Atgofion Mary Williams


Mrs Mary Hannah (Nanna) Williams of 2, Station Road, talks of her life and experiences to "The Sower"

 (Daughter of John Taihiron Davies)


I was born on Valentine's Day, 1902, the daughter of' Rev. and Mrs John Davies. My father was the minister of three local chapels - Taihirion, Bronllwyn and Tabernacle. He was well known and loved in the locality, but originated from Morriston. He would preach three times on a Sunday, once at each church, and. used to walk all his journeys. Unfortunately, he died in 1904, just at the beginning of the Revival. My mother, however, recalled to me the wonderful services and many conversions at that time. I can remember during the following years many a supper at Fardre Farm. My mother survived my father by a quarter of a century, and I can vividly remember her and her sister being the ' belles of Church Village’. (Picture of Huanfa, the family home, on the right)


Prior to my father's training for the ministry at Brecon College, he had been a carpenter, and since he was born as long ago as 1825 I cherish several of his tools which I still have in my possession. An account of his life and work was published in ‘Tywysydd y Plant', along with his photograph. His avowed ambition was to preach for fifty years, but he would not retire until he had seen the Efail Isaf church out of debt.


I have lived, of course, through two world wars. In the first, I saw  my mother present certificates to the boys of the forces for their services to the country. During the second, my husband and I lived in Bristol, where we had a milk round. The enemy bombing was so heavy, however, that the children and I were sent back to Church Village.


We had two children, a boy and a girl. Mary Daphne died in hospital at the age of eight following a fall in the home. David Brian, who was born in 1935, married and presented me with three lovely grandchildren.


I can remember my school teaching days very well. I taught in Church Village as a student under Mr. Chubb, a real character! Wanting to teach infants, I was sent to Beddau and taught under Miss Lilian Rees. That was in the 1920's and I got married in 1927.


Until my accident three years' ago, I attended Tabernacl regularly, but I now find it difficult to get out and about. My mother's brother, David Walters, was the first Moderator of the United Reformed Church here in Wales. My father always wanted a branch of Tabernacl in Church Village, and for a while we rented part of a corrugated iron structure. In 1911, however, Gwynfa - now sadly in disrepair - was built and we held Sunday School and Services there. It was my lot to got there on a Saturday night with a Mrs Vowles to clean and dust the pulpit and pews.


I can remember your chapel being built. Bethel was a private house then, of course. My father had Huanfa, opposite the library, built and we lived there, while my mother's sister lived next door in Frondeg. Before the first world war, my mother and I used to visit the Jenkins family in what is now Bethel, and I was always fascinated by the servants' bells in the kitchen!


You ask me what my favourite Bible verse is. I love the text from 1 Corinthians 13  which says, ‘And now abide faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love.’ It means so much more to me in the Welsh Bible, because I learned the scriptures as a child in Welsh. My favourite hymn is the one which begins, 'Ar lan Iorddonen ddofn ..' but I love all the Welsh hymns, and until recently I spent some time each Sunday playing them on the piano here at home.


Yes, I did know the Titley boys in the early part of this century; and I have a confession to make! I really fancied Haydn!


(It was an honour and a pleasure to interview such a charming lady, eighty-seven years young - Editor.)


(John Taihiron Davies would have been a Great Uncle to Norma Wilson (77yrs). John Davies was an Uncle to Norma's Father (surname Thomas) through marriage on his wife's side (Mrs Davies).



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