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I Remember it Well

c1955, Nantymoel
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1947 was the year my parents, sister aged 4 and myself aged 10 moved from living in two rooms in a shared house in Pricetown to a rundown three-storeyed rented house in Llewellyn Street, Nantymoel. It had three bedrooms, without electricity on the top floor, two living rooms and a pantry on the middle floor with electricity which was accessed by the front door from street level, and below ground under the pavement a coal cellar and another pantry which opened onto a further unusuable living room with back door onto the garden. Immediately outside the back door was a toilet, a wooden bench 2ft 6ins wide with a hole. It emptied into a sewer but had no flush, you just emptied a bucket of water down after it was used. The only water tap in the house was a stand pipe just inside the back door so at least you didn't have far to carry the heavy zinc bucket. A zinc bath hung on the outside wall. It was carried up to the first floor every Friday evening, then began the filling of it. The hot water was supplied from the reservoir at the side of the fire, the other side of the fire was an oven. Cold water was carried up via a ladder type stairs (treads which overlapped).  After my mother, sister and I had used it (Dad bathed at the colliery) it was carried out bucketful at a time and thrown down the gutter drain outside the front door. Yet we thought we were in heaven because we had the whole house to ourselves. The front and back doors had latches and no locks, so the only time the house was secured was at night when you shot the bolts before going to bed. Llewellyn Street is the third row of houses in the foreground of the picture.
The Court Colman Hotel, the large building near the centre of picture was a very busy place run by Mrs Roberts, a widow helped by her son who also worked as a milkman. Two daughters helped when not at work. The hotel was demolished in the 60's and replaced by a block of council flats. Outside the hotel was the terminus for the bus which went to Bridgend. Valley life has changed dramatically in the intervening years. People still care but wives are so busy going to work as well as rearing their families that they have to get their prioities right and neighbours are a little way down the list. Many places of worship are demolished or other uses have been put to the buildings. The Nantymoel Industrial Co-operative Society which provided so many services to the valley and the collieries has ceased to be, as have the school buildings I attended. The valley looks so much cleaner and greener since the NCB or whoever have cleared away the tips. New houses are popping up everywhere. So a community progresses.

Written by Margaret Davies. To send Margaret Davies a private message, click here.

A memory of Nantymoel in Mid Glamorgan shared on Friday, 26th January 2007.

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RE: I Remember it Well

I came home on leave from the army and my mum had moved to new flats in Colman........Winnie Turner.

Comment from Ash Turner on Monday, 15th October 2012.

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