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LITERARY
FOCHRIW
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FOCHRIW.

I stood upon the mountain side, a bit confused because
it's hardly recognisable, from the way it was.
Lets try and turn the clock back, to nineteen fifty three.
But first I must remember, there's not much left to see.
So memories it is then, I will do my best
trying to recall things, use imagination for the rest.
Then I started to remember, the way things used to be,
faces, places and happenings, all came racing back to me.
Two schools on the mountainside, replacing the one in the Co-op,
one was called the infants school, the other aptly named the top.
It was there we met Mariah, she had taught our parents too,
she was much more than a teacher, and helped us as we grew.
Olive May Payne and so many called Jones's, and there's some more to thank,
Headmaster Danny Jenkins, he was followed there by Frank.
If you wished to leave the village, road and rail was the rule,
but there was another way to go, through the gates of Fochriw school..
The school was in the export trade, it really was something grand,
It’s teachers turned out teachers, who taught throughout the land.
How many names are still the same, when they call that register?
Are there Jones, Rees or Evans. Gittings and Hollister.
Watkins, Cumpstone, Lawrence and Woods, Sullivan, Shankland or Games,
Morgan , Edwards, Thomas and Price, Dummett or Doyle and James?
And what did we kids find to do, when our school day was done.
We had our tea and went right back, it was time to have some fun.
In the school they held the Youth Club, with dancing, football and art
and Mr Howell Owen ensured drama played a part.
Mr Emlyn Evans took us for walks, teaching Geology,
the places were familiar, but there was so much more to see.
Up the mountain till it was dark, Band of Hope, and Ambulance class,
Not forgetting there was homework, we still had exams to pass
It wasn't always good times, of tragedy, we had our share,
but no one suffered all alone.  We showed them we could care.
“No son of mine will go down a pit,” how often we heard it said,
but where were the alternatives, they had to earn their bread.
There they learned how to survive, how to help and how to care,
how to share, how to forgive, virtues useful anywhere.
They had two pits in Deri it meant taking three mile trips
The P.D.'s had closed ours, took the coal and left the tips.
The station was a busy one and Porters did their share,
digging the Station Master’s garden, the Signalman cut your hair.
The trains ran through the station, on the Brecon-Newport line,
but Beeching put a stop to that, it was the start of the decline.
The Church was on the Pentwyn Road, we had four Chapels too,
we were not all religious, but they helped to see us through.
Whitsun was the time for marching, then we took our plates for tea,
in July we went to Barry and every thing was free.
We always went by special train, and as soon as we got in,
we were ready for our lunches, when passing Ael y Bryn.