Er Cof / In Remembrance

Dw i gyda grwp bach, wedi bod yn gweithio yn galed iawn am y mis diwethfa ar yr arddangosfa newydd o’r Cymdeithas Hanes Lleol Llandysul a’r Fro.  I ddweud y gwir, dw i a’r gweddill y grwp wedi bod yn ymchwilio am dros dwy flynedd am y dynion a genethod o Landysul a aeth i wasanaethu yn ystod y Rhyfel Mawr.

A dyma ni, amser yr arddangosfa. Rydyn ni wedi darganfod bron 400 o bobl aeth i’r rhyfel o’r ardal.  Dw i’n siwr mae mwy!


Cyflwynir yr Arddangosfa i bawb a wasanaethodd o Landysul a’r Cylch

Dydd Sadwrn 15 Tachwedd.

Bydd Cyflwyniad yng Ngwesty’r Porth, Llandysul am 10.30yb, ac i ddilyn, cyfle i weld yr Arddangosfa yn y Llyfrgell o 11.30yb-2yp

I have worked with a group, very hard over the last month on the new exhibition of Llandysul and District Local History Society. In fact, I and the rest of the group have been researching for over two years about the men and women from Llandysul who went on to serve in the Great War.

Here we are then, the exhibition. We have found nearly 400 people from the area went to war. I’m sure there are more!

Why not come along and find out.

Opening on Saturday, 15 November 2014.

In Remembrance of our WW1 Heroes & Heroines

An Exhibition dedicated to all those who served from Llandysul and the surrounding areas

There will be a Presentation in the Porth Hotel, Llandysul at 10.30am, followed by a viewing of the Exhibition at the Library (lift available) from 11.30am-2pm.

15/11/14 Opening of the Llandysul Local History Society WW1 Exhibition

The many faces of Llandysul

These are the many faces of the Llandysul Tractor Run, which took place last Sunday morning. I just love how cute the all look!

The tractors, or possibly their drivers were sponsored and the money is going to the Wales Air Ambulance and the Gwyl Wledig Tysul (Tysul Country Fair).

Fordson Major

Fordson Major

Massey Ferguson

Massey Ferguson

David Brown Livedrive

David Brown Livedrive

Fordson Major

A Fordson Major


Quite a stern face

Lots of Massey Fergusons

Lots of Massey Fergusons

More tractors

More tractors

old tractor

Massey Ferguson

Llandysul’s Smallest House

In Conwy, in North Wales, there is a very popular tourist attraction called the “Smallest House in Wales”. As I remember it, the house is part of a terrace on the harbour and is painted red. The inside was brown – it must be about 35 years since I went inside, so I don’t remember much. Best to visit it yourself, this is the website:

Why do I mention this? Well, once upon a time, Llandysul, or more correctly, Pont-Tyweli, there was also the “Smallest House in Wales” and I think that if it had survived it would have been smaller than the building in Conwy.

picture of small house with tenant.

“Ty Phillips Bach” with Mr Phillips,Pont-Tyweli, Llandysul – Smallest House. This picture is from the Llandysul & District Local History Society Collection.

The house was known as Ty Phillips Bach (Phillips’ Small House).  Mr Phillips (pictured) was a painter and decorator and had a shed next door in which he kept his paint. This shed was apparently bigger than his house.   The photograph was taken in 1945, and Mr Phillips subsequently died in the Public Assistance Institution, formally Cardigan Workhouse.   Local people remember playing in the empty house.   It was demolished in the late 1960 or early 1970s.

Today, you can still see the location of the house.  If you walk from the Pwerdy (Powerhouse Community and Arts Centre), facing the Half Moon Inn, there is a  wall on your right.  Below the wall is a steep bank, and then the rapids of the River Teifi. As you walk along the pavement, follow the wall,  you will come to a break in the walk and that was the location of the house.  There is also a lilac tree which must have been planted after the house was demolished I think but I wonder if it is to commemorate the house and Mr Phillips.

Picture of the site of the house.

Former location of the “smallest house in Wales”.

Frank Lloyd Wright – The Welsh Connection

Last Wednesday, 9th April was the anniversary of the death of Frank Lloyd Wright, the eminent American architect.  I had a phone call from the BBC last week asking what we knew about Frank Lloyd Wright’s other Anna Lloyd Jones.  Sadly, not much, although after an email and a chance meeting at Theatr Mwldan I got to know a lot more from Eileen Curry.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s mother was Anna Lloyd Jones, and she and her family lived in Blaenralltddu, a mile or so from Rhydowen.  When she was 5 the family emigrated to the States, leaving from the port of Cardigan in 1844.

House name "Blaenralltddu"

Anna’s family were members of the Unitarian Chapel at Llwynrhydowen and her father Richard was a Unitarian lay preacher and by all accounts a real bible thumper.  He was also a renowned hatter who is said to have got his customers to stand on his hats to test their strength!

It is likely that because of the faith of the family and their liberal politics that they upset the local landowner at Alltyrodyn Mansion.   It seems the final straw came when he ran his hounds through their garden.

Richard, Mary and their seven children left Wales and initially settled in Utica, before moving to Milwaukee in Wisconsin and then on to the village of Spring Green, Wisconsin.  What an incredibly hard decision to make.

