Thursday, 6 September 2007

Childhood memories of Tanrallt Terrace, part 2

Looking at this picture I can see where some of my closest relatives lived. We lived at N0.4, whilst my nain Williams lived at the other end at N0.9. She recently moved to a bungalow near the centre of town. Behind Tanrallt is Richmond Terrace and my great aunt May lived there for many years, the house 3rd from the end. Right in the distance at the top left hand corner of the photo, you can just see a propertyin the distance. My great grandparents, Thomas and Mary Williams lived here, a small farmstead, and my dad lived there for a while when he was a toddler. It got burned sometime in the 70's by Welsh extremists (Cwmdeithias yr Iaith) because it was a holiday home. Beyond this farm, is a mountainside covered in delicious bilberry. We used to spend most of a sunny day, with our empty ice cream tubs, trying to pick them and take them down so our mothers could make pies with them. This was very hard to do, as they tasted so good we were always tempted to eat what we picked! Purple stains around our mouths would reveal our crime and usually a trip back up the mountains the next day!
In winter, weather in Blaenau is something else! When fog used to descend it stayed for days! I remember standing in front of our gate looking towards the other end of Tanrallt (in the direction where nain Williams lived), and not being to see anything beyond the road that split Tanrallt down the middle. A pea souper as ever as I've seen!
The mountain in the distance were great for walkers. It led to Llyn Dwr Oer and Llyn Manod beyond that. As a family we used to go to Llyn Manod to have picnics, and try to fish. We never caught any, and I doubt that there were any there anyway! Llyn Dwr Oer was popular for swimming, great on a hot day, though I don't recall swimming there myself. The road that led to these places was known to us as the 'Roman Road', and was essentially the way quarrymen walked to work every day. When they finished their shift a few used to use what was known as 'y car gwyllt' (the wild car), which was basically a set of wheels on a railway track, with the quarryman riding what looked like a wheel. Looks pretty uncomfortable on the old movie footages!
That's it I think. Mostly happy memories, close neighbours, good community spirit.

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