Episode 3 of 6 Dilyn y Don


Episode 3 of 6

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-This year is a noteworthy one

-in the RNLI's history.

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-The charity is celebrating

-its 175th anniversary.

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-There has been a great emphasis

-on church services.

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-The old church at Nefyn

-is now a maritime museum...

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-..chronicling the sea's influence

-on the area.

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-The thanksgiving service

-is held in the new church.

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-It's my pleasant duty to welcome you

-to this unique service.

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-Your presence underlines

-your support for the Institution...

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-..and for the important work carried

-out by lifeboat crew members...

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-..here in Porthdinllaen and around

-the whole of the British Isles.

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-We welcome the children

-of Ysgol Nefyn...

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-..and thank them again

-for their presence here tonight.

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-The Anglican church and the RNLI

-have always been closely linked.

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-Local vicars

-often serve as chaplains.

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-This underlines

-the charity's status...

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-..and the emphasis it places

-on religious services.

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-Sir William Hillary established

-the first lifeboat in 1824.

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-Since then, 400 RNLI members have

-died while trying to save others.

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-It's perhaps surprising

-that this figure is so low.

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-Lifeboats around Britain

-answer 18 calls every day.

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-The Institution is held

-in great esteem by the public...

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-..because of the dangers faced

-by the volunteer lifeboat crews.

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-Lifeboats work in tandem

-with Government agencies.

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-One might expect RNLI supporters

-to feel disgruntled...

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-..at having to raise

-their own money for this work.

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-But they feel their independence

-from Government control...

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-..is an advantage.

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-I feel the Institution works

-best

-under the charity system.

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-Things should remain as they are.

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-I'm sure lifeboat members

-and the RNLI feel the same.

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-Most of them are happy

-to raise money voluntarily.

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-We prefer to keep it as it is.

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-People work very hard,

-and we appreciate this very much.

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-It costs the RNLI 80 million a year

-to maintain the lifeboat service.

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-They never charge money

-for saving lives at sea.

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-Doing so might well make people

-who are in difficulty...

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-..think twice

-before calling for help.

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-A lifeboat answers every call,

-at any time, whatever the weather.

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-A small boat is in trouble

-near Nant Gwrtheyrn.

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-A coastguard saw an empty rowing

-boat drifting towards rocks...

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-..and there is concern

-for its owner.

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-As the situation could be serious, a

-helicopter has also been called out.

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-The lifeboat

-is the first to spot the boat.

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-They see someone carrying oars

-on the beach.

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-Hopefully, all is well but they

-cannot take anything for granted.

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-The helicopter

-will land on the beach...

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-..to check

-if this man is the boat's owner.

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-Peter and the crew

-remain on stand-by.

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-Peter directs the helicopter

-towards the man...

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-..and the helicopter pilot

-decides where to land.

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-For some reason, the man doesn't

-wish to meet the helicopter crew.

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-They get the message

-that all is well.

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-The helicopter crew takes over...

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-..and the 'Hetty Rampton'

-returns to Porthdinllaen.

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-Trouble has been averted

-through cooperation.

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-Not all the Porthdinllaen

-crew members...

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-..may be comfortable

-with singing hymns in a church.

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-But they would never refuse

-the RNLI.

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-They know too that most

-of tonight's congregation...

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-..have contributed generously

-to the lifeboats.

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-There are 2,000 women's branches

-in Britain...

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-..and they organise collections

-to finance new developments.

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-There have been many changes.

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-The new lifeboats can

-roll back up safely if they capsize.

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-They have radio

-and satellite navigation.

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-They're very sophisticated.

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-Our present boat

-has the best possible equipment...

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-..and therefore is just the same

-as any of the big ships.

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-I'd say Porthdinllaen's future

-is secure.

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-Any decisions concerning

-the Porthdinllaen lifeboat...

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-..will be made here at Poole.

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-We joined Robert Jones,

-Porthdinllaen's second coxswain...

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-..and Lieutenant Commander Brian

-Miles, RNLI Director at that time.

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-He appreciates the level of

-financial support the RNLI receives.

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-The RNLI gets strong support

-even in areas far from the sea.

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-Cities like Birmingham are just as

-supportive as Swansea and Cardiff.

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-The administrative offices

-are located at Poole.

