by Al Ginnelly
(Santiago, Chile and Bradford, Yorkshire)
Dingle Llangefni Fish Ladder
I'm from Llangefni and I lived in Isgraig, then moved "Upmarket" to Maeshyfryd as the family expanded. Then later, as my older sisters and Brother married off, we "downsized" and moved back to Isgraig.
Some of the lads I'd get into trouble with were Walter H. "Twll" Dean. Ger Curry. Nigel Mark, Owain John, John Ifan, and many more.
The place that sticks with me is the Dingle. As has been said in other accounts, the tradition of a rope swing was still going strong in my day.
We used to either throw a rope over a tree next to the river Cefni and then try - rarely successful - to stay dry. Or we'd go to "Dingle Bach" behind the St Cyngar Church vicarage where the slope was steep. A decent branch was found where we would be about 30 feet (well, it SEEMED like 30 feet!) above the ground at full swing.
I always seemed to manage to fall off, and was a regular at the X-Ray Department in the C&A Hospital in Bangor every school summer holiday.
Ribs, knees, arms were checked out, but amazingly never broke a bone - although I always fancied a plaster cast!
Then there was Llyn Pwmp in the Dingle and swimming in the Summer. The water was always ice cold because it was so deep and we'd be shivering getting dressed because we didn't plan on swimming.
It was an impulse dip or a dare, so we never had towels with us to dry off - and still
I didn't get Pneumonia, as Mam had promised I would!
In those days we would be gone all day, fishing or doing whatever, and only go home when it was dark, cold, or we were hungry, and nobody was worried about us. A freedom sadly lacking in this day and age.
I left at the age of 17 to join the Army, that was back in 1983, but I go "home" regularly to visit the family, which has expanded even further.
Things change, sometimes for the better, as with the Dingle, yet it's still the people I enjoy when I'm there.
The humour is fantastic and you only appreciate it when you've been away.
Your family is known to me and I see your brother Hugh about the place regularly. Always a wave and a hello.
To take things a step further your Uncle Arthur (or Arthur Mary as he was known in our house) was a great friend of my Father's. Taught him how to fish salmon off Llyn Pwmp with a gaff he kept hidden beneath the pump house.
The Mary in Arthur's name is that of his mother, Mrs Mary Roberts, a very kind lady who died in 1947. She had been hoping to see my mother with her new baby (Gareth) but died the day before he came home from hospital in John Plisman's taxi.
So wonderful to hear from you.
Andrew and Gordon Weare (The Terrible Twins) share the same joy of the Dingle in fond memory.