Friday 17 February 2012: The last relics of Greiny
This is the third and probably last in my series of recent blips about the old farm of Greiny and its sequestered siblings. It doesn't provide any new information but this array of salvaged items maybe throws a little light upon the life of the youngest in particular: the girl, Doris May, born in 1934, who lived there with her 4 older brothers until the last one died a year ago and she was moved into residential care. I'm told she would not be able to hold a rational conversation now.
What we have here are:
1. A pair of hand sheep shears, the pattern of which has remained unchanged for centuries and they are still used in the absence of electricity, also for upland sheep whose fleece should not be cut so close that they are left without any protection from the weather.
2. An aerial photograph of the farm. These used to be produced by someone with access to a small plane and a camera. The photographs would be hawked around rural properties and most people couldn't resist buying an image of their land from the air. I suspect Google Earth has put paid to that little money-spinner.
3. A teaspoon from Llandudno - someone's holiday venue?
4. A wooden ruler and a small spirit-level.
5. 1000 Poultry Questions Answered, price 6d. Addresses such matters as 'Which is the best, wet or dry mash?', 'How can I stop feather-picking?' and 'Can Roup be prevented?' Poultry keeping traditionally belonged to the woman's domain on the farm and any profit from eggs or table birds would be considered hers.
6. Also Doris May's was the 1923 edition of Mrs Beeton's All About Cookery containing three hand-written recipes: for Fruitcake, for Xmas Pudding and for Egg Flip (2 fresh eggs, 2 lemons, 8 oz. sugar, quarter bottle rum, tumbler fresh cream.)
7. Gwlith y Dyffrynoed (Dew of the Valleys): a small paper-covered volume of poems by Parch. (Rev.) J. Ll. Morris, printed in Carmarthen 1916. At first I dismissed this as just another collection of religious ditties but on perusing it - it's in Welsh - I noticed that several of them are addressed to named people in this very area: praise songs on occasions such of marriage, retirement or death. I can only assume that the Rev. Morris, who used the name Derwlwyn (Oakgrove), was a local cleric.
8. Finally, an assortment of mismatched floral crockery that must surely have been chosen with a woman's eye. Doris again.
It's not much to show for the past lives of the benighted family who lived here but at least I get the impression that Doris May was not entirely mired in gloom. She made cakes, kept chickens, read poetry, liked pretty china, and maybe enjoyed the occasional excursion to the seaside. We don't know for certain but let's imagine it.