NANTYCAE, Hafod, Pontrhydygroes, Ystrad Meurig, Ceredigion 2007

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NANTYCAE, Hafod, Pontrhydygroes, Ystrad Meurig, Ceredigion 2007 - CEREDIGION FARMHOUSES
Notes on NANTYCAE, Hafod, Pontrhydygroes, Ystrad Meurig, Ceredigion 2007

Sometimes, when I was growing up, when the Autumn had stripped the foliage away from the wooded areas of Hafod, I could see Nant y Cae from my bedroom window of my parents’ house at Upper Lodge. And sometimes, during the summer months, we could see smoke pouring out from that general direction. Obviously the summer evenings were cool enough to warrant a small fire. Then as they are now.

The house was owned by Roger and Linda Hallett. They had lived at Hafod for a good number of decades and knew every inch of the estate, and indeed worked on it clearing areas, creating footpaths. They moved from Hafod in 2006 (?) and the house was empty for a little while before the new occupants moved in.

In Remembrance of Roger Hallett

I remember once walking through Hafod on a cold grey unfriendly day. It was during the winter months, mid-week and did not expect to see anyone along the path I was walking. I carried my camera and tripod, slung over my shoulders. I had been walking above Hafod and over the Cambrian Mountains over towards Teifi Pools. I often went walking, indeed I called it wandering because I carried with me no map, no definite idea of where I was headed. I walked to wherever looked of interest.

I had had a good day and I was in good spirits. I sung. I often sing when out walking. I steal tunes and add my own words. Sometimes, so not to compromise the rhyme, the lyrics can be on the pale shade of ‘moon’ and ‘June’ but I forgive myself of this. I am not about to cut a record. I am alone, out of earshot and I have spent the best part of a whole day without seeing a fellow human being.

Almost home and walking along the river Ystwyth that cuts through the Hafod estate and I always begin signing about ‘returning home’. By no means in tune, by no means Shakespeare, by no means a song fit for the Gods. I turn a cragged corner and there sits Roger, smoking a liquorice paper cigarette. He doesn’t comment after I spurt out my apologies for my singing. He is a rugged man, as rugged as the rock he sits upon. We have a short exchange, dare I say of pleasantries (Roger was not known for his pleasantries, and who is to say he was wrong to go through life that way?) and I carry on my way home.

This was in 1995. I am uncertain why I remember this encounter. It is not on my list of ‘embarrassing moments never to forget’. Neither is it on my list of ‘conversations that will remain with me until the day I die’. It is, I believe, a visual memory; a man sitting on rock, smoking a roll-up, on a grey day, watching the river, its rise, fall and flow, and Roger lost in his own wending thoughts.

Roger has recently died.

I have not suddenly begun to think about Roger whenever I walk this stretch of river.
I have, ever since that day, thought of him whenever I walk along this stretch of river.

Roger Hallett died in January 2011
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NANTYCAE, Hafod, Pontrhydygroes, Ystrad Meurig, Ceredigion 2007

Comments

Photo comment By kathy webster: we were lifelong friends of Roger and Linda and loved looking at your web site. For ten years we owned a cottage in Bethania and spent every holiday there. We will be at the mmemorial day at Hafod on 28th to remember the great influence Roger had on our lives and the extraordinary times we shared
Photo comment By Ken Bourne: This interesting man appears to be a friend of mine from our school days at Brighton Grammar School. If anyone reading this can confirm that this is the Roger Hallett that at one time lived at Wivelsfield, in Sussex, England, could you email confirmation to me at--- plantmanken@bcinternet
Photo comment By Ken Bourne: oops! My email address should read--- plantmanken@bcinternet.net
Photo comment By Ken Bourne: oops! My email address should read--- plantmanken@bcinternet.net
Photo comment By mary Lowerson: I've only recently heard about Roger's death.Imet him& Linda when we were all studentsin Birmingham (1962-63)I have happy memories of that time & later when I & my husband& children visited them at Tregaron. We lost touch after the early 70s. So nice to find this tribute on the net. Am sad for linda and her loss. Roger stood out from most of the other students; great style - clad in black, blond hair & beard , & smoking those liquorice paper roll-ups! Played a mean guitar too. RIP
Photo comment By Jane Foley: Roger and Linda have a special place in my heart. I am sad for Linda, who always had great love for Roger, and she gave much love and understanding to me. I send her, and her sons, any necessary healing, and my love.
Photo comment By Don Faulkner: Lynda. Remmeber me at Priory Road - when we were all having a fantastic one year training? Inspired by Roger's fantastic guitar playing and singing, I'm still playing. It was really sad learning Roger passon on into and among the stars. Please get in touch. It would be wonderfull to see you again. LOL, Don 01273 813476 Mob 07812801859

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