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THE JOURNALS OF REES STEPHENS

VOLUME 1 - Nov 1944 - May 1946

CLICK HERE FOR VOLUME 2

 

On this page you will find 2 journals from the collection of Rees Stephens, where ???? appears our transcriber was unable to identify the word or name. The journals cover the early part of Rees' international career and volume 2 the Neath tour of France in 1955 plus internationals towards the end of his career. 

 

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                                                                  November 14-44 Tues

Down Swansea today in Swansea office with Mr Rees. Went over books with him all the morning. Lunch at Woolworths. Up Swansea Tec after to see Dai, but not there,- called in Photo supplies and then back to office, talking over books etc. Back home with Theo Davies by 5.30. Letter from Skippy. 1st in over a fortnight. Dad had a stomach attack. Hope it isnt much. Mr Jones the manager came down and dad had a chat with us about the colliery and complained about absenteusm, and the ???? taking advantage of the war to claim to shift for working on a few ????. Weather is bitterly cold so stayed in.

Up early as off to Treforest. Caught 7 train. Very dark these mornings and cold. Had a pile of writing and handed in my homework. That a fellow from pyle- caught train back to Cardiff then the 5.30 home. Arrived early tonight, about 7 oclock. Had tea ? wit my mates after. Gave ? a new book.

Off to Treforest again this morning. Bitterly cold and heavy frost. Slept all the way up. At school did 1st and 2nd class questions all day, as a few boys going up next week. Back to Cardiff with 4.30 so met Jo. had tea in Sandringham and brought back memories of meeting Dai but there. Went to flics and caught the 8.40  ?? bus home. Reached home at 10:15- ?? is pouring with rain and had a good supper.

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Up Colliery about 7:30. Very wet and misty. Did the royalty book for Hubert and then did the pay book. Water coming through newspaper ?? but they should be extended down. Had a row with Will Jones Rugsly over the collection. Should be taught a lesson. Shortages not as bad tonight. Home about 5 oclock- did some homework, but first I went up farm to see the tractor pulling up trees in field beside the machine. It makes very short work of them. Wrote to Skippy in Melville and borrowed stamps from Theos. - Bed

Up Colliery early and started on time book. did some questions for Southerns and then finished off the timebooks. Very wet all day. Home about 2:30 and had a bath. Went to town and bought records in Salters. Went to 'H G' farewell dinner in evening about 200 present and Fred Evans Leslie Thomas and Col Bevan made speeches. Had a dinner first and then had various items. Jery Flemmings in a good mood. Home about 12:30 after a good time.

Didn't get up until late today- about 10 oclock as felt tired. Fed chickens and ducks and then went up farm Very wet. Had to go up colliery as power out. ???? was sent over mountain to meet ?? after on poles. Had dinner and then ???? ???? the new cowshed and painted the ironwork cleaned out drain as it was blocked ????? leaves his ???? out. Be glad when our team will come ???? will ???? ???? his actions. Home about 5:30 and 

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very wet. Washed and changed and put few records on and then settled down to some homework. Raining heavily tonight. Up colliery early an thought that men wouldnt go in ???? ?? water up in level, but found that the newspapers had worked well and had pept the water down, but water droppens in and was awful. Pwen was back to its old course and had worked a number of the heavy blocks put by the G W R, away and had even shifted the cak baulk. Went underground with Dai Lewis ?? ????, as these is a ???? with T Barnes over double time. He claims DT because a stall was turned by a repairer on Sund night whereas it is the ???? for the heading man to turn it. This custom is good, but the men do not justify the DT, as they walk a bout 2, so getting money for ??. Eventually it was settled, but only ?? ???? of down tools, and Mr Lloyd agreed to pay providing he ???? turning it. ???? had ?? ???? ?? ?? ?? ?? usual. One day he will have a hell of a job to pull it out ?? ???? ?? Hubert after, then take it down main with Lloyd to show S Pugh what to do regarding the installation of tail-rope on D Barnes level. Home about 5:00 then went to singing practice at 7 oclock. ???? is going well. Walked home with ????. Very cold but not raining. Waiting for ???? to phone up, but he didn't so went off to bed.

                                                                            21/44
Didn't get up early as off to Swansea office today with dad, to my first directors meeting.

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Dad was elected chairman and meeting ???? discussing various items of colliery ???? with working and financial by ???? most of it but lot of work ahead. Dad took me over to meet Mr Morgan the coal controller, and on first impression he seems very nice. I was also introduced to the ???? ???? ????. Went to see ?? after at tea to explain my absence.- ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??. On my way down I bumped into ??. She is studying for her MPS at the Tec. Perhaps its a pity i haven't started there again- but anyway I certainly was glad to see her- though I doubt if she returned it. Back to office and talked to the girls Home about 5 and Uncle Eric a Aunty Nella there. Had my 1st lesson with ???? and got on OK. Melville phoned up and we arranged about the Brecon on Sat ??

                                                                            22/44   Wednesday
Up early as school today caught 7 oclock train and it ?? me this time a 7/5 ticket. Quite a change after making it from Neath to Cardiff and back with a 1/6 workmens ticket. Covered quit a lot of work today. Left school at about 4:15 and travelled back to ???? with a school mate who works at ???? Powerstation. I ???? in station and then caught ??. Rushed my homework and ?? and went to bed early as feeling tired. ???? ???? all day. It must be on account of the heavy ???? in France.

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didn't go to school as only a few would be there as went up colliery instead and Ike helped me in some electrical problems. Home about 4 o'clock and stayed in all night doing homework. I looked over Dai ?? old letters. We had the old ???? Leaflet, ?? was confirmation of Dai Evans death in Holland I shall miss him a great deal as we were the very best of pals.

                                                                               24/44
Went up to ???? Merthyr today ???? ????. Had bad luck all the morning as regards ???? going off road. Roads are in a terrible state ???? to lack of attention as absenteusm is bad at this colliery- Today over 12 are missing-which is a large number for a small colliery, Dad and ????. Went over to ????. A long quantity of water, mostly surface is coming out of the ??.Back to farm for lunch about 1:30 and then went down to the field where the tractor has finished pulling the trees. A lot of work is over, before the field is in shape, but i guess we've tackled worse problems. Had a ???? in night and had some snaps back from Walters. Something wrong with my throat. Guess it is due to the singing on Monday night, hope it doesn't last long

 

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                                                                               Saturday Nov' 25/44
Brecon day today. Caught the 8:15 AM bus from Swansea- arrived at Llandovery at 10:30 AM. Went to Castle and arranged for lunch. Met Misso and had a stroll around town and had lunch with him. Raining at about 12. After lunch went up coll and saw Pope. He didn't have much time- too excited- saw Lloyd Williams the old massier from Llandilo and still doing his good work- on 'sweat pea' Graham Rees- the capt. Last time i saw him was on junior game away back in 1939 and it brought back happy memories. Went up to meet train and saw ?? ?? Harry Thomas. but Ivor David the ref hadn't turned up, ?? old pope in a bit of a ??- eventually the game started and this time the odds were on Brecon as they had the bigger side, and indeed in the first 5 mins they scored and i thought it was all over by now the ball was greasy and the weather was showery, so ?? forwards took a hand in the games started using them ?? and they really played well, and showed Brecon a thing or two in helping. Half-time they were leading 6-3 and in the 2nd half the, backs thought of 2 marvellous movements, ???? the ball was greasy and they ended up ???? 12-3 after a very good game. Back to castle  and had tea with Misso, Mel, and his pal.- good feed of ham and eggs- like ?? was with mammy and ???? as it was there iv always went after a match. Went up to coll after and in C ???? most of the team and to Graham Rees, till about 7:15 then off to catch the local ???? back.
7 On platform met Brian Griffiths father and mother, derek and his younger brother and had a chat with them. Didn't pay to go home do feel that G W R owe me a lot going to Treforest and got away with it- as at Neath ???? i had got in at Skewen -paid 4 1/2 not bad. arrived home about 10:30 and found a letter from Bill ?? who ?? in France. Will reply to it tomorrow .Went to bed as tired

                                                                                    Nov 26/44
Up farm today very wet so borrowed dads car. Cleaned and disinfected  cow shed and put rack up for bull calf. In noon ???? in the lighting pole. Had tea about 4 o'clock and returned back home about 6:30 as it is still raining ?? ???? and read papers

                                                                                      27/44
Up colliery today in clean clothes as a lot of work to do. About 8:30 AM. office phoned up from main saying they weren't going in as Johny Davies the fireman hadn't turned up. Lloyd went down straight away and met them on the deep about 20 to 9 and offered to act as fireman but they refused and went off home. ?? ???? the right fireman should have remained behind, but he had ?? message to M ?? by ?? of ???? and took it for granted he would come out but Morgan left it until about 9:15 which was too late, but in any case with a bit of cooperation the shift could have

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worked but the E W S order so they think covers them. Anyway the case is being sent off to Cardiff and let them give the decision. Output down 1051tons. Home about 5 and went to Young ???? Club till 9. Not many there as every wet.

                                                                                        28/44
Up colliery early and found comittee in Lloyds ?? trying to get him to pay up for yesterday to back them up. the main ???? was waiting- kind of ?? ??- with the boys Willee Edwards Dai Howard, Lungstone included anyway Lloyd refused to pay and in they went otherwise they would have certainly ???? this case. Down the main locker with ?? ?? the round and 20 places. complained generally of clearance which should be remembered when the new ?? is installed up about 12 and had food. Still raining did a little homework. Dad up and we met the comittee about yesterday shift Dad refused to discuss it with them. ???? up in nights did homework. Sore throat

                                                                                        29/44
Up early as off to school. Slept most of way down. Very cold and raining. School all day. Finished about 4.30. Caught train to Llantrisant and then home. In Neath about 7.30. Called in Harry Jones and had a chat. Had supper. No work at ???? over monday ????. Sent to Cardiff- doesn't look as if they will work for a few days.

9                                                                                           Thurs 30/44
School again today. Looked over 2nd and 1st class questions, and on studying them, found that i could answer most of them. Home about 7 after spending a ???? in Llantrisant. Again no work. This time they're out because they said that they want Lloyd to name the 'hailor' in their ranks, who told him that, Dai Howard had been told to phone up on Monday's dispute but refused. Actually it was Alf Maggs who was told by ???? ????, quite accidentally that someone had suggested to Howard to phone up and he had actually been by the phone, but a few of the men started growling. They have no cause to the out and personally I think that they have got out of hands that the comittee have lost control, especially some of the youngsters, however, ?? ???? about 9 o'clock in the evening that they have agreed to start work tomorrow

                                                                                           31/44
Up colliery early-night shift had ???? and ???? had tipped a few trams, but had been stopped ???? to a general meeting being held in canteen. The men still refuse to go in until Lloyd discloses the name, after ???? ???? had admitted his mistake in the meeting. I was listening most of the time in the rear. The committee came and to our room and ???? to 

10 get me out, at least ???? ?? and ???? ??, but i shall remember. Anyway home they went and spent rest of day doing homework. Dad up. Lloyd still arguing when I ????, as I believe the committee has the ???? up in case it spreads. Phoned ???? Griffiths

                                                                                           Sat Dec 1/44
Up colliery early -no work as men still out. Did pay books and some homework. Finished books by about 2 and off home. Down town in noon and went to flics in Swansea Albert Mall. Home early as Dai Williams promised to phone and he came through about 9:30. Asked him to come down but not this time as he is back on Thurs.   Bed

                                                                                              2/44
Up farm early as I wanted an early start on the cowshed. Very wet but Sam and I finished every thing by about 4 o'clock and I felt a bit stiff. Home about 5:30 and had a bath. Committee had met at colliery and decided to go back. ???? stayed home with me as to wet for him to go to church. Did homework and off to bed early.

                                                                                             3/44
Up colliery early in morning and found that the night shift didn't work because there wasn't a first aid man there. They have worked with ??? David for over two years and now they decided he was it good enough.

 

11 Anyway ???? not getting paid until Cardiff has decided- Getting their own back. Output about 180 so we didn't lose a lot. Young ???? Club meeting in night. Wrote to Dai Evans mother and Bill ??

                                                                                              4/44
???? round all the morning with Lloyd down Main. Went on Seth Pughs old face and it is standing well. Not a lot of work left to put the tail on Dick Barnes Level. Helped Hubert in noon with dockets. Worked in night and Hughes up for a spell. Very cold old day

                                                                                              5/44
Up early as school. Bitterly cold in morning and it had frozen hard. School all day. Home about 8 o'clock and found a letter from Jack Rees. Bed about 10 as very tired

                                                                                               6/44
Again up early to catch 6:45 train, not as cold today. Had a lecture in after on Heat treatment of steel - fell asleep as not very interesting. Called in Harry Jones in evening and had my photos back after framing 8 in all. He did a good job. Had a letter from Skippy at last, but not very interesting. Copied up some notes.

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Up colliery early and down main with Lloyd all morning. Short of trains and had a bad piece of tap coming in Dai ???? place and hid is crossing under the old 'four'. Helped Hubert with dockets Home about 5, and did homework till 8, and then went singing. Home by 9:30 and changed as going back with Lloyd. Up colliery by about 12 and down main caught Livingstone doing nothing and then the ???? were going from ???? because the water was up. Told the repairers what to do about ???? the ?? to take the ???? and then went on to the faces ?? about 3 and then had a doss on table.

                                                                                                8/12/44
Woke about 7- bitterly cold- had a sore throat. Caught ???? late, and warmed them they would be cropped. Did books and home about 1 o'clock. Bathed and changed and off to Swansea to meet Griff at 3:30. Went to flics and then up ???? for darts and sing song. All night for know and again, but not regular, although  all I take is either a lemonade or cider, which is quite strong ???? for me. ?? Griff ???? ?? down. Griff sent me to the ?? and caught the 10 bus home after an enjoyable evening- but very cold 

                                                                                                9/12/44
Up about 9 as felt tired- fed stock and up farm. Raining heavily. Put ties in cowshed and measured the new roof supports. Home about 3:30 in car. Changed and did some homework and wrote letter to Doug, ???? and Jack

13 Went to Theo's after for a chat and then bed

                                                                                                  10/12/44
Up colliery early and finished off pay books didn't go uncles but helped Hubert. Did homework in night and off singing. Walked home with Douglas

                                                                                                 11/12/44
???? caught ?? so up with bus down Llantrisant. Colliers crying out for emptees as holiday week. Over Resolven with Dad and met the S Wales Power people. Home about 5 and Hughes up in evening.

                                                                                                  12/12/44
Went to school today, but had a lift up with Theo in car. Very foggy. Lectures in morning and noon, boys held a 'rag', lucky it is fine. Shopped in Ponty and then caught a but to Cardiff and went to flics after tea in Continental. 'Thief of Bagdad' Caught NCC bus home and there about 10

                                                                                                   13/12/44
Caught 7-30 Swansea Bay train via Rhondda for a change. Lectures all day- very wet and cold. Lucky to catch 4 train from Cardiff home, and home by 6:30. Bought stamps. Finished writing up my notes and went to bed early as very tired.

                                                                                                            

14                                                                                                       Friday 14/44
Up colliery early and Llantwit. On with B Parker. Very wet there at present. Did some homework till about 7 and then went singing.

                                                                                                       15/12/44
Phone rang about 6. ???? home on a 24hr leave: skipped down to station to fetch him. Looking tired, but fed up. Up colliery to do pay and lift down with Ellis on lorry. Went to Swansea with Griff to ?? ????. Home about 10, Raining terribly.

                                                                                                     16/12/44
Up ???? in car to fetch ???? for Resolven fan which ???? up yesterday, so is work. Passed back trough farm and then home. Had dinner with Doug -first time i have dinner home on sunday for months. Doug caught 3:30 train back to Scotland. All very sorry to see him off. Singing ST Thomas's Choir in night for next Sunday

                                                                                                       17/12/44
Up colliery all day underground down Llantwit. ?? with B Parker still. Singing in the evening with the choir.

                                                                                                        18/12/44
Up colliery with dad. Over to Resolven in the evening to meet S.Wales Power representatives Hughes up in evening

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                                                                                                        Wednesday 19/12/44
School all day till 3, but not much done as last Wednesday of term. Up to Cardiff and home with the early train. Copied up notes and did some homework.

                                                                                                        Thurs 20/12/44
Today i decided to go and see Dai Duls' mother and father, so caught the 8 o'clock train up and reached Pontypool road about 11, and managed to have a car lift to Goytrey which is a few miles outside Pontypool. It was a lovely day and I reached Chadstowe about 12. Mrs Evans recognised me straight off, and I felt very sorry for her as they are all alone, as all their children are married. I stayed there today and was shown Dais' photos, and I think I made them a little happier by giving them a photo of him and myself. They feel it very much and when I left i felt like crying. Mrs Evans sent me to the Station and gave me a book in Dai's memory. He was killed by a mine whilst leading a night patrol in Holland. I decided then to also write to Mrs Evans, as i know they would like me to. Anyway feeling pretty miserable. I reached home about 8 o'clock. Dai's Birthday is Jan 8th.

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                                                                                                         Friday    /44
Up colliery all day. Cleaned up yard and got ready a truck or two for scrap. Very cold day and had ???? back. Had a few Xmas cards

                                                                                                           Saturday  /44
Ellis and I towed the old ???? with the lorry to Jones garage, as Dai Price had bought it for 63. Then up colliery after finished off scrap. The office looks well after Alfie had painted it. Met ???? in Neath at 1. Looks well and grown a good ??. Home and changed and both off to Swansea to meet Griff at 3. Went to flics after buying a present of knives, which ultimately ??. Up the ???? and had a good time. Griff sent me home, but he was practically out. Caught 10 bus and ???? stayed the night with us. Carols in night.

                                                                                                             Sunday 24/44
Stayed in bed till about 10, and then up farm for a spin. Had dinner and played billiards after in shed till tea. ???? caught the ?? home, but promised to come down Saturday to see the match. I hade hoped he would stay the week, as before very long he will be off to ???? and ???? has been refused to ????, and then most of my ?? will have gone. I only wish they would take me as ???? everyone asks me why I am not in the services. Sang in St Thomas' Choir in evening- Carols mostly a part of the Messiah.

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            Christmas Day

                                                                                                                Monday 25/44
Stayed in bed until about 11 o'clock, and then got up, fed chickens and had dinner. Went for walk with Douglas after up ???? and in evening played games in house and singing. Bed about 12. Went to ?? at Cadaxton

                                                                                                                   Tuesday 26/44
Stayed in bed till about 11, and the up farm to dinner. After dinner played games with Sam and Mrs Richards, Aunty Nella and Uncle Eric. Went for walk up mountain. Home about 6 and went to flics in evening.

                                                                                                                    Wednesday 27/44
Up to work. Resolven on stop after giving notice of strike. Down Llantwit. Not alot doing, after 5% absenteeism. Home about 4.

                                                                                                                    Thursday 28/44
Down Main early and found that colliers were refusing to push trams up their stalls as to stop but persuaded them to push today. Down Swansea office in noon for the meeting discussed all things. With Griff in night. Went to the pantomime Cinderella.

                                                                                                                       Friday 29/44
Men refused to push trams up stalls, as to avoid loosing coal, put men to shove with them. It soon spread ???? the ????, they think that we will  

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give in, but not again. Agreed to meet committee on Tuesday. We ?? stopped men taking any more firewood, as they have abused the custom by scaring Norways.

                                                                                                                         Sat 30/44
Down Main trying to arrange the various stalls. Kept things going somehow. Be glad when this E W O is finished. Comittee in after discussing the traming and firewood, but we failed to come to an settlement. Freezing hand this morning as all week. Up with Lloyd. Home by about 2, and found ???? and Griff waiting. Bathed and changed and off to Swansea as match cancelled. ???? in night and Fenner stayed the night with me. Had a chat about old times in bed.

                                                                                                                        Sunday 31/44
We stayed in bed till about 10, and then played billiards all morning. Fenner didn't stay to dinner as he had promised to be home, so caught 1 bus. He promised to write when he goes back to London. Went to Olgas party in night, OK, but glad when it was over as I'm afraid that sort of amusement is very timid after the ?? we ?? had at ball and with the boys. Bed about 2 o'clock. New Years resolution it work had and pass my exam, and try and keep out of trouble for once.

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                                                                                                          Monday Jan 1/45
Up colliery Main and Tail working O.K down Main, but colliers still refusing to share, but, we've managed to keep the face going so far. Singing in night and walked home with Doug and Betty.

                                                                                                            Tues Jan 2/45
Up colliery on byke without the mask. Marvellous light. Down Main and found that the last 5 places on ???? ?? refused to work, because cable was in the face, and later on when it was removed refused to work until a shift was given them and the ????.Out they walked when we refused. ?? down after with Lloyd and Alfie. Men who refused to pushase on hand cut on the straight on 5 Paghs Level. Out after about 2 oclock Lloyd met some of the committee after to discuss the firewood and allow the tramming position. Over the ???? the arrangement was for them to continue until , they had worked on and ???? enough height for a ?? to take up a tram.- Hughes up in evening.

                                                                                                              Wenes 3/45 
Down Main and found the three tramming places on stop. thus breaking their word. Put and E W O man with them and kept face going. About 12:30, price out, and call men out around 2:30. Home about 5, and then back up colliery as price not in till 7, and somthing then went wrong with rectifer ?? and ???? ???? this night by                                    

20 about 12 oclock and put night shift on alternate work. Down Main and 5, till about 3, and had a sleep on office table.

                                                                                                              Thursday 4/45
Lloyd woke me up about 7:30, Had a lite of grub and then underground with the sampler from ??? and Power. Did the three distincts and fell pretty tired at end of say. Home about 5. Doug home on leave for 6 days. Bed early

                                                                                                               Friday 5/45
Up with Lloyd in car as roads frozen. Did pay book. Didnt go underground today, but did some homework. Went singing in the evening. Took Betty home. Ok for once.

                                                                                                                 Saturday 6/45
Up colliery on bike. Filled in part of book and then started cleaning office as today dad is getting all the officials is the canteen and giving a little do. Resolven and Jonmawn were present. Mrs James and Mill set out food. Office was cleaned out and home about 1:30. Had dinner and went to dogshow for 1/2 and hour. Up colliery with dad and Doug. All other waiting They included Mr Lloyd Manager Jonmawn Mr Jones Manager Resolven.
Tonmawn Ally. Will Evans ?? Lewis ?? Morgan, R a Bevan, Phil Evans, ?? David, Hubert and Ike and ??
Resolven' Said Willit ?? Davies Will Davies Sel Davies

21 Dad made a speech and presented a cheque to ?? ?? to Mr Lloyd and Doug to Will Evans and Ike. Doug had everyone laughing. He spoke like and orator for a good 20 mins Dad presented all the rest and all suitabley responded. After a very good meal we all went into the office for drinks and a singsong. Doug was in his element, and starting to warm up Everyone sang- even me and it all went OK. Dad was pleased I think, especially that both us boys were there. I dont think he imagined Doug could talk so much. After we went to the Cambran, and Doug kept us on our backs laughing. I dont think they have laughed so much before. Anyway it all ended to soon. and we split up. I took Ike home in the car, but we first called in Huberts house, were we had a cup of tea and cheese and pickles. I think everyone enjoyed themselves, and we are all looking forward to another reunion 

                                                                                                    7/45
Up farm in morn but came home for dinner as Doug home. Had a talk in afternoon and did a little homework, but not much. Doug went out and I write to Mrs Evans, and Johny. Went singing after in Gnoll schools and then walked home with Douglas. Snowing a lot Hope it doesnt stick or else i shall have a devil of a job to get up to work tomorrow.

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                                                                                                  Monday 8th/45
Dai ?? birthday. Up colliery in Lloyds car, as snow on ground. No work today had refused to listen to committee and walked home dipute was over a shift due to Len Sparks which we didnt pay, and wanted to go to Cardiff as a test case, leet mob law prevailed and home they went, but our teem is sure to come. to put the screw on dad up and looking worried as this year has started off pretty badly so far. Did some homework in work and in the evening.

                                                                                                    Tuesday 9/45
Up early as Doug going back Took him' to Swansea Victoria to catch 1/4-8 train for the North. Snow had frozen over, and roads pretty slippery. Up Tonmawn by bus. Men had started work. Dad found out that we should have paid yesterdays shift from Cardiff. Dad met committee after and refused to discuss anything until they gave him a guarantee that they would keep their word. They agreed, and dad gave them the shift provided they caused no more trouble. Firewood was agreed to be taken on 2 days per week. Tues and Thurs did work in night with Hughes 

                                                                                                       Wenesday 10
Up early as school started. Very cold and roads still frozen hard. Came back with 4 train as final rehearsel for the Messiah

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tonight in the Gwyn Hall with the orchestra went off OK. Letter from Dai Williams

                                                                                                         Thurs 11th/25
Up Tonmawn to get plan and then back to house to help to fill in forms with Dad and Hughes. All the government seems to do is to send people forms, just to give themselves work. They wanted to know what our output would be in 1994. Did homework in noon. Had letter from ?? ?? Ellis In evening the choir performed the Messiah. It went off very well, Home about 9:30

                                                                                                       Friday 12th/45
Up colliery in morn and down Llantwit with Dad and Mr Lloyd. Went on to Cliff Parkers face which is still is very wet. Up about 1 oclock and had dinner. Helped Hubert with the pay. Home about 5 oclock. and Griff already there. Had tea and then we went to the Empire to see Garden of Allah. ' After we went to the billiard hall and played snooker. Home about 11 and off to bed

                                                                                                       Saturday 13/45
Up colliery with Griff in van for coal. Took him underground down the main. He was quite at home and soon made pals. Home about 12:30 for dinner, and saw Uncle Eric and Netta. Went to the match East V West Schoolboys. An excellent game and football. Home after to change for

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the Messiah. Went down with Griff and saw him to his seat. It went off very well, but old Griff couldnt stick it, and had to go out for a refresher. I found him after the show. Walked home, and we played snooker until about 11 and off to bed. Hes a devil of a boy and we enjoyed ourselves very much. Only pity is that he off to the army. It seems fated that all my mates are getting called up. I only wish they would call me up.

                                                                                                          Sunday 14/45
Stayed in bed till about 11 and had breakfast. Up snooker shed till one; had dinner and then up farm in the car with Griff Back to the Gilfach after to see old Tucker, and showed Griff around the piggery. Back for tea and played billiards after until about 7. We came down and Griff had to catch the 7:15 bus to Swansea. I only wish he could stay longer, as we both enjoyed ourselves. Saw him off, when I shall see him next I dont know, but hope he comes through OK.

                                                                                                          Monday 15/45
Up colliery all day. Did pay books and dockets for Hubert. In night had a haircut. Back home and wrote a few letters and did some homework. My first MC. A ten cylinder Dougie. but not much good as too slow and it doesnt look modern.

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                                                                                                          Tuesday 16/45
Up colliery and did homework all day. Hughes up in evening and we worked till about 10:30. Griff phoned me up and I arranged to meet him tomorrow morning to send him off.

                                                                                                          Wenesday 17/45
Off to Swansea by bus and met Griff, his brother and father. Went all the way to Cardiff with them and saw him off safely about his train. Off to school after didnt do much as Richards missing. Home and met Dick Evans from Glynneath. Had a chat. -Feeling pretty miserable as nothing to look forward to except work and more work, and no mates left to have have a good time with. Wish something would happen to get me out with the rest of the loup. Made arrangements with Griff to phone us on Sunday evening

                                                                                                            Thursday 18/45
School again today didn't do much as Richards still missing. Called in at Cardiff on way home for books. Home late as train was late. Bed early

                                                                                                             Friday 19/45
Snowing heavily this morning so went up colliery with Lloyd. Did pay book first and did some book work. Home about 5 as arguing with Llantwit colliers. They want a shift each for taking out the duff under the ??. ???? pretty well fed up between every thing. The more you do for them

26 the less they appreciate it. Did homework in evening Sent letter to Bob Morgan

                                                                                                              Sat 20th Jan
Up colliery early with Lloyd, roads pretty slippery. Home about 2:30, after arguing with committee from 12. We seem to meet the Committee every day. While in peace time once a month was ample. Town in noon, and then off to Swansea Went to Albert Hall, and met George Rees, College ???? ???? in a curious way. Walked to bus station with him after. Home about 10 oclock.

                                                                                                               Sunday 21/45
Up early and fed chicks. Intended going up farm, but roads to slippery, so gave byke a good clean. Had dinner and then up Gilfach for walk-nice day. Did homework in the evening

                                                                                                               Monday 22/45
Up colliery early with  Mr Lloyd. Still bitterly cold. Looks like snow. Finished books off and did some homework. In evening did some work.

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                                                                                                                Tuesday 23/45
Up colliery with Lloyd and down Llantwit While on Cliff Parkers, a ???? came on and told us that the Main Dist were out because of the rent. Went out to investigate, and spoke to John Hughes and Dai Howard and they said the car was very thick. Lloyd invited them to come
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back, but they refused to we went onto the intakes and returns and found nothing wrong. On going back to the painting, the men had gone out. It looked a deliberate attempt to ???? output. Out about 2 and home after about 4:30 pm as Doug is coming home and off to station to meet him. No letter yet from Griff, but expect he is too busy

                                                                                                                    Wenesday 24/45
Up early and took car to station to see if Doug in but he hadnt  ???? so caught thr 7 train to Ponty  ????. School all day and about 6 oclock while at Llantrisant it started to snow pretty heavily and by the time I got home it was pretty thick. Doug was home by then.

                                                                                                                      Thurs 25/45
Didnt go to school, as put off until tomorrow as we are to go to Blaenavon to inspect an open- cast site, so caught Lloyd. Roads like glass and we had a devil of a job in getting to work. Eventually we got there after much work only to find over a 1/3 of the men missing, anyway we set too, and managed to keep things going, after cleaning away tons of snow. Output 130 tons.

                                                                                                                   Friday 26/45
Didnt got to school as snow still thick and freezing. Had a better ?? to work today- not much skidding. Devil of an evening with the shortages over 

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25. In night phoned Griffs home to find out his address. Spoke to his mother and glad to hear that he is alright and wrote to him, and i dont expect he has got over the effects of innoculation as get. Hughes up and went over some surveying

                                                                                                                      Saturday 27/45
Up colliery in morning. Roads still very slippery. Did not go up in Lloyds car, as his radiator has frozen, so we had to catch a bus up and walk to the colliery. Did books in evening and gave the chaps on ???? a hand. Home about 5 past 3, and then went to Swansea to flics. Not mush doing as not many people about. Missed old Griff a lot. Home with 10 train

                                                                                                                        Sunday 28/45
Couldn't go to farm or colliery as roads to slippery so stayed in bed late for once. Put books in book-shelve in noon and did homework in evening. Wrote to Alan Williams

                                                                                                                        Monday 29/45
Up colliery today did the books and some homework after, Snow still on the ground and it looks like more homework again in the evening. Doug still in with a cold.

30                                                                                                                Tuesday 30/45
Up colliery and down the Main  ???? and Llantwit Sky pretty black. Snow had turned into rain, and roads were very slushy this morning. No work, because the men had all turned back because they were wet.Hughes up in the evening

                                                                                       Wenesday 31/45
Up early as school today- not so cold, but roads still very slippery. Worked hard all day and then caught usual train home, but tonight it was late and didnt arrive in Neath until about 8 oclock. Letter from Jack Rees.

                                                                                     Thursday 1/2/45
School again. Raining heavily today. Had plenty of work. Home about 7:30 and as i havnt received a letter from Griff I phoned his mother, and she said that he had my letter, and was OK, but so far was very busy. I hope he soon writes. Copied up my notes.

                                                                                           Friday 2/2/45
Up colliery today and in office. Shortages down today. Heard that J. Hughes is to be up by the Ministy of Fuel and Power. William is quite concerned about it and said he was going to call the Miners agent in. He tried to be funny with me but this time I think I put him in his place. If ever I get my ticked, and things return to normal, things will

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be a lot different. They seem to take advantage of everything. Decided to stop ???? and called a ????mans meeting to discuss the mens positions. Had a haircut in night and wrote to Griff- hope he writes back

                                                                                       Saturday 3/3/45
Up with Lloyd as usual and did books. Mr Thomas the Ministrys man up and all the Agent. Discussed a few things regarding the shed, but I could see that was only a pretext. His main ???? is being there was the fact that J Hughes was being hauled over the ????. However after and lot of ???? and a ????, he was warned to behave himself and be a good boy. Fed up and went home as things are ???? so unfair. Went to Swansea ?? ???? to see Bathing Beauty. Wish Griff was there. On coming out, i had a pleasant surprise and met Hector Rees, a sergeant in RAF. I hadnt seen him for over a year, and at first he didnt remember me, Went home on same bus as him and arranged to meet him on Wenes

                                                                                       Sunday 4/2/45
Up colliery early as I had promised to show Tommy Morgans round the Main ,as he is taking over. Finished down there at about 11, and then down 5 to see how Dai Lewis was ???? for taking his new addictions. Spoke to Will Evans out about 3 oclock. Ike and the lads had just finished on the sleeve and whip ????. Home, washed and then changed and did homework.

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                                                                                         Monday 5/2/45
On the move all day, as getting things settled, but on the whole everything went off OK and the journey was kept on the move. Got wet by passing back and through work. Home about 5 and found a letter from Griff and was greatly relieved. Did some homework.

                                                                                          Tuesday 6/2/45
Up colliery with Lloyd. Up No3 to see how ???? getting on with pulling of the rings in the old haulage. Made arrangements for him to clean the painting. After grub looked after traffic. Homework in evening

                                                                                             Wenesday 7/2/45
School today, caught same train etc. Wrote out a tidy pile of notes. Home late as trains are not running to time.

                                                                                            Thursday 8/2/45
Up colliery today. Didnt go underground but did Southerns test paper. Raining hard all day. In the evening copied out some notes and wrote letters to Griff, Skippy, Jack Rees, and Dai Williams

                                                                                              Friday 9/2/45
School today, but not at Treforest, but off to see the Open Cast ???? Site at Blaenavon in Monmouthshire. 4th and 5th ???? came and also a few of the surveyors. Nice day but cold. Had a bus ?? up all the way and reached there about 11:30. Had food and started looking around. They

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certainly make a mess of the place and it is dreadfully cold. They have umpteen cranes working here. Tractors lorries, and any amount of men. Its a good job that its a government concern. Anyway we had a good look round and ???? from it a lot. Saw a 500 ton walking crane from America, being built by Americans-massive job. Also saw some Niagera ???? working. Caught bus back to Treforest, and then to cardiff and met Wyn Lewis from Gowerton. Chatted for a while to Neath and arranged to meet him sometime in Cardiff- Home late and found out that Controller had given us permission to ???? both Tonmawn and Resolven for their illegal strike.

                                                                                                  Saturday 10/45
Up Tonmaur in van for coal and spuds. Back home and up Pontardawe to collect ? Douglas. ?? and planted them up the farm, or the side of the road. Home about 4 oclock, and then went to Swansea to flics. Very wet evening, dougs last day home.

                                                                                               Sunday 11/2/45

Stayed in bed late today as Doug's last leave day- he went to church with dad. Had turkey and plum pudding dinner, and eat to much. In noon I did some homework and Doug had some records on. Hubert came down. tea and then in the evening had a chat. We sent Doug off by the 9:5 train. this time he is much happier as he is not going back to his ship but do Devenport.

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                                                                                                Monday 12/45
Up colliery all day. Finished my surveying lesson. Home with 4 bus as Lloyds car in dock. Bought in look in town snaps still havent come in yet at Walliers. In evening did notes and wrote to Hector, George Rees and Mel

                                                                                                Tuesday 13/45
Up colliery. wet in morning. Down Llantwit in morning- Getting more trams at last. Out about 12. and send down timber. In noon put office right and put Dai John to make place for new carage. Bit of a row over timber. Caught ? miles saving a 6 and a 1/2 for J Hughes under his orders. Told him what would happen next time.- Will have to put notice up about size of timber allowed to be taken like the PD's do. Hughes up in evening and we covered quit a lot of work

                                                                                                 Wenesday 14/2/45
School today. Mild day. Caught usual.train.during food time, went to Pontypridd with Ivon a fellow I've met from Porth. He's a surveyor under Welsh Navigation. Caught train home and found a telegram saying Doug is coming home on embarkation ???? and had a fortnight leave. All very upset when he comes home and told hes off to Columlilo Ceylon, as he has been out long enough. Went to bed as very tired.                                                                                           

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                                                                                               Thursday 15/2/45
School today, but as I missed the early train. I went to Cardiff and spent the morning in the Museum in the geology lab. Home about 8, and on the train I met a Yank about my age and I gave him my address and he promised to write to me

                                                                                               Friday 16/2/45
Up colliery today. Very wet down Main in  morning as traffic very slow. In noon looked after Act and read a few pages Doug phoned up and I arranged to go to the Empire with him in the evening. Saw a Sherlock Holmes film. Home straight.

