helping me around the studio and listing things on eBay to raise funds but also helping me to upload some vintage cassettes onto my YouTube channel! First up a clip from an episode of ‘Roundabout’ that aired on BBC Radio Wales in 1986 staring Anita Morgan (who was the very first to speak on the station back in 1978) who had visited my hometown of Nefyn, North Wales to chat with some of the locals about village life, this clip features my mother Emrysia Jones, grandmother Marie Julia Roberts (1938-2018) and my great-grandmother Mary Hughes(1907-1993) the clip is particularly poignant for us as a family as it allows us to hear my Grandmother and Great Mother again, we hope it will also be of interest to you. Have a listen. Or just read the transcript.
Anita Morgan: “I’ve Just had a charming conversation with a small boy about 3 (my bother), who speaks no English, I speak no Welsh but he very kindly and patiently got me to understand that his great grandmother Mary Hughes, his grandma Marie Robert and mother Emrysia Jones were waiting for me inside this house, on a smallholding on the outskirts of Nefyn. Great grandmother Mary, I know your family goes back around 400 years in Nefyn but what was the main family trade?”
Mary Hughes: “My father and family were Master Masons... stones.”
Anita Morgan: “What sort of stone would they work on around here?"
Mary Hughes: “Well there is only one kind of stone in the world isn’t there? One in Nefyn, the Gwylwyr quarry and one in India and that’s real granite!”
Marie Roberts: “And giving lots of work for the local people, that was then before they closed at the beginning of the last war when the Gwylwyr quarry closed, as I understand... I was just a baby then myself!"
Anita Morgan: “Mary’s daughter, Marie. I’ve said that this is a third generation interview, grandmother, mother and daughter and you’ve got a lovely name...”
Emrysia Jones: “Yes, Emrysia.”
Anita Morgan: “Is that Welsh?”
Emrysia Jones: “It is Welsh, it’s my father’s name, he’s called Emrys with an “I A” added on... Emrysia.”
Anita Morgan: “You have an interest in the tourism industry in this place surely?"
Emrysia Jones: “Yes, we do let out our houses in the summer...”
Anita Morgan: “Houses?!”
Emrysia Jones: “Yes, like we said it’s a family affair you know”
Anita Morgan: “And how many houses do you have?”
Emrysia Jones: “four”
Anita Morgan: “Do you find it lively enough as a younger woman with a child?"
Emrysia Jones: “Personally it doesn’t bother me; I’m married- I married young. But for other younger people, no I don’t think there is enough life here for them, they do tend to stand on the streets, Really they only have the pubs. But again it depends on the people and the kind of life you like, its fine for me.”
Anita Morgan: “It’s fine for the three of you? The three of you enjoy Nefyn?”
Marie Roberts: “Yes definitely”
Anita Morgan: “Have you ever lived away from Nefyn Mary?”
Mary Hughes: “No, but I traveled quite allot..." (Laughs)
Anita Morgan: “Where have you been?”
Mary Hughes: “Through bombs! And shells!” (Laughs)
Anita Morgan: “During the war time?”
Mary Hughes: “yes!”
Anita Morgan: “What sort of vehicle were you in?”
Mary Hughes: “Lorries”
Anita Morgan: “As a passenger?”
Mary Hughes: “No dear, driving it.”
Anita Morgan: “You were driving the lorry?!"
Mary Hughes: “Oh yes... you sound surprised?”
Anita Morgan: “I am surprised! ...Where would you be travelling then? ...Where would you drive?”
Mary Hughes: “Liverpool. Manchester. Birmingham... (*In welsh to my grandmother “translate for me”)
Marie Roberts: “You would get a phone call saying that there was a ship able to come in and that it needed emptying. These ships with the planes flying over Liverpool, it was important that they got as much off the ships as possible so they... there were also local men as well working on the Lorries as haulage contractors in the district"
Anita Morgan: “So the area was quite busy with haulage?”
Marie Roberts: “Yes, that’s right... Quite a lot of haulage but because of the quarries closing down then that was decline of the haulage, the decline of everything... “
Anita Morgan: “What about otherwise, apart from that the decline of Nefyn as a place to live in... Has it declined? Can you still get everything you want here in the way of shops, entertainment and so on”
Marie Roberts: “Nefyn itself, if something has prospered really, during the last fifteen years I would say. Because now we have a very fashionable shop in the village, a very nice fashionable shoe shop in the village, you needn’t go really, anywhere but if you’d like to go for a day out to Llandudno then yes, fair enough you’ve got ‘Marks & Sparks’ but if you really didn’t want to travel out of the village then you wouldn’t have to if you patronise local people.”
Anita Morgan: “No more trips to Liverpool driving the lorry for you Mary?”
Mary Hughes: “Why not?”
Anita Morgan: “Why not? She says!”
Marie Roberts: “Why not? She says at 79!”
Anita Morgan: “79! ...Great Caesar!”
Mary Hughes: “I’d been driving since I was ten, eleven years old! Motorbikes...”
Anita Morgan: “Motorbikes?!”
Mary Hughes: “...Lorries, all sorts of things...”
Marie Roberts: “She was a 1929 Rally winner... tell them about that”
Anita Morgan: “Rally winner?”
Marie Roberts: “ Yes, motorbike in the race... Black rocks in Porthmadog. We have a picture of her here, with her motorbike that she won the first prize with."
Anita Morgan: “Against all the men?”
Mary Hughes: “Oh yes”
Anita Morgan: “Who’s’ going to choose the music, of the three ladies?”
Marie Roberts: “Anything by Sir Geraint Evans anything classical would go with the village we live in.”
Anita Morgan: “They like good music in Nefyn do they?”
*Closes with The Duke of Plaza-Toro by Gilbert & Sullivan.
© Arfon Jones 2019. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.