Gwynedd County Council tape 14: interview for oral history project. Sample containing about 8179 words speech recorded in leisure context

2 speakers recorded by respondent number C375

PS2W4 X m (No name, age unknown, historian, Interviewer) unspecified
PS2W5 Ag5 m (richard (dick), age 93, retired seaman, Interviewee) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 104001 recorded on 1987. LocationGwynedd: Caernarfonshire () Activity: Interview for oral history project Interview/reminiscences

Undivided text

(PS2W4) [1] Ah.
[2] Can you er can you tell me wh wh wh where you were born Mr ?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [3] Yes in a little street it's not there now, down here called Street.
[4] There were seven houses there.
[5] And only yards and horses stables and things [...] round there you know, in them days.
[6] Then we come in here it was a repaired house this was.
[7] This street here, in nineteen what wa nineteen [...] eight I think.
[8] Aye.
[9] Yes [...] it was.
[10] Aye.
(PS2W4) [11] H how h h h h how many were in your family then?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [12] Well in this house?
(PS2W4) [13] Yeah.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [14] Well my mother had six children but the first baby died and we ere there was another five.
[15] [...] I think, there's only two of us alive now.
[16] I've got a sister in er ... Colwyn Bay somewhere she'd living yes.
[17] Aye [...] [laugh] and last time I seen her was about five years ago.
[18] And the children's coming here aye, [...] .
[19] Ah all these, there was no yar houses across the road there.
[20] There were yards of slate here to there.
(PS2W4) [21] That's on the other side of
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [22] Yes.
(PS2W4) [23] of Street here.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [24] Yes.
(PS2W4) [25] What did your what did your father did did did he do then?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [26] He worked in [...] but he used to go and relieve the sailors and firemen in the steam boats he used to go you know.
[27] When they were needed one.
[28] You know the man in charge of them was they called him, always used to go and fetch him to go if they needed er or somebody lost their passes and [...] .
[29] Er and I went there as a boy after [...] engines and things you know, in [...] then, do you remember them?
[30] No, steam engines [...] shuntings.
[31] They were coming down from the Quarry, bigger engines.
[32] [...] They were a little bigger than this the ones they had shunting here.
[33] There was two of them and they used to go all day at the quarry for to get bring the slates down to [...] .
(PS2W4) [34] H how how old were you wh when you started?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [35] Fourteen.
(PS2W4) [36] Mm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [37] Yeah.
[38] Well yes.
[39] I'm supposed just to answer you, that's all isn't it.
(PS2W4) [40] Well no you No you you say anything that you want to add, that will you know fill in
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [...]
(PS2W4) [41] all the gaps.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [42] Aye fourteen I was.
[43] I think I'd been Yes a few weeks couple of three weeks perhaps in the slate yard behind [...] there, they used to make slates for schools there.
[44] Oh there was about two dozen boys and a lot of men there, there was about a hundred working in that place then.
[45] Yeah.
[46] And then before that [...] boys used to go and gather cockles in the sand outside er not here, other side of [...] you know.
[47] And [...] bloody things here the whole time, these cockles were everywhere they were [...] we liked them, the boys did, aye.
[48] [laugh] Ah.
[49] And there's only me living you know [...] .
[50] I got er a nephew living in Leicester.
[51] Arnold his name is.
[52] And he comes here sometimes.
[53] And then I just go about myself all day.
[54] Perhaps to the beach [...] here, or [laugh] passing the time [...] .
[55] Cos I had [...] you see. [...] .
(PS2W4) [56] Wh when you started working as a lad, erm what did you have to do?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [57] [...] when I went to [...] you mean?
(PS2W4) [58] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [59] Before that other place.
[60] That p Oh I was doing nothing there only tidying up round there.
[61] If a ship had been there loading, well there was a couple of us boys used to tidy up after er after the [...] and things on there see.
[62] And we used to tidy up things like that.
[63] Er we didn't do much [laugh] .
[64] Cos there were we were only getting about five bob a week aye.
[65] Aye.
[66] And then er [...] like like that.
[67] And er I joined this territorials they come and then I joined them, and we went to Camp Parkgate for a fortnight.
[68] We were we hadn't been home a couple of two or three weeks [...] then the big war started, nineteen fourteen.
[69] Fourth of August so we had to go see.
[70] We were belonging to the territorials then.
[71] And then we had to go straight away there and we went different places, Northampton,s you know different places in the country like, in England.
[72] And and in Wales yeah we [...] forget where we were there.
[73] But we went to had a lot of joi jointer then joiners men.
[74] And we had to go to France then.
[75] Er Belgium and France where I was in we were in [...] .
[76] And we had n old naval guns.
[77] Old naval guns.
[78] Their muzzle was a long as from here to that door there.
(PS2W4) [79] About
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [80] Yes.
[81] From here to that door.
(PS2W4) [82] About eight feet long?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [83] Yes.
[84] The muzzle were [...] they had nothing else you see.
[85] They wouldn't give us [...] .
[86] I was a bugler, trumpeter with them.
[87] There was two of us on horses then, there was no motors then you know.
[88] No, only horses, horses dragging these big guns.
[89] About six horses on them.
[90] In each gun, four of them.
[91] Yeah and then the horses used to go down out to the line see.
[92] Well the Germans was shelling and these B things but we had sixty pounder guns then.
[93] They were very [...] short muzzle things, but them old things there like that, they were jumping when you were firing them you know.
[94] They were [laugh] yeah.
(PS2W4) [95] What w what was it like when you you first w w went over there, I mean having been here in in and then all of sudden finding yourself in France ?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [96] Ah we feel oh we were we enjoyed ourselves there.
[97] [laughing] That's all I can remember ever. []
[98] Yeah.
[99] But I come home, well [...] in the end.
