The Sad End of Colonel Gamble

 

In my youth I used to spend long and blissful holidays at my grandmother's home in the parish of Llangwnnadl in Llyn, a land of farms with maritime links very different from my own upland home in Arfon. Minafon, my grandmother's house, was a centre where men and women called regularly, the office and the shop of that unhappy venture, the Llyn Co-operative Agricultural Society, being situated there. When the Co-op. was started in 1913, an uncle of mine, Evan Williams, was appointed secretary, and when it was wound up in 1928, the secretary found himself with only a bicycle, two suits and a few books.

One luckless element in the failure of the Co-op. was the steam lorry bought for £1,500 to bring merchandise from the rail terminal at Pwllheli, fourteen miles away. Petrol was already superseding steam as a means of transport, and the steam lorry soon became useless, to be eventually sold as scrap for sixty pounds.

Petrol vehicles were superseding another form of transport which had served Llyn well for centuries. The configuration of the coastline was such that small sailing ships were able to discharge their cargoes in the creeks which are a feature of the peninsula, especially on the north coast - Porth Sgadan, Porth Gwylan, Porth Ychen, Porth Golmon, Porth Ty Mawr, Porth Ferin, Porth Iago, Porth y Wrach, Porthor and Porthorion. For many years the men of Llyn obtained all the commodities they required from outside their own territory by means of the little ships that used these creeks and other sandy beaches. I witnessed the tail-end of this trading. I never failed to be thrilled to the marrow by the sight of a ship being unloaded at Porth Golmon. It was part of the fascination the sea and all its activities have always exercised over me.

Technically speaking, the little ships that came to Porth Golmon were ketches, originally sailing vessels, of course, but not one of the ships I saw carried sail, the auxiliary petrol engine having taken over. They only came in the summer because of the rocky nature of the coast on either side of the inlet, and even in summer, if the wind freshened, unloading would immediately cease and the ship would be winched out into the open sea. My uncle used to tell how a certain ship had come to grief at Porth Golmon a few years previously, She arrived in October, which was late, and a westerly gale tossed her on to the rocks, and she could not be refloated.

When the maritime trade was at its height, the first cargo to arrive at Porth Golmon in early summer every year consisted of earthenware vessels for the use of farmers, when churning and the making and preserving of butter were an important part of the agricultural economy. Then would come cargoes of coal, flour and meal for man and beast, and artificial manure, mainly basic slag. For a very long time the unloading of ships was done at Porth Golmon in the old-fashioned way, by bringing farm carts alongside at low tide. But this was only possible for a few hours every day.

My first recollection is of a timber staging cantilevered from a piece of rock which happened to be level with the ship's deck, and along this staging wheelbarrows would come and go. But later the Co-op. had modernised and mechanised wonderfully. The timber of the wreck I have already mentioned was bought and used to erect a shed which housed a steam winch. A cable was stretched from high up on the cliff to the ship's mast, and along this the cargo would be worked direct from the ship’s hold to a stage in front of the engine house, and thence to the warehouse, whose floor was level with the stage. If the cargo was coal, it came in a tub, which a man wielding a long pole tipped on to dry land, becoming in no time as black as the coal itself. This tipper was always John Pozzi, a cheerful and kindly person, whose surname and swarthy complexion proclaimed his origin, several generations earlier.

I once witnessed a somewhat romantic little scene at Porth Golmon. It was a warm summer evening, and a ship had just tied up, but it was too late in the day to start unloading. Two ladies, a mother and daughter, came down the road leading to the creek. I recognised them as Mrs. Griffith, Glanyrafon Fawr, and her daughter Jane. Then the Captain, very tidily dressed, stepped from the deck on to the wooden platform and greeted the ladies, and off the three went, to supper at Glanyrafon, no doubt. This had its predictable outcome: the Captain and Jane Griffith were eventually married. Such were some of my recollections of the little ships at Porth Golmon. Then, one day, having occasion to prepare a few notes for an address, I thought it would be well to have some documentary evidence in support of my own memory. I started at the library of the University College at Bangor, where I had remarkable good luck. Mr. Derwyn Jones produced two booklets.

