I was born in 1953 and lived in Nelson until 1978 when I moved to Scotland with my husband. I've lived in Hampshire for 26 years now. I used to live in High St and from the early 60s in Ashgrove Tce, by the bus station. The centre of Nelson has changed completely and looks better than it has done for a good few years. I remember the wonderful community feeling in Nelson when I was young and a lot of the social life was done through the chapels and churches. I remember Whitsun walks and also the Remembrance Day parade and the cenotaph by the bank which was next door to the Nelson Inn, as it was then. My grandfather was Joe Osborne and he repaired shoes from his workshop behind his house in High St. I went to Llanfabon Infants (which was knocked down and a new one built near the Community Centre) and was taught by Mrs Carlick, Miss Evans and Mrs Edwards. I also went to Llancaeach Junior School and actually taught there from 1975 to 1978 with Mrs Tapper and Miss Smith, a lovely experience. I loved going to the Cosy cinema on Saturday mornings for sixpence and then enjoyed dancing in the building when it became The Queen of Hearts nightclub.
I think everybody in the village knew each other back in the 50s and 60s but when I go back now there are so many people I don't know. We were quite self-sufficient as a village in those days with most products catered for - clothes, haberdashery, chemist, chip shop, ironmongers, groceries and greengroceries, butchers, florist, newspaper shop, electrical shops, two shoe repairers, a library, cinema, snooker hall, bank, cafes and lots of pubs, chapels and a church, bus station and a railway station. We also had a police station that was open and policemen walking the beat! What more did we need? As a family we always started our annual holiday to Blackpool from the railway station, then when it closed we took a coach from the bus station. Now there isn't even a direct bus to Cardiff.
I still love the place and am going there this Thursday to see my Aunt who lives in the house she was born in 84 years ago. My children always say that I become more Welsh after I've crossed the Severn Bridge, so I'm going to get my Welsh fix this week. Great!
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