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16 October 2014

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By Reg Jones
June 2005, New Tredegar
A digital story from Breaking Barriers

"I was born, bred and still live in New Tredegar. I lived in School Street, Elliot's town. My first school was Elliot's Town Infants and I moved up to the Junior school, the top school as it was called. We lived very near to Elliot's Town Colliery so me and the guys spent many hours playing among the dust and the dirt. We would run along the blast pipe, never seeing any danger, I was sure we could have run all the way from Longrow to Barry Island on that blast pipe, especially in our new daps - we were experts, very rarely we fell off.

Summers seemed to last for ever, we never heard of global warming. Then it was Grammar school for the bright ones, Secondary Modern (well, it sounded good) for the not to bright ones. So, Secondary Modern or Central as it was called was where I ended up. But I believe that Central was the school of life, and where would we be without a life? Why it was called Central I don't know, it seemed miles from School Street, we didn't have cars to chauffer you round in those days.

I left school at 15 and started work in the colliery. I realised it was about time I started courting, so I popped next door and found what I was looking for. Eventually we got married, had two children both beginning their education in the old junior school and then in the new school. My wife spent most of her working life in both schools as a teacher and, until her retirement, deputy head mistress. This school had been built on land reclaimed from the colliery and very soon there will be a brand new state-of-the-art community school and community centre. Both built on land reclaimed from the Elliot Colliery.

When I stand at the bottom of Longrow, and look at all the changes I still see the old mining house and remember where I played as a boy and worked as a young man before too long I'll be a senior citizen enjoying facilities of the new community centre."

Reg Jones

Your comments

"I lived in New Tredegar as a child and I remember the old gas pipe running through Elliots' colliery, your story brought back so many memories. Well done. " Mrs Thomas, Sept 2007

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