I have bought this delightful book and shall be adding it our collection. What a treat! Just the thought of it sitting expectantly on our shelves, should tempt you down to Tegfan to read it. J Geraint Jenkins, who was born in Llangrannog, Cardiganshire (a few miles along the coast from Dinas) came from a sea-faring family and spent much of his life in historical examination of Wales’ 600 mile-long coastline. He wrote in his autobiography:
Salt water flows through my veins, as it did in many of my ancestors’, though unlike them I have expressed it not by sailing to distant parts but in my books.
This better-than-a-guidebook is divided into 50 short chapters and covers all the small coastal settlements around Dinas and beyond. The pages on Fishguard explain why, in spite of sporadic ambition to become a starting point for transatlantic travel, the port has never prospered as hoped. The chapter on Newport surprises with its account of the port’s history of ship building and the enormous number of pubs required to fuel the coastal trade. Our tiny local beaches, Cwm-yr-Eglwys and Pwllgwaelod, are elevated in status to ports in their own right.
I shall be looking out for J Geraint Jenkins’ other books. In a busy professional life as keeper and curator of museum collections in Wales and subsequent involvement in politics in Ceredigion, he still found time to write over 50 historical studies of Welsh life. In addition to his seafaring books
- The Welsh Woollen Industry (1969) arose from his interest in the woollen mills of West Wales
- Life and Tradition in Rural Wales (1976), was written when he was the editor of the magazine ‘Folk Life’
- Morwr Tir Sych (“Dry land sailor”, 2007) is his autobiography.