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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Born & Bred In Aberfan

A Memory of Aberfan.

I was born in 1937 and with the outbreak of WWII lived with my grandparents, Ollie and Maggi Owen, at 29 Cottrell Street, Aberfan, while my father served in the army. My parents were Roy and Ada Taylor, and after the war my dad was park-keeper at Aberfan Park and later at Treharris Park. I attended Pantglas School and then Quakers Yard Grammar School. We had great teachers at Pantglas, but my favourite was Stanley Beynon. Arthur James was our Headmaster.
The most wonderful part of the village to me was the Canal Bank, the Daisy Field, and up into the Plantation woods. Were there really fish in that little stream? The most familiar play area however was the Nant, at the bottom of the long gardens of Cottrell Street, and the grass covered tip that hid Merthyr Vale from sight in those days. Rees Bros came and took over the bottom half of the gardens for their breeze block manufacture, and the tip slowly disappeared as material was excavated for the block manufacure.
I left Aberfan a few times - firstly in 1957 for Bristol as a Pharmacy student, then again in 1961 to work with Boots in London, again in 1963 when I began theological studies in London, and finally in 1966 to commence my first church pastorate in Cambridgeshire a few weeks before the Aberfan Disaster. From 1950 my parents lived at 4 Mervyn Street, purchased for £500!
In my gang of local friends there were three Alans - I was big Alan (tallest), Alan Jones (38 Cottrell) was little Alan (shortest), and another Alan Jones (47 Cottrell) who was Alan James Jones. We had many happy times playing Cowboys and Indians on the tips, cricket and football in the lane (gully) at the back of the houses, and on special seasons playing down on the Grove Field.
I could go on and on .... amazing what detailed memories are stirred after all these years.

With thanks to Alan Taylor for this memory of Aberfan

Added 10 October 2012

#238447

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