We lived in Dolgellau for ten years. Here are some items relating to the town.


Dolgellau Chronology
John Ynyr Oliver Jones
Glamorgan CCC play Dolgellau XI
Ryan and Ronnie visit the town
Cader Idris
Old photos
Hugh Griffith Roberts - Flikr photos
'Dolgelley' football teams
featured in new book (May 2010)

Click on the title to visit Ian King's wonderful website
for a comprehensive history of Dolgellau.

John Ynyr Oliver Jones
1953 - 2010

I was very shocked to learn of the sad passing of an old school friend of mine, John Ynyr Oliver Jones. We were in the same form throughout Ysgol Y Gader upto 1970.
He tragically died of a heart attack on the 8th December 2010.
He was always a quiet likeable lad. The last time we met was at a school reunion in 2003, at Fronoleu when we covered some good old ground!
He had a keen sense of humour, and a time I shall never forget was when we all were reprimanded during one assembly (but only John and I knew who the real culprits were!), for defacing magazines in the school library. The culprits had written comments on some of the photos in the magazines.
John's best was on the photo of a grave, with a bush growing directly in front of the gravestone. 
A thought bubble came out of the ground; "I knew I should not have eaten those pips!"

He worked as a technician at Aberystwyth University, where he was held in high regard by one and all.

John visited my website on a few occasions, and passed on the link to a few friends. He kindly sent me some photos of Dolgellau  a few weeks ago, which I reproduce here in his memory.

John Eurfyl Jones, Headmaster at Ysgol Y Gader Dolgellau
presenting the Eisteddfod Cup.
The school was divided into four teams, 
based on the area (or mountain) which you lived .
They were Aran, Cader, Garn and Rhobell.

John Eurfyl Jones, Headmaster at Ysgol Y Gader Dolgellau
presenting the Eisteddfod Chair.

Dolgellau Postmen, pre 1960, including Marshall Davies third from the left and Eric Walker on the right.

Dolgellau's Bowling Green

A Dolgellau Wedding

Delighted to receive the following message from Beryl Coster, who has kindly supplied details of the photogaph.KD
Hello, just been viewing your excellent Penmon site.  The Dolgellau wedding photo, taken in 1952 outside Salem Chapel, Dolgellau,. shows many of my family (Tippett/Luke), so I was thrilled to see it.
The bride is Olwen Luke Roberts and the groom is Robert W Jones.  
My Taid, Edward Foulkes Tippett who is the tall man second row farthest left, was the local monumental mason.  There is an  unknown older lady next to him, then his wife May Tippett. Her daughter,  Christine Pugh, (nee Roberts) is farthest right on the front row.
The bride is May's niece.  The man farthest right behind Christine is my uncle Edward Tippett who was with Crosville Buses for many years.  Looking behind the main wedding group, immediately behind on the left are two ladies.  The nearer is uncle Edward's wife Glenys.  Next to her is my aunt Lilwen Davies (nee Tippett). 
The man in an overcoat and hat standing next to my aunt Lilwen is her cousin Jimmy Luke from Corris.

A Police Constable on duty in the town

Market Day

Helo 'na!

Dolgelley Earthquake
Montgomeryshire Express and Radnorshire Times
23rd November 1874
An earthquake was felt at 10 o'clock in the morning, last Sunday week. The tremors were also felt in places in Carnarvon.  

Dolgelley Murder
On the 27th November 1877, Cadwalladr Jones of Parc Farm was the last person to be hanged for murder in Dolgellau's Old Gaol
Cadwalader Jones had been having an affair with a girl
called Sarah Hughes from Brithdir.  She was last seen in Love Lane, Dolgellau.  She was pregnant by him and he was married to someone else. 
During the hot summer of 1877, the river running down from Cader to
the tannery was unusually low and pieces of body were found in it.
Cadwaladr confessed fairly soon after the police arrived at his cottage to question him, and was taken to Dolgellau Gaol.

