Updated: Jul 17, 2018
This week we had some surprise visitors. I was busily sketching away when I heard the squeak of the gate. This instantly grabbed my attention, as seriously, no one ever comes up to the house... we are just too far off the beaten track! I promptly stopped what I was doing to go and see who these unlikely visitors were. Suspecting they may be walkers from the bridle path gone awry. As I approached them I could see it they didn't look lost, in fact they seemed to be quite at ease in their surroundings. Asking them politely what I could do to help, I was greeted by a wonderful revelation. This kind looking chap was indeed at home, as he remembered the house from his own childhood. He introduced himself as the son of J E Jones. For those of you not familiar with the name, John Edward Jones was a prominent Welsh politician, a Welsh political organiser and an important component of what was to become Plaid Cymru. He was also notably born in 1905 and raised in our very own house! We had been aware of this for sometime, and there is a plaque for him in Melin y Wig on the village hall near to where he is laid to rest in the graveyard. We have been doing our own research into the history of the house for some months now and had turned up some old censuses, ordnance survey maps, articles on J E Jones and even had been left a few old pictures of the house. One of which had been piquing our interest for some time. It has a family dressed in late 19th century clothing posing in our front doorway and sits alongside our own family photos. We had asked many local people who they thought these people may be but had not turned up anything as yet. When we showed it to the chap visiting though he instantly recognised the faces as his aunts and uncles, grandfather and grandmother, his dad, J E Jones, however was not in the picture as it must have been taken a decade earlier before his father was born.
It was an absolute joy and pleasure to talk to him and his lovely wife, sharing his memories of our home. Looking for an old trig point he remembered from his childhood, denoting our 1000ft above sea level position (we couldn't find it for the life of us however and I'm sure we'll spend many hours searching!)
We showed them things we'd discovered and preserved, old initials carved in the cow stalls and hand written notes of the walls of the milking shed, dating back to the period his father would have lived there. They were also delighted to see we hadn't removed the old outside toilet (now housing my garden tools). All that history, times passed, peoples touches all wrapped up in the buildings here - and of course that's why we fell in love with it. I hope to discover lots more about the history of the house as we grow with it and make our own marks as a family upon it.
It makes you realise that the past will forever be there and will make its marks, imprints on our future. Sometimes with good things, happy memories, sometimes with bad things we'd rather forget, but always forever there as a constant reminder of what has come before and what we can gain knowledge from and learn from in order to move forward... but an ever fixed mark.