Unit 19 - The Quarry Bus

William Griffiths was telling me that there was 45 on the bus and they had to put a plank in the passage between the seats as there was  no  room for us all to sit and as Charles Jones came  on  in Cilfor he had to sit on it.  The irony of this is that it was  my father  and Charles Jones who arranged to have a workmans bus  in the first place.

There  was  another bus from Harlech.  I  can  remember  Griffith Edwards,  Pencerrig  and Llew, Edward Jones, Pantmawr  `Ned'  and Morris, John Williams and Meirion, Richard Williams, Dafydd, Dick and Stanely, Hugh Williams (?) John Williams, Tynffrwd.  Some  of the  men bought motor bikes and after they thought that  one  bus would  be enough.  They kept the bus on the drive up to  Rhosigor and  it  was very easy to start in the morning after  running  it down  to  the  main road.  William Griffith, Bryn  Moel  was  the driver and Richie Pugh from Blaenau the Conductor.  They came for the bus in the morning on their motor bikes and that was my alarm clock.   I had to be ready by six, that was the time the bus  was by  the Ship.  We stopped to pick up on the way and if there  was room we had a few coming up in Maentwrog and Rhydsarn.  Some  men had  a good walk from the bus to Maenofferen and Graig Ddu but  I was lucky the shed that I used to work was near the road, not far from  the  Railway tunnel.  It was the Oakely  Quarry  then.   We worked from 7a.m. until 4p.m. and 7a.m - 11.30a.m. on Saturday.

There were heavy smokers on the bus, amongst them was Ellis Owen, he  put his pipe in his mouth when we started from Talsarnau  and he would go to sleep with his pipe still in his mouth.  There was another who would go to sleep with his eyes open, he is the  only one who I have seen doing that.

William Jones, Cei Newydd worked in the Lord he would go down  at the  bottom of Lord Street and he would go to Davies the  Barbers Shop for sixty Woodbines every morning and more at the week  end.  We  paid  eleven  pence for the bus (six  pence  for  y  rhybelwr (apprentice) and I dont think the price changed during that time.  There  was a lot of accidents in the Quarries and there  was  one Quarry  they called it the slaughter house because there  was  so many  accidents  there.  I remember David Gwilym  Williams,  Soar having  a bad accident in the Oakley, the hole had  misfired  and when  he went to have a look hours later it went and  caught  him and he was in the Quarry hospital for a long time.

Laura  Roberts,  Soar who lived in No. 1 Tanymarian  her  husband Robert  Roberts  was killed in Llechwedd Quarry in 1903  and  the choir  from Blaenau came down to his funeral as he sang with  the choir.   John  Jones, Capel Fawnog lost his life  in  the Quarry during the last war.  There was another three from Talssarnau who lost  a leg through accidents in the Quarry.  The Quarrymen  were very  good  for helping anybody who had an accident or  was  ill.  They  had a concert every month either in Blaenau or Penrhyn  and they  would  distribute the tickts to all the Quarries  and  they sold them at six pence a ticket and nobody asked what it was  for but  bought a ticket.  The men who had been chosen to  help  that month would have the proceeds of the Concert. 

Robert  John the garage had a serious accident by Gelli  Grin  on his motor bike.  He had done the bus driver a favour that day  by riding his motor bike as he wanted it at Talsarnau and he knocked a man down who was in the middle of the road and Robin was in the hospital  unconsious for I think ten days.