                                                                                               Saturday 17/2/45
Up colliery and a tram had knocked a ?? out of the arching of deep and started a fall which persisted in trickling. Very awkward job as, everything very loose. any way we cleaned fall and managed to lag the hole with rails and timber and decided to come in tomorrow to make rings out of 3 '' xi''. Home about 4:30 and bathed and had food. Dad and Doug up farm. Went to Swansea in evening to Albert Hall. Had snaps back from Walters and Griff and Fenner came out well.

                                                                                              Sunday 18/2/45
Up colliery with Lloyd in car to finish the arching Our lagging had kept up OK and we put up 5 rings and locked it well. Arranged for Jack Whitils, John Davies and ??  

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to come back afternoons to ting it with 8'rings. Home about 4 oclock, after making it safe for the journey to pass Doug going back today. Hope it isnt for embarkation leave, but ???? as he had a telegram telling him to come back. Had records on in the evening and then Dad and I sent Doug to catch the 9:30 train.

                                                                                               Monday 19/2/45
Up colliery all day. Helped with books and finished off my notes. In evening had haircut and saw Betty from singing. Very wet day

                                                                                                Tuesday 20/2/45
Up early as off to catch 7 train with Ike for London to see about a pump in ???? ????. Had a good journey up and had a compartment with two sisters and had a good yarm. Arrived Paddington about 12:30, and caught a tube to Waterloo Station where we booked tickets for Staines. Had a meal and what a meal. Although it cost me 3/4, Ike refusing to order, it wasnt worth 2nd. Anyway as I was starving down it went. Caught train and arrived in arrived in Staines about 3. It was nice out and very warm and the country side was beautiful. We didnt see much bomb damage. We examined pump and lock were in good condition, but we were doubtful as to the larger one if we could get it underground- being 12.'6'6''. Anyway we decided on the smaller Left Staines about 4 and arrived in London just in time to catch the 6 oclock train. We saw very little of 

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London Train was crowded and we arrived in Neath about 12 oclock. I ran Ike home in car and eventually got to bed about 1:30

                                                                                                 Wenesday 21/2/45
Up early to catch usual train to school. Did usual lessons and off to Pontypridd ???? time with Ivon. Home usual way and time and met two girls from Skewen on train at Bridgend- Both good sports. Wrote to Dai Jack and Aunty Bess

                                                                                                    Thursday 22/2/45
School again- feeling pretty tired but had an easy morning. In lunch hour, had a debate ' Can a man get rich honestly' According to the boys- they couldnt., although I said it was possible. Home with Cardiff train met the girls again.

                                                                                                      Friday 23/45
Up colliery with bus Underground Main and Llantwit. Jack Whitely and John ?? and ?? put up 4 rings and had made a damn good job so far. Concreting it now Hughes up in evening and covered a lot of ground. Wrote to Griff and Wyn.

                                                                                                        Saturday 24/45
Up colliery on byke in morning. Did homework and home about 1. Potched about up in shed and bought a pair of pyjamas in ???? 21/6. Swansea after and met Ray Tailor of 103 Walters Road and went

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to the flics with him. Home about 10:30

                                                                                                     Sunday 25/45
Up farm in morning and planted trees. Came to rain heavily so gave it up. Home about two and up shed. Did homework in evening

                                                                                                       Monday 26/45
Up colliery on byke. Didnt go underground in morning as down to ?? and ?? Walters did chicken shed. On to Nanty bar to see how men getting on picking up rails. Homework in evening Had a letter from Wyn Lewis.

                                                                                                        Tuesday 27/45
Up colliery early and down Main ???? with Lloyd. Devil with us today as journey off road all day. Took journey down Main food time. Homework in evening and Hughes up. Wrote to Ira. come out today-Newspaper Clipping 'Roll of Honour'-Heatlumps/ Moses Capt of ball ???? Team in Hall

                                                                                                          Wenesday 28/45
School today- Met the girls on train down Pontypridd food time with Ivon. Had homework back unmarked- the lecturers dont take much interest in us miners- home usual time

                                                                                                           Thursday March 1/45
St Davids Day- Lovely day. Decided to go to to see Dai ?? mother and father as no school. Took them eggs and ovalline

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Caught train to Pontypool, and walked around Pontypool in morning and met a girl in the Clarence, and then I caught the 12:30 bus to Goytre. Lovely weather and they live in a pretty spot. The sugar loaf mountain stands out very clear. Mr and Mrs Evans are keeping up well, although Mr Evans is far from well. Left about 3 oclock and caught bus back to Cardiff. Met Griffs Brother there and had tea with home. Home about 7 oclock.

                                                                                                              Friday 2/45
Up Resolven today. Over Groyore with dad Ike and Mr Jones, and then I went around the ???? in Glyngwylim. Its gone in a long way. ???? deep over 1200 yds. Back to farm for tea. Lovely day. Did homework in evening

                                                                                                                Saturday 3/45
Up colliery in van and had some planks sawn. Back home then and mended the chicken shed, as chicks coming monday. Finished at about 12, and had and early dinner and off to Swansea to see the RAF V Army match. Arranged to see ????, but she didnt turn up, so went alone. Very poor match. Out about 5, and to flics in Plaza. Sholled down sands afterwards. Lovely day and evening had snaps of Griff back.

                                                                                                                  Sunday 4/45
Up farm in van. Lovely day. Planted out all the trees in the chicken run and also on the mountain. Brought chaff back home for the                                                                                             

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small chickens. Wrote letters to Fenner Skippy and Griff in evening and did homework.

                                                                                                           Monday 5/45
Up colliery. did work in office all day. Home about 5, and put ???? ready for chickens and lit it ready. Homework

                                                                                                            Tuesday 6/45
Up colliery in noon. In morning went to Neath Tec for my certificates and to ?? Walters for my medical. Hughes up in evening. for morning. Had plans back.

                                                                                                               Wenesday 7/45
Fetched the 50 chickens and put them in shed. Caught 9 train to Cardiff and then to Treforest. Caught usual train home from Cardiff

                                                                                                                Thursday 8/45
School again today Went up with usual crowd. Covered quite a lot of work. Home about 7 and fed chicks. Letter from Jack Rees. Did some homework.

                                                                                                                   Friday 9/45
Did work in office all day. Output still very low. In my opinion to many repairers, but so far I guess it doesnt count. Home late and a letter from Griff. Very Glad to hear from him. He is at a pre-selection training camp for future officers.

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                                                                                                             Saturday 10/45
Puncture in byke so caught bus up. Did some work and home about 2 as arguing with committee. Swansea in noon and went to Plaza. Home on 9:30 and met ????. Lovely day - like summer -still got ????.

                                                                                                           Sunday 11/45
Up farm early. Counted sheep in mountain and all checked 50. In noon burnt farm on field by the incline. Home about 5 and did homework in evening.

                                                                                                            Monday 12/45  -   12/3/45(1 yr in a 100)
Up colliery all day in the office doing work. Home about 4:30 and started one of Southens  lessons read act. Wrote to Griff and J Rees.

                                                                                                              Tuesday 13/45
Up colliery with dad as W ???? is late again and dad went to meet him and tell him what, but he is very off-handed. One day he will want a farmer. Hughes up in night and we did surveying.

                                                                                                              Wenesday 14/45
Caught usual train. Met the lads etc on way down. Had lectures and went to Ponty food time. Caught usual train home and called in Harry Jones but photo not ready. Bed early as headache.

                                                                                                                Thursday 15/45
School again. Met Rita and Syb on train. Raining today. Had lectures and had a game of soccer food time. Caught bus to Cardiff and them town to

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Neath. Bought a book in Cardiff Home about 7 oclock

                                                                                                                Friday 16/45
Up colliery today and did homework in the office and helped Hubert with pay. In evening wrote out notes and wrote to Dai Williams. Lovely day

                                                                                                                  Saturday 17/45
Up colliery in morning. Put new planks over bridge crossing river ready for cementing. Home about 2:30. Collected book for new bookshop and off to Swansea to meet Margaret. Went to flics and off down beach, but last time. Home about 11 oclock.

                                                                                                                     Sunday 18/45
Up farm early after feeding little chicks. Finished putting in new ???? up mountain and started on dam. Home early as ???? change small chickens chaff. In evening stuck Dougs photos in album. Feeling fed up

                                                                                                            Monday 19/45
Up colliery all day. Did Homework in office. Finished off Southerns lesson. Home about 5 and worked again in evening

                                                                                                                   Tuesday 20/45
Up colliery and put rails over bridge. Lovely day. Home about 4 as off to see the fights in Swansea at ?? Hall. Went down in Theos' car with Hubert and Ron. Saw Ronnie James British ???? ?? Champion fight Wills

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from Shrewsbury and win a knocked Some other good fights followed. Home about 9:30 pm and had supper on Theos bed.

                                                                                                             Wenesday 21/45
Up early and off to school with usual train. Saw Rita and Syb. Had lessons in morning and then down Ponty food time with Ivon. Arranged to go to Cardiff next week as end of term. Home after school at about 5, as went to Cardiff and caught luxury bus home.

                                                                                                               Thursday 22/45
School again today so up with usual 7 train. Lectures in morning and in noon out in the field with instruments. Had a game of touch-rugger during interval and all enjoyed it. Home the Rhondda way and met 2 fellows from Blain gwyof. Fetched old Mornis 193k from Alf and took it to the garage ready for the morning. Letter from Griff and wrote back to him and to Doug

                                                                                                                 Friday 23/45
Up colliery with a bad cold. Took up the old Mornis for Ike to see and except for poor speed in climping, she's OK. Helped Ike on new bridge and did some homework. Owen David getting on well on the new retaining wall. Took Hubert home with the old bus. Failed Sardis Hill and had to go through Port Talbot. Puncture in Ferry and eventually reached home about 6 oclock. Went to ????

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and saw my sports job. Looking OK. Bathed and changed and did some homework.

                                                                                                                 Saturday 24/45
Colliery in morning after having a spin in Mornis with Alf and she runs very sweetly. Left the old bus up Tonmawr for Ike. Swansea in noon. Flics and then up to John Smales' parents in Town hill, but they were out, so caught early bus home.

                                                                                                                    Sunday 25/45
Up Gilfach with some plants and then up farm. Up the mountain and completed the ?? for water for sheep. Down about 1 feeling famished. Home early. Did homework in evening and wrote to Melville

                                                                                                                    Monday 26/45
Up colliery on byke In morning copied notes from Southerns. Llantwit Distinct out in morning because water up, so they said down below the DP, but it was nothing above normal. Later it came out that this was decided on Saturday amongst the boys. A ball ???? and a few ???? were behind it. Any way they went home but Lloyd kept the men behind to ???? a cutler which wasn't what they expected. Bung its a nice day, they didnt mind. Mr Rees and dad up in noon. Did homework in evening and went to ???? about 9 oclock for a rugger ticket.

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                                                                                                                       Tuesday 27/45
Up colliery on  byke Men in but few boys home. B Phillips A Ball, B and WD Hughes as air was bad. If in peace its the sack they should have had. Did some swotting and Hughes up in evening.

                                                                                                                       Wenesday 27/45
School today but only in morning as end of term. In noon went to Cardiff with Ivon after having food in Ponty. Went to flics. so see '30 secs over ????' with Spencer Tracey and Van Johnoon. Jolly good film. Had tea in a cafe and went for walk down the docks. Caught 7:15 train home and got to Neath about 9 oclock.

                                                                                                                          Thursday 28/45
Up colliery as no school. Arch giving trouble. Will have to do job on it during the holls did electricity and in evening up to Ikes house and he complained about slip rings etc, Jack Rees phoned up and I arranged to see him at the house tomorrow.

                                                                                                                            Friday 29/45
Colliery all day and helped Ike on bridge; the two supports one up. being pulled up in place by the small haulage. Jack Rees up house about 5 and we went to the ????. He limps pretty badly as he was wounded in an engagement with German E Boats. Home about 10 and we had supper together. I ran him to Port Talbot in the car as he buses had all gone and next time hes home, we should try and stay up farm. Melville phoned up later. 

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                                                                                                          Saturday 30/45
Colliery in morning. Bought new Mornis Sports car and paid Alf the Cheque. Its in good condition and can tamp along. Better than byke in long run although not so thrilling. Met Mil in noon at same time and place and went to flics. Had supper and he caught 8 bus. Up to John Swales house in Townhill but his people were out. Caught 10 bus home.

                                                                                                            Sunday 1/45
Up farm. Very wet but went up mountain to see sheep 12 lamb. Home about 1 and cold. Dad was up colliery as trouble with arch so went up straight away. Found that it had ???? up 30 feet and some huge stones there, but managed to get a ring and concrete it up. Home about 9, for a bite and back up again in evening to help Phil, Seth and Gregory. Filthy night and rainging cats and dogs.

                                                                                                              Monday April 2/45
Up colliery to see how they had done. Got rid of cow arch and managed to get place for another ring and concrete it and corge up to the roof. Left about 4 oclock and everything OK. Went to Swansea and met Olga and took her to the flics, She's teaching in Sussex. Home about 10 oclock.

                                                                                                                Tuesday April 3/45
Up colliery just to see how they are getting on, but everything under hand and work will be as usual tomorrow, so i didnt stay long. I cleaned my car and had dinner. Uncle Eric and Aunty Nella down for match

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Wales V England Schoolboys. Jolly good match and weather OK. Had tea and off to Swansea to Griffs house, but I didnt have enough time failed to find it, so will have to phone to see what time his train is due in on ??

                                                                                                                 Wenesday April 4/45
Up colliery about 8 and settled down with electricity. Every thing going OK, except for a large no of abscentes. Ike getting on well with bridge. Arch standing alright. Home work in evening

                                                                                                                    Thursday April 5/45
Up colliery and had boards sawn for garage and Ellis took them down in the lorry. Griff phone up in the evening and I arranged to meet him at the station tomorrow.

                                                                                                                      Friday 6/45
Up early, about 6 oclock and started on the garage before Alfie came down. Concreted the side and put doors right, until it looked respectable once more. Down to station about 1 oclock and met Griff on the 1-20 train. He looked very smart in uniform and had grown quite an inch or two. Went to Swansea with him and met Gerald at station. Walked around and then went to his home, after he had called in a few friends and had a smashing feed of steak and chips. Gerald put on his swing records and ???? got me to buy some. Went down Mrs ???? and then back to the ???? ???? where we all ???? damn good time ???? Knocked over a ???? of coconuts and ????                                                                                             

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few prices. Left about 9 oclock as not sure of buses and arranged to see him during week. Its been a lovely day. Hope it stays fine.

                                                                                                                     Saturday 7/45
Up early as off to Gloucester to see match and to see Doug who is staying at Malvem. Left Neath about 8, and travelled up with Harry Davies a fellow from Glenammon and also a few ???? Boys. Train was packed but luckily had a seat. Reached Gloucester about 12:30, had a meal and a look around, and then went to field to see Doug. Managed to scrounge two tickets. Met Doug about 2:30 with his pal and managed to get three of us in for two tickets. Lovely day and a good game. Wales winning by 29-9, a walkover. The ground was full up, and a lot of wounded soldiers were there. and some of them had been pretty badly hurt. Match finished about 5,and left Doug as he wanted to keep with his ???? and my train went at 6. Had a good tea at a cafe and off to station where there was a hill of quiere, but I just walked on. Met Graham Rees and his father from ???? and went back together. Arranged to see him at next saturdays game. Home about 10:30.( 'photo'- Gwyn is 9 yrs of age here. Gwyin with Paddy our dog who is now 22 yrs old)

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                                                                                                          Sunday 8/45
Communion morning- Not many there and then up farm. Painted gate and then up to see sheep and counted about 18 lambs, all looking well. Home about 3 and did the Mornis ??. All went to Church in evening, so I read Southerns Notes in the garden as it is a beautiful summer day. Good news in the papers, as our forces are doing what they ???? Germany. Hope it wont be long.

                                                                                                           Monday 9/45
Started work at home today ready for May, and covered quit a lot of work. Had a whiff about 4, and took car to Castle to put starter and ?? right and had a haircut. Learnt that Terry Smith is home. Phone Griff. He said that he will be down tomorrow and ???? Aunty Nella for 3 tickets for Sat. Hughes up in night. Lovely day.

                                                                                                           Tuesday 10/45
Started work about 9 and read Southerns lessons, CMA, and Colliery Managers Guide. Finished about 2:30 as Griff came up. Had a chat and then went down town. Paid for advertisements in Port and WM and then home for tea. Had a game of snooker after and then went up farm on the byke, as Griff wanted a spin on it. Back about 9 and had supper. Walked to bus station with him and arranged to see him on Saturday at the station to see match, or if possible for him to come down on Friday evening as we are to catch the early train. Picked my back, and its pretty painful. Hope it wont last as long as last time.

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                                                                                                              Wenesday 11/45
Started work again and read Colliery Men agens Report. Back pretty stiff as before. Finished work about 5 and went to flics as feeling browned off being in all the day. Gas-men doing repairs in front of house as there is a heavy gas leak.

                                                                                                                Thursday 12/45
Up as usual and back still stiff painful and started work till about 5 oclock. Back a bit better. Went up garden with air gun and mucked around for a while. Hughes didnt come up and bed then about 10:30. Phoned up Griff, but no reply.

                                                                                                                  Friday 13/45
Got up and heard that President Roosevelt is dead. Good news on Western Trout as we are only 60 miles from Berlin, so it doesnt look as if it will be long. Back a little better- not much. Down to Phillips in evening for a massage and felt a lot better after it, so fetched car from Alf and cleaned it in lane. Griff phoned about 11 and arranged to meet him tomorrow.

                                                                                                                  Saturday 14/45
Up early and down station to meet Griff on 9 train. Caught it OK- both had a seat up all the way and had a good yarn. Reached Cardiff about 10 oclock and as it was raining went to the baths where Griff  had a swim. Came out about 12:30 and went to to the Continental for dinner and met two coll chaps there. Afterwards had a stroll around and went to market and then to the match, where we met a few other coll chaps. Saw Aunty Netta.

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It was a poor 1st half but things woke up in the second half- Wales won 11-8 but only managed it. Back to the continental for tea and had fish and chips. Be glad when the fish is filleted again. Out about 6 and went to baths and then caught a tram to Roath Park where we had an hour on the boats. Off about 7:15 and then walked to the gardens and caught a tram back to station. Reached station about 9 and sat down and talked till train came out. Pretty packed and had to stand all way. Arrived in Neath about 11, and said goodbye to Griff as he is going back off leave tomorrow after a good day. Bought him his present.

                                                                                                                            Sunday 15/45
???? in morning Not many there. Up farm on byke. Back better again Swept cobweb down in cowshed and underground with Jones Manager. Back early to see Griff off with 3 oclock train, but missed him ???? to crush. Went to ???? in evening for ???? ???? and also had photos back today off Harry Jones. Very good news. Only ???? 30 miles to Berlin. Roosebelt was ???? today in America.

                                                                                                                     Monday 16/45
Griffs birthday and mine today and had a card off him and hope he gets mine Lovely day and settled down to work and finished about 5 and did some again in evening. Phoned Derricks mother.

                                                                                                              Tuesday 17/45
Work again today and Hughes up in 

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night. Had a card from Dai Williams with his new address.

                                                                                                              Wenesday 18/45
School today so up early. Boys all there- started work. Boiling day. New canteen open with a good meal. Back to Cardiff and spent night at Aunty Nettas. Had a walk round and had a chat

                                                                                                                Thursday 19/45
Up about 7:30 and caught bus to Cardiff and then to Cardiff Arrived in school in plenty of time and started work. Finished about 4 and caught train to Cardiff and then Neath. Lovely day. Home about 7

                                                                                                                Friday 20/45
Up early and up colliery as spring cleaning down Main and Llantwit district. Out about 1 and had food. Home about 5 had a haircut and paid for photos. Took chicks up Gilfach and went with Billy the new boy at Gilfach back to house. Good news of war. Only about 20 miles from Berlin.

                                                                                                                 Saturday 21/45
Worked in morning till about 10 and finished cleaning up the small chick shed with Ginger Shaved washed and changed and went down town about 3 and bought a present for Gwyn. Off to Swansea bought a film and photo album and bought a ticket for Swansea Emp to see Jane in 2nd house. As I had plenty of time went to Mumbles for a spin in the train and went out on the pier.

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 Lovely day. Back to Emp and saw an excellent show with Jane outstanding. Back home with 9:30 bus and found that Doug had come home on a 48hr leave. Up talking until about 12:30 and then off to bed.

                                                                                                                       Sunday 22/45
Up early and went to ????. Not many there and then up farm. Up to see sheep and walked the mountain. Sam busy filling trees. Home for dinner with Doug and we played snooker in noon and went up Gilfach in car. I took some snaps of him on byke. He went back to Manchester in the 9 train and dad and I sent him off as usual. News good as Red Army is fighting in Berlin Streets. Wrote to ???? replies and Griff.

                                                                                                                  Monday 23/45
Worked all day up to 5 and had a hell of a headache so went to flics with Albert Cousins who I met outside. Lovely day Had a letter from Jack Rees and Mining Board

                                                                                                                   Tuesday 24/45
Up colliery to get form signed for Howells Befn Boed manager to sign Up Befn Boed about 1 and and waited till about 2. and Howells up from pit by then and signed it. Home in evening Posted off the letters from Exchange and ???? and Replies to BSA enquires Hughes up in evening

                                                                                                                       Wenesday 25/45
School today as up early. Lovely day but hellish warm. Had usual lectures and then a good feed in the canteen. Arranged to meet Ivon in Cardiff Finished lectures

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and caught 4:30 bus to Cardiff. Met Ivon as arranged, had tea and went to flics. Out about 9, and sent him to bus and caught tram and bus to Aunty Nettas' where I had a good supper. Bed about 11:15 and slept well.

                                                                                                                         Thursday 26/45
Up about 7:30 and caught 8 bus to town and then a bus to Pontypridd. Started doing 2nd class questions, but so slow were the ???? that whold day was wasted and my homework wasnt marked. Caught 5:30 train home and arrived in Neath about 7 Had letters from Griff and Harry.

                                                                                                                          Friday 27/45
Gwyn's birthday wished him many happy returns of day and gave him two books. Worked till about 2 oclock and then Alfie came down to do the garage doors. Gwyn had a party and about 10 boys came. Sold my motor byke to a fellow from Swansea for 60. Doug phoned up. British and Russian armies meet and cut Germany in Two. (Griffs Brother- Roll Of Honour paper clipping) In my form at ball

                                                                                                                            Saturday 28/45
Dad and Gwyn went to ???? for a week holiday. Took car to have battery charged and went to bank. Saw Griffs father Worked in house till about 12 and painted garage doors after. Down Swansea about 4 and went to see 'ball of the Wild'. Home about 7 and went up Gilfach and ???? part of pund. Very cold and raining Saw Douglas.

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                                                                                                             Sunday 29/45
Communion in morning and then up farm with Jack Rees fining the stumps in new field. Took sheep up mountain Up Gilfach about 3 and cleaned out pond. Home with 2 dz duck eggs. Church in night and sang ready for ????. Went to the Trotskyte Meeting in the Gwyh Hall and walked home with Douglas

                                                                                                             Monday 30/45
Up Tonmawr in car. Signed cheques for Mr Rees and did some mechanics with Ike. Output up for last week. Wrote to Griff Doug, and also to Bradford ordering fish and aquarium value 5/15/0

                                                                                                            Tuesday May 1/45
Up Resolven and over ???? with Ike to see new auction. Went to farm after and then to canteen for food. Back up with Ike and ???? and measured out the barn behind the cowshed. Home about 4:30. Pat Brown ?? to sit on 12 duck eggs. Had a letter from Griff. Hughes up in evening and we went over some surveying problems

                                                                                                           Wenesday 2/45
Up early as school. Very cold and raining School as usual. Had a good meal in the canteen and went to Pontypridd for a stroll. Good news. It looks as if the war is almost over. Back to Cardiff to Aunty Nettas. Went for spin in car to Newport and the flats. Very cold Bed about 11:30

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                                                                                                             Thursday 3/45
Caught 8:30 bus to Pontypridd and went over 2nd class questions Very cold day. Italy has surrended. Nobody feels like doing work. Fetched car from Castle and put small chicks right.

                                                                                                            Friday 4/45
Worked all day with Southerns lessons. Had a letter from Griff. Went to flics in evening as eyes tired, Good news.

                                                                                                           Saturday 5/45
Worked all the morning. Went to town in noon and to Swansea Emp in evening to see Frank Randle in Randalls Scandalls. Home with the 1/4- 10 train. Nearly had a scraps

                                                                                                               Sunday 6/45
Went to ???? early. Not many there. Up farm in sports. Looked for ???? in morn and found it dead in log. Lovely day. Excellent news. Everyone waiting for VE day. Did some homework in evening

                                                                                                                Monday 7/45
Worked all day till about 5 and in the evening up Dougs and we went to ???? to the Neath choir broadcast in the Gwyh Hall at 10 in the Welsh ????. Went off OK. Saw uncle John there. Home about 11, and walked up with Doug.

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                                                                                                               Tues May 8/45
Today is VE day and everyone has a two days holiday. Raining heavily in morning but cleared up after funnily enough. Put flags out like everyone else. Dad has a pretty bad head. Down town, and everything ready for some fun fireworks already going off. Up Resolven after with Gwyn and put the bonfire OK for the evening. Dad up later as his head is better. Set bonfire off about 11 oclock and dad and Sam fired powder down the woods. Tempt blaze- will have another on V day proper. Home about 12 and set off our fireworks and rockets, Doug there. Bed about 12:30.

                                                                                                                Wenesday May 9/45
Up early as I intend going to ????. Not many there, as I thought it would be full. Fed chicks after and then up farm for rest of day. Down town in evening till one oclock. Thousands of people there and we all had a good time. Gwyh Hall ten club and Busstand all lit up and fireworks by the dozen were chucked about. Everyone enjoyed themselves

                                                                                                                   Thursday 10/45
Nearly everyone ???? at Tonmawr and Resolven in work- not as I expected. over both places with Ike. Lovely day. Down farm after with Ike and ???? making arrangements about the new barn. Did some homework in evening and wrote a few letters.

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                                                                                                                   Friday 11/45
Up Graigie with Ike and put new paper on the syphen. It works well. Down about 1 oclock and walked around with dad discussing the new plant for surfaces. Fish have come and tank coming tomorrow

                                                                                                                     Saturday 12/45
Worked all the morning till about 1 oclock. Tank came in noon and went to fetch it and cleaned it. Swansea in evening. Went to Mumbles for a stroll and back to Swansea Empire to see Duggie Wakefield and ?? gang and Harry Lester and his layseeds. Good show.

                                                                                                                     Sunday 13/45
?? with dad at Cadaxtion Quite a no there. Up farm after in car and up mountain and checked sheep two with maggots so cleaned them and put maggot vil in them. Home about 4 and painted the aquarium. In evening went to the Trakyite V Communust delate and things began to Engteen up.

                                                                                                                    Monday 14/45
Worked hard all day and movered a ?? of ground. In evening went to the Lalown meeting. Ness Edwards Lalown MP who had ???? the Belser Concentration Camp in Germany spoke as did Jim Griffiths Llanelly. Hall was packed.

                                                                                                                    Tuesday 15/45
Worked all day and night. Letter from Griff Doug Allan and had my cig cards of rugby players. Up Gilfach with dad and Gwyn. Wet day. 

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                                                                                                                    Wenesday 16/45
School today. All there and did a little revision. Went for a walk after with Ivor down Pontypridd Home about 8. and in evening fetched Aunty Bess from station ???? in morning to Oak Grove for holls. Wet in evening

                                                                                                                     Thursday 17/45
Worked all day. Saw aunty Netta and Uncle Eric as they went down to Swansea. Hughes up in evening and did some revision. Wrote to Jimmy and Griff. Very close all day.

                                                                                                                       May   Friday 18/45
Worked all day and night up till 7. Lovely day. So in evening up Resolven in car to see Sam.

                                                                                                                         Saturday 19/45
Hughes up in morning and we covered a lot of ground. Think I've covered practically everything. Lovely day so went to Swansea to flics with Peg. Home about 10.

                                                                                                                          Whit   Sunday 20/45
Comm at ST Thomas at 8. Just time I've had comm there since I've been confirmed. Worked in morning and watched Gwyn and dad working in noon. as the weather has cleared up. Church in night and walked home with Douglas.

                                                                                                                           Whit Monday 21/45
Worked all the morning up till 3 oclock. 

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and then went up the Gnoll to see MC races. Very good. Up to Ikes in evening for a refresher ready for Exams on Wenes and Thus feeling rotten and have a headache. Very ill in the night.

                                                                                                                           Tuesday 22/45
Very ill in bed Doc Owen up as had temp and pulse up. No food all day and felt sick and had a headache. Doesnt look as if I can sit the exam. Second time I've missed it 3rd time lucky. Up all night.

                                                                                                                             Wenesday 23/45
Exams on. No better and still in bed Doc up and said to stay there until Friday. Griff phoned up but unable to speak to him as to weak to talk.

                                                                                                                          Thursday 24/45
A little better but still kept in bed. Very little food and still a bad headache adused to get glasses. Read a book in evening

                                                                                                                           Friday 25/45
Got up for a short while in the afternoon, but didnt go far as felt as weak as a kitten so just sat down and read a book. Letters from Jack, Griff Doug and Jimmy. Will reply to them next week. Bed early as very tired

                                                                                                                   Saturday 26/45
Didnt get up till late. Went for a walk

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down town and bought an oil can for the Mornis car. Home early

                                                                                                                    Sunday 27/45
Feeling a lot better so went up Tonmawr and farm to see how things were going. Had a chat with Ike. Read papers in evening and wrote to Doug Griff and Jack

                                                                                                                  Monday 28/45
Up Tonmawr all day. Didn't do a lot but did go down the Main to see how things getting on. Traffic still slow and haulage on long way behind the faces. Stayed in all the evening.

                                                                                                                   Tuesday 29/45
Up Tonmawr and down the 5 today. Still feeling rather weak so took things easy. Up farm later and Resolven. Juice out about 3 oclock. Up Resolven all night as they couldnt find the trouble on the Cue and water up in the deep and perhaps the pump would have to be pulled back. Juice in however about 12 and everything OK. Home soon after

                                                                                                                       Wenesday 30/45
Down Swansea all day in office with dad and Mr Rees. Dinner in the Mac. Up Uncle Jacks after to see car. Saw Aunty Ethel. Arranged to come. down ?? the morning to get the tools ??.

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                                                                                                                  May 31/45
Up Tonmawr all day. Down 5 with Dai Lewis - Everyone waiting for Trams. Painting still uncompleted. Letter from Griff home on the 15th

                                                                                                                   Friday June 1/45
Up Resolven with dad and up farm after. Very wet all time Ike ?? is practically complete

                                                                                                                  Saturday June 2/45
Up Tonmawr all morning. Went to flics in Swansea in evening. Be glad when Griff gets home as fed up to the teeth knocking around by oneselve.

                                                                                                               Sunday June 3/45
Up farm today and slipped up the colliery. Pouring with rain. Had lorry out- hell of a job to start it as I had to go to Tonmawr to get Ike to ???? the tumbler wheel. Eventually after a rotten day home about 7 and found dad in a tear because I had done it. If I hadnt- been no work tomorrow, so I really dont know what a the name of L___ to do as I ???? please all. Wish I could go to the MN

                                                                                                           Monday 4/45
Up Resolven with Ike to finish ??. Put up all the couplings down to Griffs house in evening and went with Mr and Mrs Griffiths to their hut at Langlais.

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Lovely evening

                                                                                                                 Tuesday 5/45
Up farm to give Ned a hand with the mixer for the ??. Home later and wrote some letters.

                                                                                                                  Wenesday 6/45
Cleaned car in Castle for dad to sell it. Down to Swansea Office and Miss Bullock on the books. Bought records

                                                                                                                     Thurday 7/45
Farm again and more rain. home about 5 and mucked about with car.

                                                                                                                   Friday 8/45
Last day on the farm as everything finished. Called at the colliery in evening

                                                                                                                   Saturday 9/45
Same routine again Swansea in noon as per usual and flics.

                                                                                                                     Sunday 10/45
Pouring with rain so stayed in bed. Worst day I've ever spent as nothing to do. Glad when 10 oclock came to go to bed.

                                                                                                                      Monday 11/45
Up Tonmawr and down Main with Tommy. Lot of work to do to get the haulage working. Down 5 after with

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Dai Lewis. It places on the cutter. Rather a few to many. Went to a joint ?? and Liberal meeting where D Bowen K.C was adopted as our delegate for the M P - not many there.

                                                                                                                           Tuesday 12/45
Up Resolven with Mr Jones. Over Graigre - Waited unitl 11 for the demonstration of a new cutter to come but he failed to turn up. Home about 5 and stayed in the rest of the evening Pete phoned up.

                                                                                                                             Wenesday 13/45
Up Resolven with dad to meet a Ministry of fuel chap about our spare suplly of juice. He promised to do his best for us. Swansea in noon on the books with Miss Bullock. Flics in night.

                                                                                                                           Thursday 14/45
Underground at Resolven with Mr Jones. Went to all the faces No 2 face in the expected jump down. Cleaned car in evening.

                                                                                                                            Friday 15/45
On ???? with Sam. Finished ealry as today Griffs leave is starting Met him on the Neath station at 1-45 and took him home to Swansea in the old bus. His mum and dad were waiting for him. Went to Celyne golf club for a game of darts and after we went for a spin in the country.

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Back home about 10-30.

                                                                                                                           Saturday 16/45
Up Tonmawr all morn on books and down to Griff in noon and went to the flics Back for tea and went for a spin in car. Back to Mumbles Pier and then to the dance. Packed out so when for a spin with Griff around Langland Home about 10.

                                                                                                                          Sunday 17/45
Up farm in morning and cut ??? lambs and cut eweslambs ears and tails. Lovely day. Home about 6. Intended going to Griffs but short of gas.

                                                                                                                           Monday 18/45
Up Resolven all day and underground over Graigre. Down about 4 and down Griffs by 6. Went with him and Gerald to call on Melveille and went for a spin to Llanelly in bus. Back about 10 and arranged for Llandovery on Saturday.

                                                                                                                         Tuesday 19/45
Up Resolven all day underground ???? ?? to all the headings and deeps. Didnt meet Griff as he is seeing his relatives. Went to flics in evening.

                                                                                                                          Wenesday 20/45
Down to Swansea office in bus as two punctures in car. Finished by 12 and Griff called for me at the office and we had dinner at bus home. Flics in

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noon. 'Arsenic and Old Lace' -good show and went to Swansea Emp in the evening- ?? ???? and his band.

                                                                                                                           Thursday 21/45
Pouring all morning but went to Griff House by eleven. Had dinner and went for spin with him and ???? in car to Langland and went home riding down Caswell. Back to flics and Griff came back with me and we stayed up the farm. Went shooting with gun but out of luck. Lovely evening.

                                                                                                                             Friday 22/45
Arranged to go to Cardiff on the 9 train but stayed in bed late and caught the 11 instead Met Gerald in Cardiff Baths- lovely in- Had tea and then went boating on Roath Parc- which is full of weeds making it poor for rowing. Back to the Capitol and caught the 7:30 train back as not much doing there. Home early about 9 and went to bed as very tired- after a grand day.

                                                                                                                               Saturday 23/45
Down to Griffs by about eleven ready for our Llandovery trip. Picked up Mil. and set off the Ammanford way. Called at Amm'ford where Griff bought a wrist watch 4-10.0- but towards the end of the day he was sorry. Arrived Llandovery

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about 1 and had a good feed in the Bear Inn. - Back up to the Coll an d had a long chat with old Pope who is still the same. Back to the cricket pitch and watched coll in their 1st cricket match of the season. Griff and Gerald went ???? ?? Met and I went for a walk up to see the caved dragon and up Blain ?? brought back happy memories of my walks with the gang and Dai ??. After tea went back to Coll and had a game of Ball courts- grand. Started back about 8:30 and after a puncture and calling for fish and chips and Griffs uncle and dropping off the gang eventually reached home about 11 after a tip top day.

