Crossed paths in the past

By Christopher Cavanagh, Dagenham

My father in law was born in 1932. As a lad he had to work down the mines to support his family. His father was lame so he had no option, often lying about his age to get a job.

On a recent visit to the Rhondda my wife and I retraced his journey to the mine. He told me that he had to walk miles. He would leave his house in Cymmer, Porth and walk up a hill to Trebanog.

I took some pictures of a very picturesque valley from the Trebanog Arms. According to the hearsay of locals there was a mine down there somewhere.

My father in law says he has no fond memories of Wales and was glad when his family uprooted to London. He said he would go down the mine in the dark in the morning and come out in the dark in the evening. He rarely saw daylight for long periods.

My mother was born in Newport in 1925 and went to London when she was two. Her father fled Wales with his family because there was no work. During the war my mother returned to Wales to live and work in Treorchy, a couple of miles from Trebanog.

My wife and I feel that fate has brought us together. My mother and her father had a lot in common. They lived and worked within a few miles of each other during the war.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.