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Sunday, May 29, 2011


Caerphilly Castle

This the castle that I grew up hearing stories about.  My dad was born in Caerphilly and I still have cousins living there, so I visit as often as I can.  This year it's a special visit, because my cousin Sheila had a stroke last November and I want to see her and spend time with her family and the other cousin, Janet, whose mother Joyce (another distant cousin of mine) passed away earlier this year.
The Filer Cousins
I love the little town of Caerphilly, nestled in the green hills north of Cardiff.  When he was young, my Dad worked in the Bedwas Navigational Collieries just outside of the town.
The collieries were in the hills just behind the town.
The collieries no longer exist and the slag heap is overgrown with some new houses being built in the area. From the time he was 14 years old, my dad trudged out there every morning before daylight and trudged home every night when it was dark, sometimes never seeing daylight for weeks. He lost his mining cards in the early 30's because he spoke for the men and immigrated to Canada as there was no more work for him.

Windsor Street, where my Dad lived.
On my first few visits to Caerphilly, starting in 1974, my two old uncles, Reg and George, still lived in the family home.  After they passed away it became occupied by others.  But each time I go to Caerphilly I still walk down Windsor Street and visit the old Filer homestead.
My sister Jean and I in front of Dad's home.
Caerphilly is famous for its cheese, and the castle which has a long, interesting history. You can read more about Caerphilly on this previous blog, written last July.

The last time I visited Caerphilly I also spent a day with my cousins at the St. Fagan's Heritage Park, which has examples of Welsh life going right back to the Iron Age.  I've also visited the fairy-tale Castel Coch which is nearby.

Not sure what I'll see this time but I'm looking forward to a few cold pints in the pub with the cousins, and some of those delicious fish and chips! And of course, my annual tour through Caerphilly Castle.  I'm still looking for the ghost of that green lady!  Maybe this time I'll see her?

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