                                                                                                                          Sunday 24/45
Very stiff out and tranning- Up farm and washed the sheep in the dip Lovely day Back home after 5 and read papers.

                                                                                                                             Monday 25/45
Up Tonmawr and down Llantwit in morning and in noon up Resolven to start Sam cutting hay but field in front of staple- Lovely day. Home about 5 and washed and changed and down to Griffs in car and this is the last time i shall see him this leave. Met him about 6 and went to Caswell where I picked up my new saddle for 10- 10.0. Back to forts for Ice Cream and then to Mumbles Pier on the amusements and rocks where I took some snaps. Bought to Griffs home and I left about 10:30 and after

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wishing Griff goodbye as he is off  on the eleven train tomorrow. Have had a grand time the last few days. sorry he is going back as we get on fine. Be glad when he is home for good.

                                                                                                                Tuesday 26/45
Pouring with rain so the hay must stay put. Underground over Resolven with Mr Jones and down Groigre Went to flics in evening.

                                                                                                                  Wenesday 27/45
Down Swansea office all the morning talking with dad and Mr Rees. Up Tech in noon to discuss the times of trains etc for our visit to Yorkshire on Saturday Met all the old familiar faces. Flics in Swansea in the evening

                                                                                                                   Thursday 28/45
Up Tonmawr with dad and down the main distinct with him and down 5. after .No sign of the haulage working yet. Flics again in evening as there is absolutely nothing else to do in Neath especially when one is by oneself. I shall be very glad when some of the lads come home.

                                                                                                                     Friday 29/45
Up Resolven early with dad and down the deeps and around the faces. Back to farm and helped them to sheet the barn. Back to house and packed my.

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bags ready for tomorrow. Took two bags, one for my working clothes and one for my clean things

                                                                                              Yorkshire tour  Sat June 30/45
Up early and dad ran me down to station where I met all the boys. Caught the 8 oclock train via Derby Birmingham and Sheffield and were lucky enough to have seats all the way. Played cards all the way up Arrived Sheffield about 4 and took a train to Mexboro where Mr John the manager of Bamboo Colliery met us and took us all to the hostel where we are to stay the week. We reached the hostel about 7 oclock and had a good meal in the canteen and we were then taken to our dormitories. The hostel on outside appearances looks very much like an army camp and the lads or Berin Boys are themselves called the 'Inmates of Belsen' but inside and its really good, although perhaps one would get fed up with it There are billiards ping pong, a dance hall, and rest room and excellent food there after a good mean we went to Mexlon to the Masons, where we all enjoyed ourselves. Had a feed of fish and chips and back to the hostel where met the Berin Boys. I got stuck with three very descent fellows Frank Morris from London, and Fred Foster and Cyril Hayward lock from Shrewsbury.

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As my bed was too short, we had to put two together and after a hell of a good laugh till gone two in the morning we eventually  all went to sleep after a good beginning.

                                                                                                                          Sunday 1/45
Got up about 9 oclock and had a good breakfast of egg on toast with porridge. Tucker had fetched some news papers and we had a read. Talked to some of the Berin Boys and found that they dont have a particularily good time, although very few of them work a whole week. They earn on an average about 3 but by the time they pay for Coolgings, bus fares, snacks etc they only have about 18f left for the week. They have to get up at the unearthy hour of 4 oclock, as the pits up there start at 6 oclock. Dai up after and we had an informal chat about the weeks work ahead of us. Dinner at one oclock and it was jolly good . After we proceeded to Barnlow Main Colliery where a lecture was given to us by Dr Jirrel of the SMRB on waldust. We were introduced to Capt John the Manager and a few other officials. This colliery is very large and has adopted Skip winding in the UC. It raises about 15000 tons weekly. After a very interesting lecture we made our way back to the hostel for tea. After tea, Tucker, Whitetrash and another

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B Boy and myself and the rest of the gang went to Mexboro where we had a singsong in the Bull. Back about 10 oclock, had a snack and a chat in the hostel and off to bed about 12

                                                                                                                         Monday July 2/45
Rose early, at least we thought so, ready for our trip to Barlons Main Colliery. We caught the trackless bus and arrived at the colliery at 9 oclock where we issued with hard hats which are compulsory. We went to Mr Johns office where he explained his way of running things and he gave us all the impression of being methodical and tidy, as indeed was his pit, as he said to get output you must keep a tidy pit. Afterwards we examined the U C where the Skip winding was being operated. This is indeed a marvellous system as only one man is needed a put top to control the coal delivery. The Skips are huge things holding up to 8 tons. Afterwards we walked around the screens which were again kept very clean and tidy- their small by the way is sent to Manvers to be washed as these are the same company. Went down the skips shaft which is 757 yds deep and ???? with ???? ???? as it is only 16' in diam. The pit  bottom is indeed a marvellous one. It is over 100yds long with sidings

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and kept spotlessly clean and white washed. All tracks are cemented in and all points or latches worked by compressed air. At pit bottom there are over a dozen offices- for surveyor- under-fitters  ?? stones- and fitters stones etc and each one again as spotlessly clean- made me do a lot of thinking- Our party was split up in two and we went our different ways. Shown the endless rope hauler which again was kept clean. Went ???? to the face and found conditions vastly in front of ours in S Wales Talked to the men and found their wages were very low as compared with ours in S Wales in comparison with the tonnage filled. Had a chat with the officials over the training scheme and after shown the distinct where the 'bump' had taken place resulting in the loss of 13 lives. It had to be seen to be believed, as where the roadways were, was now solid - ???? were flattened like pankcakes, as was everything else. On walking back shown were the ???? oiled and cleaned and nunor repairs carried out. Their roadways are kept in perfect line and there is hardly any notice able pressure, but its hellish warm, and we sweat our guts out. Tomorrow very few of us will wear so many clothes, although I had some prepared for it. Back to P B and shown the advice of where the trams where tipped
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into the skip automatically and weighed underground. Very few Rowbottom Whells are used mostly fixed wheels and roller bearings- Up Pit and then to the canteen where we had a meal. All of us were tired, as we were not used to such hot conditions, but before we left we had a look over all the colliery. Finished about 4 and walked back to Mexboro feeling hellish tired where we washed and had tea. In the evening I intended staying in but unfortuneatly old John collared me and another lad and took us to Manvers Main Colliery with the idea of showing us the new baths and sunray, but worst luck the aeroline bath was out of action, so he showed us around the surface and from there we went back to the hostel, had supper and then to bed, after I had a chat with Tucker.
Impression- Capt John is very strict and methodical, and is treated with respect, which is absolutely unknown down in S Wales. His officials know whos' loss and so do the men- His pit is very clean and it has been well worth the time time. Of special importance is his pit bottom where a stand???? of 350 trams is allowed for and ?? perfect roads and timbering- a diff timbering method is used -??
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                                                                                                                            Tuesday July 3rd/45
Got up at 7:30, and then packed my working clothes ready for trip to Manvers Main Colliery. Had a good breakfast and caught the 8:30 bus. Dai Davies met us and took us to the baths where we changed into our working trap and proceeded to meet out guides. Our guide was the safety officer and we proceeded down pit in a double decker cage. Arrived at pit bottom but it couldnt be compared with the Barnbon. Went down the endless rope main haulage which as usual was kept in perfect order with typical theoretical manholes. We insisted the Silkstone Seam 3'3'' thick, 300 yd face double unit feeding on a chain loader and then onto a mecco camier belt. Crawled through face on knees and sweated like hell by the time we reached the other end. Walked back through the return and had a lift up in a Paddy Mail and at Pit Bottom talked with the economy officers and then up pit. Had an excellent dinner in canteen after ???? and then we toured the surface of the colliery which included a ???? to engine house, ???? plant, ?? ovens and lye product plant, a novel feature was the collieries boys club. Which was run by the colliery on the colliery premises. It was an excellent play containing large, billiards, table tennis, reading room, and gym and was open all day and until late in evening. After our walk we were all pretty well done in, but Mike Williams and myself were fortuneate enough in being able to have an arestone bath ans sunray treatment which considerabley ???? us. We then went back to Mexboro where we had a good tea. After tea ???? up Tucker and we both 
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went to the flics in Mexoboro and saw 'The Falcon in Hollywood' Had a feed of fish and chips and caught bus back. Back to lounge and sat talking with Tucker, 'Ginger' and some of the lads. Ginger and I went for a stroll after and weren't back until about 12:30

                                                                                                              Wenesday July 4/45
Rose again at 7:30, changed direct into working togs, had breakfast and caught a bus to Hickleton Colliery, me of the ' Big Six' of the Doncaster Group. However as they were on strike, we were transferred by lorry to ???? Main instead. Had a chat with the agent and he showed us the working plans, issued with safety helmuts as is the custom and proceeded down pit on a 3 decker, 2 to each cage which was automatically unloaded and loaded. Arrived at pit bottom and split up into parties and proceeded to the face where the American Machinery is working. These machines are marvellous ???? and provided conditions are right can turn out the coal. We spent most of the day down and after asking various questions, we returned to pit bottom( See notes. looks for further details). Up pit and had a grand meal in the canteen washed down with 2 pints of lovely cold milk. Back to the office where the agent explained to us in detail the aspects of application of this new machinery. His belief was that a good manager must keep a tidy put to be a success with which I totally agree. After thanking him for his kindness we returned to Mexboro and had a wash and a good meal. All the lads went out in the evening

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but had to return by 7:30 as Capt John was to give us a lecture on 'Rock Mining in Gilratter' in the meanwhile I sat in the lounge with Frankie and had a good old yarn with him, and we became firm pals although we had only just got to know one another. John came about 7:30 and we had our lecture in the dance hall. He finished about 9, and just as we were leaving asked Gilbank and myself to come over to the Manvers Workmens Club and although I had other business I just couldn't refuse so off I went. We had a drink and a game of snooker and then we caught the bus back to Mexboro. Ginger was waiting and we went for a stroll in the fields. Back in early as very tired and said goodnight to Frankie. Impressions- All of us had a good day and were amazed at the way the american machinery worked, but as already explained you must have excellent conditions for it, good wages are most important the cooperation of the men handling ? The agent was a charming fellow and gave us a real good welcome which we all appreciated.

                                                                                                                  Thursday July 5/45
Up early and caught bus to Hickleton where we were issued with caplamls, special battery holden and helmuts, and as we didn't have to go far in, the agent who was a very methodical and practical man invited us all into his office here he gave us an informal lecture. At this pit, at the moment they had struck a downthrow fault (very rare) and were utilizing the american machinery to travel through it with excellent travelling results, The main object of using the machinery is to develop

77 quickly towards the boundary and open a face long wall retreating using a mecco moore loader. Down the pit in a square cage and landed at pit bottom where we went to the other shaft and was lowered by an electric hauler driven by V-belts to the Parkgate Seam. Off to face and saw the same kind of machinery as yesterday. Had a look around, and as usual asked numerous questions to everyone we contacted and after an hour or so returned to pit top where we were taken to the officials club and all had a drink. After on way to canteen, where we had an excellent meal and I met Fred Foster ( White Wash) just before he went down pit, and arranged to meet him tomorrow evening and then after saying goodbye to the agent, we caught a bus back to Mexboro where we washed changed and had a good meal. As Mr Steer is coming to give us a lecture on Skip Winding none of the lads went out and I went over to Frankies down for a yarn and after we went over the lounge to see Ginger. Had a good lecture on Skip Winding, but it was hellish warm there and we were glad when it was over by 8:30. Met Frankie and we caught a bus to Mexboro where we had a bottle of cider and chips in town and we walked slowly back and sat on the bed in our dormitory till 10:30 arranging plans for next holls in August. Ginger sent for me after so I???? Frankie goodnight and went for a stroll. I cut my hand pretty badly on returning and the lads bandaged it up but it beld a hell of a lot and I was glad to go to sleep. 
Impressions - The Hickleton Pit was the
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largest we had visited employing 4000 men, with a weekly out put of 23 000 tons. It appears to be well managed by the agent who was a very clever fellow and knew his stuff and he put himself out to help us. Underground ???? were to good to be true, but it was devilish warm. and we were soon stripped to the waist.

                                                                                                                         Friday July 5/45
Slept late, but had to rush so as to catch the train to Sheffield Hand a mass of blood. Arrived at Sheffield and went to the Training Centre, where I went to the 1st aid room man who bandaged it up and told me to go to hospital to have it stitched. Looked around the centre and indeed the lads had every advantage in which ?? team the ins and outs of different machinery and this included the American Stuff as well. Had a good meal after and as I felt sick and my hand was still bleeding Dan Jones took me to Sheffield Hospital where it was stitched up, and we caught the rest of the lads in the S M R B buildings where a senes of short lectures was given us by Dr Dirrel, Phillipes and other experts. To finish off we went to the office where the Berin Boy films were made and saw the artists at work. Finally we had our photos taken in a group. As we still had a few hours before catching the train, we walked around Sheffield but were to late to buy anything. so we made our way back to the station, but missed the train so caught a bus to Rotherham, and then to Mexboro. We had a sing song all the way back and arrived in Mexboro about

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7 oclock where we all washed and changed ???? had come back early to night so as Whitewash couldn't make it he Frankie and myself went for a farewell drink together in the Bull, but as it was getting full we left, had some chips and walked back to Mexboro. Over the hill Back by about 10 and sat in the lounge with the lads. and said goodbye to some of the lads and Ginger. Bed about 12 oclock and as the fellows were playing cards Tucker came into our dorm and we talked until about 3 oclock and then we went to sleep. About 5 in the morning Frankie came in for half an hour to say goodbye and fell asleep on the bed and nearly missed his bus. We shook hands goodbye and he said he would be down 2nd week in August. Sorry to see him go as we both had got to like each other.
Impressions  Had a good day in Sheffield- wouldnt mind a course there myself. as it is very instructive. In the S M R B we saw how they carried out their various experiments and were quite taken in by their work especially that done for the new entrants. Had a good evening and felt sorry to leave the place as we all enjoyed ourselves, and I personally had made three good meals.

                                                                                                                        Saturday July 6/45
Up early to pack in order to catch 10:30 train to Doncaster via London. Some of the lads went early and some went via Gloucester. Our party including Dai Davies were fortunate enough to have a sent all the way. I said goodbye to Tucker, Ginger and Alun the cook and promised to see Tucker during August and asked him to say goodbye to Fred for me. We left

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Mexboro about 10, I reached London about 3:50 in the afternoon. Will Evans Dan Walters, Austin and Dai Davies left us and Mike and I went to look for digs which we eventually found in the Brighton Hall Hotel near the station 17/6 bed and breakfast. After a wash up we took a bus to the Marble Arch and had tea in one of the cafe's. Strolled around after in the park and the West End and then went to the Windmill Theatre which wasnt up to much. Mike took me sight seeing and we went to Houses of Parliment, Thames, Buckingham Palace Big Ben and St Pails and a host of others. Had a snack at wayside cafe and after a walk around we returned to the hotel feeling very tired. We also saw the aeroplane exhibition and it was the first time I had had a close up new of some of the planes, and amazed at their size. At the hotel I wrote a long letter to Frank and then we went off to bed and slept like logs.

                                                                                                                        Sunday 7/45
???? at 8, packed had breakfast and made our way to Paddington and as our train didn't leave until 12:30 we went to Pellievat Lane. by tube and found it was packed with people and found we could buy almost anything we pleased. After two hours strolling around, we returned to Paddington and managed to get a seat on the train and eventually reached Neath about 6:15. where Mikes bus was waiting. We shook hands goodbye and I walked home feeling very tired. Had a meal with Emily as Dad and Gwyn were at

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Llangammack Wells for the week-end Slipped up farm in car and arranged to get hay in tomorrow night.

                                                                                                                         Monday 8/45
Up Tonmawr today and as my finger was still sore stayed in the office and copied up some notes. Over to Resolven about 4 and carried our hay in by gamlo as Sam hadn't made any arrangements as he thought it was to wet. Will Davies, ???? and Vic Richardson Ron Davies Myself Bob and ?? had about 9 gamlos of it in and after cider and supper all left in a merry mood. Dad had come back when I came home. Wrote a letter to Tucker and Whitewash.

                                                                                                                            Tuesday 9/45
Posted letters to the lads and up Tonmawr and still writing out my notes. Back over Resolven and ???? the rest of the hay by lorry Home about 11 oclock Sam had cut field behind the house. Smash on big haulage

                                                                                                                               Wenesday 10/45
Up Resolven by 6 in order to see that the haulage was OK for the first journey Saw it right and then went down ???? ???? with Dai Jones and he settled a price with Dai Davies for taking a 4' holt of bottom back from the jump at 27/6 a yd. Out by eleven and went down the farm for food and Jones followed me and told me to try and get Trevor as the No 4 gang had come out as there was a dead short. Home they went and Trevor managed to join up the cable and we managed to

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collect enough land got colliers to try clear some of the coal as not to lose a cut- they cleared 6 trams, and gave the noon shift a sporting chance. Back home about 6 had a wash and a nap and wrote up my diary.

                                                                                                                                      Thursday 11/45
Up Tonmawr all day and compiled a new look for output and stored with Hubert and Ike. The rest of the day I got stuck into my notes and went to the Empire in the night

                                                                                                                                        Friday 12/45
Up Tonmawr early and took two parcels up from the station. Dad up after and we all had a chat about our feature plans. In the evening I went to the doc's to get stitches out of my finger and had a haircut. Returned home and wrote letters to Griff, Ginger Jimmy Jack, Keith and Ivon, and posted them in Neath and had one photo back from Harry Jones. Dad up farm and had ???? behind house although we've had showers all day.

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                                                                                                                                         Saturday 14/45
Up Tonmawr till about one oclock and tried to complete the stone sheets with Ike and Hubert. Went to dog show in noon and meeting of the football committee in evening in order to get funds for making a start next season. Went for spin in car to P Talbot beach

                                                                                                                                          Sunday 15/45
Up farm, but had to go to Tonmawr to fetch Ike. Went down S and then Main- Saw 4 fellows on main parting doing absolutely nothing- this will have to stop as week-end work is a waste of time. Back to Resolven, but trouble had been found- a faulty trailer on No4 ??. A new scheme will have to be adapted in order to prevent this damage. Back home about 4 and wrote to Frank, Tucker, Ginger and White Wash and read the papers.

                                                                                                                         Monday 16/45
Up Tonmawr first and then back early to Swansea Office till about 12:30. After we proceeded as guests of Mr Albert at the Mack work Hotel to the Weekly Rotonan Meeting Introduced to quite a 10 of men and had dinner at which dad spoke very fluently on the base for the Farmers and put it over very well. He spoke for about 20 mins, without a note or making a mistake Back to Resolven after dad was ?? ratulated as his speed and had a talk with Ike and Mr Jones Spent the evening in Porthcawl on it was a grand evening and no hay was due in.

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                                                                                                                          Tuesday 17/45
Up Tonmawr till about 12 and then over Resolven as William Thomas the regional adviser was coming- and he had a chat with us in new methods of working which might be applicable at Resolven. His idea was to do away with the monotory of ex colliers job and also the off shifts by having 2 faces, the colliers to share up and work ???? faces themselves, filling ???? one day and cutting the next- Very good idea- if the men will accept it. Up farm after on the hay in field by house. Letter from Frank Tucker and Dai Williams

                                                                                                                              Wenesday 18/45
Up Tonmawr again Arch giving trouble and ruining but eventually we plugged it up I intended going down S, but had to go to farm to put a ???? on Sam in order to finish the field off. Slipped uo office and discussed the ?? books we intend ordering, with Jones. Had hay in the evening and home about 9 oclock

                                                                                                                                 Thursday 19/45
Up Resolven with dad. Terrible today pouring with rain all day and night. Down ???? Deep and No2 Face and had a chat down the office over the plan. Stayed in all the evening and read a book as it is continually pouring down.

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                                                                                                                                    Friday 20/45
Up Tonmawr and on to Nartylar to see how Alfie and his men ar shaping- Long way in but it is standing well after such a long time. Back out and then found I had to go to Cardiff to meet Doug. Left about 3:30 and waited for the 5 train, but he wasnt on it, so slipped up to Aunty Nettas where he had a good feed. He still looks the same. Arrived Neath about 11 oclock.

                                                                                                                                    Saturday 21/45
Up Tonmawr in morning, but slipped over Resolven with Ike to measure their new screen shelter, but as they had trouble on the No1 Convey ?? we had to go up and see what was wrong. as No1 still has 20 trams of walk left to clear. Went in and found that the Conveyor Motor leaning had gone so as there wasnt a leaning available we slipped over Tonmawr to get one ready for tomorrow by this time we were staning as it was getting on for 5. Home, washed and changed and slipped down to Mel place and saw Mel, Em and ????. Terrible night-raining like hell, but the old bus stick it well. 

                                                                                                                                  Sunday 22/45
Up Resolven early with Ike and put the part back in the motor. Had a walk around the pit with Llew and decided about 2 oclock to clear the face, so to get the full out through for tomorrow ? holiday week. Ike said it was

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OK, and we scouted up the men and hauliers, and finally about 4 after a lot of false alarms we started filling coal and filled off the 20 trams by 7:30 and ???? then went down to the village to arrange with No1 cutters, shifters and duffers to come in and do their Stuff I bet the No1 going will be off, as they expected to half only 1/2 a shifts work tomorrow, but they will have a surprise- Back to farm for food and saw Doug and Vernon and his family up in their car. Had tea and Back home and changed and after Vernon came up the farm and we had the records on, anf finally about 11:30 I went off to bed pretty ????.

                                                                                                                                     Monday 23/45
Up Tonmawr all day today and down the Main with Lloyd to see how the jump was looking in B Price's Heading, coal is up its thickness in two stalls but with a little luck, we'll still be able to cut. Trouble with the Main Rope. In evening had a nap and over ???? house later on for a sing-song

                                                                                                                                      Tuesday 24/45
Up Resolven today and underground with Jones and walked all the colliery. The straight deep will be starting monday and with a little luck the ?? will be able to start after the holls, and start to go through the fault. So far everything this week is going grand

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and with ????, we shall reach the 1000 tons.

                                                                                                                    Wenesday 25/45
Up Resolven and underground and ?? ????. ???? to the pump not among the men are filling in between the cogs on the ????. Home early today as choir practice in St Thomas Church- doing ? ????- not many there. Had letter from Ginger and Ivon

                                                                                                                  Thursday 26/45- Churchill Resigns
Up Tonmawr and discussed the new big hauler for Resolven with Ike and dad. After a discussion we decided on the M B Wild in preference to the Uskside- prices being equal 1680 Election results come in - Labour sweeps the country and very few conservatives or liberals get in. They have a 200 majority and every one including the Labour Party is suprised. In the evening the Yorkshire Tour students met at the Mackworth with Capt John who is on holiday at Swansea. Met Phil Lewis and took him back. to Gowerton with Wynne in the evening and had supper there. and ???? aquaintenances with all and ??. Terrible weather- raining all day.

                                                                                                                    Friday 27/45
Up Tonmawr and got the books ready for Stacey. Down Llantwit with Ike.. Back over Resolven in evening with ram for the pump and slipped up farm and cleaned up a bit. Back about 9 oclock. Had petrol book and coupons- 40 units

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                                                                                                                     Saturday 28/45
Up Tonmawr in the morning and started to clean up yard. Back over Resolven with part of the ram pump and arranged with Will Davies to get men to work on lifting the empty road tomorrow. Up farm on hay all the rest of the day and half finished the middle field. by about 9:30. Took Dilys Wathan and her small sister back to Skewen and then back to Neath and bed as very tired Doug stayed in Swansea Cut my thumb pretty badly.

                                                                                                                        Sunday 29/45
Up farm about 9 oclock, thumb a bit better. Sam had started to cut the last field on top. Cleaned up yard all the morning and started gathering about 1 oclock. One gamlo brought so we had to rely on one. After some though parking, we cleaned up the middle field by moonlight, after calling at the colliery for the parts of the pump- took Anya home and reached Neath about 11:30 and had supper and went to bed feeling hellish tired.

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                                                                                                                        Monday 30/45
Up Tonmawr all day and had the gang cleaning up the yard and screens, but a lot of work to finish it. Committee Meeting in the evening Home about 5 and took my car to the Castle Garage to be greased and oil changed in ????, axle and engine. In evening wrote letter to Frankie, Tucker, and Ginger and Aunty Bess and Melville

                                                                                                                         Tuesday 31/45
Up Tonmawr with dad in morning He persuaded Will Pugh to keep on with the horses, as since his father died last week, he wishes to have a sale. ?? ???? of M B Welde up and dad and Ike put the finishing touches for the new outside hauler for Resolven and also the new 50 HP. me. Home with Lloyd about 4 and fetched car. Up farm to see how Sam is shaping with hay and saw Doug and Vernon making their own tea and frying ham and eggs- still they had to eat it. Letters from Frankie and Tucker Lovely day.

                                                                                                                        Wenesday Aug 1/45
Up Tonmawr Still cleaning up the yard. Dad Ike and Mr Findlay and myself had a final talk in the office about the New Resolven Hauler and decided on final details. Ike assembled the coal conveyor in the afternoon. Up farm in evening and had four gamlo loads of hay in. Dad phoned up and said they had had a big fall in the aching of the mouth and it was completely blocked. It is a bit of bad luck as there was only Syds of arching left to complete the ringing. Still it is better

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that it came this week and not next week. Home about 10 oclock and dindn't go up to Tonmawr as enough there already.

                                                                                                                         Thursday Aug 2/45
Lovely day and heat wave coming- Up Tonmawr early and helped Lloyd to divide the men ???? shifts of 6 hours to clear the fall which is still running in the arch. All the colliers went home delighted of course, as they are guaranteed a shift. Dad up about 8 oclock, and after making arrangements for tipping the rubbish I left to see how Sam was getting on as we are coming the Aberdulais field and me of our fields today and have 3 lorries and 2 gamlos on the go. Started about 1 oclock, and had 14 lorries of hay in and 5 gamlos of hay, and boy was it hard work- All sweated like hell in the ????, as we kept going all the time. Unfortunately there was not drink, and all were grumbling, but ?? etc is in short supply and wouldnt be had for love of money. New ?? looking well and it is easily 3/4 full. ?? the last load I slipped off the ???? and ???? my ankle pretty badly but managed to ???? home and slip up colliery to see how they were progressing with the fall. Will Evans, still very dependable still there, and I hobbled in with a piece of iron for assistance, and still it was ????. It was a good job old John Hughes (No1) had managed to get a hole for a pipe yesterday as no there is no ???? of the water running down the deep. Back

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home about 11:30 and ankle swollen up, so bathed it in hot and cold water and went to bed.

                                                                                                                        Friday Aug 3/45
Ankle very sore and could hardly walk. However got down stairs and Thomas up to manage it, but all he could do was to put ???? bandage on it, as all the tissues had been torn. and I rested it all day. Dad up colliery They have cleaned the fall and it had gone right up to the surface, a height of about 60 feet, and there were some ???? weighing 3 or 4 tins shifted. They had managed to get one ring in and concrete it so we both felt a bit easier as it is no good having men working over the holidays. Stayed in the chair all night and read a book

                                                                                                                        Saturday 4/45
Ankle a bit easier as ???? is working out. Applied more vinegar. Lovely day and very warm. Wrote to Frankie and Doug posted it for me. In noon went for a ride in Dads ???? to Porthcawl and Southerdown and Doug went to Swansea. Back about 8 oclock and read the papers. Strikes seem very prevelant, especially the railway people and it appears as if ???? and no of them will be on strike again this week end.

                                                                                                                       Sunday 5/45
Woke about 6 as per usual, as once I know ???? stay in bed, I find it difficult to ????. Washed and shaved and found ankle a good bit easier. Hubert came down and we

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went through the pay together, as I shall be paying out next Friday as he is taking his weeks holliday Doug packing as he is going back off leave today to Devonport,  and he feels it a lot and dad,  as he like thousands of others one simply wasting their time. He left about 3 oclock and we all said goodbye but expect him home again soon. Couldn't send him to the station and this is the first time I've missed doing since he joined up. (photo- Doug home on leave during last year 1944 Doug is 21 years old). Stayed in all the evening and read a book called The Rayors Edge by N S Maugham. One of the best Ive read for a long time and worth reading again. The old saying that '' Greater Love hath no Man than this,- that a Man lay ???? down his life for his friends.

                                                                                                                        Monday Aug 6/45
Got up about 10 oclock and had a good breakfast- Ankle a little better but still very sore, so stayed in all day and rested it up on a chair. Read papers and books. Raining heavily all day up till about 5 oclock and then dad went out for a run in the car to Porthcawl

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but I stayed in and read my books and papers.

                                                                                                                       Tuesday Aug 7/45
Got up about 9 and feeling fed up as I cant do anything Ankle a lot better and could walk without a stick Read papers, and saw that at last man has devised a new 'Atomic Bomb', which is hellish deadly as shown as it already has wiped out me Jap City of 220 000 In one way its a good thing, but perhaps in years to come people might be sorry as in the wrong peoples hands, it is dangerous. Up farm today for the rest of the week. A bit finer but still showery. Reached farm about 4 oclock and had tea and read all night and then to bed. Had a word with Ike on the phone. He's getting on well with the new tumbler and hopes to complete it before end of week

                                                                                                                      Wenesday Aug 8/45
Up about 7:30 and down to Neath with dad, as ?? to have a massage with Phillips at two oclock. Read papers and had a letter from Frankie. He wont be able to come down Saturday, but hopes to make it on Sunday Bill from Castle Garage. Had a good electrical massage and had tea in Theos.

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Came across a photo of Tonmawr Colliery today so thought I would stick it in This photo was taken just after the canteen was built, but before the new haulage. In front of the canteen Hubert can be seen walking Next to the canteen is the new office on the ?? and the boilers and fitting and blacksmiths shop on the left. and dad took me home in the car. Read a book in evening. Ankle burning like ????

                                                                                                                      Thursday Aug 9/45
Got up about 9 and dad took me to Phillips for a massage. Ankle a lot better Theo fetched me after and I had dinner in his house. Dad back from colliery in Tonmawr and took me back up farm. Had a nap in noon and did some painting in evening. Dad ???? went for a ride in the new 'Gig' he bought and they looked O K going down. Ellis and Elwyn from Aberganwyd broke the ?? in for the show as they are very wild. Had a letter from Frank He said he will be down on Sunday. Good news. Russia declares war on Japan so the war shouldn't last very much longer. and ???? every one be glad especially the boys abroad and those going abroad.

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                                                                                                                      Friday Aug 10/45
Up early and up Tonmawr with dad to pay out. Ankle a good lot better Ike had got the tumbler and conveyor in place and had made a good job of it, but the place looks rather bare, as the sheets have all been stripped off it, as Owen David will have to start in the new building straight away. Theo and Lloyd up with pay and starting at ?? we finished about 3 on pay. On 6 oclock news
                                                                                                JAPAN SURRENDERS

                                                                                                                  Saturday Aug 11/45
Lovely day- the sun was scorching Dad down early so brought the rest down in my car. Ankle a lot better, but still rather painful. Met Melville at 11:00 and had lunch and then went to the Neath Agricultural Show which had over 400 in prices. Had two ?? in ????, but no luck. Watched the horse jumping from the new stand and then had a look around the field but being so warm we went for a spin to Mumbles and landed up eventually in  and reached the farm about 10.                         

                                                                                                                  Sunday Aug 12/45
Stayed in bed late as tired Today Frank is coming. Had dinner and mucked about the yard in noon and Theo Davies came up with his family. Helped Gwyn with the kite, but not enough wind up. Left to meet the seven train and met Frank on the station. Up farm in car where we had tea. Doug home on draft leave, but I missed him on the train as no one knew he was ????. Had a good old chat with Frank and then took Doug to see Hadyn, -first time they've met in ?? ???? 11:30 as all very tired.

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                                                                                                                  Monday Aug 13/45
Up about 10 oclock. Dad up colliery Down to Phillips in morning to see about my ankle . Back to dinner and then Frank and I went to Mumbles we had a stroll around and back to the flics in Swansea to see ''King Henry V'' ???? a novel film, but not enough excutement in it. Back to the farm for supper and then we had a game of draughts and so to bed. Been a dull old day- not many men turned up at Tonmawr. New tumbler working O K. - It will be a good job for all concerned when the full two weeks holiday with pay is introduced.
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                                                                                                                    Tuesday 14/45
Up early- that is about 10 oclock- and had a good old fashioned breakfast of ham and eggs. We then went for a stroll up the top of the mountain to see how the sheep were progressing Back to dinner and then off to Porthcawl. Had a grand time on the fair, but as is usua, the prices were beyond all conception.-11- for a few minutes ??- if any thing should be controlled it is prices of these amusements.- Back to the flics in Neath and then up to the farm for supper where Frank ???? into the ???? of chess. After an hour or so concentration off to bed.

                                                                                                                   Wenesday 15/45
Very tired so stayed in bed till about 10 and then to Neath to Phillips for the ankle massage. Progressing slowly but still painful to run. Had dinner at the farm and played chess till 3 oclock and then went to the flics in Swansea. Last night on the 12 oclock news Mr ???? broadcasted that Japan had finally surrended and that today and tomorrow are holidays. All the houses are beflagged but some how or other, there is not the fuss this time as there was when Germany gave in. Home from Swansea and went for a ride on the horses up the mountain.

                                                                                                                 Thursday 16/45
Stayed in bed late Very dull day. Had dinner and went for a ride in the car. Back up

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farm for tea and then out for a ride on the horses as Frank seems to like it. But I bed he will be sore in the morning Back to Neath in the evening to see how it looked lit up, but surprised at the small gathering present.

                                                                                                                 Friday Aug 17/45
Up early as we are going to Brecon to buy some bull calves, as we have a few gallons of surplus milk, as knight once again as he does every summer doesnt want it. Left about 8:15, and after a nice ride over the Beacons arrived at Brecon at 9:15, only to find that there is a fair. However we made some enquiries, and visited a few farms, but had no luck. Had a look around Brecon and bought some fruit and then left for Llandovery and home. Called at Brychans Jones farm by Trecastle and found him still on the hay. Called at the Castle Llandovery and saw Royston Lewis Back over the Black Mountains and it reminded me of very good old times. Arrived Neath about 4 and then we had tea and after ? read went back up farm and had ride on the horses. and ended up with chess as usual and then bed. We covered about 120 miles today and the old Moris went well.

                                                                                                                  Saturday Aug 18/45
Up about 4 oclock and took the ?? up mountain as I couldnt sleep, but unfortunately no luck. Left Frank in bed and went to Phillips, ankle still painful, and he is doubtful about me having cracked a bone in it. Up farm for ????

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and left for Port Talbot. Parked car and had a look around the town- had tea and then went to the Odeon and saw two good films. Out about 8 and down Aberavon Sands and went out in the pier and had a good on the fair. Back to house and then up farm for supper and had the usual game of chess and then bed as tomorrow Frank is to go back to London as his week and ?? is up.

                                                                                                                    Sunday Aug 19/45
Up early as Frank has to catch the 10:30AM train to Paddington. Had a good breakfast and after packing we left about 9:30 so as to ?? in good time. Train is punctual and plenty of room. Shook hands goodbye as glory only knows when we will meet again. I think we both enjoyed ourselves the last week, but next time when petrol ???? is completely off we shall do better still. Home to dinner and up farm in noon and watched Sam dip the sheep with Ifan. Back for tea and then went to St Thomas's Church and sang in the choir and quite enjoyed it, although it seemed rather strange for me to be at church after 6 years- still better late than never. Walked home with Gwyn- had supper and then to bed.

                                                                                                                      Monday Aug 20/45
Up colliery today in clean clothes as not to walk a lot as ankle not fit. Saw new tumbler working. The screen really looks an eyesone now and the sooner a new one is built in a new building the better. ???? a lot better this week, although the night shift only numbered two. Helped Hubert with the pay. Home about 4 oclock and then                                                                                                                     

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to Phillips for a massage. Back home and read a book and had a chat with Doug and Dad till gone 12 oclock, quite a novelty to listen to Doug talking- exactly as if he is in the House of Parliament- Bed about 12:30

                                                                                                                       Tuesday Aug 21/45
Up early and up colliery Very wet day, like winter already. Trouble with screen belt as it is creeping a lot, but despite all difficulties the screen men have a much easier job, -next thing is to put a new screen building. Home about 5:30 and then to the pictures and met Trevor. Out about 9 and found it almost dark. Petrol has dropped from 2/11/2 to 1/11 1/2d but unemployment has risen. Now the Labour Government work is starting.