On the first page of one of them were the words ' Cargo book of the ketch Colonel Gamble. Commander R. Hughes ', and the record ran from 3 January 1910 to 14 February 1914. There was no title on the other booklet, only ' Robert Hughes of ketch Tryfan of Portdinllaen, Carnarvon-shire ', and it covered voyages between February 1916 and September 1917. Both ships, according to the booklets, used to call regularly at Porth Golmon. The Tryfan might well have been the one I remembered. One of the booklets gave Captain Hughes's address as Bryn Eos, Woodlands, Conway, and there was a note to say that he had lived at two other houses in the same town, Glanrafon and Tryfan. If he was the husband of Jane Griffith of Llyn, he had obviously given the name of his wife's home to one of his houses and his ship's name to the other, a common practice among sea captains, as can be seen from the strange names over some of the front doors of houses in Aberaeron, Aberyswyth or Caernarfon.

It was obvious that I was on the track of the right man and the right ship. But to make certain I consulted that knowledgeable and generous local historian, Mr. Ivor Davies of Penmaenmawr. Mr. Davies knew Captain Hughes well. The Captain was born in 1876, the son of another Captain, William Hughes, who used to sail the Chester Trader between Trefriw and Liverpool. Robert Hughes's first ship was the flat Agnes, which used to sail up the River Conwy to Trefriw, and of which he became captain at the age of twenty in 1896. About 1898 he became master of the Pilgrim, and in April 1903 he was appointed master of the Colonel Gamble by the owner, Robert Roberts of Conway. He bought the vessel in 1912. From 1914 till the end of 1919 he was Captain of the Tryfan. Then, having injured his arm, he retired and obtained work ashore at Conwy. So there is no doubt about the identity of the captain whom I saw meeting the girl at Porth Golmon sixty years ago.

To return to the cargo books, near the end of the Colonel Gamble book there is the statement that the vessel left Garston for Porth Golmon on 9 October 1913 with 61 tons of coal and 35 tons of basic slag. Seeing the month, I thought it was rather late in the year to be making for Porth Golmon. On turning the page, I saw the following : ' Blown ashore on to Rocks Nov. 13, 1913, and on till went total wreck Feb. 14, 1914 '.

So this was the ship my uncle had been telling me about and whose timber went to build the engine shed. Mr. Aled Eames was so good as to give me some particulars about the Colonel Gamble from sources now kept at the Custom House, Holyhead. It was built at Rhyl in 1863, and was the property of William Roberts of Llewelyn Street, Conwy. It was originally a one mast flat, but was converted into a ketch. It was a wooden ship, 66 feet long, 19 feet wide, with a hold depth of 7 feet.

The cargo books kept by Captain Hughes give an interesting picture of the coastal trade when that trade was on its last legs. These are some of the places at which the ships called: Manchester, Liverpool, Garston, Runcorn, Widnes, Hesketh Bank, Point of Ayr, Holyhead, Cemais, Moelfre, Lleiniog, Beaumaris, Menai Bridge, Portdinorwic, Portinllaen, Porth Sgadan, Porth Golmon, Abersoch. The Tryfan berthed at Porth Golmon ten times during the two summers covered by the cargo book. The Colonel Gamble once went as far afield as Newquay in Cardiganshire. The coastal trade persisted in Llyn because of the distances from the rail head at Pwllheli, and the limitations on road transport which, before the coming of the motor lorry, was confined to the efforts of carriers with horse-drawn vehicles.

Coal was much the commonest cargo. Basic slag, and even flour, shared the hold with coal fairly often. Timber, recorded as ' 20 standards deals ' or ' 25 standards boards ', was carried occasionally. Eighty tons of drain-pipes were loaded at Hesketh Bank for Porth Golmon on 1 September 1913. There is mention of a general cargo a few times.

