From the Archives: A Reminiscence of Barmouth

POST BY RSomerset

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.

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

Five Jesuits with caught fish held in their hands

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.







By Mihaela Repina, Assistant Archivist