Family History, An Anniversary & Washing Machines!

Friday 4th June 2021

A busy day today, on starting the engine this morning I found one of the alternator belts had shredded itself, so my first job was to fit the spare.  We had arranged to meet Jer today in Gloucester, but being delayed he came to us and collected our defunct generator and was press-ganged into loading the faulty Candy washing machine into the car. If we didn’t have bad luck we’d have no luck today, eh?

The day got better however, I had contacted Stephens Electrical in Gloucester and arranged to drop the washing machine off with them to see if it could be repaired, but just-in-case I had located a small Zanussi machine for £30 which we decided to buy in case the Candy couldn’t be repaired.  The only problem was it was in Wales.

Having dropped off the Candy we headed for Tredegar via the A40 which was a pleasant drive ending with the Heads of the Valleys Road. We had a late lunch at Wetherspoons’ Olympia in Tredegar and were almost on time to collect the Zanussi at 3:30.

Cuba Inn, but not my family

Before returning we drove into Dowlais (Merthyr Tydfil) where my dad lived as a young man in the early 1900s and tried to locate some of the places where he lived.

The 1911 census records the family living at The Cuba Inn but there is no trace of it, the area having been redeveloped and the Iron & Steel Works where the men worked is long demolished. Granddad was a ‘Joiner’, Dad a ‘Wagon Repairer’ and my Uncle Chris  a ‘Smith’s Striker’ (the assistant who swung the sledgehammer for a blacksmith) at just 14, no wonder he left for Brisbane in 1926!

We passed the ‘slag heap’ where dad took a photo of this accident with a half plate camera, the slag is now being reprocessed to extract ‘small coal’ to make into briquettes like we burn on our stove.

It looks more attractive today, see top photo.

We drove back over the old Severn Bridge and took the side roads towards Thornbury and returned via the A38. We had intended to leave the washer in the car until we could get one of  our friends to unload it, but on our return another boat had joined us on the mooring and the owner helped me to get it aboard.

Joy and I wiggled the machine through the boat and found it was just an inch deeper than the Candy which caused a bit of extra grunting, heaving and removing a door, but we got it into place and tested it. All was OK and we decided we would keep it and sell the Candy if it could be mended.

Saturday 5th June 2021

Margaret & me

Some weeks ago I received a message through Ancestry from a lady in Australia who is descended from my grandmother’s sister (are you following this so far?) The reason for the contact was that a DNA match had connected her with a cousin of mine in the UK who my family was unaware of, she is my dad’s elder brother’s granddaughter.

After exchanging some emails we arranged for her to visit and after lunch at the Fromebridge Mill we spent the afternoon getting to know one-another and unravelling our family histories.

Sunday 6th June 2021

Yesterday was our friends Carol & Ted’s Golden Wedding Anniversary and we were invited to join them today for a barbecue, we were picked up and chauffeured there by John and Lis and we spent a lovely afternoon chatting and reminiscing about past years.

Well that, is enough for you to digest in one sitting, I will continue in another episode before I forget what we did!

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