One disadvantage of trading to the creeks of Llyn was having to make the return voyage (or part of it) 'light ', as Captain Hughes put it, or in ballast. In the eighteenth century and during the first quarter of the nineteenth Llyn exported a good deal of butter and-cheese, but all this had ceased by Captain Hughes's time. Twice during the summer of 1917 he carried a cargo of ' iron stones ' from Porth Ysgo to Ellesmere Port. This presumably was manganese ore from the mines on Mynydd y Rhiw.

There was better business at other ports. Having sailed ' light ' from Porth Golmon in August 1912, the Colonel Gamble picked up 95 tons of slates at Portdinorwic for Birkenhead and Liverpool, and slates were conveyed to these and other Merseyside ports from Deganwy. A very unusual consignment was 100 tons of 'tine clay' from Holyhead to Widnes in June 1913. Transport by sea was cheap, but reasonably profitable. One item in the Tryfan cargo book reads : 'Feb. 1916, Liverpool to Portdinlleyn, 102 tons of coals at 6/6 per ton. Owners share £ll.l.O. Settled Feb. 15, 1916. Robert Jones '. Robert Jones was obviously the owner of the vessel, and the money due to him represents one-third of the total freight charge. The same proportion obtains in all the other items recorded in relation to the Tyfan. The remaining two-thirds was the captain's, but out of this sum he had to pay his crew's wages and their keep aboard, pilot dues and other fees at some ports, the cost of fuel for the auxiliary engine, and all expenses in connection with renovating the ship's gear. As owner of the Colonel Gamble, Captain Hughes would retain the full freight charges, which would mean ' that with good weather conditions and regular business, his gross income might well be about five or six hundred pounds, a very high figure for the years before the first world war.

Modern rail and road transport is, of course, very much faster than seabome transport. Yet it is remarkable how quickly, with good weather, the ships could move around. On 17 January 1911 the Colonel Gamble left Liverpool with 100 tons of artificial manure, and arrived at Moelfre on the following day. On 16 June 1916 the Tryfan sailed from Liverpool with 98 tons of coal, reached Porth Golmon, discharged her cargo, sailed back to Liverpool, took on another 88 tons of coal, and was starting back for Porth Golmon on 27 June - all this in eleven days, The coastal trade was a way of life and of work which has completely disappeared. It was part of the maritime activities which included ship-building and repairing and many associated skills, and which for centuries had fashioned the economy of north Wales. I am glad I saw something of it before it came to an end.


 

Diwedd Trist y Colonel Gamble

ATGOF A CHOFNOD THOMAS PARRY

PAN oeddwn i'n blentyn ac yn llanc, mi fyddwn yn treulio wythnosau bob blwyddyn yn nhy fy nain ym mhlwyf Llangwnnadl yn Llyn, mewn gwlad o ffermydd oedd yn bur wahanol i ardal y chwareli yn Arfon lle'r oedd fy nghartref. Yr oedd yno lawer o bobl a phethau i ddiddori bachgen, ac yr oedd Min afon, ty fy nain, yn ganolfan i wyr a gwragedd y cylch, am mai yno yr oedd siop a swyddfa'r fentr seithug honno, Cymdeithas Gydweithredol Amaethyddol Llyn. Pan gychwynnwyd y "Co-op" yn I913, fe benodwyd ewyrth imi, Evan Williams, yn Ysgrifennydd, a phan ddaeth y Gymdeithas i derfyn digyllid yn I928, fe adawyd yr Ysgrifennydd heb ddim ar ei helw yn llythrennol ond dwy siwt a beic ac ychydig lyfrau.

Un elfen anfydus ym methiant y Gymdeithas oedd y lorri stem (neu dracsion ar lafar) a brynwyd am bymtheg cant o bunnau i gludo nwyddau dros y pedair milltir ar ddeg o Bwllheli, gan mai dyna ben-draw'r tren. Ond yn fuan ar al ei phrynu fe ddaeth lorri betrol yn beth gweddol gyffredin, a bu'r tracsion yn ei chwt ym Mhenygroeslon heb godi'r un pwf o stem am rai blynyddoedd, nes ei gwerthu fel sgrap am drigain punt.

