Monthly Archives: March 2011

England versus America

Garway Church
Doreen, Darla and Sue
Doreen and her daughter Sue gave us a grand tour of Orcop and Garway Hills and took us to dinner and lunch.  They were wonderful lovely people who live there.

Doreen showed us where “the Kitchen” was – during 1840 Wilfred Woodruff held Mormon conferences on this farm. Most residents spoke Welsh and English.

In England there are no plugins in the bathrooms except for electric shavers. No washcloths are used, just hand and bath towels. Their bathtubs are very long and narrow and the toilets are very deep, which uses gallons of water to flush them. Salt and pepper tastes different in England – the pepper is ground very fine and does not have much of a zip. An English breakfast consists of cereal, milk, eggs, toast, grilled tomato, rasher (bacon with very little fat – yum) and sausage, hash brown potatoes, orange juice or fruit, plus tea or coffee.  In American we might have cereal and milk and juice or coffee.  Our bacon is full of fat and very little dark meat. We never ever serve tomatoes with breakfast and in fact, many people skip breakfast.

A lot of towns did not have restaurants so the only place to eat was in an English or Irish pub especially for the evening meal because most shops in England closed at 5 pm. There was nudity in the newspapers and on TV – a bit shocking to me an American. There were B&Bs (bed and breakfasts) everywhere and they were quite reasonably priced (hotels were expensive) and hostels were dirt cheap but not as nice as a B&B.

We headed for London and found a room at the Travel Lodge near Heathrow airport.  I was ecstatic to get rid of the rental car – no more driving in England with a stick shift. Returned the car to Alamo.

On our trip to Missouri we stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites (we had two queen beds, a sofa bed, chairs, tables, fridge, microwave, bathroom with tub and shower, lots of towels and most had indoor swimming pools. Very different from England but we were also traveling in the states with three kids.


Back to Garway Church

Garway Church

The Knights Templar was given land in Llangarewi by King Henry II in 1180. These warrior monks immediately rebuilt the Saxo-Celtic Church in the usual circular nave and square chancel style (imitation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem). The chancel survives but the circular have has only been revealed through excavation. The detached fortress like tower was later built as a place of safety during Welsh border raids. James de Molay visited this church in 1294.

Footings of nave

The reason I included a bit of history is that some of my ancestors are buried on the church grounds at this historic church. We were able to go inside this small church. These small churches are left open so that those who wish can go in and say prayers.

Back from Missouri

All I gotta say is that if I ever have to cross Kansas again in a car, just dig a hole, kick me in it and be done with me.  It is the most boring flat windy place that I have ever been across. 

Before I left for the unknown parts of the United States, I showed my latest earring creations to my friend and she bought one before I had a chance to even put it on my Etsy shop.  These earrings are Venetian Beads that are cone shaped with gold foil encased in shiny amethyst-periwinkle glass (approx. 12mm). They are the highest quality Venetian beads that are handmade from Murano glass. 

Murano glass with gold foil – already sold!

The second pair: I added a Crystal AB Rondelle silver, a 6 mm violet Swaroski crystal adorned by antique silver. 

Garway Green Man

After going into the Orcop Parish church where we found a list of all the people buried there, none of them were my ancestors. We drove up another hill onto another one-lane road and ended up in Garway.  We were very confused trying to follow a map trying to find Garway Hill. Many of the roads were blocked  because of foot and mouth disease but one sign pointed to Garway Hill so we turned around and went back to that road. We ended up on a very steep gravel road going to White Rocks and both farms at the end were contaminated so we had to turn around on this mountain road with a stick shift car. This was not a hill, it was the side of a mountain! Turning around was not one of my fond moments is all that I can say but I did it. As we got back to the other road that intersected with White Rocks, a lady was coming in and told us which direction to find Dingle Cottage.  John Eames one of Samuel Eames’ son lived in one of those farms at White Rocks but I have no idea which one.
Orcop Village
Dingle Cottage

Just our luck, no one was home at Dingle Cottage so we moved forward to the next house where Doreen Ruck lived at Yew Tree Corner.  I had written to her two years earlier and told her we were coming.  She was delightful.  Her and her daughter gave us the grand tour of Orcop and Garway showing us all the homes that my Samuel Eames built.  They even helped us get a room at the Pontralis B&B Railway Station.  The train does not stop there anymore.  It is amazing how many people in the UK want to stay at Railway stations where the old steam engines used to go stop.

Green Man at Garway Church

Much Dewchurch

Inside Much Dewchurch
Much Dewchurch

This tiny parish church is where my Samuel Eames married Nancy Castree (3rd gg grandparents) in a small ceremony in 1817. Dewi is Welsh for David. The people of this community were a mixed group of English and Welsh. It has been a village church for 850 years. There is no longer a priest there full time but one moves about from one parish to another within five parishes.  That was also the case when Samuel lived on Garway Hill. No wonder so many people from this area joined the Mormon Church and left for America. Many people had to wait to get married or have their babies christened or had to travel great distances to another small parish church. Many of these churches have a list of who is buried on the grounds and lists of vicars with dates.
What I expected to see at Garway and Orcop were rolling green hills and tiny villages just like in the Golden Valley. What I found was Orcop village on a small hill and another very large hill called Orcop Hill. Across the valley from Orcop Hill was a very steep hill (foothills of the Black Mountains of Wales). Samuel built his home Suckling Dingle Cottage (now Dingle Cottage).

Abby is a Hobo

Abby went outside with Babe and then came back inside the house so we thought that she had learned where her home is, but no! She went outside in the morning with Babe a week ago and just disappeared.  Here kitty kitty, I yelled time and again but to no avail.  Six days later, Abby was peeking through the French door window at us.  She just likes to snoop around and beg for food from the neighbors.  Perhaps, no one fed her this time so she came home.