7th June 1878
DOLGELLEY. THE DOLGELLEY MURDER.-A human leg, which has been identified as part of the body of Sarah Hughes, for whose murder Cadwalladr Jones was hanged at Dolgelley gaol in November last, was found on Monday night, June 3, in the Arran river, near Vrongoch Factory.

The murderer, it will be remembered, dismembered the corpse after it had been buried some weeks in a. field adjoining his house, and all the parts, a leg excepted, were found in the river. It is a curious coincidence that the missing limb should have been found within a year to the very day that the deceased was murdered.

Murder and Suicide
Montgomeryshire Express and Radnorshire Times
5th April 1881

Retired printer, Evan Jones of Rhydwen, about a mile from Dolgelley on the old Tywyn road, murdered his wife and then committed suicide.
Jones was a deacon with the Welsh Congregational Independent Church.
He lost his daughter three years previously and the loss prayed greatly on his mind.

County Times, June 16th 1954
Carnival Day at Newtown coincided with Dolgelley's visit. Batting first, Dolgelley opened with D.M. James and J.M.L. Meredith against the bowling of R. Lloyd and J.R. Lewis.
A sedate maiden over from Lloyd was followed by a gentle single off Lewis from Meredith, who had the misfortune to play a ball from Lewis on to his wicket with his score at 6. One down for twelve.
M. Griffiths joined James, but with the latter on 19, he was bowled by Lloyd. 40 for 2. The third wicket fell a run later as Griffiths was out for 13.
R.O. Evans and E.R. Jones moved the total on to 72, before Evans was bowled by J.R. Williams.
The scoring between 50 and 80 was  slow but quickened when A.E. Leeds came in. He and Jones rattled along until the latter, when 35, was dismissed by Tom Jones with the score at 99 for 5 wickets.
B. Pugh came in to bat and tea was taken at 104 for 5.
Leeds fell to an lbw from Lloyd, scoring 19. 125 for 6.
B. Pugh was 21 not out and D.H. Pugh 3 not out, when Dolgelley declared their innings at 136 for 6. This was seemingly a safe enouugh declaration, with only 80 minutes of play left.
I. Rowlands and E.P. Williams wasted no time in going for runs in the opening overs - many being cheeky singles.
Williams was caught by Leeds from Meredith's bowling for 10 runs, and just three runs later, Rowlands was caught by B. Pugh, again off Meredith's bowling.
Eighteen year old David Powell came in to partner Griffiths, and was dropped at slip when only on 1 run. Powell went on to amass 65 delightful runs, including 8 4's. No part of the field was invulnerable to him, and his strokes were varied and correctly made.
With 20 minutes to go, and the scores level, Pugh delivered a 'slow one' to Powell who flashed his bat at the semi-lob to flog it to the boundary, and was cleaned bowled.
Tom Jones entered the field of play and safley whipped the ball to the rails to win the game. Griffiths was 36 not out. Though the younger Powell stole the glamour it was Griffiths who backed him up, matched his speed in running sharply between wickets, and made no attempt to farm the bowling from his partner.
It was good for the game to hear the Dolgelley captain's obviously sincere congratulations to Newtown at the close. A great sporting match, and scoring at the rate of over two runs a minute is certainly carnival cricket.

4th SEPTEMBER 1965

County Times 15th May 1965;
Glamorgan County Cricket Club will visit Dolgellau to play the local club on the 4th September. It will be captained by Bernard Hedges and all available players from the First XI will be there together, with it is hoped, two or three stars from other sports and clubs. 

Autographs of the Glamorgan XI, taken on the day, featuring;
Eifion Jones, Jim Pressdee, Gil Parkhouse, David Ll. Evans,
Jeff Jones, Peter Walker, Tony Lewis, G. Evans,
Euros Lewis, Bill Slade, Gwyn Hughes

The Dolgellau Select XI announced the previous week to play them them were;
J. A. Howells, Captain, G. Knox, Lancashire, R, Clayton, R. Bowers, Llandudno, C. Roach, Clydach, R. Ll. Williams, V. Anwyl, I.B. Davies, W. Sherlock, M. Griffiths, Dolgellau, P. Walker, Barmouth.
12th man, Ivor Thompson, Dolgellau. 