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-The stores and workshops

-are here too.

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-Plenty of spare parts and equipment

-must be kept in stock.

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-No lifeboat can afford to wait

-for days for new parts.

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-The Institution

-has five mobile units...

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-..which provide training for crews.

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-All lifeboats must be ready

-to be launched at any time.

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-This demands a regular stock

-of spare parts.

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-New parts can be ordered by phone

-when they're needed.

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-They can be delivered anywhere

-by the following day.

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-The RNLI itself

-produces a lot of the equipment.

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-It's cost-effective and much of

-the equipment is very specialised.

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-The Institution

-employs many craftsmen...

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-..including boat designers

-and rope makers.

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-The Poole workshop

-has a heavy workload.

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-The lifeboats' equipment

-is used to the limit.

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-Everything must be kept

-in good condition at all times.

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-By producing

-their own requirements...

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-..the RNLI are not at the mercy

-of outside suppliers.

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-Many of these crafts

-are rare these days.

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-Something had caught Robert's eye.

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-It was this model

-of the 'Charles Henry Ashley'.

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-It had been Porthdinllaen's

-lifeboat for 30 years until 1979.

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-Robert wants to bring it back

-to Lleyn.

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-I'll try and arrange that for you.

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-I'll try and arrange that for you.

-

-Thank you.

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-Most of the parts and equipment

-are bought in.

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-Everything is checked rigorously

-by the technical team...

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-..for suitability and safety.

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-The RNLI has strict requirements.

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-The boats must be able to withstand

-all weathers.

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-Equipment

-must be completely reliable...

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-..in the worst possible conditions.

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-Electronic gadgets must

-function properly at all times.

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-For Robert, the Poole storehouse

-is an Aladdin's Cave.

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-This is the standard issue now,

-isn't it?

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-There are items here which will

-keep Robert warm and dry...

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-..and much, much more.

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-At any time, his life may depend

-on this equipment.

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-He has complete faith

-in his colleagues at Poole.

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-

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-Porthdinllaen was always

-a busy haven for ships.

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-It's on the main route between

-Liverpool and St George's Channel.

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-The early ships were sailing ships.

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-It was a busy place.

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-In one year

-in the mid-eighteenth century...

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-..203 ships

-had anchored in this bay.

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-They came here

-to shelter from the wind.

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-In the foreground is a manor house

-which became the Tanrallt Inn.

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-People who had walked miles with

-their carts would call for a pint.

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-There's a song which goes...

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-.."Porthdinllaen beer

-is both food and drink...

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-..I drank it until I reeled

-like a cartwheel!"

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-Beyond the manor

-stands a warehouse.

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-This is where the 'Dora',

-the first steam ship, brought coal.

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-Further on is the first hotel,

-the Whitehall Transit Hotel...

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-..built at the start

-of the 18th century.

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-People stayed there

-on their way to Dublin.

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-There's the Ty Coch Inn

-and the Ty Gwyn Inn.

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-Pencei stands at the end of the bay.

-A large smithy stood there.

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-It produced metal parts

-for the ships.

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-Paul Lewis

-works for the National Trust...

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-..to preserve the character

-of the Trust-owned village.

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-We were offered Porthdinllaen

-by the Cefnamlwch estate.

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-We had to do something about it.

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-Money from the Coasts Appeal

-helped us to buy the village.

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-If we hadn't, it could have been

-spoiled by tourism.

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-The Trust wanted to keep it

-just as it was.

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-The Ty Coch is an interesting inn.

-It must be over 300 years old.

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-There are many tales about it.

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-The best story concerns

-the Ty Coch landlady...

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-..who kept the tavern

-between 1870 and 1929.

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-Everyone called her

-Mrs Jones Ty Coch.

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-She'd had six children

-and three husbands.

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-The Ty Coch was a very busy inn at

-that time, visited by many sailors.

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-She was the harbour master and the

-'Shipping Gazette' correspondent.

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-At the same time,

-she ran a private school here...

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-...some kind

-of rural finishing school.

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-She was a very accomplished woman.

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-This was

-the Customs Officer's house.

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-A boat called the 'Revival',

-built in Porthdinllaen...

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-..had an evangelist with

-an open Bible as a figurehead!

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-It attracted a lot of attention

-everywhere!