Yr oedd cyfrwng arall i gael nwyddau i Ben Llyn, sef mewn llongau, ond bod hynny hefyd yn dod i ben tua'r un adeg. Yr oedd furfiant y glannau yn gyfryw fel bod llawer o draethau bychain a chilfachau graeanog rhwng y creigiau o Dudweiliog i Aberdaron—Porth Sgadan, Porth Gwylan, Porth Ychen, Porth Golmon, Porth Ty-mawr, Porth Ferin, Porth Iago, Porth y Wrach, Porthor a Phorth orion. Am ganrifoedd lawer bu llongau bychain yn tradio i'r cilfachau hyn; y mae son amdanynt mewn dogfen o gyfnod y brenin Harri VIII. Yr oeddynt yn dal i ddod pan oeddwn i'n hogyn, ond rwy'n credu i mi weld un o'r rhai olaf. Un o brofiadau mwyaf iasol a chynhyrfiol fy mlynyddoedd cynnar oedd gweld dadlwytho llong ym Mhorth Golmon, er nad oedd i mi ddim rhan yn y gwaith, ond bod rhyw swyn gafaelgar imi yng ngweithgareddau'r mor.

Yr enw technegol ar y llongau a fyddai'n dod i Borth Golmon oedd "ketch", gyda dau fast, y blaen yn fwy na'r al, ond nid oedd hwyliau ar y rhai a welais i, oherwydd yr oedd y peiriant petrol wedi dod i fod erbyn hynny. Rhyw gan tunnell oedd maint eu cargo. Ym misoedd yr haf yn unig y byddent yn dod yno, oherwydd yr oedd gormod o greigiau o gwmpas yr hafn, a hyd yn oed yn yr haf, petai gwynt o'r gorllewin yn codi'n sydyn, byddai raid rhoi'r gorau i ddadlwytho yn syth a mynd a'r llong allan i'r môr agored. Clywais fy ewyrth yn sôn am ryw long a ddaeth yno yn rhy hwyr ar y fwyddyn, ac fe ddaeth yn storm a chwythwyd hi ar y creigiau, ac yno y bu nes ei dryllio'n llwyr.

Pan oedd masnach y llongau yn ei bri, y llwyth cyntaf i gyrraedd bob dechrau haf fyddai llestri pridd o gyrrau Mostyn, yn ôl a glywais, sef potiau a dysglau at iws ffermwyr pan oedd corddi a gwerthu menyn yn rhan bwysig o economi pob ffarm. Yna dai llwythi o lo, blawdiau o bob math ar gyfer dyn ac anifail, a gwrtaith gwneud, basic slag gan mwyaf. Yr oedd cyfran helaeth a angen rheidiau darn o wlad weddol boblog yn dod dros y môr i Borth Golmon a'r porthladdoedd bach eraill o gwmpas.

Yr oedd dadlwytho cynnwys y llong, beth bynnag fyddai, yn dipyn bach o broblem, oherwydd nid oedd yno ddim o'r craeniau a'r ger o'r fath a welir mewn dociau mawr. Yr hen ddull oedd mynd a throliau at ymyl y llong ar y trai, ond dim ond am ychydig oriau bob dydd y gellid gwneud hynny. Yr oedd ym Mhorth Golmon, pan wyf fi'n cofio, fath o Iwyfan pren wedi ei adeiladu allan o'r graig yn wastad â bwrdd y llong. Ond yr oedd y "Co-op" wedi moderneiddio a mecaneiddio yn rhyfeddol, trwy ddefnyddio coed y llong oedd wedi mynd yn ddrylliau i godi cwt ar allt y môr (a warws helaeth hefyd) ac yn hwnnw yr oedd peiriant stem yn weindio twb o howld y llong ar hyd weiar-rop oedd ag un pen iddi yn sownd ar y lan a'r llall wrth fast y llong. Yr oedd hyn yn ffordd gyflym o ddadlwytho, ac o gofio peryglon tywydd mawr yr oedd cyflymder yn ystyriaeth bwysig dros ben.

