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Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

12 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

LOCAL GOSSIP.!

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LOCAL GOSSIP. The Gelly Hounds, which for so many years I hunted the Maesteg district, was originally a pack kept at Margam by Sir Thomas Maneell, of Margam. Afterwards his agent, Mr. Hopkin Llewellyn, took over the pack, and when he in turn gave them up they were taken by Mr. Thomas Jenkins, of the Gelly, and the fame of the Welsh pack of black hounds was known tar and wide. The second of the Jenkinses of the Gelly, Mr. J. N. Jenkins, was a man of the most sympathetic nature. The common counsel- lor of all, rich and poor. He had studied for the legal proieseion, and was fond of giv- ing legal advice to his servants and neigh- bours, by whom he was loved and respected. The fame of the Gelly hounds reached high- water-mark under the mastership of Mr. G. T. Jenkins, one of tne most daring riders in South Wales (the only surviving representa- tive of the old family who kept and hunted in good style the celebrated Gelly Hounds till age compelled his retirement). The Gelly country is mountainous, and a very rough country to cross, but there are some excellent covers, particularly in the Margam district. A book could be written, and a racy one too, on the una of the Gelly. One of the great runs was from Fforch-dwm, where they found a strong fox. Leaving Baglan Higher, he crossed the Afan to Hendre Owen, then on to Pencastell, Blaen- llynfi, Oroeserw, Mynydd-y-Caerau, Bwlch- garwa, Bwlch Afan. From there he set his mask for Gelly, and on to Abergwynfi, Blaen- oorrwg, Hendregarreg, and down into Glyn Neath. With hardly a stop the hounds pressed on for Blaengwrach, Pencae, from there over the hills to Hirwain, and from Hirwain to Penllyn-owen LO Bwllfa, where the hounds rolled the fox over, game to the last. This remarkable run to Aberdare, of over 40 miles, over the mountains, spread the fame of the Gelly. The gallant master, Mr. G. T. Jenkins, was one of the few in at the death. A famous Welsh bard Alun" (the Rev. John Blackwell, Vicar of Manor- afon, Pem.), wrote the song of Craig y Bwllfa," of which I give a specimen verse: — CERDD HELA CRAIG T BWLLFA. Mae awelon dydd yn aetfro, Gwelwch ruddiau r boreu'n gwrido; A glywch chwi sain corn hela'r gelli Yn rhoi tafod i'r Clogwyni? Twrf helyddion—cwn yn udo, Pob peth megys yn cvdfioeddio H Heddyw ydyw'r dydd i ddala, Cadno cyfrwys Craig y Bwllfa." I have endeavoured to translate this verse, which is typical of this fine hunting song- The Hunting Song of CTaig y Bwllfa. The breezes of day are waking, The sun through rosy clouds breaking. Hark to the horn of the Gelly, I It sounds away to Clogwyni; Crowds of hunters—dogs are yelling, Their shouts across the meadows swelling. This is the joyful day, Hurrah To catch the fox of Craig Bwllfa. Another great run is celebrated in the aong, Craig-y-Tewgoed." They found a fox at Tewgoed cover in the parish of Michaelstone. He was evidently bent on beating the bounds of the parishes, for he circled and twisted from Michaelstone to Briton Ferry, Neath, Llantwit, then away up the Vale of Neath, over the mountains to Glyncorrwg, on, on to the Rhondda Valley. From the Rhondda up to Aberdare, then once more ascending the mountains to Llan- wono, the gallant hounds ran from scent to view, and the fox had to yield his brush. Five jolly sportsmen keeping well together rode through this long hunt and were in at the death Mr. Thomas Jenkins, Gelly (the master), Mr. Thomas Rees, Mr. John David, Mr. John Hopkin, and Mr. Morgan Thomas. The other hunting songs of the Gelly are, Helfa'r Carw" (' The Stag Hunt"), Cwm Duon" The Black Hounds')), Y Gareg Lwyd" (" The Grey Rock"), and the famous ''Helfa Llangynwyd," which is usually called THE GELLY HUNTING SONG. It is sung to the old tune, "Cil y Fwyall," and was written by the old hunting bard, Twm Llewelyn. It introduces the names of all the principal dogs, such