                                                                                                                          Wenesday Aug 22/45
Up early to Tonmawr. Didnt go under as ankle still sore. Still very wet all day and spent all the day on screen keeping things moving. Home about 5 oclock, washed and changed and finished reading my book. Had a chat in the evening and then to bed. Had a letter from Frank.

                                                                                                                          Thursday Aug 23/45
Up Tonmawr early, still very wet old day. Absentees still very high and playing hell with output. Left of screenmen missing and this helps to ???? the journey Measured sheets for new shelter and the coal shute, and made preparations to strip the ????

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and put new slippers down. Over Resolven with dad and Ike and had a final discussion with Mr Jones on the pros and cons of starting off the new double unit face.- the deciding factor being the speed at which the deep can be driven. Proposed to send to Siskol for further enlightment. Home about 5, and then to Phillips for massage to ankle which is slowly mending and then went to flics in the empire. Charles Laughton in ' The Suspect'. As usual there was a queue.- Neath is about the most backward town for its size in Wales. With a population of over 50 000, it possesses only 2 desent cinemas, and thats about all. -Be good job when a few progressive men get on the counsil.

                                                                                                                         Friday Aug 24/45
Up Tonmawr. Terrible day very small rain. Put on my oil skins and up screen as men jitting ???? to wet conditions but managed to keep things going. Dad up in morning and we decided to keep Llantwit as our main development plan. Sheppards man up about the inferior qualitly of the new screen belt. Had a few arguments with Committee after leak. But got home about 5:30. Had new books from Stacey today. and also had new Rugger Ball. Washed and changed and in the evening wrote to Frank Tucker, Ginger, Griff and Ken. Doug and Vernon went to flics as Doug is off back tomorrow.

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                                                                                                                          Saturday Aug 25/45
Down to Phillips at 9 for massage to my ankle and then up colliery. Dad and Gwyn off on a fortnights holliday to Droitwitch. Up Tonmawr about 10 and prepared to change flooring of the coal shute, but ???? to much coming out and had to leave it. Back home about 1:30 and washed and changed. Doug is going back off leave today so took him down to meet the 3 oclock train. He is fed up with it and will be glad to come out. Back up the Rugger Pitch as Neath R F C is holding its first trial. Kick off late- but weather O K. Poor game generally as very few of the players seemed to know anything about the game. How they entered getting a 1st classside- beats me. Had tea in the house and then off to Swansea in bus and went for a ride to Oxwich and Thumped into T L A Morgan who I hadn't seen since I left Coll 6 yrs ago Had a long chat and I gave him my address. Home about 10:30 and off to bed.

                                                                                                                         Sunday Aug 26/45
Up about 7:30 and went to St Davids for Communion. Up farm and called in at office and had the notices. Will Daves painting it. Up farm and then to connecting rod for the straight pump up for Will Morgan. Put the ram lambs for fattening and then over to Tonmawr to see how they are getting on with the arch. They put another ring up this weekend and concreted. There is about 2 yds of arch left

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and they should finish this about a fortnights time. Back home and washed and changed and read a book and papers. America have stopped the 'Lease and Lend Arrangement' and old ???? had told us of the serious position it puts us in. Went to church in evening and sang in the choir. Lovely day- Sat in park afterwards.

                                                                                                                           Monday Aug 27/45
Up Tonmawr early and put the lads cleaning up and painting. Down the 5 with Bob Thomas the new production officer. Lovely day. Up Gilfack in evening and arranged for the lorry to be out on Wenesday to take a load of coal to Arthur. In the evening went to Phillips and then went to listen to the Neath Choir making a broadcast in the Gwyn Hall and it went off well except for two hitches. Very close day. Output at colliert last week 980 tons which is very low but is chufly due to absenteesm.

                                                                                                                            Tuesday Aug 28/45
Up Tonmawr early,- not much coal about ???? to heavy absenteesm. The new Government so far hasnt improved things. One of the men painting the buildings and another saving rafters for the new shelter which is urgently required. Raining in the afternoon. Left about 4 oclock and slipped over Resolven. Home about 5 and went to Windsor. Home about 9 and had a chat with the girls on Thurs V J party on Lewis Rd- a thing that I never expected would pan out. but about time something was done as Lewis Rd id always last in everything

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                                                                                                                              Wenesday Aug 29/45
Up Tonmawr early.- again not much coal ???? to heavy absenteesm down the main and a lot of our repairers are also on 'comps' . Last night we had a terrific storm- thunder and lightning, but fortunately no damage. About 12 oclock a terrific peal of thunder was heard and the juice was knocked off a both Resolven and Tonmawr. Phoned up Pontypridd and they said it would be in in one hour but it didnt come in until 5:15 pm. Naturally the men in both places were out by 2 as the fans are on stop. This couldn't be helped, but in Resolven it will mean a big loss of coal as the cuts are not cleaned. The afternoon shift in Resolven knew about the juice when they went up as Jones the manager had told them, and also that they needn't go home as they could work in the deep. About 5.10 pm they decided to go and walked off, and just as they had passed the mouth the juice came in,  the fireman called them back, but they refused to answer him, as they must have heard him, The manager caught some of them at the bottom, but they definitely refused to go back. This will mean a loss of 3 cuts, which otherwise could have been cleared by the afternoon shift. - The hauliers and the cutterman remained, so with a few extra men got in, they intend trying to clear. No2 face which has about one dz. trams left, but it will be touch and go. Talk
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about cooperation. What they did was typical of all the rest of their dirty ???? Self first second and third. If it wasnt for the officials at Resolven and Tonmawr, and I suppose can be said of all pits, there would be very little coal out. Home about 5, washed and changed and then over to hut in Laurels in preparation for tomorrow V J party.

                                                                                                                               Thurs August 30/45
Down Swansea Office in morning and then back up Tonmawr till about 1:30, -up farm to see how things were and then to Resolven - Had a chat with the afternoon officials on how things were in general and then up Gilfach with Jones and we took some pills and powder to blast up the ???? and it worked well, putting one pill under each stump. Back home about 4:30 washed changed and then over to Laurels, where everything was in full swing. Never seen so many people from Lewis Road in my life. After a grand tea we had games for adults and children. and when it was dark we had an excellent display and fireworks and plenty of fun with the bangers. A gang of us went through the ???? and Kath and I went up with them. After the fireworks we had a sing-song in the hut. and finally finished about 11 oclock and everyone voted it the best evening they had had for a long time. After this a large no of us went over to Mr and Mrs Thomas's house and had a singsong till about 12:30, and then I took a few of the girls home to Aberdulais and took with me Peter June and Kath On the way back.

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we picked up old Paddy stretched out on the floor on London Rd. He, poor fellow had at last kicked the bucket at the grand old age of 22 yrs. Took him back to the garage and went back. to June house. and finally left there at about 2 oclock and walked home with Pete and Kath and finally got to bed about 2:30 after a very enjoyable evening.

                                                                                                                                 Friday Aug 31/45
Up Tonmawr in morning and spent a good time on phone chasing Ellis in order to get some pipes over from Resolven for the new section down Main. The water down there plays the devil with the pipes. Left colliery about 3:30. Didnt have a bad day Raised 200 tons up. Had haircut in night. Bought a book and went to the Emp. On way home, met a few boys and Kath and had a yarn for a while. Payed Theo for the football etc. Today Paddy was ???? on the slope behind the garden.
This month has been a terrible month as regards weather. Practically every day we have had rain, and at the moment of ???? there are 100s of ???? of corn out rotting in the fields, and unless we have some fine weather, the position will become very serious, as we are short of food even now the war is over.

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                                                                                                                                  Saturday Sept 1/45
Down to Phillips at 9 for massage to ankle, and then called at Mr Freethys house for the N R F C season tickets and then up colliery- Back down about one oclock washed and changed and went to see Neath V Glyn-neath. Very wet day. Quite a desent crowd there for the first match but the play was very scrappy Neath loosing by 3pts to nil. Home about 5, and waited for Doug to phone. He got through about 7:30, and said that most likely he will have to go abroad this week, and most probably to Beylon. - He is fed up with this business as he and 1000's like him are wasting their time. Went out for a spin in the bus and called in at Trev Harts house and saw him for the 1st time since we left Coll. He is now a Capt in the Indian Commandos and looks well, but he sure has been through a hell of a tough time. having been shot and ?????. Home about 10 and had a chat with dad on the phone at Droiturch. Bed.

                                                                                                                                     Sunday Sept 2/45
Up about 7 and went to Communion in St Davids at 8. Had a chat with ???? on way home and then up farm. Got the boiler house ready Wrote Merlins notice out. Had powder for blowing up stumps in Gilfach and took it up

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for ???? for ????. Saw Kath on way home. Washed and changed and did some weight lifting excersises. Went to church in evening- not many there. Had an icecream after and then home to supper.

                                                                                                                            Monday Sept 3/45
Up Tonmawr and down Llantwit-starting off new cutter face down M Bevans level- Up about 1 oclock and had a word with dad on phone. Output at both Tonmawr and Resolven due to power out. Home about 4 and then up Gilfach and Sam had put off about 100 holes. In evening speaking to many for a while up Billiard shed. Arranged for Friday evening

                                                                                                                             Tuesday Sept 4/45
Stayed about house in morning as off to Carmarthen to see the foot specialist. Cleaned car and around back and called for Mr Davies at 12, and left via Ammanford via Llandilo. Reached there about 2:15 had a stroll around Carmarthen, and then went to Mr Dyers house. He had a look at my foot, and with very hard grip put back the damaged ligaments and my foot instantly felt very much better. Left and then went to St Clears for tea and then home via Crosshands. Reached Neath ???? ? Watching them training in the evening then met Mike ? Clayson and went to the YMCA. Went for a stroll with Mike and arranged about Friday to Porthcawl. Fine day at long last. Letter from Jack ????.

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                                                                                                                             Wenesday Sept 5/45
Up colliery early after mending and dammed puncture- I've had more punctures with this Mornis than the worth of it. ?? trams in so put lads to unload them. Left about 12 oclock with powder, dets and fuse for Gilfach. Sam and Will Rees doing good work. Back home and washed and changed and then off to Swansea. Had a chat with Mr Rees and after helped Miss Bullock on the books. Bought a shirt in Sidney Meaths and home by about 6 oclock. Had a letter from Eric Payne.- 1st for a very long time. Choir practise at St Thomas's Church in evening not many there Home about 9:30

                                                                                                                             Thurs Sept 6/45
Stayed in house all morning as off to Carmarthen to see Dyer about ankle which is a lot better Went through Ponty ?? and arrived there about 2:30. Had tea after he had finished and said I could play and then home about 5:30 going through Burry Port. Car going well. Up farm in evening and sorted out sheep for sale tomorrow. Home about 9 oclock and then bed.

                                                                                                                               Sept 7/45
Phoned about 4 in morning and had to go up Tonmawr as Main turline had at last blown out. Nothing to be done so put mechanics to get the new pump down and arranged work for the rest of the Main Workmen. Got in touch with Harland Works Scot, and also to the S W P over 80 as

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 our cottage is very low being unable to work in Resolven. Home about 3 and off to sheep sale. One dz ewes made 27/6- 5 yrs old mostly. Picked up Mike in evening and off to Porthcawl for a spin in car. Had a walk around the prom and had a good feed in one of the resterants, and then had an icecream. Home about 9 oclock and met Mary and went for a short ride one reaching Lewis Rd met the gang including Peter, Trevor and Kath. Had a wire Doug is coming on leave.

                                                                                                                               Saturday Sept 8/45
Doug came home about 5 oclock this morning, and as back bedroom full, he slept in the front with me. Down Phillips in morning- Foot a lot better. People from gas works doing the gas main. Up Tonmawr in morning. Pump going O K down main- Phoned Mr Fortune as regards the delivery of new pump. Back over Resolven. Dad has sent on the new bullocks- Sam cleaning up. - Merlin has his cards. Back home about 1:30 Washed and changed and then off to the match. Neath V Amman United- a good open but one sided game although in the 2nd half Amman did all the pressing and scored 3 times. Neath full back scored. Final score 28-9. Swansea afterwards and went to flics Home about 9:30 Dad and family home from Droiturch and he is looking well. Bed about 10:30 after having a chat. Very close day and by this time and most farmers have had some of their ?? in, although not in best of condition.

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                                                                                                                                  Sunday Sept 9/45
Communion in morning Up Farm about ? oclock and dipped all the sheep for the winter and coloured them red. Up Gilfach with powder, and then home for tea. Church in the evening and Gwyn started in the choir with 3 other boys. Had a practise and afterwards went home early as a few letters to write. Very close day.

                                                                                                                            Monday Sept 10/45
Up Tonmawr in the morning with dad. Went over the plan. Back home about 12, and then went to the ???? ?? Sale. Dad bought a few calves and some cheap hay. Looked over the farm, as ???? has the first refusal for it, Lot of work to put it into shape but it can be done. Home about 5, washed and changed and then off to the fight with Doug ???? and Ron. Very poor fights, and we all got soaking wet ???? in the rain. Had a puncture. Home about 9:30, and after I had supper, I fetched Doug from Huberts about 11:30. Bed as very tired.

                                                                                                                              Tuesday Sept 11/45
Up Tonmawr early and down the 5 with dad and Lloyd. Went on to Morgans Bevans' face. where it is being developed, but it is very wet and flat. Down Nippys' face after and arranged for a Pit Production meeting that evening Had grub and entered up the store sheets. Meeting with the Production Comittie and arranged our new target at 10 60 tons- very

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low in my opinion. Tried to impress the men on the ???? for output and that the high absenteeism was playing, but it can be seen that they dont intend helping if their jobs are in danger. Took powder up Gilfach and then home and washed and changed and out ???? on the Gnoll to test my ankle, and it behaved very well. Home about 7:30, feeling pretty good. Very wet day. Saw Mike on field. Wrote letters after to Eric, Ginger, Griff, Jack and Frankie. Bed about 10:30

                                                                                                                                 Wenesday Sept 12/45
Pickep up Lloyd on busstand at 9 as his car is in dock. Up colliery and did Output look. Belt broke on screen- Lorry up with the new ???? ???? Home and then to Swansea Office where I helped with the books. Home about 5:30-had tea. Uncle Eric- Aunty Netta called. Choir practice in the evening and a few mote there tonight. Had a good practise. Heat lumps on me, no doubt due to the very close and hot weather.

                                                                                                                                 Thurs Sept 13/45
Up about 7 and raining cats and dogs. Left about 8:30 with Doug Carmarthen via Cross-hands for massage for ankle with Mr Dyer. Arrived there about 9:30 and had half an hours good rub. Ankle progressing splendidly Spent the morning looking

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around Carmarthen and around the cattle market. Bought two books. Home via Llandilo and Ammford. Had dinner and then we went to horse market and the cattle sale. Very few horses there. Cattle going cheap. Out training in the evening, but found it vastly different from what we had in coll. Old Pope would make a good side of Neath if he could have them for a month. Ankle lasted O K. Had a general ????- ever with Mr Thomas after and saw Mike Bed about 11 after having a chat with Doug. He has got an extension of leave till Oct 1.

                                                                                                                         Friday Sept 14/45
Pouring with rain Up Resolven early and down underground with Dad and Jones. Up about 1 and Dad and I had dinner in farm. Down the office after and had a chat with the officials. Up Gilfach with powder. With Mike and Mary in the evening and went to Empire as to wet to go to Porthcawl. Good film walked home with Mike and Mary. Very wet day. Winter has come.

                                                                                                                       Saturday Sept 15/45
Down to Phillips for my last massage this morning. Went to see ???? Farm after with dad. Yesterday it was under water but today the floods have subsided. Up Tonmawr after and went through books Our lorry broke down. Off to Llanelly to see Neath V Llanelly Called

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at Melvills, but he has a date. After a tight game Neath lost by 8 pts to 6. Neath are a vastly improved side. Off to Albert Hall for tea and then to Swansea Emp. Very wet day and pouring down on way home.

                                                                                                                      Sunday Sept 16/45
Communion in morning and saw Mike -not many there. Up farm in morning and cleaned cowshed. Took 22 sheep to mountain ready for breeding Home about 5 oclock. Washed and changed and off to church. Not many there. Out about 8 and walked home with John and Allen and had supper and Bed early.

                                                                                                                       Monday Sept 17/45
Up Tonmawr early. Lot of the men absent from work. All the boys and 4 colliers from the Main distinct refused to pass the sump because it is not fenced, ?? after persuasive efforts were made by their own chairman J Hughes, who himself walked past it. ???? to the fact that they cannot be ???? the men are definitely out if hand and Tidy and new ???? is essured wherely ???? of the men is given to the lodges, the manager having to report all cases to the pit production committes and these in turn to the lodges. ???? see it having much effect. Up W Pughs farm sale after and saw most of the absent workmen. Down about 4 oclock washed and changed and then off to singing with the Neath Choir

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First time for seven months. Saw Mike and sat with him in park. Home about 9 and off to bed early.

                                                                                                                      Tuesday Sept 18/45
Up Tonmawr early. Very short of timber, first time it has happened and men complaining Down about 12 and called in Theos and off to Carmarthen for massage for my foot and took Sel Davies from Resolven down who has injured his shoulder. Had dinner in the Delvar Cafe and then returned to Dyers house. Ankle a lot better and feels very fit. Called in at farm on way back. Home about 5:30 Had a snack and then out training. Pouring with rain so we had a short game. Ankle lasted O K, but very much out of training. Had a hot bath and a massage with Thomas after Weighed 14 stone 5 lls. Saw Mary after and went for stroll up Gnoll. Back about 9:30 and saw Kath and Peter Bed about 11

                                                                                                                         Wenesday Sept 19/45
Up Tonmawr early. Trouble with washery as it is falling apart. Ike is repairing it, but a new job is started. Down Llantwit with Lloyd. Went down new cutter face. Very wet ???? nearly finished new ????. Home about 1:30 and washed and changed and then off to Swansea Did output look. Very wet day. Doug sending Mady and off to Cardiff Went to St Thomas's choir practice in the evening Very few there ???? to the heavy rain.

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                                                                                                                        Thurs Sept 20/45
Up Tonmawr early with Hubert as his car is in clock. All the morning we worked on the new output look and finished it about 1. Arranged for two men to work on the new covering for screens. Home about 4 oclock, had a light tea and then went out training. Had a run out, but in my opinion it wasnt worth a ??. Went to Thomas's after and then for a walk with Mary up Gnoll. Arrived back about 10:30. Bed early.

                                                                                                                      Friday Sept 21/45
Up Resolven and underground-all faces. No4 face has a hell of a crush, but they have cleared the fall, and with a lot of luck should have a fresh cut by Monday. Down office in noon.- a new floor is being installed. Home about 5, and dad helped me in the tennis lawn for practice- Flics in evening. Arranged with Mike, but he had seen it so went alone and met Mary inside and walked home with her. Lovely evening.

                                                                                                                    Saturday 22/45
Up colliery in morn and did pay books as Lloyd away early. Left about 12 oclock as playing for Neath against Cardiff. First match I've played in for 4 years, so expect I shall be out of training Had a massage with Thomas before game. Kicked off punctually at 3:30, and we were all over them especially the fowards. I scored a try from a line out 

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but got knocked out in crossing. Eventually after a good and ???? game we lost by 11-9, but it should have been a draw. Saw Jackie Mathews, Trev Hart and St John Rees after the match. Feeling rather stiff Had a good tea and off to flics with Mike and then went to bed early.

                                                                                                                    Sunday 23/45
Communion in morn and saw Mike there Picked Will Morgan up about 9 and up farm. Will started on the water in cowshed. Wet old day. Home about 2 and had a good bath. Church in evening and Doug turned up. Home early as tired.

                                                                                                                   Monday 24/45
Up Tonmawr with Hubert in car. Down Llantwit in morning with Dai Lewis Up about 2 oclock and over Resolven for the Pit Production Meeting Target for Resolven 850 tons, which should be passed each week with a little cooperation. Home about 5, and down town and bought a walking stick for Dads birthday. Singing in the evening with Neath choir.

                                                                                                                  Tuesday 25/45-  Dads Birthday
Up Tonmawr and down Main district. Face is improving, but a lot of work remains to be done before the inside hauler is ready. Pit Production Meeting in the night. A complete farce, as so far the 

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men seem to be afraid to take the responsibility. Training in the evening Mike out and introduced to Tom. After training we all had a chat in the Y M. Home about 10.

                                                                                                                Wenesday Sept 26/45
Up Resolven for powder for 5am. Back about 10 as off to Coll to have a game. Called for Trev Hart, Mel and Lowell. Reached Coll about 1 and had dinner in the Bear. Played on the pitch and had a good game. Had a kick on the back of reck. Had a chat with Pope and and the boys after and left about 7 oclock. Coll have a good forward in Ginger from Porthcawl. After dumping the lads, arrived Neath about 9:30 after a good day, but head hellish sore.- Bed

                                                                                                                 Thurs 27/45
Neck very painful.- Up to sale up Ystdfellte and dad bought new mower, diner and 3 chairs for billiard room. Very good sale. Back about 5, and down pitch but didnt turn out because neck very stiff. Flics with Frank in the evening and met Mike after.

                                                                                                               Friday 28/45
With lorry today and fetched bought articles from sale Met Bob Pritchard of Aberlli Farm and arranged to see him one Sat. Up Tonmawr and Resolven. Doug up Tonmawr. 

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In the evening met Mike and Tom and up shed and had a good game of billiards. Sent Tom to the bus. Home about 10.

                                                                                                                Saturday Sept 29/45
Up Resolven in morning- saw Jones. Not playing this afternoon so down Swansea with Mike and Tom to see Swansea V Newport. Swansea lost 8-9 and Neath beat Ferry 2 8-3. Mike home early so Tom and I had tea in Albert Hall and saw Bob Hope in the Princess and the Pirate in the Plaza after. Home about 9:30 and sent Tom to his train.

                                                                                                                Sunday Sept 30/45
Up early and fetched Sam to the Gilfach and then went to Comm after. Saw Kath there. Quite a few there. Up farm again and painted buildings Home about 1:30. Nice day. Choir practice in evening Home about 9 and bed early.

                                                                                                               Monday Oct 1/45
Up Tonmawr early. Down Main District. Traffic still slow and new haulage far from being ready ???? to the shortage of labour. Out about 1 oclock and did some homework as starting ?? aim. Singing in choir in the evening. Big bust up there as Trefor Mills has had a row with Swymour about something or other. Home about 9:30 and bed. Today Doug went back off leave

                                                                                                             Tuesday Oct 2/45
School started today. Down in car Lot of new

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faces there. Had lunch in Woolworths. Home about 5 and out training with Tom and the boys.

                                                                                                                Wenesday Oct 3/45
Up colliery and down '5' with Dai Lewis. On to new cutter face-very wet there in bottom level. of M Bevan. Still a lot of absenteeism. Last week we passed our target of 1100. Out about 2 oclock. and home about 4:30. Out training in evening and after met Tom in the Y M C A.

                                                                                                                Thursday Oct 3/45
Up Tonmawr all day on the surface with Ike. Home about 3 as first up Gilfach with powder. All the trees are practically all uprooted. Training in evening but very poor. Billiards in shed with Tom and Frank.

                                                                                                                Friday Oct 4/45
Up Tonmawr all day and started sheeting new covering for '????' coal shute. Down Llantwit and measured the air in No1. Home after paying out in evening and met Tom and went to the flics in the Emp with him and Frank. Good show Sent him to bus.

                                                                                                                 Saturday Oct 5/45
Up Tonmawr early and started on some surveying Lovely day and hellish warm. Had dinner about 12 and down to Thomas for a massage. Kick-off with Llanelly at 3-30 and after a hard warm game we won 15-3. I had my teeth loosened and a black eye. In the evening with Tom and went down Lodge in the bus. Feeling stiff after.

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                                                                                                                 Sunday Oct 6/45
Up early as taking Mr Rees to Port Talbot to take a service at St Marys Church Quite a crowd there Wrote to Ging and Tucker. Church at 11 with Dad Doug and Gwyn in St Davids After dinner down to Griffs as he is home on leave. Went to Mumbles and had tea in his hut at Langland. Back in time for church and saw the boys after.

                                                                                                                Monday Oct 7/45
Up Tonmawr. Down Llantwit straight away. ???? parting all but finished.- Still wet on M Bevans. Finished sheeting shelter after. Down about 5 oclock and met Tom in Y M and went to see Swiss Family ???? in the Empire- Good show.

                                                                                                                 Tuesday Oct 8/45
School again today. Down in the car. Left car in garage. Did old 1st and 2nd class questions all day in rentilation and surveying. Had dinner in Woolworths with Allan. Left school about 4 to get back in time for training. Not many there. ???? to the black out. Saw Tom and the lads after and had a drink in the cafe. Home about 9:30.

                                                                                                              Wenesday Oct 9/45
Up Tonmawr in morning Pump down main has gone again after being in only 4 weeks. Didnt do my homework. Left about 12 to go to the office Had coats back from Griffiths. Saw Tom on way to catch 1:30 pm bus. Did

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coal price book all the afternoon. Just rain today for a fortnight. Home with 4 oclock bus. Met Tom in the evening and had a game of billiards up shed.

                                                                                                              Thursday Oct 10/45
Up Tonmawr early. Mechanics moving pump down on M Bevans in Llantwit. Good day yesterday. In noon put sides of shed up on '??' coal shute Lovely day. Home about 4 and out training with the boys. Very poor training as no one seems to be in charge. Home early and changed and went to the Harvest Thanks giving service in St Thomas's Rector took the service and the Vicar of ???? the pulpit. Very good sermon and singing. Saw ???? after and went for a stroll.

                                                                                                                Friday Oct 11/45
Up Tonmawr early and did some bookwork. in the morning and after helped Hubert with pay. Ike down Swansea trying to get new pump welded for a spare for the Main as the other one has already one hole in it- the water has turned extremely acidic down there. Payed out in good time and washed and changed. Doug has a recall telegram but decided to go back tomorrow. Hadyn up the house like old times- Saw Tom and played billiards up shed. He scored a 60 break. Met Frank about 8 and decided on meeting tomorrow. Went around the fair and then  I went home.        

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                                                                                                                Saturday Oct 13/45
Up early and had breakfast with Doug and then took him to station to meet 9-5 train. Hadyn and Vernon there to see him off. Took Hadyn home and then took togs to be pegged. Phoned colliery everything O K. Left Neath for Newport by bus and arrived there about 2:30. Quite a large crowd there. Lovely pitch but very heavy. In the first few minutes they scored 2 lucky tries and this upset the whole side.- Anyway after a good game of spin football they won 22-11. After ???? a Leeds scout asked G Hughes and myself if we would like to go North- I told him to go to hell. Arrived Neath about 8:15 after talking with Frankie all the way down. Saw Tom and after a walk I buzzed off as tired.

                                                                                                               Sunday Oct 14/45
Communion in morning and then up farm Lovely day so up mountain after sheep to see if they were O K. Slipped over colliery to see if everything is alright. Down after dinner and wrote a few letters. In choir tonight for harvest St Thomas's Church packed out. Met Frankie after and had a drink in the Bridge Cafe'-home.

                                                                                                              Monday Oct 15/45
Up Tonmawr and down 5 all  morning Bottom being cut in M Bevans to drain the water. Talked with ???? and Em about night classes etc. Out about 1 oclock and then did some homework. Lovely day- more like summer than winter. Met Tom in the evening and had a game of snooker in shed. Very cold.

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                                                                                                               Tuesday Oct 16/45
School today down Swansea. Left early to call at Griffs but he is up ????. Back to School and spent morning and noon on 2nd class questions. Home about 4 and out training with the team. Up shed with Tom after and played Billiards.

                                                                                                              Wenesday 17/45
Did work in office all day today. Helped Hubert. After down Office in afternoon and helped on the outputs. Expected Griff down but he failed to turn up. Home and went to the Empire with Tom.

                                                                                                             Thursday Oct 18/45
Up Tonmawr and down the main district. Still working on the haulage. By the time it is finished, the district will be worked out. ?? very un-cooperative, -they demand a shift and the coal for going to another mans place, and if refused- out they go. but rather than hold the cut up we pay through the ????. Face conditions have improved. Out about 1 oclock- Very cold weather has broken- Home about 4 and out training early.- Not many there, but dad took who were there Had a good run Tom and Frankie up shed after and played billiards. Very cold day. 

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                                                                                                              Friday Oct 19/45
Up Resolven to see how things were getting on . The ringing of the deep in ???? is almost finished. Down GlynGwlyn. Three faces O K and both deeps going well. Down to farm about 2 oclock- Saw Sam and then down the office. - Been repainted and new floors and looks O K. Back home about 4 and went to flics with Tom and Windsor.

                                                                                                              Saturday Oct 20/45
Up Tonmawr all morning. Very cold and looks like rain- Sore throat-down about 1 oclock had dinner, changed and Tom called for me about 2:30. Down town and proceeded to dressing room for match against the Ferry. Started to rain very heavily and the whole match was played in the rain Poor game and we won 11-0. Had a kick in face and twisted my back. Tom and I had tea in the Dorothy and afterwards as we couldnt get in the flics, we went up shed and played billiards. I sent Tom and Frankie home. Back very stiff and sore. Like rheumeustim.

                                                                                                                 Sunday Oct 21/45
Didnt go to Comm as back stiff and couldnt bend it. Down to Thomas's for a rub. Very wet day. Felt a little easier in noon, so went to church. Very few there as terrific rains pouring down. Went down in car.

                                                                                                               Monday Oct 22/45
Up colliery all day. Didnt go to work as back very sore and didnt do a lot. Home about

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4 oclock and down to Phillips for a rub and the lamp. Back feels a lot better. Saw Tom on way to singing practice.. Terrible rains all day and blowing hard.

                                                                                                                Tuesday Oct 23/45
School today- down in car. Still raining hard. Doing 1st and 2nd class questions. ???? lunch at the Park. Back home about 5. Slipped down field but didnt turn out as back still stiff. Met Tom after and went to flics Still terrific rain. Doug phoned up- he is off to Australia for a trip.

                                                                                                                   Wenesday Oct 24/45
Back a lot better today. Terrific gale last night running up to 90 MPH and a lot of damage done in the coastal towns. Dad in bed with a cold, so off to Swansea instead of him to sign cheques. On way down thought the Morris would take to the air, so strong was the wind. Home about ?? oclock and up Tonmawr. Everything going O K ?? lots places. Home about 5 oclock. Went to St Thomas's choir practise in evening Only 8 of us there, but ive sang choruses from the Messiah. Home and bed early. Still raining.

                                                                                                                      Thursday Oct 25/45
Up Tonmawr all day. Terrific wind and rain all last night and day. Output affected ???? to the screen men getting wet. Will have to see about new screens. Home about 3,

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as trying out my back in practice. Had a good run around, but felt rather stiff. Washed and changed and went to see 'The Light of Heart' written by Emily Williams and produced by the Neath Little Theatre people. Howard Davis was the principle actor in it. Frank and Tom were with me. Terrific lightning all the evening and terrbal rain. Home about 10 oclock.

                                                                                                                       Friday Oct 26/45
Up Resolven early and over ???? and then down Glyn Gwlym. Awful weather and blowing hard. Down farm about 1, Sam on cutter beside new road. Made arrangements for the water to be installed on Sunday with Will Morgan. Down office after. ???? pump for washery given trouble ???? to ???? getting blocked. Home on new road and ran out of petrol. ???? Farm floods down and back to normal. Flics with Tom in evening.

                                                                                                                       Saturday Oct 27/45
Up Tonmawr in morning and helped Hubert with books. Not playing for Neath today as back still stiff. After a poor game. Neath won 8-6. Swansea beaten 22-6 by New Zealand side. Saw Tom and Frank after and went up shed and played billiards and then sent Tom.

                                                                                                                       Sunday Oct 28/45
Communion in morn and then up farm. Took up Will Morgan and he started

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re-piping cow shed Lovely day. Back home about 3. Church in evening and after church saw Frank and went for a stroll up Gnoll

                                                                                                                       Monday Oct 29/45
Up Tonmawr today early and down Llantwit until 2 oclock. Still very wet on new face, and Wills face finishing fast. Went through new return. Home about 5 oclock and met Tom and went to the flics.

                                                                                                                          Tuesday Oct 30/45
School all the morning and did old questions. After food in the Parc Cafe'. I met Tom and we went to Llanelly to see them play against the Kiwis the New Zealand Side. Large crowd of about 15000 there. and the All Blacks won 16-8 after a terrific struggle. They are a huge side with a few 16 stone forwards and all their forwards and backs can handle exceptionally well. Back to Neath about 5 up field and saw the team training.

                                                                                                                          Wenesday Oct 31/45
Up Tonmawr and in office most of the day. Doing my homework. Down about 4 and out training with Tom until dark. Army of workmen at the Gnoll putting in ready for Saturdays game Billiards in night with Tom and Frankie up Shed.

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                                                                                                                           Thursday Nov 1/45
Up Tonmawr with some ???? for Ike and then over Resolven to meet Dad and ???? regarding the royalty. Finished about 1 and slipped up the farm. Back home about 2 as special training today for Sats match. and all the team out and we had a dash good ????, and all feel very confident about it. Although bets are going round that they will put 30 pts on us. Up shed after with Tom and Frankie and playing billiards.

                                                                                                                            Friday Nov 2/45
Up Tonmawr and down Main New painting almost finished and about time to. New roof up to old ???? has improved the ????. Out kicking for half an hour in the evening and then home and washed and changed. Doug called for me in the evening and I went singing Home about 8 and bed early

                                                                                                                              Saturday Nov 3/45
Today is the big day and luckily it turned out fine. Up colliery, and helped Hubert with books All had started work early to finish in time to catch 12 bus, as there will be thousands in Neath today. Down about 12 and had a good steak for dinner Went for a stroll and then left house about 1:30 and walked down town and hence to the Gnoll. There were thousands there, and the road was packed. Got to stand about 2 and found all there including W E Jones, who is playing at stand off half. Huge crowd all round the field- must be close on 15000 and it looks like an international match. The Ferry land was playing

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Started ???? about 2:15 and saw ?? New Zealanders They're a well built lot most of them standing over 6'. and 3 of their forwards weigh 16 stone and over. Had photos taken and then out to the field where they did their war dance. It was a lovely day and we scored in the first 4 mins. We were all over them and if our backs were better we would have easily beaten them, as in the srcumswe were getting the ball back 8 out of  10 scrums. Anyway after a hard game we lost 22-15, but it was against the run of play. Had a crack on my leg in the last few minutes. After a bath, we, the Neath team went to the Church Hall for tea while the Kiwis, went to the Castle after we all joined them in the Palm Lounge we ???? their autographs and sing song. Back home about 8 and then down to Thomas for a massage- Bed

                                                                                                                                  Sunday Nov 4/45
Didnt go to comm as leg to stiff so stayed in bed. Wrote letters in noon and church in St Thomas's in evening. Terrific storm for about an hour. Met Frankie after and went with him and Dai and Barry for a cup of tea in Bridge Cafe and then home. Bed early

                                                                                                                              Monday Nov 5/45
Up Tonmawr Leg very stiff so couldnt go underground so did homework. Home about 5, and went to Thomas's for a massage Tom up in evening and we had a chat in the shed

                                                                                                                            Tuesday Nov 6/45
School today and still doing questions Home about

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3 and slipped up farm but didnt turn up George Hughes one of our best forwards has signed for Leeds. Flics with Tom

                                                                                                                              Wenesday Nov 7/45
Up Tonmawr -leg still very sore so stayed in the office and helped Hubert. He went to Swansea in noon. Home about 4 and had a massage. Singing in church down in night.

                                                                                                                              Thursday Nov 8/45
Up Tonmawr again today. Leg better so went down Llantwit. Jack Whitely has almost finished ???? deep. Home about 4 and up field and watch training. Saw Dai Davies and he gave me some steak. Played billiards all evening.

                                                                                                                                Friday Nov 9/45
Resolven early. Wilkes had made a good job of painting the cowshed. Up Cordcae with Dad and Jones. Will Morgan has almost finished the piping of both pumps in the deeps and they should be working by Wenesday. Back home about 8 and went to flics with Tom and Frankie.

