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 Snowfall of 1947
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pierre
Webmaster

United Kingdom
13893 Posts

Posted - 27/01/2013 :  21:27:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our good friend Emrys has kindly sent in the following pictures of snowfall in the town in 1947 after a request was made on the forum












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Polo6
Full Member

60 Posts

Posted - 27/01/2013 :  21:38:44 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Emrys + Pierre!
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cupcake
Super Member

5369 Posts

Posted - 27/01/2013 :  22:15:12 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fantastic pictures of the 1947 snow ,i've heard so much about it but to see the pictures is really something else ,a big thank you Emrys for sharing them with us and also a big thank you to pierre for putting them on the forum ,Cupcake
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morgan.m
Super Member

1184 Posts

Posted - 27/01/2013 :  22:29:20 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Both
I can recall as if it was yesterday sledging from Bournville on To Gelli Rd past your house Emrys down past the Gem shop stopping by Whitehorns the Blacksmith then do it all over again brilliant and no traffic to worry about
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Bryan Rendell
Super Member

United Kingdom
1788 Posts

Posted - 27/01/2013 :  23:09:14 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wonderful pictures Emrys.

I was 14 years of age at the time and Snow in Kimberley Terrace and Mafeking Terrace was nearly up to the upstairs window sills.

The miners couldn't get to work and they tunneled the snow from the pavements ,so making access possible.

There was only one house in the street with water - all the others had frozen up.

Food and coal was delivered to the station and had to be collected by our sledges.

Even relief trains were getting stuck.

Our greatest joy was sledging down The Big Hill, from Mt. Pleasant to just before the Police Station, where Sgt. Evans was waiting to pinch our sledges


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trefilboy
Advanced Member

Canada
304 Posts

Posted - 28/01/2013 :  01:04:57 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After reading all the comments on this site over the past week, it makes me wonder with all the technology, facilities (snow clearing, computer planning models etc.) and the modern vehicles we have, would we be any better (or even worse) getting around if a snow storm like this happenned again - and it's going to by the way.

trefilboy
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emrys
Advanced Member

715 Posts

Posted - 28/01/2013 :  02:23:57 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sledges in those days were usually home made from tiny pieces of wood barely a foot long with bucket handles straightened out for runners,barely big enough to get ones btm aboard and at that mere inches from the road. Can't ever remember seeing shop bought sleighs or ones to accommodate more than one person on the hills in Tredegar. Emrys.
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morgan.m
Super Member

1184 Posts

Posted - 28/01/2013 :  09:13:57 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Emrys Yes ash bucket handles was the best for the runners and there was quite a lot of buckets missing from streets of peoples houses resulting in Charles & Finch the Ironmonger selling quite a lot of new buckets ha ha , we also used Lathes from old beds as runners.
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darole
Super Member

United Kingdom
2618 Posts

Posted - 28/01/2013 :  09:57:18 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Emrys brilliant photos I am wondering if you can help me I am after a specific photo from the blizzard of 1947 it was taken outside of a local bakery and it shows men carrying bread
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darole
Super Member

United Kingdom
2618 Posts

Posted - 28/01/2013 :  10:01:29 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our sleigh run was from the top of Cefn Golau Hill to the bottom of stable lane great going down shear hell pulling the sleigh back to the top.

Again our sleighs used bucket handles as runners, mind you I did a fair bit of running after steeling the handles off our neighbors
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Daleks
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
482 Posts

Posted - 28/01/2013 :  10:18:39 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We in Sirhowy also used the same old bucket handles for our "hooks and wheels" once the snows had gone. We used to run for miles with these gadgets no wonder I became a fairly decent sprinter later on in my youth.
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milkman
Super Member

United Kingdom
1624 Posts

Posted - 28/01/2013 :  11:47:45 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nothing to do with snow but I took the G/children to the Black Country museum.
They had a couple of hooks and wheels and whips and tops there.
I started using a hook and wheel and people looked on in amazement. Not a single person there had ever seen one in use. They had been picking them up and wondering what on earth they were used for.
Shows I am getting on a bit.
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emrys
Advanced Member

