I used to visit my grandmother - who lived on the aptly named Hill Street - throughout my childhood. My Gran was Ruth Robbins (nee James) who lived all her life in Hill Street, two of her daughters and their families also lived in the street so my brother and I always had someone to play with.
My dad was Archie Robbins (born 1910) who trained as a carpenter with the local coffin maker before leaving the area to find work. Dad, one of a big family of mostly daughters, enjoyed gymnastics, boxing and walking along with childhood friend George Watkins. He could remember two of his mother's brothers being 'called up' and fighting in the First World War and that his elder brother died from pnumonia after working down the pit.
When we used to arrive at the top of Hill Street in our Austin 7 or Austin Cambridge I was terrified of us driving down such a steep hill - dad used to put a brick in front of the wheels in case the brakes failed! We had heard the tales of the time the horse drawn coal truck failed and horse and truck ended up smashed into the stone wall at the bottom of the street.
I passed through the valley some years ago but Hill Street was gone and I didn't see much that I recognised.
A memory shared byon Apr 13th, 2012.
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