                                                                                                                                  Saturday Nov 10/45
Tonmawr today Measured the girders for the new bridge with Ike. Helped Hubert with Ike and down about 1. Off to Garnant in noon with Team to play Amman United. Most of the team stood down for new blood. My ???? rash is better and doc Owen is putting Pernciller We won match 9-3, but

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it was very scrappy and terribly cold. Home about 6, had tea in the Anchor Cafe. Walked around most of the night.

                                                                                                                                    Sunday Nov 11/45
Communion in morning- Up farm later and finished of cowshed. Lovely day- more like summer than winter but it got hellish  cold in the evening Church and after went to the Bridge Cafe' with David and Barry.

                                                                                                                                      Monday Nov 12/45
Up Resolven and fetched Willet to blow stumps up at Gilfach. Back up Resolven and up to Cord-Bae. Pumps coupled up ??/ ????. Over to mouth and back by farm. Tractor ploughing new field with new plough, but tough going Down about 6 to the docs for treatment and then billiards with Tom.

                                                                                                                                 Tuesday Nov 13/45
School today- down in car- Bitterly cold, but fine. Still doing questions. Went to evening post offices lunch time and had my photo taken  and ordered photos of New Zealand game. Food in Woolworths. Left school about 4 and out training. Not many there Flics in evening with Tom.

                                                                                                                                 Wenesday Nov 14/45
A year today I started this book- time soon flies. Up Tonmawr and down Main with Lloyd. More trouble with the men. What a job the government are taking on. Wouldnt take it myself for a million.                                                        

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                                                                                                                                  Thursday Nov 15/45
Up Resolven today and up Coid-cae. Some devil on the night shift had deliberately put his mandrel through the cable on No 4 face- resulting in a cut going west. Training in noon from 3.30 till 5 and up shed after with Tom Dai and John. Very cold evening.

                                                                                                                                  Friday Nov 16/45
Up Resolven and down Glyn Gwylym with Jones. Inspector up about electricity for Caid-cae. Down farm after and started moving rubbish. Sam started ploughing Flics in evening with Dai.

                                                                                                                                Saturday Nov 17/45
Up Tonmawr until 12 and saw the Railway gangers start on our siding. Left about 12:15 and washed and changed and met Frank at 1 and picked Tom up in Seven. Arrived at coll about 2, and found that they hadnt started Had a chat with Pope and then down match. Not a bit like the old coll sides- very much smaller and younger any way they still pack well- They lost the game 23-3. Saw Bolar after and then to tea in the Bear with Tom and Frank. Had a long chat with Pope after and finally left coll about 6 oclock and arrived Neath about 7 and then after taking the car home. we all went to the flics Lovely evening- more like summer than winter. Sent Tom

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                                                                                                                              Sunday Nov 18/45
Up to Communion  first and then up Tonmawr with things for Ike. New siding looks O K. Back to Resolven and painted buildings of shed. Down after 3 oclock washed and changed and church in evening. With Frankie after and went for a walk

                                                                                                                              Monday Nov 19/45
Up Tonmawr early today Had to pick up sidings a little otherwise working O K. Down under for a while and then did Southerns in noon. Flics in evening with Tom

                                                                                                                            Tuesday Nov 20/45
School today Most of the lads up for their exams. Dinner at Woolworths and met Frank and Pete. Had photos from Evening Post Out training in evening. Lads up shed in evening and played billiards.

                                                                                                                            Wenesday Nov 21/45
Meeting at Swansea today in office Dinner in Mackworth. Up Gilfach after with dad and then up Resolven to see Sam. Home about 5 and up choir practise in evening at St Thomas.

                                                                                                                            Thursday Nov 22/45
Up Gilfach till about 1 oclock helping Sam etc in readiness for the disc ???? tomorrow Out training in noon with the lads. With Tom in evening and went to flics.

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                                                                                                                               Friday Nov 23/45
Up Tonmawr today and down '5'. Still very wet there. Up about 2 oclock and helped Hubert with pay. Home about 5 and met Frankie about 9 after going to the flics Dai. Walked home with him Picked for trial.

                                                                                                                                  Saturday Nov 24/45 'Brecon'
Up colliery in morning until 12 and then home to change. Filled up car all round and called for Dai about 1 and started out for Brecon. Arrived there about 2, and had a look round. Nice day for the match. Saw the team and wished them all the best. Met Jim James, Blason ???? Pete ???? and a few others, but not many old boys there. After a close and good game with deadly tackling Coll won 6-nil. Back to the 'Bear' at Llandovery for tea and gave '????' and his mate a lift. Had a good tea and left for Neath about 6 and got there at seven. Dai had a date so I dropped him on the sq. Said goodbye to ???? and met Frankie Went for a walk and met Kate and Pete and had a chat and I went in until 11 Bed.

                                                                                                                                  Sunday Nov 25/45
Communion in morning. Very few there. Up farm after and tidied up until about 1 had food and then home. Fed chickens and cleaned shed. Washed and changed and then church in the evening Met Frankie after and went for a walk up Gnoll. Saw John.

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                                                                                                                                    Monday Nov 26/45
Up Tonmawr all day and did work on Southerns course and finished his lesson. Output down last week. Out training in evening and had good run and feeling pretty fit. Saw Tom and went to flics- poor show.

                                                                                                                         Tuesday Nov 27/45
School today in morning went over last weeks exam questions. Down to Park for lunch with Allen and Dai Didnt go back in noon because of training Bought records in Snells. Training about 3:30. Not many out. Getting dark early Flics in evening byself as Tom feeling ill.

                                                                                                                            Wenesday Nov 28/45
Lloyd away today as in charge and up early. Had a fairly good day 220up. but not a lot of wal about. Men late going in. Didnt go out training as late home. Choir practise in evening Not many there. Home early and bed.

                                                                                                                           Thursday Nov 29/45
Up Tonmawr- No work trouble with power as some idiot had put the wrong switch in Knocked down the old shed and had screenmen tidying up the yard. Down about 3 oclock for training Quite a number out. Played billiards in night cleaned up. Sore throat.

                                                                                                                           Friday Nov 30/45
Throat very sore as stayed in all day trying to get fit for tomorrows trial match. Very cold day and wet. Read Bulldog ???? all day- Good book-bed early

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Up about 9 oclock, packed bag and caught 11 train to Cardiff Went up with Cliff Williams. Met Graham Hughes -alltogether 3 Neath forwards and 1 centre playing. 2 on reds and 2 on whites. Saw dad etc in Royal before match. Throat still sore and full of cold. Kicked off at 2:30, and according to dad after played a very good game. Mansfield wasnt playing Wish he was as he is the only likely one to keep me out. Had a kick in in teeth and a ???? ?? ear. Poor game. Had tea with the teams and caught 5:30 train home. Met Tom and Frank after and found Neath had lost to Gloucester 6-5. Bit of bad luck.

                                                                                                                              Sunday Dec 1/45
Comm in morn- not many there. Didnt go to farm so did out shed and painted it. After dinner went to Swansea to see Griff but missed him. Back home and church in evening Sang Messiah after. Home early with Peter as tired.

                                                                                                                             Monday Dec 2/45
Up colliery- mouth very sore. ???? ???? me a good name in W M. Did one of Southerns lessons. Home about 5 and went to flics with Tom in night- Windsor

                                                                                                                            Tuesday Dec 3/45
School today Terribly wet Got soaked going out for dinner so home early. Didnt go out training- to wet. Went to the Neath Girls county School concert after

138 ???? very good singing there. Sent Tom to bus.

                                                                                                                        Wenesday Dec 4/45
Underground down Main with Lloyd to see new haulage working- Wanting a new rope. Picks up and chops into parting easily. Big save on horses. Up about 1 and kept my ?? on screen in slow tipping Down to Swansea in evening to see Griff. Went to Plaza. Poor show Had a feed in cafe and the I caught a bus home.

                                                                                                                        Thursday Dec 5/45
Down Llantwit as trouble with the air down there- ???? to lust. New fan will have to ?? put in Big fall in M Bevans advance heading- Out about 2-had food and then went training ???? to rain. Not out long as cold. Played billiards with Frank and Tom

                                                                                                                         Friday Dec 6/45
Up Tonmawr -Down tip with Lloyd as trouble getting wagons unloaded. Back to give Hubert a hand. Home about 5 oclock and went to the Empire- poor film

                                                                                                                        Saturday Dec 7/45
Up colliery in morning and helped Hubert with books. Down about 1 oclock and had lunch. Played Newport in noon and after a hard game which was very scrappy and with a poor ref, we won 14-13. Quite a few accidents Had tea in Dorothy and went to Gnoll with Tom and Frank. Sent Tom to the train after

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                                                                                                                         Sunday Dec 8/45
Communion in morn- Very few there- Up farm after and walked mountain to see how the sheep were. Had dinner. Down about 3 oclock. Church in evening and had a full choir practise after. Met Frank

                                                                                                                           Monday Dec 9/45
Holiday week- so all very busy and were kept going after traffic all day. Down about 5. Had tea and met Tom after and went to the flics in ????- Poor show. Very mild evening.

                                                                                                                            Tuesday Dec 10/45
Hughes up and I surveyed ???? bar district myself. Not many places there but good practise. Over Resolven in noon and went to the P P meeting which is really and entirely a complete waste of time. Out training in the evenin, but not many out. Tom up in night and we played billiards.

                                                                                                                             Wenesday Dec 11/45
Up Resolven today and went down GlynGwlyn and over Coedcae. Jump down in ????, but not coal seen yet. Over Coedcae. Both Monte and ???? Pumps going O K. Down about 4. Choir practise in night but very cold in church as they were unable to get a care taker.

                                                                                                                                 Thurs Dec 12/45
Down main District with Lloyd all morning Out about 12 and did some work

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Down ?? ?? and did some training, but not many players there. Billiards in evening with Tom Frank and Dai, and then had a good feed in new cafe in Windsor Rd.

                                                                                                                               Friday Dec 13/45
Up Resolven all day with Ike on the Girden for screen shelter and finished it all off. Up farm after and decided on the lights. Didnt see Tom or Frank in evening so went top to shed with David and played snooker and darts all night. Raining hard.

                                                                                                                                  Sat Dec 15/45
Up Tonmawr and found that the Main ???? was giving trouble so had to rush to Resolven to get Ike and his stuff over and found after it was a fake report given by the night fireman. Left about 1 oclock- Pouring with rain Played Penarth in noon and won 25-nil. Best game I've seen the backs play. Went to Empire byself as Tom and Frank off to the Ferry.

                                                                                                                                   Sunday Dec 16/45
Communion in morning and then up farm. Cleaned car and helped the vet to examine the cows. Down about 3 and cleaned the sheds out. Church in evening and full practise after. Met Frank and went for a walk.

                                                                                                                                  Monday Dec 17/45
Up Tonmawr early. Very dark Lloyd ???? ???? with J Whitely case, which the police had forced on- they lost it as all the

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???? J P, where there. Had a good output last week 1300 tons and 878 tons in Resolven. With Tom in evening Flics.

                                                                                                                                Tues Dec 18/45
School today. Half holl so in noon had my cut in Miss Rolfe- and bought and few presents. Home way home had a smash on the Jersey ????- Main Skewen Rd. Car badly smashed up badly but I got off O K luckily- Not my fault- Police look particulars- Ted towed car in. date in evening-Syl- Gnoll Very wet night.

                                                                                                                                 Wenesday Dec 19/45

Up with Hubert and made my statement and then took it back to the police station at Skewen. Back up colliery and finished off one of Souther s Lessons- Coal slow coming out Choir practise in evening for next Sunday night- Quite a few there Very wet evening. Wrote out a few cards

                                                                                                                               Thursday Dec 20/45
Up colliery early with Lloyd and on to Nantylan as D Hammon has a hole out to old workings. Out about 10 and ordered wood and fittings for 1st aid room. Home with 2 bus and out training on field- Quite a number out. Letter from Pope Tom and Frank up in night and played billiards, - Feed in cafe.

                                                                                                                                 Friday Dec 21/45
Up colliery today. Didnt go underground so helped Ike on surface. Belt broke.

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on screen so helped Ike to mend it. Home about 5 oclock. Date in evening- Out to Abbey

                                                                                                                                  Saturday Dec 22/45
Reserve for Wales V France today, so didnt go up colliery Off to Swansea with 11 train. Very little food to be had there, but met J L A Morgan and Em Roberts and had dinner in Albert Hall. At field at 1:30. All arrived O K. Forwards are stocky and fat while French are huge fellows. Started to pour with rain. France all over Wales and deserved to win as they had a good fast pack. Poor backing with Welsh forwards- Dinner after in Brangwyn Hall. but very poor arrangements there. Tried to converse with them, but very difficult. Left about 7 and off to Neath- Had a feed in Tuckers- didnt see the lads as so wet. Neath lost at Bristol 5-0

                                                                                                                                Sunday Dec 23/45
Communion in morning- In morning ???? ???? roof and cleaned shed. Up farm to fetch ???? down. Uncle Eric and Aunty Nella down for Xmas. All went to church in evening where the choir took over and gave a selection from the Messiah

                                                                                                                            Monday Dec 24/45
Up early today as off to Pontypool to see Mr and Mrs Evans Went up via Aberdare direct to Pontypool. Pouring with rain Arrived there about 11. Mr Evans breaking ???? Mrs Evans looking well Mad dinner

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there- Left by bus about 2 to Cardiff and caught 4 oclock luxury bus to Neath. Flics with Tom and Frank in evening. Saw Toms ???? Schooldays

                                                                                                                              December 25/45    Xmas Day
Up late- Fine out for once Dad went to church so Uncle Eric and I and Frank played billiards up shed. Didnt eat much dinner as match in noon V London Welsh Kicked off at 2:30. Hard game as pitch heavy but won 9-0. Saved one try. All had tea in new cafe. Stayed home all night and played games. Bed late and tired.

                                                                                                                                Wenes Dec 26/45
Up about 10, Had breakfast and had an early lunch as off to see Cardiff V Kiwis at Cardiff. Up in ???? ?? Raining in morning but cleared off for game. Good crowd- 25 000 saw Kiwis win 3-0 after a good game Cardiff pack played well, but Kiwis had hard luck for 3 tries and should have won. Left about 4:30. Didnt see Ivor as he must of stayed home. Home about 6 and had tea. ???? ???? in the evening Very ???? night so stayed in Bed about 11 oclock.

                                                                                                                                   Thurs Dec 27/45
Up colliery with Lloyd ??????????. attendance with the colliers and ???????? doing all day as little coal ??????? about 4 and off to flics- Missed ????????? Frank but saw him after.

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           Photos from Neath V Kiwis 1945

Pic- Neath Team

Pic- Scrum

Pic- At Cardiff W13- E25

Pic- Kiwis having their photos taken

Pic- Kiwis giving their war-??

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                                                                                                                          Frid Dec 28/45
Picked for Wales V N Zealand with two other Neath forwards G Hughs and M Thomas Photo in Post. Up colliery with Lloyd still a lot missing. Home about 4. Out in night with Syl. Up shed- Terrific rain

                                                                                                                        Sat Dec 29/45
Up colliery in morning Still a lot missing Down early to catch the bus to Pontypool Aberdare and Mountain Ash. Very cold up there Neath won 9-3 after a poor game. Back about 6:30 and arrived Neath 8. Met Tom up shed and down for a feed with Tom and Frank. Newport draws with Kiwis 3-3

                                                                                                                       Sunday Dec 30/45
Communion in morning Very wet day. Church at 11 first time for many years.  ???? by choir. Walk with Frank in noon up the Gnoll. Lovely in noon. Met John Party in Olgas in evening Home late.

                                                                                                                        Monday Dec 31/45
Up colliery in morn with Lloyd. Down '5' as trouble in Llantwit, Men refusing to work as afraid of water, but eventually got them to start at 11. Out about 1 and down with Hubert Out training with Harry Tuckerwood. Flics byself in evening ???? Windsor

                                                                                                                      Tuesday Jan 1/46
Up colliery with Lloyd early Very cold

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but on the whole it has ?? far been a very mild winter. Helped Hubert and replied to some of the telegrams. Down at 2 and out training with lads. Awfully cold out, so didnt stay out long. Tom up in evening and played billiards.

                                                                                                                      Wenesday Jan 2/46
Up colliery with Hubert. Kept traffic going all day. Didnt go out training in evening or else would be stale. Saw Tom and played billiards- Freezing

                                                                                                                            Thurs Jan 3/46
Had license for car. Parts for car ready. Up colliery late- Helped Hubert with pay Down about 2, and out training Sprinting mostly at top end of field as it is frozen hard. Cardiff field is covered with straw. Flics in evening with Tom

                                                                                                                             Friday Jan 4/46
Up colliery with Lloyd. ???? a little today. Poor output as still a lot of colliers missing. Mathews unable to play cracked rils- Tanner unable to get leave. Massage with Phillips in evening Bleddyn Williams is capt. Bed early. about 9:30

                                                                                                                          Saturday Jan 5/46
Up about 1/4-8 Packed bag. Had breakfast. Dad ran me down to catch the 9:5 train. Packed with people. Stood all the way up and talked with fellow in the

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navy who turned out to be Frankie Williams cousin. Reached Cardiff about 11, and saw Graham Hughes. Strolled around and had a cup of tea in a cafe. Met Ivon at 12 as arranged and went to have some sandwiches. Back to dressing rooms to report for a forwards meeting, but couldnt do much- Started changing about 1:30 and off to field at 2:30. Introduced to Premier of New Zealand. Mr Peter Fraser and ?? Ferry berg V C. Wales kicked off. Just missed 2 pen goals on 1st 1/4 of an ?? by an ????. Half time 0-0 and we had their run but a hard game so far. Finished up 11-3 after a faulty kick by our full back, Sherrat threw ?? catching the ball and scoring between the posts. They then had 2 penalty kicks kick on knee. Had luck in club room and had autographs. Gave my address to O A Meates their ????. Home by 6 train Bed early.

                                                                                                                             Sunday 6/46
Stayed in bed until 11 as stiff and tired read papers in noon. Church in evening and met Frankie after and went to Cafe. Home early as stiff

                                                                                                                             Monday Jan 7/46
Up very early 6:30, with Lloyds as trouble expected over putting Dai Powell us an official Mass meeting. Managed to get most of men down but the Llantwit men refused owing to they being afraid of the water down Llantwits old workings. Had things going by about 9:30. Did some

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homework. Walden up after to satisfy the Mines Dept. Home with dad and down to Phillips. After for a rub on knee Flics after byself as Tom didnt come down. Very good choir. Leg badly swollen in evening.

                                                                                                                            Tuesday Jan 8/46
Stayed in bed till 2:30 to rest leg as still a good bit swollen. Raining hard in morning, but cleared up later. Red books in noon. Tom up in evening and I managed to get up shed where we talked all the evening- I couldnt send him.

                                                                                                                               Wenesday Jan 9/46
Stayed in bed until 1 to rest leg. Still swollen. Read a Book Club book. Pouring with rain all day and night so Tom didn't come down. Read all night Picked for Wales against England. Five changes Cleaver and Darch out for Tanner and Glyn Davies,  Maleas and L Thomas out for ???? and Steer and Mathews returns to the centre. Bed about 10:30

                                                                                                                               Thurs Jan 10/46
Bed till 12. Leg feels better. Cleaned up draws and tidied up the letters there. Letter from Ginger Read books in noon. Down Phillips- leg still swollen but not so much. Tom up in evening Played records and the billiards up shed. Very wet day and evening.

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                                                                                                                                Friday Jan 11/46
Up Tonmawr with dad. Resolven out for something or other. More you do for them-less they do for you. Lorry over with some stuff for us. Had my P D review. Leg a little better. Bus service going well. Gets the men to work in time, and takes them away. Frank phoned up. Chatted with Mike in evening and then to Oak Grove.

                                                                                                                               Saturday Jan 12/46
Tank leaking Fetched car from Garage Looking O K- going well except for clutch Fetched Kuhling to do task. Cleaned car in morning. Neath V Newbridge in noon

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Not playing as leg not fit. Won 8-nil Nice day but cold. Tea in Tuckers with Frank and the to lodge in Ferry with Tom and Frank. Very cold.

                                                                                                                                Sunday Jan 13/46
Commuinion in morning Gave Mike a lift home. Up farm after and walked mountain. Gathered sheep and cut rams feet for footrot. 31. After dinner took car for a treal spin via Glynneath, Port-neath-vaugh and Ystafellte. Called for Bob Pritchard of Aberlli farm and he took me to the water works. Huge concern. Very cold there. Left after and gave Bob a lift to ????. Home about 4:30. Tea and church in evening. Met Frank after and had chocolate in Bridge.

                                                                                                                                Monday Jan 14/46
Up Tonmawr in car. Going O K. Down Llantwit Picking rails up in S Williams due to the water in the old workings. On to M Bevan. Still dipping and very wet there. Llantwit deep is getting better. Whitely and J Davies doing a good job. Home about 2:30 to try out my leg. Its a lot better Had 1/2 and hours good running and then a bath after it. Flics in the evening with Tom Windsor- fair shout Ten after in cafe and sent Tom to bus

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                                                                                                                                  Tuesday Jan 15/46
School today, down Swansea in car. Heard that Dai's wife died. D L Evans passed his 1st class written. Didnt do much work. Back early and out training. Not many there. Up shed with Tom in evening. Fall in arching in Tonmawr owing them to them taking a big motor in arching and it jammed knocking some of it down and the stuff started sliding. All out by 11 so no coal out. Dad home about 8. Didnt go up as couldnt so any thing Sent Tom.

                                                                                                                                   Wenes Jan 16/46
Up Tonmawr very early 5:30. Fall still blocking arch and running. Arranged various shifts with men- 6 hr ones. Started to build and new raft to fill hole as the sides will soon crumble one the frost thaws. Cogged the raft up well and floored it with timber, Working at it all night. Saw Tom in evening and played billiards

                                                                                                                                    Thurs Jan 17/46
Fall still holding work up and still ????. Raft not yet in sight Hard at it all day. Very cold and blowing hard up mountain. Raft seems to have got a holt somewhere as less stuff seems to be falling. Went out training as there is nothing I can do. Ground very hard so just did a little ????. With Frank and Tom up shed after.

                                                                                                                                     Friday Jan 18/46
Fall clear but only Llantwit worked as water up in the Main, so we had some. Still very cold. Home about 4:30 and went to flics in

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evening. Very good show in Gnoll, but very cold. Bed early in readiness for tomorrow

                                                                                                                                      Sat Jan 19/46
Up about 8:30 and packed bag. Caught 11 train up to match with Tom and Frank. Up by 12 and went to the Western Mail offices and ordered photos of the Kiwi game. Back to Cardiff Arms Park, where the forwards are supposed to meet by 12:30, but not many there. Went for a stroll and met Ivon and Bevan and St John Rees. Started stripping about 2, Met Uncle Eric and met the two Schoolboy halves. Ground in good condition after being protected by the straw. Kicked off at 2:45 prompt and England whom we were supposed to beat put on 21pts in the 1st half. In the 2nd we pulled our socks up and put on 13pts, but ours were the better tries. The Welsh pack lacked the understanding necessary to win games, and we want a new hooker and better trained men. Eventually game ended. England 25 Wales 13. Had a bath, tea and after went out with the ?? ???? and met Tom and Frank and Graham. Walked to station and caught 7 train home and had a coffee in Tuckers and then home. Howard Marshall gave me an excellent name in his commentary and dad was pleased. Kiwis lost to Scot 11-6

                                                                                                                                 Sunday Jan 20/46
Communion in morning- not many there. Up farm after getting chaff and up Gilfach. Walk up Gnoll in noon with Frank. Tea about 5, and church in evening. Very draughty there and cold as no heating. owing to lack of coal and labour. Met Frank after and went to Bridge Cafe and then for a stroll with Peter Johns, Bed.

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                                                                                                                                  Monday Jan 21/46
Up colliery early Full work in both places. Down Llantwit in morning to see how things shaping. Picking up rails down Nippys. Met Tom in evening with Frank and went to see School for Scandal a play in the Gwyn Hall. Very good- Sent Tom and home after.

                                                                                                                                 Tuesday Jan 22/46
School today Down in car. Dai Davies breaking fast. Did oral questions all day. Home about 4, and out training, not many out as freezing. David up in evening and we played billiards all night.

                                                                                                                                   Wenesday Jan 23/46
Up Tonmawr all day as Lloyd and Hubert over Resolven with the E W O officer. Very poor output. Did homework most-of the day. Flics in evening byself. Very cold.

                                                                                                                                   Thursday Jan 24/46
Up Resolven today Terrible weather pouring all day. Took Ike up with me and we visited Caedcae and Glyn Gwilym Got soaking up there. Stayed in all evening Picked for Wales V Scotland-  5 changes in side 4 forward, 1 back. The schoolboy halves still in. Bed early

                                                                                                                                    Friday Jan 25/46
Up Tonmawr and down Main district Trouble with men. J Hughes over the air They said fan was on stop, but it wasnt Any excuse to get out of work. With Tom and Frank in evening

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on Gnoll. Very good show. Good laugh

                                                                                                                                    Sat Jan 26/46
Up colliery until about 11. Took Hubert up with me. Left Neath for Cardiff with team about 12:45 and arrived in Cardiff about 2:15. Stripped straight away. Saw Johnny Jenkins the old Coll wing who is to play for us before very long.. Good crowd on the field. Cardiff leading 8-0 half time. Neath backs very poor. In the 2nd half Neath even in the Cardiff half all the time and finally scored, but our backs couldnt get throw. Hard game and dirty. Left Cardiff about 6 and arrived Neath 8. Met Tom and had a feed in the new cafe. Kick in mouth as per usual.

                                                                                                                                    Sunday 27/46
Communion in morning Very few there. Cleaned shed all morning and in noon off to Llandovery in Black Mts to test bus. Left about 1:30-arrived there at 2:30. Had a good old chat with Pope. Very few boys there I know. Left there at 4 and home by 5. Wet old day. Church in evening and popped in the Bridge Bed early

                                                                                                                                     Monday Jan 28/45
Up Tonmawr with dad. Did the report about Llantwit for Walden the Mines ????. Took me nearly all the day. With Jon in evening Terribly wet, so went to flics. Massage with Thomas as leg stiff after sat.

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                                                                                                                                      Tuesday Jan 29/46
School today Had oral questions all morn which the boys had in their oral exam last Wenes. Dinner in Woolworths. Surveying in noon. Called in Photo supplies for my photos. Home about 5. Frank and his cousin Whyndom up and we play billiards. Frank printed my photos. Terrifically wet day.

                                                                                                                                      Wenesday Jan 30/46
Down to Swansea for meeting today. Still very wet discussed all important issues of the colliery- Dinner in Mackworth and ???? after. Sam to G W R offices to see ???? about the new sidings. Stayed in all the evening. Mrs Theo Davies very ill in bed so went to see how she was.

                                                                                                                                        Thursday Jan 31/46
Up about 9.- Off to Cardiff as special training today for Welsh team at Cardiff Arms. Terrible day- raining hard Drove up in car and picked up Bob Morgan at Pyle and took him to Bridgend. Bought a pull over in Cardiff. Dinner at Uncle Erics. Down ground about 5. and had a runout. Ivon Jones and Arthur ???? there training us. ?? for about an hour. Very wet so came home straight away. St Thomas's Church had a dinner in Tuckers Cafe (given by dad) and after a good feast we all went to the Church Hall, where he had games etc All enjoyed ourselves. Took Gwyn and a few boys home about 11 oclock. Feeling tired. Pouring with rain.

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                                                                                                                                         Friday Feb 1/46
Up Tonmawr all day. Stayed in office and helped Hubert with books and did some homework. Still very wet. Met Tom in evening with Frank and went to the flics in Gnoll. Home and bed early ready for morrow.

                                                                                                                                Saturday Feb 2/46
Up about 9, and got my things together. Had a good breakfast. Met Tom and Frank and Whyn, and Peter, and caught 12:30 train to Swansea. Very wet in morning but cleared up for the match. Got to ground by 1:30 as kick-off is 2:30 as the ???? have to go back straight after the game. About 30 000 people there. Wales lost toss and played against the wind and sun. We played very poor and lost 26-6. Their forwards outplayed us in the ???? and losse mauls but we had the ball in the set ????. Very disappointing games Our backs tackling very poor. More change and again I expect. Flics in evening down Lodge in Ferry. Uncle Eric and Aunty Nella down. Didnt play to well as stuck in short line all the time with no room to move in. Must go in middle to long in feature and ?? my ???? a bit more. Fat eye and feeling stiff so bed early 

                                                                                                                             Sunday Feb 3/46
Didnt go to Comm as very stiff- most unusual as I usually feel fairly good. Got up rather late                                                               

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and read a book all day. Church in evening Met Frank after and off to Bridge Cafe Everyone talking about the match. Lovely black eye Bed early as very tired

                                                                                                                              Monday Feb 4/46
Up Tonmawr all day. Terribly wet did one of one of the Southerns Lessons. Ike gave me a hand. With Tom in evening to flics in Gnoll. Sent him to the bus later. Little fires.

                                                                                                                                 Tuesday Feb 5/46
School today Still very wet. Did questions all day. Training in evening and took the forwards in heeling from loose scrums as per Coll way. Read book in the evening.

                                                                                                                            Wenesday Feb 6/46
Up Tonmawr as Lloyd and Hubert off to Resolven to see Mr Johnstone the E W O fellow Very poor output 163. Chaps out very early and a lot of the men home ill as there is a lot of flue about and also a lot of the younger ones are deliberately slacking. Home about 5, and off to flics in Windsor.

                                                                                                                             Thursday Feb 7/46
Up Resolven Arranged with Kuhling's start on retaining wall, as lot of trouble with the journey on the bench. Down GlynGwlym New No2 face almost ready. but again a lot of absentees here. Arranged also about the 1st aid room. Terribly wet day and farm very mucky. Down early as fetching the Rector, Mike and Wynford home after their ???? coll rugger match, which Swansea won 3-nil but it was Cardiff who had the backs. Devil of a lot support given to

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Swansea. Went to see Merchant of Service after in Church Hall with Tom and Frank and Why. Very good acting especially by Mike Shylook but show too long 7-11. Saw Why home with Mike.

                                                                                                                              Friday Feb 8/46
Up Tonmawr very wet gave Lloyd a lift up. Truck off road to helped them to give a hand to get it on. Lights failed in the office Clothing Coupons given out Output still very low. More waste paper again. M of F & P send us about 3dz phamplets which no-one will ever read. Off to Maesteg in evening with Dai the trainer and David Davies to get the Neath jerseys for Tomorrow. Car almost blown away. Went via Port Talbot and bad ?? ????. Very hilly. -Did my books in evening. Very stormy weather Bed early

                                                                                                                                  Saturday Feb 9/46
Ike down in morn and put switch in shed. Up colliery after and picked up Hubert. Down about 11, changed and off to match V Bridgend. Weather had cleared up. Fairly good crowd. We won 39-nil, and it was a very good game. Our backs played their best. Johnny Jenks, our coll' wing playing and second two tries. All had a good tea in the evening in Tuckers. In night Tom and Frank and myself played billiards as we couldn't get in the flics. Had supper in Tuckers.

                                                                                                                                     Sunday Feb 10/46
Again didnt go to Comm as very tired and stiff but had to go to Tonmawr to fetch Ike for Resolven as trouble with their hauler, but when he got there found it immediately. Up farm after and had                                      

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dinner there. Back down about 2 and bathed. Church in evening. Bed early as tired

                                                                                                                                     Monday Feb 11/46
Up Resolven early and down to see how new face is getting on Haulage working well picking up 100 but dont expect them to clear as ???? was behind owing to absenteers on the night shift Down home bout 2 as Welsh Guards at Neath. Not playing but Neath again won 28-3. Backs playing extremely well these lost few matches. Tea in tuckers and went to Windsor with Harold Parker, who on form should soon get a cap. Home about 10.,and bed.

                                                                                                                                   Tuesday Feb 12/46
School today Swansea by car. Had some notes but Dai Davies isnt his old self Dinner in Park Had photos for Evening Post, and home about 4:30 but didnt go training as no one there. Had a haircut Started my lessons in evening and sent one off to Southerns. ???? to Oak Grove.

                                                                                                                                    Wenesday Feb 13/45
Up Tonmawr today and did some more work. Screen is bad and ???? and Ike busy on repairs. Home about 4 oclock. Leaving Lloyd with John Hughes etc

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flics in the evening Tarzan and the Amagons Fairly good show. Welsh team picked 8 changes from Scot game. and I'm the only one from Neath

                                                                                              ????  (Pennarth)

Les Williams            S Mathews         B Williams            G Jones
(Llanelly)                  (Cardiff)            (Cardiff)                (Cardiff)

                                 Cleaver                          Tanner (Capt)
                                    (Cardiff)                      (Swansea)

B ????                      M James                            D Davies
(Pontypool)               (Cardiff)                            (Cardiff)

   D J Davies                            Rees Stephens
   (Swansea)                              (Neath)

R J Evans           Mansfield                            M Jones
(Pontypool)         (Cardiff)                             (Cardiff)

       

                                                                                                               Thursday Feb 14/46
Up Tonmawr and down '5' to see how the repairs progressing and on to the new face in the ????. Ike and ???? and myself over farm in noon and started on the lights. Home about 8 and off training. No many out- only a few of the regulars. With Frank in evening and went to the flics. Missed Tom had a good feed in Tuckers Home about 10 and off to bed.

                                                                                                               Feb 15/46- Friday
Up Resolven early with ???? and Ike- They put up the lights in the farm and finished them all. Underground for the morning New face going O K, and haulage working well. Still alot of absenteeism which knocks the cycle up to L????. Back to farm after and helped Ike and ??. Down to office after and then home about 4:30. When I got down heard some terrible news which seems incredible. Young Ken Marchwike. Our wing

161

 

three-quarted had been fatally injured at a local colliery and it knocked the stuffing out of me and all the rest of the boys. Saw Harold Parker in the evening and talked over it. He is treasure for next Saturdays game. Bed early. Of the team only 3 of us from Neath. myself, Morlais and ???? Parker. -After the game George Hughes an excellent forward went North to Leeds

                                                                                                                  Sat Feb 16/46
Up colliery in morning and did some homework. Down about 12 and had food and off to field where we play Llanelly. All the players felt it about young Ken, and all of us had white arm bands around our jersey and all stood for 2 mins on the field before the kick-off. Good game to watch and all the forwards and backs played well-something like the Kiwis- slinging the ball about and playing open football-we won 25-9 in the last 3 games we scored 92pts to 12 against

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-had a nasty kick on the knee and limping most of the game- should really have come off. After the game had a massage with Thomas and stayed in the rest of the evening so didn't see Tom or Frank. Had another rub with him about 9. Cardiff lost their record to Newport 7-30-10 tries.

                                                                                                                   Sunday Feb 17/46
Bed till about 9 as couldnt go to comm for the third successive Sunday. Down W Thomas for a rub at 9 2:30 and 6- Leg a lot better but still swollen. Hope it gets O K for next weeks game. Aunty Nella and Uncle Eric down in noon. Didnt go to church in evening. Wrote to Tom Ellis and Meates the Kiwis Wing. Bed early to rest leg.

                                                                                                                 Monday Feb 18/46
Up about 10 Leg still swollen Down to Thomas three times. Feels a lot better and can walk about a good. Met Frank in evening Tom missed the bus Bed early.

                                                                                                                Tuesday Feb 19/46
Stayed in again Leg a lot better and swelling down. Visited Thomas twice today. Frank up in evening and we played billiards for a while Down about 8 and read a book by GwyGilson V C on his activities before he got killed. Jolly good.

Toms Birthday 
                                                                                                               Wenesday Feb 19/46
Leg pract O K but a little stiff. Up Ynisamed farm in morning looking over to fields. Very wet there and want draining badly. Lock gates of canal rotten and top of canal is dry. Back to the

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colliery Me and that one of the boys on. No1 conveyor face killed by a pan falling on him. Home about 12 as funeral in noon of Ken Hardwicke. Picked up the wreath from Olivers- lovely one and met boys at 3:20 outside the church. Up in a private bus. He had a grand funeral, if such things can be called grand- over 3 000 people there. The Neath team acted as bearers. Saw Tom there and he came back to Neath. Thomas in evening Leg a bit better. To late to go to flics so up shed and had a talk and then down to cafe.

