Aberystwyth- Aberaeron Arfordir Cymru


Aberystwyth- Aberaeron

Bydd Bedwyr yn teithio o Aberystwyth i Aberaeron. Bedwyr looks at the political undertones of maps and sees ancient land boundaries. He also enjoys a trip down Memory Lane in Ab...


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Transcript


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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

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-We continue our journey

-along the Ceredigion coastline...

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-..where land and sea

-are bound together.

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-Waves have carried secrets and the

-line between history and legend...

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-..is sometimes blurred.

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-This is Arfordir Cymru.

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-When you leave Aberystwyth...

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-..you've past the halfway point

-along the crescent of Cardigan Bay.

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-Later we'll cross Afon Wyre

-in Llanrhystud...

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-..which divides Wales linguistically

-between north and south.

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-Our journey so far

-has been on foot, bike and car.

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-We've already seen

-a variety of spectacular views.

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-In front of us are seaside towns...

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-..quaint churches

-and colourful characters.

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-The long arm of the Llyn peninsula

-extends to the north...

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-..but we're heading southwards,

-to an area jutting out to sea...

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-..where Cardigan Island beckons us.

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-Our journey in this episode takes us

-from the Aberystwyth area...

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-..past Llannon and Aberarth to the

-holiday destination of Aberaeron.

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-Whilst filming a series

-such as this...

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-..GPS and satellite maps

-are a godsend...

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-..though they fail to hold

-the same appeal as old maps.

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-To discuss them

-is author, politician, traveller...

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-..and perhaps more than anything,

-a man reliant on maps...

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-..Mike Parker.

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-From this vantage point

-on Pen Dinas...

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-..the views of Cardigan Bay

-are magnificent.

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-Yes, from Llyn

-all the way to Pembrokeshire.

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-We're aware of its shape since we're

-used to modern maps and so on...

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-..but reaching that point in

-cartography terms has taken time.

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-This was the first map to outline

-the shape of Cardigan Bay.

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-It was created

-by Humphrey Llwyd of Denbigh.

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-It dates back to 1573...

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-..with borders

-along the River Severn to the east.

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-In earlier maps,

-Wales wasn't as well defined.

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-That's right.

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-As you said, its shape becomes clear

-when you sit somewhere like this.

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-Two centuries

-earlier than Humphrey Llwyd's map...

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-..is the Gough Map.

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-Wales resembles an old blob.

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-Yes, it does.

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-Yes, it does.

-

-Its shape hasn't been defined.

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-Moving on to maps...

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-..from later centuries,

-what do you have?

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-They call this the Evesham Map.

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-The traditional mappa mundi.

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-A map of the world

-as they knew it at the time.

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-It shows Europe, Asia

-and North Africa...

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-..with the Mediterranean Ocean

-flowing through the middle.

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-What's hilarious...

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-..is that England

-is full of castles and churches.

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-England's enormous!

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-It extends from Gibraltar

-all the way to Scandinavia.

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-Wales is there. Walia.

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-Wales and Scotland...

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-..have been outlined

-as separate islands...

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-..from England.

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-The shape of Wales

-becomes clearer later on...

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-..in John Speed's atlas

-from the Stuart period.

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-This comes from 1610.

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-This is a beautiful map of Wales.

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-The shape is almost perfect, really.

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-Maps have

-obviously changed over the years.

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-We have modern maps nowadays

-but to what extent...

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-..do you need to look at any map

-with a degree of cynicism?

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-Is there a still a political element

-to cartography nowadays?

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-Each time you create a map...

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-..you have to choose what goes on

-the map and what's excluded from it.

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-The choice is political.

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-Even now, we use maps...

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-..the best maps in the world.

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-Ordnance Survey

-have to choose what's included.

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-They concentrate

-on military history...

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-..instead of industrial history,

-for example.

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-This is a modern version...

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-..of a political choice

-over what goes on the map.

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-What's the future for maps?

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-I believe paper copies of maps

-will still be available.

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-We need them, especially if you

-lose power or you lose the signal.

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-We all need to retain maps on paper.

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-But, of course, all the current

-action is happening digitally.

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-There have been so many advances.

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-With the advent of open source...

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-..where anyone can contribute,

-it's advantageous for place names.

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-Many projects

-are currently underway...

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-..undertaking that role...

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-..so it's important to record them

-and mark them on the maps.

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-Several projects have begun...

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-..doing precisely that

-and it's great to see.

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-Four miles from Aberystwyth

-is a stretch of coastline...

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-..whose name

-jumps off the map at you.

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-Its Welsh name is Twll Twrw

-(Clamour Cave).

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-The title is self-explanatory.

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-When the sea's choppy, it's hurled

-into a cave in the headland.

