Betty Oliver

K Betty Oliver lived at Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth. She was in her 90s by the early 20th century. She was photographed by D.J. Lewis (of the Mart, Aberystwyth), and also by one of his sons, E.T. or A.J. Lewis.  She wore different costumes in all of the four known pictures of her, suggesting that she was a popular subject with the family of photographers.



K Betty Oliver wearing a Welsh hat, a shawl folded into a triangle, and a check apron.  (Ceredigion Museum : 1985.101.2)








Almost the same portrait as above, but with the background painted as a view of the Menai Straits (between Anglesey and the mainland), far from her home. This postcard was published by Photochrom Co. Ltd, entitled ‘National types in Wales No. 1’

(Ceredigion Museum, 1993.56.23)









K Betty Oliver aged 95 sitting on rustic chair in front of a painted backcloth. She is wearing a Welsh hat, white cotton cap, shawl folded lenthwise and check apron. (Ceredigion Museum, 1989.29.1)

Women normally folded their shawls into triangles for show, and lengthwise to form a rectangle, for work.









Betty Oliver, (Ceredigion Museum, 2005.143.25)






Betty Oliver of Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth (about 1810-1902)

We have to record the death of Mrs Elizabeth Oliver, the well known Nonagenarian of Pwllhobi, Llanbadarn, who had reached her ninety-second year. Until very recently the old lady enjoyed robust health. She was able to read without the aid of spectacles, and used to walk down to Llanrhystud, her native place. Dressed in the old ladies’ tall hat and Welsh costume she attracted much attention on the promenade during the season and was in considerable demand by photographers.
Aberystwyth Observer, 2.1.1902

Mrs Elizabeth Oliver, Pwllhobi, Llanbadarn, died on Saturday at the respectable age of ninety-two. She was a well- known figure in the locality, being rendered conspicuous by her adherence to the Welsh costume. Dressed in the old ladies’ tall hat and a “pais a gown bach,” she naturally attracted much attention in the height of the season on the Terrace and was in considerable demand by photographers, her advanced age lending an appropriateness to the costume. Her portrait appeared some time ago in a well-known illustrated journal. The old lady had a wonderful constitution. Up to very recently she used to walk down to Llanrhystud, which was her native place, and back in a day, and she could read without the aid of glasses. She was ill for three weeks before her death.
Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard, 27.12.1901 (Northern)