Life In Rock Street Aberkenfig

A Memory of Aberkenfig.

I was born in 1943 and lived at Ely Cottage, Rock Street.
The house was built by my Grandfather around 1920, I have a page from a 1926 telephone directory stating that the house was a business address of the Adams Brothers, (not sure if this was my Grandfather William and his Brother George or maybe my Father, William George and his Brother Lewis Henry), however the business run was that of Mineral Water manufacture which was originally started by my Grandfather in Ely Street, Tonypandy where they lived after my Grandfather married my Grandmother Emma Bartlett.
I remember hundreds of the old pop alley bottles (the ones with a marble in the neck of the bottle) stacked up in wooden crates against the wall of a large shed that was at the bottom of our garden and situated in the Catholic priest's (Father Gibbon) house in Coronation Street.
From this time until his death my Grandfather's nickname was "pop" Adams and this was also my Father's nickname and also my nickname.
My Grandfather used have a mobile grocery round using a horse and cart and I very often went out with him on his rounds, a lot of the produce he sold was home grown in our large garden at Ely Cottage which contained three fairly large greenhouses as well as several large vegetable plots.
I attended Tondu infants and Junior school until the age of eleven and then went on to Bryncethin secondary modern school until the age of thirteen at which time I passed the entrance exam to Bridgend Technical School (Bridgend Technical College as it is known today).
As a child I remember having a great time playing in the Belgians woods and also Tondu woods where we would play cricket on an open stretch of grass in the woods called the "tumpies" because of all the large anthills that sprung up all around that grassland, still we managed to find a clear area to make a pitch. I can remember the lads I played cricket with, including the Faulkner Brothers (Tony, Keith and Malcolm), Keith Davies, Gareth Davies, all living in Meadow Street, also John Pittard who lived next door to me at that time in Rock Street.
My Dad drove a lorry for a living, the lorry was owned by the Harris family who had the business at the top end and to the rear of St Brides road. The lorry my father drove was a large flatbed one and was used to carry facing bricks from Tondu brickwork's to all parts of the country and I remember going with him on his journeys during the school holidays to lots of places in both Wales and England.
Growing up in Aberkenfig was a lot of fun and the games we played were simple games like "kick the can" a variation on the game of hide and seek.
We also did some daft things like tying cotton between the door knockers of the houses in Bridgend road between Bakers shop and petrol station and Billy Williams butcher's shop and then waiting for a car to pass which when drove through the cotton looped across the road would set all the door knockers off and then the people all coming to their doors at the same time to see who was there, we would be just around the corner in New street and laughing so much that we probably collapsed in a heap.

Added 23 July 2015


Comments & Feedback

Rock Street, was'nt that the street at the top of the hill with the newsagents on the corner ? Right down the bottom of Rock street there was the Adam's, I would go through a gate and I'm sure it was overlooking Bakers scrapyard, my mother would send me for a bottle of vinegar and I'm not sure if it was the same 'Pop' Adams as in the story above, I'm Jeff Warner and we lived at Dunraven St.
Yes Jeffrey that was where we lived and from the gate in Rock Street as you walked down last the end of my father's greenhouse you could see Billy Bakers scrapers down towards the right and behind were the houses of Coronation Street. We sold all sorts of fresh produce from the garden we had and yes we alsi sold vinegar which my Grandfather and later my Father and Mother made by diluting neat acetic acid. I think I still have the large earthenware storage jar the acid was stored in. I have read your memories and although we never really got together as children I agree that Aberkenfig was a great place to grow up in with plenty of wild places to visit and play in before television and computers were thought of. You are right the nickname was Pop and this has been in existence for 3 generations as per my memory page.

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