The Perils of being Baptised in a River

This is an extract from “How I became a Blacksmith”, some notes written by John Davies, who was born in Talog in 1891. As a child he often frequented the Smithy in Talog where he became interested in the work of a blacksmith. His family moved to Llangain when he was seven years old. As an adult he became a multi-award-winning blacksmith in Carmarthen.

These notes recall an incident involving “Dafi Gof”, the Talog blacksmith who died in 1905.

“He was a stout and short man and kind to children, but he was not a full member of the local chapel until well on in years. I can remember him being baptised in the river which runs through the village, and great commotion was caused in the village that day. They used to baptise in a pool, called “pwll y bedydd1” to this day. But through some misfortune the minister and Dafi Gof got entangled in each other. He pulled the minister with him into the water to the great fright of us children, and we all ran back to the village shouting “Mae Dafi gof wedi boddi2”.

1 (the baptism pool)
2 (Dafi Blacksmith has drowned)

Now that can’t happen again, as they have diverted a stream of water to a brick built Baptistry in the field close by.”

Baptism Chamber

With thanks Jo Kerslake, a grand daughter of John Davies, for supplying the information

You can read more about the life of John Davies in ‘Where did the Anvil first ring for John Davies, Champion Farrier of Great Britain five times?‘, and there is some more information about the baptistry in ‘Blessing the Baptistry