After a final presentation before Easter, my idea came together very quickly. Overnight, in fact. Quite literally the night before the presentation I had a sudden brainwave and it hit me – I’ve been looking at all of these Pentyrch ‘characters’, so why not create a storybook?? Create a real tangible character to bring the story to live, and voila – outcome.
I have picked three characters whose stories I am particularly drawn to, or those that could make an excellent story and character combination.
Mari Anna Cabaits, or Mary Anne Cabbage as she’s become known. A stone supposedly marks her burial spot on the eastern end of the Garth beside a sheep track. The most repeated theory is that Mari was a 16th Century witch to whom a terrible punishment was meted out for his alleged misdeeds. The inscription on the stone has long since worn away – nobody alive can remember it ever being legible. There is however no shortage of conjecture surrounding the details of her life. Some say that Mari was a wayward girl who fell victim to the repressive rule of Puritans. Some say that no-one is buried at the spot, but that the stone is placed in memory of a young simpleton called Mari, who was lost on the mountain and never found. Some believe that Mari was, in fact, someone’s favourite horse. It has also been said that the stone marks the spot where a child had a sacred vision: anther records that it is where an infant called Mari was seen on the Garth, half a century after her death.
The Man with the Alarm Clock. There is very little information in the Garth Domains about this man, but his story is so unique and mysterious that it’s something I’d be interested in further exploring if I can. He lived on the Mountain Road and considered it unnecessary to carry either a wristwatch or a pocket watch. He always managed however to find room on his person for a large alarm clock. It gave local children immense pleasure to ask him for the time whenever he went by. They were even more delighted if they should hear his alarm go off when he was out and about. This man sounds incredible. Imagine him walking around with his alarm clock?? Oh man. Even though there’s very little information about him, I have so many questions! Why did he carry it? What happened in his life? What was his name?
Enoc Dafydd, Pentyrch waterman. He was the local waterman during the 1890s and made daily visits to the Garth reservoir to turn on or to shut off the taps. He was an extremely devout Methodist with a vivid imagination. His journeys to the mountain, especially on dark Winter afternoons, were punctuated by meetings with y Gwr Drwg (the Devil). This ‘Evil One’ invariably waited for Enoc at the Cross In corner, and on the good man’s arrival would tempt him with all manner of enticing proposals. Enoc always related graphically the ways in which he had sent the diabolical creature packing.