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Mari Parry, Trefechan

Extract taken from an article from the Cambrian News (1/5/1987) entitled 'A countryman remembers'

Danny Davies, grandson of Marie Parry, Trefechan remembers her:


'Marie Parry had 19 pigs up at Tanybwlch there. She kept them in a garden up beyond where Anthony Motors is now.

Then she had a field up Dinas Terrace, which belonged to Nanteos, Mrs Powell Nanteos, and she had as much as 18 horses there.

She had cattle, secondhand furniture, chickens....all day waiting for customers outside the front of her house there by The Three Tuns, where Harbour Crescent is now.

There were two big wooden barrels to empty all the swill into, and she would empty the swill into two buckets and walk nearly half a mile then to feed the pigs.

She was a very hard working women. She never retired.

They buried her in Bethania and she gave a brand new carpet and organ there for nothing to the chapel. She never had a doctor in her life, she didn't believe in doctors, she didn't believe in banks. She was the richest woman in Aberystwyth. She had nine houses and a farm.

She was always buying and selling cattle see, and horses, and she'd go up to the saleroom then and buy all the secondhand furniture, take it home in the handtrucks and sell it in front of her house there. and then people came down from Penparcau and had them for so much a week, five shillings a week, half a crown a week, have a three piece suite for that then.

Animals, furniture....she had these 14 horses now, buy 'em cheap in the country see. There was the Territorial Army in the Drill Hall here you see. They were going to perhaps Larkhill, Salisbury Plain, to camp. She hired these wild horses to the Government see and all them men are riding wild horses and when she had them back they were broken in and she could sell 'em then, crafty aye.

She led a simple life, didn't smoke, didn't drink, believed in her God, believed in her chapel and she wouldn't do a stroke on Sunday.

And remember the old iron beds years ago, there used to be a lot of brass on them, and if she hadn't got much to do she'd have a hammer and chisel and be sitting there all day – I wouldn't have the patience – knocking all this old brass and putting it into bags, and then she'd sell that again see.

And then at the back of her house at The Three Tuns making money then she had what you call a tramp house, a bloody big old room, a hell of a size, and then these tramps, they'd walked from South Wales some of them, they'd sleep the night in Aberaeron, walk then into Aberystwyth.

Come there then with a dirty stinking shirt, she'd have a big bloody old thing there for dropping the shirts in boiling water, a big pole to poke them now to clean them, then that man would have somebody's else's shirt in the morning that's been washed and cleaned, and she did that till she was 60.

One day this feller was stuck for a horse to plough his land. She leant him a lovely chestnut mare you see and a saddle and bridle. I was only 10 them days. Would I go out and fetch it back, 'the man hasn't [aid me a penny for three months'. So when I got there now he was in the field. 'Marie parry', I said 'has sent me all the way up here to take the horse back, you haven't paid for it.'

'Oh yes, you can have it back now', he said, 'but I haven't got a bridle or saddle', he said, so I had to go back with just a halter, and it went dark on me, and I went all the way round the back road and brought it back.
Before I went, she said: 'Don't you worry, I'll see you all right.' You know what she gave me? Three penny bit and 'sit down' she said in Welsh to me. 'That'll do you the world of good' – a big sospan of cawl. She used to cook that all day for the tramps.
There was sheeps' heads and everything in it. Tasted all right, a bit greasy for me. Anyhow, all these tramps came in, tell them to sit there now, all round this big table, all eating this cawl and enjoying it they were.'

Mari Parry died age 94.