The Best Place In The World
Reading your website has brought back so many happy memories for me. My father, Arthur Hughes was born in Fairbourne but had to leave to find work before WWII. However he came home at every available opportunity, until he and Mum eventually returned in 1975, which meant all our holidays were spent in Wales. My aunt and uncle, Sis and Ted Rees ran Braich y Ceunant, Brithdir and that is where we stayed. I loved being with them and I loved being in Wales, in fact I still do. I was friends with John Hughes, who worked on the farm back then. He was a great fan of motor racing and rallying and I spent many happy hours whizzing around the area in John’s Cortina, with him pretending to be Jim Clark and me pretending not to be terrified! My teenage years were really fun thanks to the people I met in Dolgellau, I was only really sad when I had to go home to England. Then we grew up and life took over. I married Colin, a Welshman from Cardiff and have two daughter, Samantha, 34 and Sian, 29. Circumstances still dictate that I must live in Hertfordshire but I come back as often as I can. Both Mum and Dad have passed away now but fortunately Sam loves Wales as much as I do and we can always find and excuse for a trip home. I am going to be a Grandmother (how did I get to be that old?) in August, and will be able to introduce another generation to the best place in the world.
Jan (Hughes) Wilson - email@example.com
The Pugh Family
I have just discovered your website...! Amazing…! So many interesting stories, My grandfather and great grandfather were from dolgellau and lived in Forden House for many years. The Pugh family were well known in Dolgellau and had shops in the Square including a bike/cycle shop. My mum has lots of memories having spent lots of holidays here with her grandparents and lots of stories to tell.
Pam Edwards, Staffordshire
Coed y Fronallt - Anerin Lloyd
I'm Aneurin Lloyd and I was born and bred in Dol. I no longer live there since joining the army 11 years ago, however I miss my old friends who I used to knock about with. When I do go home to visit my parents I very rarely go into town for a drink, to me it seems like the town pubs have given up making an effort running their bars. Anyway I have so many fond memories of my childhood in that small town. I spent most of my summer holidays up Coed y Fronallt, building dams in the streams, making dens and messing about down the farmers mart (swinging on the gates!).
The friends I used to knock about with were Huw Roberts, Gerwyn Breeze, Geraint Edwards, Elwyn Evans (who sadly passed away in 2004). Most of my school mates have moved on, some living down in sunny South Wales earning and making a good living down there. Others are either abroad or living elsewhere in the UK. I'm not going to harp on anymore as much as I would like to though, its great to have found this website… DA IAWN, HWYL FAWR!
My name is ray heath and I lived in a boys home in the mid seventies on the outskirts of Dolgellau. I made many friends in the town through playing football and boxing and the great local disco. Although I was from London, the local people made me feel very welcome and I never felt like an outsider. It is a great place and I have some brilliant memories of the friends I made there. It would be good to hear from anyone that remembers me.
Ray Heath - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have just discovered this site whilst looking up the Hall family from Dolgellau. I worked at the Bontddu Hall Hotel in the summer of 1962 as the hotel receptionist. Bill Hall was the proprietor and he employed summer staff. The kitchen staff were mostly Austrians and I shared a room with Sonia who came from Suffolk/Norfolk - lost touch. We had an idyllic summer working hard in the hotel and enjoying our days off in the surrounding countryside. We used to visit the Golden Lion in Dolgellau and the George III run by the Halls. I would love to know what happened to anyone who was around at that time. I married soon after and moved to Gloucestershire but I have family in North Wales and Mid Wales so still visit the area. Thanks.
Heather Gorton - email@example.com
What a wonderful place to grow up, I attended Ysgol Y Gader from 1959 to 1964 and have very fond memories of the school, in fact I enjoyed going to school with chemistry, physics and mathematics being my favorite subjects. I left home, went to college emigrated to Canada and presently manage an underground mine in British Columbia. The teachers were great in their own ways and they all were very genuine and dedicated to their students in sharing their knowledge. Some of the teachers I remember well, most from the nicknames we called them. JED, well he was the headmaster then there was Bonzo, the Welsh teacher, now there was Daisy the physics teacher and the one who I enjoyed the most was the math teacher, can't remember his name.
Lots of trips and adventures, what a great time, mam and dad still live there, now in their 80's but still going strong,, going back in the spring for a visit and always meet old friends.