as Ringwood, Rambler, Lady, and Beauty. As it consists of seven eight-line verses I will content my- self by giving the closing verse of Twm's song of praise of the Gelly hounds. "Eu perchenog enwog, hoenus, I Cywir ydyw, a chariadus; Clod a ddygir gan foneddigion, Gwych y Gelli, a, u cvfeillion Llwyddiant byth, i gadw'r gennel' Lan galonog, enwog, anel, Haeddant gan a fo'n amgenach Boed i'r nesa'i ganu'n hawsach." Twm Llewelyn a'i cant. Not being a bard myself, my rough trans- lation of Twm Llewelyn's lines must be par- doned. The worthy master of the hounds So careful keeping them in bounds; Praises are showered on him by all. Success to the Gelly, loud they call, May good luck ever guard the pack, And bring them ever safely back; They've earned a better song, I trow, Than mine, but 'tis the best I know." There you have something of the spirit of the old-fashioned hunting rhyme. There is a story told of Beauty," one of the hounds mentioned in the song, and which was walked at Hendreowen. One day this hound was out running at large with Rees Rees, one of the workmen from Hendre- owen Farm, when near the wood on the bank of the Afan, a fox jumped out of a bush, and the hound started in chase, the fox being about fifty yards ahead. They went up the Hendreowen mountain, and over through Bryn towards Margam, and all the way the fox still held the same lead. Rets followed to the top of the mountain, but hearing no- thing, he started to come back, when sud- denly the fox and hound came in sight and passed down the mountain towards the river, and here Beauty killed the fox after a re- markable run of over an hour in sight prac- tically the whole time. There was a similar h run by a single hound from this pack at Aberpergwm. A fox had been clearing the poultry yard on the estate, and Mr. Williams of Aberpergwm, sent to Mr. Morgan Jen- kins, Ton, a brother of the Master of the Gelly, to bring the hounds over. But there was only one hound at Yniscorrwg, a cham- pion named Diver. So on the following morning Mr. Morgan Jenkins had the pleas- I, ure of following Diver up and down the Neath Valley, till after a long run the hound ran into the fox on Graig llwyd fawr. ■ A KEEN HUNTER. K Squire Wyndham, Lord Dunraven's ances- K tor, was a very keen hunter, and often after K he had arranged to spend an hour with his K agent, Mr. Franklen, pouring over estate books, he would vault into the saddle and away with his hounds to his favourite hunt- ing place at Ogmore. Another sporting pack were the Gilfach Goch Hounds. They ay were callied harriers, but they hunted every- K- thing. On one occasion they hunted a fox down from the hills to Brrgam, Llansannor. The hounds were close on Reynard, when he saved his brush by running into a crevice in the rock at a quarry near Coed-y-Maes. The eager huntsmen spent the rest of the day trying to dig him out, but failed. They used to keep a pack of harriers at Court Colman in the old days, and Mr. W. Llew- ellyn hunted them. One Sunday morning they broke out of their kennel, and soon moved a hare quite close to the house; then away they went. Pussy led them a merry chase up and down through Llangewydd on to the village of Laleston. Here they ran down the road and pulled her down on the green quite close to tho church. This article would be incomplete without some mention of that rare old sportsman, Dr. Davies, of Bedwas, known far and wide as "The Baron." He had the right blood in his pack, for his hounds came from Risca, where Squire Phillips bred the very best. The stories told of "The Baron" would fill many pages of this paper. He was Brenin," King of Bedwas, and ruled and physicked the old folks in a kingly way. He, too, was a splendid judge of hounds, and could tell from what pack a dog came at a glance. One of the sights of his house at Bedwas—Y Ty Isha—was the room hung round with heads and tails of foxes, mementoes of many a long, stern chase.—J. Kvrle Fletcher, in the "South Wales Daily News."

!imWiENll POLICE eeulT.

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