"Lizzie‘s Memories I"

  "Lizzie in 1910"

I was born two years into the twentieth century, and I remember well what happened when I was four years old. My father worked the evening shift, from four until midnight, at the Manganese mines at Nant Gadwen, my mother’s friend would come and spend the evenings with us, she lived with her parents in a cottage lower down the mountain, by the way she’s still alive today, still a Miss and well known in many circles.

During the evening a ghost came and opened the garden gate, there was a loud noise, as if a chain were being dragged along. My mother ran to lock the door, put out the lamp and crept quietly upstairs, to see if she could see what the ghost looked like. It was a really dark night and all she could see was something big and white, and she was certain that it was some kind of ghost. As I was so scared I didn’t have to go to bed and we all gathered huddled around the fire. Hours later my father came home and after he was told about the ghost, he went out to the garden to investigate, the ghost turned out to be none other then George Stoneman’s old white donkey that had wandered, off dragging its chain behind it , which accounted for all the noise!!! Father had to accompany mother’s friend home as she was so scared, even though the mystery of the ghost had been solved. I should explain that George Stoneman had come to work as a carpenter in the mines, he was from Devon and built a bungalow for himself and his family where they lived for a few years. I remember his children at school with me, Leslie the eldest, Don, and Violet the youngest, and they became as welsh as you or I. George Stoneman met with an accident, whilst working on the jetty at Nant Gwtheyrn, it turned out to be fatal, and after that the family returned to Devon.

I can recall many names that were familiar to me back then, such as Twm Sais, Dafydd Caerlleon, Nafi Mawr, and Mr Shaw the manager. At this time ships would come to load manganese, there were two jetties, one at Hells Mouth and the other at Porth Ysgo, my greatest delight before I ever went to school was to take tea to my father down at Porth Ysgo on the days that the ships were loading, the sandwiches from that basket were the tastiest ever!!! I only remember the names of a few of the ships such as ‘The Carligford Loch’, ‘Maud,’Jennie’, Sara Anne and the Mabel, there were a couple of others that ran to Pwllheli The Dora and The Rebecca.


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