715 Posts

Posted - 28/01/2013 :  15:27:43 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did my time with a hook and wheel (and was very proud of it) which we then called a "bowlie". Mine was made by Mr Whitehorn and the "hook" was connected to the "wheel" but many were simply a seperate "wheel" being struck by a piece of wood. Would look strange nowadays to see a youngster using a "bowlie" but I think it was a very old form of entertainment. Many were made on the Q.T. at the works. It seems to me that everyone had something made at the works, pokers being the most common, often with the handle composed of many different materials, then turned on a lathe and polished. Another popular "product from the works was a half inch thick bake stone for making Welsh cakes. I knew one person who every day brought home (from the works of course) a block of wood in his food bag,(an old army gas mask case) with the wood partly sawn though, easily seperated to light his fire the following morning. Miners lamps were strictly numbered and collected at the end of a shift but during the 194i and 1947 cold winters it was quite amazing how many miners lamps ended up in outside toilets trying to stop the pipes freezing. My neighbour worked in the company stores at the foot of Bridge St and told me that when the NCB was disposing of surplus miners lamps they were sold at 1/- each
People,particularly children, in those days derived so much pleasure from home made bits'n'pieces combined with a bit of imagination. Doubt if we will ever see those times again.Emrys.
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cupcake
Super Member

5369 Posts

Posted - 28/01/2013 :  20:50:53 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well how i've enjoyed reading the different postings about the 1947 snow ,it seems to be the children had much more fun than they do today and the people pulled together and helped eachother ,keep the stories coming in please ,enjoying reading about them so much
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Daleks
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
482 Posts

Posted - 29/01/2013 :  12:03:57 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Besides bowlies and pokers (and blowers) made at the Works does anyone remember "jackstones" being made there ? I think they were a by-product of the process of holes punched in metal sheets and we used to use them in a game similar to marbles.
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emrys
Advanced Member

715 Posts

Posted - 29/01/2013 :  16:18:04 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, Morgan. I think I was a little before your time on sledding down Gelli road but I did the same route starting at Bourneville Terrace although it seems to me we always stopped just shy of the tar shed where someone had created a tump of snow. On the corner of Picton St, and Gelli Road there was an old man. (very unpopular) who, ( it seems to me, year after year) when our "slide'"was at its best would throw a bucket of ashes on to the fastest section of the slide.When you were unaware of this you come down the hill at a fast pace, then when you hit the ashes your sled would stop but naturally, perched on that tiny piece of sled, you would be propelled forward minus your sled; this accounted for a lot of torn trousers. This disruption of the slide would last until some one brought buckets of water which would re-freeze the slide in a very short time.
I'm of the generation when schoolboys traditionally wore short pants to about the age of 14, sometimes older. In Earl St school it seemed to be that getting to standard six was the long awaited time to switch to"long trousers", a definite sign of growing up. Boys from the Cottage homes always wore short pants way beyond standard six. They always had sturdy boots and very good but short overcoats that stopped just above of the knee. Their haircuts were all the same and of a style not worn by anyone else. Performing the annual "slidefest" in short pants combined usually with "wellies" an obligatory cap, jersey and coat but rarely with gloves made for (viewed from this point in time) somewhat dubious pleasure. Despite the chafing of wet wellies, freezing cold hands and feet, scarred knees etc, one felt it necessary to stay out until total exhaustion would take its toll and the evening would finally end. There was no point in complaining about your various discomforts and abrasions when you got home as one would get no sympathy other than the comment, "you should'nt have stayed out so long". Unless of course a grandmother was present when you would be complaining. Grandmothers (usually, at least to young boys) were much more likley to offer sympathy and offer a hot cup of cocoa than mothers (and fathers) would. Grandmothers.(God Bless 'em), as all children will attest grandparents are much more understanding than one's parents.
Regarding the age/point at which a youngster "graduated" to long trousers. In 1937 my cousin aged 8 came back from America where she had lived for seven years. She was made fun of a lot at school because she had an American accent and, (although it was never admitted by the school )placed in a class doing work that she had done years earlier so she was somewhat advanced educationally which didn't go down well with her peers. When her first winter back in Wales started she went to school wearing the same clothes she had at home in Pennsylvania, a very cold state in winter, that is she wore very high boots, long trousers, a heavy woolen top coat, fur hat and mitts. Arriving at school her teacher called her one side and sent her home suggesting she wear different clothes as she was causing so much commotion. Her mother, a small but feisty Welsh lady immediately took her daughter back to the school and tore a strip off the teachers and her daughter's classmates. Some children her age could have been intimidatd by the fuss but my cousin had inherited her mother's character and I think, enjoyed the commotion. All this fuss about correctness of clothing took place during the height of the depression when many kids didn't get enough to eat, often wore hand me down or insufficient clothing which was often inadequate for cold weather. During the thirties and right up to the war, there were soup kitchens for children at the Brethren chapel on Picton St, and at Parry's Hall in Ashvale ; possibly others elsewhere in town. To attend these facilities each child had to supply a bowl and I clearly recall one young boy crying because he had dropped and broken his bowl and was afraid he would lose his dinner. Another bowl was found but this scenario was probably repeated from time to time. Despite the hard times children then were mostly happy and above all were active during their early years. Emrys.
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emrys
Advanced Member

