Time has no meaning when, in pleasant company. So it seemed as Miss Evans talked about the village she loves.
She told me with humour: "Many years ago, before the advent of 'buses, it was a known fact that any person emerging from the direction of Pontlottyn—we called it “over the horizon”—would be observed by several pairs of eyes, all the way to Fochriw Brook.
"In those days, everyone knew everybody in Fochriw and most persons were known by their Christian names. Surnames did not matter much,
"Fochriw has always been a village of singers. In fact, the principle tenor of the Carl Rosa Opera Company, years ago, was Mr. Will Edgar who was born in Guest Street, Fochriw.”
I murmured my thanks, and thanked her as I took my leave. There was another picture on the wall that had: escaped my attention. It summed up the life of Miss Margaretta Evans. '
The verse read: 'Trust in the Lord, and do good"
Mr Albert Marshalsea
The following article is from the Merthyr Express from about 1966-67. The text has been taken from a newspaper cutting which had been taped together on the back and the tape has obscured.some of the words. Mr Marshalsea slightly exaggerated his age when he got older, although it is only by a year or two.
I recall him on the roof of his house mending slates when he was in his mid 80’s
A SOMERSET EXPORT TO FOCHRIW
The very name Marshallsea had always intrigued me and I had often wondered how such an unusual name had infiltrated into such a predominantly Welsh community as Fochriw.So it was something more than inquisitiveness that led me to interview a gentleman of that name. I soon found out that Mr Albert Marshallsea, of Williams Row, Fochriw, not only possessed an unusual name, but that he also was a most unusual person.
I had been informed that he had attained the ripe old age of 90 and I fully expected to find an old gentleman propped up on a chair and wrapped up in woollen clothes, content to [—]. But [—].
"Born in Somerset, me lad, where the cider apples come from in a place called Ilminster," he said his broad accent brought back the sunshine again through the clouds outside.
Despite the fact that he has been in Wales since he was 19 years of age, one can still trace the Western burr in his voice and he now and again puts the Z in Somerset. The healthy texture of his skin surely is the envy of men many years his junior.
I would describe him as a "Healthy Somerset export" and a credit to his native heath. As we talked it was hard to realise that we were in Fochriw, a village which is suffering from an encroachment of shale tips and open cast sites, such a contrast to his native county.
Ilminster, the town twelve miles from Taunton. He barely remembers his father and mother. He said "They died when I was very young." He lit his pipe and when it was well under way, went on: "We were fortunate to be brought up by our Grandmother, a strict Victorian type, she was in great demand in those days as a local minister of the Unitarian faith."