A Brief History of The Llethrau
In the 1891 Census, we find John Lloyd, 27, a farmer, living at the Llethrau, with his brother, Thomas, 26, nephew Evan, 32, sister Anne, 12, Mary, 55, his step-mother and housekeeper. Also Charlie Morgan, 23, servant, Thomas Williams, 18, servant, Mary Jones, 18, domestic servant and Sarah Jones, 68, visitor.
Then in the 1901 Census, John Lloyd, 37 is still there with his wife Mary, 28. (I wonder, was that the Mary Jones, 18, domestic servant in 1891?) John, 8, son, Thomas, 1, son, Evan is still there and is now 42. There was also Thomas Owens, 33, servant, Pryce Jandrell, 18, servant from Mochdre, George Hughes, 34, servant from Llanbister and Sarah Lewis, 24, a servant from Llananno.
It seems the Llethrau was a very busy place, and there were a lot of people for a small house. But I’ve been told that the farm was about 200 acres, so all those men would be needed. Perhaps some would sleep out in the barns, as this was often the sleeping quarters for servant boys in those days.
In 1932 it was still the Lloyds there. I have been talking to Mr Walter Bufton who in 1932, when only a lumper, was hired from Knighton May Fair by Cecil Lloyd, The Llethrau. His pay was £14 for the year! Walter only worked there for one year, but remembers several things about the Llethrau, although now being 85 years old.
John Lloyd and his son Cecil were still farming there and kept many cattle, and he remembers some of the bullocks had horns so long that they had to turn their heads sideways in order to get through the doors of the shed in wintertime.
He also remembers Cecil telling him that if ever he got lost out on the hills around Cwmgwyn while riding his pony, to put the reins on the pony’s neck and he would get home safely. Walker was very glad of that advice once when he was lost in fog up around Butterwell. He just let go of the reins and put them on the pony’s neck. He was taken back to the gate by Cilvesty tump, as near to the Llethrau as he could go.
Maggie Pugh was house-keeper at that time, and she says it was always a dish of stodgy steam pudding first before the meat and potatoes. This was to fill you up!
Walter was a great friend of Gilbert Pugh, Slate House, and used to go to Cwmgwyn Chapel with him often on a Sunday. He even recited there on the Anniversary – “Oh, the best book to read is the Bible”.
Another little memory, which even now makes him laugh was, when they were going out from dinner, Cecil would often run after them and shout, “Do as much as you can today, boys, because we are going to be very busy tomorrow”. However, it seems that the Lloyds ‘tomorrow’ didn’t start very early, then come night and they were full of work.
Walker remembers Pryce Lewis at the Gravel. He was a carpenter, and Fred Davies, the postman from Dolfronog, who had some hurdles wired up as gates. Cecil always called the ‘havers’.