DH Evans, Y Siopwr Mawr
Pontsian, Ceredigion, 18 March, 2023
David Hugh Evans
Was famed throughout West Wales.
They called him ‘Y Siopwr Mawr’,
‘The Grand Shopkeeper’.
He built in his image a model village
With stores and industry and much more,
At a quiet spot in Ceredigion,
A hamlet called Pontsian.
In 1879, he knocked down the little shop
And built a bigger, better one.
And not just a shop, but a general store
And a post office
And a woollen mill
And a corn mill
All in a row
With a nice house at the end
For Mr Evans to live in.
Soon he was selling anything and everything
From ovens to coffin nails,
Cloths, bicycles, animal feeds, dynamite,
Even Pontsian-branded tea.
One store was not enough for Y Siopwr Mawr.
He built a granary and seed store over the road,
And cottages and houses
For his workers and managers.
He added a generator to provide electricity
Thirty years before any other village nearby.
He had the only telephone for miles around;
He was king of his castle.
But we all are mortal,
And when his time came,
David Hugh Evans left Pontsian
To his granddaughter.
Over the years, the mills closed down,
The granary lay empty,
The cottages sold off
One by one.
Only the shop survived
Into the twenty-first century,
Before it too succumbed
To the inevitable.
But the buildings stand strong,
Built from good Welsh stone,
Now grade-II listed as
‘Unusually interesting‘ –
‘A Victorian industrial group
In a rural setting.’
So the memory of Y Siopwr Mawr lives on
In the buildings he built,
Some restored as period dwellings,
And The Granary Cottage available to rent