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-She was wrecked on those rocks.

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-She carried many barrels of brandy

-and the locals spotted these.

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-They stole the barrels but the

-Customs Officer confiscated them.

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-He stored them

-on the first floor of this building.

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-Local men broke into the cellar...

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-..located the barrels

-on the floor above...

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-..and drilled through the floor

-and the barrels' bases!

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-There was once a large ship on her

-way to London with a cargo of linen.

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-She was wrecked

-but the crew was saved.

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-The linen was shared

-between local people, to be washed.

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-The captain wrote in praise

-of the people's honesty.

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-They had returned all the linen,

-apart from three packs...

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-..which he believed had not been

-put on board at the start!

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-The Morfa Nefyn golf club

-owns the land above Porthdinllaen.

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-Some years ago, the RNLI

-had permission to build a road...

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-..across the course

-to reach the boathouse.

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-Today, the golfers and the RNLI

-have a good understanding.

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-It was not always so.

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-Building this road

-caused a rift in the community.

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-The RNLI spent a fortune

-in persuading the golf club.

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-Gwyn Jones was the lifeboat

-secretary at the time.

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-We wanted to make things easier

-for the boys.

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-We felt sorry for them...

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-..because they had to walk a mile

-from the village, a fair distance.

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-Something or other

-always seemed to happen on the way.

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-But not everyone

-agreed about the road.

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-This was a golf course.

-We realised that.

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-But we succeeded with our plans.

-I think it was the right thing.

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-We need the club's agreement to do

-maintenance or alterations.

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-We have a good relationship with

-the local committees, on the whole.

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-I've been Nefyn golf club's

-chief groundsman for 18 years.

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-I enjoy the work.

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-I was with the lifeboat crew

-when I started.

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-It was convenient for the boathouse.

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-But work commitments

-meant I had to give up the lifeboat.

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-If they were ever short of a crew,

-I'd still go out on the boat.

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-The road has certainly made life

-easier for the lifeboat crew.

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-Golf club officials and members

-plainly support them.

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-The road enables the crew

-to get there more quickly.

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-The boys used to have to run

-from the gate near Ty Coch.

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-They can now drive

-all the way down to the boathouse.

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-Before the road was built...

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-..we had to carry huge drums

-of diesel down to the lifeboat.

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-Now, the lorry can drive across...

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-..and fill up the boat directly.

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-Porthdinllaen

-was nearly spoilt at one time.

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-There were plans to make it

-the main access port...

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-..between Britain and Ireland.

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-It was a tough battle, dirty

-at times, that lasted 50 years.

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-This was in the early 18th century.

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-The Porthdinllaen Harbour Company

-was formed in 1806.

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-Its aim was to develop the place...

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-..and build hotels,

-jetties and wharves.

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-They planned to build

-a large embankment.

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-They wanted to create a huge quay...

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-..going across to where

-the boathouse stands today.

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-That would be the site

-of a deep water basin.

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-The harbour at Holyhead

-had a difficult approach.

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-The headland at Penmaenmawr and

-crossing the Menai caused problems.

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-Over two centuries, 180 people

-drowned while crossing the Menai.

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-A ferry overturned on her way

-to Conway and 13 lives were lost.

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-Many captains

-had praised Porthdinllaen.

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-They thought it was a far better

-natural harbour than Holyhead.

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-Holyhead became the main port in

-the north for crossings to Ireland.

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-Porthdinllaen was saved from

-the threat of further development.

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-The Britannia Bridge

-was completed in 1849.

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-This ended Porthdinllaen's role

-as the main port for Dublin.

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-Shipbuilding continued here

-for some years...

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-..particularly

-between 1840 and 1880...

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-..when the last great ship

-was built here.

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-It's hard to believe now

-that they built huge schooners here.

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-It's important that the RNLI

-and the National Trust work together.

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-We want things to continue

-as they are.

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-The Trust doesn't want to change

-anything.

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-They want to preserve Porthdinllaen.

-The lifeboat is part of its history.

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-Subtitles

-by

-Nia Melville, Elidir

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Yn y bennod hon o'r gyfres o 2001, clywn sut mae'r môr a'r bad achub wedi cael dylanwad ar ddatblygiad Portdinllaen. An insight into how the lifeboat has influenced life in Porthdinllaen.


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