[100] [...] lots more lads were killed do you see, lots of them eh?
[101] Well there was thousands killed see the infantry was and there were loads more all round you see [...] ?
[102] Yeah.
[103] And all the country there then, well France we were first, then we shifted to Belgium.
[104] Nothing, only [...] and mud and dirt and everything else.
[105] And walking about up to here some of the times in mud.
[106] And we had on these shoes you know.
[107] Boots I mean t you know.
[108] Yes.
[109] [...] . And the first trench we went in, the communication trench was [...] .
(PS2W4) [110] Was it?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [111] Aye [...] we was shifted about then, different places yeah.
[112] And er [...] I had a touch of a there was a gas shells dropped somewhere quite not far from me.
[113] And I had a snuff of that then [...] I wasn't right for a while.
[114] I went down to Boulogne to an hospital there.
[115] [...] got better they sent me back.
[116] [laugh] . Aye.
[117] [...] . Course my best friends were killed there.
[118] A m A man named Harold from [...] , and while I was in that hospital with that bit of a gas shell, he er he g fellow came and told me there, to [...] Boulogne that he was dead, killed.
[119] Aye never [...] they never seen him after.
[120] A lot of them [...] getting killed there.
[121] But I was lucky [...] .
[122] [...] I remember when after it finished, I went back to [...] for a while [...] I went with [...] ports and things like.
[123] To different ships aye.
[124] Belonging to Liverpool and them places like that.
[125] And travelling round Ireland, travelling round Ireland all all round it, Cork all round with slates from here.
[126] Yes.
[127] The [...] a [...] good life you know.
[128] And sometimes [...] used to get a bit of a a bad storm ahead so we used to especially if you went from here to er North of Scotland round Cape .
[129] [...] in bad weather we used to go [...] into what was it they called Long Hope or something and anchor there.
[130] Er well there'd be a lot of us ships there then.
[131] About a dozen there.
[132] But we couldn't go ashore until it got better ad then we went round the cape [...] after and down into Aberdeen see.
[133] That's what we used to do [laugh] with these ships.
[134] Aye.
[135] Aye [...] got to Bangor there and my father's photo's on that [...] .
(PS2W4) [136] Is he?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [137] Aye.
[138] Have you got them here.
(PS2W4) [139] No I they're in the archive [...]
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [140] Aye my father's leaning on the bridge like that [...] .
(PS2W4) [141] I have to I h I when I get to the office, I'll h I'll h I'll have a look a bit closer.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [142] Yes, you can see him.
[143] The [...] like that.
(PS2W4) [144] Yeah.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [145] On a bridge, it's like this wasn't it.
[146] Bangor her name was.
[147] There was another ship the same as her called the [...] and another one called the Harrier.
[148] They had a few ships.
[149] They , you heard of her?
(PS2W4) [150] I've heard of her
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [151] [...] shelling ship she was.
(PS2W4) [152] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [153] Well my brother was with went with that one once a boy As a boy.
[154] But I took him first to Connor's Quay to join a sh erm ship there.
[155] I forget her name.
[156] Well anyhow when we went there, I told er the captain like.
[157] Well what do you want? he says to me.
[158] Well I've been sent from Bangor.
[159] There was a sailing er what do they call it, a [...] here [...] and it was him that he asked would could you send a boy there.
[160] So I took my brother who was younger than me, about four or five years see.
[161] The first ship he went in, he was [...] for about two years.
[162] And then he left her and he went with this [...] three masted top schooner she was, very fine ship.
[163] Aye.
[164] And then [...] I don't know where he went after of course.
[165] I went different places [...] .
[166] I landed in the end me, on the railway.
[167] Bangor here.
(PS2W4) [168] Did you ?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [169] Aye.
[170] Yes well we I I'd been working on the Menai Suspension Bridge repa you know, when they were rep doing the repairing like.
[171] I went there and asked the fella for a job, and he says, How are you on heights? he says.
[172] Oh I'm alright, I says to him, I've been in ships and [...] .
[173] Alright you can start, he says to me.
[174] And I were I was doing the job there th that's how I started on working on shore.
[175] And er of course that job finished then.
[176] And er I had a brother in law on the railway there.
[177] So he told me to go and ask for a job there.
[178] I went I forget er No I don't forget the name of the foreman.
[179] Jack his name was anyhow.
[180] A bit of a rough chap you know, nice [...] but very rough [...] .
[181] What have you been doing before, he says to me.
[182] I told him I worked on the Menai Suspension Bridge.
[183] Oh you're on [...] yes, go on, start tomorrow morning [...] he says to me, with Fighting Mack.
[184] There was a fella called Fighting Mack there.
[185] You [...] start with Fighting mack, in the tube there tomorrow.
[186] And that's how I worked there.
[187] [...] er and then I think Oh I was there for about two years after
(PS2W4) [188] You so s so you worked in [...]
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [189] I worked there two years after my time.
[190] After er sixty five you know.
[191] Yeah.
[192] And then I'd er aft finished then and miserable around here aye and in the town I used to get a job here and there.
[193] Th then you know from someone or or other.
[194] Well now anyhow I there's only me here and I er was ninety three last birthday.
[195] Last September.
[196] Yeah I was born in eighteen ninety two see.
[197] I think I'm the oldest one round here.
(PS2W4) [198] Yes I think you are.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [199] Yeah I think so too.
(PS2W4) [200] I think so.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [201] Aye cos I remember a lot of old people here.
[202] A lot of old sailors you know er in them days, when I was a kid aye.
(PS2W4) [203] W were there w was there a great seafaring
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [204] Ships sailing ships there were, haven't you seen the picture of them sailing ships.
(PS2W4) [205] I've seen photographs but it's, to have people who were actually there is quite rare really.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [206] Well the ships were there, there was no steamboats in them days you know.
