Rowland Willlams

Bryn Golau, Rhiw.

Written in April 1946

When he was 72 years old.

           (Photo circa 1920)

Market day and Pwllheli Fair,

The town of Pwllheli stands about 12 miles from Rhiw, and a market is held there every week on Wednesdays.  In the old days the means of transport from Rhiw to Pwllheli was horse and cart (or trap).  One had to start early to market and come back late, and it took 3 hours to go and 3 hours to come back.  Car Conion, Car Tynllan, and Car Tanymuria carried the people of the district to market.  I remember well as we as children used to argue who had the best horse and who would arrive back first, and we used to go to the top of Rhiw to meet the 'Car' and there we would be talking and arguing about who had the fastest horse.  As far as I know the owners of the horses were just as silly as we were, because they also would have a race to town and a race home, whipping the horses and shouting for a place to pass each other and the horse would be galloping and sweating. They would start very early for Pwllheli. They would walk from the top of Rhiw down the steep slope for about a mile till they reached the flat Ground; load the car by a place called Bryn Ffoulk.  Sometimes the car would be very full and other times fairly empty.  I've seen as many as 12 or 15 (people) in the one car. One also had to walk part of the way, the slopes being too steep for the horses to pull the load.  They would load at Bryn Ffoulk, come off at Rhiwdar and walk over Mynytho, load again and come off and walk down the Llanbedrog slope and load again at the bottom of Llanbedrog slope for Pwllheli. After reaching the town, thatís where everybody would be busy collecting their goods for the market. One would have a basket of butter, another a basket of eggs, another a basket of fowls and another with a load of rabbits on his back.  Everybody would look after his own goods.  There would be a valuer in the Hall pricing the butter, eggs, fowls and rabbits and everybody would complain about the low prices. There would be carts on the Maes with loads of piglets, those would be priced also. In the middle of all this activity the time would come to prepare for going home, and to collect the goods together to pack them in the car for the return journey.

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Pwllheli fair

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If it was inconvenient to go to market it was a hundred times more inconvenient to come home in the car.  Parcels, baskets and all sorts of goods thrown in a heap until the car was filled to the brim.  There would be no place to sit and no place to put your feet down in the car.  After getting some sort of order with the packing they would start for home about 5 or 6 o clock, with everybody fighting for a place in the car and failing to get a proper place between the baskets, goods, parcels and sometimes a piglet or two or three making the place as inconvenient as it was possible for it to be, but start they had to despite the discomfort. They would stop in Llanbedrog on the way home and feed the horses in the pub, and indeed feed most of the travelers as well.

Fairs were also held in Pwllheli, Hiring Fairs and Fairs to sell animals from all over the country.  It was with the cars already named that we would go to Pwllheli.  Indeed, if we wanted o place in the car it was necessary to ask for it a month or 6 weeks previously in order to secure it.  

Two Cars from Llyn going to Market.




I remember well how the farmers would start early with the animals for Pwllheli Fair, hours before daylight since it took a long time to reach there. Cattle would be driven there to sell as well as horses and if they failed to sell them they would have to walk them home again the same day. They would walk cattle from Rhiw, Aberdaron, and Ynys Enlli to the Fair to sell.

Today things have changed for the better. Nobody walks animals to the Fair today. No, the animals of Pen Llyn are sold in Sarn and if an animal is to go to Pwllheli a lorry is ready to take it without any trouble in the world. The same with people, buses to take them to town in about an hour instead of 3 hours as in days gone past. It's strange how things improve, and are always getting more convenient.

(To be continued !!!!)

Pwllheli fair Photographs from Mr E Gruffydd.


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