(BASED ON EXTRACTS FROM A TRANSCRIPT OF A RECORDED INTERVIEW WITH LLOYD THOMAS, 2007)
Oh, Aberaeron’s changed a lot since my day, when I was a kid. It was quite a busy town. A lot of people used to come in then, in horse and cart. There were cars, of course, but the old-fashioned cars.
My father was on sea and he used to send telegrams in those days. (Remember the little, yellow little envelopes?) They used to come through the post office to say ‘Arrived safe in Liverpool, home on the 8:15 train tonight.’ There used to be trains then, and I used to run up to the station then to meet him and then, if he‟d been away for six months, he‟d probably be home for a month or five weeks and then be waiting for another ship. Then they‟d send for him then when his five weeks was up to join another ship, off again to Liverpool or Southampton or Glasgow, wherever the ship was. He always used to go by train from Aberaeron no matter where he went, or Aberystwyth. The first train from Aberaeron used to go out at quarter to seven in the morning and I used to go up with him as a kid before going to school to see him off on the train. I can see him waving now going beyond the signals from the station [and] going out of sight towards Llanerchaeron, and I probably wouldn‟t see him again for 8 or 9 months.
I suppose most people know of Mr Byron Lloyd, the school dentist. I used to be a big friend of Mr Byron Lloyd, I used to drive him here and there in his car when he had to travel long distances and I used to drive round the school for dental work, but I remember one morning quite clearly – I was a steward in the yacht club, on this particular Sunday morning and Mr Gareth Owen came in and said,…
“Have you seen your friend Byron Lloyd today? I’ve only just past his house and he’s made a tunnel down to his garden … the car has gone right through the garage!” Anyway, after I got home my wife said that Byron Lloyd had phoned. I‟d recommended him to buy an automatic car, because he had kept burning clutches and so he’d he bought an automatic car. Previous to this, I’d been with him for 2 or 3 days telling him how to drive it and he thought it was marvellous to sit down, forget his left leg, etc
and all this and that. It was marvellous! He’d driven it round Mydroilyn and everything had been fine. Anyway, he’d left a message asking me to go and see him because there something had gone wrong with the car. I went u to his house, and, true, as I went down the drive, the car had gone right through the garage, right down to his lawn where he had a turntable sun house, and that had spun right around, so I said ‘What happened here?” “Well,” he said, “I only put it in gear.” You know with an automatic car, once you put your foot down, it revs up straight away, and of course, Byron’s foot was heavy, and he’d put it in drive – put his foot down – and , whoosh, straight through! It was a wooden garage, mind you! ……. Wyn Aberarth a carpenter, came down and repaired the garage. Anyway, I went up and saw him the following day and I said to him, “Now listen, reverse into the garage, so that you‟ll be coming out head first and take a bit more time to put it in”. “I‟ll do that Lloyd,” he said. “I’ll do that”. A few nights went past now and Byron came down to the house. “I’m doing it now, Lloyd,’ he said. “I’m reversing it in and of course, if I’m a little bit heavy on the throttle coming out in the morning, I’m going to just shoot up to the main road and then stop” Lo and behold, a couple of days later, the garage was in the same state. He’d made a tunnel again. He’d gone into reverse and he‟d gone right back, and – this is the gospel truth – he’d gone right back into the lawn and he’d taken the whole pine end of the garage and it had landed on top of the car….”