Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dafen, Llanelli - My Home Village & Town

Llanelli is known for its coal mining, tinplate & to date Dyfed Steel, Rugby, go 'Scarlet’s', and there are many Chapels, some of which are no-longer in use but stand there with their beauty, gathering weeds and wasting away. There is also the oldest brewery in Wales, called Felinfoel Brewery and a reservoir called Swiss Valley (another favorite place of mine) to name a few.

Swiss Valley Reservoir

Llanelli is where I was born and I grew up in the small village of Dafen. I have so many wonderful memories of my childhood and the friends I made. Llanelli beach is roughly twenty minutes drive from where I lived, give or take depending on traffic. Before I was born, my parents and my two elder sisters lived at, 49 Gors Fach, Dafen. I can't remember when we moved up the street to # 13 Y Waun, Dafen our new home, it was either just before or just after I came long (Sadly, it has been completely torn down, leaving a field of grass) I was born in  Glasfryn Maternity House, which is across the street from Parc Haward.

Llanelli Beach

Glasfryn Maternity House
Where I was born.

My home in, Y-Waun was built opposite a small river. I remember one day being asked to try out the Tarzan swing, that the neighbor kids made. What fun it was, although for a 6 year old, the river seemed massive and the Tarzan swing, extremely high up. On the other side of the river was lush green farmland and dotted here, and there were abandoned milking, and feeding sheds for cows. About 10 minutes of walking through those farm fields, you came to an Old Peoples Home, called T'y Gelli (which of course was off limits) but it had the biggest, Weeping Willow Tree, I had ever seen. It beckoned my sisters and I to run across the garden lawn, and sneak under it branches to play. I lived at # 13 Y Waun, until I was 8 years old. It was a happy time and many memories were made there (even having a street party celebrating, Queen Elizabeths Silver Jubliee)
Then we moved to Bryngwyn Bach (Where, my father still lives today)

St. Michaels and All Angels Church, Dafen
Our village's church.

Dafen Park 

Dafen Park Cricket Ground

Dafen Park. 

Dafen park, is where I spent many hours playing on the swings, slide and watching cricket matches or peek over the tall privet hedges to look at the immaculate bowling green. The park also had a community hall where I went to disco's! My 1st time was on my 13th birthday. 

I have many favorite places in my home town of Llanelli, and the one I want to share with you today, is a place that still stands today. It is a place my mother would take my sisters and me to visit, and play. When I'm lucky enough to fly home to Wales to visit my family, I make sure to stop by and absorb it's surrounding beauty, its history and its Mansion. Not to mention, jogging my memories of the wonderful times, I experienced there as a child and an adult, as well as my own children growing to love visiting Parc Howard.

Parc Howard

Parc Howard & its Bandstand

This place is ParcHowardParcHoward is an 18th Century Italianate architecture country house converted into a museum and Art Gallery, and if you ever find yourself passing through Llanelli, it is a must to visit. I love reading about who lived there, how they lived and the general day to day living. The outside architectural design is awe inspiring, clad in Bath Stone and all around the building, it's topped with a balustrade parapet with urns. Its grounds are kept immaculate and from spring till fall, an array of different flowers is in full bloom, covering the ground like a beautiful oil painting. On the grounds in front and left of the Mansion, sits a pond which house ducks and fish, off to the right is a remodeled Bandstand and further down from that are the sunken gardens. 

The Sunken Gardens at Parc Howard
I could only find this picture - I don't know who the people are in the picture. I hope they don't mind me using it :)

The Sunken Gardens were my mother's favorite place, to sit, relax and admire all the beautiful flowers, and shrubbery. She'd watch us play hide and go seek amongst the bushes, dart behind the old oak trees and watch us pick my favorite flower, the Bluebell. It also has two playgrounds, a bowling green, a paddling pool, many tree lined walking paths that all lead back to the Museum and also on site is a ring of Gorsedd Stones, with a central flat stone altar, (It looks something like Stonehenge)

Gorsedd Stones at Parc Howard

The inside of ParcHoward; is just as beautiful. As you open the heavy solid wood door and step through into large main foyer, the first thing you see is the grand staircase. It is something of beauty and elegance, and begs you to glide your fingertips along its banister and if your lucky, and no-one is around, you will want to slide down it! (Which I've done too many times to count and got caught once by the attendant there! Oops... Who just smiled... Lol)

Stepping into this wonderful country home/museum/gallery, it's as if, we are stepping back in time, in which we can imagine ourselves playing out a scene from the TV show, Downton Abbey:) albeit we are in jeans and a T-shirt, not the luxurious dress and corsets of the day!

Parc Howard is a rare beauty, that holds many wonderful stories and it's even deemed to be haunted! I will always love Parc Howard and the memories I made there all of which, I hold dear to my heart. 

Pictures of Parc Howard.


  1. I also lived at 13 y waun dafen & have many memories of the place,
    The little river opposite we used to call that the ditch,
    The old people's home i remember well...
    As kids do we explore & found ourselves once in the kitchen of the old peoples home eating yoghurt out of the fridges...
    Then making our way back through the fields & giving gwyn the farmer grief lol

  2. Oh my goodness, you lived at #13 y waun too! :) You have made my day. When did you live there? You remember the farmer's name :)
    Yes, we as a neighborhood, we were all close. So many memories and friendships made. I was so sad to see that those houses got knocked down.

