When my father died

By Avril Jones, Banwen Neath

I was five when my father died - the youngest of 10 children, the oldest being 20. My dad who was only 44 had been ill for many years with dust and then TB.

Before his funeral my sister, two of my young brothers and myself were sent to stay with my uncle and auntie up in Pontneathvaughn. My uncle was a blacksmith and we were allowed to watch him at work. I was too young to realise what had happened to my dad.

A few weeks later the miners put on a benefit concert for our family and I can remember being upstairs in the front row of the Glynneath miners welfare hall listening to another one of my uncles singing. He had a lovely tenor voice. (He went on to sing up in London with an opera company.

Life was hard for my mother but she did her best for us in every way. She died in 1992 aged 88.

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