I just found this website on my Blackberry and woke my husband up at 4am Chicago time USA. I became instantly excited to see several people that I am familiar with have given a fantastic description of the town, that is, and always will be my home. I have not been home for 10 years but it is what they say, home is where the heart is. I have been sending my son of 11, Kaylum and daughter Kaorie 7 to stay with their Nain and Taid Gwyn and Nancy Blake and my brother Shane Blake who now lives in South port with his fiance Carol. I want them to learn our culture and enjoy the warmth and comfort that the people of the town share freely. This sight has made me feel that much closer to home and I recommend it to anyone who misses home.
John Gorton - Dolgelly Grammar School
Thank you for your web site - it brings back many memories. I am very grateful for having attended the Grammar School from 1944 to 1947 and the fine grounding it gave me. Even today, when I write a letter, I recall Rees, the 5th Form master in my last year who taught English and History and was born in Matabeleland. And Lotwig our brilliant maths teacher who had been "in radar" during the War. I learn't my French from Miss Jones - little did I know I was to live in France and Belgium before long!
We came from Birmingham and lived in Barmouth. A small group of us took the bus daily to Dolgelley. We were accompanied on the bus by a bevy of beautiful girls attending Dr Williams School and, in the winter months, everybody prayed for serious rain so the river would flood the road and the bus would have to turn back!
My best friend was Sidney Clark, also from Barmouth (originally from Wrexham). Others on the bus I remember were Shiela Jeffs from Barmouth, Brian Williams, his younger brother and Margaret Owen from Bontddu.
After leaving school, I went into the RAF and stayed for 9 years - also "in radar". Then I went into the defence industry, 10 years with The Marconi Co followed by 30 years with California based Hughes Aircraft Co. After retiring I started a Video Production Co which I have run for 17 years on an island off the coast of Washington State, just south of the Canadian border.
Is there a written history of the Grammar School and if so, how can I get a copy. When was it closed and why? Thank you.
John Gorton - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi there just recently found this site and thought i would pop a letter up i used to visit dolgellau between 1990 to 1995 up till i was 16 sadly i haven't been back for twelve years my name is peter mitchell me and my cousin Micheal Rycraft used to come about twice a year and stay in mr and mrs Owens cottages they also owned a shop in the town centre were both from liverpool i have many great memories of that amazing village i was also wondering if anyone remembers us as my cousin used to go out with a girl called lisa not sure of her second name and if anyone could find the time to email me back and tell me if the place has changed much as i am hoping to visit early april next year you can email me anytime at the above address thank you it would be much appreciated.
Firstly I would like to say, what a great site. I was born and bred in Dolgellau, but left in 1979 when I joined the Army. I have recognised a few people that have sent in emails and its wonderful reading their memories. I go home at least twice a year as my parents Jimmy and Margaret Parkes still live there. If I don't get home at least once a year I am home sick. Those of us who grew up in Dolgellau I think would agree that we were privileged to have spent our childhood there. It is one of the safest places I know. My children love it there and always look forward to seeing their Nain and Taid and the rest of our family.
The majority of us would have attended Sunday school; I believe the reason for this would have been to give our parents a bit of peace and quiet. I remember getting very excited when the time came round to going on the Sunday school trip, which was normally a day out in Rhyl or Llandudno. It was a big deal for a lot of us because not many families had a car in them days. The summers were fantastic; swimming in cae chwech, running around in the park and the Marian, going on long walks up around the dam and white stone quarry, there was not a lot in the way of entertainment, but we made our own fun, this meant sometimes sneaking in to the swimming pool in the grounds of Dr William's boarding school which was not open to the public; and having to run like the clappers if the police came. There was of course the Spot on Disco every Friday, our very own Saturday night fever.
I think most of us had jobs to earn a bit of pocket money, especially when the fair came to town in April and September. I remember working in the Golden Lion Royal Hotel for Mr and Mrs Gilbert Hall. Sadly the Hotel is no more, it has been converted in to flats.
I went to Ysgol Y Gader secondary school; I have some wonderful memories of that place and the teachers there. Mr Evans (Bouncer to us) was the head master at the time; he was firm, but fair (although I didn't think so at the time). The deputy head was Broth (I cannot remember his real name at the moment), now there was a man who put the fear of God in to everybody. His subject was woodwork which Girls were not allowed to do; and at the time I was thankful for that, I was petrified of him lol. It took me a long enough to pluck up the courage to go and ask him for a new rough book.
I could go on forever, but will not bore you. I look forward to reading many more memories from Dolgellau.
