Lockdown leads to big changes for Bala man

By Julie McNicholls Vale   |   Deputy news editor   |
Thursday 3rd March 2022 4:30 pm
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One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and this is all too evident in Y Fan a’r Lle.

In this week’s episode of the television series that follows van drivers across Wales and beyond, we meet Bala man, Rhys Evans.

During the lockdown, Rhys, decided to change direction and open a shop selling quirky rustic objects and furniture.

Among the fascinating things displayed in his shop window in Bala are stools made from old tractor seats, sheep pitch branding letters, beautiful antique chairs, old fashioned hot water bottles, a shepherd’s crook made out of buffalo horn, chapel benches and a framed vintage cigarette advert.

When there is furniture to move, a mess to tidy and the odd treasure up for grabs, Rhys and his fellow van men in the show are amongst those people who can sniff out a bargain.

Their work finding new homes for a whole host of possessions prevents tonnes of useful objects from being thrown in the landfill.

Commenting on his working life, Rhys, who lives in Bala, said: “Ever since I was 16, I was working at home on the farm. And I’ve been going to the farm where I help out for over 25 years now.

“But after working for someone else, I got the point where I had reached 40 and I thought, ‘life is too short’; I just wanted to do something for myself and I’m going to buy and sell things.

“There was an empty shop in Bala, so I took it over - and went for it!”

Speaking about the shop, he added: “I quite like keeping the shop minimalist – I don’t want to put too many things out, or it can blind people.

“I am quite fussy about what I buy in.

“I will just buy things that I like, which are to my taste.

“There is a lot of history behind these fascinating objects.”

In this week’s programme, Rhys is hoping to bag some more bargains to sell in his shop at an online auction taking place across the border.

“Usually, I wouldn’t go to the auction because it’s on a Thursday and I’m in the shop, so I’ve got to gamble in a way and buy online,” said Rhys.

“More often than not, that’s OK, but there have been some pieces of furniture that I’ve bought...they look good on the internet, but when you actually go and see them, you think, ‘what on earth is this’?”

How will Rhys get on with his online bargain-hunting?

Will there be any valuable treasures?

Watch Yn y Fan a’r Lle on S4C next Monday, 7 March at 8.25pm to find out.

English and Welsh subtitles are available, and the series can be found on demand on S4C Clic, iPlayer and other platforms.

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