January 12 2016

‘Up and Over’ Project – Val Duffin’s Blog

Val Duffin

by Val Duffin, ‘Up and Over’ Mapping the Valleys Project

My name is Val Duffin. I am fortunate enough to live in a lovely old building with an interesting history, so I chose to illustrate this for the project. My parents bought Gadlys House in the early 1970’s but decided that the derelict mill on the property would make an ideal home. In 1975 my family moved in to the renovated mill and my father decided he would rebuild the mill wheel after he had retired, but other projects like building the replica Huetter intervened!

In 1981, concerned about the rising cost of fuel, I built a Midas Kit Car at the mill over my fortnights summer holiday. It was at the time of the royal wedding and I remember nipping upstairs to catch a glimpse on the event on tv, before returning to the car building. My Midas would give 60 mpg at a time when most cars could only achieve 30-40 mpg.

I have researched the history of the building from it’s earliest days as a flour mill, through conversion to flannel production and then after the bankruptcy of the mill owner through a chequered period in it’s history when the buildings were used for a variety of purposes including, grinding limestone for fertiliser and as a brewery for the production of dyes. The mill was again sold and returned to the flannel production until the 1940’s when it once again fell into disrepair.

The old wheel was taken out and a pelton wheel used to generate electricity. This became obsolete when power was connected to Gadlys House in the 60’s, the roof started to collapse and the walls to the southern wing were also down. I am so glad my parents had the vision to rescue it.

For more information on the Cynefin Tithes maps project visit http://cynefin.archiveswales.org.uk