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Fond Memories

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.

Written by Catriona Drooney Was Gray. To send Catriona Drooney Was Gray a private message, click here.

A memory of Nelson in Mid Glamorgan shared on Wednesday, 23rd February 2011.

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Comments

RE: Fond Memories

I used to visit my grandparents in Nelson and as a child I remember buying sweets in Lloyd's, the little shop in High Street in Nelson, back in the early 1950s. We once had a big row over the change from a shilling. I also remember the Cosy Cinema, I still remember a time before people had television, I must have been around 3 years old when there used to be queues. Though I can only remember one or two films, "The one that got away" was one of them, but by then most people had televisions and that was the end for many Cinema's. My mum bought our first TV in the Electrical shop, I think we called it Far-owes. I'm not sure if Ling was the name of the owner or if it was the valley humour.

Comment from Robert Burgess on Sunday, 29th May 2011.

RE: Fond Memories

My mother was born in Nelson in 1921 and my older brother John was born in 1 Wern Crescent just after the war. Great Uncle 'lija, Jones married my Granfather's sister Alice and that led to other members, the Portlock family, moving to Nelson. Anyway that's what Auntie Alice told me. My Grandpa John started in the mines when he was 11 and his wife Aida started work in the Yorkshire cotton mills when she was 6. He worked a horse + cart round after his shift and between the wars built it into a wholesale fruit business. Worked hard. I used to visit my Grandmother in Nelson as a child, my brother would hide her teeth and say "Gramma, say sausage", the little imp! I remember buying sweets in Lloyd's the little shop in High Street in Nelson back in the early 1950s. We once had a big row over the change from a shilling. I also remember the Cosy Cinema, I still remember a time before people had television, I must have been around 3 years old, when there used to be queues. Though I can only remember one or two of the films, "The one that got away" was one of them, but by then most people had televisions and that was the end for many cinemas.

Comment from Robert Burgess on Sunday, 29th May 2011.

RE: Fond Memories

Did you get your first bike from Tommy Bowen?

Comment from Robert Burgess on Sunday, 29th May 2011.

RE: Fond Memories

I'm sorry, my comments were in rough draft, somehow they're posted in error and I can't seem to edit them.

Comment from Robert Burgess on Sunday, 29th May 2011.

RE: Fond Memories

Can't remember where my first bike was from but I know I was 7 years old when I got it. I remember Lija really well. My father, Doug Gray was born in Commercial Street in 1918 and his brother Cyril was drowned in the Wern at the end of Wern Crecent in 1928. It was later filled in because of the danger. Where are you living now and do you still go back to Nelson? I also used to be great friends with Katherine Portlock. So many memories.

Comment from Catriona Drooney Was Gray on Saturday, 25th June 2011.

RE: Fond Memories

My name is Marilyn Havelot, I was born in Nelson in 1950 and have two brothers, John and Brian. My father's name was Tom Havelot, we had a butcher shop in Shinrig Road for many years. My grandmother, Edith Phillips, worked at the Cosy Cinema for about 15 years and my brother worked there as a projectionist. My best friend was Jean Davis, she lived at St Jones Crescent. We had some great times but lost touch when we moved to Cwmbran in 1963. Sadly my father died in 1966. We sometimes visit Nelson to see the family - I have great memories of Nelson.

Comment from Marilyn Freeman on Sunday, 22nd April 2012.

RE: Fond Memories

I used to live at 33 Heol Mabon, just opposite a big green electrical generator in the middle of the field. I was friends with Nicky Lewis, Dennis Evans, Ian Davies and a few others. I can remember we used to hang around Nicky's house .

Comment from Howard Sellick on Sunday, 8th September 2013.

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