Rhondda Valley, South Wales (2. 30 Albany Street)
Royal Geographical Society
2. 30 Albany StreetFénykép: Society Royal Geographical, Royal Geographical Society
It was built in the late-nineteenth century as part of a housing boom that occurred when new collieries opened up and workers came to live in the area. As you can see, there was not much flat land available in Ferndale because the valley bottom is not very wide. So lines of terraced houses were built up and along the mountain sides. From 1910 to 1914, Emily Roberts lived here at 30 Albany Street with her first husband, Edward, and their son Eddie. Eddie was born here in January 1912. Many people rented their houses from private landlords or colliery owners. In fact Edward and Emily had only half of this house. Number 30 was divided into two apartments. Emily and her family lived on the first floor while a family of four lived on the ground floor. The houses have been modernised and extended since. When they were built, the steep roofs were covered with slates and the downstairs floors were with flagstones. There were just four rooms – two upstairs and two downstairs – plus a tiny kitchen. In the small back yards were outside toilets. Notice how the front doors on Albany Street open straight onto the pavement. The houses may have been small but women took great pride in keeping their homes clean and tidy. Jennifer: “When I was a little girl, we lived with Emily in a different house. I remember her scrubbing the doorstep once a week as part of her cleaning routine. She would slap our legs with a wet cloth if we walked past!” Emily was originally from Penrhiwceiber in the next valley. When she moved here to Ferndale, she was homesick. Her husband was on shift work and she missed her big family. Sometimes Emily would walk between the valleys just to have dinner at her mother’s house. We are now going to follow her route. Directions Almost opposite Number 30 Albany Street is a short street leading down to a recreation ground. Go down the street and follow the path past the play area. Stop halfway across the grass at the memorial to Sir Stanley Baker (actor and film producer born in Ferndale).
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