                                                                                                                Thursday Feb 20/46
Up farm all the morning with Sam in field. Drying up well with drains open. Then giving it a good liming. Down about 2 oclock and had a good run out with Harold Parker Leg stuck it alright. and I shall play on Saturday. With Thomas in night for a last rub and went to the Gnoll in the evening. Got everything ready for tomorrow morning. Bed early

                                                                                                               Friday Feb 21/46
Up early and shaved and finished packing Off to station with dad in car and then he took it to the Castle for the week-end as he is coming up to Twickenham as well. Staying at Waldof Committee at Park-Lane. Caught the 9:10 train and found Tom Ellis on it. Large crowd going

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up from Neath. Changed compartments at Cardiff and met rest of team. Took Tom with me. All had a meal on train on way up and had a good journey Lovely day. Arrived at Paddington about 1:30 and arranged to see Tom tomorrow. Bus waiting for and took us to our hotel. After a wash went to Home Mill for a practise game. Mady n Tanner there, and he made a wald of difference- we shall definitely win on Sat. Had a good practise game especially the forwards who had the L.Welsh pack against them A M Rees, Woller and V Jenkins there. Had a good tea after the game in the club rooms. Leg stuck it O K. Back to hotel with boys. My room mate is W E W ???? Newport out Left wing. All off to the Palladium in the evening to see Tommy Frinder. Very good show indeed and we all enjoyed ourselves. We walked back to the hotel and had a good supper and then off to bed about 10:30. Had a talk before turning in.

                                                                                                                  Saturday Feb 22/46
Today is the big day. Up about 8:30 and had breakfast. Terribly wet and blowing hard outside, but about 10 it cleared up nicely. Will and I went for a walk as Tom Ellis hadn't turned up. Took a tube from Trafalgar to Regent Street and bought a few . -Went to Lely whites and bought a havesack. Back about 12 and had dinner at the Waldof- Not much was use to us as to rich. so had milk and bread and butter and ham. After we got our kit and got onto the bus and collected the committee and set off for Twickenham about 1 olcock. Huge crowd there- 45 000- lot of Welsh folk up. Jack Mathews and Lee Williams unable to

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              FIXTURES-SEASON 1945-46  SCORES

DATE                   OPPONENTS                         GROUND        RESULT       NEATH      OPPONENTS
1945
SEPT 1                  GLYNNEATH (TRIAL)             H                      L                     0                       3
   '     8                   AMMAN VALLEY                    H                      W                    28                     9
   '     15                  LLANELLY                               A                      L                     6                        8
   '     22                  CARDIFF                                  H                       L                    9                        11
   '     29                  BRITON FERRY                       A                      W                    28                      3           
OCT  6                   LLANELLY                               H                      W                     15                     3                  
   '      13                 NEWPORT                                A                       L                      11                    22
   '      20                 BRITON FERRY                       H                       W                     11                     0
   '      27                 PONTYPOOL                           H                       W                      8                      7
NOV 3                   NEW ZEALAND                       H                        L                     15                     22
   '      10                 AMMAN VALLEY                   A                        W                     9                       3
DEC   1                  GLOUCESTER                          A                        L                       5                      6
   '       8                  NEWPORT                                H                        W                     14                    13       
   '       15                PENNARTH                              H                        W                      25                     0
   '       22                WALES V FRANCE            SWANSEA              W                     8                       0
           22                BRISTOL                                   A                          L                     0                       5
   '       25                LONDON WELSH                    H                         W                     9                       0
           26               ABERTILLERY                           H                         W                    12                      5
   '       29               PONTYPOOL                             A                         W                      9                      3

166                                                            Twickenham -Sat Feb 23/46
                                                           Wales 3- England 0. 2nd Victory
play. Wales played against a strongwind. In the 3rd scrum I damaged my back-thought I had broken it-unable to run as well as usual but had to stick it out to win. Tanner scored. In evening stayed in all time and bed early. Mr W R Thomas Aberavon bought me back in a car. In great pain Didn't sleep all night Dad over about 12 oclock.

                                                                                            Sunday Feb 24/46
Had an awful job to get up- couldn't move my legs, but eventually got dressed and had some food. Left hotel about 1/4 to 11 for Paddington and caught 12:20 train home. Arrived Cardiff at about 4 and stayed in Aunty Nettas over the night in order to get an X-ray at the hospital tomorrow. Jack Powell the Cardiff trainer very good to me. Had a good nights sleep.

                                                                                            Monday Feb 25/46
Could get up a lot better. Down hospital at 10 and Glyn Jones met me and took me to see Dr Anyn Evans who after a good examination said he thought that perhaps I had twisted a joint in the spine after an X ray they were satisfied that nothing was seriously wrong. Had dinner in Aunty Nettas and after dad took me home. Down to Thomas's in evening and then Tom came up and we played cards Had a good hot-bath and felt a lot easier- Bed.

                                                                                           Tuesday Feb 26/46
Slept a lot easier last night Down to Thomas 3 times 10-2-6. Feels a bit better, but still very stiff in bending. Hope it wont be long Fed up staying in Tom and Frank up in evening and we had a game of monopoly. First time it has

167 been out since Doug and Hadyn and myself used to play in the good old days. Bed about 11

                                                                                           Wenesday Feb 27/46
Slept very well and back feels a lot easier. Down to Thomas at 10. Read book most of day by Gwy Gilson- he must have had a devil of a life. Lovely day- like spring- letter from Frank. Thomas again in evening. Hughes up about 7, and I started running lessons again.

                                                                                           Thursday Feb 28/46
Up about 10. Back a lot better- but not right. Down to Thomas's as usual. Read a few mining notes in between. In evening went to flics with Frank as fed up stopping in all the time. Be glad to go back to work- Good show

                                                                                           Friday March 1/46
Back a lot better- Still down Thomas' 3 times daily. Went for a walk up the Gnoll in the morning. Very lovely up there on a spring morning. Had a long chat with one of the gardeners. Gwll House in a disgusting state- Neath Corporation should be ashamed of themselves. Went to flics with David in the evening- poor show Back a lot easier

                                                                                          Saturday March 2/46
Back a lot better but down to Thomas's for a rub- had early dinner as off to see ???? V the Kiwis and to see Bill Meates. Left in car about 12:30 and took Tom Frank and Harold Parker with me. Parked it in Majestic Park and walked to ground. Lots of people there. Couldn't get in stand-so saw

168
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Capt Rees and he very kindly took me in the committee box with him. Went to the Kiwis room and saw Bell and the rest of the m. Nice bunch of lads once you know them. Very tough game Both sides tolling it out. Aberavon only had 14 men and sometimes only 13-they lost 17-4. ???? a marvellous forward always there to receive an inside pass on the wing. After the game had lunch with them in the Grand hotel and talked with them with Shemet Smith and a few others. They are going to France on Tuesday to play a few matches and then coming back home. Hope to see him then .Left them about 8 and Bill said he would write Waited for Tom and Frank till 9:30 but they had gone back so I left on my own and caught Tom at the station and arranged for Monday.

                                                                                              Sunday March 3/46
Stayed in bed and down Thomas' for a rub. Dinner about 1 and then went up farm with David- showed him around and went for a walk up mountain. Had tea and back about 5. Church in evening and home early. Popped in to see Mrs Davies and Olga

                                                                                              Monday March 4/46
Picked Tom up about 9 and left for Cardiff. Reached Hospital about 10 and was ????? straightaway by the docs and they advised me to ?? off for next Sat against Ireland. Very disappointed but it cant be helped- will make up for it next season. Back a lot better- Up Aunty Nettas after till about 12 and had a chat with them while waiting for Tom. Met Tom about 12:30 and went to have dinner in the Barlton.                                                   

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Went to the flics in the afternoon. Saw Danny Kaye in 'Wonderman' excellent show-very funny. Out about 6 and left for Neath in the dark. Reached Neath about 7:30 and had food in Tuckers- Had a chat and Tom home early. Called in Capt Rees and told him I couldnt play next Sat.

                                                                                               Tuesday March 5/46
School today- not very interesting Dai is slipping badly and we are not covering the work. Dinner in Woolworths Settled in ? ???? for trousers-8 coupons- 5-9-3- could get a good suit for this pre-war. Slipped up field after school to see lads- not many out. Stayed in all the evening and did some work.

                                                                                                 Wenesday March 6/46
Up Tonmawr, first time since English game. Over Resolven after for the inquest of Les Whilding held in the old chapel.- All very official- accidental death recorded- Up farm after to see how Sam getting on Still ploughing new field. tough-going with horses and slow work. 2 lambs born- first in the distince look good ones- Slipped over to see June Thomas in the evening Home after he operation for appendicitis.

                                                                                                 Thursday March 7/46
Up Tonmawr all the morning Very cold. I'm feeling the cold a lot since I twisted my back due to the nerves. Down about 2 oclock as Neath playing Glynneath Silly to play these sort of games as the

170
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better side always follows into the rough and tumble game. Neath won 13-6 but very lucky to win. Forwards very poor and so were the backs- Had a good tea in Tuckers with the team after and met Tom and Frank and went for a walk. Bed

                                                                                                    Friday March 8/46
Up Tonmawr all day and did homework all day. Covered a good bit of ground. Wrote letters to Ging, Olga Tucker Frank and about photos of English game. Stayed in all the evening and did homework. Very cold day.

                                                                                                    Saturday March 9/46
Didnt go to colliery as down to Thomas for a rub. Off to Cardiff with Neath club to see Wales V Ireland. Good crowd there. Saw the the team. Wales didnt deserve to win at 6-4. Our backs very poor. Mansfield a good loose forward-uses his head and never misses it but always waiting for the ball. out in the open. Back with the boys in the evening and had a good feed in Tuckers cafe. Went for a stroll and home.

                                                                                                     Sunday March 10/46
Up farm about 10 and walked the mountain to stiffen my back muscles. Lovely day. Had a good dinner and home about 4. Church in evening and after met Frank in Bridge Cafe. Terrible disaster at Botton V stoke cup-tie. Where 33 people were killed and 500 injured when the railings collapsed.

171                                                                                                      Monday March 11/46
Up colliery with Hubert and did homework all day. Very fed up. Read again in the evening. Bed early

                                                                                                      Tuesday March 12/46
School today. Had photos from Evening Post office and went to see Mrs Griffiths ???? almost an officer. School all day but Dai is not himself and doesn't teach much. Dinner in Woolworths and went for a stroll. Down to see the lads training after in field Hughes up in evening

                                                                                                       Wenesday March 13/46
Up Tonmawr and got stuck into my lessons. Home about 4 and read all night. Bed early. Very cold weather at the moment.

                                                                                                        Thursday March 14/46
Tonmawr again and still at lessons- Very tiring-feel like chucking it and going abroad. Flics in evening with Harold Parker- Frankie Randle in Home Sweet Home- Heard Tom has broken his arm playing rugger.

                                                                                                          Friday March 16/46
Up Cardiff to hospital to see if I'm fit to be picked for the Welsh team V Scotland and France which the Big 5 are picking tonight-as they want me to play. Doc said it would be best to give it up for the season. Very disappointed as looking forward to a break. Up Aunty Nettas in the noon and then home. Very tired. Bed early                                  

172                                                                                                           Saturday March 17/46
Up Tonmawr in morn and did homework. Back a little easier. Gloucester played Neath and we won 9-8 but a very poor game. Flics in evening with Tom and Frank after and good tea in Tuckers with the team.

                                                                                                            Sunday March 18/46
Comm in morning and -Just time for a while. Up farm after and put sheep through copper sulphate bath about 3 or 4 times Lovely day. About 3 or 4 strong ???? out. Home about 4 and church in evening- Saw Frank after.

                                                                                                             Monday March 19/46
Up Tonmawr and read some of Southerns lessons- Fed up being in office Home late as talking to Will Evans- He is getting better after his blood poisoning. Saw Mrs Davies and Olga in evening.

                                                                                                            Tuesday March 20/46
School today- Not much doing as Dai unwell. Lunch in Woolworths as usual and then back to school. Off to Llanelly in evening with Frank to see Neath play Awful day-raining all time Neath won 3-nil.but should have won by more. Home about 8:30 and saw Frank after.

                                                                                                              Wenesday March 21/46
Up Tonmawr Still on homework. Fed up but must stick it till May- Hughes up in the evening and we did a good deal of work. OakGrove after-no one in.

173                                                                                                                Thursday March 22/46
Up Colliery as usual and books again- Output still down and no signs of increase. Saw lads training in evening Met Frank and I went to the flics-Poor Show.

                                                                                                               Friday March 23/46
Had to do the train as Dai Powell home and then I got down to some work. In evening with Franlk, Tom to see play , by Gnoll Players-'Land Of My Fathers'- excellent acting and we thoroughly enjoyed it as it was a good comedy.

                                                                                                                 Saturday March 23/46
Up colliery in morning and helped with books. Neath played Bristol in noon-Lovely day poor game and won 13-8. Had tea in Tuckers Pope down from Coll and he was disappointed Down to Mumbles in evening with _______

                                                                                                                  Sunday March 24/46
Comm in morn- Good many there. Up farm after and white washed the walls. Down about 5 and church in evening. Saw Frank after-Lovely day.

                                                                                                                   Monday March 25/46
Worked all day at colliery and in the evening in the house. Back a good bit better. Wrote to Olga

                                                                                                                    Tuesday March 26/46
School today- Did a good bit ???? Very hot Lunch in Woolworths Up field

174 after and saw boys training. Worked in evening. Bad ???? on Resolven face

                                                                                                                    Wenesday 27/46
Up Resolven for a change. New wall on screen going up-Up farm. Quite a number of good lambs- 4 ???? turns Hughes up in evening Down cafe after and had chat with the girls.

                                                                                                                         Thursday March 28/46
Up Tonmawr and did more work- Revising Southerns Lessons. Down early in noon as Neath playing Aberavon away Went down with Tom and Frank and the boys in the bus. -Poor game- Vickery still as dirty as ever. We won 7-0. Tea in the Grand after and then went to Tuckers

                                                                                                                         Friday March 29/46
Up Tonmawr all day and did some ????-be glad when its over. Very fine day. Hope the weather wont change later on: In evening went to the Central School with Ron where an Old Pupils gang is being formend. Met quite a no of old friends. Put on the Committee- Very good ???? dance there. Home about 10.

                                                                                                                         Saturday March 30/46
Up Tonmawr in morn. Down about 12 as catching 2 bus with Tom and Frank to see Eng V Wales (Boys) play at Cardiff Very good crowd there and an excellent game -plenty of throwing

175 Doug home from Australia Being Demobled

the ball about. Wales won 6-5 by a penalty in the last min. Three Neath boys in (2 forwards (wing)). Had a sandwich and Came home on 6 bus. Wales lost to Scotland at Murray field 14-11 ???? 1 man short and Tanner missing 2 easy kicks in front of the posts Neath won away at Newbridge 18-3 so keeping intact their unbeaten record since Xmas.

                                                                                                                     Sunday March 31/46
Up farm in morn Had a phone from Daily Mirror people- they want to take photos of our colliery tomorrow Told them it would be O K. Took sheep up mountain and 6 ewes-12 lambs. Grand day- Church in evening Made arrangements with Jones for meeting the men tomorrow. New Scraper Chair ???? going O K.

                                                                                                                        Monday April 1/46
Up Resolven early and put men to clear and tidy up the place and after it all was done they put it off for another day. -anyway they made Jones clean up a little. Had a chat with Theo after about using a team under dad's name to play Neath for the parents of Young Ken Hardwicke. Did my homework in evening until 9 and then went to Oak Grove.

176                                                                                                                           Tuesday April 2/46
School today- Took Frank down and picked up Alf Johns who is going for his med- Did Surveying most of the day Took Twickenham photo to be framed to Photo supplies. Went to Neath County School. Concert in the evening-Very good.

                                                                                                                       Wenesday April 3/46
Up Tonmawr and did some work all day- Wet old day Change from all the week. Hughes up in evening.

                                                                                                                      Thursday April 4/46
Same thing- work all day- Just dont feel up with it Down with boys in the evening.

                                                                                                                      Friday April 5/46
Up Resolven all the morning waiting for Theo and did some work. After arranged for dads team to play Neath on Thurs April 25' K. O 5:30 for a benefit for Ken Hardwicke Arranged for posters and named the likely team Les Mansfield has promised to play. Off to Swansea Emp in evening with Dai and Jolly good show. Gave his pal and sister a lift home after. They had a good time. Puncture.

                                                                                                                       Saturday April 6/46
Up Resolven with Theo and drafted out the letter to be sent to the boys.- Lovely day. Neath playing Swansea Very big

177 crowd there- this is about the best season they have had for money and crowds- Ground packed- Neath won 6-0 but a very scrappy game- our backs very poor- Tea in Tuckers and strolled around with Frank after

                                                                                                                         Sunday April 7/46
Communion in morning- lot there-lovely morn. Up farm after and dressed the trees. Had dinner and back to Theos' to finish off the letters- Posted them in evening on way to Church Met Frank after in cafe.

                                                                                                                     Monday April 8/46
Up colliery all day and did homework all day. Very cold Back sore today. Stayed in all the evening

                                                                                                                          Tuesday April 9/46
Doug is being demobbed today. ???? spent last night in Aunty Nettas after leaving Devenport. Off to school.-gave Frank a lift down. Home about 4. Doug lost a good bit of weight- looks well in his new suit and coat- all very glad to see him out after such a long time- Down field for 1/2 an hour.

                                                                                                                         Wenesday April 10/46
Up colliery and did homework all day. First rain for a spell. Hughes up in evening- Did surveying in evening

178                                                                                                                           Thursday April 11/46
Sale with dad up in Duffyn- Baters farm Excellent  ???? of implements there- Lovely day. Farm in nice place. Bought Chaftcutter- Combill-????-????- Manure Drill Home about 4 Neath played Aberavon at Neath's- won 17-6- Poor game Saw Nev Walsh

                                                                                                                           Friday April 12/46
Lovely day- Up farm to start off the tractor who is ploughing and discing. Ploughed top field first and the ???? piece in woods. Down office and agreed to run a match for Ken Hardwickes Benefit Fund on April 25th. Drafted out letters and phoned Les Mansfield He agreed to play. Did work in night.

                                                                                                                              Saturday April 13/46
Up Resolven in morning and wrote letters with Theo to various players of the Welsh team. Off to Bridgend in noon with Neath team They won 13-4. Tom James scored all the pts. Home about 8 and had supper in New Walsh's home. bed 10

                                                                                                                               Sunday April 14/46
Communion in morning- Coughing a lot. Up farm later and took Sheep up Lovely day. Home early. Aunty Nettas there and Uncle Eric Church in evening but didnt go to choir as coughing a lot.

179                                                                                                                                   Monday April 15/46
Up colliery first to called tackle to get equipment from Baters farm. Lovely day. Made two leads of it. Walked around grounds with Ike after and had some ???? from it. Up farm after. Singing in evening. First time for ages.

                                                                                                                                  Tuesday April 16/46
School today- Easy day as Dai ill- Bought a sports Coat in ???? 6-00 and 15 coupons. ????- Home about 5 and did some homework. Bed

                                                                                                                                     Wenesday April 17/46
Up colliery all day- Still in the old books. Home about 5. Output still very low.

                                                                                                                                      Thursday April 18/46
Up farm today with part of tractor which had broken down. ???? by road coming well but tractor sticking a lot Capt Ellicock of the G W A C up and he advised was on the ???? Junior. Wrote to Bill Meates in the evening. Down office with Theo and decided to go to Pennarth tomorrow to see of the Kiwis will play for Dads side.

                                                                                                                                         Friday April 19/46- Good Friday
Up Resolven first with pay Theos car broken down. Back about 11 and Theo Doug and myself  left about 12:30. Reached Pennarth about 1:30- good gang- Lovely day- Very hot- Saw Bill and Eric Boggs and a lot of the other chaps. They agreed to

180 play for dads side with 2 more ????. ???? and Tom Price of Gloucester and England. Very good open game. Ben ???? won 27-6. After the game had tea in ???? and had a chat with Bill in his bedroom He gave me his team photo and we swapped jerseys. Will see him tomorrow at Cardiff- Left about 7:30 and soon home. Cough a lot better.

                                                                                                                                       Saturday April 20/46
Up Tonmawr in morning but back early. Took Frank to Cardiff to see the Baba's play. Went round dressing room, and saw the lads. Les Mansfield definitely playing on Thurs. Had a word or two with the Kiwis Cardiff ????-very good- took me to the Committee box as grand packed Shook hands with Gus Blask and a few of the others. Home straight away and went to flics Poor show to out and went round the fair with Mary- Home early for R A P ????.

                                                                                                                                     Sunday April 21/46
Up farm.- didnt go to Comm as to many there and Easter Sund. Planted field by road with trees and shrub. Should catch O K there Lovely day. Home about 4 oclock- Changed and church in evening and then home. Crush and fall in Resolven- Called Jones.

                                                                                                                                   Monday April 22/46
Bed till 11- Down to see ???? as Swansea- Lucky to win 11-6. Several Kiwis playing on both sides. Saw Bill and ????

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settled with them about Thurs they are staying with us. Home about 5:30 and ???? Spin in car about 9 with ???? down ????- ? cold night

                                                                                                                           Tuesday April 23/46
Bed till 12 and hung about all day. Nothing much to do. In evening went for a spin up Maesteg in ????. Very cold looks like rain. ???? has ???? off as injured last week.

                                                                                                                              Wenesday April 24/46
Swansea today instead of asked to sign the cheques etc. There till about 12 oclock. Had new Sport Coat from ? ???? 6-30-13 coupons. Up Resolven after to make final arrangements with Theo about tomorrows game

                                                                                                                              Thursday April 25/46
Pouring with rain -After all the last months fine weather it must rain today but it looks like clearing off and ground can do with some rain. Dad etc off to Droutchurch for a well deserved week. Helped him with the baggage and he went about 10:30 in the ????. At 11 the taxi picked me up to get the kiwis staying at Langley Count Hotel- Langland Eventually found it and also found a wing 3/4 in Sel Watson of the London Hlquins. All ? Kiwis looking fit- Left about 12:30 ??

182 loaded up with baggage- Stopped on way for ice-cream. Arrived Neath about 1 and had lunch in Tuckers Doug joined us there. Had a good feed and then went to Castle for a refresher. Up the house after and introduced boys to all at Theos- Up our house after and we played billiards and darts to pass the away the time. Frank ???? of Wales has oned off injured- Met the 4 oclock train and found Les Mansfield and D J Davies O K.- Looks as if I shall have a strong side out. Took the last to the field and found all there including Johnny Thortnon and Tom Price both of ???? and Eng. Event got my team which is
                                                Eric Boggs (Kiwis)
Bill Meats, Dolson, King (Kiwis) Watson (Halquins)
                                                  V Marisson (????)
                                                 Peter Marret (????)
Gwyther, Bevan, Hager Evans (Llanelly and Wales) Tom Price J Thortnon (Engl and Glouces) . Les Mansfield (Cardiff and Wales Capt) D J Davies (Swansea and Wales) Rowlands (Neath). Ref Mr J Phillips.  The Neath side was at its strongest- Fortuneatly the weather cleared off and there was about 6-7 000 present. I was on the line. Neath played excellent football- seems better the side against them the better they play- anyhow the won by 19-3, and the crowd really had their moneys worth. Best game seen at Neath since the Kiwis. After they had bathed we all
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tea in the Church Hall and after a lot of speech-making including one short one by myself we all ???? ???? to the castle for the night we all had a good time. We left there about 10, and went to Mr Symonds house for a show and then to Theos for supper where we stayed till about 2.- We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and finally Eric and Bill stayed with us and Dolly and King with Theo. Bill Eric and myself had a good chat and then bed.

                                                                                                                           Friday April 26/46
Up about 9, and had a good breakfast with Bill Eric and Doug. Had photos taken after in our house and Theo's. Took them to catch the 10:55 train back as they are off to Sist, but they promised to come down next week-end with us to Tenby.- Back up Resolven after to see how things going. Date with Joan in evening up Resolven.- Bed

                                                                                                                             Sat April 27/46
Up Tonmawr Resolven and farm to see how things going. Output down pretty low in Tonmawr. Colliers down Main going slow. Want shift for falling the coal.- Refused and now they are going slow.- At rate they're going they'l close the place down. Arranged with Jones about Wilkt Buck about 2. so went to Glyn neath with ????- We won 6-5, lucky to win Awful game. Better if we didnt play such games as they only develop into a fight.

184 home about 7 and off to Swansea with ????. Dinky won cup 4-1 after extra time and St Marys won the 7-a side tournament. Bed about 11- Phoned dad.

                                                                                                                              Sunday April 28/46
Up farm and moved the calves to the new building and sent 14 Leefers up mountain and 4 hillocks to Sanyard. Boys spreading manure.- Home about 6. Church in evening- Back up with Dad and lent him ???? hen and gave him some photos. Bed early

                                                                                                                             Monday April 29/46
Glyn Williams Miners Agent up about last weeks trouble in the main. He went underground with Lloyd. Told him to send his propositions in writing Over Resolven after. Things going a bit better Crush on No2- only 1/2 a ?? there. Up farm after and arranged with Sam about putting the spuds in. Saw Skiven and Resolven play in evening Resolven won 12-5. Pouring with rain Toothache all day and night. Dai up.

                                                                                                                             Tuesday April 30/46
Up Resolven to see if the lead has arrived for roof.- Back to Tonmawr and Mr Rees up with cheques to sign. Did ???? all day. Down about 4:30- Had ???? and ???? a few accounts

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                                                                                                                             Wenesday May 1/46
Up Tonmawr all day-still swothing- be glad when its over.-Lovely day- could do with some rain. Home about 4 after finishing writing all the letters to the chaps who played for Dads XV. In evening the Old Central School Boys and Girls hold their first re-union. Helped Ron to take the cakes down. There about 7 About 150 there-Had dancing and singing etc and had a bit of eats. Finished about 11:30 and took Betty home after in bus- Home about 11:45.- All had a good time and look forward to our next meeting.

                                                                                                                              Thursday May 2/46
Up Resolven to see how things are. No2 face still giving us trouble- Two cuts gone this week-also trouble with chair ????, as much fills in between the chair and blocks it. Phoned Tonmawr- Bit of trouble rope broke on surface so knocked and Beddoe's men putting lead on roof- Will very soon be finished Sam and the boys on spuds- Kard piece as lot of ???? in it Fagging in evening

                                                                                                                                Friday May 3/46
Up Tonmawr and did a tidy lot of work Coal still very dirty-ets a good job the country is shot of coal, otherwise Garth would soon shut down. Doug up with Hubert and helped him with pay. Slipped over Resolven to see Jones. Flics in evening as didn't feel likes working. Good show

186                                                                                                                                Saturday May 4/46
Showed Ellis what wanted up Tennis lawn regarding the steps. Up Resolven to settle with Sam and the lads Down early as today the Neath team is off to Tenby for the week-end. Left Neath about 1 oclock-lovely day. about 26 players and 3 or 4 committee men after a nice journey arrived Tenby about 4:30. Where we had tea and were alloted rooms. Some of us stayed at the Royal Leon and others at the White Hart. After tea we had a stroll around the town I bought a souvenir in an elephant sticker. Lovely view from the hotel which was right on the front and owned by Miss Reason late of Neath- the manageress knew me as she used to keep Dolcoad hotel Llaneryled where we were in Coll. We were taken to the Tenby field and stripped. After a nice open game Neath won 39-3 and all enjoyed after washing all went back to the Royal for dinner- had a grand feed- chicken etc and all thoroughly enjoyed it. After dinner all down to the White Hart and then back to the Leon Most of the lads well filled and after a devil of a lot of fun. We managed to get into bed about 2 oclock. Couldn't sleep as bed to short

                                                                                                                               Sunday 5/46
Up about 8 and went for a walk with Frank to the bay. Terribly windy and so very rough. Back for breakfast and then down to the sea where we were all taken for a ride in the bays in a motor boat Very rough and some of the lads a bit white about the gills, ???? ?? all throroughly enjoyed it. Back for lunch and

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after lunch we picked next seasons captain in Cliff Williams- I myself wanted Tom James to remain as ???? Cliff is a nice lad, he is not the type for capt anyway I didn't say anything. After we went for a stroll and got ready to go back by about 5 oclock after tea, and after a nice run back we arrived at Neath about 8 oclock. I went straight home and then bed where I slept like a ????.

                                                                                                                                 Monday May 6/46
Up Tonmawr all day and continued with the goods work. wont be long before its over. Home about 5 and worked again in the evening. Down and met them coming from the choir

                                                                                                                                Tuesday May 7/46
School today at Swansea- Lovely day Did old questions all day.- Home about 5 oclock-tea and stayed in a read the act. Gwyn had his new B S A byke- rode it on tennis lawn. Bed early

                                                                                                                                 Wenesday May 8/46
Up Tonmawr today. Coal very dirty still, after appeals to the men on both sides- Worked all day. Be glad to go under again. Home about 5. Swotting again all the evening.

                                                                                                                                 Thursday May 9/46
Same old thing today Saw Tom in evening for half an hour Arranged to meet him tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                    Friday May 10/46
Up Tonmawr Worked until 11 and then gave Hubert

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a hand with the pay. Home about 5 and saw Tom about 8. Had a game of ping-pong and then a feed after in Tuckers Cafe.

                                                                                                                                    Saturday May 11/46
Up Resolven and up farm. Back about 1 -washed and changed- Met Tom and went to flics down at Port Talbot-good show

                                                                                                                                Sunday May 12/46
Up farm all day-Lovely day-terribly warm could do with some rain. Church in evening-home early

                                                                                                                               Monday May 13/46
Worked hand on old questions all day and went singing in the evening

                                                                                                                                  Tuesday May 14/46
School today. Did spot questions -Had afternoon off- Home and did some fagging

                                                                                              Wenes-Thurs-Friday
Fagging hard at house for exams next week- Fed up and be glad when theyre over

                                                                                               Sat May 18/46
Up early as off to Bromsgrove with dad, Ike and Doug in ???? to see the tractor Left about 8 oclock and arrived there about 12 after a lovely run. Examined tractor- Lovely job-including two brakes

189
and a power lift for various implements. Dad eventually bought it- Had a good feed and bought a fishing rod 2-5.0 Called at Droitwitch and had a swim in the Brime Baths and felt really O K after it. Called at R C Church just outside- The interior was covered with Mozaic and was really marvellous. Home via Hereford and Brecon and had tea in a farm house. Home about 8 after a grand day.

                                                                                                                                    Sunday May 19/46
Comm in morning- Up farm after and white washed cowshed.- Looking O K. Church in evening.

                                                                                         Monday May 21/46
Still fagging- last log- Went for walk in evening

                                                                                          Tuesday May 21/46
School in morning and in night up to Cardiff to stay with Aunty Netta and Uncle Eric over the exams. Slept well

                                                                                              May 22/46
Up about 8 and caught 9 bus after breakfast. Arrived at Bety Hall and met my old mates of Treforest and others Terrible feeling going in  At end of day- did fairly well and it certainly was the longest day of my life

                                                                                            Thursday May 23/46
Another 3 again today-did fair- but doubtful about vent- Anyway did my best

190 Met Ivor in evening- Had a good tea and then went to flics- Arranged to spend a week-end in the near future at Weston.

                                                                                             Friday May 24/46
Down to hospital for a final check-up but the doc was out- Went for a swim and met Tom after and had lunch. As the Neath R F C is giving a presentation to Capt Walter Rees in commemoration of his 50yrs service. I had to leave them and catch an early train. Will see them tomorrow. All the team at the dinner and the Welsh R U officials. Dad spoke as did a host of others. Finished about 11.