Mi fûm i unwaith yn dyst o olygfa ramantus. Yr oedd yn noson hyfryd yn yr haf, a llong wedi cyrraedd y Borth, ond yn rhy hwyr ar y dydd i ddechrau dadlwytho. Mi welwn fam a merch yn dod i lawr y ffordd at y Borth, Mrs. Griffith, Glanyrafon Fawr, a'i merch Jane. Yna dyma'r Capten, wedi gwisgo'n drwsiadus, yn camu dros ochr y llong ar y llwyfan pren, cerdded i fyny at y merched a'u cyfarch, a ffwrdd a hwy, i swper yng Nglanyrafon yn ddiamau. Y diwedd fu priodi wrth gwrs. Rhyw atgofion fel yna oedd gen i am y llongau bach ym Mhorth Golmon, nes imi fynd ati ryw ddwy flynedd yn al i baratoi darlith ar gyfer rhyw gynhadledd yn Aberystwyth. Mi feddyliais mai da fyddai cael rhyw wybodaeth ddogfennol i gadarnhau'r hyn oedd gen i ar fy nghof. Nid oedd fawr o help i'w gael yn llyfr David Thomas, Hen Longau Sir Gaernarfon, er rhagored gwaith yw hwnnw, nac mewn erthyglau a ymddangosodd yn Nhrafodion cymdeithas hanes y sir. Mi holais ar antur betrus yn Llyfrgell Coleg Bangor, a dyma Mr. Derwyn Jones, gyda'i ddawn i greu bendithion annisgwyl, yn dangos imi ddau Iyfryn bychan digon diolwg.

Ar ddalen flaen un ohonynt yr oedd y geiriau "Cargo book of the ketch Colonel Gamble. Commander R. Hughes", a'i gynnwys yn rhedeg o 5 Ionawr I9I0 hyd I4 Chwefror I9I4. Ar y llyfryn arall nid oedd dim teitl, ond yn unig "Robert Hughes of ketch Tryfan of Portdinlleyn, Carnarvonshire", a'r tu mewn iddo yr oedd record o deithiau rhwng Chwef ror I9I6 a Medi I9I7. Yn al y llyfrau yr oetd y ddwy long yn arfer galw'n rheolaidd ym Mhorth Golmon. Tybed ai'r Tryfan oedd yr un y byddwn i'n arfer ei gweld ? Yr oedd un o'r llyfrynnau yn rhoi cyfeiriad Capten Hughes fel Bryn Eos, Woodlands, Conwy, ac yr oedd nodyn yn dweud ei fod wedi byw mewn dau dy arall yn yr un dref, Glanrafon a Tryfan. Os ef oedd gwr Jane Grifflth o Lyn, yr oedd wedi rhoi enw ei chartref hi ar un o'i dai, ac enw ei long ar y llall, arfer gyffredin gan gapteniaid llongau, fel y gwelir wrth lawer o enwau rhyfedd uwchben drysau tai yn Aberaeron, Aberystwyth a Chaernarfon.

