Snippets III


John Williams,

John Williams Brynhyfryd was a Chief buyer for Harrods during the thirties. In 1936 he was asked to be president of the village sports day which was held on the 8th of August at the time he lived at ‘Hillcrest’ Millhill London. He built Hirael for his retirement in Rhiw.


Tan yr Ardd,

Huw and Robin Williams of Tan yr Ardd were both seafarers, Huw went on to live in Porthdinllaen and became 2nd cox of the lifeboat there. Robin Williams sailed on Porthmadoc sailing ships along with William Parc y Brenin ( Wil King ). Eventually Robin and his family moved to Nantgwtheyrn to work at the quarry there and Robin was in charge of loading ships at the jetty, he became known as ‘ Robin Llongau’.

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Tan yr Ardd


Morgan the Sieve-maker,

Morgan Griffith, Bwlch y Rhiw. (circa 1750) was one of the early methodists and was arrested for preaching on more than one occasion. As his punishment he was ‘press ganged’ into the English Navy and sent to serve aboard the frigate ‘Colchester’. The ‘Colchester’ sailed off the Scottish coast keeping an eye on the French ships who it was feared were about to bring ‘The Young Pretender’ back to the Scottish Highlands.

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Frigate Colchester



After the village hall was opened in the fifties, dances were regularily held, with appearances by live bands such as Ray and his Hawaian Band, The New Majestics and The Ambassadors, tickets cost 2/6 and the ‘ M C’ was usually Mr Clive Chidley Sarn.

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Clive Chidley


William Williams Brynhyfryd.

On June 25th 1894 William Williams was killed in an explosion at the Albion Colliery Cilfynydd South Wales, he was one of 281 men that lost their lives on that fateful day.


Albion Colliery

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On Saturday 25th of June 1894, when just before four o'clock in the morning, a massive explosion ripped through the underground workings killing 281 men and boys, the worst mining disaster in South Wales to that date and only to be surpassed by the explosion at the Universal Colliery Senghenydd in 1913. Many of the bodies brought to the surface were so badly mutilated that identification was virtually impossible and there was several instances of corpses being carried to the wrong houses. Almost everyone in the community lost someone in the disaster; one particular family in Howell Street lost eleven members of the household. The father, four sons and six lodgers were all killed. There were 125 horses employed underground at the time of the explosion, all but two were killed. The cause of the disaster was attributed to the ignition of coal dust following an explosion of firedamp.  


Rhiw Constables.

On Saturday 30th of January 1915 men from Rhiw were chosen as Constables, they were as follows: Owen Carreg Lefain, Griffith Ael Bryn,Owen Brynfran, Griffith Tyn Fron, Sion William, Richard Roberts, Thomas Y Ffor, Robert Pwllmelyn, Evan Salfyr, John Talafon and Jones The School. Their main duties were guarding the coast.


Mary Rowlands,

Mary Rowlands was born and lived as a child in Tyn Borth down on the beach at Hells Mouth. When she was a young child a ship with an Italian crew was wrecked  and the crew were given shelter by Mary’s family, the sailors taught Mary to count in Italian and many years later when she herself was a grandmother she would teach her grandchildren to count in Italian. It is also said that as a baby she was found floating around the kitchen of the house in her cradle after a wave broke into the house during a severe storm one winter.  

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Tyn Borth Rhuol


Ty Canol,

During the war when the mines were being worked at Rhiw, two miners were tunnelling away under Ty Canol when they decided to have some fun and wake Old Jini up. So they decided to add some more powder to create a bigger bang , but with the force of the explosion her whole kitchen collapsed, fortunately no one was injured and Jini got a new kitchen courtesy of Rhiw Mining.



In 1917 The Workers Education Association held their first classess in South Caernarfonshire in Rhiw. They also took the initative in securing a community centre in the early twenties, where funds were raised and land secured for the building of a Village Cultural Centre, which eventually got built in the fifties.


Prolific Sheep (Cutting from a newspaper circa 1935)

A sheep ( Rhiw Breed) belonging to Mr Rowland Williams Tyncae has had ten lambs in the last three years. This year she has four, the lambs and ewe are all doing well. This is exceptional for the Rhiw breed of sheep.

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Rhiw Breed


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