Tina Parkes - email@example.com
Hello all in dolgellau. i was born and bred in this beautiful town and finding this web site is brilliant it brings back so many memories for me. i left dol at the age of 18 to seek fame and fortune in london ( didnt find either) but i always go back to dol as often as i can to see my family. sadly my dad mike pocock passed away last november 2006 it is a great loss to myself; my mum pam my sister niccola my brother micheal and his grandson jak. he and dad were the best of mates although my dad was australian he moved to dol in 1959 and learnt all about the history of dol and he used to talk to jak for hours about the town and his many years as a merchant seamanwhen i was a child and my dad was home on leave from the navy he used to take my brother and i for walks up tirstent, presipice walk even half way up cader. just seeing this website has brought it all back to me thank you for a great site.
Hello there in Dolgellau. Congratulations' on providing a wonderful site, so full of memories'. My Great Grandmother was from Dolgellau and one day I am returning to find some of my family members' hopefully.
My families name was Lewis, if anyone should remember, please email me.
Lindsey (Lou) Harrison
Hi my name is Lindsey Harrison, It is fantastic to read the messages on this site. It brings back some brilliant memories, I lived in Dolgellau in the late seventies until the early eighties.I went to the primary and junior school I made some great friends and would love to find them again. Especially Daryllyn Griffiths she took me under her wing until I moved back to the Midlands.
I still visit the place I call home, and it will always be close to my heart. If anyone can remember anything please email me.
It was a wet July the 14th 1998 when I made the 11 mile journey by bike with my classmates from Arthog to Dolgellau. We rode along Morfa Mawddach and the skies were grey and my bike had the squeakiest chain EVER!... But oh my god it was worth it...
I remember arriving across Bont Fawr over a fast flowing Afon Wnion in a mist caused by catastrophic yet majestic and awe inspiring rainstorm that has ceased to leave my memories and have flooded my imagination for eight years since my visit.
Dolgellau is a truly awe inspiring town. I have never forgotten its (and I'm not been dramatic here) hypnotic lure and captivating allure as I walked through the many streets in admiration. Its stone buildings, unrivalled beauty and lovely craft shops have mesmerised me for years and I yearn to return. Dolgellau has a hold on me that very few places I have visited have yet to surpass. I bought a lucky Welsh Pixie as a moment.
Only the weather let us down as we were to rode over the Cader Idris range but the mist stopped us from doing that. And so I rode up a hill in soaking wet jeans in a rainstorm that I had never had the honor to ride through before. It should have been difficult, weighing two stone heavier due to sodden denim and hills that turned into insurmountable mountains as lactic acid and the fatigue of the long bike ride on our approach to Dolgellau, but the scenery, the grandeur and dare I say it Magic of Dolgellau and the Morfa Mawdacch estuary carried me forward.
My visit to you town was a brief two hour visit amongst a weeks stay that incorporated Arthog, the Blue Lake, Cader Idris, Fairbourne and Barmouth. However, even as the weather cleared up later on that Tuesday evening and we played amongst the sand dunes between Fairbourne and Barmouth and watched the sun go down over the horizon of the Irish Sea, I knew that my precious memories of Dolgellau in particular would remain with me forever... And indeed they have.
Thank you Dolgellau, and its wonderful people for the memories!
Alison Price (Wolverhampton, West Midlands) - firstname.lastname@example.org
I was born in Dolgellau in 1951 and lived in the village of LLanelltyd until I went to Wrexham Technical College and then worked as a residential childcare officer in Wrexham. I married John Alf of Brithdir, have six children; Darren 34, Paul 32, Julie 28, Steven 26, David 20, Donna 16, our surname is Hughes. We still live locally and two of the children participate in tarmac stage rallies on the Trawsfynydd Ranges and various other places. My parents live locally Mr and Mrs Collett. My dad was a delivery driver for the local bakery Maes and Williams and used to go around all the villages. I have a brother David and sister Hazene.
Phil Atkinson - The Golden Lion Hotel
Before the additions were made to this wonderful hotel, the building comprised of just the one unit which was the actual hotel. Round the corner was a non-descript double door which was the entrance to the 'back bar'. Residents, however, could access the bar to the left of the main entrance to the hotel but local etiquette created an unwritten rule that no one could use this means of entry.
What was singularly astounding about the Golden Lion back bar was the singing sessions frequently held on Wednesday and Saturday nights. They were legendary and in my formative drinking days I learnt a thing or two about choral singing.