[207] w er only sailing boats and they used to be anchored here years ago, down on the beach there.
[208] And they used to call on when they were giving the turns [...] to go there and load.
[209] My father was working loading [...] there.
[210] Er
(PS2W4) [211] Were a lot of people employed o on them er fo from ?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [212] Pardon?
[213] Oh Yes yes, you know, five and six in some small schooners yes.
[214] But in the was ten I think.
[215] They she belonged to she was iron ship she was to .
[216] Yes.
[217] And she used to run from here to Hamburg and London.
[218] With slates and about nine crew on her.
[219] Nice ship she was too.
[220] My brother was with her for a [...] long while.
[221] Oh he was a proper sailor, different to me you see.
(PS2W4) [222] What's the difference?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [223] Well er he started right.
[224] Started as a boy he did.
[225] I and I took to Connor's Quay [...] as a sailing ship and I and then of course I hadn't been much in sailing ships.
[226] I used to work as a boy I did on [...] .
[227] And then when I got er old enough I used to go in the gang like the men, and er get the same and [...] piece work we were working loading the ships.
[228] Loading the barrels.
[229] And wheeling them to the ship you know, then after you'd been there a long time, well my father was a [...] down below and [...] I went to his shop then you see.
[230] That's how we learnt.
[231] [laugh] So in the ship was a a nice thing you know.
[232] Cos slates you know [...] going and rolling round and jumping [...] .
[233] Because they w they weren't shifting do you see.
[234] But there's a funny thing, I was lucky in there.
[235] I was with Pamela, she come up, new ship you know then.
[236] And I was with her till I left her somewhere in Southampton, I'd been in her a good while too.
[237] Somebody pinched something off me so, Bugger all this, I said, I left her there.
[238] And come home here.
[239] Well I went to in oh about twelve months after that or less say, and er she wanted a man there, I went down there and asked could I have a job back you know.
[240] Well he was [...] just too late, he says, there's a fellow from [...] Oh never mind, maybe a chance again.
[241] She was lost all hands aboard.
(PS2W4) [242] [...] .
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [243] In about a fortnight after it.
[244] Aye.
(PS2W4) [245] Good good.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [246] And she was a new ship too, aye.
[247] She had a bad cargo see, they hadn't er some [...] stuff and they hadn't stored her properly and she turned over and they all got drowned.
[248] There was one chap with her, he'd been in oh for years.
[249] And his ship was [...] called .
[250] He was from [...] and he'd been out of work a long time.
[251] Willy, his name was, I remember him well.
[252] [...] he got lost and drowned with her.
[253] He was from [...] .
(PS2W4) [254] And and [...]
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [255] Aye, I'm lucky you see.
(PS2W4) [256] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [257] Well I'm not to brag too much [...] I I've been lucky haven't I?
(PS2W4) [258] Very lucky.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [259] Aye.
[260] Yes aye.
[261] And er this is what I do, Well I used to do jobs [...] round here for a while or I've chucked it up now aye.
[262] I don't get nothing [...] .
[263] [...] cos I worked two years all the time I had a few bob for that extra [...] that's all.
[264] Cos I can't get to what you call this a thing now, social security.
[265] The the guy can't get that [...] cos I had a few shillings more after working [...] two years [...] .
(PS2W4) [266] Oh I see.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [267] Aye. [laugh]
(PS2W4) [268] That's not fair r really is it.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [269] No well that's the way the country's doing now isn't it.
[270] I don't think anybody works overtime now do they, over their age?
(PS2W4) [271] Very rarely.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [272] Aye I should think so, unless they're working for themselves right.
[273] [laugh] There is some fella he's working in his back yard and he's hammering all day, I I wish he'd give it [laughing] up [] .
[274] But he's not out there today either, he started this morning, I can't hear him now.
[275] Ah.
(PS2W4) [276] You said that erm or you implied that it was important to stow the c the erm slates v v very carefully .
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [277] Oh [...] Oh yes.
[278] You had to store them.
[279] There was what they called gangs you see, you know they had planks didn't they.
[280] Have you ever seen them [...] ?
(PS2W4) [281] I've seen photographs.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [282] [...] .
[283] And they used to Two men on the shore loading, course there was men counting the slates do you see.
[284] There was [...] thousands and thousands.
[285] And er then th one man used to load the barrel, and the other man was to put them down the plank.
[286] And of course there was people from the town then getting a job like holding [...] like this and [...] fella on the stage you see, they weren't regular men, but they were getting a job and so much for doing it yes, just the same.
[287] But the the regular men were getting more money than [...] but er And then there used to be men down there, storing the slate, regular men on the outside, my father was one of them.
[288] Say if there was eight gangs, there would be [...] eight eight of them there, and eight of them here.
[289] Aye.
[290] Storing them.
[291] Packing them up [...] nice you know and chocking them tight so as they wouldn't shift you see, when the ship was rolling.
(PS2W4) [292] When er w each gang, would they negotiate the er the bargain individually or would they be paid Would every gang be paid a f a flat rate.
[293] A flat piece rate .
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [294] The the regular men were er mates sharing together you see.
(PS2W4) [295] I see.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [296] But the others that was getting a job from the town,
(PS2W4) [297] Mhm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [298] were getting the money what it was worth [...] .
[299] Sometimes be more or less.
[300] [...] used to be about few p er shillings more do you see, er a tonne yes.
[301] Aye.
(PS2W4) [302] Were erm only certain men allowed or er say were trusted with the job of stowing
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [303] Oh they were regular men.
[304] Oh yes, they were regular men.
[305] Yes the others were only hobblers they called them.
(PS2W4) [306] Hobblers?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [307] Aye you know, holding them on the plank and th passing them to the But the the men that were stowing them, they were regular men on the They knew how to do it see.
[308] And they used to pack them up so nice and tight [...] till they were full up inside [...] .
