Rowland Willlams

Bryn Golau, Rhiw.

Written in April 1946

When he was 72 years old.

           (Photo circa 1920)

Choosing a Career
A very important period in anyone's life is the time when one comes to choose his career. And when you think that so few careers are available, a young man is placed in some disadvantage to start life. Men differ in physical aspects, in mental approaches and therefore different persons are adaptable to different posts. Some may go to careers where they would be more suitable elsewhere. Some callings do not require much talent or genius, they only do their everyday work, demands are not made on their mental attitudes to improve maters. Such work is very disadvantageous to mental development. An advantage to the mind is the work which has varied duties. But there again the scope is so very limited. Having given deep thought to all this my mother decided that I should be a shoemaker. Perhaps she could have chosen a much better calling for me now if the circumstances had allowed. But I had no option but to give in to my mother's decision, and therefore I was apprenticed as a shoemaker. For two years I had to work for nothing, without a penny, and on top of that I had to pay for my apprenticeship. I had to buy my own tools. After I had finished the two years and mastered the craft of the shoemaker, I went to work to Aberdaron to a person called Humphrey Jones, Pen Sarn. There they had eight shoemakers working in the shop and they just could not meet with the demands, the work was so much in demand. Humphrey Jones used to keep a pony and trap and he used to go out into the country to gather shoes for repairs, and be also used to measure feet for new shoes. He used to return with the cart full of shoes ready for repairs. After the repairs had been completed he had the little cart again to deliver the shoes back to their owners. He was a very industrious man himself. He used to get up very early in the morning and he was very late going to bed. At that time most likely he was the most successful shoe dealer in the whole of Llyn. After working in Aberdaron for some years I came to Rhiw and kept my own business. This went on for years, but unfortunately I lost my health. Perhaps the work did not agree with me. Because of this I had a job as a part-time postman in Rhiw and I carried on with this job for 35 years, walking ten miles every day through all sorts of weather.


During this period I was chosen by the Board of Trade as an officer in charge of the Life Saving Apparatus, which job I held for several years. A group of 21 volunteers belonged to this company, each volunteer having a number and according to every number were the duties of this particular person. Now, every three months they had a drill, and an officer from the Board of Trade used to come here to give details of various duties. We had a rocket machine to throw the ropes on to any shipwrecks in order to be able to save any crew from drowning. Most likely hundreds were being saved every year through the life saving apparatus.
On the top of Mynydd y Rhiw there was a lookout hut where a watchman kept an eye on the weather, and they were supposed to inform any ships if the weather was going to be band. They had a telephone in this particular hut, from where you could inform the company so that they could go out with their apparatus to help them and bring them to safety.
After many years with this company I had to retire because of my age. When I did actually retire I was presented with a medal by the Board of Trade in recognition of the work I had done. Written on this medal were the words "Presented by the Board of Trade to Rowland Williams for long service with the Rocket Life Saving apparatus".


bedd_rowland_dg.jpg (35454 bytes)

Rowland Williams




We hope that you liked the six page account of his life in Rhiw and Llyn by Rowlant Williams, and hopefully more of these will come to light in the future, as they are a priceless part of our past history.


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