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First Pint

First Pint

Under age drinking – Dai Edwards lived at the top of Heolgerrig with Maggie Soap, so named for her habit of rubbing soap into her hair to give it body. Dai once hid all his money beneath the floorboards of the caravan. Months later he discovered that it all disappeared. It had been eaten by mice. Dai is giving Justin James a taste of beer in the Heolgerrig Social Club.

Mad Malcolm

Mad Malcolm

No chemical substance was too hot for Malcolm. He had just taken some speed with his cider before I photographed him. He died after hitting a wall at high speed on a motorbike while fleeing the police. A lovely friendly type.

Old Mr and Mrs Jones and their family

Old Mr and Mrs Jones and their family

Old Mister Jones is sitting on the far left and Old Misses Jones is holding the baby. The family were Romany Gypsies who sold their caravan and settled in a house off Bethesda Street. They are descendants of the Famous Romany  King - Abram Wood. His grand-daughter was Alabaina Wood , who married a Mr Jones from the Lleyn.  Unusually, she kept the surname of her husband for her and her family.  Although, the family was known by the nickname of "Alabaina"

 

 

Dai Passmore

Dai Passmore

Dai Passmore and his dog - Dai could often be found wandering the slag tips above Heolgerrig. He had a complex of sheds at the bottom of the tips where he kept ferrets and pigs. He used to be seen driving a horse and cart around town. He liked Stout. This photograph was taken on Jan 4th 1972. It started to snow just as I took the photograph. It was a very light snow. I came across Tudor as he paused for breath while walking on the steep tip. It remember it so well because it was at this precise moment that my Nan passed away.

Billy Diana

Billy Diana

Billy loved to woo the women with his sexy rendition of Paul Anka’s Diana - his signature tune. After a few pints you couldn’t stop him. He would gyrate his hips wildly in an Elvis Presley style.

Bill Baldy

Bill Baldy

He was nearly seventy. He drank rough cider in Ye Old Express and rolled his own from the nips of used cigarettes which he recycled from the ashtrays and stored in a little tin box - Mintoes he called them. He would quote the Iranian poet Omar Khayyam “Let us be happy, Time is passing by. There is no return, when you go you are gone.” And he would drink every day until he was legless. He would drink anything and claimed he once drank Brasso. “I’ve never fucking worked and I never fucking will,” was his motto.

William Billingsley

William Billingsley

 He lived with his son, Ken. He died in the early 80s and was almost 102.  William loved to knit and often knitted socks and blankets.  He was a  real character.  He loved to cook curries.

Tex Jones

Tex Jones

Tex was the father of my school friend Wayne. He lived on the Gurnos Estate and was crazy about the Wild West. He was a very skilled leather worker and made belts, wallets and all sorts of things. He made a stool out of a Western Saddle and perched on it he would eat baked beans from a tin while watching Westerns on the television. I photographed him at Morlais Castle quarry not far from his home.

Dai llewelyn

Dai llewelyn

 Not quite the World’s best gurner but he did come 3rd in the World Gurning Championships 1968. The Welsh colliers were adept at pulling funny faces.

God in Denin on the British Tip in Merthyr

God in Denin on the British Tip in Merthyr

God in denim on the British Tip in Merthyr. “I’m God, take my photograph,” he shouted at me as I was passing. His name was "Sheppy" and he lived on the Brecon Road. He hung out with "Malcolm the Mad Axe-man" who killed himself by jumping off Cefn Viaduct.

Lewis Evans and his wife Martha

Lewis Evans and his wife Martha

Lewis was a collier and a music teacher. Outside his front door was a brass plaque that read ìLewis Evans Piano Teacherî. He once wrote a song which was published. They had a fabulous range fireplace. When they passed away the house was completely renovated.

Two Women in Georgetown

Two Women in Georgetown

Two women gossiping in Bethesda street near Jackson’s bridge, Georgetown

Uncle Les

Uncle Les

Uncle Les asleep in the sun - Les was my Auntie Rhoda’s husband. On Sundays in the summer they would often take me out in the car for a picnic. Les liked to drive to the nearby Brecon Beacons. There we would have sweet tea, ham sandwiches and cream cakes laid out on a cloth. Afterwards Les would invariably fall asleep in the sun. Rhoda would worry about him being burnt and would attempt to cover him with the cloth. It was a miracle she never suffocated him. I always remember an occasion at their home when she once woke him up because he hadn’t taken his sleeping tablet.

Tommy Gravedigger

Tommy Gravedigger

Tommy Gravedigger removing a dead mouse from a grave – Mice often fall into open graves at night and are invariable found dead in the morning. Tommy had buried over 7,000 at Cefn Cemetery. He was the caretaker of the dead from Heolgerrig. He knew where every family was buried. His wife had died twenty years earlier after choking on an apple. He gave her a lovely spot, he said, sheltered by the trees. Occasionally when he walked around the cemetery his attention would inexplicably be drawn to a gravestone. It was a sign that there was going to be a death in that family, he claimed.

Young Family

Young Family

Members of Jackie and Queenie’s Gypsy family outside their first home in Georgetown

Arwen and Mel

Arwen and Mel

Arwel Reed and Mel Jones emerge after a good afternoon session in The Six Bells. Arwel was a young police officer. He used to go fishing with Mel who was a very keen fisherman.