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-The noise of it crashing

-and swirling echoes off the rock.

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-But it's the English name

-that appears on maps.

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-The title also captures

-the imagination. Monks' Cave.

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-An ancient monastery nearby

-is called Mynachdy'r Graig.

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-Legend has it that an underground

-path led from Twll Twrw...

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-..to Strata Florida Abbey

-15 miles inland.

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-But that's not

-the only alleged entrance either.

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-A similar legend

-pertains to Ogof Ffair Rhos...

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-..a short distance northwards

-from here.

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-There was no Ffair Rhos there

-but there was one in Strata Florida.

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-No more evidence of it is available.

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-Sometimes it's best to leave these

-old legends blowing in the wind.

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-Some miles

-along the coast from Twll Twrw...

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-..past the village of Llanrhystud...

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-..one of the shores' secrets

-is hiding in a cornfield.

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-Maritime trading was vital for both

-costal and inland areas of Wales.

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-At one time, dozens of small ships

-weighing less than 20 tonnes...

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-..transported limestone

-and coal dust from Pembrokeshire...

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-..to almost every beach

-in Ceredigion.

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-Near Craig Las,

-between Llanrhystud and Llannon...

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-..are the remains

-of four lime kilns.

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-There were numerous kilns

-up and down the coast at one time.

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-Ships would bring limestone

-and coal dust to the beaches...

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-..which would then be transferred

-to heated kilns...

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-..reaching 900 degrees Celsius

-in order to burn the limestone...

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-..and create quicklime for spreading

-on the land as fertilizer.

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-The process took a long time...

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-..so the men needed something...

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-..to entertain themselves

-while they waited.

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-Behind one of the kilns,

-amongst decades of vegetation...

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-..are the ruins of an ale room.

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-I'm not sure

-what the men drunk in here...

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-..but for 20 years at the

-beginning of the 19th century...

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-..this area was famous

-for brewing beer illegally.

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-According to the Ysten Sioned

-folklore collection...

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-..most of the population

-were involved.

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-"It was accepted that every worker

-contributed to the venture.

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-"No other part

-of the Isle of Britain...

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-"..produces better barley

-than these areas for brewing."

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-These lands are incredibly fertile.

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-In the maritime village of Llannon

-are unusual land boundaries.

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-John Davies

-has farmed here all his life.

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-From these flat plains...

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-..it looks as though these fields

-head straight into the sea.

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-Yes, they just about reach the sea.

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-Is this land under threat?

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-Yes, it recedes every year.

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-The sea

-and its gigantic waves crash in...

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-..and erode two yards every year.

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-How long has your family

-farmed this portion of land?

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-About 100 years.

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-Mam-gu was first to farm here.

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-She kept a couple of goats...

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-..and sold goat's milk initially.

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-What happened

-to that side of the business?

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-It grew. Many men in the village

-sold milk back then.

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-They each kept two or three cows.

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-Everything was on a small scale?

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-Everything was on a small scale?

-

-Yes, very small.

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-When you come here you notice there

-are hedges and fences everywhere...

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-..and the fields are very small.

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-Yes, they're small.

-I own about 50 of these strips.

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-Strips?

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-Strips?

-

-We call them strips, not fields.

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-They're too small to be fields!

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-They've always been called strips.

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-They've always been called strips.

-

-Your map clearly shows this.

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-Yes, this map dates back to 1905.

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-The Afon Peris is one side,

-the Afon Cledan is on the other.

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-These strips are within both rivers.

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-I'm sure you have to be organized

-with the rent and so on.

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-I've brought a rent book with me

-to show you.

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-This dates back to 1965.

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-I rented five hectares

-from Bryn Awelon Estates for 21.

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-As for these strips of land...

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-One of them is called the Priory.

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-Bessie Nicoll from Bournemouth.

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-One is owned

-by someone in North Yorkshire.

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-Mrs Gill in North Yorkshire

-still owns it.

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-Marina James in Cardiff.

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-The chapel owns one strip.

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-Yes, the chapel owns one strip,

-two pounds.

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-People from all over the country

-owned strips.

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-Do these strips have names?

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-Do these strips have names?

-

-Some of them do. Llain Capel.

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-Llain Silon.

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-Llain Portis.

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-Llain Fforchog...

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-..is the name for a strip that goes

-through the middle of another strip.

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-It looks like a fork, which is

-why it's called fforchog in Welsh.

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-It's hard work

-finding a name for them all.

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-There are too many of them.

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-There are too many of them.

-

-There are hundreds of small strips.

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-I'm sure the form of these strips...

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-..echoes the distant past.

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-Yes, it does.