Anna Lloyd Jones became a school teacher in America and she met William Carey Wright, a musician and itinerant preacher.  They married in 1866.  Frank was born a year later.  He was christened Frank Lincoln Wright, but changed it to Frank Lloyd Wright (in honour of his mother’s family) when his father walked out of the marriage in 1885.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Welsh roots ran through his architectural work.  The house he built for himself in Wisconsin is called Taliesin (after the 6th Century Welsh  bard and poet).  Later in life he built a second home in Arizona called Taliesin West.

Many of the modernist homes he built still had a hearth as a centrepiece – just as the traditional Cardiganshire cottages would have had.

So all this was passed onto Carwyn Jones at BBC Wales Today, but he still needed someone to say it to camera…10 seconds of fame coming up then!  Luckily there’s also a real architectural expert.



Llandysul History Society and World War 1

Just a quick update. We had many visitors over the two open days and were given a lot of photos to scan.  We were able to match up some of the people in the photos with the list which we have been putting together from the War Memorials and the local newspaper columns.  We were also shown a soldier’s ID bracelet and 100mm shell casing!  We’ve taken photos and recorded details about these precious items.  Many people who came were fascinated by the list we are putting together.  More research is to be done and we will be off to the National Library of Wales in a few weeks as well as the Ceredigion County Archive.


Is it important to commemorate the anniversary of World War 1?

It happened so long ago. The battles, the trauma, the songs, the stories are 100 years in the past. Is it all about the big story? The history of why the borders of countries are drawn up as they are; how we look at our neighbouring countries, why Europe is as it is. Is all relevant today, we need to understand the past so understand the future.

What about the people who fought this war? The war brought all kinds of people from all walks for life, together, to share a common experience. That experience might be in the trenches, in the ships both navy and merchant or in the air. Also there are the hospitals both at the front and at home. Then at home there are the factories and the farms and the worry, the sadness, the horror, the stiff upper lip. How did they live through it all? How would we cope faced with that kind of war? It affected everybody, even here in Llandysul.

So I would say that yes, the commemoration of what happened 100 years ago is important to us today.

part of photo of Peace Day in Llandysul 1919

Part of photo showing Peace Day 1919 in Llandysul.

Cymdeithas Hanes Llandysul / Llandysul Local History Society started researching the impact of World War 1 in Llandysul in preparation for an exhibition in sometime between 1914-1918. We have begun by going to the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth and looking at the local newspapers of the time on the microfiche: Welsh Gazette, Cambrian News, Carmarthen Journal and the The Cardiganshire and Tivy-Side Advertiser. It’s an immense task going through 4 / 5 years of newspapers looking for information. It has been interesting. We have picked up names of people who have joined up, when they came home on furlough and for some when they were killed. We are slowly putting together a timeline of the events within Llandysul and the local area during this period.

We are holding two open days on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May to ask people if they have information for our project. People might have items from the period, posters, cards which we could scan. Or they might know a history of their relatives in that period. They might have been soldiers but might also have been nurses, doctors, farmers, miners etc. It is all relevant to the project and to our community memory.

The Open Days will be held in Llandysul Library on Friday, 17 May, 2013 – 10 am to 4 pm and Saturday, 18 May, 2013 – 10 am to 1 pm.

Incidentally the National Library of Wales have a project about WW1 and are scanning in some Welsh newspapers between 1914-1918. But only the Cambrian News and Carmarthen Journal for our area, and they are not online yet. It will be helpful when they are and we are looking forward to it.

Llandysul & District Local History Society

When I first came to the Llandysul area, I really didn’t know the area that well. I joined the Llandysul & District Local History Society and not only did get to know a lot about the history of the area but I have made many good friends who have always made feel very welcome and part of out community.

Last night, we had a fantastic meeting in Tysul Hall. Our speaker was Barbara Davies who shared her memories as an evacuee to this area during World War two.  She gave such an evocative portrayal of Liverpool during the blitz that many of the audience were nearly in tears.  It must have been so traumatic.  Her memories of the farm and Uncle and Aunty were emotional and funny.  It made quite an impact on everyone in the room.


“My Secret Wales”

Ges i syndod mawr neithiwr tra oeddwn i gwylio BBC2 a welais rhaglen wych “My Secret Wales”.  Roedd stori am y capel yn Henllan.  Roedd y Capel wedi adeiladu gan y ‘prisoners of war’ Eidaleg yn ystod yr Ail Rhyfel Byd. Rhai blynyddoedd yn ôl roeddwn i lwcus iawn i ymweld â’r capel gyda grŵp o Gymdeithas Hanes Lleol Llandysul a’r Fro.  Mae’r capel yn lle ysbrydol iawn a roedd y bechgyn Eidaleg yn bechgyn arbennig iawn.  Rydych chi’n gallu gweld y clip ar y wefan BBC:

Roedd hi’n wych gweld “Contis” ar y teledu hefyd.  Maen nhw’n dod i’r Gwyl Fwyd Llandysul pob Haf.
I was really surprised last night when I saw a programme on BBC called “My Secret Wales” as they showed something that really is a secret, that is the Italian Chapel at Henllan. This was built by Italian Prisoners of War based at Henllan in the latter half of the Second World War.  I was lucky enough to visit the Chapel a few years ago with Llandysul Local History Society and thought it a very spiritual and special place.  The prisoners had very little  to decorate the chapel with, but by recycling tins, bartering fôr concrete, they created a very beautiful chapel.  If you missed it, the BBC are showing the clip at:
Long live BBC regional programmes! I think that in the future, there will not be so many of them.  Too expensive, which is really sad.