cardiganshire Police. Myfi, the youngest daughter won a prestigious prize for piano playing at the Royal National Eisteddfod and is in great demand as an organist and pianist at chapels and cymanfaoedd.
No 3 Water street is where Mr Thomas Jones(Adams) lived, a retired coal miner from South Wales. Another retired coal miner lived in No 4, Mr David Owen and his wife Polly and son Trevor . Aunty Polly was an aunt to all the children in Water Street related or not. No 5 is of course Ty Capel or Chapel House, there lived Mr William Evans, his wife Maggie Elena ( a dear friend of mother's) their daughters Catherine Eileen, Eirlys, Nancy and son Brynmor. Mr Will Evans was one of the four Aberarthians on my first ship the MV Lottie R where I learnt seamanship, splicing wires, ropes dozens of knots as well as how to carve model sailing ships and put them in bottles, making strong door mats from rope yarn that last forever never mind how many times they get thumped against a wall to release dust! I still have some in my home in Vancouver which are 60 years old and in good condition.
No 6 Water street was where Mr Dai Isaac Jones lived. Right opposite is a path that leads to Tegfan and Mount Pleasant. Next to Tegfan, Mr Tom Pier Jones and his wife three sons, David Thomas, Christmas and Ifan Pier lived. Tom Pier was a brother to Betsy Jones No 2 Crown Court, and had been at sea for many years. Mr Thomas Evans Pugh and wife Lizzie lived in Tegfan. Aunty Lizzie was grandmother Sarah Lampshire's sister. Thomas Evans had a grocery and general merchant shop in No 7 Water Street, with his storehouse across the street from the shop. Next to the storehouse was the workshop of the cobbler Mr Thomas John Williams. No 9 Water Street was Bank View where another retired Bosun lived Shincin Jones father of Marged Jane Davies Min Yr Awel, son Thomas Hughes and daughters Marie Glendora, Helen and Clara. Later Mrs James, son Eurfyl and daughter Maira came to Bank View. Eurfyl went to sea and Maira. was in Land Army during the war. Mrs Hannah ( Ben) Jones lived, with her invalid daughter in No 10, her other daughter was Maggie Elena Ty Capel. In No 11 lived Mrs Maria Jones and her claim to fame was that every year she dug up the first new potatoes in the village.
Going half way up Rhiw Crown on the right was the Post Office. The Post Mistress was Miss Ann Michael who lived there with her nephew Glanmor, nieces Aerona and Nancy. They were a brother and sisters to David Iorwerth and John Daniel Edwards. Back to Crown Place and the house Crown Court where Mr Evan Davy. and his sister lived. He was a Radio Officer at sea and it was rumoured that he and Maldwyn Laura could communicate with each other by wireless using Morse Code from both houses. I have no proof if it was true. Mrs Betsy Jones lived in No 2 Crown Place with her three sons, Dai Lewis, Vernon and Howard. Dai Lewis was one of the four from Aberarth in the crew of the MV Lottie R the latest and largest of the fleet of Stone and Rolfe & Co. Swansea and was named after the owner's wife Lottie Rolfe. The Captain was Capt. Brodigan from Aberystwyth, the second mate was Mr Percy Jones(an uncle) Picton Aberarth, AB Will Evans, Ty Capel and Eurwyn Jones, Lletyshon Farm. Dai Lewis left the ship to get married in Scotland and I was offered the berth to start my seagoing career. I joined in November 1939 when the ship arrived in Avonmouth.
In No 1 Crown Place lived Mr John Jones, another sea carpenter and his wife Ann, their daughter Nellie and son John; he had sailed with Bosun Yrnor Jenkins for years, Next door is Min yr Afon where Mrs Catherine Williams Plâs and her sons moved to on the death of Capt. Tom Jones.
Down Water Street all the way turning right at the chapel towards the footbridge over the river then a sharp left and behind the chapel was a hidden cottage Haulwen where Mr Mathew James Jones and his wife Elizabeth lived. Elizabeth was the sister of Mrs Olwen Edwards No 2 Water Street and Mathew James was a third officer on the ships running the blockade with food to Spain during the Civil War.
There also was another noted Captain from Aberaeron a brother to Mrs Capt. Jenkins Ddol who was named Capt. Potato Jones who did the same thing and there was yet another local Capt. called Capt. Ham and Egg Jones. Unfortunately Mathew lost his life, in the Spanish campaign. No 1 Picton was where my Grandmother Sarah Lampshire's other sister Nell Jones lived with her son Percy (second mate on the MV Lottie R. ) and daughter Margaret Green. The houses No l,2,3 Picton were owned by Mr E.T.Davies of the Mill. His son Evan Glyn after his marriage moved into No 2 Picton, however soon afterwards his bride was alarmed with the sound of doors opening and closing during the night and crockery rattling. It got so bad that I distinctly remember a clergyman being called as an exorcist to rid the house of any supernatural beings. Shortly afterwards Mrs Davis (Evan Glyn's mother) died and Evan Glyn and his wife moved back to live with their father in Felindre. People who came into the house afterwards never heard any more noises in the night. Mrs Davies lived in No 3 Picton, the mother of Mrs Olwen Edwards and Mrs Elizabeth Jones grandmother of Hywel Teifi Edwards. My mother, Hannah Lampshire, had a lovely soprano voice and was noted for it, Aunty Lizzie Pugh sang Alto, Mrs Olwen Edwards another lovely soprano, her sister Elizabeth an Alto and Helen Williams Frodolau another Alto. In chapel then the singing was outstanding with the added male voices of Owen James Tenor and Capt. Evans Dewi Villa, Bass under the able leadership of John Arthur Williams.
Going further down past the Gardens are two houses Cilfton and Bempton, Mrs Blodwen Evans and her two sons Evan William (Ianto William) and Dai Aeron lived in Clifton. Ianto's hobby was pigeons. He had several dozen including tumblers, racing pigeons and homing pigeons. He was an electrician at sea and served as such on one of my ships with me. In Bempton lived Mr Tom and Emily Evans and their son Dafydd Thomas Evans and two adopted sons Trevor and David John. Aunty Emily was my father's sister and a daughter of Capt and Mrs Jones No 1 Terrace. Tom having worked in London was fondly called Twm Llundain. He was the village postman and very popular always whistling merrily on his rounds. Hearing his whistle even before he came around a corner made everyone look forward to receiving a letter.
Aberarth, the village then was an ideal place for children . there were plenty of activities in the summer, swimming in the sea, at low tide catching prawns, an occasional lobster and picking winkles and limpets for supper; fishing in the river for trout and sewin (sea trout); hike up to the woods to pick hazel nuts, blackberries, play cricket, tennis, and football in the school yard. It grieves me to admit that when I visited the village last in 1998 it filled me with sadness because for the first time in over 250 years I had no relative living in Aberarth. Today there are no happy sounds of children playing, one can walk around the village and not see a soul. Today's villagers are strangers to one another. There is no school, no mill, no woollen factory, no shops, no post office no cobblers, no carpenters , no bakehouse and no school bell to ring in the new year . It seems that the newcomers to the old, village have no interest in its history or to keep the old traditions alive. It is a sad situation! My name is Ieuan Lampshire-Jones and I am the last Master Mariner born and reared in the village. As I draw near to my 80th year it is my objective and also a request of Hywel Teifi Edwards to record my thoughts of Aberarth while I am still able to do so.
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