Tom Rowlands

I remember the carriers from Rhiw that used to go to Pwllheli, there was T Thomas Tyn Llan Llanfaelrhys, Hugh Griffith Tyn lon Bach, Hugh Jones Tyn Lon Fawr, Griff Williams Bryn Awel, W Hughes Conion, G Williams Fron Oleu, Evan Jones Penrallt and J Williams Talafon. Talafon would go two or three times a week, two carts a day more often than not. Apart from having a cart to carry coal and feedstuff Tom Tyn Llan had a ‘Closed Carriage’ to carry passengers. I remember once going on a Sunday School trip to Pwllheli and on hills we’d have to walk, some of the older boys would be ahead of us and would be halfway to Pwllheli before we caught up with them, some of their parents would be worried in case they’d lost their way, but they’d raced ahead as they were so happy to be on a trip.

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    Horse and trap                    Talafon Bus 1920

The first two vehicles to come to the area were to Talafon and Penrallt, it was an old Ford one ton that came to Talafon, and on market days they’d take the sides off and put in seats to carry passengers, they’d pick up quite a few farmers from the River Soch area and the bus would always be full when it got to Pwllheli.

I can recall shortly after I started working buying a new bike with my partner Roland Syntyr, we got it from Efail Saithbont and it cost £5. On Fair day we decided to race the lorry, we started off at the same time but were in Pwllheli before the lorry arrived, but it was harder coming home.

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"Ishmael Jones"

At about this time Willie ‘Reifion came back from South Wales and bought a ‘Buick’, it carried six people, at the same time more or less Ishmael Jones bought a car it had a big black cat on the bonnet as a mascot.  On Fair nights it wasn’t unusual for the car to carry a dozen or more people they were everywhere even on the mudguards and the floor!! We used to have some fun at the fair in Sarn, we’d walk there about four miles and at about midnight come home in Willie ‘Reifion’s car. When Willie was walking he’d always say ‘This side for the hearing’, he used to say his loss of hearing was due to the time he worked in the mines in South Wales. After midsummer fairs we’d come home from Sarn pick up a spade and pitcher and go to Porth Ysgo to gather sand-eels, we’d be home by about seven and sleep until midday!!!! The shops of Rhiw would always be full at hiring fair times, Evan Hughes kept ‘Siop Newydd’ after his discharge from the army, he had seats around the shop so the lads could sit down and have a good yarn and a lot of fun, it was a great place and would be open until ten at night, the Post Office was the same, the same family still live there now. There was a shop in ‘Reifion and one at Pisgah House, why they had an English name in such a rural area I don’t know, it was written in large print above the door. The old woman that kept the shop was called Jane, she only sold a few goods such as lamp oil, tea, sugar, raisins, currants, flour and yeast. Everyone used to get their yeast there, in those days everyone baked their own bread. I remember in Pengroes the bread was baked at the corner of the fireplace with a pan and griddle, we children used to gather gorse or bracken, there was plenty of fuel in the mountain nearby, later I remember going to Ty Nant Aberdaron or Cae Rhos Rhoshirwaun to fetch bread. The children would go to Pisgah to buy a ha’penny’s worth of sweets, whatever Jane weighed on the scales be it flour or yeast, she’d always skim a little off to taste, her mouth was always white from corner to corner. She had a son who worked in the mines locally and a son and daughter that went to Canada earlier this century I heard a lot about Dafydd Pisgah, he was a horseman on one of the larger farms in Llyn, his horses were in really good condition and well worth looking at, they used to say he’d buy drugs to improve their condition, horsemen often thought more of the master’s horses than the master himself. After the ‘Great War’ I remember Dafydd coming to visit his mother before returning to Canada, he was dressed in military uniform with a beret with ribbons on the side. Now there’s a new house there called Awelon with English people living in it.

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"Tom Rowlands on the left"

There was a house of the same name as ours under the same roof as our home it was called Pengroes Dafydd Hughes, the children had grown up and Dafydd was a labourer on a farm in the Penygroeslon area. He got a summons from the Magistrates Court in Pwllheli for shooting pheasants, the Chairman of the Bench asked him “ I understand you’ve been shooting game ?” the answer he gave was “ Well if you call crows game” and he was let off. His daughter Jane was a servant at Meillionydd, one of the largest farms in Rhiw, someone asked her “How long have you been working there Jane?” and she replied “ I’ve been there summer after winter and winter after summer” to which end the person was no wiser!!!

Thanks to Mrs M Hughes for the original.


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