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Seventh Generation

116. Photo Geoffrey Hubert HOWARD was born on 1 May 1927. He was living between 1958 and 1963.74 He died on 15 May 1963 in Northampton.

Geoffrey Hubert HOWARD and Elizabeth Irene TYPE were married on 6 Jul 1946 in St Michaels, Cricklewood.75 Photo Elizabeth Irene TYPE (daughter of ? ? and Doris TYPE) was living 1923 - ? in Model Cottages, Garth Terrace, Pontmorlais, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.76 She was educated Infants & Junior school 1928 - ? in Queens Road Infants & Junior School.76 She went to Queens Road Infants School at the back of Garth Terrace, thence Queens road school for the over 12's. She was born on 11 May 1923 in Merthyr Tydfil. Father was publican (or married to the publican) at the

Nelson Inn (or maybe Penydarren End Inn 01685 722530)
Merthyr Tydfil
Mid Glamorgan

(The Nelson Inn no longer exists - 2001)

Although he should have paid maintenance he rarely did. Elizabeth remembers going with her grandmother on several occasions to the local solicitor to check for maintenance payments. His office was almost opposite the Nelson, up a narrow flight of stairs.

Her father was rarely talked about in the family.

She went to Queens Road Infants School at the back of Garth Terrace, thence Queens road school for the over 12's. She was living in 1923 in Model Cottages, Garth Terrace, Pontmorlais, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.76 She was educated Infants & Junior school in 1928 in Queens Road Infants & Junior School.76 She went to Queens Road Infants School at the back of Garth Terrace, thence Queens road school for the over 12's. The text files "Memories of Merthyr" were found on a searc h of the Jones family history site n the internet (http://w ww.trevor.jones4.btinternet.co.uk/Index.html). Elizabeth' s early memories closely mirror those of the author. Indee d he probably lived in the immediate vicinity and share d a knowledge of many of the the sites and people with Eliz abeth.

The following article is taken from a tape recording by M r Dai Harmon, who grew up in Penyard, Merthyr Tydfil. He st ill lives in Merthyr, and has helped many people search the ir family origins, working at the LDS family history centr e in Merthyr.

