Born at West house, Broad Street, Hay in December 1901 my father’s older sisters often told mysister Ann and I, that on the day he was born there was such a severe snow storm that the familywere very worried that the local midwife would not be able to get to the house.Father’s long life was not remarkable or unusual but he lived through a period that in social,economic and technological terms, more transformations occurred than any other previous period inhistory. When he was born, there was no electricity in Hay; there were no cars and no telephones.Within the wider world, aeroplanes had not flown, the internal combustion engine was in its infancyand the only forms of transport were the horse or the railway. All this changed beyond recognition by the time he passed away in 1995.During his long life he lived only in Hay. He didn’t go anywhere overseas and because he was adedicated shopkeeper, never went away on holiday, certainly during the time he had his own business as a tobacconist and confectioner on The Pavement. When my sister and I were small,Mother took us on short breaks away but Dad never came. The business came first. The other greatinterest in his life was gardening, at which he excelled. Living and working at the shop meant wedid not have any outdoor space so he rented, over the years, the biggest allotment patches he couldfind. The first one I remember was at the top of Belmont Road and covered almost the whole areawhere Carlesgate now stands. His later patch, which he had until he and Mother retired in 1973,was the garden at the rear of the council offices. Both these gardens were immaculate and muchadmired by all his friends and local people. The home grown vegetables he produced were superband his dahlias were a sight to behold.
Broad Street, Hay at about the time father was born.West House is on the immediate left The Pugh family in 1895.This photograph was taken before Dad and his youngest sister Joyce were born. Fromleft to right are Gertrude, Grandfather John Lewis Pugh, Edith stood at the back, Hilda in front, Grandmother Mary Janeand Thomas.