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Hafodyrynys maps

Historic maps of Hafodyrynys and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis.   View all Hafodyrynys maps

Hafodyrynys area books

Displaying 1 of 4 books about Hafodyrynys and the local area.   View all books for this area

Memories of Hafodyrynys

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Gwent memories

Growing up in Swffryd.

We moved to Swffryd from Six Bells where we lived with my grandparents. My family; Thomas Griffiths (Dad,) Iris Griffiths (Mam,) and myself Gareth Griffiths moved into a brand new built 2 bedroom flat in 19A Bron-y-Bryn (now Gordon Avenue). It was an upstairs flat and we had the luxury of an inside toilet (heaven). My first real memories of Swffryd were the big school, not much fun but we had to go. I went home for dinner to beans on toast and no T.V to watch, then back to school for the finish. I can remember some of the teachers they were; Mr Crosier, Mr Arthur Heymen, Mrs Rogers and Mr Griffiths. After school it was out to play in the fields next to our flat. Top field in Swffryd had the big black water tank owned by the water board, it was a feeder tank and no-one was allowed to play there. We did though...why not? The Swffryd also grew around me, I saw the Swffryd Social Club... Read more

100 Year Old Mum

My mother just turned 100 October 6th. Her name is Brenda Preece (Walters) and was born in Brynhyfrydd 29 Hillside, Crumlin. My Nana once owned the grocery store opposite and the house was next to the church. Her first cousin was Iris Collier who owned the boot shop further up the hill. My memories were coming to stay with my nana during the summer from London and being so impressed with the Colliers having a car and them taking me to Blackwood to the movies.l They always owned a pair of Scottish Terriers. I used to hop on a bus and go to my Aunty Gwen's farm in Newbridge and climb up the winding roads to her place. Today there are all homes built. Went to Crumlin three years ago, shop in a rubble as is the church, motorway running at the bottom of the hill. I remember my mother going back in 1986 and my sister... Read more

Sidney George Moon

I am trying to trace my family's history and wondered if anyone can help. My Grandfather, Sidney George Moon lived at 114 Lewis Street according to the 1911 census. He worked down the Crumlin pit. He went on to father 12 children and my father Kenneth C. Moon was the youngest born in 1920 in Crumlin but they may have moved into Rectory Road by then. According to the 1911 census Sidney and his wife Florence already had 7 children living at home including a Sidney jnr. Father always talked of "crossing the branch" to go to school. Was this reference to the viaduct? We visited Crumlin this weekend. Is Lewis Street still the same houses but renovated that existed in 1911? My mother (Ken's wife) has some photos which may mean something now that we have been to Crumlin. Any help would be much appreciated Joy Johnson (nee Moon) e-mail

The Empire

Any information or memories of the Empire cinema? I remember it as fairly run down in late 50's but you could always get in to see the the horror films, even if you were only 11 to see over 16 films! Other names ring a bell - "the flea pit" (probably shared by many cinemas) and " dirty dicks".

Arthur Llewelyn Recalls His Time at Crumlin Tech College

Crumlin was a day attendance college with a somewhat rough and more mature worldly-experienced set of students. All resources were concentrated on classrooms and essential equipment. The harsh environment was emphasized by the location: literally under the shadow of the railway viaduct spanning the valley and a stone’s throw from the pit-head, wiring gear was taking men and boys of my age down the mine shaft to the coal face deep under the mountain. For the first time I was brought face to face with the gulf between middle and working class although ‘middle’ was not the word one would use, in those days. It was a question, not of class, but profession. At that time, particularly in Wales, the respect for the teaching profession was something which no one today could envisage or imagine. The doctor’s son and I were marked out and accepted as different from the other students, typically miners’ sons, not in any way that the current generation could understand, no bullying or resentment, just honest... Read more

Childhood to Marriage

General View c1965, Llanhilleth
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MY first memory of"LLan"was driving down the hill from Swffryyd, to my new home at No.6 High Street. My father Thomas Hughes, with my mother Eileen, had purchased Barttlets Grocery Store,a long held wish of my fathers to own his own grocery business..after early years as a grocers 'lad' and enforced war years, ensconed in the centre of birmingham as a tool maker turning out precision parts for the war. I was 7yrs old, my sister Janice 5. As a lad from "Brum"being accepted into a close welsh society was difficult to say the least, and many an altercation was on the cards in the first few months. Junior School for both of us was at LLanhilleth Junior, high on the hill behind the main street, good days, but still ruled in the old manner,by cane and slipper, but with no lasting harm. Secondary for me was Brynhyfryd , there only for a year before ,on failing my 11 plus, won a scholarship to AbertilleryTtechnical, which was to give me one of... Read more


I was born in my aunt's [Ciss Smith] house in Caefelin Street, Llanhilleth, during late 1944, early in the morning.  At the same time a girl named Angela [Simpkins] was born in the house opposite at the same time.  My Aunt Ciss was holding me up at the front upstairs window to show the family that I was born whilst Angela's relations was doing the same thing in reverse.

One of my earliest memories was when I was aged about two/three years'.  I was sitting in a pram outside Angela's house with my aunt and mother who were in conversation with Angela's mother.  Angela and I leant out of our respective prams and started kissing each and our respective relations started laughing.

My parents and I moved to London a few years later so that my father could find a better job as he did not want to work in the local pit.   My Aunt Ciss and her husband Charlie used to spend their summer and Christmas holidays... Read more

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