On September 5th 1897, Hannah Jane George (my great-aunt) died at the age of 24. She had contracted typhoid from drinking water from a well. I don’t know what other sort of water she could have chosen to drink as there was no piped water in the village at the time.
By 1899, however, the Fishguard Water and Gas Company was looking to bring water and gas to Dinas, and the residents were perturbed. They could envisage the company having a monopoly, taking over all the springs in the village and increasing the rates of the parish that, according to local people , were already high enough.
On 15th February 1900 a meeting of the parishioners was held at the Board school. The meeting was very well attended and the villagers were reassured that the average weekly water rate would be 4d and the company would supply enough water for one water closet free of charge. Aware that parts of Dinas – Jericho, Cwmyreglwys and Brynhenllan – were short of water, opposition to the venture was withdrawn amid hopes that water would be piped to the village by the following summer.
Many of the pumps in the village remained, however. In the 1950s and 60s, there was a working pump in Feidr Fach, just along the path between Tegfan and the main road. There was also a pump on the main road – as there is now.
The Inscription on the wall behind the pump reads:
DWR YN EIN CYMUNED A GYFLWYNWYD GAN SEFYDLIAD Y MERCHED
WATER IN OUR COMMUNITY PRESENTED BY DINAS CROSS W.I. 1993
This pump, sadly, has never worked. If you walk along to the left for 100 yards or so, you’ll get to the spot where there once was a working pump that would splash water out into a bucket if you worked the handle.
This memorial, however, is a useful reminder not to take clean water for granted.
(For more information see ‘The News of Dinas 1894-1900’ transcribed from ‘The County Echo’ by Ann and John Hughes)