715 Posts

Posted - 29/01/2013 :  16:25:28 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes Daleks, I remember the "jackstones" produced as you say being punched out of heavy metal pieces. Also stone marbles, the same size as glass alleys. These came from the works area encased in what seemed to be hard clay but easy to extract. Never knew if they were part of a process in the works or remnants of the slag left behind from the iron making process. They were perfectly round and could be used as marbles. Emrys.
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emrys
Advanced Member

715 Posts

Posted - 29/01/2013 :  16:40:42 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
P.S If I recall correctly there was a rhyme that went with playing jackstones, each player would put a few on the back of ones hand, flip them up, then reverse your hand to catch them on the palm. As each lost one or two stones in the process you would repeat it at the same time saying something like, "look at the stones in your hand, look at the stones in mine, look at the stones in your hand, there's none at all in mine". You could play the same game but using different words, saying," Look at the nits in your hair, look at the nits in mine, look at the nits in your hair, theres none at all in mine." Ugh, Emrys
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darole
Super Member

United Kingdom
2618 Posts

Posted - 29/01/2013 :  17:57:51 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Emrys I had forgotten the little song that went with jackstones, have to say i was never very good at it
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morgan.m
Super Member

1184 Posts

Posted - 29/01/2013 :  18:04:43 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Emrys
I was deffinatly around your time only 5 Years between us and in 47 I was 14 years old, and the man in question throwing ashes in my day was old man Taylor left of your house being the 1st house in High St with the high wall with glass on top, I can`t ever remember seeing you sledging and I started a young age, I can recall that you went to Canada in 1947 joining the Mounties
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emrys
Advanced Member

715 Posts

Posted - 29/01/2013 :  20:05:39 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, Morgan. Mr Taylor was a grumpy old man at the best of times and disliked by all his neighbours.. The glass on top of the wall had some history. He built the wall just before the war and added a small glass conservatory/porch around this back door. During the war and the blackout he would sometimes leave his back door open and the light from his kitchen would shine through the conservatory porch and be visible outside. This of course was clearly visible from our house across the street so my father went across and drew it to Taylors attention thinking that Taylor possibly wasn't aware of it. Taylor was very rude and told my father to mind his own business. Then the very next night Taylor did it again and after dark could be clearly seen standing in the porch and lit up by the kitchen light. My father ran over and pounded on Taylor's door but he wouldn't open it. Then my father scaled the wall but was unable to see where he would land safely so after verbally chastising Taylor (very loudly, I was there and I recall that George Williams, opposite Taylor was outside listening ) returned home. We didn't have a phone then but my father was determined to report what was a flagrant breach of the blackout regulations. The very next day Taylor added the broken glass to the top of the wall. As he was doing it my father went across and cursed Taylor hoping that he would respond and that fisticuffs would follow. Taylor promptly returned to his house but after that we never saw light in his porch after dark. Not surprised that he would throw ashes on the slide but the one I recall doing it lived near Tyssel Badham. Emrys.
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morgan.m
Super Member

1184 Posts

Posted - 29/01/2013 :  23:36:17 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Emrys
Thanks for your responce yes Taylor was not the nicest person, but regarding the ashes other than Taylor there was only Dembey the corner of Picton St and Walter Badham Tyssels father on the other side both houses on the corner of Picton St and Gelli Rd then Mr Fox the Gem last on Commercial St and all of there sons were sledging with us, Albert, Whyndam, Alan along with the Globe Boys.
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cupcake
Super Member

5369 Posts

Posted - 30/01/2013 :  07:53:39 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks again emrys for such interesting posts ,i too can remember the ashes being thrown on the paths .....a thing of the past ...
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joyce
Full Member

United Kingdom
55 Posts

Posted - 30/01/2013 :  15:58:42 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I enjoyed seeing these photos, which brought back lots of memories. I can remember my mother, Betty Cole,trudging to Troed from James Street in all that snow to treat a patient when she was working as a district nurse. I also remember walking from James Street to Gwyn's Dairy to get milk.

Joyce
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rose bush
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
198 Posts

Posted - 30/01/2013 :  21:41:40 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a brilliant post, Ive loved reading it, Many many thanks to everyone that contributed,My great aunt often talks about the snow of 1947 and now I can tell her i`ve seen the photos.
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pierre
Webmaster

United Kingdom
13893 Posts

Posted - 30/01/2013 :  21:53:27 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Below is a picture of Commercial Street in 1947

GULP



_________________________________________
News & Information on Tredegar since 1991.
Visit the Tredegar Timeline Project at : www.TredegarTimeline.co.uk
Search on this website is your friend!
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