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-It goes back at least 100 years, to

-the time of Mam-gu, in our case...

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-..but it goes back

-further down the centuries.

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-And you don't know why?

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-And you don't know why?

-

-No, nobody knows for certain.

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-I think it's something

-to do with the Church.

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-Back in the mists of time.

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-Yes, you're right.

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-.

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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

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-We're wandering the shores

-of Cardigan Bay...

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-..and find ourselves

-at the Church of St Ffraid, Llannon.

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-The church is in safe hands

-as it's dedicated...

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-..to two saints - Ffraid and Non.

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-The sea has provided sustenance

-for generations of parishioners...

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-..but the graves in the churchyard

-are a stark reminder...

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-..of its merciless nature.

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-The sea's influence on the village

-is clear as you walk around.

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-Several headstones stand in memory

-of those who perished at sea.

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-Many contain ships' names.

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-This is a much simpler stone...

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-..but it commemorates

-four members of the same family.

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-The Davies family, Ty Mawr.

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-A son, two daughters

-and a three-year-old grandson...

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-..who perished

-within 10 years of each other.

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-Every one of them drowned.

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-Here's a gravestone with

-a remarkable story attached to it.

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-A body was washed up

-not far from here.

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-He was wearing enough clothing

-for people to identity him.

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-He was a Spanish captain whose ship

-was wrecked in the Scilly Isles...

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-..six months earlier.

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-Locals arranged

-a dignified funeral for him.

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-As a mark of respect

-and appreciation...

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-..the ship company paid for

-the gravestone and the inscription.

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-The stone was inscribed in Spanish,

-the captain's native language.

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-A few miles southwards and the River

-Arth (Bear) flows into the sea.

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-It's among a class of rivers

-named after animals...

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-..though the locals claim

-that it growls (arthio) as it flows.

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-Aneurin Jones

-has been born and raised here.

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-So, Aneurin, the River Arth

-flows beneath us here.

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-I'm sure you've spent hours here.

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-I spent my youth in this river

-fumbling (swmpo) for fish.

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-What do you mean?

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-I mean placing my hands

-underneath the stone...

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-..fumbling for fish.

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-You used the word swmpo.

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-Were there names for various pools?

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-Yes, we're not very far

-from Pwll Crochan...

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-..where they washed sheep.

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-They threw stuff into the water

-which turned it yellow.

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-Was it some kind of disinfectant?

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-Was it some kind of disinfectant?

-

-Yes, disinfectant.

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-What's in front of us here, then?

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-This is Pwll Coffin.

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-A deep pool

-between two rocky areas...

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-..where you'd find the best salmon.

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-But you were afraid to go near it

-because it was so deep.

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-You couldn't see the bottom.

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-The name itself

-is enough to scare you.

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-It's called that

-on account of its shape.

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-I don't think anyone

-came to any harm there.

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-And the river flows...

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-And the river flows...

-

-..in the direction of the village.

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-Off we go then.

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-It's much noisier

-down on the main road.

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-It wasn't like this

-when I was young.

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-You'd see

-an occasional car now and again.

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-I used to play football

-on the bridge.

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-Did you spend much time

-on the bridge?

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-Yes. The older generation convened

-every night for Seiat y Bont.

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-They came to put the world to rights

-every night.

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-They leaned on the bridge

-and said...

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-.."Now then, what's to sort out?"

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-The sound of the river is obvious.

-What's this stretch of river called?

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-It's heading to the sea from here.

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-These are mini waterfalls.

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-Higher up, this is called Pwll Glan

-Dwr. That's where we'd catch fish

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-We'd snare (maglu) fish back then.

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-Is that different

-from fumbling (swmpo)?

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-Very much so - you used a long piece

-of hazel because it was pliable...

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-..and attach the frame

-of an old umbrella.

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-On the front of that you

-created a trap of horse hair...

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-..that you tried to place over

-the heard or the tail of the fish...

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-..that was lying quietly

-in the sunshine.

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-When it was ensnared

-you gave it a tug...

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-..and hoped that the trout

-would land on the stone.

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-I wouldn't mess with you!

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-This is Pwll Bompren.

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-How high does the river rise

-in the course of a day?

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-In my day

-it reached the base of the houses.

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-Nowadays I'd say the water's

-cut a way into the stone.

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-It flows lower down the rock.

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-There's been

-some dreadful flooding.

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-Yes, one time in particular,

-in 1864.

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-It was a devastating flood

-and the chapel was washed away.

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-The altar table's gavel

-was found in Pwllheli, so they say.

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-Pwllheli?

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-It was brought back to Aberarth

-by boat and given to the school.

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-That's where it remained

-until the school closed.

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-I'm not sure if it's true

-but that's the story.

