Hell’s Mouth

Tish Farrell has produced a fascinating post entitled Gazing into Hell’s Mouth at Plas yn Rhiw  which got me thinking – I was reminded of an old family photograph.  My comment on Tish’s post says  I have a family photograph taken on a road above Hell’s Mouth – there is my mother, my sister, and me, leaning against the car in a pretentious fashion (makes a change from gurning I suppose). I would be 9 or 10 which makes it 1960 or thereabouts, possibly earlier. The car was the family Ford Consul, reg – RMA 803 – now I must find the picture.

This is wrong on two counts – firstly I am now fairly certain it is 1958 and we have taken a ride out from a holiday let at Morfa Nefyn.  Secondly I am gurning after all – perhaps in a satirical reference to the location, I am stretching my mouth sideways with my fingers.  A much more likely explanation is that I am pulling faces at my too-grown-up sister.  I perfected the art of the irritating younger brother at a very early age:

Hell's Mouth

The black Mk 1 Ford Consul is the first car I remember, a very solid piece of engineering prone to not starting in the winter.  Dad would eventually resort to dangling a light bulb in the engine compartment overnight to keep the temperature up. It seemed to work.  This is the insurance documentation – all very straightforward – the same document was just updated whenever the car was changed; two more Consuls followed by two Ford Corsairs. All but the last had column gear changes, something my parents insisted on long after they were a standard fitting. Creatures of habit in more ways than one were my Ma and Pa.

RMA 803



  1. Tish Farrell · June 22, 2014

    So glad you found the photo, Robin. Isn’t it fantastic – so atmospheric. And weird – we stayed in Morfa Nefyn around this time – at Peveril (sp?) cottage which was just up the hill from the beach.

    • northumbrianlight · June 23, 2014

      You set me off on another investigation Tish – I have a picture of the house we stayed in and I eventually found it on Google Earth – this is it now: http://tinyurl.com/q3p8tl2 – next door to the Fairway Country Hotel – LL53 6AD.
      That was quite a sentimental journey.
      I also tried to find the spot where the Hell’s Mouth picture was taken but it looks like this was from the old road and not accessible on Street View.

      • Tish Farrell · June 23, 2014

        Yes, that is a very Morfa Nefyn house. We passed through there last year after our trip to Plas yn Rhiw due to getting lost which is a frequent occurrence on Farrell safaris. As to the old road at Hell’s Mouth, there was a bit of to do with this a few years ago, if this is the right one. It runs near Sarn Rhiw where R S Thomas lived, and the council wanted to compulsorily purchase the house to build a new road as the old one had collapsed. It went to a public enquiry but I haven’t discovered the outcome. Thomas’s son still had the lease to the house at the time, and there was quite a battle I gather.

      • northumbrianlight · June 23, 2014

        That is exactly the right place – I am fairly convinced that the photograph was taken directly beneath Sarn y Plas. I assume the road above the house is the new road and the planners eventually agreed a re-route to avoid compulsory purchase. What an interesting diversion this has been 🙂

  2. Tish Farrell · June 22, 2014

    Forgot to say: thanks for the plug. Much appreciated.

  3. suej · June 22, 2014

    Oh, brilliant!
    Morfa Nefyn…is Vortigern’s Valley near there? It’s on the Lleyn. We went in the early 70s, and I remember an abandoned mining village.

    • northumbrianlight · June 23, 2014

      Too long ago for me to remember unfortunately but Tish would know I am sure. It is a lovely area which we are considering for a golf tour later in the year 🙂

  4. LaVagabonde · June 23, 2014

    Hell’s Mouth…I thought you were referring to your facial antics at first. 😉

  5. Graham Stephen · June 23, 2014

    Great that you still have the insurance certificate. £15 annual premium, eh !? 😉

    • northumbrianlight · June 23, 2014

      Amazing isn’t it – I think this is the certificate from when the car was new so £700 was the purchase price from Ford. There is one for sale on Car & Classic for £7995 – Dad should have kept it 🙂

  6. Malin H · June 24, 2014

    All these memories…
    And you were so cute, Robin. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your memories.

    • northumbrianlight · June 24, 2014

      Thanks Malin ❤
      My sister thought I was anything but so 😛 to her 😀
      (I love her really – well I do now 🙂 )

      • Malin H · June 24, 2014

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