Brymbo through the eyes of a child
In the early morning, just before dawn, I would walk through the streets of my village as the paperboy. The streets were quiet then, and the air was fresh and clean. The little shops and buildings that are busy during the day are now silenced, almost cathedral-like. Steelworkers' council houses stand at attention in the mist like a fine regimental line ready for inspection. Well, this is the best time to walk the streets you know, early in the day, when you can feel the history of the village and get inside of it, in a way.
My father and his father before him walked these streets to work, just as I do today. Yes, they too had a love for this little place. It was in their blood too. A village can become a part of you, you know, it can get inside of you. Yes, it can.
When I travel I some times get a longing for home, a craving, a sort of hunger. And I sometimes wake in the night and think of home. I see the streets; I see the old mines long ago closed. I see the old deserted and derelict brick yard, Cae-llo, with it's towering smoke stacks facing the 80 foot blue slate cliff face - Mount Zion, like a young boy staring up towards his older brother. Bits of bricks covered with years of dirt, moss and grass are the only reminders that this was a brick works. The pale yellow weathered blocks with Brymbo imprinted on the topside might be worth something now, sentimentally.
I recollect the times I spent playing around the cold pool with its bandstand that was forsaken and surrendered to nature. The bandstand is a waist high decayed concrete platform, with little tufts of grass growing out of the cracks and crumbling red brick wall. Standing erect like soldiers on guard, the iron posts that support the rusty brown, single railing that's bowed from years of children swinging on it, encloses the forgotten stage.
Looking from the stage towards the pool you see the Bottle, standing derelict like a shipwreck abandoned on the rocks. It's top blown off many decades ago with an underground rail system caved in. This old lead smelter built by Wilkinson, long ago deserted, abandoned, not needed, forgotten. Hurricane house still has remnants of the old narrow gauge track in its warehouse that's now converted to a garage to hold cars instead of carts.
I see the old stone buildings standing with dignity and keeping their secrets, yes secrets. Buildings have secrets, you know. Of course they do. They're full of events, lives and stories. Why, sometimes, early in the morning while I'm walking, I can hear the buildings whisper, "Do you know what happened here? Many things great and small, good and evil, many things we cannot reveal because history has sworn our walls to silence!"
I love those buildings and those streets. I love my little village Brymbo, and I love my country, My wonderful Wales.
Now all the papers are delivered, quick breakfast then off to school!