Dictionary of Welsh Biography

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

ROBERTS , ROBERT (‘ Bob Tai'r Felin ’; 1870 - 1951 ), folk singer ;

b. 1 Sept. 1870 at Tai'r Felin , Cwmtirmynach , Bala, Mer. , s. of Cadwaladr and Betsi Roberts (née Rowlands , of Cae Gwernog , Capel Celyn ). He followed his father as miller and farmer . He m. Elizabeth Jane Roberts of nearby Fron-goch farm. They had three children, Cadwaladr , Harriet and Morris . At Cwmtirmynach Presbyterian chapel he was precentor for nearly 50 years, Sunday school teacher , and was elected an elder in later years. He contributed to the rich culture of his neighbourhood by taking a prominent part at concerts, literary meetings and eisteddfodau ; he often submitted entries for the englyn competition at the National Eisteddfod . Because of his notable voice and masterly style of presentation he was unique as a folk singer . In 1931 at Bangor national eisteddfod he was winner of the folk song competition . About this period ‘ Parti Tai'r Felin ’ was formed, its members being Robert Lloyd (‘ Llwyd o'r Bryn ’; see above) , John Thomas and his daughter, Lizzie Jane , Bob Roberts and his daughter, Harriet ; this popular party entertained audiences throughout Wales , and also parts of England . From 1944 onward, he became the idol of the nation due to the impact he made when he sang on the B.B.C. radio series ‘ Noson Lawen ’ devised by Sam Jones . Decca and Teldisc companies made records of a number of his songs, and Sain company issued two long-playing records of his performances. In 1949 he took part in a film (made at Parc , Bala , and at London ) the title of the Welsh version being Noson Lawen , and the English version The Harvest . The publicity given to the singing of the miller ensured the popularity and survival of songs such as Mari Fach fy Nghariad , Moliannwn , Gwenno Penygelli , etc. In 1959 Haydn Morris (see above) edited the book Caneuon Bob Tai'r Felin , which was published by Snell , Swansea . He d. 30 Nov. 1951 and was buried at Llanycil cemetery, near Bala . In 1961 , Llwyd o'r Bryn 's appeal for donations was instrumental in erecting a memorial to the singing miller on the roadside by the gate that leads to Tai'r Felin .


  • Personal knowledge;
  • [ Robin Williams , Y Tri Bob (Llandysul, 1970) (1970) ].


Reverend Robin O. G. Williams, Cricieth

Published date: 2001