OLD MEMORIES OF ABERTILLERY By S. ROGERS I feel of my home town something like Mr. Churchill felt of England when he used these words: England had been to him like a Mistress that could tease, please, baffle and refuse him. For he thought quite simply that England was the best place on earth, and that Christianity in the end was the most Enlightened Philosophy and that honouring family and friends were the accolade of life, and payment for this was work and duty to your fellow man. Where shall I begin? I was born in 1877, Queen Victoria had reigned 40 of her 60 Glorious years, Disraeli was Prime Minister, Abertillery was just beginning to wake up from a village and to become a busy industrial town on account of its wealth of coal in these old mountains. There were only two pits, Penybont and Cwmtillery. Cwmtillery was sunk about 1850, Penybont a year or so afterwards. There had been many Levels before this, but those were the only pits. Roseheyworth came sometime in the 1870's. The Vivian and Grey collieries I well remember being sunk about 1887, and the Arael Griffin later. The Levels I remember were Six Bells, Rhiw-Parc, Union Buchstown, P.A.S. Gwrhyh, Spillingers, Habbuckuk, Salts, Latchis, Cwnanty and others. The G.W.R. first station was just under the footbridge, the second just where the Library is now, also the Goods Yard, the third the one just abandoned. It was a single line then and did not go to Brynmawr, and we had Horse-Brake from there, as it was a different company, L. & North E. The Tinworks employed a goodly number in those days; otherwise Abertillery was more or less a mining village, no banks, no lawyer, no chemist. The first bank was a branch of the Capital & Counties who sent a man down a couple of days a week from Brynmawr. The first lawyer was a Mr. Webb who came a couple of days a week from Pontypool, then came another a day or so weekly from Brecon. A Mr. Price and then T. H. Prichard were the first chemists. You could get leeches and Beechams pills, Police news and wallpaper from Williams the Bookshop, whose shop was a real Whitleys of those days. Mr. Williams was the minister of Carmel Chapel, he was also the first printer and bookseller, then came Messrs. Richards & Tilney, Durant, Raffan, Haylings, etc., where the old Gazette was printed. Abertillery in my early youth consisted of several separate hamlets, Cwmtillery, or as we often called it South Wales (because the Colliery was owned by the South Wales Colliery Company) it was the largest Hamlet. Penybont was quite a noted place then, Blaenau Gwent was the Mecca of religion. Newtown was built chiefly to house the new Roseheyworth population, Six Bells was