Robert Thomas, Derwen built schooners and they cost
around eighteen hundred to two thousand pounds to build. His foreman was Robert
Parry, Bol Llaith, Penrallt, Nefyn and he was later succeeded by Evan Jones,
Rhos Bach, Nefyn. They had a slip to launch the ships and they also had what was
known as a patent slip to get the ships up for repairs and refurbishment. The
patent slip was worked by horses that would walk around in circles to turn a big
wheel which had chains on, much like a bicycle chain, to drag the ships up on to
cradles. Robert Thomas was the main builder in the area and very often two ships
would be built at the same time in his yard. Owen Griffith owned the yard
adjoining Robert Thomasís.
There were two smithies on Nefyn beach and three
blacksmiths working them namely Evan Williams, Harry Williams and Thomas the
blacksmith. Ships were also built just below Aberafon.
The wood to build these ships would come from various
places apart from the woodlands of Caernarfonshire, places such as
Meirionethshire and Newhaven. The baulkes to build the masts would be imported
from America and the ships that carried these had what was known as Boke Ports
on their bows. These Boke Ports were trap doors where the timber could slide in
and out for loading and discharging as it would be impossible to do so in any
other way as they were long and bulky timbers. Men would come with horses and
wood wagons from Pwllheli to unload, these wagons would also be used to bring
wood from woodlands in the county.
The men employed in Nefyn and Porthdinllaen not only came from the immediate vicinity but also from outlaying villages as well as from Pwllheli. Quite a few of the carpenters came from the village of Llaniestyn and they would have an early start to walk to Porthdinllaen by the time they started work at six am. It would be a long day and they would finish at eight pm. During the winter months when the days drew in, many of the workers would take pieces of wood home and spent their evenings shaping the wood into wedges for use the following day, whilst others would be down on the beach before daybreak working round the fires preparing the oakum for caulking the ships. For this they would earn about 12/- to 14/- a week.
"Building the Venus at Nefyn in 1880"
Joiners would be responsible for making the cabins and
furnishing the ships. Men such as Thomas Jones, Caerpwll and Thomas Jones, Pen y
One who carved figureheads was Evan Hughes, Pen yr Orsedd, but the majority of the work force, were carpenters.
List of carpenters
Parry, Tyn Llwyd, Morfa Nefyn.
Parry, Bol Llaith, Penrallt, Nefyn.
Parry, Caepwll, Morfa.
Jones, Caerpwll, Morfa.
Jones, Ben a Jun, Llwyn Gwalch, Morfa.
Jones, Pwll Blew, Morfa.
Roberts, Glanrafon, Morfa.
Hughes, Penrhos, Morfa.
Hughes, Penrorsedd Morfa.
Williams, Werddon, Morfa.
Rowlands, Fron Deg.
Williams , Caergwrle.
Roberts Cae Coch, Morfa.
Williams, Llain Fadryn.
Humphreys, Cae Bach.
Thomas, Taiír Lon.
Williams, Llwyn Mary Mynydd Nefyn.
William Roberts Siop Glanrafon.
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