Through them we got to meet Hugh's brother, Richard Parry-Jones and then his family.
When Richard bought the Clock House at Barmouth, we were invited to stay there. We also stayed there for the Millenium celebrations. Richard was a wonderful host and a very accomplished cook.
Richard and Hugh used to rally a Ford Escort RS which they would bring to the house from time to time. It was then that we realised how important Richard was to the Ford Motor Company.
Indeed, Richard was the engineer responsible more than any other for the driving excellence of 21st-century Fords.
This week we learnt that Richard, who had survived a heart attack and stroke, had been involved in a fatal accident on farmland near his home in Wales.
Top Gear Magazine, along with local newspapers have paid tribute to Richard.
"The man known to all as RP-J was a Ford lifer, having joined as an apprentice. His first big project was as chief engineer on the Mondeo, launched in 1992.
RP-J was a brilliant dynamics engineer, a superb communicator, a motorsports fan and an early advocate for the need for the car industry to reduce CO2. His working life was a demonstration of how one individual really can have an influence over this whole colossal industry.
Previous to the Mondeo, Ford’s engineering effort was all about saving money. If in consequence the car’s ride was lumpy and the engine rough and the steering slack, well that was tough luck: they were profitable cars to manufacture and sell.
With the Mondeo, Parry-Jones shifted Ford’s course. He reckoned there would be more money to be made by building better cars that would sell in higher numbers at higher prices and he was right. The success of the Mondeo was followed by work on cars like the Fiesta, the Ka and of course the Focus."
In his retirement, Uncle Richard as we knew him, virtually rebuilt the Clock House and developed the buildings across the road into a highly successful bed and breakfast business.
Coes Faen has received many awards and before Covid had a full list of bookings, many of them return visits. No wonder, it boasts innovative technology along with the highest quality of fittings and service.
It is only a few weeks since Richard's first wife died. Following the funeral, Hugh and Richard met up for lunch and a brotherly chat. They made plans for further adventures on their electric mountain bikes.
Our thoughts are with the family and especially with Hugh who has taken the news badly.