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16 October 2014

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The Dynamic Duo

By Marian and Becky
November 2006, Caerphilly
A digital story from Breaking Barriers

"I was one of eight children. I was the youngest of five sisters. I lived with my grandmother but my sisters lived with my mother and father who were a lot stricter than my grandmother. My sisters had to go outside to do their makeup. Only a small amount was allowed to be put on in the house. At the time they were eighteen and nineteen, and they were dancing crazy. I was thirteen so I really couldn't see the fuss about the makeup. They used to go to the square at Bargoed where there were toilets, to a room called the wash and brush up room to put on their makeup. Then they'd walk through the town to the Café Ballroom to dance.

Then one night they ended up talking to boys and realised the time. They ran home forgetting they still had the makeup on. My father saw their faces, my mother threw cheese at them, it was the only thing she could get hold of. It missed them and they ducked and hit the door which was half glass. The glass smashed, my sisters ended up paying for the glass, but I couldn't understand because my mother had smashed it. My father then said, "Get that muck off your face!" There was no bathroom, just the sink and the soap dish. The closest thing was a flannel. It was Welsh flannel which was very rough cloth. He then got hold of them and scrubbed it off. The next day their faces were raw.

My sisters worked in Western Super Mare and they came home with their hair peroxide. You could hear my dad screaming from the mountain. He kept them inside 'til they had to go back to work. How their hair never fell out I'll never know. You could hear it sizzling. It would burn the colour out. I could see this going on at home and being able to go to the calm of my grandmother's".

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