County Times 11th September 1965.
The match itself was delayed due to rain. Peter Walker damaged three bats on his way to scoring 80 of Glamorgans's 137 for 5 declared.
The Dolgellau Select XI scored 12 without loss
before rain curtailed play
I was there and got the autographs.
I remember thinking that Jeff Jones wrote as fast he bowled!  KD

Glamorgan CCC - 1965 Season
(click here for details)

visit Dolgellau in 1968

Autographs from the show!


Photo copyright Peter Smyly
and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Much has been written about Cader Idris. Here is some of it!
[1721] Reverend Ellis Lewis left a sum of money for a peal of eight bells at the Parish Church. 1st, 2nd and 3rd chimed for Divine Service, 4th for curfew, 5th for a fire, 6th for a funeral, 7th (Y Gloch Goll) for someone missing on Cader Idris, and the 8th was for Communion. 

[1765] Richard Wilson painted "Cader Idris - Llyn-y-cau". Now hanging in the Tate Gallery in London. One of the masterpieces of 18th century art.

[c.19th Century] People used to ride up Cader and at one time as many as forty to fifty sturdy Welsh ponies were kept at one hotel for this purpose, and another hotel advertised 'ponies and guides, fixed, moderate prices'. One of  the most famous guides was Robert Edwards, who at the age of eighty-four used to hand out printed circulars to visitors, describing himself as 'being by chance made a glover, by genius a fly dresser and angler, and now, by the all-divine assistance, conductor to and over the most tremendous mountain, Cader Idris'

[1836] Thomas Roscoe in Wanderings and Excursions in North Wales. ' A pleasant walk of about a mile and a half beyond Llanelltyd brings the traveller to Dolgelley, which is encircled by mountains, and seated on the river Wnion, here a broad, shallow stream, over which is a handsome bridge of seven arches. It has a neat church, containing some old monuments; and a commodious county-hall'.

 Photo copyright Peter Smyly
and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Cader Idris and Cyfrwy (Saddle).

[1864] A Mr Smith, a keen walker, left Machynlleth in September to climb Cader Idris. He refused to pay a guide the 15 shillings (75p) fee to take him up and down the mountain. Night was approaching and bad weather forecasted. Against the guides' advice, Mr Smith went on alone. Six weeks passed and nothing more was ever heard of Smith. His brother came to make enquiries, but to no avail. The following May, a man's dog started barking whilst on Cader, and its owner, looking over a precipice, saw a dead body - a skeleton in clothes, having been ravaged by foxes and ravens. A knapsack found nearby confirmed the body's identity as that of Smith.  He had fallen some 1300 feet.

[1869] Charles Darwin wrote to Sir J.D. Hooker "We have a beautiful house, with a terraced garden, and a really magnificent view of Cader right opposite. Old Cader is a grand fellow, and shows himself off perfectly with every changing light". He was living at Caerdeon near Bontddu and writing his Descent of Man at the time.

[1871] Francis Kilvert's guide on Cader Idris, a Mr Pugh told him that 'This is the highest point of Cader Idris', laying his hand on a peak of wet living rock, 'not that', pointing at a great conical pile of stones built upon the peak by sappers and miners during the Ordnance Survey 'The Captain of the surveying company had his tent pitched on the top of Cader Idris for 3 summer months and never left the place. He had 18 men to wait upon him. And how many clear views do you think he got in that time? Nine'


By JOEL COOK, 1882
(click title to see complete book)

