Elinor Ellis is a retired physiotherapist who lives in Nefyn, North Wales. She has a proud family history of seafaring and feels deeply connected to her family’s past and her beloved Llŷn Peninsula.
My family have been going to sea for generations. My great grandfather sailed out of Nefyn with two schooners, Sir Daniel and the Pegasus. My father’s family go back to the turn of the century in Tudweiliog. My mother’s family don’t go back as far as that, but they’re seafaring, of course.
What drew me back to Nefyn was family and roots. My roots are here. There is a very strong family history in the Llŷn Peninsula. I felt like a plant that had gone back into the right soil when I came here to live.
The wildlife here is fantastic. My husband’s very keen on bird watching so we spend, or have spent, quite a lot of time doing that. We’ve never forgotten a wonderful day down at Rhosgor, which is on the north coast of the Llŷn Peninsula. We went down to see the seals, expecting to see about three or four but when we got there, there were about ten of them playing in one of the coves. We were there from eleven in the morning until four in the afternoon, and by then there were 34 of them. We were just very quiet and they were having a lovely time.
Two or three years ago we were sitting here at Nefyn, and I was reading the paper when my husband dug me in the ribs and said, get your head out of that paper and look what’s in front of you. And there was a pod of dolphins. They were wonderful, but they don’t come if there’s any noise.
Rhosgor is a place that I love to go, near my grandfather’s farm. It has a great history because a ship, the Cyprian, went down on Penrhyn Cwmistir in 1881. She was carrying crockery from Liverpool to Genoa. It was a beautiful day, but it was very windy and very sunny, and she lost control of her direction and came ashore at Penrhyn Cwmistir and on Rhosgor. And all along the beach, you couldn’t miss it, there was crockery–it was all over the place. So, when I was young I collected it.
What makes it special is that I knew my father, and my grandfather, and all my family way back to medieval times had played on that beach. That makes me feel very emotional.