Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Glyne Lowe - 1920s in Craig-y-nos
Christmas 1928 - Thomas Edward Isaac, centre, blowing a trumpet. Although this photo was taken two years before Glynne was in it gives some flavour of the place.
Is this the Patti theatre or the Glass Conservatory? Both boys have different memories. Can anyone confirm? Glynne thinks it is the Glass Conservatory.
(Both Valerie Brent, a nurse in the 1940s in Craig-y-nos and Glynne Lowe are adamant the above photo is taken in the Glass Conservatory not the Patti theatre- Ann)
I have just spoken to Glynne Lowe, now 88 years of age, who was in Craig-y-nos as a six year old. He used to sell tractors for a living and tells me he often visited my home, Ty-Llangenny Farm, where Dai Price an agricultural contractor, used to keep his equipment. He knows several of my cousins around Brecon too. 'Tis a small world...
Here's his story:
"I made the long journey from Bronllys via Brecon to Craig-y-nos as a six-year-old in 1927. At Pen-y-cae station an ambulance was waiting to take me to the hospital. I have no memory of treatment, apart from lying in bed, though I do remember having red sores on my legs and I still have the marks today. I don’t think my mother came to visit me but cousins from Aberdare did. I have no memories of the food although I recall eating at a table at one end of the ward.
They kept sweets there, and we were given sweets after dinner. I don’t remember being cold - you don’t feel the cold when you’re a kid.
Christmas was a highlight. I remember being entertained in the Adelina Patti theatre by Harold Elston, who was a ventriloquist, and Mr Whitney, a butcher who did conjuring tricks. At the end of the performance there was a big box of sweets thrown to the children. We may have had lessons but not many. I remained at Craig-y-nos for seven months. I didn't like it much. It was a miserable damn place. I was transferred to Talgarth ( … sanatorium) for a further five months where I enjoyed the camaraderie - they were quite a bunch of boys. I sometimes wonder if I really did have TB. I’ve had pernicious anaemia for forty or fifty years and I think my illness might have been a sign of that.
I started work at fourteen as a motor mechanic but after an accident, which smashed my toes, I sold tractors.
In the course of my work I would pass Craig-y-nos and would go into the forecourt to look at the goldfish in the pond.