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-How many ships' captains

-were around back then?

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-There were at least 15.

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-Some had retired,

-some were still at sea.

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-Their names are reflected

-in the village's house names.

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-Yes, Captain Messina,

-Captain Colombo, Capten Awelfa...

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-..Capten Capel Dewi and so on.

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-Many things have changed. It must've

-been a great place to grow up.

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-I wouldn't change it for the world.

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-On the shore between Aberarth and

-Aberaeron are curious structures.

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-Some are recent, some are archaic.

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-The Welsh name for them is grwynau.

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-Their purpose is to prevent a drift

-from removing the gravel and sand.

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-A little to the south are structures

-that have held their ground...

0:19:540:20:00

-..for many centuries.

0:20:000:20:02

-I'm sitting in a fishgarth

-or a fish trap.

0:20:030:20:06

-This must be

-the biggest I've ever seen.

0:20:060:20:09

-The first record of it

-is from 1184...

0:20:090:20:13

-..and at one time

-they were commonplace.

0:20:130:20:16

-People paid rent

-to an estate or a landowner...

0:20:160:20:20

-..for the right to fish them.

0:20:200:20:22

-It was certainly worth doing it...

0:20:220:20:25

-..because fishgarths

-produced large yields.

0:20:250:20:28

-The fishgarth's structure is simple.

0:20:370:20:39

-Only the foundation of it

-can be seen here.

0:20:400:20:43

-There would've been a wall of wicker

-basketry above the foundations.

0:20:430:20:47

-Some are semi-circles,

-some are sickle shaped...

0:20:470:20:51

-..but they all work in the same way.

0:20:510:20:54

-As the tide comes in, the sea

-rises above the wicker wall...

0:20:540:20:59

-..and so do the fish.

0:20:590:21:01

-And as the water ebbs away...

0:21:030:21:05

-..the sea flows out

-through the wall.

0:21:050:21:08

-But the fish, of course,

-can't do that.

0:21:080:21:11

-So they're trapped in the fishgarth,

-ready to be collected.

0:21:130:21:17

-A stone's throw from the estuary...

0:21:210:21:24

-..the River Aeron

-winds its way down to the sea.

0:21:240:21:27

-Aeron is derived from Agrona,

-a Celtic war goddess.

0:21:270:21:30

-The river

-has the oldest name in the area...

0:21:300:21:34

-..but Aberaeron's prosperity

-isn't down to the river but the sea.

0:21:340:21:38

-It has influenced house names

-and the homes of captains...

0:21:390:21:42

-..echoing places

-from four corners of the world.

0:21:420:21:46

-The sea has carried tales

-and very unusual practices here.

0:21:460:21:50

-There's a story about a sailor...

0:21:500:21:52

-..who returned from a faraway voyage

-with an exotic gift for his mother.

0:21:530:21:58

-Tea leaves.

-No-one had ever seen them before.

0:21:580:22:02

-No-one knew

-quite what to do with them either.

0:22:020:22:05

-His mother boiled her new present...

0:22:060:22:09

-..discarded the ugly, dirty water...

0:22:110:22:15

-..and proceeded to eat the leaves.

0:22:170:22:20

-Though the sea

-has plenty to offer the town...

0:22:240:22:27

-..it has also

-taken a lot away from it.

0:22:280:22:30

-Like the row of houses

-that once stood here...

0:22:300:22:33

-..built by Rev Alban Thomas Gwynne

-200 years ago...

0:22:340:22:37

-..for the men

-who were building the harbour.

0:22:380:22:40

-This is the man who worked so hard

-to improve the lives of workers.

0:22:440:22:49

-This row of houses was

-officially called Mynachdy Row...

0:22:500:22:54

-..but due to the colourful and

-unique nature of its residents...

0:22:540:23:00

-..locals called the place

-Bedlam Barracks.

0:23:000:23:04

-Where are these houses nowadays?

0:23:040:23:06

-They were destroyed by the sea.

0:23:060:23:09

-The shipbuilding industry has since

-ceased and been replaced by tourism.

0:23:090:23:14

-But the town hasn't forgotten

-its roots and its history.

0:23:150:23:18

-The Cadwgan was the last ship

-to be built here back in 1883.

0:23:190:23:23

-The sea might not be as central

-in people's lives as it once was...

0:23:230:23:28

-..but for coastal residents, it's

-impossible to escape its influence.

0:23:280:23:33

-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.

0:23:490:23:51

-.

0:23:510:23:51

Bydd Bedwyr yn teithio o Aberystwyth i Aberaeron. Bedwyr looks at the political undertones of maps and sees ancient land boundaries. He also enjoys a trip down Memory Lane in Aberarth.