I have lived most of my life , on and off in Penyard, Merth yr Tydfil. Talking about Penyard, what a wonderful place t o live. It was for a child, an adventure playground. I live d in the longest street, Darren View, it came up behind th e Theatre Royal and also Trevethicks monument. You come u p the redhill and, there's Darren View stretched out in fro nt of you at the top on the left hand side. The backs of Da rren View open out where Trevethicks first steam engine ran . It was at the back of Penyard where Trevethick ran his e ngine to win a £500 bet for his iron master against Crawsha y. Up above Penyard, Incline Top on the left hand side yo u had the Rockies, with a big stack there which was about 2 5 feet high and about a yard square, which you could clim b up inside to the top and look all around Merthyr Tydfil . The Rockies, well, what a place to play. It had a nice st retch across it with rocks everywhere. Down below we use d to build 'cloche tents' and we used to fight the boys fro m Penydarren who used to come up, and we'd throw stones a t each other like some invading armies. At the bottom of th e Rockies was a small pitch where we would play football o r cricket. Up above the Rockies was the big white tip mad e from all the shale that came from the Dowlais works. Abou t two thirds of the way up was a cave. We used to play in t here and it was magic.
At the top of Incline Top was another place called the Aeri als, it was another shale tip and, what a beautiful tip i t was. There were huge buckets which would come along and d eposit the shale on the tips. As boys, we would climb in th e buckets and go for a ride.
It was all very dangerous, and we'd often get many bruises , but
they were wonderful times
There were also many other tips where we used to slide dow n them on a piece of tin, and many a pair of trousers wer e torn. That was the top of Penyard.
At the bottom of Incline Road there was a little mining pit . I always remember getting on the horsedrawn carts that ca rried the coal and, on the side was a sign 'clean hand pick ed coal'. I never really knew what it meant. Next to the si de of the pit used to be the old brickworks where many wome n of Penyard found employment. Very hard work it was too. C rossing the road there were trams pulled by horses going in to the level behind Model Cottages, which was the top stree t of Penyard. Up on the left hand side was a slag heap and , often you would see people  sorting through it, pick ing out the little bits of good coal that may have been tip ped there. The Patches was above Penyard on the right han d side as you left up the Pontfen Road and, in front of th e Aerials was the Dandy, another tip. The Patches  wa s a place where people would sink little mines to get the c oal out for themselves, unemployed people including my fath er. He used to have a bike, well, a boneshaker really and h e'd take it to the Patches and collect a bag of coal and br ing it home. Up on the Dandy I remember Jack Jones the pla yright, who was a Penyard boy, writing stories. His brothe r Ike Jones was a bookmaker. At the bottom of Darren View , you had the old Thomastown park and the new Thomastown pa rk. Opposite there was Queens Road school. Also in Penyar d you had Queens Road infant school, and this was at the ba ck of Garth Terrace. The Queens Road school was where you w ent if you didn't pass your test for the grammer school. I t was known as the Queens Road school for the over 12s. An yway, there were these parks, Thomastown parks. Oh what bea utiful places. At the top used to be a circle where man y a fight was had. It was just like a boxing ring, althoug h it was only a circle about 20 feet across. I remember fig hting Dai Bedford, Georgie Hammond and a few others.
There was a dingle where we would play 'pop-op'. There wer e bushes either side, and we'd be in gangs hiding in the un dergrowth. As soon as you saw one of the other gang you'd p oint at them and go 'pop-op'-'pop-op' and they would be ou t of the game. It would last until there was only one membe r of each gang left to 'pop-op' each other.
A little football field was there and further down you ha d the tennis courts and the bowling green. The bowling gree n was a very important place, as Thomastown bowling club wa s one of the oldest in Merthyr Tydfil. Past the bowling gre en was a statue erected in memory of the people of Merthy r Tydfil who were killed in the first world war. As you lef t the old park, you went straight into the new park, an d a lovely park it was too. You could play football, cricke t or whatever.
Behind the other side of Darren View between Mountain Air a nd Queens Road was the Legion. Oh boy the Legion, the footb all pitch. Above that, made out of tips of rubbish, now th e site of Edwards Close and Vernon Close a housing estate , was another football field, so we had two football fields . They were known as the bottom Legion and the top Legion . The bottom Legion was where the Jones boys of Penyard pla yed. Not only them, but everyone loved the legion. We'd sta rt playing football about nine in the morning and finish wh en it went dark. Football all day!
I remember Cliffie Jones coming up from Swansea, and he wa s such a little tut, but he would play on the wing and he w as brilliant. Bryn Jones learnt his 25-30 yard passes on t he legion. Mind, it wasn't a flat ground by any means, it w as up and down like a yo-yo, but it was the Legion and ever ybody loved it. We'd go to the club there on a Sunday as th ere were no pubs open after 2.00 clock, and the older men w ould challenge the younger men to a football match at hal f a crown a man. It was a lot of money in those days. Ther e would be a proper referee and very often it would be a ve ry tidy match.
