Unit 4 - More Local Characters

One  man that the village had a lot of respect for was Humphrey Owen,  Draenogau Bach.  He worked quite a lot with the horse  and cart  and  before the Council had the lorry to take  the  rubbish away, Humphrey Owen did the job and as there were only dry lavatories then he also emptied them.  The buckets were put out in  the village  and  he also had to go to Soar.  He took  his  load  and dumped  it in the traeth opposite Draenogau, and today old bottles and  cans can be seen with other rubbish where he used to  dump them  in the holes 50 years or so ago.  Humphrey  Owen  did  the funerals as well as there was no motor hearse then only one  that could be drawn with a horse.  They kept the hearse on top of  the hill near Capel Graig, where Mr. Campell keeps his car now.   He carried the coal for the co-op and cattle feed for the  farms as well, and for years generations of children thought the world  of Humphrey Owen, as you never saw him coming through the  village without  a  load of children singing away - he  was  their  hero.  Nearly  all  the  land around the village belonged  to  the Cefn Trefor  Bach estate but in 1921 it was sold in small parcels and before  then it was owned by Edmund Roberts, a very busy  man  who was well liked in the Parish.  He was a big chapel man, a Wesleyan; he  played the organ in Soar and was also the  Secretary  or treasurer.  He built Tremeifion but before that he lived in Cefntrefor Bach. (it is Cefntrefor Bach not Isa on the old maps.)

It was Nelta Roberts' father who built Bronwylfa, before that they lived  in `Angorfa' next door to Trefor Place, he was a Sea  Captain and he lost his life during the first World War.  Bryn  Awel was  the Wesleyan Minister's house and before that they  lived  in Brontrefor  and  they  had a path that came out  by  Meirion  and Rhiannon's bungalow (there was no bungalow there then and no trees and it was called `private field' as Edmund Roberts, Cefntrefor Bach had  given permission to the Ministers to come through the  field, but he did not want other people to use it.  In the back of Capel y  Graig, Willie Wiliams, the shoemaker bought land from  Ty  Mawr and built the Bungalow that is now called `Ceinfro' - this was in the early twenties and it was then an old Army Hut but he made  a lot  of alterations to it.  `Trem-y-Wyddfa' was known  as  Snowdon View and Jonathan Parry lived there - he was a very good gardener and  we  always  bought potatoes from him.  He used  to  give  us apples  that had fallen off the trees and Mrs. Parry,  his  wife, was  very  well  known, as  people who  sufferd  with  `Shingles' (eryr)  went to her and she spat on it.  They did say  she  could cure it as she had eaten an eagle at one time.  I heard my mother saying about the people she had cured.

Our station master during the first World War was Mr. Pritchard, he  had one son Stanley, he had lost his life in the war.  Mrs. North was his housekeeper.  There was always a porter in the station  and the gates to the traeth were locked from the  signal box on the platform and if the farmers wanted to go through  they had  to shout `gates' from the road.  The police used to come  to the  village  from Penrhyn and Harlech and they met on  the  Glyn Bridge  once  a month.  They came on their bicycles.   One  man I should mention was Evan Williams, Maescaerau, he could handle the big axe and  he used to swing the axe when he was cutting the  big oak  trees down in the Gelli and I can remember we had  our  sack ready for the chips for the fire.