The Tintern Village Website

Memories of Tintern - The 1950s

Stuart 'Ike' Hayward

The photograph shows Stuart with his elver net. Happy memories of those days when Dad would come in from the riverbank most nights when the tides were right, with zinc baths full of elvers. The copper was filled, the fire lighted, the elvers rinsed and then boiled. Then came the straining, rinsing again and pressing into 'cheeses', which is when Mum came into her own. Wrapped in cheesecloth, the elvers were pressed between two large circular stones.
All the water was carried from the well across the road, no mains then. No electricity either, so no fridge. The saying 'Elvers in May, stink in a day' was a true one.
People knocked on the door of Gothic Cottage at all times of the day saying "Any elvers please?". They were at 2/6d a pound!

picture supplied by Sheila Black

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