When I was about 13 years old I remember getting for Christmas what I considered the best present ever. This was a F.R.O.G. model aircraft kit, a huge step up from the Airfix type kits made of plastic which had adorned my bedroom ceiling for years. The model Spitfires, Stukas, Dorniers and Lancasters hung from cotton threads, and at night I would lie in bed with the aid of a small torch and my fevered imagination re-create air battles and bombing raids. Continue reading The Flying F.R.O.G. or Flight of the Phoenix
It was in September, 1949, when Betws saw the beginning of an influx of new residents that changed the little hill-top village forever. Turning what was incorrectly called by some the ‘off the beaten track’ hamlet into a bustling community.
In a matter of a few weeks 149 families came to live in Betws from all parts of the Garw valley, to live in aluminium bungalows, built in factories, and delivered in sections. (Prefabs) There was an air of excitement and great happiness, and some amazement, as the new ‘settlers’ began to enjoy the modern facilities on offer for some for the very first time. Hot and cold water in the one place, and bathrooms and toilets.This was a dramatic change from the over-crowded and shared accom- modation with the barest of facilities further up the valley. The ‘native’ Betws people, some of whom could trace their roots in this place over generations, must have looked on in awe as fleets of removal vans and sundry other vehicles wound their way up the hill to their village filled with the newcomers’ belongings.
Home delivery is not a new-fangled idea at all. Back in the 60s I was part of a small army of delivery boys working for the many grocers in Pontycymer’s Oxford Street.
The job was, as I remember, very lucrative in many ways: it was paid work for a start and if you were diligent and keen you might get the chance to actually work behind the counter permanently.
The reason I answered the advert in the window for a Delivery Boy wasn’t the food or the proximity of the fragrant girl assistants. Oh no! It was the ‘Transport provided’ bit that hooked me. Continue reading Memoirs Of A Garw Delivery Boy
FROM A 1914 EDITION OF THE GAZETTE.
A woman was out shopping in the town recently when she came across a Co-Operative So- ciety van driver beating his horse. She called upon the man to desist at once, whereupon the van driver turned on her and demanded to know “What b—-y business is it of yours?”
Continue reading Unruly Language in a Public Place
The bulk of this article is taken from a longer essay by David John Morgans.
Penny readings were very popular entertainments in the Valleys before the days of cinema or even radio. The penny was the price of admission, (although it did go up to 2d for adults), and before I was old enough to go to these, I assumed that the meetings involved instructive or entertaining Readings by well-known authors. Instead, at every meeting, we had solos, recitations, duets and a large number of competitions. Competition themes, in addition to the solos and recitations, were Impromptu Speeches, Spelling Bees, Life Stories, Unpunctuated Reading, Best Story, Chief Choral, and several others.
Continue reading Some Memories Of Penny Readings