Today was going to be a quiet day with a trip to the library to get some photocopying done of the certificates, but instead I spent the day with Alun & Sandra.
They took me up to Clydach Vale again and were able to show me mum's home in Marian Street, and we visited the site of the Clydach Vale mine, where there is now just a memorial to miners who died. Nothing else. You wouldn't know there had ever been a colliery there!
Mum's house is actually up for sale at the moment... Anyone with a spare 80 000 pounds who would like to gift it to me to bring the house back into the family, please get in touch!
Alun was a mine of information (no pun intended) about the site, showing me where the shafts had been, the houses, colliery baths etc. Alun had spent 2 months working at the coalface in the mine, but then changed to work as a blacksmith for the mines.
They took me up to visit Mum's cousin, Barbara, who was able to tell me that Mum and Dad had met at a place called 'The Rink' which was essentially a dance hall, but also had roller skating. Barbara also filled in a few gaps on Mum's side of the family tree, going back further than I have been able to on my grandmother's side, and she has photos too that I will write to her and ask for copies of once I return home.
Seems that Mum's side of the family was a bit mischievous, making the other side look positively staid - if all the stories are to be believed! Barbara was also the first policewoman in Tonpentre.
Next week promises to be a load of fun with Alun & Sandra!!
Off to the heritage park tomorrow, with hopefully a bit of photocopying in the morning. Looks like the trip to the rugby is off on Saturday, replaced with a trip to the Museum here in Rhondda which has a village showing the miners' houses at different stages through the century. That WILL be interesting.