by Ron Roberts
(Nant Bwlch yr Haearn)

Just found your site today, and is great.

I wrote earlier about Washi Bach?

Both sides of my parents’ families are from Sîr Fôn, Hafod Llwyn and Tregele. Would visit my Nain’s most weekends, to go to the shop for bread, veg and 5gals of paraffîn. Not bad for a six year old to haul? One thing I remember of Nain was her smile would light up the whole room!

I still feel I’m going home when I cross the Strait.

Nain’s farm did not have mains water, depending on a hand cranked pump, rain water kept in the stone cistern by the back door, and drinking water from various wells near and not so near the farm. I knew quite a few of them.

There was one in a field just down the road from Peter Jôs’ house at Fronddu in Gwalchmai. It was quite magnificent then. It was bordered by large stones, some lowered to allow easier reach to the water and a hinged lid on top. How posh was that?

I visited the farm a few years ago and had a wander round the fields, and still remember it all well.

Sadly, this particular well is in a very sorry state now, horses having trampled it, and the large stones either removed or put into the well to level off the field.

I am of the belief there is no law of any kind to protect old wells, other than those located in churches and such.

I take a turn round the old family places and memories, stories and feelings overwhelm me. Sometimes it brings tears!

Even though my parents and grandparents have now all gone, they’re still not far away. I’m lucky.

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May 22, 2021
Anglesey Wells
by: William Gerwyn Anglesey Hidden Gem

Annwyl Ron

Thank you for getting back in touch and I hope everyone is well with you. We seem to be living in dangerous times that remind us just how fragile even our very safe western lives can be. It reminds us that we should be sharing more kindness.

Your message to Anglesey Hidden Gem reminded me of something father, William Jones (Wil Plymar to his friends), used to tell me. At one time, there were so many potable wells on Anglesey that there was one for every day of the year.

I used to work for Dŵr Cymru many, many years ago you may remember the very serious nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl. As a consequence there was a cloud of particles probably irradiated that stretched from the Ukraine across Europe, UK and Ireland. As a consequence of possible problems with surface water sources Welsh Water drew om a list of all existing ground water source wells. I remember this well because it was one of my jobs at the time to go around North Wales digging up soil samples all over the place to check for contamination of soil and pasture. It was quite a while before Trawsfynydd lamb was back on the menu.

Another occasion, I think it was the unveiling of the memorial to the sinking of The Hindlea off Moelfre and the astonishing bravery of Coxswain Richard Evans and three colleagues of Moelfre Lifeboat in rescuing all the crew just before the craft was smashed against the rocks.

It was a miraculous rescue that deserved to be noted. Anyway, I was walking back along the Anglesey Coastal path to Moelfre with David Evans (Son of the late Richard Evans) and we stopped along the way to seek for a little well that he had been very familiar with as a child.
David (known as David Moelfre in Holyhead where he lived) told me that during Summer it was his and his brothers’ job to clean out the large cistern that was below their home and whitewash the walls. This is where the family’s water was stored for the summer months and it was the boy’s hard and tedious job of work to carry water from the well to the house.

David has now gone to his reward and I am certain that if someone else now lives in the same house that they know nothing about the cistern below or its history.

My mother had to walk down to Rhyd in Trefor and would carry water back employing a yoke over her shoulders to carry the buckets of water back up the hill to Cefn Trefor. Not a favourite task.

Annwyl Ron, thank you for reminding me that Anglesey wells were once the only source of water for all communities.

All the very best.
William Gerwyn
Anglesey Hidden Gem

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