Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Ash Wednesday

Trelawnyd sheltering against the gales
The Church bell started to ring fairly early this morning which threw me slightly as I couldn't quite work out why it was doing so. The penny dropped that it was Ash Wednesday when I left the cottage to deliver eggs, as tiny knots of the village congregation braved the high winds and battled their way down to the Church.

The village looks deserted today.
It always does when the weather is bad. The daytime population of Trelawnyd is probably confined to a hundred  or so over 65s, forty schoolchildren , and a few odds and sods like me who either work odd shifts or do not work at all.
Mrs Trellis hurrying home
Apart from a few home carers, the village's elderly warden, the school's staff and a handful of guys based in the industrial units just outside the village, the village offers no employment . The employed population getting into their cars earlier today to weave their way to nearby towns, or across the Welsh border in order to work.
This was always the case, even in times gone by... but then the workers caught buses down to the likes of Rhyl, ambled down to work in the three village shops, bakery, pubs and numerous local farms or made their way, sometimes on foot, to the Coal mine at Point Of Ayr, a few miles to the North...
In , say, 1940s the village population was higher than it is today, and the daytime population was much more visual, with housewives going about their daily business .
Today, apart from a few cars, and the diminutive Mrs Trellis hurrying home , there was absolutely no one to see...oh I am so looking forward to the nicer weather.....the warmth brings the village to life
off to work later


  1. My first house out here was amongst a spread-out group of 3, with about 2 more ruins. At the moment there are just 2 permanent residents there, with an extra 6 in the summer. Between the wars there were over 65 living there; all farming.

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  3. Where do the 40 children come from if the majority of the villagers are over 65 with a few odds and sods thrown in?Maybe you should bottle and sell the water because there must be something going on Trelawnyd.

  4. It's a good school children come from all over

  5. Here's wishing you some of the lovely bright blue skies we're having at the moment.
    Charnizay counts 502 - we're the 2 - in the whole [wide] parish; but the nursery school has healthy and growing numbers. Kids go to the next village for the primary.

  6. I'd forgotten all about Ash Wednesday.
    When I was a kid it was pancakes on the Tuesday and on Wednesday we had 'hash', which my Mum made with the leftover meat from Sunday dinner. I loved her hash.

  7. Anonymous1:26 pm

    to warm weather!

  8. When I was younger I used to live on a stretch of road with only three houses and nothing else for miles and miles around. My nearest neighbours were an ancient elderly couple that I never saw, a Cree mother and her six children and a bunch of cows. I hated it.

  9. Here`s to warm weather!

  10. Have a wonderful afternoon, John.

  11. No church bells here, as the church nearest my house is a Baptist one. Decided lack of smudged foreheads today as well.


  12. Yes, it is Ash Wed and this odd sod Catholic needs to decide what to focus on this Lent. We're not suppossed to "give up" anything anymore, we are instead to focus on others and their needs. I think I shall pack up and come to Trelawynd and do some charity work. It looks so lovely there John. Who has the best B and B?

  13. "...the workers caught buses down to the likes of Rhyl" - Why? What had they done wrong?
    "... housewives going about their daily business" - By that I presume you mean - the seduction of window cleaners and Betterware salesmen?

  14. Pud
    you need to stop watching those "special" 1980 videos

  15. What's sad is when a village dies completely, with all the oldies dying, nobody else moving in, and all the shops gradually closing. Hopefully Trelawnyd isn't going in that direction....

  16. When we lived in Caerwent, Wales the only people out and about during the day were the milkman and the postman, although when the sun went down, the pub was full ;)
    What a lovely view of your village !

  17. Living in a busy town like Brighton, your situation sounds like heaven to me.

  18. I've been away for the weekend so am just catching up on your blog, poor Sorrel, but lots going on in the farmyard. With Donna asking after B and Bs in a dormitory village, wouldn't it be funny/strange if your blog opened up Trelawnyd as an international holiday destination!

  19. maybe the real life 'walking dead' scenario has started in Trelawnyd...

    ...make sure you decapitate Mrs Trellis properly

  20. I dunno - I kinda like the quiet towns - let the young ones have the 'hustle and bustle' of the city.

    Clancy of the Overflow

    I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
    Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
    He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
    Just "on spec", addressed as follows: "Clancy, of The Overflow".

    And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
    (And I think the same was written in a thumbnail dipped in tar)
    'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
    "Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are."

    In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
    Gone a-droving "down the Cooper" where the western drovers go;
    As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
    For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

    And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
    In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
    And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
    And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.

    I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
    Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
    And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
    Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.

    And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
    Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
    And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
    Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

    And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
    As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
    With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
    For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

    And I somehow fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
    Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
    While he faced the round eternal of the cashbook and the journal -
    But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of "The Overflow".
    The Bulletin, 21 December 1889.

  21. Funny thing its the same here when it is hot, eveyone is at the pool.

  22. Thanks for sharing Trelawnyd....sounds beautiful!

  23. I see you must really look forward to the warmer weather and therefore more people.
    I remember Ash Wednesday when I was a kid.....the competition was to have the darkest mark (+) on your forehead! I won one year!

  24. Ash Wednesday has been appropriated by wildfire disasters here. Unless they happened on a Saturday. For a moment when I read your post title, I got a bit of a fright for you and yours!

  25. No cleaners, or people prepared to undertake the ironing?

  26. I am with John D., I enjoy my country home with a Garden Centre, a farm & a retired couple as neighbours. Peaceful all for the traffic on the Highway in front when the Tourist & Fly season begins ... nice photo overlooking the grey morning light on the Village John Gray.

  27. Hope the warmer weather arrives soon so your village can spring back to life...

  28. Roll on the good weather for any's a sadness that village life is falling away...progress?

  29. I adore the fact that there is actually a lady called Mrs Trellis - you couldn't make that one up.


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