[309] And then they didn't shift at all see.
[310] No.
(PS2W4) [311] When you started on that gang,wh wh wh what did you start as then?
[312] Did you start as [...]
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [313] Oh I started as a boy.
(PS2W4) [314] Yeah.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [315] Er on the doing small jobs on the quay there like you know, cleaning up and things like that.
[316] After a ship [...] .
[317] But when I got older, [...] well I was getting the same pay as the regular men then.
[318] Piece work you know.
[319] But the war come and [...] .
[320] And I was six years or something away.
[321] Er
(PS2W4) [322] Six years?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [323] Oh aye all through the war.
[324] on August the fourth nineteen fourteen.
[325] Fourth [...] I had to go from here.
[326] My mother was sitting here on a chair yeah, when I come home from there.
[327] Oh Dick, she says to me, she called she called me Dick and I used to tease her.
[328] I thought [...] I used to I used to say to her sometimes I'll have to go off [...] story.
[329] Dick she used to call me.
[330] I thought you named me Richard?
[331] Well I have, Dick.
[332] she says.
(PS2W4) [laugh]
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [333] [laugh] [laughing] Yeah. []
[334] Every time she said that, I used to tease her then.
[335] Aye aye [...] .
[336] [laugh] But I remember once going er to school.
[337] Now you go to school, the [...] school there.
[338] Well I was no bigger than this like and er [...] go to school straight away Dick.
[339] Alright mama, I used to say to her.
[340] [...] after [...] been down there.
[341] And to [...] I went along that beach in them days you know th and straight to the sea, playing with some wood.
[342] Somebody had been her, fetching me to see that I was [...] playing truant, [...] landed in school.
[343] Well I could see a woman coming along the beach there, it was high up and [...] down there.
[344] Well this woman is coming like the devil if ever she is. [...] tell it was my mother.
[345] [laughing] And she got hold of me [] by the neck like th [...] I told you to go to school didn't I.
[346] She says, Look me right [...] .
[347] And hammered on the door so [...] one of the teache and it was the class where I was too happened to be by the door there.
[348] And she says, Here you are, here he is.
[349] And do what you like with him she says.
[350] [laughing] [...] [] And that's where I was aye.
[351] I didn't play truant after that. [...] [laugh]
(PS2W4) [352] No I'm not surprised.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [353] No.
[354] Yeah.
[355] Aye aye.
(PS2W4) [356] The you said, that you were away for six years.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [357] Er in the war?
(PS2W4) [358] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [359] Oh yes yes.
(PS2W4) [360] Did any of them the lads that you the men that you went away with.
[361] Did they come back?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [362] Not all.
(PS2W4) [363] Not all of them?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [364] Oh no.
(PS2W4) [365] Were any of them .
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [366] [...] there's a couple of my best friends
(PS2W4) [367] Mm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [368] er Well the one that [...] best was, he used to [...] he was older than me but and er I was very sorry.
[369] I went I said [...] gas shell drop close to me and that that gave me a bit of a right to go an d to the hospital.
[370] Well I didn't [...] quite to the hospital.
[371] I went to Oh that's eleven o'clock that is.
[372] Ah.
[373] It's a bit fast I think [...] .
[374] Isn't it?
(PS2W4) [375] I think it is yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [376] Yes about five minutes fast.
(PS2W4) [377] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [378] [...] .
[379] Aye er the [...] when I was [...] I got better and [...] I got down to [...] and there was a fella come to look and see me.
[380] Well she says, Gentleman wants to see you.
[381] She says, [...] and I said, No [...] .
[382] So he come then and he told me that that best friend of mine was killed.
[383] He lived down the road there. [...]
(PS2W4) [384] Did did you find it d er difficult t t to believe when you were told?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [385] Well I could see him all the time see.
(PS2W4) [386] Mm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [387] You know in in the hospital I could s see him in my face all the time.
[388] Yeah.
[389] And it was [...] .
[390] That's a long time ago isn't it.
(PS2W4) [391] Yes it is.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [392] Aye.
(PS2W4) [393] R it is.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [394] Nineteen eighteen was it when they finished I think, yes.
(PS2W4) [395] Mm
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [396] Nineteen fourteen, fourth of August we went from here.
(PS2W4) [397] When you went e when you went away, what did you think you were going into then?
[398] Because you were only a young lad weren't you [...] .
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [399] Yeah.
[400] Well er I didn't we didn't know.
[401] Er to tell you the truth.
[402] We used to laugh and everything together, going from Bangor here.
[403] And going to England one place we didn't [...] enough do you see, so we were going Then we went to Northampton and different places like that, shifting about for a while.
[404] To get enough
(PS2W4) [...]
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [405] Yeah.
(PS2W4) [406] So you were
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [407] Cos there was different er things do you see, infantry, Royal Welsh and things like that, they were going the same as us.
[408] Looking for men, aye to go.
[409] Ah.
[410] Till there was no c no man er after eighteen round here then er in them days you know.
[411] No.
[412] And we never used to [...] we were [...] about three times home in that er five years time.
[413] And many didn't come no.
[414] Oh.
(PS2W4) [415] What was it like
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [416] I wo what you didn't like to pass anybody
(PS2W4) [417] Mm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [418] m er mother of one of them that was killed you see.
(PS2W4) [419] No?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [420] No I cou You'd go round the other street wouldn't you.
[421] Ah.
(PS2W4) [422] Wh wh wh why was that?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [423] Oh you didn't like to see them, they'd only come and cry to you.
[424] Aye.
(PS2W4) [425] W was it also because there were so many of them.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [426] Oh there were [...] many of them killed you see.
(PS2W4) [427] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [428] Thousands wasn't it.
[429] [...] the country all well hundreds and hundreds from here.
[430] Yeah.