First Pint

Under age drinking – Dai Edwards lived at the top of Heolgerrig with Maggie Soap, so named for her habit of rubbing soap into her hair to give it body. Dai once hid all his money beneath the floorboards of the caravan. Months later he discovered that it all disappeared. It had been eaten by mice. Dai is giving Justin James a taste of beer in the Heolgerrig Social Club.

Mad Malcolm

No chemical substance was too hot for Malcolm. He had just taken some speed with his cider before I photographed him. He died after hitting a wall at high speed on a motorbike while fleeing the police. A lovely friendly type.

Old Mr and Mrs Jones and their family

Old Mister Jones is sitting on the far left and Old Misses Jones is holding the baby. The family were Romany Gypsies who sold their caravan and settled in a house off Bethesda Street. They are descendants of the Famous Romany  King - Abram Wood. His grand-daughter was Alabaina Wood , who married a Mr Jones from the Lleyn.  Unusually, she kept the surname of her husband for her and her family.  Although, the family was known by the nickname of "Alabaina"

 

 

Dai Passmore

Dai Passmore and his dog - Dai could often be found wandering the slag tips above Heolgerrig. He had a complex of sheds at the bottom of the tips where he kept ferrets and pigs. He used to be seen driving a horse and cart around town. He liked Stout. This photograph was taken on Jan 4th 1972. It started to snow just as I took the photograph. It was a very light snow. I came across Tudor as he paused for breath while walking on the steep tip. It remember it so well because it was at this precise moment that my Nan passed away.

Billy Diana

Billy loved to woo the women with his sexy rendition of Paul Anka’s Diana - his signature tune. After a few pints you couldn’t stop him. He would gyrate his hips wildly in an Elvis Presley style.

Bill Baldy

He was nearly seventy. He drank rough cider in Ye Old Express and rolled his own from the nips of used cigarettes which he recycled from the ashtrays and stored in a little tin box - Mintoes he called them. He would quote the Iranian poet Omar Khayyam “Let us be happy, Time is passing by. There is no return, when you go you are gone.” And he would drink every day until he was legless. He would drink anything and claimed he once drank Brasso. “I’ve never fucking worked and I never fucking will,” was his motto.

William Billingsley

 He lived with his son, Ken. He died in the early 80s and was almost 102.  William loved to knit and often knitted socks and blankets.  He was a  real character.  He loved to cook curries.

Tex Jones

Tex was the father of my school friend Wayne. He lived on the Gurnos Estate and was crazy about the Wild West. He was a very skilled leather worker and made belts, wallets and all sorts of things. He made a stool out of a Western Saddle and perched on it he would eat baked beans from a tin while watching Westerns on the television. I photographed him at Morlais Castle quarry not far from his home.

Dai llewelyn

 Not quite the World’s best gurner but he did come 3rd in the World Gurning Championships 1968. The Welsh colliers were adept at pulling funny faces.

God in Denin on the British Tip in Merthyr

God in denim on the British Tip in Merthyr. “I’m God, take my photograph,” he shouted at me as I was passing. His name was "Sheppy" and he lived on the Brecon Road. He hung out with "Malcolm the Mad Axe-man" who killed himself by jumping off Cefn Viaduct.

Lewis Evans and his wife Martha

Lewis was a collier and a music teacher. Outside his front door was a brass plaque that read ìLewis Evans Piano Teacherî. He once wrote a song which was published. They had a fabulous range fireplace. When they passed away the house was completely renovated.

Two Women in Georgetown

Two women gossiping in Bethesda street near Jackson’s bridge, Georgetown

Uncle Les

Uncle Les asleep in the sun - Les was my Auntie Rhoda’s husband. On Sundays in the summer they would often take me out in the car for a picnic. Les liked to drive to the nearby Brecon Beacons. There we would have sweet tea, ham sandwiches and cream cakes laid out on a cloth. Afterwards Les would invariably fall asleep in the sun. Rhoda would worry about him being burnt and would attempt to cover him with the cloth. It was a miracle she never suffocated him. I always remember an occasion at their home when she once woke him up because he hadn’t taken his sleeping tablet.

Tommy Gravedigger

Tommy Gravedigger removing a dead mouse from a grave – Mice often fall into open graves at night and are invariable found dead in the morning. Tommy had buried over 7,000 at Cefn Cemetery. He was the caretaker of the dead from Heolgerrig. He knew where every family was buried. His wife had died twenty years earlier after choking on an apple. He gave her a lovely spot, he said, sheltered by the trees. Occasionally when he walked around the cemetery his attention would inexplicably be drawn to a gravestone. It was a sign that there was going to be a death in that family, he claimed.

Young Family

Members of Jackie and Queenie’s Gypsy family outside their first home in Georgetown

Arwen and Mel

Arwel Reed and Mel Jones emerge after a good afternoon session in The Six Bells. Arwel was a young police officer. He used to go fishing with Mel who was a very keen fisherman.

First Pint
Mad Malcolm
Old Mr and Mrs Jones and their family
Dai Passmore
Billy Diana
Bill Baldy
William Billingsley
Tex Jones
Dai llewelyn
God in Denin on the British Tip in Merthyr
Lewis Evans and his wife Martha
Two Women in Georgetown
Uncle Les
Tommy Gravedigger
Young Family
Arwen and Mel