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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FRON GOCH, Ceredigion 2011

Comments

Photo comment By Don Faulkner: I only learned today sadly of Roger's passing away. I was lucky enough to be on the same ATC course as Linda and Roger in Birmingham - along with loads of other great people during 1962/3. It proved a wonderful vintage year. Roger and Linda feature in my very fond memories of that year. Roger's "kool" playing and singing - in the brilliant flat pick style of Ramblin Jack Elliott - made him a star amongst us. I well recall that camp fire evening when a certain dramatic inccident confirmed the 'bonding' of Linda and Roger! If you're reading this Linda ( or anyone else from that superb year ) it would be nice to hear from you - either via e-mail: Don@donfaulkner.co.uk . I always have and always will hold Roger in high esteem untill I too join him in the eternal ether. Be good to hear from you Linda. Lots of love. Don

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