Nantlle Valley History

Nebo & Nasareth


The History of Nasareth Shop

I have no information about the shop before 1936 – only that Ann Jones kept it. Ann was the granddaughter of John Jones, Bryngwyn and a sister of my grandfather William Jones, Bodychain. In 1936, Ann’s health failed and my mother and father went to help for a month or two. But the month or two became six years- up until 1942.

The business grew to be very successful, even in the early years of World War Two. The shelves were always full of stock. Morris & Jones were the chief supplier and I remember well their lorry – with a picture of a dark-skinned boy advertising “Black Boy Tea” (perhaps this would be considered racist nowadays?) If you were a smoker, there was a good choice for you – Amlwch Tobacco, Shag, Tom Long, Golden Flake and cigarettes like Players, Capstan, Craven A, Woodbine two pence etc.

Apart from the usual grocer’s foodstuffs, it was necessary to stock sufficient washing-powder, not forgetting the Blue Bag.

Another important item was lamp oil, and also replacement lamp-glasses. Esso would send the oil supply and transfer it into a capacious tank in the shop, behind a screen on the left. Of course you had to bring your own oil-can in order to take it home.

I remember well the blue sign from Esso outside the shop “White Rose Oil”

On the right side of the shop was the Post Office and also the telephone, before the days of a phonebox outside. If you wanted to use it to call a number (say Liverpool) you had to first call the exchange in Penygroes by turning the handle on the instrument. Then you gave the details to the operator, and he would then connect to the next exchange and the next until the number was contacted.

It was impossible to have a private conversation because everyone in the shop could hear everything!

The local postman, John Owen, Brynmawr was attached to the Post in Nasareth, He would deliver letters on foot to places such as Caerau, Cwmbrân, Llwynbedw, Pennant, Cae Grasbil, Pen yr Yrfa, and Bryn Melyn, and then return to the office in the shop. A posrman from Penygroes would take the letters to the shop by bike, and then he would continue to Nebo, delivering as he went, then down to Pont Lloc and back along Ffordd Pen Chwarel to Penygroes.

I have no memory of the sale of animal feedstuffs from the warehouse round the back, but we, as children, were very familiar with this cheeky little verse:

Mae yn siop Nasareth, dau ful dall,
Yn cario blawd allan i'r hwn a'r llall,
Yn cario rhan fwyaf i dŷ Mr. Green,
A hwnnw fel cacwn a'i fys yn ei din.

In 1942, Mr & Mrs Alwyn Morris came to run the shop.

Does anyone remember who the unfortunate Mr Green was?

Many thanks to Richard Jones, (Dic Dalar Deg Penygroes) for sending some of the history of Nasareth Shop to us.
If anyone else has more recollections like this, please contact

The last customers at Nasareth Shop

The doors of Nasareth Shop closed for the last time in April 2008. Here are some of the village residents who were among the last customers:

The last customers at Nasareth Shop

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