(PS2W4) [431] From ?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [432] Yes well from as many boys that had seen the age, they had to go.
[433] [...] like them do you see, the this side, them [...] people they were volunteers, proper volunteers do you see, they were.
[434] But they after they had finished, they the South African war and things was before then wasn't it.
(PS2W4) [435] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [436] Well I remember the South African war too.
[437] Cos I had an uncle there.
[438] And my grandmother used to live on the beach there.
[439] In a house facing there and her son was one of then Caernarfon er what do you call them er militia like [...] and they had to go [...] talking with me and a little One of the first little motor cars like this.
[440] Not an open thing you know, little bus like aye.
[441] And he was er from [...] it was Jack I remember him well, an old man.
[442] Driving this, he used to go on the [...] by the by the clock you know [...] in them days, the first motor [...] .
[443] Aye.
[444] And he come there, and who was it come home from Africa, but my uncle, my mother's son [...] Hello David, you've come home Davey, she says, you've come home.
[445] Yes, he says. [laugh]
(PS2W4) [446] From South Africa?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [447] Aye.
[448] South Africa war he was [...] .
[449] Well I remember the South African war [...] .
[450] Aye. [...] [break in recording]
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [451] [...] this and that then the old women used to go to the door, [...] shilling [...] .
[452] And look this grate here's the same thing now as it was in nineteen O eight and I make a fire in it everyday but I haven't made it today.
[453] I I was nearly doing it too.
[454] Yeah [...]
(PS2W4) [455] This is the original
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [456] [...] look at it.
[457] Nineteen O eight [...] put the match in there and have the coal and the wood is in there ready.
(PS2W4) [458] Oh I see.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [459] [...] it is.
[460] But in them days do you see, we had er a kettle here and a kettle there but we don't bother with now.
[461] I've got a gas stove in the back there.
(PS2W4) [462] Would this get hot here?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [463] Yea oh yes the kettle'd be there.
(PS2W4) [464] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [465] And another one here.
(PS2W4) [466] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [467] Hot my mother used to call it she was English, she was er Cockney born but she come to Bangor when she was eight years ten years of age.
[468] Working in the [...] with some people from er she was adopted because she w lost her mother and father.
[469] So these women were coming Well they were man and wife aye from London Tottenham Court she lived.
[470] She was born.
[471] And brought her to ... with them see and then she stayed here she never went out of here then.
[472] Oh and they were working in the [...] there where that job centre is now it was a big pub.
[473] You know.
(PS2W4) [474] Was it?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [475] That's where the women come see.
[476] F the people come from London to that.
[477] Ah it was a big pub.
[478] I forget it's na the name of it.
[479] [...] got it somewhere in this house but I've told some chap, [...] [laugh] [...] a bit of a Welsh there er I said, Now [...] but it was Welsh there. [laugh] . [...] .
(PS2W4) [480] I don't speak Welsh.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [481] No no that's [...] .
[482] That's what we say [...] .
[483] We still say that [...] that's what the Frenchmen used to say it in French aye.
[484] Pas beaucoup er n non compris I don't understand.
(PS2W4) [485] Mm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [486] But [...] say that still [...] .
[487] Aye aye can't help it now.
[488] Stuck in you somehow.
[489] [laugh] Oh aye yeah.
(PS2W4) [490] What was it er when your mother erm sort of lived here,di di did she learn to speak your Welsh?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [491] No she didn't er bother.
(PS2W4) [492] No?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [493] No.
[494] No she didn't bother.
[495] Er but there was er She come here with them people and the [...] they kept that big [...] and they forget [...] and after they had died and they [...] she went across the road to the the this [...] here now.
[496] A [...] here now.
[497] And they want to put that out they do.
[498] Aye [laugh] er this [...] there.
[499] But then she got married and we lived down the road there for a while till they repaired these, they made these There was very old houses these are.
[500] This site here barring them two in the top there.
[501] The two on this side, they started to build them there see, renew them.
[502] But the wa war broke out and they just made these up.
[503] But this is the largest of them this house.
(PS2W4) [504] Is it?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [505] Yes.
[506] Didn't you see the kitchen eh?
(PS2W4) [507] I I was very surprised when I came in, it's enormous isn't it?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [508] Yes.
[509] There's you can put four double beds in the front room.
[510] There is [...] for this er my sister here, she was [...] after my mother died and everything like that.
[511] But she was there [...] and you know, she wants something here and wants it there too.
[512] Do as you like, I says, I didn't bother myself aye.
[513] [laugh] And then she was buying furniture and things like that [...] is here too somewhere.
[514] Aye and the younger she was.
[515] ... Aye there she is.
[516] Perha perhaps you'd know her.
[517] And here she is older there, look, in the town. ...
(PS2W4) [518] Oh.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [519] Aye.
[520] And ...
(PS2W4) [521] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [522] She's younger still here.
[523] ... [...] I had three sisters you know.
[524] But the two the one the eldest is dead and the youngest see.
[525] But I've got one living in Colwyn Bay.
[526] Yeah.
(PS2W4) [527] Mm.
[528] Ho how old is she?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [529] She's about three years younger than I.
(PS2W4) [530] Gosh.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [531] Yeah.
[532] And the children are alive too. ...
(PS2W4) [533] Mm.
[534] ... Thank you.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [535] Er there's only er old people from here would know them see.
[536] And she used to do all the messages like that after my mother died see.
[537] Ah.
(PS2W4) [538] How er h when did your m m m mother die then?
[539] Ho
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [540] Oh I've no idea.
[541] Af after the First World War.
[542] Yeah.
(PS2W4) [543] Mm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [544] [...] she was eighty.
[545] Forget that, eighty she was.
[546] Course she'd been working hard well er not working hard you know just in the [...] cleaning [...] like that.