What I remember about the sessions was the ritual. It did not begin as a free-for-all induced by customers who had reached the merry stage, but it was orchestrated. The late Jack Evans, chief barman at the time, would begin the session when all the recognised participants had arrived and were ready to start. The back bar was very small and I remember hotel residents squeezing through the annex door to witness the singing.
Even before I was legally allowed to imbibe alcohol at the Golden Lion I was very much aware of the reputation it had for its singing because I was approached by tourists asking me for directions to the feste of singing. Many of them had American accents declaring the place had been recommended by friends. When the Lion extended its premises there was an effort to maintain the singing but the impact was lost and so was a large part of Dolgellau's cultural heritage.
Phil Atkinson - The Railway
THE RAILWAY: I don't know if anyone has pointed this out but, until the Railway network was nationalised, Dolgellau station served two 'masters'; namely the Great Western and the Cambrian railways, so the station was divided in half (not sure whether it was across the tracks or if the tracks were the division) and porters and other workers wore the livery of whichever company they worked for. There may be some elderly residents of Dolgellau who still remember this strange arrangement.
There were difficulties at the station. These days it is unheard of to have your luggage taken for you to the train without charge. When the railway was in its heydey, customer care was the highest consideration of any station. Porters would be on hand to carry the passenger's luggage to either the luggage van or the carriage of the passenger's choice. In most cases the porter actually found a place on the train for the passenger to sit, even if a booking had not been made in advance.
It would be interesting to know if the rival porters had a few tricks up their sleeves to outdo each other. Some of the elderly inhabitants of Dolgellau may be able to relate some entertaining stories from this era.
Phil Atkinson - The Church Primary School
The first two photographs in your gallery of railway photographs show the distinctive oriel window of the Church primary school situated across the way from Penarlag. I remember it well because I was a pupil there.
The far classroom with the oriel window did benefit from the abundant natural light, but the other two classrooms did not enjoy the same airy environment. In fact, I do not remember the lights ever being switched off. The toilets were outside and quite forbidding.
The entrance to the school housed a washroom and cloakroom. Not very pleasant when it was wet outside. In many ways I was quite envious of my brother who attended the school across the road. Whatever, come the winter and snow! Battles royal commenced between us and them.The road between the two schools became no man's land as snowballs were hurled. Although the larger school had advantage in number, we had the advantage of a wall to duck behind.
Again, I'm sure that there are a few of my contemporaries who would vouch for the stirring battles we had.
Wilma Visscher (Holland)
Eleven years ago I drove around on my bike in Wales in the rain. I was cold and wet I met Barbara Lasham and she took me back home and a long warm friendship began and we still write and I will visit next year. Great place great people.
Wilma from Holland - email@example.com
Moira Attrill (nee Jones)
Here is a photo of my Great Grandfather Cadwaladr Jones with the Eisteddfod chair he made for the Workers Eisteddfod of 1932 at Dolgellau. He lived at Llys Cadwen in Dolgellau. I would like to know where the chair is today and who won the chair in 1932.
My Mother Mairwen Jones was born in Dolgellau although I was born at Machynlleth. I am now living at Motygido Farm, Llanarth having taught abroad for many years.
There are a number of Welsh articles and stories on our website at www.motygido.co.uk
Teresa Wainwright (Adelaide, Australia)
I was so pleased to find this site. My great-grandmother, Helena Roberts, lived at Cambrian Cottage, Wells St, Dolgellau. It was a tiny stone-fronted little house, with a front room, scullery and toilet downstairs (you bathed in a tin tub!) and just one huge bedroom upstairs. From the village square you walked past the sweet shop and there were a set of stone steps that led down to Wells Street. The cottage was joined in some way to the bakery next door (which was owned by my great-aunt and her husband, Vio and Bryn Francis who lived in a house called "Danesfield"). They had two daughters, Faye and Enid. I think they also owned the sweetshop in the Square.
This was in the early 1960's and my family used to go and stay with my Great-Gran for the Summer. In the mornings I would go into the bakery next to the cottage to say hello to the bakers and collect the fruit pies that we often had for breakfast. How kind those bakers were - on one memorable occasion they let me make a gingerbread man. I remember rolling out the dough and decorating him, and they put him the vast oven to bake him for me. Our family used to go for walks up into the hills, the countryside there is so beautiful. On day trips we visited Cader Idris and the Torrent Walk, or went to the seaside at Barmouth. Thanks again for the site, it brought back some happy memories.