Cader Idris on the Tal y Llyn ascent

Let us penetrate into the interior by going up the romantic valley of the Mawddach and viewing the frowning sides of the chief Merioneth mountain, Cader Idris, which towers on the right hand to the height of 3100 feet.
It is a long ridge rather than a peak, and steep precipices guard the upper portion. Two little lakes near the summit, enclosed by cliffs, afford magnificent scenery. Here is "Idris's Chair," where the grim magician, who used to make the mountain his home, sat to perform his incantations, whilst in a hollow at the summit he had his couch. According to Welsh tradition, whoever passed the night there would emerge in the morning either mad or a poet.
This mountain, like Snowdon, is said to have been formerly a volcano, and legends tell of the fiery outbursts that came from its craters, now occupied by the two little lakes. But the truth of these legends, though interwoven into Welsh poetry, is denied by prosaic geologists.
A rough and steep track, known as the "Fox's Path," leads to the summit, and there is a fine view northward across the valleys to the distant summits of Snowdon and its attendant peaks, while spread at our feet to the westward is the broad expanse of Cardigan Bay. Lakes abound in the lowlands, and, pursuing the road up the Mawddach we pass the "Pool of the Three Pebbles."
Once upon a time three stones got into the shoe of the giant Idris as he was walking about his domain, and he stopped here and threw them out. Here they still remain-three ponderous boulders-in the lake. 

[1948] Thomas Matson Roberts of Dolgelley, was awarded a silver medal from the Royal Humane Society, a silver medal and bar from the R.S.P.C.A. and King's commendation for rescuing a stranded sheepdog on Cader Idris. Mr Roberts was accompanied by Mr T. Brooks in the rescue (see 1949 entry)

[1949] Thomas Matson Roberts, 39, was awarded the Stanhope Gold Medal from the Royal Humane Society for the bravest deed of the year. Mr Roberts was an Ironmonger at Penmaen, Dolgelley and was awarded the medal for rescuing a soldier, Frank Campion, (stationed at Hazebrook Barracks, Allenfield near Reading) from Cader Idris. He was stranded on an inaccissible ledge, 700 feet up at Craig Cae, Pen Cae. The acoustics on the mountain were so bad, he could not be found by following his cries for help. The directions for rescue were given by shouting across the valley. Also helping in the resue were Mr T. Brooks and Mr J. Fitzgerald. Mr Roberts was a part time Company Officer of the NFS (see 1948 entry)

This information has been taken from DOLGELLAU CHRONOLOGY (see separate feature) and was supplied by me to Ian King

Old Photos / Postcards

Brynhyfryd, Dolgellau

Received a great message from
Hugh Griffith Roberts
inviting me to visit his excellent  Flikr Album collection.
They include wonderful old photos of
Dolgellau and surrounding district,
featuring Barmouth 
Click here to access them

'Dolgelley', 'Dolgelley Albion'
and 'DolgelleyAthletic'
featured in an excellent new football book,
by Mel Thomas


"The Football Coast" is a brief history of the Cambrian Coast League from 1905 to 1963 but also includes details of an earlier Cambrian League, formed in 1896, which did not survive.  

Over the years familiar clubs from Pwllheli and Porthmadog to Aberystwyth competed in the league, as well as some more unusual names such as Cookes United, Tywyn Celtic, REME Tonfannau, 37th Heavy Anti-Aircraft and RAF Llanbedr.
Mel Thomas recounts the history of the Cambrian Coast League for the first time from its hesitant beginnings, through the FAW reorganisations of the leagues in the 1920s, to its sad demise in 1963. The league is still fondly remembered by many fans and ex-players and its closure left a gap that has never been adequately filled.

This A5 booklet is lavishly illustrated and includes league tables as well as a statistical section   It is the first publication from the team behind the groundbreaking Welsh Football Data Archive ( www.wfda.co.uk ) and will be of considerable local interest as well as to soccer fans throughout Wales.

The book is available from Siop Llyfrau Yr Hen Bost, High Street, Blaenau Ffestiniog LL41 3AA at £6 plus £1.26 postage and packing

For further details or enquiries contact Mel@soccerfilewales.com

I am particularly delighted at the publication of this book,
as my uncle, T. Glynne Davies in his early days,
worked for the Cambrian News and reported
on many of the games played in this league. KD

Dolgellau F.C. mentioned in:

Red Dragons
The Story of Welsh Football
by Phil Stead

is a must buy book

for any Welsh football enthusiast.

Published by

Y Lolfa
First impression