Local resident, Hazel Jenkins, has strong memories of wartime in Borth. She used to help in the cafe of the West End Stores, where RAF personnel from MOS EE AA Ynyslas used to spend their evenings.
(Voices recorded: MP = Medwyn Parry, RCAHMW, HJ = Hasel Jenkins)
MP: How do you think, when the military range was set up in Borth, how do you think that changed the village?
HJ: I don’t think, as far as I know, it didn’t make much difference at all. Lots of people were billeted in Borth; the airforce was here as well you know... I know there was airforce men billeted here because where I lived her sister in the village had airmen billeted with her. But I never met any of them personally. As I say, really it was only just coming down in the evening and we were busy then making sandwiches and serving tea and coffee – talking to them of course and joining in the sing-song... But everything was very hush-hush, no-one was allowed down the bottom, down to Ynyslas there....
MP: Can you remember any of the rockets being fired at all?
HJ: No. There were incendiary bombs or something came down once some-when during the war over the bog here. That was a big excitement.
MP: Where was the cafe you talked about?
HJ: The cafe? West End Stores: where you go now to the new hall, on the corner that’s West End House now. That was a shop. It was a little shop in the front, her shop, and the back of her shop – the house at the back – was only one room sort of turned in, she turned into a cafe. She was one of these that made money out of anything. They did in those days. She used to have beach trays during the summer. People would come up to the side door. They would have to pay a £1 deposit to have a tray and they’d have a pot of tea and that and take that on the beach. And she’d do that as well. Anything to make a bit of money! Anything she could do. The shop was an ordinary general stores. She used to sell anything and in those days there was all coupons and that. It was quite a nice little shop.