ARCHDRUID CYNAN HELD THE CYNULLEIDFA IN HIS GRASP.
HE BEGAN HIS CALL FOR PEACE…….
"Y GWIR YN ERBYN Y BYD………"
Idwal Glyn Davies sat proudly in the audience during the Crowning ceremony of the 1951 National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst.
"A OES HEDDWCH?............"
His prophecy all those years ago had reached its ultimate climax.
He recalled the time, when going for a walk with his young son Tom to 'Coed Y Gwyllt' to fetch kindling sticks………
"CALON WRTH GALON…………"
Tom picked some daisies and standing by a stream…
"A OES HEDDWCH?..........."
he threw them into the rushing water and silently watched the daisies float away….
Tom turned to his father and said……..
"GWAEDD UWCH ADWAEDD…………"
"Dad, ddaw nhw byth yn ôl" (Dad, they will never come back).
"A OES HEDDWCH?..............."
Idwal Glyn was taken aback by this simple, yet deep comment by his son………
They went home and he rushed to his wife, Winifred Myfanwy………
"LLEF UWCH ADLEF………."
Speaking of Tom, and unable to hold back his emotion, said to her………..
"A OES HEDDWCH……"
"Mae gennym ni fardd fan hyn!" (We've got a bard here!)
The final call of 'Heddwch' brought him back to the Eisteddfod, and there before him, on the stage, adorning the highest poetic prize possible, was that little boy, only much older by now, winner of the Crown. The first person ever to win the Crown in his home town, T. Glynne Davies, aged 25.
Appropriately, flowers had, that day, returned in all their glory for Tom, in the form of 'Dawns y Blodau' (The Flower Dance), performed in honour of the successful Eisteddfod bard for his piece, 'Adfeilion' (Ruins).
On his way home quietly, from the Eisteddfod field, Idwal Glyn Davies chuckled proudly to himself, remembering how Tom composed most of Adfeilion, not in the comfort of a warm room or study, but on the back of his bicycle as he travelled to and from work for The Cambrian News, between Esgairgeiliog and Aberystwyth. It had taken him some nine months and many miles, to compose.
Idwal Glyn then pondered over the twists of fate which had occurred in his lifetime, which would well have affected today, arguably the best day in the history of our Davies family, had they taken a different turn.
His father Edward, born in Llanarmon yn Ial, was a lead miner at Nant Bwlch yr Haearn, a successful musician and choir master in Llanrwst. He could play from memory any music which he had heard. His wife Ellen was the daughter of William Williams and Ellen Williams, nee Hughes, of Pentre Mawr, Capel Garmon. Edward left home to seek his fortune in America, arriving there on the 24th February 1890, having sailed on 'The City of Chester'. Things did not go according to plan. Edward was last heard of playing a piano in either Idaho, or Idaho Springs. He was either dead or presumed dead by the time Idwal Glyn was 5, leaving his mother a widow at the age of 50 by 1901. Ellen and family - Idwal Glyn, his sisters Ellen, Margaret and brother William Edward were due to join him. Had they too emigrated in the early 1900's, then………..
Idwal Glyn had faced danger and poisonous chlorine gas during the Great War, at Ypres, where he was attached to The Highland Artillery as a first class signalman. Had he perished, like thousands of other brave young men, in the muddy quagmire of a foreign field, then………..
He slowed down as he approached 64 Denbigh Street, Llanrwst, which was his first matrimonial home, where his children William Owen, Thomas Glynne, and Glenys were born. Ceinwen was born when the family had returned to 3 Schoolbank Terrace, just around the corner. Glenys died of diptheria aged 10 months in October 1929. He recalled the doctors telling him that his son Thomas Glynne was, at the time, the more likely to have died. Had his life also been tragically taken away when only three years old, then……….
Idwal Glyn married Winifred Myfanwy Williams, a daughter to Thomas and Jane Williams, of Gorsedd Grucyn, Nant Y Rhiw. Thomas was himself a local bard of note. His poetic talents had passed through his daughter's blood to both Tom and William. Y Faner and Y Cymro published their poetry.
Memories came flooding back to him as he left number 64 Denbigh Street and headed for home. As he turned right at the end of Denbigh Street, his eyes fell on the Grammar School, where his children had been educated. William had excelled in sport, winning the Victor Ludorum twice and runner up once. He played both football and cricket for Llanrwst and once took 8 wickets for 38 runs. Tom had thoughts of going to university, and Ceinwen's vocation became nursing.
William married Jean Roberts of Dolgarrog, Tom married Mair Jones of Esgairgeiliog, and Ceinwen married Vivian Biffin of South Wales.
