I grew up in Aberbeeg as Pat Howells. Everyone knew the Howells as my dad, Doug, was one of 8 children. My uncle worked in the brewery for many years and I grew up in Woodland Terrace and had to pass the brewery at the end of the road every day to go to school. I also remember the old stables on the square for the brewery dram horses. Dr. Edwards had his surgery in the old hay lofts above. I have extremely fond memories of the Switchgear Father Christmas sleigh that used to travel the valleys. Everyone used to brave the cold weather in the square for a chance to tell him what we wanted for Christmas. I left school in 1970 a year after the brewery had closed. I emigrated to Cape Town South Africa in 1976 and I relish telling people I meet, that I grew up in a street, in a small Welsh valley, that had a coalmine at the top end (Six Bells) and a brewery at the bottom. I also had uncles working in the Six Bells colliery and I remember the disaster in the sixties that claimed so many lives, God spared my uncles. My parents are in their eighties now and still live in the house where I grew up. I was there in March 2011 visiting and my Dad, who is still very active, took me to see the monument in Six Bells. It is an awe inspiring and humbling experience to view the list of families who lost loved ones. I am very proud of my Welsh heritage and although I have been in South Africa for a long time, and have become a Springbok rugby supporter, I proudly put on my red Welsh rugby supporters shirt every time they play Wales.
A memory shared byon Aug 28th, 2011.
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