A Grand Spell of Sunshine - The Life and Legacy of Francis FrithA Grand Spell of Sunshine - The Life and Legacy of Francis Frith

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Pantddu Farm And Aberbeeg

A Memory of Aberbeeg.

I grew up in the farm in the picture. My parents were Ern and Megan Sheppard. Dad delivered milk for many years, initially from churns carried around in a horse and cart and later the milk was in glass bottles from a delivery van. They kept the farm looking so nice. They whitewashed the house every few years and Mum had a lovely flower garden. A gentleman drew a picture of her garden for his wife to embroider.

I used to go with my father sometimes 'helping' him deliver milk. I loved going to Brondeg as there was a wonderful boat swing in the garden and as a special treat I could have a short swing.

I too remember Jones the barber as it was my job sometimes to take my brother Alan to get his hair cut. We would buy mint humbugs at Lou Pooles. There used to be a blacksmith near to where the doctor's surgery was. I used to watch our horse Bonnie get new shoes.

There used to be a sheep market in Cwmbeeg dingle when I was very young. My father sold sheep there. We kids used to spend time in the dingle tickling trout - very small ones. I suppose they were trapped by that time as the Ebbw was so polluted.

My father was born in Aberbeeg in #1 River row. His mother was a Yates and grandparents were Lanes. He remembered when you didn't have to leave Aberbeeg for anything. You could get everything in the village. I remember a clothes shop that had hats in the window when I was small. There was a butchers just by Cooks and the bridge.

I. like my father went to Aberbeeg school but at 6 years old I moved to Tyr Graig to be near my friend Pauline Williams. Glandwr Chapel was the social hub for our side of Aberbeeg. The anniversary and Whitsun parade being the highlight of the year. Getting a new outfit was quite something. I always had blisters from my new shoes.

One year we had a May Queen. It was probably something to do with the coronation. I and Jane Parry were flower girls and we rode around on the back of a lorry. I can't remember the name of the queen.

As my father's maternal family lived in Aberbeeg for so long there must be many people related to me of which I am totally unaware - pity.

I have very fond memories of being able to wander around safely for as long as my friends and I wished until hunger sent us home. We picked bluebells in the Pit Wood, walked to Penyfan pond and walked to Cwm and called on unsuspecting aunts.

There were very few telephones in the village and only service vehicles.

I would love to be able to go back in time to before the paved road went in - when the packhorse bridge was used by packhorses, before the Hanbury Hotel was built. I am sure there was an inn of some sort.

I bitterly regret that I did not ask my grandparents questions about their childhood in the village.
K,

With thanks to Annette Lewis (Sheppard for this memory of Aberbeeg

Added 27 August 2011

#233224

Comments & Feedback

I also lived at the farm for a few years,with my auntie and uncle,Val and Clive Gardner,originally from the village of Cwm just a few miles up the road known as Aberbeeg road.
i recall staying there as a boy of about 7 for the summer holidays,and never wanting to go back home.i used to love being woken by the noise of the cockerels,being busy all day,then collapsing at the end of the day totally exhausted.
The gardner family always kept horses,and the farm is the home of CWMDISTAW welsh cobs,and the horses have always attracted a good following of people from Llanhilleth as well as visitors to the church also shown in the photo.
I later lived at the farm,again with my auntie and uncle,from 1995 to 2001 and enjoyed it thoroughly,whilst working a full time job and also driving taxis for a local taxi firm in CWM,how i juggled all three is still a mystery to me,there was always plenty to be done at the farm

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