Down at the bottom of the Legion ground there was a club bu ilt by the unemployed, a wooden shack, but nice. Big enoug h to hold a stage, and we had a few concerts too. It house d a snooker table and people would be playing all day Satur day and Sunday. I learnt to play solo whist there with Ik e Jones the bookmaker and his brother Dickie Jones. That cl ub became the social centre of Penyard, and everybody got t o go there at one time or other. The whole of Penyard wa s a great adventure playground. You'd have to pay hundred s of pounds today to go to an adventure playground like tha t!
Let's talk now about some of the surrounding areas and som e of the people that lived there. Shops, as you came up t o Darren View there was a paper shop, 'Owens' the paper sho p.
Wyn Owen and his son were lovely singers, and Wyn used to s ing with the best dance bands in Merthyr Tydfil. Owens use d to deliver the papers to all over Penyard. Opposite wa s a shop called 'Coffees'. When they had money they used t o open, but if they were skint they would close. On the cor ner of Penyard there was a little wall and a lampost, and t he singsongs that used to be there every Saturday night, be autiful singing every Saturday night.; They just used to co ngregate there. The Dees. Amos Dees, a good footballer mind , and he could have gone places, he used to have his Hawaii n guitar and we used to have lovely sing songs with it. Com ing up into Darren View was Butlers shop and Jack Nash th e butchers. Turning round into Penyard, up by Garth Terrac e you'd have Pugh's the shop. Now Mrs Pugh was a character . She used to wear a wig. A little gate led up to her shop , and as you went through the gate the bell would go ting-a -ling-a-ling. She always had meat and faggots in the window , with potato sacks outside. If you wanted potatoes she wou ld go and weigh them with her hands, and then if you wante d a cake, she would put the cake in with the potatoes usin g the same dirty hands. There were always flies gathering i n the window. We would sing a little song, behind Mrs Pugh' s back and we called her 'scruffy'. The song would go lik e this:
As I walked into Scruffy's shop, the stink was enough to bl ind me, the faggots said, God strike me dead, and the pea s walked out behind me. Oh my cat is dead, it died in Scruf fy's shop.
We always sang it as kids, but never in front of her mind . At new year she always gave the children a little gift. F urther up the street was bakers. Mr Baker used to cook ever ybodys turkey if they had turkey, although most people in P enyard at that time could only afford chicken. He used to b ake bread as Mr Baker was the baker. Coming down Corporati on Street, you had Jenkins the shop. Mad Mr Jenkins and hi s father before him, always kept that shop, and funnily eno ugh when he died he left it to Aidan Williams. It was a gro cers shop, and that was where most people of Penyard woul d go. My brother Raymond, published a book of poetry, an d there's a lot of good poetry about Merthyr Tydfil. Well , he went to Jenkins shop for some cheese, and he brought i t home and my mother asked him if she could have a look a t the cheese. Well, there in the cheese were some lovely te eth marks!
She asked, "Ray, have you been eating this cheese?". "No Ma m" said Raymond, and he continued, " Mr Jenkins said the ch eese was overweight so he bit a piece off to make it the ri ght weight". Well, to this day Raymond still claims he wa s innocent. After the incident he was given the nickname 'M ickey Mouse', which has stuck with him all of his life.
Now then, let's talk about schooling. Once the children wer e about 4 or 5 years old they used to go to Queens Road inf ant school. A lovely  school, right there in Penyard i tself, at the back of Garth Terrace. It was a good school a nd the schooling was great. My teacher was Mr Hopkins, I'l l never forget him. He was a lovely teacher and bred me a l ove of mathematics, which I still love today.
So all the children used to go there, and then on to Queen s Road senior school, which was down a little further. The y would go there until they were 11 years, and take their 1 1 plus, and if they passed the test they would go to eithe r the grammer school, and oh it would be published in the M erthyr Express, all the people who have passed for the gram mer school. I'll never forget my sister, who was living opp osite. Her husbandworked in the Merthyr Express and she fet ched the paper over early, for me before it reached the sho ps. I had passed 4th in the borough. Of all the childre n I had passed
There's excitement. I loved it, I'll never forget it. It di dn't do me any good mind. I left grammer school  afte r 2 years and worked for Tommy Bought the butcher, pushin g the little bike about and giving meat out for 14 shilling s per week. Now there were 2 grammer schools in Merthyr Ty dfil. One was called the County grammer school and that wa s opposite Penyard, and there were some wonderful teacher s there. The other grammer schoolwas very well known. The C yfartha grammer school. One wasn't better than the other, a nd probably County was slightly better, but there wasn't mu ch between either of them. Schooling in that time was reall y fabulous, no question about that. If you didn't make it t o the grammer schools, you'd go to Queens Road school or yo u'd go down Quakers Yard technical school where you were ta ught such things as engineering even.