[547] Course all young w women used to go and skivvy as they called them didn't they.
[548] Used to go ski er cleaning and that's where they used to work, but now they go to shops don't they.
[549] Aye.
[550] There was seven shops [...] in this little place here.
[551] There's none here now.
[552] Only that [...] now that's what they sell things there th they've started there.
[553] On the beach there, there's a shop there now.
[554] But there were seven in all these streets here and we never used they never used to go to town.
[555] We never used to go Here we used to be and on the beach there.
(PS2W4) [556] What did they sell, these er shops?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [557] Oh er everything you know, meat and there was one [...] shop down the bottom of the street here, my mother come here one morning, she used to get meat there.
[558] And er oh she says to m She couldn't didn't speak Welsh but she told what the old man told her in that shop there.
[559] He says there's er that I e I haven't got a chicken for you today, a kitchen for you today.
[560] Instead of saying chicken, he says, I haven't got a kitchen for you.
[561] Aye.
[562] And that old man I'm telling you the God's truth, I watched him when I was coming [...] school many a time, used to go to Anglesey with a rope in his pocket here.
[563] And buy a sheep and come home with it and that [laughing] over the bridge [] with it, all along and along er that road there and th and when we used to come from that school in [...] , he used to be coming with a sheep on the string like this and the poor thing, I used to look at the old sheep and he often used to be tired you see.
[564] And he'd go like this [...] with his knee you know, [...] that's how she was [laughing] shifted [] .
[565] To here.
[566] And he ki he was killing them in the back yard there.
[567] Yes.
[568] But he was a proper butcher.
[569] He was cutting it proper shapes you know like they are today [...] .
[570] But he was a proper But it was in his back yard, he was killing it and hanging it up in the window there.
[571] In the bottom of the street there.
(PS2W4) [572] Yeah.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [573] [...] the old houses them [...] aye.
[574] Yeah.
[575] Er that I remember [...] come in laughing saying that he had no kitchen for him for her.
[576] [laugh] . I laughed We used to have a laugh about that very often.
[577] Aye.
[578] It was [...] . [laugh] .
(PS2W4) [579] Apart from the b b butcher's shop.
[580] Er wh wh wh what other shops were there?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [581] Oh they was er selling everything, potatoes and er carrots and things like that [...] you know.
[582] About seven of them, but they were in different places.
[583] But there was one shop up the road there, er [...] it was n the Welsh names they were or most you see.
[584] And there'd been like a half door going to the shop like there you know.
[585] But behind that t the bottom half [...] I still remember it though, and when we opened that [laughing] [...] [] .
[586] And then the old man might be in the back yard somewhere and he could here that the bell going [...] .
[587] It was a big as this.
(PS2W4) [588] [...] .
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [589] Ah.
(PS2W4) [590] What almost a foot?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [591] Yes.
[592] A big bell like that.
(PS2W4) [593] Good heavens.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [594] Aye.
(PS2W4) [595] Enough to make anyone jump isn't it?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [596] Oh yeah.
[597] [laugh] [...] . Well he was selling swedes, everything, potatoes, carrots and things like that [...] .
[598] I my day [...] tell you, I don't thing there was many shops with a tin in the sh in the window.
[599] They were all in But the tinned stuff, everywhere now isn't it.
[600] But it wasn't then.
[601] No.
[602] [laugh] . All in er at the counter or in er boxes or in casks like this.
[603] Everything like that then.
[604] But now er in tins.
[605] And people were saying in them days, [...] won't live long now.
[606] Will tins.
[607] [laughing] So the old people are saying, and we were wondering as children like yes, Why [...] [] Oh it's all tinned stuff now.
[608] Aye it's no good.
[609] [...] cos they used to have [...] and a big handled my mother had sa saucepan and [...] as big as this.
[610] Like that.
(PS2W4) [611] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [612] And a big handle [...] sticking up here.
[613] Full of scouse.
(PS2W4) [614] Ah scouse.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [615] Scouse.
(PS2W4) [616] Yeah.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [617] Everything in it you know.
[618] Ah lovely stuff eh?
[619] You don't get them today like that.
[620] I makes them myself in the back yard there I do it.
(PS2W4) [621] Do you?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [622] Aye. [...]
(PS2W4) [623] How?
[624] Sorry.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [625] Meat, potatoes well er mostly t s turnips you know.
[626] we er swede they call the other isn't it?
[627] Carrots and meat and good stuff, and then they used to put a little flour to thicken it like this do you see, with a big spoon like that.
[628] [...] and pulled this out like that.
[629] Well they say it'll come out like that see.
(PS2W4) [630] Mm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [631] Everybody w looking but when my father and all was there, there was nine then so there was more so we had to go in th in that big room there and eat off the table there then.
[632] Cos
(PS2W4) [...]
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [laugh]
(PS2W4) [633] All of you?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [634] Yes.
[635] Aye.
[636] Aye.
[637] [...] oh my mother was a strong woman, yes and good cook too.
[638] But she'd learnt a job in That's what she was doing you see, in the [...] .
(PS2W4) [639] W she she came from erm
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [640] She come from London, here a young girl.
[641] She'd lost her parents.
(PS2W4) [642] Yeah.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [643] And er her father and mother ... [...] died, but she lived till she was eighty.
[644] And she come here with these people from London, she had a good place with them, plenty of good food and everything.
[645] In that [...] there, where that job centre is now.
[646] And then across the road she went afterwards, to that [...] there, She had a lovely time there.
[647] Cos working men didn't go in there,th in them days you know, into that small [...] .
[648] All er p er people in big high jobs.
[649] Aye.
(PS2W4) [650] Right.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [651] But now, every Dick, Tom and Harry goes in that little [...] there now.
(PS2W4) [652] Yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [653] Well they didn't in them days.
[654] They didn't hardly go when I was going.
