My first recollection of living in the valley was at Duffrin where my sisters Pat and Pam Smith also lived, later we moved to the Gwynfi, and that is where I lived and was educated in the local infants school at the bottom of the hill near the river and bowing green, then to the local Secondary Modern at the top of the hill, from there to Cymmer, left there in 1953, memories for me was one of poverty and like most a true sense of pride.
Poverty even if you were in full time employment, the weekly wage just about got you through the week. Pride even on men with ashen faces who could no longer work, and came from the fact that they were miners and had the respect of other men, whose lives depended on each other when in the body of mother earth, but they were hard men, strong in the arm and of their skills.
I worked after my training in Mastag in South Pit, Glencorrwg for about two and a half years, I was down the mine when the panzer division blew up and helped carry out the injured.
I will be returning to Wales in the next few weeks to visit for the last time, and hope to visit the local mining museum.
A memory shared byon Jul 20th, 2008.
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