Now, the mining industry, where they went down the mines s o young  or worked at the pithead with their fathers , before my time they were going down the mines there at ag e 8 or 10 year old. In my time they had to be 14. That's wh ere they would go a lot of the people, down the mines. But , in Merthyr, industry, Kayser Bondor. Now Kayser Bondor w as a stocking factory and that's where I went after workin g in the butchers shop. I made stockings for Queen Mary . I remember she was size 8 ½.
In the 1930's, at one of the lowest points in the economi c history of the area, with high unemployment and boarded u p shops, a fashionable hosiery and underwear manufacturin g company, Kayser Bondor Ltd, was the first new company t o start operations in the borough. The factory was built a t Dowlais, and  men with a tradition of heavy industr y had to quickly adapt themselves to operating high- precis ion  machines, but the success of this venture was dem onstrated in the opening of a new lingerie factory at Pentr ebach in 1945, and other similar enterprises like Berlei, a nd more recently Forma and Morris Cohen, have opened in th e borough.
There were other factories, and , just after the war Hoover , which was the biggest factory in Merthyr Tydfil was opene d by a Penyard boy, Danny Bowen, coal miner who lived on th e top of the hill in Darren View. His wife and his mother w ere killed in a train crash going through a tunnel toward s London. Very sad. Danny was a member of the Bowen famil y who were very prevelant in Penyard. Jackie Bowen and&nbsp ; Frankie Bowen. Danny was a lovely singer who teamed up wi th Wyn Owen. They called themselves Owen and Bowen, lovel y singers and were always booked to clubs not only in Merth yr, but other parts of Wales too.
In Penyard there were many families, and there was the chap el. The Penyard Forward Movement Chapel. There used to be s oup kitchens in there during the thirties to help people be cause times were so hard. There were Sunday school trips t o Pontsarn, lovely. Or down to Barry Island, oh what trips . But that was it, that was your holiday once a year, the c hapel trip, of course there were no other holidays in the t hirties. Come September there was hop picking in Hereford a nd people, particularly the unemployed would go up to Heref ord on the backs of lorries. Once there you would have a sm all tent of some kind and lay down straw as a mattress. Yo u could make some money picking those hops. You'd fetch mon ey home, also sacks of potatoes, sacks of apples and othe r vegetables that would last you through the winter. Oh, i t was wonderful, it was great. I used to love hop picking.
In the thirties, you'd never see a car in Darren View, exce pt once a week. There was a person called 'Jiggy', Mrs Will iams, and she used to have a stall in the market in Merthy r and in Pontypridd. Well a taxi would come up Darren Vie w to pick her up, and we'd all have to stop playing footbal l. We'd pick up the ball and run over to the taxi, as it wa s such a rare thing to see. We were always playing footbal l in the street and there was only the odd horse and cart t hat would pass  us by. There was Sprawley's horse an d cart and the rider would shout in an Italian accent, " ch ipsalot, steaming hot chips, chipsalot, steaming hot..gerra way froma my horse, watta you doing with my horse?" He'd al so come in the night selling his chips, with lanterns on th e cart. Mr Harris would come on his horse and cart trying t o get salvage, a rag and bone man. If you had any clothes y ou'd get a penny for them if you were lucky. You'd have t o be very lucky with old man Harris, he was tighter than an ybody! But, he had six girls to look after and wasn't worki ng, but there you are, it was all horses and carts in thos e days. Don Cunnington who lived in Garth Terrace at the ba ck, his father Mr Cunnington was a tram driver who used t o drive the trams up Merthyr High Street. I remember the la st one coming up there.
I remember Lord Haw Haw in the second world war when we wer e digging up the tram lines to make bullets. He said " Yo u people of Merthyr Tydfil, you're digging up your tram lin es for bullets, well we'll send bombs over, and we'll bom b them rails up for you." We used to listen to the wireles s during the war, and I remember Mrs Smith up above hearin g Lord Haw Haw saying "You don't know what bacon and eggs i s anymore, because it's all powder eggs in Merthyr" and he r husband was working the night shift, so she got her fryin g pan and was cooking bacon and eggs, and, turning to the w ireless she shouted at the top of her voice, " smell this y ou stupid man! Of course we've got bacon and eggs!"
Good old Mrs Smith, I'll never forget her. Prior to worl d war II, because money was so short , we'd see people comi ng from the Rhondda trying to make money. They would star t at the bottom of our street singing, and work their way u p. They put their caps on the floor and would get a coppe r here and another there, and take it back to the Rhondda . They must have walked about 10 or 15 miles to come and si ng. Then our boys would go over to the Rhondda and sing the re.
Now what else about Penyard? Well, Penyard was the Las Vega s of South Wales. There used to be so much gambling going o n, well well, Las Vegas had nothing on it. You could go rou nd the back of Garth Terrace any time of the day, you coul d be playing Pontoons, you could be playing Farrel. Micky J ones used to teach us. On the top he would put the Ace, Kin g, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7 and all squares around them. Yo u'd put your money on say the Ace, and he would turn a car d over, and if it was an ace he would take the money off. B ut, if the Ace came up second he'd pay you out. So if you p ut threepence on it you'd take sixpence off. But, if two Ac es or two Kings came up he'd win, so the bank always ha d a little better odds. Then there was pitch and toss. You' d put your little china mot down and then scratch a line t o throw from. You'd toss the pennies to get them as close t o the little china pot. The one who got the closest would p ick up the pennies and throw them in the air. All the one s that came down 'heads' he would keep, and all those tha t landed 'tails' the second closest man would then toss the m in the air, and so on and so on. That was pitch and toss . Then of course there was Purling. Purling was just two p ennies. You would bet on if they would 'head' or 'tail.