Teresa Wainwright, Adelaide, Australia - firstname.lastname@example.org
Corina Van Zuijlen (The Netherlands)
We visited Dolgellau several times in the last 10 years. We love the place and it's beautiful surroundings. The first time we went, we stayed at Broneinion in Rhydymain. Richard, the owner of the house, made us feel very welcome and told us a lot about the area and even took the time to take my sister and her boyfriend for a walk trough the fields and the mountains, besides all the busy work at the farm. Broneinion was paradise for us. The children often didn't like to join us when we left the place to discover more of this beautiful country.
At that time we met Huw who lived nearby on a farm named Ysgubor Newydd. Like Richard he taught us a lot about the welsh way of life and took us to places we never had found without him. What we have seen are hard working people, very hospitable and with a great sense of humour, like everyone we met. I remember Dolgellau as a friendly place with a lot of people who speak welsh as their main language and above all, people who are proud at their country and history. I will keep coming back to join this beautiful place, people, nature, mountains, farms, pubs, darts and everything else. Thanks for everything.
Corina from the Netherlands - email@example.com
Barbara Lasham (for Guy Meacham)
Was great to see the letter Guy Meacham wrote regarding his old home in Dolgellau. My parents bought no 13 from his parents in 1973, it was my childhood home until I finally left my Mum and Dad's comfort zone in my 22nd year.
I did try and email him to give him some answers to his questions, however, it was unsuccessful for some reason. If you read this message Guy email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Would be interesting to hear from you. If not my parents send their regards to yours and hope that their move from Ffordd y Felin was as happy as their move to your old home.
Yvonne Burke (At the Primary School pre-1980)
Hello I am lived in Dolgellau from age 6 to age 10, I loved it there!! I remember spending most of my days playing on The Marian, with my sisters and our dog, we always had so much fun. I used to attend the Primary school, and would love to hear from anyone who was there pre 1980. My last year was 1980, and my teacher was Mrs Glynn, she was a brilliant teacher!! I can't remember everyone's names when I was in that school, but you might remember me, My name was Yvonne Burke. My friend at that school was Suzie Wadsworth, is she still around, I would love to hear from her!
I don't live in Dolgellau now, but still love the place, it is very special to me.
Graham 'Ted' Cutler
I am Graham Cutler and I was a boarder at the school in the period 1955-1961, what an experience that was! We were not allowed out of the school grounds except on Saturday afternoons and then only into the town until 4.30pm. We had to wear our school uniform and cap! whilst in town, we would have been reported to "JEJJ", John Eurfyl James Jones, the headmaster at the time! Occasionally we escaped to the hills especially Mynydd Moel hiking at speed, Frank Pearson was particularly good at this.
We were allowed to go to the pictures on Saturday night, first house only, if you had played Rugby for the 1st or 2nd School teams and it was an 'away' fixture, then you were allowed to attend 2nd House. The long green 'crocodile' that snaked its way to the town after lunch on Saturdays was a delight to all boys, it meant that Dr Williams School girls were on the move and heading for town! We were not allowed to talk to them, there was always a member of staff with them ushering them on. That same 'crocodile' would appear again on Sundays as they went to Church in the town from their school situated at the opposite end of the town and well away from the Boys Grammar School! There were occasions, during the Winter, when we would 'break out' of school at midnight to go sledging down the forest track that comes down to the Old Mill at the back of town, we used to 'convert' old wooden folding chairs into makeshift sledges, some even had the luxury of a torch on the front so that we didn't collide with the Pine trees, I have many more stories about incidents and characters that were part of our life at DGS. Any ex-pupils viewing this web-site and can relate to this story please get in touch.
Chris Finney (Nannau Hall)
I visited lovely Dolgellau with my father and step-mother in the summer of 1984. Her cousins live in Wolverhampton and they used to stay in Dolgellau with their caravan, so they knew the way there. (Her family names were Bowen and Llowarch.) My grandmother was a Nanny, descended from the Nanneys of Nannau, so I really wanted to see Nannau Hall and the grounds.
We had a beautiful, sunny day to look around the town (visit St. Mary's, an antique store, and some other places), up to the Hall (which we hope will one day be a B&B), and to Llanfachreth parish.
I have a family of my own now, and we look forward to visiting in the near future.
John Jackson (Gilfach in the 1930's)
I was born in Dolgellau on the 4th November 1930 but moved away some 2/3 years later. My father had a chicken farm near Dolgellau called Gilfach. I remember little about it of course, but in the course of my childhood heard so much about the farm and the cottage that I've always had a wish to return and see for myself exactly where we lived and the surrounding country side.
