|Mae’r llun hwn yn llawn manylion bach. A sylwoch chi ar y ‘stemar’ wrth y cei, a’r cwch rhwyfo tua’r canol? A beth am y cwch sydd nesa ato? Mae fel petai rhywun wedi adeiladu to drosto, ac mae shimne yn codi o’r to hwnnw. Wes rhywun yn byw yno, ar y traeth? Wel, wes – a dyma’r hanes fel y gwelwyd ef ym mhapurau newydd 1920……||This picture is full of small details. Did you notice the ‘steamer’ at the quay, and the rowing boat in the forefront? What about the boat next to it? It is as if someone had built a roof over it, and a chimney rises above the roof. Did someone live there, on the beach? Well, yes – and here’s the story as told in the 1920 press……|
“David Lewis – he was born at Goodwick in 1830, and will be eighty on August 30th. As the eldest son of poor parents, he had to rough it early in life. One of his first occupations was that of amusing the vicar’s children, in return for which the vicar gave him two years’ education – the only schooling he ever received.
When nine years of age he went in the schooner Eliza, of Milford. remaining with the crew for three years, and the vessel was wrecked on the Irish coast on her homeward journey from America. The old hermit could not remember the name of the 550-ton wind-jammer on which he finished his thirty-nine years’ seafaring career as boatswain, but he said that in Cardiff Docks, whilst preparing to load the boat he fell 25ft. into the vessel’s hold, smashing his left shoulder. He was two years in Cardiff Hospital.
On coming out he met his old captain, who informed him that “he had left the ship at New York because the owners insisted on loading too heavily. The vessel was lost with all hands coming from New York with grain. Subsequently Lewis purchased his house-boat at Cardiff, and lived in it with his wife and nine children at Grangetown. For several years he contracted for loading vessels, but during his spare time he converted his boat, the ‘Ladybird’, from an open lugger into a trawler, and commenced trawling. The influenza scourge carried off six of his children. Then his wife died, and his three remaining children having emigrated to America, Lewis had his boat towed round to Fishguard, where for some time he earned good money by taking parties to Milford and Pembroke Dock.
With the opening of the North Pembroke Railway, however, his trade fell off, and the old man finally beached his craft where it now lies, its chains eaten with rust and its timbers gradually decaying. Like most Welsh veterans, Lewis loves his conventicle and regularly climbs Fishguard Hill to attend a place of worship. For some time his food has consisted chiefly of the limpets and mussels he picks up among the rocks, but he has also managed to procure a little cheese with the outdoor relief granted to him which has now been increased to four shillings weekly. Next January he hopes to get an old age pension.”