Seligor's Castle, fun for all the children of the world.
Tue, 10 Mar 2009
The Big Pit - Blaenavon. Alexander Cordell - My Diary 1853|
My Diary, Bryn Roberts,
Monday 28th February 1853.
Today has been one of the worst days
of my life. I
will be glad to leave this God forsaken canal and
the barge, anything than spend another day like this!
To begin with it has been snowing for most of the
day, my feet are cold, my hands are skinned to the
bone where the damned tow rope kept slipping
through them. God how I hate this job.
Ha! A job, I don't even get paid for it. "you've
got to be fourteen before you get any money boyo".
Oh yeah, fourteen before I get any money but six
when I started walking the paths, even towing the
ropes with my brothers when the damn horse went
sick or lame.
No I've had enough, cramped up in a tiny cabin with
three sisters, the oldest not yet nine, the
youngest not yet walking. Maybe that's a blessing
at least one less under my feet. I suppose I should
be grateful that I've got under the table to sleep
by myself now that Iolo has left for the mines. My
heart still grieves for Iolo, still it was his
decision. Poor Mam, she was looking very old this
morning Gone her lovely black hair, now just grey
and going more grey with each rising day.
Old Mostyn Evans died this morning of the Cholera,
they say three of his young ones will be gone in
the next day or two as well. Poor Mrs Evans I
suppose it will be the Workhouse for her and
Myfanwy and Rhian, God help them.
I counted seventeen rats this afternoon down by the
lock gate. It made me wonder if Istyn Morris lost
his leg down at Neath or if the rats ate it whilst
he was asleep. If the Navvies from England kept
their rubbish proper like us Welsh, then maybe
there wouldn't be so many rats.
I heard from Marie Lloyd that two children where
drowned at Resolven Yesterday, two less mouths to
feed. Still t'is sad to think of so many children
dying this way and most of them not reached their
ninth birthday. Still who wants birthday's, nothing
to look forward to there either.
"No money Bryn" Dada would say. "You know what it's
like in winter, and now with these railways taking
all our business we'd probably do better going on a
ship to America along with the Irish."
Well this is me, thirteen in a months time and
nothing to look forward to except more blisters and
chilblains this winter and more sunburnt backs and
arms in summer. Not if I can help it! Not me. I'll
follow Iolo down the pit, not good but nothing
could be worse than this. But how can I go, what
would happen to Mam and Dada.
Still it's nice to
Goodnight Dada, I love you Mam. Time to sleep.
excerpt from one of the books written by
the wonderful Alexander Cordell. start with "The
Fire People" get hooked and then the first Trilogy,
"The Rape of a Fair Country" "The Hosts of
"Songs of the
Earth" Da Iawn, as we say
My Mum is Wonderful
I am going to try to make these Strawberry Muffins
for mu Mum, She can't eat them as she's on a diet
but it's the thought that counts, not the calories!
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