David Jones & Catherine Raymond

Memories of my Grandparents

My mother's parents were especially dear to me. My paternal grandmother had a host of grandchildren so I was one of many older cousins. By contrast, I was my maternal grand-parents' first born grandchild, and from things said in the family, I would guess that they made a great fuss of my brother David and of me.

I had been born about ten minutes away from their home, and for the first six months of my life I would have been taken to see them very regularly.

Because of my father's promotion, my parents moved home when I was six months old, and so visits by train, to my grand-parents have remained clearly in my mind.

Nana suffered badly from arthritis and was often bed-ridden. Our visits apparently perked up my Nana and she would manage to get downstairs to make apple pies, Welsh cakes and little stone bottles of small-beer and ginger beer in preparation of our arrival. I can see these stone bottles now, standing on the Welsh dresser,  waiting for us.

In their small back garden, my Grandparents used to grown some vegetables, such as kidney beans, which my mother loved. They also kept chickens which my mother's young cousin Norma, on her visits, used to sing to. My Grandpa, [ her Uncle Davey] used to pick up an egg and say it was her singing that made the bird lay an egg. She said he was so kindly.

When I was a small child, my Grandpa David used to take me for walks in the nearby Penygraig Park where he played bowls. Grandpa would talk to the old men sitting on a bench in the sun, whilst I played. As I lived by the sea-side and played in sand regularly, I recall jumping down into the sand surrounding the bowling green and he had to explain to me kindly that I must not do that in future.

On his way to work, early in the mornings, he would climb the stone steps at the side of the house, and when he was level with my back bedroom, he would often see me peeping out and smilingly blow me a kiss and a wave. Later in the day, I would wait on the front steps of their house, for him to come back home again. Whilst I waited, many coal blackened faces with white around the eyes smiled at me, as the colliers marched up the hill on their way to their homes. My Bampa, a blacksmith,  would be coming along too in his working clothes.

I recall playing with my Mother's doll's pram and doll. The pram was a wicker one on an iron frame. I had to be careful with her doll as she had a china face. I must have been allowed to take the pram and doll out to visit nearby family in Amos Hill, as I can remember pushing the pram with my mother beside me, up the hill to my Grandparents home.

David and Catherine had three children, my mother Friswyth and two brothers, Horace Raymond and Leslie David.

David and Catherine died together at their home in Field Street, Penygraig on Easter Sunday, 1939.

Their Gravestone at Trealaw Cemetery.