Two Welsh learners and a tutor from Ceredigion have spoken about the discovery of a secret note left by a late author and postmaster under the stairs of a house in Devil’s Bridge.
Richard and Tracy Ward, who moved to Devil’s Bridge from London two years ago, and their tutor, Zoe Pettinger, told Cambrian News reporter, Alex Bowen, more about the interesting find in this video(above).
Richard and Tracy were renovating the former post office when they found the note dating back to 1960, written and intentionally hidden by Trefor Griffiths.
He wrote a book about the people of the picturesque Ceredigio nvillage in 1975, called ‘Hapus Dyrfa’ (The Happy Crowd).
The two learners took the note into their Welsh class and asked their tutor, Zoe Pettinger, to translate it.
Ms Pettinger translated the note, which said: “This paper was put here by Trefor Griffiths, The Post Office, Devil's Bridge on the10 March 1960. I wonder who will find it?"
The Welsh class managed to get in touch with Trefor Griffiths’ daughter, Nerys Hughes, who lives in Ruthin.
Mr and Mrs Ward and the rest of the class are going to read the late author’s book and are soon welcoming Ms Hughes to their class
Ms Hughes said: “As a family, we have been delighted with this story. It was emotional and special to see my father’s handwriting in the note.
“Well done Richard and Tracy for taking the note to class. I can’t wait to talk to them about my father, the old post office and Devil’s Bridge back in the 1960s.’’
“He wasn’t a professional writer, but he was always writing, it was his main hobby. He was very creative, he used to write articles, poetry, he was a member of the debates society, he even made architectural plans for houses in the area and a chapel in Artist’s Valley, including a redesign of my house.
“I didn’t know he’d put the note inside the house, but it doesn’t surprise me to hear he had. It was his kind of character.
“He would be so thrilled to see the people who found his note being so eager to integrate into the community.”
Ms Hughes also said Trefor Griffiths was never the Postmaster in Pontarfynach, it was actually his wife, Mrs Griffiths, who ran it from 1960 to 1967. Back then, five postmen delivered post to the village’s residents as well as other towns around it, they got around on bikes, and often carried extra parcels for people such as shoes to and from the shoemaker, as well as everyday essentials like bread and milk.
The class’ teacher, Ms Pettinger, echoed Ms Hughes’ words: “It has been wonderful to see the interest shown in this story by the class.
“I think Trefor Griffiths would be proud to know that his note fell into the hands of an enthusiastic Welsh class of 28 in Devil’s Bridge!”
When Richard and Tracy moved to the area, they believed learning Welsh was the best way of getting involved in village life.
Richard and Tracy are following a beginners’ course with Learn Welsh Ceredigion-Powys-Sir Gâr, which starts a new term in September. The course is run by Aberystwyth University on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.
Richard said: ‘‘We wanted to be part of the community, therefore signing up to a Welsh class was an easy decision.
“We now speak to neighbours in Welsh, I’m involved with the community council, and Tracy holds local sewing workshops and works at the village’s chocolate shop.’’