I believe that the cottage was owned by another farming family by the name of Pugh and my father rented it. Of course being in the 1930's there was the depression and I believe that is why we had to move away.
Anyway if there is anyone who remembers the Jackson family or the farm or can tell me what it's like now, I would love to hear from them.
What wonderful days they where. Before I became an invalid, I and my friends spent every year for about 12 years fishing the Mawddach and Wnion for sea trout. We used to fish Trawsfynnedd lake at the start of the season then always ended up fishing for sea trout from June onwards. What wonderful evenings--nights--and early mornings they where and how I miss them. What I would give to be able to fish the pil pool at night time again.
I was lucky in my life to fish all over the UK but nothing was ever better than that wonderful river Mawddach and Wnion, even if no fish where caught it still was worth the trip every week from the Wirral. We went that many times, the car knew it's own way there!
But to everyone who are lucky enough to visit and live there, try and enjoy every moment as I now have to go for walks in my mind and memory about that wonderful place. Thanks for the memories... Mike Garner.
PS. I remember one evening a worm hunting trip in the dark and rain for worms from your rugby pitch. I am glad nobody spotted us on hands and knees as they would have thought we where mad.
Alice & Joesph Hayes & Tamara Stephens
My husband, daughter, and I visited my ancestorial home that is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jones at Tyddlyn Sheffrey on the week of the infamous strike against our country (9-11). Mrs. Jones was gracious enough to show us through the house of my (many "greats") grandfather David Pugh who left to come to America in 1695.
We shall never forget standing in the front yard and looking out to the Irish Sea. The country is glorious in it's unique beauty, and we're really wishing to return.
We left and went on to Isle of Skye in Scotland where we learned our country had been attacked. The people were wonderful to us during the days we waited to be allowed to return home..
Alice & Joseph Hayes, and daughter Tamara Stephens. Dothan, Al., USA - email@example.com
Hello and congratulations on a great site. I used live near dolgellau between 1949 and 1956. we lived at nannau lodge for some time. my mother worked at nannau for general vaughn then by brigadier pritchard. we also lived at ty bil, and bron haul llanfachreth. i attended Llanfachreth school.happy days. mr and mrs pugh ran the school. i used to walk a lot in the deer park and fish at llyn cynwch with my father. he worked at rhydymain building new houses. used to gather bilberries on the precipice walk. and fish in the pond at nannau for eels and for perch in deer park lake. if brenda barnes is reading this or anyone who remembers me... gareth higgins, would like to talk about the good old days.
Cheers, Gareth (From Rhosgadfan, nr. Caernarfon) - firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to thank those who have contributed to this website. It has brought back wonderful memories of my childhood. My parents owned a static caravan and it was in a caravan site just outside dolgellau. It was run by Mr Jones and it would be great if anyone could tell me the name of it! I come from the wirral peninsula and used to travel in the car every weekend to this little peaceful haven. Me and my sisters used to spend all our pocket money in a great shop (I hope its still there) Francesca's. Well if anyone could help me it would be great.
Katie x x x - email@example.com
Kline Pugh (Cleveland, Georgia, USA)
Have just viewed your web page, and it has brought back fond memories. My ancestor lived at Tyddyn Sheffrey farm south of town near what is now Friog. He came to America in 1695, but returned in 1731 to claim an inheritance. My wife and I were there in 1995-96-97 and visited the farm. Once we stayed in the Clifton House Hotel and ate in the excellent restaurant in the basement. Also has beer, fish and chips at the Unicorn Pub on several occasions email: ClydeOrange@aol.com
I lived there between 1982 and 1988 but these were formative years and even though I hated it when I was there I miss it now. I'm now a fireman in New York, something I could only vaguely dream of back in Dolgellau. But I still miss the idiotic crew I met at Ysgol--y-Gader: Darren and Donald and Fothergill and Richard Harries and Lynne Wadsworth and Dewi Owen, the Napoleon of crime. I think I actually only spent about six months at school in total as most of our schooldays were spent skiving off in the hills. This quiet valley found it hard to contain our energy but we pretty much used it all up running wild over the hills. Teenage heaven. It's a place like no other. See you out there.
