The Best in the Borough
Fred Payne takes us down his street Bryntaf with stories that few remember, giving future generations a glimpse of community life as it was back then.
"Empty of cars but full of people - the best street in the Borough it was called. It's where I've always lived.
Before I was even born the street was well known for its jazz band. They won numerous cups and shields and we became world champions at Crystal Palace in 1937. They even built and arena in the Quarry in the street to practise in. You can imagine the drums echoing and the kazoos playing. You could hear them from far away.
After the War, when I was young, my father would take me to some of the competitions and if they won they would march through the streets, sometime late at night, with their trophies. You knew they were coming by the sound of the drums.
Generations of families lived in the street. Committees were formed to raise money for all the different activities that everyone in the street joined in. I can remember early carnivals and as children we also went to Barry Island. The first trip had 23 buses lined up and ready to go and we were given pocket money and squash. Outsiders had to pay of course!
It continued when I had children of my own. We still had carnivals, sports, days, Easter bonnets. Father Christmas came through the street every year. Sorry Bryn, all the children knew who you were.
Myself and my children used to take part. I won first prize one year and no, I'm not the dog. Later on, my daughter became carnival queen for the village.
It's all changed now. Not many of the old faces are left and I miss all the things we used to do together. No room for buses now - it's a job to park there are so many cars.
I'd rather see the street empty of cars but full of people, as it was."