[655] I was started to go there.
[656] [laugh] . Yeah.
[657] Only I went away to work then aye and er ... [...] wasn't coming home very often.
(PS2W4) [658] W What w what did your mother think of here?
[659] Having sort of c c come into an area which was Welsh speaking?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [660] Well she come with the people, English from London and then with them in that [...] there .
(PS2W4) [661] Mm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [662] That's where she was.
(PS2W4) [663] Mm.
[664] It must have been a bit of a shock to her .
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [665] She she was young.
(PS2W4) [666] Mm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [667] Ten years of age she was.
(PS2W4) [668] Only ten?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [669] Ten yes.
[670] But she never spoke Welsh.
[671] But I think she understood us and acquired talking to ourselves in Welsh you know.
[672] Yeah.
[673] Oh yes, she [laughing] she knew what [...] [] cos we could see it by her face.
[674] [laugh] . Aye.
[675] [laugh] Aye [...] .
[676] [laugh] And [...] I remember her father coming here from [...] .
[677] Young ... [...] and he married some g young girl from here you know.
[678] Aye.
(PS2W4) [679] You remember that do you?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [680] Yeah.
[681] Oh yeah.
(PS2W4) [682] When you came can I just sort of take you back again?
[683] When you came back
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [684] Aye you ask me what what you want to know.
[685] And then I Well it's no use me telling me [...] because they're no good to you are they them?
(PS2W4) [686] No I don't No that that puts flesh on the bones.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [687] Oh aye yeah yeah.
[688] Yeah.
(PS2W4) [689] When you came back from away after the war,d did you notice any any changes here?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [690] Yes er [...] the missing of the old friends you know, to start with yes.
(PS2W4) [691] Mm.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [692] Er and hardly nothing to do here.
[693] But er I was going back to my own job [...] you see, and then I went to see if the And then I I don't know what happened.
[694] There was something er [...] Oh well I went away again somewhere.
[695] [...] and then I went on the railway.
[696] A little The reason why I went there, my brother was living two or three [...] here.
[697] And he said says to me, I can get you a job on the rai railway, he says to me.
[698] You see so I went went there and that's how I got there.
[699] Well I'd been on the Menai Suspension Bridge before.
[700] Aye they were repairing it then.
[701] We had to go up heights then didn't we.
[702] Aye.
(PS2W4) [703] What did you used to do on the on the bridge then?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [704] Oh well I say there was fitters, I used to h er be handy with them.
[705] And lifting the heavy things and things, yeah.
[706] Oh it was heavy but I was used to heavy stuff on [...] .
[707] Cos er when you're loading a ship you're you're handling yourself about twenty tonnes before dinner.
[708] With your hands like this.
[709] Loading the barrow with twenty tonnes.
[710] And and wheeling it so far like that.
[711] And then the other fella will take it to the plank.
(PS2W4) [712] Yeah.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [713] To put them down.
[714] And he'd have to put that I remember one man that was counting like this, he used to count them by the three you know.
[715] There was two or three men that did like.
[716] Of course they knew and they had a pin in o in their hand to stick every hundred like that see.
[717] Counting three like that.
[718] Thousands was [...] in no time, they'd count tonnes.
[719] And I put one morning,s seven tonnes before dinner in.
[720] Aye.
(PS2W4) [721] Who was responsible for for calculating the number of slates then?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [722] Oh there was a they had er er th er counters they called them.
[723] But we called them [...] in Welsh do you see.
[724] They say there was oh half a dozen counters there you know.
[725] But there was one man m in er in you see them little red huts that's on [...] ?
[726] He was there.
[727] He he knew how much every ship carried you see, and how much slate they wanted to get rid of there.
[728] [...] Aberdeen, different [...] slates going there.
[729] They were thicker and smaller you see.
[730] Because the weather was bad there wasn't it.
(PS2W4) [731] I see.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [732] But in Ireland, Dublin and Belfast, the lovely best slates you know, used to go there, to Ireland.
[733] Best slates.
[734] Ah b a Scotland there was different place altogether for slate.
[735] Aye.
[736] And they used to count it like that [...] and every hundred they stick a pin in see.
[737] And they had a slate in their hand, square slate like this.
[738] And they used to mark the hundred and then go [...] there again, take the other pin out and go like that you see.
[739] Counting them all the time like that.
[740] Yes they counted thousands of them.
[741] Well they [...] they knew how to do it didn't they?
[742] They were used to it.
[743] They had a say there was two or three counters, this man in that part had made the cargo already before they started see.
[744] [...] one man er that had so many hundred apiece or so many coun sizes say, different sizes [...] .
[745] And then they used to go with their slate and and they knew it altogether [...] and then the counter turns and turns like that.
[746] And they don't do it now.
[747] They made the rope.
[748] [...] how the ships finished here.
[749] They belonged to they were [...] ships you know, but they had one sailing ship, the herself, They made a road into [...] quarry you see.
[750] And instead of a ship going from here to Aberdeen, [...] she might be a fortnight going there, with bad weather [...] .
[751] Going to different places, windbound we used to go.
[752] Because we boys used to like the windbound [...] lying and talking and in the galley and smelling of the [...] coming from the galley, all the saucepans and things like that.
[753] You know.
[754] [laugh] Aye [...] .
[755] Aye well you see it [...] we used to [...] it doesn't matter how she jumped and rolled, we were eating just the same.
[756] But if a young fella started you know, he couldn't d eat you know for a while long time.
[757] He got sick do you see, and lie down.
[758] Yeah.
[759] And we used to say, [...] you're alright, come one.
[760] [...] we've been the same [...] before when we started.
[761] [laugh] . Aye.
[762] Yes aye.
(PS2W4) [763] How long did it take for your stomach to settle down then?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [764] Oh a good while.
