Last week my son repaired our video recorder
so one evening
we decided to watch a film
that I had been wanting to watch!
For sometime I had been telling myself that I should read the book as it is a classic.
A tale of life in a Welsh mining village
as told by a 60 year old
looking back on his life as a boy.
It was in black and white
......but that didn't detract from it's story.
Also the Welsh accents were appalling
but even that didn't detract from its impact on me.
It was filled with wonderful Welsh singing
that were sung so much in the chapels those days...
I have found myself dwelling on it so much over these last days that I felt I needed to share my thoughts
It won 5 Academy Awards
and showed life at the beginning of the century, I suppose, and the disintegration of family life
At the beginning
we saw the family together coming home
from work in the mines.
The values of family life......
adult sons and daughters sharing
the same small home.
All sitting round the table to eat with Pa at the head of the table carving the roast
and Mam seeing all was just right
before she too sat down
It made me think of my own Welsh Grandparents
and the similarities....
with adult children living at home
and going out to work
Grandad, his lunch box under his arm, coming home from work on the docks
Aunt and uncle coming home from their workplaces...
Granny at the end of the table
(no one dared to sit in her seat)......
That's where she always sat to talk to people, read the paper, do her crochet....
that was her place!
Grandad always sat it the corner,below the Grandmother clock, smoking his pipe,
reading his paper..
always there for a cuddle or to talk to.
A family together..
Chapel on a Sunday morning, a walk after lunch and
Granny preparing tea
and cutting the bread and butter
you could see through it
whilst she listened to the Welsh hymn singing
on the radio
The other thing that struck me about the film
was the sense of everyone belonging to each other
in the village......
something happened to one family and the rest were always there to help and support.
I remember so clearly that being the case
where my grandparents lived
The film just brought so many memories...
things I hadn't even realised that I was taking in as a child when I stayed there.
I am aware that I am jumping around a little
but the other thing that hit me between the eyes
was the way the boy in the story experienced a similar experience to that of my husband.
It really opened my eyes and made me realise how I had been brushing off the stories he had told me
and not really understood what he had gone through
and for that I feel sorry!
In the film the young lad was clever and had won a place at a school in the other valley.
He had to walk there
and when he arrived his shoes were dirty.
The other children mocked him
and fought with him
(it seemed encouraged by the teacher)!
and, in fact, the teacher bullied and beat him too.
The little boy was told he shouldn't be in school with dirty shoes and said,
"They were clean when I left home, Sir!"
The family farm that Hubbie was brought up on.....
Indeed where my own children
were brought up....
and now my son's boys too...
is two and a half miles from the nearest school.
The farm lane is tarmacked now...
but, when we were first married,
was three quarters of a mile of potholes and, in places when it was wet, the surface was like a riverbed.
This is Hubbie
This is Hubbie
Hubbie had to walk to school
six days a week!
Most of the children were from the town
and he used to get bullied
because of his dirty shoes. He recalls leaving his boots and changing at the top of the lane but it was still a long walk from there!!
When a teacher said to him why didn't he clean them with a hose he said, "What's a hose?"
He didn't know...
they didn't have running water...
only a well...
The teacher gave him the cane for being cheeky
and answering back....!!
Another similarity that hit me about the film
is that two of the sons were
earning less and less in the mines as work became scarce and left to seek work in America.
I think I shared in a past post
that Hubbie's father went to America
we thought in 1912
but our discoveries are moving on apace
(as I will share in another post) and we now know he arrived in 1914!
As you can see there were so many things that gave me food for thought
I wonder if there is a book ...
or a film..