Billy’s Bands 1940-1998

By William T Parker Copyright Applied For “Tongue it, tongue it you flamers.”  These were the first frightening words I heard on my second attempt to join the Blaengarw Silver Band,  this time at the age of eleven. It was 1943. The determined voice belonged to Bandmaster William Jenkins,  a short thickset man who resembled…

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Memoirs of Gladys May Davis (nee George)

By David JK Jones Gladys May George was my Grandmother, a prolific writer and avid diary keeper. I felt that some extracts from her memories might be of interest to Society Members. Gladys George was born at 19 Chapel Row, Llanharan on the 21st July 1908. Her parents were an Ystrad Mynach couple, Lucy Frowen…

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Capten the Pit Pony: a children’s story   

‘Capten’s  the cob with the white star on his forehead’, said Morgan. ‘He’s Bryn’s horse.’ Morgan’s older brother, Bryn, was a haulier in the pit. It was his job to lead the horse, hitch him up to a dram full of coal or timber, and bring him back and forth all day.

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Fireflies

by Ron Davies

The big difference between now and then – the war years and just after – is that Christmas never lasted so long as it seems to these days. 

Bonfire night took much longer and had much more going for it: the excitement of collecting and storage, the fear that rivals might steal your best stuff, the incredible tension of lying on top of mounds of combustible rubbish listening for sounds of approaching marauders while the valley winds whistled through the many cracks of wall and roof.

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