Groeswen Village - a Memory of Groeswen.

Although I was born in Merthyr Tydfil our family lived in Brynllwyfan Groeswen, we were known locally as Ball Top House. I remember the freedom my older brother Mervyn and I had in the village and surounding area. My dad Percy (Tyke) worked on the railways and Mam (Nora) worked in the Hendre school canteen. My sister Pat was the youngest of us. Our uncle and aunte (Moses and Margaret) also lived in Groeswen with my cousins, Iori, Doug,Glennis,Gwyn (squeeky) Reg, Brian and Marilyn (Lalin). We all attended Hendre junior school until we were 11. My brother then went to school in Caerphilly and my sister went to a girls school in Caerphilly and I went to school in Senghenydd. There were times we would help the local farmers Handel and Mervyn Evans collect the hay in the hot summer days. I remember seing my first calf born it was fantastic!
We had a great community spirit in the village, we had a carnival once a year, we would all dress in different costumes and walk down through the village and finish in the car park of the pub (White Cross Inn) where the judges would select the best fancy dressed adult and child. The parents would then have a drink and us kids would have a ginger ale. The pub owner at the time was a Mr Hazel, he also owned a charabanc (a coach) and he would take all the families from the village to either Barry Island or Porthcawl for the day. Mam used to give me a few pennies and I would win her a few fags on the spin a ball machine. In those days those resorts would be full. We used to go on the Scenic Railway at Barry and that was a very fast ride!
During our 7 weeks of school in the summer we used to camp out down the Beech Wood for most of the time, lighting a camp fire and roasting potatoes, boil a tin of beans and have some toast. Our tent was ok until it rained!
My parents rented the house we lived in and we had to move out of our house because the owners were moving down from London. We then left Groeswen and moved to Penyrheol I think when I was about 11 or 12 in about 1957. My family and I live in Llanbradach now but we still visit Groeswen very often, there are only 2 original families still living in Groeswen, they are Handel Evans and his wife and Paul Boils.
Thank you,
Kenny Ball

A memory shared by Kenny Ball on Sep 18th, 2011.
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