More substantial measures than the patching up of the barricades in which we assisted must be taken if Borth is to remain permanently in the roll of Welsh villages. Our storm-wave was but part of a system of aggression which the sea is carrying out upon these coasts. Older residents remember a coach-road under the promontory, where now there is nothing but rock and seaweed, and look forward gloomily to a day when Borth will be “disturbed;” for so they euphemistically describe the catastrophe which is finally to wash it away. But an acquaintance of ours, who claims one of the longest memories in the place, is more confident. He has known Borth seventy years and as he has never seen it destroyed during all that time, does not think it will be now. His own house is safe on the hill of Old Borth, so he judges with all the calm of conscious security. His conviction, however, is not shared by his townsfolk, who were soon busy holding meetings, and considering schemes for the provision of something better than these moral guarantees. Heartily do we hope that funds and measures will be found to save our friends from another and more calamitous “disturbance.” But a letter from Borth, a year later, speaks of the sea as again threatening their security. “We are not afraid of him, though,” the correspondent, one of our landladies, devoutly adds, “for he is under a Master.” All the same, we should like to hear of a stout sea-wall as well.
Once again the elements caused us alarm. A heavy gale got up in the evening of February 19th, and roared all night upon the roof of the hotel, tearing up the fluttering tiles in patches, and sending them adrift through the air, till the master who slept under the leads, in charge of the top storey, began to doubt whether the straining roof would last overhead till morning. It was small consolation that this time he and his neighbours should at least “die a dry death,” so the inmates of the floor were summoned from their beds in the small hours to spend the rest of the night in a bivouack on the ground-floor. One or another of those luckless youngsters will, in after days, remember, as a cheerful incident, the arrival on the scene of the Headmaster, with a store of biscuits and such supplies as could be requisitioned at the moment, to provision the watch. Your schoolboy, he reflected, is hungry at all times; what must he be at night when dragged from bed to save his life, and forced to sit up, rather cold and very empty, for several hours before daybreak. Solaced, however, by these beguilements, the hours passed cheerfully away.
Which, having been, must ever be.