Yr oedd gweld hyn i gyd yn hwyl fawr, a minnau'n teimlo'n ffyddiog fy mod ar drywydd y dyn iawn. Ond i wneud yn siwr mi ofynnais am help y gwr gwybodus a chymwynasgar hwnnw, Mr. Ivor Davies, Penmaen-mawr, hanesydd lleol tra hyddysg, a chefais ganddo lawer o wybodaeth ddiddorol. Yr oedd ef yn adnabod Capten Hughes yn dda. Ganed ef yn I876 yn fab i gapten arall, William Hughes, a fyddai'n tradio rhwng Trefriw a Lerpwl yn y Chester Trader. Llong gyntaf Robert Hughes oedd y fflat Agnes, un o'r llongau bach a fyddai'n hwylio i fyny'r afon Gonwy cyn belled a Threfriw. Yn I903 penodwyd ef yn gapten y Colonel Gamble, ac yn I9I2 fe brynodd y llong. O I9I4 hyd ddiwedd I9I9 ef oedd capten y llong Tryfan. Yna oherwydd cael anaf i'w fraich ymddeolodd o'r môr, a chafodd waith ar y lan yng Nghonwy. Gwyddai Mr. Ivor Davies mai merch o Lyn oedd gwraig y capten ac mai Jane oedd ei henw. Felly rhwng popeth yr oeddwn yn bur sicr yn fy meddwl mai ef oedd y dyn a welais yn dod o'i long i gyfarfod ei gariad ym Mhorth Golmon dros hanner can mlynedd yn ôl, ac mai'r Tryfan oedd y llong honno.

Yn ôl yn awr at y "cargo book". Tua diwedd llyfr y Colonel Gamble y mae cofnod yn dweud fod y llong wedi gadad Garston am Borth Golmon gyda 6I O dunelli o lo a 35 o dunelli o basic slag ar g Hydref I9I3. Mi synnais weld ei bod yn mentro yno mor ddiweddar a hyn ar y flwyddyn. Yr oedd y cofnod ar waelod y tudalen. O droi i'r ddalen nesaf dyma a welais: "Blown ashore on top of Rocks Nov. I3, I9I3 and on till went total wreck Feb. I4, I9I4". A dyna ddiwedd trist y Colonel Gamble.

A dyma'r llong y dywedodd fy ewyrth wrthyf amdani, ac y defnyddiwyd ei choed i adeiladu'r warws a'r cwt i'r peiriant stem gan y "Co-op". Bu Mr. Aled Eames mor garedig a rhoi imi rai manylion am y llong o lyfrau Tolldy Biwmares (sy'n awr yn y Custom House yng Nghaergybi). Adeiladwyd hi yn y Rhyl yn I863, a'i pherchennog cyntaf oedd William Roberts, Llywelyn Street, Conwy. Fflat un mast oedd i gychwyn, ond ychwanegwyd mast arall a'i gwneud yn "ketch". Coed oedd ei defnydd, ei hyd yn 66 o droed feddi, ei lled yn I9, a dyfnder yr howld yn saith. Pan ddrylliwyd hi, yr oedd yn flwyddyn dros ei hanner cant oed, ac yr oedd hynny'n oed mawr, oherwydd rhyw ddeng mlynedd ar hugain oedd hyd einioes yr hen longau coed.

Y mae'r ddau lyfr cargo a ysgrifennodd Capten Hughes yn rhoi darlun diddorol o'r fasnach gyda'r glannau pan oedd y fasnach honno ar ei hen sodlau. Dyma'r lleoedd y byddai'r llongau yn galw ynddynt: Manceinion, Lerpwl, Garston, Runcorn, Widnes, Hesketh Bank, Point of Ayr, Caergybi, Cemais, Moelfre, Lleiniog, Biwmares, Porth aethwy, y Felinheli, Caernarfon, Portinllaen, Porth Golmon, Abersoch. Bu'r Tryfan ym Mhorth Golmon ddeng waith yn ystod y ddau haf a gynrychiolir yn y llyfr cargo. Fe welir mai'r darn o fôr a elwir yn Fae Lerpwl a Bae Caernarfon oedd eu rhanbarth. Fe aeth y Colonel Gamble un waith mor bell â Chei newydd yng Ngheredigion. Yr oedd y fasnach wedi para yn Llyn am nad oedd y rheilfordd yn mynd ond i Bwllheli, ac nid oedd cludiant ar y ffyrdd yn ddim ond yr hyn y gallai "cariwrs" ei wneud gyda chefylau.

