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Catrin Roberts (1846-1927) The Criccieth Bathing Woman

As Criccieth developed as a holiday resort the fishermen hired their boats out and took visitors out in the bay. Many families made their living on the seaside. Catrin Roberts was a well known figure, looking after the changing tents and deck chairs. She had a great knowledge of weather lore and herbal medicine and used to collect pebbles on the beach which the sea had worn holes in and sold them to visitors as good luck charms. In Welsh folklore these were known as “Glain Neidr” (Adder stone) and appear in Welsh mythology including the Mabinogion. They were considered especially protective against harmful magic and spirits. They were particularly popular for protecting ships, livestock and children.

“She gave me one when I visited before I left to join my first ship. She told me to keep it with me as it would bring luck and I kept it throughout my nautical career. When William Griffiths, 3 Rock Terrace, joined the army in the First World War Catrin Roberts gave him one of these pebbles. The ship he was on was sunk and he was in the water for eighteen hours before being rescued. He couldn’t swim but hung on to a piece of wood. The stone was on him “

Captain W.E.Williams "Wasi"

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