I lived in Bassaleg from the age of 3, (1955), when Church Crescent and surrounding area was being developed. I lived in Church Crescent with my family until I left for Manchester in 1976. I went to the Graig Secondary Modern School as it was called then. After school I worked a couple of hours at Bassaleg Post Office. It was run by Mrs Mabel Bevan, who later on, after the death of her husband Ray, married her cousin Stan Bubb. Her nephew, an accomplished athelete, Lynn, also lived there. The post office was split into two halves, the post office itself was at the back of the building and I worked in the front part, selling sweets, cigarettes, and groceries. I was only around 14 years of age, something I wouldn't be able to do nowadays. I left school at 15 and worked full-time in the post office. I loved meeting all the villagers, and enjoyed my time there. Eventually I got a job in Newport at a store called Wildings. I have so many happy memories of my life in Bassaleg. We were all brought up in Bassaleg, myself and 3 siblings. My mother still lives in Church Crescent, and my brothers haven't moved far afield. I remember every family the whole length of Church Crescent, every family had a mother and father, and every father worked. I had a paper round after school, and delivered around the area, Laurel Road, Fort View as well as Church Crescent. Mr and Mrs Jones, who lived in Fort View, ran the paper deliveries, The South Wales Argus. I watched the 'new estate' being built. We lost a lot of play-land when the new private houses went up, now Graig Close, Penylan Close, Channel View etc. Before then I would spend all day and every day of the school holidays, out in the fields and woods with my friends. Myself and my brothers sang in the church choir at St Basils. We all went to Bassaleg Junior School which was attached to the church. I remember Mr Evans, the lollypop man crossing us over the road to go to school, I even remember that I had a coat peg with a butterfly on it! The headmaster of the school was a very colourful character called Merlyn Jones. The Harvest Festivals were held at St Basils Church every year, and I remember being dressed up as an animal along with my other school mates and parading down the aisle.
I had a job serving behind the bar at the Tredegar Arms, which at the time was run by Ron Hopkins, who has sadly died since then. He was from London, so quite a character to all us Welsh locals. Think of this though, I was serving alcohol to adults at the age of 17. Those were the days!!
I had a wonderful childhood growing up in Bassaleg. Whenever I travel back from Manchester to see my family, when I get to the top of High Cross Lane and can see over the village of Bassaleg including my old school, I get a 'rush' of wonderful memories. The old part of Bassaleg has never changed, however lots of new developments have sprung up around the riverside so sometimes it is hard to remember how it used to be. Bassaleg bridge isn't even in use any longer I believe. I used to catch the bus as did every one else, on Bassaleg bridge. So, yes, everything changes in life, but the memories you hold in your heart never will. I was known as Linda Barnes then.
A memory shared byon Feb 26th, 2010.
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