Unit 1 - Village Shops

When they started building the village of Talsarnau it was called Sun Street and over the road to the Post Office was Lloyd Street, further  down was Jones Street and Mrs Grace Owens' father  built four  or five houses that were called Trefor Place. I'm not  sure of the year but I would think it was about 1870.

There  were  quite  a lot of shops in the village  at  one  time.  William Rowlands kept the shop where Gwenda is now, and he had a pony and cart which he used to go round the farms and  to  carry goods  from  the station.  I can remember  Rosie's  brother  going round  with the cart and Billy Roberts' father working  there  as well;  he  had a little farm on the fields on the left  near  the embankment  as you go to the traeth and he also had some  of  the traeth fenced out as well.  William Rowlands was the first owner of a car in the village - it was a Ford (open) and he took us children to Penrhyn to see Charlie Chaplin on the films.   Next door there was a shop - D. R. Jones and you could  buy  nearly everything  there, and in the back there was a Bakehouse and  they kept  a  few pigs where Pauline's garage is now and he  also  kept quite a lot of bees there as well.  D. R. Jones bought a car, this was the second in Talsarnau - a Ford again like William Rowlands.  Before D. R. took this shop he kept a cycle shop in a shed where the Williams Garage is now.  Cambrian Stores, where the Chapel is now, was a very busy shop.  The owner was Edmund Evans but they emigrated to America during the war (first war).  The Coop opened a kind of shop in the station in the warehouse at the back of the station house, the Manager was Mr. Palmer but they soon moved up to the village and opened up in Cambrian Stores and they kept the shop open until a few years ago.  Mr. Parry was the Manager after Palmer and he stayed in Bronwylfa.  Tecwyn Rowlands, who was the brother of William Rowlands, worked in the shop with him.  Trefor House next door to 15 Trefor Place was a Temperance with a big sign hanging above the door.  Mrs. Elin Jones lived there and she used to sell home made bread and buns.  Mrs. Mynnot had a shop next door to Mrs. Orton, she had the groceries on one side and on the other counter there was toys, oil lamps, stationery and everything handy for the house and she used to make gingerbread and cut it up in small slices and sell it at a .5p a slice and also in the shop there was lose coffee, tea and tobacco.  She had  two daughters,  one  used to give piano lessons and  she  played  the organ  in  the church.  Mrs. Mynnot was teaching  in  the  church School  at  Glanywern and her husband was the  head  gardener  at Glyn.   Before  they rebuilt this house and made it up as  it  is today.  The old house was like Mrs. Orton's house next door and  it was called `Briws' -  `Brew House' in English. It was rebuilt  by Richard Jones who came down from Cancoed, Llandecwyn.  Noddfa was where  the Post Office used to be and Mr. and Mrs. Evan  Williams lived there with their son Evan Llewelyn.  Evan went out to  work as  a plasterer and there is a lot of his work to be seen  today.  He  put  the slates on the Coliseum in Porthmadog  and  also  the Power house in Maentwrog. 

Miss  Morris kept the shop opposite the Methodist Chapel and  she sold  clothes and also food.  The Midland Bank came from  Harlech every Wednesday and that is where you had to pay the Coop monthly bills  as they would not take money over the counter until  later.

Before  my time there were two public houses in Talsarnau -  `The Sun'  and  the `Prince' and Mr. Stanley Humphreys'  father  lived there.  Willie Williams had a shop where Carol lives now, he used to do shoe repairs and after he was married, Mrs. Williams used to sell clothes upstairs.  The farm servants used to buy a lot there and  they paid their bills and also they bought more  when  they had  their wages and that only happened every six  months.   They had  to  make  a new contract with the farmer  for   another  six months or look for another farmer who would pay them more  wages.  Sian Jones lived next door, she was a widow and she was very good for pickling herrings.  In later years Humphrey Williams opened a Butchers shop, they were living in the house before (opposite the Post  Office) also William Owen Penybryn had a Butchers  Shop  in the  little house opposite Noddfa and Owen Williams, Tynfron  took over from William Owen. 

At Pen y Gongl (Ty Anarferol as it is now called), Tom Williams kept a  Butchers shop there and then J. D. Roberts opened it  to  sell Cycles, Wirelesses and batteries.  The farm servants used to  meet there, they played draughts and darts and he also had a  little billiard table in the top and we had to use a ladder to go up, as they  had  taken the stairs away.  He also sold bottles of  pop there. 

I  found out a few years ago that they called the row  of  houses where Trefor Place is now Trefor Place.  I think the houses  were built  about 1870 and it was Grace Owen's Father who  built  them and  at  first there were more than one family  living  in  them.  That  is where people used to throw their rubbish in  the  old times as there were no houses there.  Where Llys Myfyr is now  my mother  said  that William Rowlands' mother kept a  lot  of  pigs there.

When they started building the village of Talsarnau it was called Sun Street and over the road to the Post Office was Lloyd Street, further  down was Jones Street and Mrs Grace Owens' father  built four  or five houses that were called Trefor Place.  I'm not  sure of the year but I would think it was about 1870.