I was born in Nelson in 1953 and lived in the prefabs at number 7, Heol Harry Lewis with my mother and father Mary and Doug Gray and my brother Neil who is 5 years older than me. Our next door neighbours were Peggy and Gordon Lewis with children Vivienne (Viveen), Nicky and Peter. I spent a lot of my time in 76 Bryncelyn Avenue at Helen and Jock Szymecka's. Helen was my mother's best friend and her daughter Wanda was my best friend. We used to spend hours playing in the Welfare where there was a pavilion where we played table tennis. There were also tennis courts and a swimming pool and a park. There was a little shop that sold everything at the bottom of the prefabs called Lloyds, does anyone else remember it? I went to Llanfabon Infants and Llancaiach Juniors and then went on to Ystrad Mynach Secondary School for Girls after failing the dreaded 11 plus. My grandmother Sally Gray lived a few doors up from the Cosy Cinema which later became the Queen of Hearts. I loved staying at her little two up two down house which is now where the library is. I remember the Swatridges living across the road. My mother and father went back to live on the old prefab site when they built the OAP Complex there. They absolutely loved being back there and lived at number 1 Heol Islwyn. I left Nelson in 1970 when I was 17 and went to live in Portsmouth with 2 other girls, one from Treharris and one from Bedlinog. I'm still there now, forty years on. My mother died 3 years ago and my father 2 years ago. They are both in Llanfabon Cemetery. I used to go back and forth on a very regular basis but sadly not so much now, although I still visit my brother and sister in law in Caerphilly. Nelson was a wonderful place to grow up.
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