Friday, 21 August 2015

The Bells of Aberdovey

One day we saw small wooden boats on the Dovey north of Ynys Las. Each white sail had the outline of a bell on it.
“The Bells of Aberdovey,” said my father.
When Cantre’r Gwaelod was flooded it drowned not only houses and farms but churches as well.  When the fishermen of Aberdovey sailed out beyond the bar they could hear the bells of the churches far below the sea as they were rocked to and fro by the waves. There’s an old song by Dibdin called ‘The Bells of Aberdovey’ that proves that the legend was known in the mid-18th century. People there will still tell that on quiet nights you can still hear the bells ringing below the waves.
The yacht designer Jack Holt is thought to have drawn the GP14 sailing dinghy in Aberdovey and decided that the bell should be the class symbol on the sail. GP14 number 1, named Kittiwake II, was launched in Aberdovey in 1950. The Dovey Sailing Club formed the first fleet and sailed their boats over the lands lost beneath the waves. In my mind I always contrasted the merry bells dancing above the water and the solemn bells tolling below it.

No comments :

Post a Comment