Aberfan Memories By Joy Adams

A Memory of Aberfan

my name is Joy Adams and I used to live in West End House, Angus Street, Aberfan with my parents (Elsie & Mervyn) and my two elder brothers (Derek and Jeffrey) until 1966. I was born in 1952, Jeff 1947 and Derek 1942. I had a very happy childhood in Aberfan - my best friend was Yvonne Williams - she lost her younger brother in 1966 - David williams; she had an elder brother - Eric. I remember the infants school at the top of the junior school playground and we had separate playground from the boys. I remember the Nant - at the bottom of Aberfan before the Grove bridge - catching sticklebacks/newts. I attended Pantglas Infants/Junior and senior schools - we left Aberfan in 1966 to move to Swindon but I still have a school report or two somewhere. One of my teachers was Mr Goldsworthy - he only had one arm and boy could he put some power into whacking you with his cricket bat if you were caught talking in class. I remember Miss Evans, the music teacher - short iron grey hair always wore grey as well. and a teacher who we nicknamed popeye - i cannot remember his name though - he taught social studies (I think) god it was another life. I remember a friend/bully Susan Hudson who had a brother Graham - her mum married Stan Andrews who was a bookie - the bookies was next door to our house in Angus street, prior to that it was a chippy run bun by the Manzes - an italian family. I remember the cinema and the hall underneath where parties were held and the methodist chapel opposite. I used to attend Baptist Chapel in Merthyr Vale every sunday morning and my father used to give me 6d for the collection box but unknown to him I used to spend 3d of it on an icecream at John's cafe in Aberfan Road. Is there anyone out there from Aberfan during that period who knew me or my family. Another friend of mine was Nesta Wakely her father used to take sunday school at the Baptist chapel. I think she lived in Macintosh Street - how come some of the roads in our welsh village had scottish names? Angus st/Mackintosh st/ I think Yvonne Williams still lives in the village in cottrell street. I remember the sweet shop in Moy Road where we would stop and buy sweets after school - of course all has changed now. I took my father there to visit some years ago and we saw the memorial garden it was lovely but unbearably sad and upsetting. I'm getting upset now typing this. After all this time you think one would have developed some armour against such painful memories. Bitter sweet as said earlier - such a happy happy childhood. Up the mountains to pick wimberries for my mam to bake a wimberry tart - heaven. Our house was opposite the MacIntosh pub where that awful alsation Max used to live and chase us if we dare venture into the pub garden. He could bark (and probably bite) for wales that hound. Those days - a neighbour would ask you tpo pop up the shop for 10 cigaretts for them and if you were lucky you would get a couple of pennies or 3d to have for sweets and you got served the ciggies. You never refused a request from a neighbour. The grove playing field used to hold the school sports day and get flooded regularly as the local kids, who could swim, would jump in and have a great time - i never learnt to swim until I moved to Swindon. Remember the dumps - by the nant - we used to roam those mountains for hours in the holidays and they would fill with snow and rain in the undulating recesses. what fun. then across the railtrack near merthyr vale and up the higher mountain to pick wimberries. we would walk for miles and miles and get back before dark, starving and looking forward to supper. Well that should do for now. I hope someone from Aberfan reads this and if they want to respond with similar memories my email address joy.adams@glos.nhs.uk I would be very happy to hear from them. Reducing numbers and the clock is ticking. I wonder if any other parties out there just missed the disaster, as I did - do I have a guardian angel, I wonder - had we stayed I would have been in the needlework class on that awful day - I checked my timetable at the time as I still had it then - that part of senior school was hit by the slag heap, so I consider myself very lucky to be here. Anyway - farewell for now and a happy new year to all fellow Aberfaners who read this. Joy Adams. 10.01.2008.

A memory shared by Lesley Adams , on Jan 10th, 2008.

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