                                                                                              Saturday May 25/46
Up farm as tractor there and the driver taught me how to drive the Caterpillar. Very dusty and played hell with my eyes. Down about 3 and met boys and went to the flics

                                                                                            Sunday May 26/46
Up farm and car-marked all the lambs. Wet day- finished them all and dosed them. Church in evening         

additional newspaper cuttings

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THE JOURNALS OF REES STEPHENS - VOLUME 2

 

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                                                                                          SECOND BOOK
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Report on the Neath Tour to France on Thursday November 10-55 to Sunday Nov 13-55. The party were made up of the following persons Vice Chairman Cyril Challinon, Treasurer Llew Morgan Committee. Mel John; Billy Millet, Sid ????, Harold Phillips, Stan Lymonds Perry Steer, Bryn Dennis, Gareth Thomas- Gwent Reg Dennis and The players were Dai Meredith Capt, Keith Maddocks Vice Capt, Viv Evans Bryn Phillips John Weaven Gwyn Hopkins Paul Davies Dudley Thomas Ray Jenkins Howard Davies Don ???? John Samuel. Viv Jenkins Rees Stephens C W Williams Denzil Thomas who was playing his second game after being transferred from Llanelly- Laws Gazzi from Gorseinon and Terry Davies from Bynea also included were two officials from Trick Son and Lloyd.
It was interesting to note that this tour materialised out of the blue so to speak and was hastely arranged, but never the less very successful- that it was so ???? due to ???? Piguet- the secretary of the ???? Selection- his very persislence was shown by personal calls to me from

5 Paris and it finally ended by the Neath Committee agreeing to the tour taking place providing Penarth, whom we were due to play on Sat Nov 12, allowed us to postpone the date- this they very kindly did so, So it was on a fine day Thursday Nov 10 that the party finally assembled at St Davids Church to start the first part of the journey by bus to Rhoost Airport. To be able to say that in so many words does not convey the work which had gone on behind the scenes to enable it to happen- the passport problems- photos to be taken- signing of forms- currency problems and a host of other details which are always forgotten, but never the less have to be seen to by some one to enable any trip to be a success however at 10-30pm for 11 oclock and the party were away, all looking forward to the trip- some because they had not flown before were timid and didnt show it- others this include Dai ???? were very nervous and were men enough to show it- The bus journey soon passed and ???? Rhoost Airport- many ????
6 opinions as to the supposed weather we were going to encounter were made chufly I might add for the benefit of Dai- by this time I'm sure he wished he had decided not to fly- he was to first to spot the 36 seater Dakota waiting for us in the field- his first reaction were it looks bloody small for all of us. at any rate we landed ourselves outside the customs office and after the various custom formalities- we were told to take our places in the plane- not before cause we had had our photos taken- some wit in the back shouted -our last' maybe.
Soon as were securely in our seats. the door was locked- the NO Smoking Sign and Fasten your Safety Belt Sign flashed and we taxied on to the end of the runaway- where as usual the plane warmed up- shaking itself very badly again at this time some one that the largest accident rate during our travel was in Dakatos- anyway with a terrific surge of power- we were soon airborne with Cardiff and the Channel beneath us
7 and very soon all of us very quickly forgot any worries we had, and commenced the usual singing etc which always goes with any rugger party. Cheap cigarettes- were soon unclocked and the smokers very quickly polluted the air.
The first stop was Denard just off the French Coast for fuelling and French Custom Check. and before we knew it the coast had been crossed and we had landed at Denard-  I think the first official Neath team ever to play in France and a thing I had envissaged years ago. and more important still something that had come to stay. (J'espere. 
Nothing very difficult about the custom- never is on ????- the lads very quickly found a three a side pen football game and were soon hard at it with Viv as usual scoring the most goals and making the largest volume of noise. 
Afterwards he pinched or rather borrowed a French Kiddees cycle- and chased every one in his path- his antics were soon cut short with the refuelling complete and the custom over we were very soon air boune and on our way towards
8 ????. The air hostess was very kind to us all at this stage and biscuits and coffee were greatfully received. Darkness was soon upon us and it was quite an experience to see the ???? let up towns and hamlets thousands of feet beneath- like looking upside down at the stars. We were flying around the 6000'mark and information reached us that we were slowly circling around our final destination- gradually getting lower until we finally landed about 8-30pm feeling weary-very hungry- and very excited- I think all football team must feel excited on reaching French soil as the mysterious works French ???? always conjures up in most peoples minds something out of the ordinary
We had a right royal welcome- Lucier was there meeting us with the usual press reporters- and from the distance Chevaliers booming voice could be heard and a few minutes later his massive shape boomed ahead and he proceeded to kiss us all French style.- Viv again enjoyed this and his is ???? ???? way proceeded to kiss us all sundry but gradually making
9 his way towards the fairer sex- but C D had beaten him to it.
One the photos etc had been taken we were led into the dining room and there was a meal- a large one by the look of it.- and so it turned out to be- The various wines were there in profusion and quickly disappeared. Viv was thoroughly enjoying himslef- we all were- but Viv showed it differently- on one occasion a long three foot French loaf appeared and without any messing he grafftted it and slashed old ???? over the head- didnt hurt him- at least all the said was its my turn now; anyway after the usual French and English speeches all requiring translation the meal eventually ended and we proceeded to the bus singing the new edition of Who Killed Cock Robbin- it was now going on for almost 11 oclock and apparently we had a three hour trip ahead of us to ????- it was not the distance which made this trip so long but the fact that we had to cross a range of mountains- which by all accounts were now covered in snow- so they should be at 3000 feet up. anyway we eventually roped in the team
10 and got under way- all of us keeping a wary eye on Viv who was in an impish mood. ???? betide anyone who slept- We was soon awaked with a wet finger in one or if unlucky two ears- and if that didnt wake him something far worse.!!.
To cut a long journey short we got to ???? round about 2 oclock and then after 3???? of slight confusion were eventually sorted out into various couples and allocated our bedrooms. Quite a number of Bacti Plants were in the incincty and all around the walls of a winding stair case- all of a sudden a voice( needless to say Vivs) shouted to Lleward who was downstairs- quick catch it- a rugger like a instinct ???? he grabbed at a round falling object- a well grown ???? plant- the next- the manageus was quickly on the scene collecting the remainder with Vivs help- muttering like hell and Vi saying Wee Wee. 
Note- the casual reader of this must be wondering what we would do with out Viv- someone might say we'd still have Derrick- but joking aside Viv is and has been a grand contributor to the entertainment of all
11 Neath Teams and its players and dull they would have been without him- remember the fish at Northhampton- and Tenby- or Roys Rabbit.!!! I continue. The whole party were soon sound asleep and woke to a grand morning- very unlike that what we are normally used to.
Apparently there was a memorial service at the local Memorial, but what happened there cannot be reported as it was not seen, but a wreath was laid there by the officials of the party- bless their hearts. however we did attend a civic function at the Town Hall at 11-0clock with its usual colourful speeches and translation and of course the Champagne- always acceptable and poplar. Once again our vice chairman and treasurer conducted themselves and spoke all the deguity becoming officials of any Neath R F C.
Back to the hotel for dinner in the long room.- which needless to say passes reasonably quitely- at least by those playing. Viv wasnt and he stuck up an acquantance- if it can be called that- with an old gentlemen who was staying with us at the hotel and on seeing him for the first time and the last most
12 probably- met him full Trend style- beard or not- The old gentle man not to be out. done insisted on toasledg Viv in Champagne to a lot of Trend ???? and Vivs- Wee Wee, Wee Wee. apart from this all was quite and after dinner most of us went back to our bedroom for a kip and to write a few PC's which appeared from nowhere.- Despite the hot sunny day- it was it safe to stand out side the front of the hotel with out getting wet in sudden douches- many an unwary committee man and player to were caught off their guard- this time it wasnt only Viv who was enjoying himself- but shall be nameless.
The bus came about 2 oclock for us and we all piled in- singing lustely- all clean ???? and soon reached the ground. which apparently like lots of French Grounds are sponsored by the Ministry of Sport- incindentally the Minster of Sport was at this morning Banquet.
Were allocated our changing room and shower bath combined- rather a strange combination- pegs and seats along three sides and showers the fourth- not very conducive to clean drying after a game
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15 -as for toilet conditions- one tryed and and locked his knee joint in raising- the rest of us didnt.!!
Before the game there was an impress we ???? at the local memorial on the field with both teams lining up to attention whilst both anthems were played and finally both Captains laid a very colourful and impressive wreath at the shrine and thence to play.
The team was Terry Davies FB Keith. Louis Gazzi Denzal Thomas Gwyn Hopkins Bryn Phillips Paul Davies ???? Thomas Ray and Howard, Dai ???? John Sam, CD Rees and Viv Jenkins. In passing ???? add that in all my French games and tours- I dont recollect playing with or against such a massive pack- their three front rows were 17stone a piece and as we soon found out- very mobile despite their weight- the second row were equally as long and included Chevalier- who at this time ?? reckoned the best French forward.- his ?? there 171/2 stone. and the back row- not to be out done were of
16 a similar build- The French always seem to be able to find such huge forwards- and far from being slow and ponder ??, are being agile- who can forget one of the French Props breaking through from a line out and being chased by our wing Gwyn Hopkins and actually drawing away from him.
Of the game itself- at half time we were 23 points down to nil with the French teams handling and running with the ball extremely well and might I say kicking to.- they kicked three out three penalties and converted two out of three tries-far out.- still two of the tries were elementary mistakes on our part and nothing we did could stop them breaking clean away from line cuts- joining up with their three's and in ???? hand to hand passing as I say at half time- and 40 min each half we all felt washed up and thought a cricket score would be the final result.
Old Dai kept at as and tried to buck us up and for the first ???? we held up the French is ???? attacks when our luck changed and we
17 scored through Howard Davies scoring after a forward dribble and Terry connected. Soon after CD interapted on their 25 pointed over the challenging full back and scored near the posts- again Terry converted. Following this we certainly had our talls up and from a kick ahead by one of our backs Gwyn Hopkins following up fast, beat a French defender for the touch down- this was not improved upon- but it brought our tally of points to 13 in 9 mins and we had the crowd with us- but it was not to be dispite a glorious chance to further improve and shortly after the find whistle went and none of us at all sorry- still the 10,000 crowd thoroughly enjoyed an incident free game.
After the game- the usual shower and troop to the bar for a Bier and then the bus trip back a l'hotel for a wash and brush up prior to the dinner in the evening.
Before leaving, one cannot help but check how the Ministry of Sport pays a big part in the Sports ?? like in France. At this
18 particular Stadium, was the field surrounded by a running track equal to the beat we have- near by was a huge swimming post and behind it another two sulsidary fields- the whole being built in ???? ???? with an imposing entrance- still they can well afford it when they pay ?? and ?? for stand seats.- another novel idea is that of calling out the players name prior to the game as they face the ????- the called player leaves the ranks and as ???? his popalarity, so he gets applause or the bird.!
The dinner quickly passed - more chicken and speeches- but Viv wasnt in his top form- anyway we had another long journey ahead of us to Limoges- four hours apparently so we hurried as quickly as possible and finally left about 11 oclock. At the drinking reception before the main dinner- Cyril Challinor was presented with a large Champagne Holder on behalf of the French Club and suitably responded.
After leaving we settled down to some lusty singing until finally one by one sleep caught up on us. Altho some were rather
19 the worse for weather. Dai Meredith was on a very ???? mood and must have walked miles and miles in the passage way with his black baret pinched  French wise on his napper and calling the lads Men this and this- very antiseptic- etc etc.- In the backs Harry Thomas was given an impression of a Neath player caught by sharks!- At some unknown place we stopped for tea but found everything locked until the proprietor of a local cafe was pursuaded to help out- near by was a large dance hall and one of the tunes the people dance to was 'God Save The Queen.' One or two little incidents followed- nothing ???? but it involved many changing hands and nameless is he who three a flag standard in the ?? by river.
At any rate the rest of the journey soon passed by and we finally got to Limoges at the Hotel De Le Parc at 2-30 AM in the morning- cold tired and hungry and were met by a miserable old porter who refused any food or tea- if he could have only understood what he was called to his face- he wouldnt have just said Non Non
20 but something far worse.
Saturday morning arrived and the only time left for a few presents to be bought so after a French breakfast-altho those who spoke French managed to get what they wanted- des oeufs et chambon. Shopping French way is far different from the way in which we are accustomed to. -those who have been shopping on French ???? will realise this and take everything for granted- so enough said on that point except to say that we all had a wonderful time that morning.
Dinner was late- The French Team had had their dinner at 11-30- couldnt help smiling when Cyril Challinor kept going round the blokes- Dont eat to much now lads-and they must have been near starving after the Continental Breakfast- anyway soon after we left by coach for the stadium.- It was almost 10 years to the month that I was here last with the Glamorgan County R F C- time goes- it was another huge concrete constraction and an ???? of pitches and swimming pools- again run by the Ministry De Sporte.
21 The game itself started with the usual warm up outside by the French team and Dai not to be ???? followed suit- the usual introduction and I kicked off- rather an unusual ???? in my ???? clothes. The game itself was not near as good as the first game, and the ref partially was the blame because of his fondness to blow up, apparently for no reason and we were rather unlucky to ??, having one run by Keith ?? allowed when he was fairly set to score and awarding the most blatant off side try I've seen- ?? the French crowd were with us ???? and gave him the bird- still it was an incident free game and apart from the rugby it has helped considerably to build up pleasant relations between the two towns on ???? or what have you and may be of course future towns.
After the game was over- back to the hold for dinner at 8pm. -in the interval of ???? we had plenty of time to get warmed up. The dinner like all French Dinners consided of the usual umpteen courses and speeches and
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23 lasted until 11-30pm- and I must add that out of respect to the Mayor of Limoges who was present- it was the most behaved and orderly dinner I've ever attended- only one song was sung- quite unlike some of the more fashionable dinners I've attended It was well worth noting that ???? ???? who had and is doing so much for us was made an Honary Member of the Neath R F C after of course consultation with the committee men who formed a ????- Apparently he is only the third outsider ever to achieve this- tho goodness knows who they are for that matter- anyway the little economy was performed with the dignity as such becoming of a club by the treasurer- ???? much hearty churning.
After the dinner- the -remembering Hotel Casanova or was it Casablanog- it matter nought- but we all enjoyed it- Vill Chairman- Committee and Players young and old- remember the dance and afterwards What Wing forward bought off a head on tackle of a committee ??. Who lost his glasses and said he couldnt see
24 and had the eloquentreply from the vice Chairman- you can bloody well see me cant you- what the hell youre worrying about ?? what no one seemed to remember was who stole the glasses and started the fun all those of the party who stayed up voted it the best turn they had ever seen.- ask Howard Davies for his impressions- worth seeing- at any rate- all good things must come to an end and so it was at about 3 oclock the lads gradually went to bed- not forgetting the 7 oclock shake in the morning and the six hour bus journey to Tours a ???? was the nearest the Dakota could come to fetch us.
The next day the party eventually got ready by 10 oclock looking a very tired collection of humanity- the youngest member was last- young Viv Jenkins was still fast asleept- his bedroom door had to be burst open- otherwise he would still be there now.- Of the long days journey ahead nothing much can be said except to compare the ???? of France.
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110 Much water has passed under the bridge by the time any reader has gone to the trouble to read the various reports and to decepter my horrible writing- for the latler I'm truly sorry. Critics I suppose must live- like us all- some say tea is never worth 4d a cup I say it is- we all agree to differ, still for all that tea is always 4d a cup and I never change my idea of its worth, whereas lots of critics change as and when they seem it necessary
Reports are very conflicting- as those who dont see a particular game must assess its worth good or otherwise through the eyes of the critic and as such he has a public duty-yeh. ever tho its his job-it is also a responsibility to put in writing a time unbrased report irrespective of the colour of jerseys or of players.- still for all that it has been and up and down season with lots of surprises- lets hope this coming season will prove that Welsh foolkee can hold its own with any of it foolkelling ???? ????-near and far.
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147 In common with most International Games- very little back play was seen- Internationals are themselves vastly different from the ordinary club games- they are games of different standards- higher or lower is beside the point- and they are games which one goes out to win with what ever strength one has at one's disposal- Very often it is the side that makes the least number of mistakes which wins.
Pre match views of these two teams were that England were far stronger in most depts- had had the advantage of playing as a team-with one or two changes-in three trials, whereas the Welsh Trials gave a great deal more trouble to the selectors- ???? chosen team were heater on two ???? of three trials-a consolation in this, is that perhaps the opposition is the Welsh trials were far stronger than those in the English Trials- anyway Wales were not favourites for this game- not that any Welsh member worried at all about this-never have to the best of my knowledge.
It was conceeded by us that England would have an advantage in the line outs where Margues and Cume would out jump us, so that it was decided that
148 when it was our throw in- we would either throw a short line-out to C Mereded or B ???? or Prosser- or to the long line to Russel or Clem where we had the advantage- this in fact happened and on our throw in the ???? very seldom went near to Marques or Carrie and frequently Russel was able to give a quick pass back to ???? Brace- this little paint was never mentioned by the all seeing critics
When it was Englands throw in- the ball was thrown to Marques and Carrie- they favoured the short fast low ???? which made them rise quickly (Ray's favourite)- anyway it was the two Rees's job to either catch it ourselves and if failing that to prevent Marques or Carrie getting it back, so consequently when ever one of those two went up- they were always smothered ball and all-at last when ever we could manage it-if they did get it away- at least it was a slow one altho- they did manage despite or close attentions get it away very ????-it was there tactics which resulted in a lot of ???? and ???? forward play
149 None of us were unduly worried about the set srumms- but a point more of the critics said any thing about was the fact that both Court and Ray were tight head props-neither had ever played loose head before.- and there is believe me a difference- any way on the Friday we had a little practise- first Ray going loose head- and just in case it didnt work out Court tried it- as it so happened Ray found the loose head OK and kept it for the whole game- in fact we more than held our own in the scrums-in fact Bryn managed to get possession about half a dozen times on our tight head- some achievement in modern scrumming
As is the case of set scrums- our ball ???? put in- the other???? ?? up flat and near so and vice versa- with the back saw forward porsid ???? for covering or on the poor outside half- more often than not a slow heel- and the only alternative is for the ball to be kicked to touch- and to be tackled, but passing is out of the question-anyway this English pack were very hefty- one of the heaviest Ive played against and first holding them was no mear achievement- indeed pre march critics said that the
150 Welsh pack would be doing more than was expected of them of they broke evens with this English Eight- this the Welsh '8' did.
   The occasion ?? all backs like a crisp quick heel is from the loose scrum when perhaps an opposing back is held on the floor and the defence is at sixes and sevens- here generally Welsh Fowards fail in their task- here in this game the English Pack had the edge on us- at least in this dept, but even so our covering was sufficient to stop them scoring, plus of course that little bit of luck which is so important in all games- anyway England failed to score on two occasions when they should have.
Like so many of these international matches- its the side which makes the least number of mistakes that usually wins- very frequently by a penalty or opportune ???? goal
Tries are very rarely scored if at all by crisp and accurate passing to the wing but more so today by ???? kicks high or low well places for the wings
151 to run around their opposite and touch down.
At any rate this was thoroughly enjoyable game from a players point of view- it was hard faught and every man on the field was well and truly tested for fitness- ???? and general all round ability- Naturally open football was difficult because of the nature of the ground- it was very heavy and muddy- but more so because of the high proficiency of the back row forwards
Under present day conditions it is becoming increasingly difficult for constructive back play to develop from set scrums and line outs- hence the importance of the loose and quick heel from the ruck
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164 The French game in Paris March 23-1957

After the apparent success against Ireland the whole team was picked en bloe with the exception of Griff Howells the left wing who was dropped for his club?? Ray Williams. Later on he was brought in, as an injury to Cyril Davies made him any off- Gordon Wills was brought into the centre and Griff took his place on the wing.
For the first time in the history of Welsh Rugby the whole party flew across from London Airport in a BEA Elezebethan. Turbo Engine Plane. The team assembled in Cardiff at 9-30, on the Thursday morning- a mild spring morning in fact and proceeded to London where we were brought up to full strength with the arrival of Robin Davies open side WF, and Bryn Meredith our hooker In all the total party was 49 including 20 players and officials- despite the first ever ?? ?? and the very recent Vicount crash- it was a 100% attendance.- altho the Pans trip is always popular
There were no new caps in the side- in fact even the ???? had acted in that capacity before with the exception of Roddy Evans of Cardiff a very promising hefty and young 2nd new forward- who will be surely heard

165 of in the near future- After a usual Cardiff London trip- we arrived late as is ???? and were loaded into two BEA Coaches V lake direct to London Airport- For most of us it was our first visit to the airport and all were impressed by its size and ????- there seemed to be planes taking off and landing every minute.- our plane was quickly ???? lifted and after a wait of about half an hour which was spent on the roof of the airport, we were called over the intercom to the plane- and after going this the customs- passports English money etc we boarded the plane and after ???? engine warming we taxeed on to the run away and were very soon airbourne.
Those who have flown before tried to frighten those who hadnt this included old Ray Prosen who was really scared- (we all were for that matter)- but apparently he'd promised his mother not to show it still his eyes were very prominent- and when up 10000 feet- the engines coughed- he certainly jumped! this type of plane has the seats facing both ways- those in the back facing towards the engines those in the front toward the tail. My companion over as Cliff Jones the ex-Welsh outside half- and we spent the.
166 whole of the journey talking 'shop'- generally on Welsh team tactics- one thing we both agreed up on was that for pre-international match training- it would be a good thing if someone or other took charge of this training so that it could be open Aled with out time-wasting for instance some one with the backs and some one with the forwards and then a combination of the two- who knows what might ???? ?? from this talk!- time will tell.
Before we knew it- Paris was below us- Ray shouted out the news- the bloody wheels are falling off- the next thing we made a perfect 3pt landing- after the customary greetings, by a ???? bound- Le Bourget airport is a good half hours run from Paris.
Taken up on May 13/57- ???? will have to work overtime hour.
At the hotel Teminus we were allocated our Rooms- I shared with Terry Davies and after a wash and brush up- a good meal- most of us felt hungry. -during the dinner we heard the good news chat are were to be taken to The Folus- usually this is done on a Friday- but because of the time saving by plane we had a free extra
167 night- the news was generally accepted by all the lads- especially those who hadnt had the pleasure before- sorry its the Casino we went to- The Folus on the Friday night- during the show some of the lads were called up the stage Rhys Williams and Russel- and during the proceedings I took some line shots of them which I'm glad to say have come out very well.
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220 Season 1952 1958

Oct 3rd-57 and most clubs have played several matches- in fact on looking back I cannot remember so many early games as we have had this season- towards the end of the season- yes- we expect them- but not Sept- yet already many Welsh players have played in as ???? two or three games per week and making a total of 12 or 15 games- To those who have only administrated rugby- ah well what is 12 games- they till on you by Xmas and more by Easter- and its surprising or is it? how short are the ???? of committee and public!
To date I think Cardiff are the only undefeated side and according to press reports- they can expect their Waterloo any day.
Neath started off well and with a ????- potentially we have our best back line ???? the ????-get on occasions- it fails to function because of elementary mistakes and not ???? to rugby principles of correct passing

221 or knowing when to kick-when to pass- ???? they are very young and should improve This year the pack has not reached anything like its normal form- still for all that it has held its own- and things should improve- we certainly could do with one or two rough forwards with bags of devil and hywll- to many clever forwards spoil a pack.
Our Committe are almost identical as any other season- always one or two changes but the ???? is the same- always have the same problems- which are always tackled the same way.
I wonder how many of the committee knows for instance the whole of the Athletic side- but then to get to know chaps you must come up occasionally to training sessions to talk to then and meet them- and of course occasionaly go on an away trip with them- in fact be as one of them- as the younger boys would say- bet your hair down and be damned.
Last night at committee meeting we spent almost half an hour thrashing out the rota system to try
222 and find one committe  man to go away with the Ath- just one mind you.- the request of the Ath capt to saty away late on the Sat was put aside until tomorrow to discuss who was going as certain committee men object to staying out late.- fair enough- lets all follow the ???? of one rather than the majority esprit de Corps Vive La Committee!!
On team selection- it was found that Dai Davies could not be- considered this Sat against Swansea and fair play one of the committee proved Tony Stevens and it was seconded- to give justice to Tony he has been running well this season and has trained hard and I think has been the equal of the other two wings tried- but lo and behold some one is the cendience- no names no packnill -spoke up regarding a game against Bridgend at the early part of last season when apparently Neath beat Bridgend and played exceedingly well- apparently Tony played 2 this game and was the games only Missfit- ?? Missfit- then is still remembered almost 12 months
223 later and will be I suppose 12 months hence no thought being given to the fact that a player can improve - ever at the ender age of 24 - makes you think- if Mr X from Gumscut recommended a wing 3/4 from Ashwer- he be moved and seconded and put in with out any trouble- a good bloke- but to have the misfortune to have been born in Neath- gee I think and wonder and say you lucky guy Stephens.-lets pass eh. for a ???? training- I wonder how many committee will be present tonight- a few will be checking on the teas and sandwiches- just in case a stronger is with in the gates.- and of course to ???? the forwards for Sat against Swansea.- a tick lish job as on or two of us are no longer as young as one should like- but still as fit as the younger ones- after thoughts only the secretary and treasurer turned up for the meeting to finalise the forward selection- it was a good thing it was made easy for them- this chap Dodds from Cardiff- wouldnt play- Cardiff had selected him- Courtly's wife is still very ill after her operation and he has to travel 
224 to Cardiff every day to see her. Emlyn Thomas is injured and I cried off with a bad guts.- so everything turned out OK for them after all- it could have been very embarrassing if we all reported fit- for the record- the ????? beat Pontypridd 12-0 and the first XV beat Swansea-10-0
Llanelly are going great guns knocking up 34pts to 5 at Bath- no mean achievement that. Cardiff beat Newport 3-0 in a terrific but down battle- I think at least the press thinks that only Cardiff and Newport car have these tight hard fought forward battles which are tremendous or titanic- but any other two Welsh clubs playing the same-proude a poor game or such like.
???? back to Committee Matters- On Monday over 3/4 of an hour was spent on deciding which committee man or men was to go away with the Ath. to Pontypridd- A few weeks ago it was decided that two committeemen go-make a rota and in alphabetical order.- it was finally changed to one committee ma and when
225 it was found out that earlier in the evening an application was to be made by the Ath Capt that the team be allowed to stay-more groans- I dont want to go dancing or stepping in a pub. or such like- anyway to cut a long story short- the Ath went away- stayed away late-committee man less.-good show.
226 A general Report on the second inset of Neath. RFC to France from Thursday November 7 to Tuesday Nov 12 and Wed Nov 13-1957. Two matches were played The first time at Limoges on Nov 9th against Limoges, and the second on Monday at Tulle against a combined Limousin and Auvergne XV- We lost the first 9-6 and won the second 9-6
To start from the beginning- all things such as there are controlled by L-s-d- and unlike the first tour, we were guaranteed L850, or its equivalent at the time at the arrent rate in france- this was the seem of money paid to the French when they visited us in Neath last Sept.- on the first tour the French people guaranteed to pay all our expenses for a party of 26, which is quite different-anyway it was decided in committee that firstly 20 players make the trip-then the trainer and baggage men, -three officials and one place for a Courier from Truck Son and Lloyd-this time Mr Glyn Thomas Later on Mr W A Griffiths declined to go because of the air travel involved and his 
227 place was taken by the Vice-Chairman Mr Sid Davies- in the event of any player failing to go, the place vacant was then to go to either Mel Johns or Percy Steer- as it happened on the night before we left- Tony Palmer cried off- and Mel came along with us.- in fact the four committee members had been on the first trip- still talking L-s-d this trip was costing approx 32--0-0 per head inclusive. The party that finally left Neath were as follows-The Chairman-Billy Millet Vice Chairman Sid Davies-Treasurer Llew Morgan- Committee Man Mel Johns Courier Glyn Thomas- Trainer George Jones Baggage Randall Parker-Players Bill Young- Cyril Roberts John C Hopkins Terry Thomas Dai Davies (he had his calling up papers for this Thursday- but thanks to the good work of Mr W A Griffiths he had a deferment until Nov 21- the olde club is isnt so bad after all) V Eleas. Tony Step Rins- John Weaven Brian Harris (Brynant) John Thomas of Gowerton Forwards- Court Herestill-Skipper
228 Sugar Ray Jenkins- Ginger Waldron Eddie Davies- John Samuel Em Thomas Rees Stephens ???? Walters and Alex Richards. So the party was 9 forwards and 10 backs- which were further broken up into two scrum halves and four wings- not a great deal to play on and in fact there was a distinct possibility that ???? of the players would not be played- this in fact actually happened- it was a pity that we couldnt take our full team with Ray John Dai Rees- Don Devereaux and Crawley, because the French Tours are always very hard and the sides very big and fast- that to take a depleted side out is asking for trouble- we however were very fortunate in having the services of Brian Harris- a typical Welsh Terrier Scrum Half from Brynant- their capt a fact- he had a good service- stocky and well able to stand up to any hard knocks- can kick well with both feet and knows when to save his forwards by kicking and has bags of guts.- in the forwards of which we were nine- we had a spare hooker in Eddie Davies and unless
229 Sugar was crocked he would be the unlucky forward not to play- of the backs- the ones who didnt play were V Elvas J Stephen John Thomas too, would have had a seat in the stand, but for the fact that Bill Young was crocked in the first game and had to leave the field, so John Thomas played full back.
That in a nut shell was pre tour arrangements, but like all tours a great deal of paper work was done behind the scene work-never appreciated- unless actually done by oneself and there you know- Very few of the team had actually changed their English in francs, as Llew in all fault thought that he would be able to change it for them when he arrived in Paris-haven I changed English Money at the local bank for self, Dai Davies and Ginger at the current rate of 1350 fr for one pounf. 
Well that was the set-up and we all met no punctually- but around 9 oclock on a fairly fine Thursday morning at 9-15pm and had our last cup of chair at Momizzis Cafe- all looking foward expectantly to a good
 230 trip. Its funny what the mind conjures up when one thinks of France and Paris- something out of this world.- what ever it is-one thing is certain we will each know one another better by the end of it. and be that much better friends for it.
As usual Randy was late- anyway he did come- after a press photo we were away at 9-30pm and sang our way to Rhoose with Bill Youngs repertoire of songs fully extended.- we arrived at Rhoose about 11-0AM and were handed the white card which always has to be filled in before such a flight- in case of accidents- those who were nervous took their Kwells- but it should be a nice flight as the weather was lovely and calm.- after a few photos outside on the tar mac we were ushered to the faithful Dakoto and soon were seated comfortably. The Pilot walked in along the narrow gangway with dark glasses and ???? Walters, always sounding serious said- gee boys the bloody pilot is blind.! his last remark before the plane left was So Long Wales- ???? by the way has strong
231 nationalistic tendencies
After the usual pre-warm up and the testing of the various equipment- with everyone looking out through the tiny port holes- some one shouted there's a bolt loose on the star board wing- we were eventually air-bourne with Barry soon below us.- the time then was 11-30AM. Soon the warning lights feeded out and bells were un fastened, altho when once for a brief while we encountered five mins rough weather and the red warning lights flickerd- Faster Your Safety Belts- every one looked at each other and smiled- this was made worse when we encountered a small air pocket and every bodys stomach was left about 100 above- that might be an exaggeration- but it certainly felt like it- anyway this was soon over and we landed at Bristol at 11-45 for a brief while and again at Southhampton at 12-15 and eventually Paris at 2-30- The air crossing was good and no one suffered any ill-effects Mention must be made of the Chicken Salad Meal everyone ate and enjoyed
232 in comfort- why some people prefer to be ill at sea is beyond my comprehension- still even so we were all nervous despite a safe crossing Le Bourget was packed with planes- as usual- some coming some going- some one said ???? smell the middy garlic
                     After passport checking- out into the lounge and picked up our baggages and there was Piquet with his say all is alright No- Yes.- Because of the cramped toilet space up above most of us were ready and soon found Les Dames- to which those who didnt know any French were directed and made use of including at the finish those who knew the difference.
After a 10 min wait-in the bus and off to Paris to the Pigalle and our hotel Blanfontaine.- Everyone in the party knew by repute The Pigalle and expected just an ordinary hotel, but indeed the Blanfontaine was the goods- its poor approach beleid its inside looks- indeed it compared very favourably with most of London'd Hotels.- most of the double room had seperate bathrooms
233 complete in all trimmings- to the ???? we had to explain what some of the things were for. Directly at the head of the rue in which the hotel was situated was The Famous Moulin Rouge complete with Windmill
Dinner was to be ready by 7-30 already by know it was getting dark -France being one hour ahead- and the lads were famished by now- all we paired off- I with Ginger- and most on the same floor- but there was no fear of any messing around tonight at least not in the hotel as everyone was keen to get out and inspect the sights- but not before dinner
We assembled in the dinning room and what a sight for sore eyes- On an upright 2 range gas grill was about a dozen chickens gently roasting as they turned where our mouths watering- The meal was terrific- soup- with a difference- then these roast chickens- one quarter each. with all the trimmings- chips a la French style- followed by an ice cream followed by du Tea-au lair- thats milk to
234 those who cant understand French- followed by fruit- intosperced with all this was du pain-du beure (thats bread and butter) beaucoup de-plenty of and lastings of vin rouge- at the most of us settled for tea- weak tho it was- still for most of us it was satisfactory
All this eating took well over the hour and a half but about half past nine we were all well fed and looking forward to an interesting evening- Before proceeding mention must be made here of our first difficulty and a few explanations made- as from certain parts of view this town was not up to the first one. When the French people arrived at Neath they were presented with their cheque with our guarantee upon arrival, so that the French lads had English money.- we expected this at Paris but ???? said we should our money at Limoges- anyway he lent us 30 of his own personal money and I lent some of the lads some francs I had, but it hardly went around at 1000 fracs a time- this question of finance we were to find made relations run high- still thats to come.
It was the ???? wish of
235 all the team to see The Jolies and a mass booking was made for the party and we proceeded some on foot and the late comers ???? a taxi- and the last shall be first ?? out. -Eventually we were all seated in our respective 6-seat boxes a la posh- the show had already started and ones of admiration were soon forth coming from the equipe- Like all shows- members of the audience are required and this was no exception- no sooner had we arrived than the leading lady called for four volunteers and Mel and Llew were ustled up on the stage and with two others dressed Chef style-little white aprons. Mel was Revelling in it-Gnoll stage fashion and entired into the fun of it- indeed if he had been left there- he woulda have stolen the show.- anyway the four had to set on ?? and ???? away with their trouser up and finally whisk some food or a mixture up in a ????- and first to win was Mel of course who was presented with perfume and a kiss- not being to tall he got the box he was sitting on to help him to the height deserved- because of their make-up their rouge is very heavy- it leaves a
236 mark on the fore head or wherever placed, which is very difficult to get off, and is almost unwashable on a hanker chief- I wonder how many hanker chiefs were thrown away. The show proceeded further,- and what a spectacle it is-plenty of colour variety and magestic scenes- until another aundience scene came along and this time it was yours truly's turn- rather than go up on my own- I caught hold of the nearest and this happened to be Johnny Weaver- the long and the tall- we marched up stage feeling- well I did quite shaky- worse than walking out into an international match and there we were met by the leading lady- who asked us in broke English if we could dance- on saying yes she provided a hulo girdle- faced us bottoms towards the audience and made us hulo hula- she then put a brassure girdle on our chests and bring them into it to-some hard work be ???? me- had to take my coat off- the final trick was- we were all dressed up cowley fashion- big ????- etc and put on a rocking horse- each horse had a balloon in its mouth- and by jumping up and down the balloon was blown up-the balloon by the way was
237
about 2ft long- you can well imagine how we all looked- making those horses jump-with all the ???? girls urging us on.- not forgetting the boys in the audiences- finally my balloon burst first- my extra weight I guess- the winner had a bottle of parfume and was asked to demonstrate a Gallois kiss- but with all the make up etc- discretion was the better point of valour and she marked my fore head for the evening so it turned out- I felt sorry for one of the other members of the audience- he was unfortunate enough to possess a bald head- and this was literally covered by rouge when she had finished- still all part of the fun
The interval soon came and boys bought drinks- lemonade for 2/6 per time-things sure are expensive in Paris- anyway we all enjoyed the show which finally ended at 12 oclock and then we all set ???? for an evenings fun among the bright lights and attraction of The Pigalle- suffice is to say that
238 here the Committee left as to our own tastes- I've often ?? wondered why is it that committees or is it just our committee- leave the lads when a bit of fun is about to start-one day I hope to be a member of the committee- and I do hope that because I'm a member of the committee and not a playing member of the club- that I shall be expected to stay with the committee and not with the lads- after all that is the only way you really get to know the team by sharing their triumphs and disappointments- the reason I should think they do not stick with the team is should there be trouble and a committee man is present-some one might say -well why didnt so and so stop it- hes on the committee- thats the only reason I can think of
Of the rest of the evening- we all enjoyed it sticking together all the way this- The Pigalle is an amazing place which has to be seen to be believed- almost every language can be heard sometime during an evening spent there- anyway we all finally got to bed round about 3 oclock-dead tired
239 only to be wakened at 6-30 again- we had to catch the 8-30 train from St Lazaine down to Limoges and this entailed a 1/2 hour bus ride from our hotel to the station- boy you should have seen our faces that morning- what with no breakfast-except for a cup of tea and buns jam and butter at the station- we were a miserable looking lot-anyway we were soon Limoges bound- I'll say this for the French railways- electrified of course they leave on time and arrive on time and 1st class is very very comfortable- with pull out seats- most of us slept all the way down Limoges was soon in sight and we finally arrived about 12 oclock.- Another point illustrating French views- Llew had wanted to book meals on the train, but Piquet said there be a meal waiting for us at Limoges- when we finally got to the hotel it was more like two oclock when we had the meal-to the French time means so much nothing- this happened frequently on the train- we'd leave early in the morning with only a cup of tea- not have lunch until 12 to 1 and the our next meal would be in the evening about 9
240 -there were times when we were starving- and it was just impossible to try and get this over to them.
At Limoges our hotel was the Deta Paix- the same one ?? we had stopped at two years ago- the same grunty old porter was in his same box- same one said Good Morning you miserable old Bugger- to which he replied Ah Oui and so it went on.- we were soon allocated our rooms- unpacked because we were here for three Nights according to our itenery (this was without Piquet's ideas). and down for dinner After our long journey down we were all as stiff as boards and none felt like playing anyway out we went for a training session at a local field.
Climatic conditions were nowhere near like those of two years ago- it was a dull day and bitterly cold with a nasty wind blowing where as two years ago- it was very hot. Once we were on the field however and did a few runs- most of us felt a lot better for it-indeed we even caught a live rabbit- it was seen running across the field and as soon the whole side was in full fling after it- we were going to take it back with us for dinner until ???? stepped in and
241 insisted upon releasing it- well done ????- after an hours run out- we all trouped back in- to a cold shower- so we all hurredly dressed and returned to our hotel via taxis Heres another tale of the French woe- Dinner had been booked for 7 oclock and we were looking forward to it- dinner handnt been up to much- anyway we found out that it would not be ready until 8 oclock- and that some of the French reporters wanted us to go to have an apperif at a near bye hotel- all went except Ginger Johnny Weaver and self.
       We decided to go to the same old cafe where we had dinner on our arrival at Limoges I almost forget that piece- you see- when we arrived at Limoges and at our hotel- because it was closing day-all the staff had a holiday. and it was impossible for us to have a meal.- imagine that- no meals at 2 oclock- so ???? said he knew of a small cafe around the corner-when we got there- we found it packed and we had to wait until it was cleared.- eventually we got seated -and to cut a long story short- it ended up by me ???? the lads and myself included- and helping out.
242 in general-but for all that we had a good meal- it looked like beef-until someone suggested Le Cheval-but it just goes to show the lack of planning on this tour-so far no French official- except Lucien of course had been encountered.
            It was here that the three of us went for dinner- we were starving-all we had had that dinner was dinner at 2 oclock-and nothing else and it was now drawing on for 8 in the evening- we we lucky enough to encounter an English speaking Frenchman who helped us considerably- what a big help it is to be able to speak a foreign language-its a pity that whilst in school the importance of speaking foreign languages is not more emphasised-you know just not the correct grammatical way but plan speaking-its suprising how many are nervous-well I suppose we all are for that matter-but it is nice to be able to get up and propose-second-or what have you-at least make an impression-still lets get on with this tour.
We had a terrific steak two eggs lashings of milk and beaucoup du beurre
243 and du pain and eventually finished eating at about 9 oclock-paid our bill- I think it came to about 12/-each and sauntired back to the hotel and found them-yes-just starting their meal.- were they saying it-there was nothing laid on tonight- we were all dead tired, so some strolled off to the flics to see Moulin Rouge-myself I posted up about 40 post cards to the lads back home and was in bed by about half past 10. I think Courteray went even earlier- anyway most, if not all the equipe were a bed by 11 and soon fast asleep.
          Very few were up early on the Saturday excepting ????- John Cecil said he was up at seven oclock and out in the town by eight crazy man- anyway I got up about 11 or was it 10-washed shaved- had breakfast- what a waste of a good word- tea and crumpets and then made off in groups townwards on a shopping spree.- The committee and Derby and Joan who shall be anonymous- were already out in force. and soon a brisk business was being done- there didnt appear to be a shortage of anything here-except that by our standards prices were very high-another sore point was not frames
244 Llew had still to be paid and he and us to complained to Lucien bitter by about the non-payment- always the afternoon or tomorrow- it doesnt argue well for any future tours- as already we didnt see eye to eye with the French view point
           Lunch supposed to be at 12 was more like one oclock and was composed of poached eggs on toast- the least said about them the better - anyway little did we know then that this was the last bite we would have until we returned that evening to the hotel.
           We left the hotel for the ground soon after lunch-it was a bitterly cold day- very ???? of home- low cloud-dull with a wind blowing- not a day for football and soon reached the Municipal Stadium. Two years ago they were in the process of erecting a new ???? stand- this is was now complete and the whole pitch was now enclosed and both touch lines by ?? massive concrete stands- unlike this years ago- very few spectators were there-in fact couldnt have been 1000 present at the KO- money has been lost on this game anyway.
            There were the usual pre-match an then when the players names were called out as
245 we faced standwards and we trotted out onto the field of play. The Neath Team for this match was Bill Young, Cyril Roberts John Hopkins Terry Thomas Dai Davies John Weaver Brian Harris C C ????. Sugs- Ginger Waldron. John Sam Em Thomas Eurof Walters Rees Stephens and Alex Richards blind side
             The game was scrappy- for the first 10-15 mins we were pressing and I thought that we could win- the pack however gradually lost is again and our passing behind broke down- we were at disadvantage with the referee- some of his interpretations were ???? at any rate wrong- its seems amazing when you think about it- here we are playing mighty-with the same rules and yet referees not only in France have they own interpretation- as if they say I'm the boss on the field- and youll of course to players but it seems to me that there must be something wrong with the way our rules are set out that makes them so complicated and difficult and at times evasive.
            We lost this game 9-6- it was ????
246 by an injury to Bill Young- who was ???? in possession- at any rate he had to leave the field and Eurof went to full back. Even so we played well enough to win and had two good tries this allowed for off-side-still its all part of the game.- this by the way was supposed to be the weaker of the two games we play-time will tell
             We heard that after the game there was to be an apperatif at another nearby hotel- in other words drinks and speeches before our dinner-???? we were loathe to go there- I was starving as were the others- we felt we ought to- we piled into taxis and were driven to some hotel and as usual had to wait in a lounge complete on three sides with tables laden with champagne glasses and biscuits and a bar at one end- some of us stood this for half an hour and then the speeching started- as it seemed like by that it would continue for some time- some of us did a bunk and left the officials stout by holding the post- we got back to the hotel and found dinner wouldnt be until 8 oclock.-imagine -no breakfast-poached eggs at twelve and no dinner until 8 crazzy seption -it was events like these that made one think
247 that perhaps this tour is the last if its kind down so far South- For the remainder of the evening after dinner we had to made our own  amusement- no French official came near us-not even Lucien this time- there was no dance in the hotel- no dance in town in face ??-all. Most of the night was spent in singing songs of all disinptions until the party decided en bloc to visit the Hotel C us ???? and after much searching found it ferme- we were all disappointed and returned to out hotel and sleaded to all change into our pyjamas and have some fun on our own- we all did this and returned to the bar- an odd assortment of pyjamas- jock straps in ungamily places ???? caps knee caps indeed we wouldnt have disgraced and pantomime- only to find that my host had shut the bar- the was afraid of trouble!!!- this soon wore off and some one discovered at Snack Bar open around the corner and they we all went to for steak-chips- du tea and du pain etc at 1-30 in the morning- a Sunday Morning at that- bed followed and most of us stopped there until 12 next day- the first 
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real sleep we had since we left home.
             However by 12 oclock we were all up. had lunch and on our way to Limoges ground by 2-30 to see the final French Trial- the only one they held in fact. France apparently are due to play Raumania very soon. There was a fair syed around there I should say 5 000,- nothing to compare with the final trial crowd at Cardiff-condition were good-it wasnt near so cold as the day we played-it was dry-only the slighest of breezes persisted- but due to other important games a number of French Stars had cried off which lessened the importance of it as a trial. The team trotted out on time and we were all quick to notice the immenseness of the French props-thick ??- neckless in fact- huge legs and on an average well even 15 stone a piece- all were indived to be fleshy and looked as if they had grazed on good pastures
             The game ???? like our trials was uneventful- there was a ???? ???? of mauling in meflies and line cuts-very few quick huls-but one couldnt help but nothing how they all liked to
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handle the ball-for big men they seemed to move very fast. Line out work play is a lost ????- pushing-jabbing ankle grabbing-everything was allowed.-for the betterment of football in general- the miles should be framed that whatever language they are issued in- there can only be on interpretation not a dozen- this time that miles were made by lazy men not lawyers
           To proceed- on the itinary were ever supposed to have slayed in Limoges on Sunday and travelled afterwards to Tulle on Monday- apparently Lucien had other ???? and had looked dinner for us all Brive in ????
250 restaurant and also a hotel there that evening- it was because of this that rail  tickets had been taken out- but lo and behold when we got to the gates-there was a bus waiting for us- chartered by some one unknown.- after a lot of haggling- we finally left Limoges and proceeded to Brive and our second meal of the day.- there was a distance of seventy kilometres involved and because of the mountain was country took rather more than two hours- the roads bent-turned- twisted- nothing we could see- but feel we did- as the driver literally flew his noisey grate into all manner of turns.- the time was spent alternatively sleeping and singing.
        We finally got to Brive around 8 oclock-starving-my word- the arrangements this time were to put it mildly- were slip-????-more to come later
         We had an excellent meal in Donmends- you could see from the photos on the wall if you didnt already know that a mighty international was in charge.- this was the best so far on the tour.- and we finally got through by almost 10 oclock and took the bus to the hotel- only to find that
251 apparently there were no reservations- the final straw-however Lucien put things right and we all got roomed in the end.
         Because of the poor reaphow we had had the committee c good faith had tried to alter the inineray themselves now- and instead of staying at Brive on Monday night- catch the 5 train back to Paris and at least have one enjoyable evening- most if not all the players agreed to this, however Lucien said it couldnt be done- and it ended up by a players meeting in my room at 11-30pm ?? which everyone aired their views- anyway we backed up the committee- despite Lucien saying it wouldnt be done and mentioned a banquet at Dommenecks tomorrow- as things turned out we couldnt catch the 5 train because of Courts injury but did make the 12 train instead and far from being a banquet- all it turned out to be was an excellent meal for which we ourselves had to pay 15f per head for- I dont thing the French people paid for a single item- not even a meal after any of the games- unlike that they had over here.
252 We left Brine for Tulle next morning - thats Monday scheduled to leave at 8-30 AM but not until 9-30 - The usual continental breakfast - eggs and beure and du pain and off to Tulle about 14 miles - but again mountainous and arrived there about 10-30. Those who had been on the previous tour remembered it straight away as the place we had called in late one night on the way home - had some trouble with the local host and gendarmes - however the same host appeared and recognised us and smiled a knowing smile. Today Nov 11 is of course Amistice Day and a general holiday in France - they pay far more attention to it than we do. - We all went to the local monument and Court and Belli Millet put a wreath on it and observed a min silent - it was very impressive and far beneath us lay the town of Tulle - it took us a good 5 min by bus to reach it.
           Back to the town hall for a civic reception by the local ???? - Champagne and speeches - when it was grub we wanted - this two meal a day is getting me down fast.
253 Back to a local hotel for our steak dinner - indeed when were has grub - it is really good stuff - and then we had to hang around until 2-30 until the bus came to take us to the football field - dining this time we managed to persuade a local shop owner to open up and he did a very lively half hours trade.
            The field at Tulle is sat on the mountain slopes with tall fine trees all around it - they obviously like their rugby as a junior game was already in progress - they must have different views to what some of our committee have. This apparently was to be the harder of the two games and accordingly we selected our best side which meant that some players didnt have a game. The team was John Thomas ( the Spare I H) Cyril Roberts John Hopkins - Terry Thomas Dai Davies - John Weaver and Brian Harris - Courtney - Ray Jenkins Ginger Waldron John Sam - Em Thomas. Alex Richards - Rees Stephens and Eirof Walters.
             Of the game itself - a few things stand out 1/  The excellent understanding of Brian Harris and John Weaver - and Johns three dropped goals.2/ The excellent display of the Neath - especially after old Court had to retire to F back after his injury
254 some extraordinary decision by the referee regarding the offside rule and scrumming and the length of the match- we kicked off at 3-30 promps and finally came off the field at twenty mins past five- two hours all put 10 mins- if they had had flood lights- I believe he would have put them on- he tried his darndest he give the French Team victory-but the whole team had this tails up and gave nothing away I havent seen the Neath pack so vigourous for a long time- some of them ???? ?? terrific- I felt really sorry for those French chaps who had to fall at-our feet- they thought twice before doing it a second time!
          The only incident was Courts injury- he fell heavily and we all thought he had broken his collor bone- but he pluckily stayed on the field until the end- altho in considerable pain- well done Court- I'm sure now that a himself he is pleased that he took over the Captaincy- I know the lads think highly of him and know him a lot better for it.
          After the game we fully expected a meal but no such luck- more speeches and apperatif at the Cafe Theatre
255 Ginger and I missed this and spent the time tea drinking at the bar until it was time to go back to Brive and Dommensks for our dinner
        A thing which didnt help relations was the delay in us obtaining our guarantee.- quite some haggling was spent until Llew our treasurer said of course the W R U will have to be informed of all tour details and they eventually agreed to settle up partly and the final installment by Lucien in Paris- all this didnt help for future tours- and it seems to me extremely unlikely that we shall participate in a Tour so far South
        We eventually got to Brive and apart from Lucien and Dennis Lulanne-the reporter of L'Equipe banqueted in style and had to pay for it too- in fact the two meals we had at Donnenoch was at 30f per head-a little salty- I dont think the French people had laid on a thing for us- utterly unlike the previous tour.
         A good sing song was soon in progress and the rest of the scoring was spent at a local hop until 11-45pm where we all left for the Station to catch the 12-30 train for Paris- we all had booked seats 1st class- very comfortable- but what 
256 beat us was the heat- it pound into the carvages and very few of us could sleep- were we glad to see Paris at 7oclock on Tuesday morning-utterly worn out- we breakfsted at a cafe with tea and bread and butter whilst waiting for the coach to take us to the Hotel.
         On our way back we were taken around Paris for the benifits of those who hadnt seen Paris before and got to the hotel about 10-30 where those who were staying until the Wednesday were allocated room which were shared by those going- for a wash up-brush up and what have you.
         Those who were going went out shopping- those who stayed went to bed and flaked right out. The first party left for Le Bourget Airport at 3 oclock and the remainder of us went shopping but were back at our hotel within two ???? dead- beat in fact we all retired to bed except Derly and Joan who shall be nameless- after a meal about 8 oclock Lucien took us out until about 12 and by then we had had enough- went to bed again and didnt rise until the following morning at 1-30- went down for our last meal on
257 French soil- and caught the airport bus to Le Bourget and having to find out that we had to leave in a Heron plane- thats a 16 seater and land at Southampton- Bristol and then Rhoose.
          It was a great trip back- I shall never forget the brilliant sunset when we were well above the clouds- and the big change from light to darkness when we broke through the cloud formation to See Southampton all lit up in the dark- like a fairy town with hundreds upon hundreds of lights- we could see all the liners lit up in the docks- I wish I could have taken a photo of it all
           Well all things come to an end and we finally got to Rhoose at 7-30- had no difficulty with the customs- found Randy waiting for and we were soon back home again- how quickly the time has gone looking back.
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259 The Death of An Athletic Side in One Easy Lesson

