Childhood In Abercwmboi

A Memory of Abercwmboi

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 by Pauline Lucas Milton , on Oct 16th, 2009.

Comments & feedback

Wed Sep 10th 2014, at 1:59 pm

John Griffiths commented:

Hi do you remember me my name is john griffiths david was my brother are you pauline gareth is your brother you lived in hythe

Wed Sep 10th 2014, at 11:59 pm

Pauline Lucas Milton commented:

Hi
What a lovely surprise, yes of course I remember you.
As well as David's brother you're my mother's brother, you're my uncle.
There was also uncle Billy ( sadly gone ) auntie Meagan (passed away very young) and Martin Ward ( Gransha's son.)
I remember many years ago you married Elizabeth and moved from Wales to Stratford upon Avon to live close to her family.
Just before that you and a friend Terry came to stay with mam, dad, Gareth and I in Hythe and you helped us move across the road from a two bedroom bungalow to a three bedroom bungalow
I clearly remember watching you, Terry, dad and some neighbours carrying the furniture across the road
The last time I saw you was at my mother's funeral in Hythe in 1992
Auntie Hannah ( Billy's wife ) sadly passed away a little while ago and she used to mention you occasionally in her letters. She sent me lots of old photographs.
You mentioned my brother Gareth, he's now a very successful business man, we're close to each other but he has very few memories of Wales as he was born in Hythe. He's a true southerner whereas my heart is still with Wales
I hope you and your family are well, it's really lovely to hear from you

Sat Sep 13th 2014, at 1:37 pm

John Griffiths commented:

Hi pauline so nice to hear from you liz bought me a tablet last xmas still lerning I have had four heart attacks in the last eight weeks do you rember me taking you to esso picture house I have 3 children dave shelly and manda they shorted them as kids do not heard much about willy only he passed away they never told me nore martin all about dai s will I had no idier what was in it but they cut me off it dose not stop me thinking of them tell me more about your self and your family wales will always in my blood I know in your s to I would love to hear from you again made my day all the best john liz familym

Wed Sep 24th 2014, at 9:41 pm

Pauline Lucas Milton commented:

Hi,
I am sorry to hear you haven't been well, I hope you're resting and on the mend it must be such a worrying time for you.
Well there's so much news to catch up on, a lot has happened over the years
We have four children (all grown up with their own homes now) and nine grandchildren
Two live close by and two live further away, one on the Isle of Wight and one in Kent. We're a very close family and see each other all the time.
Our daughter only lives ten minutes away so we see her, her husband the two grand children every day.
For several years I had my own little business until a bit of arthritis started but it's nothing to complain about as we still walk several hours every day in the New Forest with all our dogs. We're very lucky to live so close to the forest. (Our house is only twenty minutes away from where mum and dad used to live).
I did hear a little bit about the problems when uncle David passed away, it all seemed to centre around his girlfriend and nan Ward's house, it's sad it created a rift in the family as life is much too short to waste time quarrelling.
Yes I do remember you taking me to Esso picture house, they were lovely times.
I think about the past more and more as the years go by, such lovely memories, I feel the same as you, Wales is in my blood.
I especially remember Christmas's in Wales. Snowed in, having to shovel it off the path and the slippery walk up the hill to nan Ward's house, Christmas without snow doesn't feel the same.
Do you ever go back there? We went about ten years ago just for a day.
It's really lovely to hear from you, rather than write on this page if you put your email details in the next message I'll write back to that. We can write more then, if you want.
Look after yourself, hope you're much better soon,

Fri Sep 26th 2014, at 9:45 pm

John Griffiths commented:

Dear Pauline, It was lovely to hear from you, it made my day. My email address is Jgriffiths1944@outlook.com My son David has his own business. He builds and mends bikes, he travelled the world for a few years, but has now returned home. David doesnt have any children.My daughter Shelly went into law, and works in child protection. Shelly has a daughter called Jade and she is 19 now. My youngest daughter is an office manager and has 3 children. Skye is 17, Ryan is 15 and Kristian is 12. No great grandchildren at the moment, thank goodness. I cant get rid of the grandchildren now!! Ha Ha. We still live in Stratford Upon Avon and I can honestly say we have been very happy here. I would love to here more from you. John 

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