Snippets IX


On the seventh of June 1931 Griffith Thomas Ael y Bryn was on watch at the Coastguard’s lookout at Bytilith when he felt and heard an earthquake at two in the morning. He recorded it in his diary ‘ Earthquake at 2 am, many who were in their beds heard it. In towns away from here chimneys fell.’ This was the North Sea earthquake, the largest ever experienced in Britain.


Stranded on Bardsey

On the seventeenth of January 1891 John Griffith Pencaerau went across to Bardsey on behalf of the Methodists to report on how the ministry on the island was getting on. Due to bad weather he was forced to stay on the island until the twenty seventh of January, when he was finally able to return to the mainland and his home at Pencaerau.


Neigwl y Plas (Palace of Neigwl)

On February the 4th 1788, Plas Neigwl, a timber built manor house dating back to the 10th century, went on fire, and burnt to the ground. Three infants Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary Jones lost their lives. An inquest into their deaths was held on the 7th at Llandegwning Church.

“On the night of the fourth of February 1788 aforesaid Neigwl y Plas in the Parish of Llandegwning accidentally casually and by Misfortune took fire and was consumed, and it so happened that they were suffocated smothered and burnt to death in their beds”

The house was never re-built, and no trace of it remains today.

Neigwl y Plas was obviously an important place in times gone by, as Edward I, King of England stayed there in 1284, from the 28th to the 30th of July, when he was on his way to Bardsey Island, he arrived on Bardsey on the 2nd of August.


Small World

In 1957 whilst Edgar Morris Ael y Bryn was out working in Australia, he visited a second hand bookshop in Sydney with the intention of buying a book on photography. He saw just the book he wanted it was ‘Negative Faults and how to correct them’ by Frank Harris A.R.P.S. part of a series of books known as ‘photofacts’. Edgar bought the book and went back to his lodgings, and on browsing through the book much to his surprise he found two very familiar photographs Penarfynydd farmyard and Porth Ysgo Bay with Bardsey in the background.

penarfynydd_01.jpg (54886 bytes)                       penarfynydd_02.jpg (39329 bytes)

Thanks to Mr Edgar Morris for this snippet.


Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald August 23 1851.

Pwllheli – On Wednesday last, near twenty persons, male and female, from Rhiw, Llanfaelrhys, and the neighbourhoods, passed through this town, on their way to Liverpool, to embark for the United States of America.


Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald January 31 1905.

There was a serious fire in William Davies, Tyn Mynydd’s barn and everything in it was destroyed but the building was saved with the aid of his neighbours.


Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald April 4 1905.

The incline of the manganese mines Rhiw has been completed, but the jetty remains unfinished. Although there are only a few men employed at the mines the ships continue to carry cargo from them.


Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald June 6 1905.

On tuesday evening whilst at work in the mines Mr David Roberts, Llainfatw, Llangwnadl suffered a broken leg when a boulder fell on him. He was soon attended to by Dr Griffith, Castellmarch.


Bedford OB SL71

This is a photo of one of the old Crosville buses that used to run from Pwllheli to Rhiw and back to Pwllheli at three on Saturday afternoons in the fifties. I used to travel on it often and it was very plush as compared to the old ones.

The bus now belongs to Vista Coaches, Yatton near Bristol and is used for special occasions as well as for weddings. The bus is still in the old Crosville colours and is owned by a Welshman from Neath. Corgi have made a perfect die cast model of her in the ‘Original Omnibus series’.

Thanks to Mr Carroll Hughes for this snippet.


Gorse Burning  

In the winter months between November and March, Gorse burning is a regular and essential part of hill and mountain management. It’s timed because there are no nesting birds at this period, it’s essential so that come the spring new grass and plants can grow without being choked by gorse, heather, and dead bracken. It’s a tradition that goes back meny centuries, and it is very carefully planned, and rotated from year to year. And no one has come up with a better solution yet. The local Fire Brigade is informed before hand, but unfortunately they are still inundated with calls from people that see these fires, and dial 999, without a second thought, thinking that the whole village is threatened by this inferno. So if you spot one of these fires, please give the local farmers a call first, it will save a lot of time, money and effort for a lot of people.



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