Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Zoar Chapel Deacons and David Evans

Zoar Deacons 1950s
Back Row, L. to R: W. E. Mathias, W. J. V. Davies, W. J. Thomas,
M. R. Raymond, A. G. Phillips.

Front Row, L. to R: G. Wilfred Davies, Rev. Charles Vaughan,
W. E. Harries.
Photo: Elizabeth Hall

(Missing from picture is Nathaniel Williams of Long Lane)

Ben Price Newspaper Article on David Evans
from Llanteg:The Days Before Yesterday

Gravestone of David Evans

David Evans had to work very hard to eke out a living from his little farm and pay his rent. Ben Price tells us that Mr Evans held the mistaken and often expressed belief that “hard work never killed anyone”, though he himself personally believed that the overstraining of the strength of the young was responsible for many a stunted growth and premature death.
David Evans was known as ‘Awl Davie the Cabin’, because he was taken to be older than he actually was. He was wrinkled and absolutely toothless, and despite being unsteady and somewhat bent, was tough and
very active. He was, as Mr Price understood, one of the founders of the little Baptist Chapel at Zoar, Llanteg; and although he was quite illiterate, he knew a great deal of the contents of the Bible. He would spend his evenings after dark sitting in the corner by the fire in the lower room, knitting stockings, and perhaps singing hymns with a very “inharmonious voice”. At a certain time his wife would read a chapter or psalm in Welsh, whereupon they would then sing a hymn together, and Mr Evans would pray fervently before retiring to bed after a supper which invariably “consisted of budram with unleavened barley bread and probably a little cheese”. He was an inveterate chewer of tobacco, never without his ‘quid’ rolling about in his mouth and being squeezed between his toothless gums until everything around him would be “sprinkled and spluttered and stained by the strong liquor”. David Evans was by no means alone in his habit in those days: men and boys would vie with each other as to how copiously they could squirt the dark brown saliva from between their teeth and how far and accurately they could shoot it.
David Evans was a faithful member of Zoar and a regular attender at all meetings there. On Sundays, like most others of his class, he would wear his best corduroy breeches and leggings and a kind of brown homespun coat. He also had a fondness (as did other old men Ben Price knew) for a red waistcoat made of some material in “imitation of fur” (probably brushed flannel).
David Evans was a strangely mixed character in which the hard struggle for an honest living and a religious zeal predominated.