I was born in Abercwmboi in 1954 but my parents moved south in 1956. We returned there several times every year, staying with my grandparents Eddie and Sue Milton at 39 Bronnallt Terrace every Christmas and again for several weeks during the summer. The last week was always spent in a caravan at Porthcawl, the best holidays I have ever had.
I have so many wonderful memories of Abercwmboi - going from house to house on New Year's Eve just after the clock struck midnight, calling "Happy New Year" through all the letterboxes. Everyone would come out and hand us a few pennies for the New Year, it was safe for children to go out in the dark then.
I remember looking across the lake at the lights of the phurnacite plant at night from my grandmother's bedroom window and thinking how cosy it looked. Everything was cosy there, the terraced houses, the open fires and the people, it was a truly close community.
My other grandmother, May Ward, lived at 3 Tanycoed Terrace and when we were walking daily up the hill to visit her and my Uncle David we passed a little shop on the corner, it was like stepping into someone's front room to buy our sweets.
I loved my time there, I wish my mother and step father had never moved us away, I remember crying every time we left to return down south.
I have some relatives there I have never met as my birth father, Harry Lucas, who also lived in Bronnallt Terrace, at number 38, tragically died aged 38 when we were living in Hampshire. I used to see him occasionally when we went to Abercwmboi but when he passed away I was very young and I lost touch with the Lucas side of my family. I know I have a half sister Ceri and a half brother Clive from my father's second marriage as I saw them occasionally when I was very young but once my father passed away sadly all contact was lost.
Another of my favourite memories is going to the Saturday morning matinee at the picture house, my great aunt, Miller Perkins, used to sell the tickets and would let us in for free.
I remember playing ball in the back alleys and climbing the hill (we called it a mountain) opposite my grandmother's house in the summer. There were sheep on that hill and we used to picnic amongst them.
I loved every minute spent in Abercwmboi. I can close my eyes and picture the streets and the people there as if it was yesterday. Sadly most of the wonderful older generation have now passed away.
The memories live on though and even now at 60 years of age, Abercwmboi is and always will be my true home.
A memory shared byon Oct 16th, 2009.
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