James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Glynn & Greylands

‘Glyn’ (see pictures) had about an acre of garden and a drive of some 300 yards leading to Langley Lane. There was a tennis court, a rose garden and a large pond fed by springs, with a garden gnome sitting fishing on the bank. At her son-in-law Halbert’s suggestion Mary had introduced goldfish to combat the midges, which they did very successfully. This diet, coupled with the attention of the grandchildren for whom feeding the goldfish was a treat, meant periodic goldfish culls were required. There were also newts and moorhens would divide their time between it and the pond next door; it was a common sight to see them walking the length of the lawn.

The house did not have mains electricity while Mary lived there. Hodgy was responsible for maintaining the Petter engine of the generator. This was another source of fascination for the grandchildren; it had large acid-filled cells and they were forbidden to go near it unsupervised. Hodgy was also responsible for maintaining the car – always a Standard. He had served his engineering apprenticeship alongside W.H. Morris (later Lord Nuffield) with whom he continued to exchange Christmas cards. He became so much a part of the Tyson family that when he chauffeured Mary up to her brother Os’s funeral, he was listed among the family mourners.

In the period before the Hodgkinsons, Mary employed a groom called Storey who looked after the Welsh cob Janot. In their early years at Ifield Janot pulled the trap Mary used to drive around the locality and it was on Janot that Mary’s granddaughter Betty learned to ride. Mary’s nephew Eric recalled her old car and her pony and trap. Her grandson Peter’s recollections as a very small boy staying at Glyn evoke childhood memories of my own; being unable to get out of rooms because the door handles were too high and lying in bed and hearing - to his great surprise because he presumed everyone went to bed at the same time as he did - a tennis party returning from Greylands, the house next door to Glyn which Mary had bought at the same time as buying Glyn. Greylands was a small farm and market garden and her daughter Elsie and family rented it from her. The two households coexisted as one extended family.