There was a big circle, and I've seen as many as 40 or 50 p eople in it. One of them, Eddie Hunt, would say "C'mon hea ds for Eddie" when he threw his pennies in the air. I've se en people winning £5 having only started with say 5 shillin gs. That was Purling. Then, when the police came, someone w ould shout "Police, Police" and everyone would scatter al l over the place. Mr Dunford from the bottom of the hill th ere, he was the policeman for the area and he'd come now an d then, just to keep the boys on their toes. But, I don't t hink he ever caught anybody!
S.O.Davies was the M.P for Merthyr Tydfil in the twenties a nd thirties, Labour of course. The first socialist M.P. i n Britain came from Merthyr. I remember in the early days o ur house used to be turned into committee rooms for Will Ow en to stand as the local councillor. These were the days o f the means test, when they would come up to your house. I f you had items in the house, you'd havr to sell them befor e they would give you any benefit money. In our house, m y Grandmother was the head of the home, at 18 Darren View . My mother and father were there too, but it was my Grandm other who was the head. Every morning you would get up an d the fire would be lit by one of the women. They'd black l ead the grate and clean the brasses around the fireplace. T here were no carpets, just rag mats which my Grandmother us ed to make. On a Sunday morning we would all help togethe r preparing vegetables for our Sunday dinner. After dinner , all the women would wash the dishes, and then the famil y would dress up in their 'Sunday best' clothes for the 6'o 'clock evening service at church. We'd have tea before we w ent, usually fry up using any vegetables that were left fro m dinner. Then it was off to church, Presbyterian at Penyar d Forward Movement Church, and Watkin Williams the minister . He was a Military Cross Captain from the army during th e 1914-18 war. He had a lot of friends in London from his a rmy days, and when he visited them, he would cadge as man y things as possible to bring back to the poor people of Pe nyard. He was one of the greatest men I have ever known. H e lived for the people and died for the people. My brothe r Raymond wrote a poem after Watkin Williams died. Monday s was always wash day. Out would come the big old tub, it w as huge. Large buckets of water were poured into the tub an d out would come the scrubbing board. Hard graft! If you ha d miners in the family, well their clothes were dirty, real ly dirty. Perhaps another of my brothers poems describe i t accurately. The washtubs gave people  a lot of arthr itis in their time without a doubt, her hands were cripple d before she died. I remember well that her and my Grandmot her worked hard on the washtub. Then came Tuesday, which w as ironing day of course. They dried all the clothes on th e fender in front of the fire. Beside that of course, the y had to do all the cooking and everything else, and the mo ney was tight, there's no doubt about it. If possible she w ould try and find a bit of work and go cleaning down Mrs Jo nes. Later in life she got work in the laundry. It's funn y those women, they never stop, all their lives they worked . Their homes were like little palaces, you could eat off t he floor, they were clean, they worked hard.
During the 1920's and 30's most of the work for women was i n service, there was nothing else for them to do. So they w ould go and work for other women for a penny or tuppence a n hour, doing the ironing, piles and piles of ironing fo r a couple of coppers so that they could buy something fo r the children. When I think of the work people had, and ve ry little money to get by. My father had been in the 1914-1 8 war and came home with Asthma. He was given a little pens ion. So, with his little pension, there would always be peo ple around trying to borrow it. He'd have it on a Monday an d lend some of it out, and then go out on Friday trying t o get it back off them. Very hard, very very hard. Yes, dur ing the 20's and 30's in the valleys, times were very hard , and people used to live in each others houses, there wer e no doors locked at night or in the day. All of a sudden t he door would open, and we could be in the tub bathing! Mr s Lucas who lived next door but one would come in and she' d be talking away as we were bathing in front of her. Every body would come to our house, "...can I borrow a cup of sug ar?", "...can I borrow a little tea?". And, of course th e teapot was always there, with plenty of Welshcakes for an yone that called. Then, the last thing at night, my fathe r would clean all the childrens shoes, so that when we go t up for school in the morning we all had clean shoes. Yes , times were hard then, but we also had a lot of fun as chi ldren.
As I said earlier, Penyard was a lovely place to live. I h ope you have enjoyed these memories of Merthyr and Penyar d in particular. Thankyou. Geoffrey Hubert HOWARD and Elizabeth Irene TYPE had the following children:



Peter Geoffrey HOWARD.



Paul John HOWARD.