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Before It's Forgotten

Night Out
A story my father used to tell concerned a woman known by some such nick-name as Ann the Pudding (I can't quite remember), who lived in Bridge Street, Carmarthen, the part which has now been demolished, I rather think. In my father's youth, youngsters would go to her cottage and in the front room regale themslves with a halfpenny dish of rice pudding. This would have been in the 1870s and Ann's establishment must have been something of a modest forerunner of the coffee bars which youngsters frequent nowadays.

Violent contact (not always accidental) with the stone flagged floor sometimes resulted in broken dishes and Ann was obliged to ban offenders. But, unfortunately, Ann was bested on one occasion. Having served a gang of lads whose behaviour she suspected, Ann remained in attendance while they relished her speciality. As each lad finished, he departed, respectfully handing his dish to Ann, who stood behind the door. When the last had left, the door was violently pushed in and poor Ann's dishes were scattered in pieces on the floor. Another late-night mischief of these lads was to take empty barrels which stood outside the Angel Vaults and roll them — one down St. Mary Street and another down Hall Street.

I still have my father's indenture,1 dated 1872, by which he was apprenticed as a carpenter to Mary Williams, of Wood's Row (a 19th century career woman, though she was able to sign the document only with her mark!). It says that the apprentice "shall not commit fornication nor contract Matrimony . . . shall not play at Cards or Dice Tables or any other unlawful games . . . shall not haunt Taverns or Playhouses nor absent himself from his Mistrefs service day or night unlawfully".


Morley Street, Carmarthen.

Long Haul
The site of the Royal Ordnance Factory, Pembrey (now closed) had a long association with the production of explosives. Before the extensive works were developed during the two World Wars, the old Nobel's E.C. Works were situated there.

I have recollections of speaking to a local farmer, Mr. David Griffiths, Brooks Farm, Pembrey, who related very vividly his journeys delivering explosives to North Wales in the last century. He took his loads by horse-drawn transport from Pembrey works via Carmarthen, Lampeter, Aberystwyth, Machynlleth, Dollgellau and Maentwrog to Portmadoc and Blaenau Ffestiniog, where the explosive was used in the slate quarries of the area. Mr. Griffiths, who died in 1933, aged 78 years, made these journeys during the period 1880-90.


Bronllys, Pembrey.

John Davies, Pantllan,2 Llanddarog was called 'The Guardian'. He was the first Rural District Councillor for the Llanddarog area and as a boy I often heard his favourite expression on being pestered by importunate place-seekers or complainants—" Pop, pop, damity, damity"


Mountain Ash.

Last Post
HomeAt the junction of Chapel Street and Red Street, Carmarthen there is, beside the pavement corner, a stone wheel-post that appears to be the last remaining in the town. One other that survives is sited within the Market precinct near the Mansel Street entrance, but this is not its original location; it was erected there not long ago and appears to be the stone that formerly stood at the junction of Blue Street and Dark Gate.

Older people—especially those who vaulted them as youngsters — will remember that there were many others and doubtless scratch their memories trying to recall exactly where they were. They may wonder, too, why, if wheel-posts were necessary in the days of carts, they have been dispensed with now that motor-cars have become common. Could it be that car bodies are sensitive to damage whereas cart-wheels were less so?

E.V.J., Carmarthen.
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Historian.BeforeItsForgotten moved from Home.BeforeItsForgotten on 11 Sep 2005 - 15:05 by ChrisJones - put it back
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