CLP - firstname.lastname@example.org
I visited Dolgellau, with my 2 sisters, in 1987 and 1992. I LOVE the town!!! Some of my ancestors came from Northern Wales to settle in the U.S. (outside of Syracuse NY in a community called Nelson). We visited Northern Wales to do some touring of the area and a bit of family research. We found our ancestors cottage in a valley near Bontddu and we visited our ancestors church in Llanegryn. Anyway, we fell in love with Dolgellau and I believe we stayed at The Golden Lion Inn in 1987 but found the inn closed in 1992. I just loved walking about the town. I love the stone buildings. At first I found the town to be rather dark and somewhat dreary but it grows on you. Somewhere among those narrow streets we came across a print shop and now I have two watercolors of Dolgellau which I have proudly hanging in my condo.
We hope to make a return trip to Wales (if I can convince my sisters that it is safe to fly!!!). Next time, we hope to stay in Dolgellau for a longer period. Perhaps renting a cottage and taking full advantage of all the town has to offer.
Gert Rosken (from Holland)
Some years ago, my friend and me went for 5 days to Dolgellau. As we stayed in the Dolserau Hall Hotel, me and my friend decided to climb the Cader Idris.
Mr. Peter Kaye wanted to help us with sandwiches, etc. but we decided to buy some food on the way. So early in the morning we walked the road in he direction of that mountain. No shops for buying any food or drinks. We missed the path which should lead us to the bottom of the mountain. After more than 15 miles walking (no drinks, no food) we arrived at a lake (forgot the name) and some policemen who where just passing buy, we asked the road to the Cader Idris. They explained it to us and we had to make a turn and walk back for about 10 miles. Finally we found the small path leading to the mountain. And we did climb the Cader Idris. Still no food and no drinks. And it became very warm that day. After reaching the top we went down the mountain and thirsty and hungry as we where, we finally reached the village of Dolgellau. The first pub we saw we went in and bought us a pint Guinness. At the road to the hotel there was a restaurant, near a little shop and gas station. In the gas station was a policeman staring at us and he said, ‘Are you two the guys from Holland?’ Yes sir we are. The police is looking for you, because the hotel owner was afraid that you where getting lost on the mountain. In the hotel, the guests where sitting at the bar and when we arrived we had to tell the whole story. You have to know that we both are no sportsmen en two oldies, by that time we aged above 55 years. Never walked that far or climb a mountain. But most off all the kindness of the Wales people who cared that much off their guests.
In 2004 we’ll do this again.
Edmund Lee (Hong Kong)
I, Edmund Lee from Hong Kong, found your web site in the internet and was amazed to find that you have gathered so much information about Dolgellau that help me to refresh my memory about this small Welsh town. You must be surprised to receive this e-mail from somebody in Hong Kong. I was one of the few Chinese boarding students studying at Dolgellau Grammar School (Ysgol Uwchradd Dolgellau) from 1963-1966, that is 37 years ago. At that time, there were two high schools in Dolgellau, the other one is Dr. Williams Girls School and it is near the old railway station.
Your beautiful pictures about Dolgellau really refresh my old memories. Looking at the pictures, the town has not changed much over the past 37 years. The bridge and the road leading into the town square are still the same and there are no tall buildings around.
I enjoyed my boarding school life in Dolgellau, as this town is very beautiful and it is a quiet place for studying. The only entertainment was the cinema near the railway station and it only opened after 5:30 pm daily. As a boarding student, we could only go to cinema on Sundays.
The people were very nice to us and we were the only foreigners in town in those days. On Sundays and holidays I loved walking through the narrow paths at the foot of Cader Idris. Since my departure in 1966, I have not had the opportunity to visit Dolgellau again but hopefully I may have the opportunity after my retirement.
My appreciation for your effort in preparing such a good web site about Dolgellau and this really makes a lot of people happy.
Just wanted to say well done for setting up this website, its brought back lovely memories for me.
I had a summer job there twenty years ago, working in the Royal ship hotel as a cook and waitress. A lady called Mrs Parry was the manageress at the time, I made some lovely friends there who I've unfortunately lost touch with a long time ago, there was Sarah a local girl in the kitchen,I think she married someone called Huw, the receptionist was called Mary, another girl Rosaleen who married a local lad Geraint, and a Liverpool lad called Billy who married a local girl called Jenny and last I heard they were working in the saddlery. We often went to the milk bar and I also remember the rugby club disco, where I met a local boy (Glen Harris) and went out with him for a while, but it fizzled out after I went back to Liverpool.
One funny memory I have is of an older lady who came to work there for a while and did a moonlight flit out of the window one night (very strange). I also had a lovely view from my bedroom window there. I now live in Hertfordshire, where I have been for 16 years, but if anyone remembers me Id love to hear from them.
