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  • Mihaela Repina

A Reminiscence of Barmouth

Two three storey detached houses standing close together with lots of windows and a stone wall in front
Barmouth Villa House

It was the custom that each year the Philosophers and Theologians went for two weeks on holiday to Barmouth, otherwise known as Barmouth Villa. The original villa house was called Aber House and still stands in the centre of Barmouth. In 1879 Aber House was sold and Fronoleu Terrace, a larger and more suitable house was rented outside of Barmouth in Llanaber. In the 1930s the house was bought from the owners. The house is now known as “The Jesuits” or “The Jesuit House” amongst the local community. The beach is right by the house. The holidays in Barmouth were a time for relaxation, merriment, long walks in nature and sailing.

Black and white photo showing a smiling white man wearing glasses and a clerical collar under a dark gown looking directly at photographer
Fr Alexander Gits SJ

Below is a poem by Alexander Gits SJ (1887-1982) from the Blandyke Papers, Dec 1914. At the time of writing he was a scholastic studying Philosophy at St. Mary’s Hall, Lancashire.

A Reminiscence of Barmouth (July 1914)

(Eleven monks in and evil hour arranged to go for a sail on the “Welsh Girl”.

The fate of the XI is told below. Every word is sober fact.)

Quoth the Ruwet “nevermore”

Tony heaved and weakly swore

Gussy grinned: said, “What a crew!”

Pitied us and paler grew

Walsh then whisper’d: “We are toys,

Victims of “Welsh Girls” and buoys”

Campbell tried to reach him, but

Was to weak to lift his “fut”

Pieter really “felt quite well,”

‘till he fed the mackerel

Then poor Charles began to frown

But he kept the hatches down

George and Alec then looked pink

But they didn’t heave I think

Staquet and Tabone were

‘Pon my word a funny pair

Staquet smoked a nasty pipe

Of tranquillity a type

Tabby caught the fishes that

Our weak efforts rendered fat:

O they were a gallant pair!

Neither of them turned a hair.

Someone then the skipper sought,

“I prythee make for yonder port”.

But – (I am to weak for more)

(Bear me gently to the door!)

(Written in the Writing Room of Fronoleu House on our return from the expedition)

Below are the original pages of the poem as found in the Blandyke Papers, Dec 1914. Click on the images below to enlarge them.

Handwritten in blue ink of poem included in blog
Blandyke Paper extract
Handwritten in blue ink of poem included in blog with a sketch of a man holding his tummy and not looking well
Blandyke Paper extract

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