Monday Evening- November 25-1957- how well I shall remember this date- why?- because it was on this evening at a Committee Meeting of the Neath RFC that it was decided to disband the Athletic Side at the end of the ???? season.- on reflection it makes me feel sad and sorry for those responsible that they are able and willing to discard and potential wealth of talent for the future benefit of the club- but more so now that Neath had a ???? for the first time in years for local talent- local lads who are Neath minaled- and whose sole ambition is to play for Neath
        Lets recap the situation- this happened towards the end of season 1956 when the W R U issued a circular to all Welsh Clubs asking them to go into and consider the possibility of running a Youth Side- Because in the respect Neath are well catered for- we have our local Y. M sides- the discussion turned towards an Athletic or 2nd XV- and in fairness to those who then opposed it- there was a frank discussion and it was after two lengthy meetings ???? to run a 2nd XV called the Neath Athletic and to review the position at the end of two years

260 I took an active part in those discussions and had with me a sort of record of 2nd class players who had been selected for Neath from second class clubs but had never made the grade- Whether or not these figures influenced those who voted for an Athletic Side- no one will ever now- but there was a possibility that I made a few bad friends- at least thats how I feel- still I felt very happy in the fact that Neath were to have an Athletic Side.
        I pointed out to the committee even then that it would be ???? even unfair to expect miracles- in my opinion it would take 5 years or more for an Athletic Side to fulfill its object- and even longer to obtain that club loyalty which is so essential.- I pointed out to that the first seasons fixture list would be that of the Y M C A and this not very strong and here again it would take years to build up an Athletic list equal to that of a serious Athletic Side.
        This was all taken ?? and agreed to was that of finance and here again I gave a rough idea of the expenses of the local YM Athlectic and a figure of 350 or thereabouts was accepted as a sort of maximum
261 To go on a little- to offset this- at least to help the argument- or guild the lily- the price the Season Tickets were put-up at least it was proposed by the Treasurer and ???? by the secretary that due to overall ????- it was essential that the price of season tickets be increased by 10? for Stand Members- and to help this argument- no matter how little- it was said that we were prouding a match on the Gnoll every Saturday- there was no opposition to the proposition and it was carried- the extra revenue from this increase was estimated in the region of 400 to 500 which would more than compensate the cost of the Athletic- not that those honestly concerned with the future of the Athletic wanted it to be a financial drag- indeed I personally had hopes that one day such would be the standard of its football that we would be getting 20 gates.- might ever consider entering the WRU Competition- but this would all take time- little then did I think that it would be cut off with out a fair test
      That then ?? what happened regarding the formation of the Athletic- it is ?? as I see it- then would be no point and me
262 giving a ???? report-just because I'm interested in the formation of an Athletic- one of my reasons is that Rugby is a game where in you meet many people ? invariably make great funds- and it would be most unfair to deny others the chance of doing that- irrespective of the class of football they play.

One year and approx three months later in fact Monday Evening November 18-1957. The chairman Mr Millet- read out from the Agenda- To Discuss or Review The Suitability of Proceeding with the Athletic Side-it came as a shock to me-a big shock in fact- first because the season was only just under way-  and usually when some one one the committee wants something on the Agenda- he usually mentions it at a previous meeting and asks the Secretary to have so and so included at the next meeting- this person must forever be unknown I guess.- or persons who ever they may be.
       In order to give everyone an opportunity it was deferred until the following Monday that is Nov 25. Even then I didnt think it was possible that it would be ????- I only thought it would have been discussed.

263 possibly coonstructively intisized- but never ????- how wrong I was.
       Anyway came the fateful evening- I think it only correct to record who were present- The Secretary W A Griffiths- Chairman - B Mullet Treasurer- L Morgan- Bert Swarliffe- Vicar J A Lewis Ray Jones W R U member. D Meredith J Thomas- Schools Representative J J Smith- W Harrington. M Johns F Thomas W Rees Supporters Representive S. Symmonds- C Challimor Theo Davies- Life Member and the Skipper Court ???? a total of 17 plus self 18. Those not present Perry Sten- Tom Fossedge- Sid Davies.
           The discussion soon started a points that arose were- it was not fulfilling its position as an Athletic Side- as the Athletic players were not good enough to play in Neath Team when short
Neath Players when rested or dropped from the Senior Side- preferred to go back to their own clubs rather than play for the Athletic. That our fixture list was poor and not good enough. and finally that it was costing the club to much money- that we had a duty to our members and to ???? a loss of 300 every season would not be right- in fact it was said by an
264 official that if the committee didnt do it- that in all probability it would be raised from the floor if the annual meeting- the same official who in his piece said he had heard that some of us had been canvassing- and that canvassing always indicates a weak ????-from the attendance tonight- it looked to me as if at the opposition big guns had been canvassed- quite a number who in my opinion were completely out of touch with the pulse of the players and their feelings- in fact I doubt of many of then eve know the Athletic players doubt very much if they have seen them play- doubt whether they even cared
       To try and answer their points- the first of course few of the Athletic Players are ready enough to step into the first XV- the average age cannot be more than 20 years- in fact we have few of last years Bolts team playing- how on earth can anyone knowing anything about rugby except such players to be ready, altho in fact young Terry Jenkins the ?? did play at short notice against Old Belveredere and didnt let us down
       How on earth you can judge on all lilic Side on One Season and 3 months of another- is honestly beyond me. I should think it impossible
265 to say a side is in any position to be set up and judged after 1 season and 3 months.
Question two- Neath players who were rested and dropped would not play for the Ath- Not quite time- in fact myself- Courtiney Mered- V w Evans- have all played. When Tony Palmer was getting fit last season- he played- when Em Thomas couldnt get off this season when Neath were away- he played as did Ron Waldron- but when a player who came from another club to Neath is not required by Neath- then it is quite feasible for him to go back to his old club- and not the Athletic- the only time it would hold goog, would be for players who have played only for the Ath or Neath- and that would take 5 years or more- something which was never allowed to happen.
                           The fixture list- not a very important one from the point of view of disbanding the Ath- as funnily enough they all agreed it would take a considerable time to build up a good fixture list- but couldnt see the same should apply to the side playing that list
The last finance was the important one-at least so it said- quite a number of the committee said they would be ???? by the treasurer a finance-forgetting
266 that at The Athletics ???? they agreed that the loss of 300-400 would be more than off set by the increase in ticket money-
        that at the accounts of last years working when a figure of 350 was mentioned ( I was not at that meeting, but hope to get a detailed account of that amount soon)- and some- the treasurer to told me that he was pleased- as he thought it would have been higher
        It was moved by the treasurer and seconded by Raynor the W R U member.- another thing 9 personally couldnt understand- how a W R U member could possibly ???? such a motion- one who is on the parent body and should be all out to foster football- not the distanding of teams or the helping of it
       He moved it on the grounds of finance- answering Mr Harrington's that season tickets were increased to help cover the cost of a Athletic by saying it was only to partially help the increase of membership and said the real increase of membership was increased costs
       I like Mr Harrington thought that membership had been increased to partially offset the Athletic, as our seep porters wanted be getting a game every Sat- while Raynor Jones
267 in his piece to said it was to guild the lily- obviously inferring that it was to coat the pill to make it easier to swallow- referring in this case to membership increase as the pill.
        That then was the proposal- and we who were against could by now see how things were going- wen so I still thought that there might he those among us who would realise that money isn't everything- that for a club of Neaths standing to disland such a side would be. lowering the diguily of its standing - especially as lots of second class sides run and support two sides- any way it was put to the vote and we lost and I must say how very disappointed I was - mention I must of the fact that three members of the committee who voted against- at the quite with a ???? rights- Theo - a life member or hustee on what have you - some one who has no doubt ???? ?? man service in the post - but the future - - -. Bill Run - Supporter Rep - so called not actually on the Supporters Committee and on who takes little interest in what goes on. - if he did - very little attention would be paid J. Thomas ???? school  number - just 3 votes but valuable one's for the oppostion.
         We who fought the good fight were
268 Mr Harrington - Gareth Thomas - Dai Meredith Les Smith . T A Lewis- Rees Stephens and the Skipper. Four very recent ex and players - 2 new members of the committee - what chance did we have - still its better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. The future
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More Athletic News - Monday Dec 2/57- After the Athletic Game on the Gnoll on Sat when ???? they won 17-3 against Ebbw Vale - there was a meeting of all Athletic Players, and I put the position quite plainly to them - yes despite this they were unanimous that they wanted to continue as a side - and they was passed by the meeting - no - more - no less.  
273 More Committee News - out of school may be- a week may be more - or so ago the Grammar School Tour was finalized - practically at any rate - I believe its the first of its kind - anyway that doesnt matter  - lads at school are not particularly well off for money and school funds are not that elaborate - so Mr Harvey and Mr Bert together with Dr John - sent of a few letters to local clubs asking for their support - not an entirely new idea - not something out of the way. - believe me more money has been spent on things far less worth white than a seek to a Schools Rugger Tour - what about the 11-00 spent on painting two goal posts - short ???? some have - lets pass on ?? - this was done in good faith - the letters now - not the goal posts and from what I gathered the reponse by second class sides has been favourable - when the letter was read out by the Sec. it was discussed and after a good discussion - it was moved by the treasurer and seconded by the W R A member so I believe - these two both on principle mind you were the chef opponents of grant aid - because of ???? - because they felt it was a ???? - and that teams who could pull the horns in so to speak - and if they has as ???? shouldnt have big ideas of travelling abroad - but only  
274 so far as their finances allowed. - there were others of us there who thought other were and it was agreed that something be given - the amount to be discussed at the rest meeting, when unknown factors would be made known. - some one suggested that the school had a source of income for things such as these.
        Following up this on Monday Dec 9/57 and what a month for arguments.-
        It was decided to grant the Neath Grammar School 20-0-0 - like the supporters - again not with out a lengthy debate. - whilst we are on the subject they boys made about 70 on a dance held at the Empire - there must have been almost ?? people present - at 5? per head - a good effort - anyway tour details were finally fixed - after much unseen work - deliberation and cancellation and Sunday Dec 29/57 at 3.20pm they left Neath - 20 Boys - 2 Teachers plus wife - Sunday was chosen instead of the Sat because Brian Morris and Alwyn Morris were in the W S S Final Trials they wanted them to be in the party and not to interfere with the trial - but lo and behold - after both boys had been chosen- and all of us were very pleased - they were informed by the committee that they had to be
275 back a week Sat morning for a trial match at Cardiff - if they werent there - they would not be included in the XV - this after there being notified of the Grammar Schools intention to go to France - anyway despite phone calls on Sunday by me to various LoSS officials - always no reply - or not on the phone - its truly amazing that not one single official could be contacted on the Sunday - the party left and I was to phone the W S S secretary Mr Waning ?? on the Monday - this I did - but a definite NO was all I had and I had to ???? the party for both Brian and Alwyn to return on the Thursday morning to get here in time for the practise.- such official dom a school lay football is to say the least - well -
         Oh the latest up to date fitness remark- ???? Team V Wallarly effort - there were only a few of us out Don Dev -who we are all very delighted at having his first cap- more so me- because he is the first Y M C A player to get a Senior Cap. - Bill Young Terry Thomas and two or three Ath players - anyway - Mr Millet same along his our Chairman this year and said
276 theres no tea ????  on tonight - there shouldnt have been training tonight anyway - the ???? is to had - here it comes - anyway there isnt a match on Sat, so theres no need to train this week. - imagine that now - just because theres no game - no need to train - balls! but it just goes to show what some committees think - anyway I went up to Toms and back - had a real good sweat and knocked up a good speed and no ill-effect at all. - Still I think now that I'll give up at the end of this season.- probably play a few more games for the Ath - its far better to go out under your own steam than be pushed out. -Ive often thought of the idea of finishing off the season with Aberavon - it would do rugby a lot of good if it were possible 
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Monday Evening Jan 6th-58 - Congratulations Aberavon R F C and officials for being so go ahead in obtaining the services of world famous Danie Cravern to lecture to Aberavon Supporters at the local sec school - and what a gem of a talk it was to all rugby followers who attended - the hall incidentally was packed with Wizard Supporters - plus a few from Neath - and a sprinkling of players - its a pity that it wasnt the reverse - it would certainly have stood them in good stead to listen to the advice of a man who not only has played the game and knows what to do - but is able to tell others how to do it but there - thats the general ???? of then.
The Aberavon Club and officials must be complimented for the way in which they handled the whole affair from the lecture hall to the ???? dinner held at the Grand Hotel after and as far as I am concerned for inviting me as a person to this dinner. This must be mentioned for what its worth, but as soon
278 as I was seen at The Hall - I was immediately asked to come along to the dinner after - I often wander if my own club with its present day committee would have been so generous in their approach. - but it made me feel as if  ???? was worth white
      The Dinner was a huge success attended by the Mayor - it was a delight to listen to the various speakers - all full of praise for Danie and he was presented by Mr Haycock- Mr Aberavon - with a club plaque - by a small miners lamp by the Area N C B Manager Mr Walker - and an appreciation by the ???? Tanner- Bankers in the form of a signed address and poem.! - still there it was - a famous club paying tribute to a famous man - I was proud to be connected with rugby football and to be there last night- Danie in his very ???? reply said it was the highest honour paid him - and after all the good things that were said about him - I can quite believe it and and can well imagine how he likes to come back to Wales. - how envious I was. in a sports man like way - Every one in the room. must have been for that matter - still is is deserving 
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280 He took us back to his own playing days and how Wales was his first test - how Berry Osler- the ????. Springbok O H always told him that he wanted the ball from his navel to his feet and not his navel to his head - because if it went above his head seconds went in catching it and breaking it down, while if it was at navel height or lower, he could pass or kick without wasting time.
      How Berry Osler never told him which way he was going until the ball was out of the scrum - he - that is Osler said you know where your opponents are before the ball goes in - but what counts is where they are and what they are doing when the ball is your side How Berry Osler - could kick any where and land a ball on a 3rd piece - how he spent countless hours practising his kicking - he even used to hire small boys to retrieve the balls for him and paid them for doing so.
       How he would always start off a game by finding how the opposing fall back was - if he was ?? look-out - he spent a very unhappy afternoon chasing un chaseable kicks - kidding the full backs with long ???? kicks to one 
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282 side of the field and then apparently with the same sort of action kick back to the other side
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Jan 18/58
Well the Tour did materialise after all.- and apparently the whole party had a wonderful time - played excellent football- made friends and created a good impression - in fact - people who had never possibly heard of Neath, or for that matter Wales ???? - now do- and say - well they must be nice people - this apart - I'm also glad because - I can quite distinctly remember the meeting at which they were discussing a grant towards this tour - that is the Neath Committee in general - and members of that body
289 who had gone on the Neath Tour and were disappointed at the ???? were using their influenced to argue that the place was not one that they could recomment us an ideal ???? spot for young lads- one even went to say that he had his two lads in school - he would think twice about allowing them to go on the tour - the implication of which I resented there and then ???? it out-
         Still they've been - come back and are now looking forward to receiving their French friends - here at Easter
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291 Like many writings in this book - this is out of sequence - still - that in itself, is it very important- anyway - this is a general report of the French Rugby Tour by the Neath Y M C A Colts together with myself and Ivor Jones - a party of twenty two persons in all.
         Like my other writings- I put down the beginnings of it. After the very successful Grammar School Tour - life wouldnt have been worth living if the Colts, as we will call them hence forth on, didnt have a tour themselves - what is good enough for The Grammar is - good enough for The Colts - so be it - actually The Colts were always first in my thoughts and should have gone over at Xmas - but because of the fact that all were working - The Grammar School went over first and like us became the first ever Under 18 side to go abroad - well done Neath.
         I followed this up with Lucien regarding a game for the Colts, but this time apparently my letters didnt reach him - anyway I had to try another source, as time was running out and eventually contacted two Schools in the Paris area - and The Colts tour was on.
292 There was a great deal of work to be done- passports- money changing- we had a rate of 1240 francs to the 1- one or two of the lads must have thought they were going to Mumbles for a trip as four or five passports were only returned in the nick of time because of late photos and wrongly written permission forms. however we all collected at Neath Station! The Party was made up of twenty players self and Ivor Jones
        They were Len Jones, Dai Jones Fln Ball Bob Macullum ( he came in at the very last minute) John Roberts Dick Parker, Tony Wright Vw Davies Terry Jenkins Trev Thomas John Davies( Capt) Sil Jones Doug Jones Ian Camron Ken Kunow Peter Davies Len Curtis Mervyn Williams- Wavell Hopkins- Mike Thomas.
        We caught the 6-45 from Neath on Monday Morning March and were soon sorted out in out reserved compartments.
Like their senior counter parts- the card sharpers soon found each others company and it wasnt match sticks which were being played for- however the journey to London soon passed and we eventually
293 reached Paddington Station well on time. The party were then shepherded by tube across to Victoria - so far no one had gone astay
          Reached Victoria well in time for a cup of tea and any other beverages - some of the lads also changed some money into francs - and seemed like big business when they started talking in thousands of francs.
          Piled on the London - Folkestone train - still intact and we poor sea farers - praying for calm seas and wey so often checking by looking up into the skies to see if the clouds were flying past - they were!!
          Eventually we boarded the X channel steamer - those of us who thought we would be sea sick - layed on the rafts in readiness whilst the 'fit' ones ???? around the ship - but lo and behold before the end of the sea journey - the ones who were prepared for the worst didnt have it - the others at least some of them did.
         Anyhow Calais soon came in sight and we were soon aboard
294 The Paris Express - all the lads excited and jabbing away - with merry and bad expressions thrown in - it was here that we had our first bit of fun. - before hand we had singled out the victims. Dai Jones and Selwyn Jones - it all arose over a press cutting I had seen when Oxford Uny came down to play Cardiff - included in their side was a young Springbok - making his first journey to Wales - Just outside the Newport Bowler Peter Robbins the Oxford Capt asked all the Oxford team for their ???? - of course all had them except this Springbok who was politely told that he d ???? have to return or be smuggled in - of course no S A would mess the trip to Wales and not play at Cardiff so he agreed to be smuggled in - and was put in the boot of the bus and not taken out until he reached Cardiff - after the game he was telling everyone how he was smuggled into Wales - no one let ????- and he was smuggled out in the same way.
          Well that how it began - we had specially printed ???? before hand
295 - very official looking - and of course all the ???? except the two ???? had then ready
           As soon as the train pulled out - I went around the party asking then for the ???? - so I could give them to the guard and passport officer - Sel and Dai - both said - we didnt have one - and the rest of the Colts backed up well and said they had each had one in the returned passports
           Both now were looking really worried so I suggested that I try and bribe the guard to stamp their passports whilst they were hiding in the Toilets - so in they went let it be said that French toilets do not ???? the same room as English ones - so Sel and Dai were eramped in the time spent of the word - we left them for 20 mins - and then decided theyd had enough - called them both out - told them the guard had shut his eyes to them for a 1000 francs apiece - cheap at half the price
           Eventually we arrived at Paris about 10:15 dead beat - and looking forward to seeing the sights - M. Victal was
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waiting and escorted us ?? a maze of Metros to the Hotel which was to be our H Q in Paris - not far from The Blanchfontaine - Our Hotel was Suisse - Paris - Nice - By now we were starving - literally and after being issued our bedrooms - two up - we went to a back street cafe for our first taste of French looking and French Red Wines - how the lads lapped it all up - Altho quite late now the night was still young and we all set off to explore the Parisian nights and sights
           On the Tuesday - I dont think any member of the party got up early after and hectic days party - self - Marc and Trev were awaked by The Dingle Beep shouting across the way - soon every window was open and every Colt up - goodness
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only know what The French thought about us - anyway after the Continental breakfast - what the hell do they live in - we all left for an educational tour of Paris - ???? to say we saw all Eiffel Tour - Arc De Triumph. Champs Elyse - we walked it the whole length - some achievement - we even held up the traffic in the The Place De Concorde - what those French drivers didnt call us - dog tired we all had a drink at a cafe - dead beat
298 We all returned to a self service bar for dinner where one could have the joice of anything - most of us plumped for fried chicken - fried in olive oil - terrific was how the lads voted for it
          Back to the hotel - now to want for the bus - our original plans to go ahead by train had been changed due to another rail strike
          The bus from ???? came at 2-30pm - dead on time and ???? ???? who apparently played against me at Paris two Seasons ago - was the person - in fact a teacher at the school - was to conduct us to ????
          We sang our way down - this was my first long away trip with youngsters - and they seem to know all the songs and sing equally as well as they senior counter parts.
           At the School which is miles from anywhere - indeed it would be hard to find a more remote place - Ivor and self were put in the Chateaux - the boys in the dormitory - apparently - the school is self disciplined by the lads them selves - they are responsible for order - cleaning - serving of ???? - in fact
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Interested Spectators at the game which we lost 6 - 0 everything - no masters partook of this - they were in charge of roll calls - lights out - hence why Ivor and me were put in the masters quarters.
          Its a magnificent school - completely up to date - with a gym that Ive get to see the better of - it must be at least 100 yds long by 30 yds wide and corresponding height - an ???? was that the lines of the cansus courts - eg tennis - basket ball - instead of being painted were lit up electrically - one switch for each.
          After supper we were invited to their prize giving ceremony and presentation night - it was their end of term. - and the ???? house were playing off ???? in volley ball
301 - basket ball - hand ball - we left at 11-0 for bed - dead beat - I couldnt help but noticing how the French lads played there ball games - hand a volley ball - both hands and fingers held wide open - always ready for the ball - no wonder they are such good handlers of a rugby ball
           Next day - we were shown around the school - very interesting to those electrically minded - and then had a run out - in fact the run out tour was before the school tour - didnt do much - just enough to get the stiffness off the lads. - we played our stronger side Len Jones Dai Jones Gln Ball. Bob Mac - John Roberts Dai Parker - Terry Jenkins - Doug Jones John Davies ????. Ian. Len Carles - Mike - Sel and Ken Canow
           We lost this game to a bigger older team - The game itself wasnt what one would call a cahilition game - we were out weighed in the forwards and instead of playing to their backs the French lads perserlid in going through with it - it suited us - as their strength lay behind - anyway we were by ?? means disgrased by losing to such a side by only 6-0. One thing that stood out was the interpretation of the ref - to me it
302 seems absurd that altho we all play ? the supposedly same rules - you get so many different interpretations - its really ?? time that the controlling body put them out in such a consise and simple way - that they can be only carried out in the way they were meant to be - the offside in line out had to be seen to be believed - on both sides
            If one can believe all one reads then the same apparently applies in other sports in other countries - surely with sport such ' big business'- it is now time enough for those in charge to sit down seriously and make the rules, so that there can be no edging whenever that sport is played
            To continue - after the game we were the best of friends - Neath and French players coming off the field arm on arm - How wonderful it is to see such things - back for a shower - and then an aperetif with the head master - staff and two teams with the minimum of speeches
             There was nothing special laid on - we had the usual school dinner and then until 9 oclock - most of the lads
303 including the French Team went to the only lovely place in ???? - a small cafe for some French aperetifs and spent most of the time singing French and Welsh songs - very entertaining at times - especially to see our lads trying to sing French
             To bed reasonably early - as we are up early next morning - off to Paris
              We Left as arranged - quite early despite having to wait for the bus and with time to spare arrived at the Station and after an hour or so's travelling arrived at Paris and reached our hotel which was for tonight. The Lycee King or in other words a French Grammar School of over 1000 boarding pupils - the train were boarded with other French lads in their dormitories whilst myself and Ivor were bedded out in the Sick Room with two lads - one suffering from lock jaw or some what and the other a broken limb - still we didnt spend much time there.!
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When picking the Neath Team V Cardiff - John was dropped and Hudgson brought in - altho only able to play this one game - John has been a most able player - in any position and in the eyes of most of us - Should have played in this 'plum' game. Altho perhaps not so stylist as Hodgson - he is a devastating tackler and gives of his all for the whole game - The Club will miss him - as he is not yet 21

                                                     Neath Athletic
Its funny but what is written is quite correct - this year altho not run by the Senior Side - they are called on more of our players than at any other time - which only goes to bear abit what I said when Neath started the Athletic
               Miracles must not be expected - you must look upon this as a 5 year plan

320 and investement - we are now in our third season since then and already have a potential wealth of talent second to none
               Quite obviously they cannot all play for Neath - but lots of them will be able to help Neath - out whenever they are short
               So far this season already Trevor Thomas Ken Gwyn - Dai Richards and Allun Buller have been called upon - Dai Richards is now the regular side forward
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