Skip Navigation|

Siaci'r Hatter (John Davies), Capel Cynon

Translation of an article by 'Pen Crug Bach', Cardigan Tivyside, 16/2/1917

'I am grateful for the readable article about Mr Tom Parry, Gwarllwyn but the words that fired the imagination for me were, 'Ty Siaci'r Hatter', (House of Siaci Hatter).

An image of the small thatched cottage immediately came to mind. The small house stood near Wsrws, Capel Cynon on the road from Llandysul to New Quay, near Blaenbarre. Parish books name the house Llainbarre but local people called it 'Ty Siaci'r Hatter' or 'Ty Siaci Siors'. The house came with a few acres of land were a few cows and a calf would graze. The owner would keep the land well fertilised and was well known for lush grass and clovers. The cows were always fat, their cream thick and the butter a rich yellow. Llaninbarre has ceased to be a smallholding after Siaci and his wife died, the cottage now demolished.

The tenants name was John Davies but he was widely known as 'Siaci'r Hatter'. He was christened the name because he used to be a hat maker. Siaci was an old man when I was a child and I have fond memories of him. He was quite tall and had a bald head. He would work on the roads between Capel Cynon, Ffostrasol and Gilffet. He was a good worker, taking the same care as he would his fields. He had no time to talk and was too busy with the spade or hammer. He was a quiet man with a deep voice and a broad face. He was also able to speak English and had seen something of the world. He would talk of visiting Gloucester and of visiting Herefordshire for the harvest.

Sianci had a fright of his life one night. The hunting hounds of Hughes of the Neuadd and killed a cat in the Rhyd Public House, Capel Cynon and the men decided to drag the unfortunate cat to Siaci's house. The cat was deposited inside his door and the hound let free, they followed the scent to the cottage, howling and barking as they went. Siaci and his wife were left quite shaken. '