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Happy Birthday Mum…


Yep that’s my mum. Born in Bedwas, a mining village across the valley from Caerphilly, in 1923. And yes she’s 90 today.

She almost didn’t make it past 5 though. My Grandfather, her father, the Welsh speaking one, was a manager at the Colliery there, and she and her two brothers lived in a company house. There were directly under the cable that took the huge cast iron skips full of slag and waste up to the top of the mountain and deposited it on the huge spoil tips  that scarred all the Welsh Valleys. Well one early morning the cable snapped and  several tons of cast iron bucket and slag practically demolished the house, took the roof right off, went through two floors and ended up in the kitchen. They moved to Caerphilly, sharpish.

There, of course, she eventually met my dad, which led to this little event in 1952. My Christening party in our garden in Caerphilly.


Now you can see that all of the folks in that picture are pretty old, except for my parents. Gramp Llewellyn on the left was already 90 there, and gramp Dan (the Welsh speaking one, looking like a pensive Woody Allen, on the right) had just retired from the Colliery aged 70. So I’m afraid that barring Comet strikes, unfortunate accidents and the like, given my gene-pool, you are likely to have to suffer my insane ramblings for another 30 years or so. Oh what joy I hear you all cry! Winking smile

So please raise your glasses to a grand old Dame, the She Elephant of Heath Cardiff, my Mum. A lifetime of sparring with her verbally and mentally has made me the man I am today, and I love her to bits!

Click on the Pics to enlarge.


  1. John Galt says:

    Happy Birthday RAB’s mum.

    I do like your castle. :-)

  2. NickM says:

    Happy Birthday!

  3. Julie near Chicago says:

    Yep, a very fine castle, and a Happy Birthday to the Birthday Girl! My goodness, your family are long-lived, aren’t they. We look forward to many more RAB-filled years. *applause*

    I must say you look suspiciously like the handsome gent standing at the end of the bench; who, I assume, is the Proud Papa.

    Great photos, too. Thanks for putting them up. :)

  4. *raises cup of tea*

    Well, it’s far too early for anything stronger!

  5. Congratulations to your mother.

    You come from fine stock (and a fine town) RAB.

  6. Some of these Welsh women are seemingly immortal! Happy Birthday RAB’s mum

  7. David says:

    Here’s to her.
    Happy birthday RABs Mum

  8. Sam Duncan says:

    Add my congratulations, too. 90′s nothing these days. :)

    Generations aren’t as neatly laid-out as we’re led to believe. No offence meant to RAB, but I know he’s appreciably older than me, yet his mum is less than a decade older than my dad. A friend of mine has grandparents who are roughly the same age as my parents. People are complicated and messy.

  9. RAB says:

    Mum thanks you all for your good wishes. You should have seen her scarfing up the slap up lunch we just took her out for!

    It’s not a castle, it is, in fact, the original college building of Aberystwyth University. It is still used as the Admin centre, but the main campus is up a hill behind the town just above the National Library of Wales.

    It started life as a grand hotel smack on the front of the promenade, but went bankrupt, and if you’ve ever been to Aberystwyth you’ll know why. It is a grotty parochial dump and the wind comes in off the Irish Sea with such relentless ferocity that the locals are all born standing permanently at 45 degrees to it.

    I was encouraged by my headmaster to go there (he had), and fair enough it did have a fine Law School, but I said bugger that Sir, I’m going to Nottinham, I want a life, not stuck in the back of the back of beyond. No band worth the name ever went near the place, wheras at Nottingham I saw a shedload including Roxy Music, the Incredible String Band and the very first Wings gig.

  10. Lynne says:

    Many happy returns, RAB’s Mum. :D

  11. Julie near Chicago says:

    Demonstrators cry: Restore RAB’s Mum! (or at least the photo). *g*

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