Unit 14 - Local Events

We  bought  the  playing field in the thirties.   At  first  they thought of having the field where the Garage is but there was  no grant  unless the field was big enough to have a  football  pitch and a place for the children to play, they also tried to buy  the field  where  the school is but Mr. Haigh would  not  sell.   The playing  field  committee worked very hard,  they  had  carnivals every  summer and there was always a village queen and  with  the visiting  queens  we had about ten in the procession and  it  was nice  to  see all the village turning out and from the  Ynys  and other places as well.  We had a concert on the Friday before  the Carnival  and Sybil Throndyke was supposed to be there  once  but she did not feel well and she sent her sister to crown the Queen.  The  money was very hard to get as the people were very poor  and most  of  the money was collected with people  going  round  with boxes and it would be good for the young people today to know how hard  it  was then to pay for the playing field.  

Mrs.  Chambers helped a lot with the Carnivals, she was Mrs. Unwins mother,  and they  lived at Edryn then and her son John joined in when he  was on holiday.  There was a lot of young people from Wigan there  in Summer  as  well, they called themselves the Talsarnau  Club.   I think they used to meet in Wigan during the winter and when  they came  in Summer they joined with us locals and they had a  treassure hunt and quite a few other things.  The ones I remember most at the Carnival were Eric Mayer, Taylor and Denning, I very often think of them as they dressed up for the carnival, they had  gone to  a  lot of trouble to bring clothes with them  and  then  they would  play soccer with us and we had to play rugby with them  on the  sand  near Clogwyn Melyn. 

We played football  then  in  the field  near Fron Yw.  I can remember in the twenties a  crowd  of men  went down to the traeth to `tryfera' and the river was  then near  the rocks the other side of Clogwyn Melyn and they  crossed the  river  in a wide part where it was not very  deep  and  made their way to fish in a channel where the river had been and  when they  looked round the tide was coming in fast and they  ran  towards  Portmeirion,  or Aber Ia as it was then called,  and  they walked  all  the  way on the Penrhyn side  and  William  Rowlands picked them up in his old Ford by the Powder Works and when  they came  to the village they were a sorry sight in their clothes  as the tide had taken their dry clothes as they had changed near the river  and Griffith John lost a gold watch he had  in his  waistcoat pocket. 

I remember us going down once to fish near Borth  y Gest and Evie, Tynbryn caught a big turbot, or as one of the  old sailors  said it was a John Dory, the same family.  Evie  was  in the water just up to his waist and he could feel something  under his feet and as he he had the harpoon with him I gave him a  hand to  take it out of the water.  That was not the end of the  story though,  as  he took it up to the quarry where he worked  at  the time,  and  raffled it and he hid it behind his tool  box   where they  kept the powder for blasting and when he went to  fetch  it for  the  raffle winner it was not there, someone  had  played  a trick on him.  The John Dory weighed 14.5 lbs.

Mrs.  Evan Williams, kept the Post Office when we  were  children and  Evan Llewelyn, the son, took over from her.  My mother  used to talk about the village pump but I dont think she could  remember  it and I'm sure it was what her mother had told her, it  was the other side of the road from the Church where the parking  now is and the women used to wash their clothes there.