...Annette Hannah - email@example.com
PS/ I did learn a tiny snippet of welsh while I was there but the spelling is probably terrible: "Tid a suss e vee Carriad"
Guy Meacham (See Above Email from Barbara Lasham)
A lovely site - bringing back lots of memories :^).
I used to live at 13 Fordd y Felin. Attended the Primary School in the 60's and Ysgol Y Gader until 1973 (Age 11), then moved to Lincolnshire in 1974. Old friends Ariel Jones and Paul Kraidner - Are you still there?
I am currently living in Oregon USA. Dolgellau will always be a part of my life. Aloha...
Guy Meacham - firstname.lastname@example.org
My parents came to live in Bryncoedifor in 1935,where my father was the Vicar. The Vicarage was a lovely old house with a huge garden with an enormous beech tree in the drive where the red squirels used to play, and my pony used to wander about ...I remember the village school,and walking down the road in all weathers...not like the kids these days..mind you it was safe and in the middle of the country.....When I was about 7yrs old I went to Bedgbury School at Nannau Hall and we used to play various brutal matches against Dr Williams school, Dolgellau.... know that I have not exactly written about Dol, but I do remember going into town with my parents,I even went into the local hospital? is it still there ? and I* used to go to Barmouth a lot to ride on the beach. In1992 I was working in Bray Berkshire when Cor Godre'r Aran came to sing and I had a nice chat yn Cymraeg with some of the choir including Iwan Wynn Parry and their brilliant conductor Eirian Owen, needless to say I felt very homesick but it was a wonderful evening,and brought back many happy memories of speaking Cymraeg Sir Merionydd, I now live in retirement in Hereford, but still miss what i consider my roots.
Cofion cyne to anyone who might remember me.
Thanks for a great site. I was born in Greenwich in Feb 1944 and immediately evacuated to Dolgellau to escape the bombing in London. My grandparents owned the newsagent the Wilkens now own in Bridge Street, as well as the local hotel and music store. A search of the parish records shows the Arnfield family lived in the town before the early 1800's and there were a large number of them living in 19 Bridge Street in 1890.
My parents emigrated to Australia in 1949 and we have lived around Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland most of the time. I have been back to Dolgellau a couple of times, the last in 1999 when I was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study in the UK. I am currently working as a funeral director in Brisbane. I have a number of old photos of the Town which I will scan and send to you. Keep up the good work.
I first visited Dolgellau in about 1970 at the age of 15, I was a girl guide at the time and spent a week camping near the precipice walk. The first year we were visited by David Morgan (then the local butcher and also scout master) and his wife jenny (the cub mistress). This was the start of a wonderful friendship, which still exists today between my family and the Morgans (although David sadly died two years ago after a long illness). The next year the guides returned to Dolgellau again, this time to be washed out by dreadful rain, we spent our last two days sleeping in the drill hall. I have been to Dolgellau on a regular basis ever since, taking first my boyfriend, who later become my husband and then our two sons. They now visit with their wives and children. We all think of Dolgellau as our second home and hope to visit for many years to come.
I lived at Llanelltyd and attended Dolgellau Grammar School until I left school at 18 (1996).
I visit the area on a regular basis since my elderly parents still live at Llanelltyd. I now live in Nottinghamshire and fluent in the Welsh language.It is my intention to move back to the area when I retire.
Phelps & Judy Bell
My family and I rented a stone cottage near Dolgellau in August 1983 and spent one memorable evening at a banquet and songfest in the town hall(?). We all sat at long tables and shared a leg of succulent Welsh lamb with those at the same table. We have often recalled the pitcher of excellent sauce also on each table made from honey, wine, orange juice, herbs and spices. The question: is there any way of finding the recipe? Can you help us out to relive this Welsh experience? Will much appreciate any help.
Wonderful to find your website for Dolgellau. I am American and spent a few months in your lovely town back around 1982. I was aquainted with Chris and Errol Jones/Williams who owned the Cross Keys Pub at the time. It was quite an adventure for a young American!
I'd met a gentleman in the Cross Keys who challenged me to a race up Cader Idris, the stakes were to be a case of fine whiskey for the winner. I raced to the top and the gentleman never showed up! When I returned to the pub, I found that he had never left and just sat there and laughed and laughed with his mates. Seems I was the victim of a local practical joke. It still gives me a chuckle from time to time.
Anyway thank you for your website, it brought back a lot of fond memories of my stay in the U.K.