  3. Yes i lived at number 13 right opposite he park....
    I loved y waun growing up so many memories which will last a lifetime,
    I was there up until i was about 16 so left in 1995 & my parents then moved to gorsfach just down the road,
    Ohhh what i would give to go back in time to the days & life of ywaun,
    Remember the fields well & going down st dais path & avon inflatables causing havok:)
    Yea remember the farmers name gwyn lol
    God looking back now we gave him some shit lol as kids did...
    Its a shame to see the 24 houses of y waun now gone..
    Everything i go to llanelli i always drive up the road of ywaun & park outside the park that once was & can picture myself playing footie on the grass...
    I remember the tarzan swing aswell:) & the ruins... would always get my worms from the ruins for fishing lol...

    1. How amazing is that! Its really interesting to hear you lived at #13 too. I agree, I loved growing up there, such wonderful memories. I do the same thing, whenever I get to go back home ( which is rare as I live in USA ) I have to drive up to y waun :) So, I'm guessing you went to bryngwyn comp too?

  4. Wow Usa bet is beautiful there,
    Yea went to dafen primary then bryngwyn comp
    That brings back some memories too....
    Bat man, dread, coffee pot lol
    God i feel old now thinking back...
    I'm bloody 41 this year, how time flies & i remember it like yesterday
    I now live in neath
    My parents are still in gorsfach tho...
    God made me smile knowing you lived at number 13 too...
    I remember nxt door number 14 had strawberry's growing & would often pick them lol

    1. Utah has its own kind of beauty, it being a desert. It has sepctaculr mountain range that are a subrange of th Rocky Mountains. It gets rather hot here in the summer months though, but thank goodness we have AC :) As me, s fair skinned readhead frys in the sun lol.

      Gosh, Batman, Dread! I remmber those guys. Coffee pot doesn't ring a bell with me :/ But I remmeber winnie the witch lol I also had wubber lips for geology! He wore the tightest trousers lol Then there was Mrs. Blewiit the netball teacher and Miss Davies ( then to Mrs) the hockey teacher ( which her parents lived by us when we moved from #13. They were my coaches as I was on both the netball A team and the hockey team for Llanelli. I also had Mr. Davies for class registration and English. Then, Mr. Davies for art, Dai Maths for maths. I didn't like him lol Mind you he did have a triple bypass when I was in school there.

      I had a best friend who lived in Gors Fach. Alison Lewis was her name then another girl, called Gail who lived opposite Alison.

      You feel old - gosh, I'm 49 this year! But its crazy how we can remember it like it was yesterday.

      #14 :) Gosh, strawberries. No which way was #14 if your looking out to the fields? As my mam's best friend lived next door to us and I think it was on the right hand side, if looking out to the fields :)

      So, much fun reliving old memories ;)

  5. God that made me chuckle then,
    Wubber lips lol miss blewiit remember her morris mina car the green thing

    Winnie the witch lol
    Selwyn Williams maths teacher
    Margret williams...
    Diane evans...
    God the memories just come back..
    I remember going down to yowans shop on dinner break getting a burger...
    Or buying someone's dinner token for 50pence...

    Gud god yeah dai maths,
    He become a magistrate in the llanelli courts
    Coffee pot the r.e teacher lol

    Yea number 14 as your looking towards the fields next door the right handside had a strawberry bush in their garden & remember always pinching them lol

    Alison Lewis rings a bell
    Sure she had a son Richard lewis
    Richard must be about 43 now...

    I know its mad to think i can close my eyes and its like playing a video in my mind like i was there like yesterday...

    Those memories will never fade...

    Utah sounds lovely...
    So how come you made such a big move...

    1. Heck! Yes, Miss Blewitt's green car! :)

      Yes, I remmeber those teachers. I had Wendy Jones for maths.
      Dinner tokens lol gosh 50p. You can't get anything for that price these days lol I used to get chicken soup from the bvedning machine lol

      Flippig heck, Dia maths became a magistrate! That doesn't surprise me lol

      Coffee pot = R.E teacher. I don't remember that one. I did take R.E for GCSE too. I guess the grey matter in my head is fading on somethings lol

      I guess, I can only remember certain things about #13 and #14 I was so young. But moved im thinking now in my 7th year. But the tarzan swing and the feilds I will never forget - well that is until dementia sets in lol

      Wait, so Gail what was her surname? I know she had a baby while she was in her last year of school. At the time it was quite the scandal. Alison though she had a son, Richard! OMG :) I wish I'd kept in contact with them. I had another good friend that was in our group, Michelle ( she was the only girl of colour and tall :) I think I have a picture somewhere, of her and Alison when we were playing cricket. Alison was on the netball team with me.

      Utah - moved here with my Ex. Its 15 years this month since we moved here. He moved back to Merthyr in 2010.

      Your in Neath. What took you up that way? My dad was in a nursing home in Neath after he had a brain hemorrhage. He was in Morriston Hospital for a long while before the care home in Neath.


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