Yr oedd cludo dros y môr yn rhad. Chwe swllt y dunnell oedd y tâl am gludo glo, ac felly ar gan tunnell yr oedd y cyfanswm yn ddeg punt ar hugain. Gan mai ef oedd biau'r llong yr oedd Capten Hughes yn cael yr arian yma'n llawn. (Petai ef yn gapten cyflogedig, neu "gapten gosod", buasai un rhan o dair o'r tâl yn mynd i'r perchennog.) O'r swm hwn yr oedd raid iddo dalu cyflog ei griw a thalu am eu bwyd ar bob mordaith, talu peilot a thaliadau arbennig mewn rhai porthladdoedd, ac ar ôl rhoi'r gorau i ddibynnu ar y gwynt yr oedd raid iddo dalu am betrol. Gyda thywydd gweddol a digon o gargo, gallai incwm Capten Hughes fod tua thri chant o bunnau yn y flwyddyn, cyflog da iawn drigain mlynedd yn ôl—cyflog Athro Coleg yn wir.

Un fantais o dradio i borthladdoedd bach Llyn oedd gorfod mynd yn ôl yn "light", fel y mae'r Capten yn dweud, sef yn wag. Nid oedd dim allforio o Llyn, ac eithrio ychydig o fanganîs o waith Mynydd y Rhiw. Yn y ddeunawfed ganrif ac i fyny i chwarter cyntaf y ganrif ddiwethaf yr oedd cryn lawer o allforio menyn a chaws, ond yr oedd hyn i gyd wedi dod i ben erbyn yr amser y sonnir amdano yn y llyfrau cargo.

Y mae trafnidiaeth y fyrdd fel y mae heddiw yn cymryd llai o amser wrth reswm na'r drafnidiaeth dros y mor. Ac eto, syndod mor gyflym, pan fai'r hin yn ffafriol, y gallai'r llongau fynd o un lle i'r llall. Yr oedd y Colonel Gamble yn gadael Lerpwl gyda chan tunnell o wrtaith ar I7 Ionawr I9II, ac yn cyrraedd Moelfre drannoeth. Taith gymharol fer oedd hon, ac yr oedd yn llinell syth. Ar I6 Mehefin I9I6 cychwynnodd y Tryfan o Lerpwl gyda 98 o dunelli o lo, cyrhaeddodd Borth Golmon a dadlwythodd, hwyliodd yn 81 i Lerpwl a llwythodd 88 o dunelli o lo eto, ac yr oedd yn cychwyn am Borth Golmon ar 27 Mehefin. Camp go dda mewn un diwrnod ar ddeg, a chofio'r fordaith trwy afon Fenai a thros far Caernarfon, lle'r oedd llawer yn dibynnu ar gyflwr y teitiau.

Dyna'r hwylio gyda'r glannau, neu'r "costio", math o fyw ac o weithio a aeth heibio ers blynyddoedd bellach. Rhan ydoedd o holl amryfal weithgareddau'r môr, oedd yn cynnwys hefyd hwylio ar led, ac adeiladu llongau a'u hailadeiladu a'u trwsio, gan roi gwaith i grefftwyr medrus iawn, yn seiri a gofaint a gwneuthurwyr hwyliau a rhaffau. Mi gefais i gyfle i weld y drafnidiaeth a'r fasnach oesol hon yn ei munudau olaf megis, ac mi fyddaf yn rhyw of er freuddwydio weithiau ar ambell funud chwith a meddal a rhamantus, a gofyn, o gofio fel y bu i'r rheilfordd lwyr ddisodli'r ffordd dyrpeg ar un cyfnod, ac yna, erbyn ein dyddiau ni, y fordd wedi disodli'r rheilffordd, tybed a ddaw eto ryw dro rhyfedd ar fyd a fydd yn adfer i'r môr a'i longau bychain eu goruchafiaeth ar y ffordd a'i cheir. Go brin efallai; ond peidied neb â bod yn rhy siwr.

 


 

 
 

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