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Resourceful women.

At the turn of the twentieth century Susan GILES [1070] 1852-1931 was reputed to have acted as the unofficial village “nurse” being called to help with child birth and laying out the dead. She may well have been aware of some of her mother, Eliza ALLEN’s herbal remedies and would also have been aware of the folk law remedies that co-existed with “modern” medical practice.

Susan always kept two pigs one for the family and one to sell. One day Edward put his sickle down on the roof of the sty. It slide off cutting the back of one of the squealers quite deeply. Susan calmly took up her sewing kit and stitched the wound then rubbed it liberally with Zambuk. Zambuck was a patent cure all cream but it stank strongly. Susan declared that this was the pig they would eventually sell least the meat be tainted and not so tasty.

In her book Lark Rise to Candle ford Flora Thompson tells of the same practice of keeping a pig in her Oxfordshire village telling how nothing of the animal was wasted and how its slaughter was treated as a village entertainment.

Frederick Thomas McMULLIN told us that his mother in law Jane DEMENT nee DAVIES [27] had also kept pigs while living at Fronwen Row in Ogmore Vale. She used the money prudently saved from this endeavour  to have Oakfield Villa, Dunraven Terrace built.

Jane Dement nee Davies


Ogmore Vale.

Jane Dement nee Davies with grand daughter Hattie McMullin outside Oakfield Villa.

See also

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 Emily JOHNSON nee MARSHALL [904] 1891-1975 cured eye sties by rubbing them three times with a gold wedding ring. She also “brought” warts which she rubbed with lard which was then buried, the warts would disappear as the lard was absorbed into the earth. Emily was very resourceful and happily travelled from Birmingham to South Wales to help when her grandson Stephen was born in 1954.

Emily was Susan Giles’ 10th child, grand daughter of Eliza Allen.

Emily aged 21 years pictured in 1912