Idwal Glyn stopped outside 3 School Bank Terrace, and entered his home. There in the parlour was the foot powered sewing machine his wife had used. Winifred Myfanwy passed away in 1947 with heart failure. He later married his housekeeper, Gwen and they had two sons David and Edward. Gwen's daughter Jean also lived with them.
He sat in his favourite armchair in the corner of their living room, by the fire. He prodded the dying embers and recalled how William had joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers in World War 2 and landed at Arromanches during the D-Day landings and had attained the rank of lance corporal. Tom had worked in the Oakdale Colliery as a Bevin Boy. He later served in Malta and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant, aiming to go to Aberystwyth University. However his life's path led him elsewhere - into journalism. He worked for the Cambrian News, Y Cymro and South Wales Evening Post.
Idwal Glyn closed his eyes, recalling the many miles he had walked around Melin y Coed, Nant y Rhiw and Nant Bwlch yr Haearn delivering letters. He sang second tenor with Llanrwst Male Voice Choir, and could often be heard singing on his way to work and on his postal round. He worked as a night watchman at Parc lead mines following his retirement.
Idwal dozed off comfortably into a cat nap, before finally retiring to bed after an unforgettable day.
On the 27th October 1961, following a period of ill health, Idwal Glyn Davies wrote to his son William in Dolgellau, who was very pleased to see the contents of his father's correspondence. He wrote;
Dear All, Here are a few lines so that you will know that I'm better. I really felt grand Wednesday, apart from feeling rather giddy. I slept the best part of yesterday, and today again, I feel better if only my legs would give me better support. I dare not stoop at all, - strict orders.
Doctor Howarth called on me this morning, and will call at a later date. If you will be writing to Ceinwen shortly, please inform her that I was very glad to receive her letter this morning and I hope to write to her soon. Cofion, Taid .
I can remember a policeman calling at our home in Dolgellau and asking to speak to Dad in private. He came to inform us that Taid had died two days after writing the letter, on the 29th October 1961, aged 75.
Time has moved us on………….
William became Postmaster in Llandeilo in 1970. He won chairs in Eisteddfodau; Holywell in 1954 and Llansawel, Carmarthenshire, in 1974. His poetry was published in his book "Cerddi Tair Tref". He was a very kind generous man, and would go out of his way to help anyone with a problem. He died in 2002. William and Jean have two sons. Ken works as a Civil Servant in Newtown, Powys, and Paul has continued the family tradition in the postal service. Both are married with children. Paul lives in Llandeilo, as does his mother.
Tom joined the BBC as a news reporter and presenter. Many will recall him on Radio Cymru's programme 'Bore Da'. I can still hear him telling everyone 'Mae'r cloc ar y wal yn dod i fyny at wyth o'r gloch'. This was my signal to finish breakfast and head for school. He also broadcasted on the British Forces Broadcasting Service. During the 1970's, my mother's brother Eric, listened to him regularly in Singapore, every Wednesday evening at 6.45 pm - maintaining a link with 'home' through Tom. He interviewed numerous celebrities, and was actually with the Beatles in Bangor, at the time their manager Brian Epstein died. In addition to 'Can Serch' and 'Haf Creulon', he wrote 'Marged', a Welsh novel, based on the life of Ellen Davies and her family.
Tom died in 1988. His ashes were scattered by the Gorsedd Stones near the bridge in Llanrwst. A plaque lies on the wall of his birthplace, 64 Denbigh Street, placed by the then Mayoress, Cllr Patricia Williams. Tom and Mair have four sons. Gareth Glyn, broadcaster and composer, living in Anglesey, Geraint is a hearing specialist and singer with Ar Log, living in the Conway Valley. Aled, until recently, was head of BBC Radio Cymru and is now a programme production consultant in Cardiff. Owen has his own company and travels schools with his educational programmes and lives near his mother Mair in the Caernarfon area. All are married with children.
Ceinwen received the MBE for services within the nursing profession, and worked in Morriston Hospital. She is now retired, living in South Wales and regularly visits 'yr hen gynefin'. Ceinwen and Vivian have a son Martin, who has a family and is a Principal Lecturer in Cardiff.
David is thought to be in the Liverpool area, but Edward lives in Dolwyddelen with his partner Sue and family. Today, only Jean and her husband John maintain a link with Denbigh Street.
For the rest of us, a lot of water has gone under Llanrwst Bridge since our family moved from 64, Denbigh Street. We keep loving memories of our family who have gone before us. Happy days indeed. Like the daisies Tom threw into the stream when he was a young boy, they will never come back.