I AM an 82, going on 83-year-old, Fishguard-born and educated man now living in Cardiff, who has travelled to many parts of the world.

Those parts include Lesotho in Southern Africa where my late wife Sue and I lived for nine years whilst I was construction law specialist with the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority.

As I sure you will know Lesotho is entirely encircled by South Africa.

What sparks this approach for two reasons is the recent article about Auntie Bessie and Pontfaen's Dyffryn Arms.

The first is because of my paternal grandmother's birth place was in the Upper Gwaun Valley, and, possibly, Pontfaen itself, as it was that of her first cousins, the Evans brothers who founded the Corona Pop Factory in Porth from the grocers shops they established there.

This was after they had served their apprenticeship in the grocers shop along the River Cleddau in Haverfordwest: this was courtesy of the man named Thomas whose surname appeared before their own in the Porth businesses.

The second is that along with my late parents Will and Greta Griffiths (who founded two businesses in Fishguard some years after Will had returned at the end of the Second World War) I, my late wife Sue, late daughter Kate and her sister Sara spent a lot of time up in Cwm Gwaun: it included lots of visits to Auntie Bessie in the Duffryn Arms.

To end, the Evans brothers had an uncle who was also related to my maternal grandmother. He was Thomas Francis: a master mariner out of Dinas he had visited South Africa and I understood might well have died and been buried there.

On the occasion of two holiday visits into the country from Lesotho, Sue and I attempted tried to learn more about his place of burial in Capetown (if indeed there was one) but they failed.

I hope that you might find some interest in this letter.

Derek Griffiths,


Tel.Nos.02902560362 / 07985682166