(PS2W4) [765] Yes?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [766] Yeah.
[767] You were afraid to see her shifting.
[768] [laugh] . Oh yeah [...] all the time.
[769] We used to tell Well the old men used to tell us, You'd be alright [...] used to it.
[770] But we used to tell these young when they c Erm young ones come when we were going all [...] .
[771] Aye.
[772] I remember one fella [...] she was rolling and I was [...] in the galley.
[773] And with a frying pan full of some stuff there, [...] very nice though.
[774] [laugh] And he come there and luckily he went on top of the table to lie down [...] .
[775] He had to [...] and sick, he was vomiting see.
[776] Well [...] we used to get a bucket and throw it over the v over like that.
[777] And the old men used to do it before us aye.
[778] You'd go you wouldn't feel it at all, you'd be in your glory there after after about a month.
[779] I used to be All the lads the same age as me there.
[780] [laugh] Yeah.
[781] And then down here was all s sailing ship there.
[782] Well do you see the photos of them on that [...] has she.
[783] I hope s
(PS2W4) [784] She has yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [785] I hope she's bringing them back aye.
[786] Well she will [...] up there.
[787] [laugh] . Aye.
[788] They're not new houses there, they're not very old are they?
(PS2W4) [789] Not relatively speaking, no.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [790] No.
[791] Oh th these are old but these are er second repair these are these two.
[792] Th told you them two in the top started new but the war broke out see and er then they [...] this up [...] .
[793] [...] This was a terrible place in them days aye.
[794] All kinds of More people living here very old you know then.
(PS2W4) [795] Yes?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [796] Yes.
[797] Yeah there were.
[798] Of course I remember them [...] eighties and [...] nineties here.
[799] And they used to work.
[800] Well they had nothing after like.
[801] There was no dole or nothing like this they had.
[802] There were only workhouses and like that for some of them [...] .
(PS2W4) [803] How did the old ones [...]
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [804] Eh?
(PS2W4) [805] How did they old ones survive then?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [806] Well God knows to tell you the truth there.
[807] They were er [...] well they were different to us, they weren't going nowhere from here and er they had no best clothes only same clothes mostly for days and Sundays isn't it, same.
[808] Er there were some like [...] look here Tell you what's made the difference [...] .
[809] I remember well, ten pubs in here, round this quarter.
[810] Ten.
(PS2W4) [811] Good heavens.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [812] And there's only two here now see.
[813] [...] there in [...] and er where's the other?
[814] On the beach there, the .
(PS2W4) [815] Oh yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [816] And th that's bigger now.
[817] That's that used to be the part there that's gone big there, was sailors [...] .
[818] [...] was given it I think, all the sailors used to old sailors after they gone too old, was going in there all the day and a big fire there.
[819] Well I've been myself.
[820] Going there, big fire [...] used to smoke pipes like that, in there.
[821] There used to be [...] used to shunt them out didn't they.
[822] And the lads were glad to go there.
[823] Well I wasn't married but I used to go in there and I used to come home er say in Winter if I come home for a w week or two, I go in there, and sit by the fire and have a yard.
[824] And they tell us which boat [...] old men been and what th See that's how we learned didn't we.
(PS2W4) [825] I see.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [826] Yeah.
(PS2W4) [827] W what happened when things began to to go down as regards the ships then?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [828] Oh everybody was going poor wasn't they [...] .
[829] Some [...] well I myself I was lucky I had a job with my brother in law, he was working there on the railway and he knew them well.
[830] But er well he he was from that part of the town, Westend, that way you know.
[831] You know Westend do you ?
(PS2W4) [832] I do yes.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [833] He was from th that way do you see.
[834] But he got married my sister and lived in [...] house down there and er that's how I got a job there.
[835] He went and p pushed me in somehow or other you know.
[836] And I went then and I and cos the b he to asked this man see, the foreman like there, and then er he gave me a job.
[837] Well he er he asked where I'd been working and what could I do and and [...] I was young then aye.
[838] And I'm old now, but I feel champion though.
[839] [...] er be ninety four er next September.
[840] If I'm alive that is?
[841] Oh ninety three I am, aren't I now?
[842] I'm ninety three now and I go in this back yard do something every time.
[843] I've got a big back yard here.
[844] I'm cutting grass there now but it's cold today I cut that [...] with a big scissor like this.
[845] Aye.
[846] Yeah.
[847] Oh I'll go there and finish that perhaps this afternoon or tomorrow, anytime there's no-one's to go there only me now isn't it.
[848] And coal fire I make.
[849] I was going to light it I I've been lighting it until er the beginning of the week I think.
[850] So I haven't lit it now.
[851] It's ready to put a match into but if it gets a bit colder now today night I'll put a match in there see.
(PS2W4) [852] I think you might need
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [853] And it'll b Eh?
(PS2W4) [854] I think you might n n need it cos it's a bit chilly today.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [855] Yes I feel a bit now.
[856] [...] the back door's there see.
[857] [laugh] [...] wind is coming from the North here.
[858] We get a lot of wind here, we had a lot here the other night.
[859] [...] . What night was it, Monday night [...]
(PS2W4) [860] Yes it was.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [861] [...] I reckon wasn't it.
[862] Everywhere was going yes.
(PS2W4) [863] Well I had to replace a s er two slates on on my roof.
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [864] Oh you replace it where you all living?
(PS2W4) [865] [...] .
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [866] Oh w I've heard of the name but I don't know where it is either.
(PS2W4) [867] It's near .
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [868] Oh aye [laugh] Well I've never been that way see.
[869] No.
[870] Yes [...] er
(PS2W4) [871] Well thank you very m much Mr .
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [872] Oh yes, if I can say anything [...] sometime.
(PS2W4) [873] Would you like to hear some of it?
richard (dick) (PS2W5) [874] No. [recording ends]