I have vague memories of my grandfather, Richard Evans (son of Evan Evans / Ifan Ifas) of Gwalchmai, telling stories of how tramps would frequent the farm (Pen y Bryn Uchaf).

The only name I remember was "Washi Bach", he seemed to have a special place in their hearts .... but the children, being children, were a little less kind, and were prone to play tricks on him.

This is all I remember from my grandfather. Being a youngster, I paid little notice to the stories ... something I now regret.

I will ask around the older generation of my family (who were children at the time), they may have some stories.

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Mar 27, 2024
Hello, sumai? NEW
by: AnonymousRon Roberts

Hi Will. Your Washi Bâch blog I contributed to in 2020 popped up, so I thought of saying "S’mai?"
Last September I called round near Nain a Taid’s at Hafod Llwyn with my dear wife, and obviously reminisced a bit. Although some things have changed over the years obviously, I still get goosebumps. I genuinely feel that I’m " coming home"! I still remember the layout if the fields, the gates, even various stones on their walls. I still remember the various wells dotted around. Nain depended on these for drinking water, as there no mains water.
There was a pwmp outside the backdoor, but it took a while to get going. It needed half a bucket poured down then vigorous pumping until the water came out. It was always very clean but it tasted a bit "sandy". Made an excellent panad! We all loved it.
Nain would cook on a paraffin range, one had an upturned glass bottle on one side to hold the paraffîn. On top was a metal box with a glassine panel on the door. This was a rudimentary oven, but the cakes were lovely!
Nain would make taffi triog which would test anyone’s teeth. Taffi triog was called cyflath in Sîr Fôn, and so it was in my house
My Nain was very special to me. She was an Edwards from Llannerchymedd, her father was the last clogmaker there and possibly all of North Wales. Llanerchymedd was quite big shie and boot industry there. He wanted his daughter to marry into money with someone twice her age!
This was not going to happen, so she ran off and met her future husband Huw in about 1914. They moved into Hafod Llwyn in 1922.

An interesting story! I used to got to Nain’s on the 10 am bus from Bangor most Saturdays and after passing my test in my Morris mini.
I was absolutely car and motorbike mad from babyhood, and I loved all night car rallies. My friend and I after watching one rally about 1971 were going home along the A5 stretch at Mona. Was about four in the morning, doing some stupid speed, around the left hander, past the Bodffordd turnoff, then the right hander , past "Indus" house on the right then into the right hand bend at Mona Farm. I was on the double white line, cat’s eyes rattling like a machinegun and saw an old man with a flat cap, black overcoat, grey trousers and big boots, windmilling his arms as if he was falling over. I hit the brakes but struck him. I saw him hit the corner of my windscreen, blood allover the driver’s door window.
We stopped got our torches out but could not find him anywhere.!
Moving along, I didnt call at Nain’s for several weeks, and even then going round via Brynsiencyn. Niwbwrch, Valley etc!
Eventually, I told Nain what had happened.
When Nain smiled it lit up the room, and then had a hysterical fit of laughing and said " Dont worry, your Taid used to hit him all the time with the motorbike and sidecar in the late 1920’s!!"
Thus I believe in ghosts!
Gyda parch

Aug 16, 2020
Washi Bach
by: Ron Roberts

Hello Wil

Washi Bach used to visit my Nain a Taid’s at Hafod Llwyn, Gwalchmai, probably once a year. I remember him from the mid50’s onwards. I was about six years when I first saw him. Washi would never come near farm if Taid or visiting family present, but I was ok!

I genuinely think he was fond of Nain. If he arrived near amser cinio he would get a hot meal, otherwise a huge sandwich. He had to wash his hands first though!

He carried a book in his overcoat pocket, Nain said it was German.

I believe he was quite well read, though obviously very quiet.

He would thank Nain graciously then she would give him a wrapped up sandwich, some other food, tea leaves and a sixpence.

He did help Nain once. When she was gathering sheep poo into a hessian sack to soak in a 45gal drum of water for her tomatoes, WB took over and brought back loads!

Nain would give me an uffar o row if I passed any derogatory comment about him.

When I last saw him was about 15, probably 1965-65, and then being well over 6’ tall he stopped coming to the door until Nain called. Perhaps he was a bit wary?

Then he had a dreadful cough. Nain gave him a botal of ffisig with strict instructions to go to the doctors house in Gwalchmai. He never did of course.

I thought once he was ex military perhaps?


Jun 19, 2015
Gwr o Walchmai a Washi Bach
by: William

Thank you for writing to Anglesey Hidden Gem about Washi Bach. I am pleased to have given you cause to remember - and, like the rest of us, to experience a twinge of regret at not listening for stories we'll never now know.

Do you have any more stories about Gwalchmai? My great grandparents lived in Cefn Frost and then moved to Glanrhyd in Llynfaes. Six lived in what is still just a little house at Cefn Frost. Washi was a regular visitor at Glandrhyd.

Anyway, please pop by again with some tales to share.

Best wishes from not all that far away.



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