NLW Screen & Sound Archive

The Screen and Sound Archive is part of the National Library of Wales; it aims to preserve, promote and celebrate the sound and moving image heritage of Wales.

As part of our first project, 'The Records and Testimonies of the South Wales Jewish Community', we recorded and transcribed over 70 oral histories from members of the local Jewish communities, including many from those who have now moved elsewhere.

Their recordings and the memories they contain paint a vivid picture of what it was like to grow up in the communities of the towns and cities of South Wales in the early part of the twentieth century.

The full recordings and transcriptions can be accessed by visiting the National Library of Wales, but 193 clips from them have been uploaded to the People’s Collection Wales website.

Below is a full transcription of one of the interviews, together with several clips from the recording.

Transcript Of The Oral History Interview With Patricia Morris

00:00 / 04:33
00:00 / 01:17
00:00 / 02:23

Interviewer: Mike Hawkins, Jewish History Association of South Wales

Interviewee: Patricia Morris

Date: 27 June 2018

Location: London, England

Transcriber: Lauren M. Edwards

JHASW Reference Number: jhasw_oh_morris.patricia

Total Duration: 30:57

 

Abstract:

 

The following is an interview with Patricia Morris who was born in 1943. Although Pat grew up in London, her mother was Welsh and therefore she spent a lot of time visiting her maternal grandparents in Wales. During the Second World War, Pat briefly lived with her mother at her grandparent’s home in Cardiff.

 

In the interview, Pat notes that she does feels a strong connection to Wales given her family’s connections there and her frequent visits ever since she was a child. In discussing her Welsh identity, Pat reflects that she believes religious and national identity to be distinctly separate, and therefore does not identify any differences between these two identities. Regarding her family heritage, Pat reveals that her maternal family settled in Wales from Austria during the 1880s and her paternal family moved from Russia in the early 1910s. Although Pat has never permanently lived in Wales, she has a lot of knowledge regarding Jewish communities in South Wales. Significantly, she recollects stories she has been told about the valleys and Brynmawr and how Jewish communities operated there. The depth of her knowledge rests in Cardiff where her grandparents lived and in Cardiff she can recall memories of attending Cathedral Road Synagogue.

 

Key Words:

 

Jews, Jewish, Jewish community, Hebrew, Cardiff, Brynmawr, Kosher, Cathedral Road, Penylan, Second World War, World War II, WW2, Roath Park, Jewish youth study group

[JHASW oral history recording introduction – 00:00 to 00:24]

 

MH: Right, we will now begin the recording with Pat Morris. This recording takes place at Pat’s home in London on the 27th June 2018. This recording is being collected as an oral history by the Jewish History Association of South Wales. Pat has agreed to be taped, yes?

 

PM: [Indicates yes off tape.]

 

[Pat Morris introduction – 00:24 to 00:41]

 

MH: I am Mike Hawkins and Klavdija Erzen is recording. Okay, Pat, could you just introduce yourself to us, please?

 

PM: Right, I’m Pat Morris. I wasn’t born in Wales myself, but my mother was born in Wales and her, her great.. her grandparents were the ones who first came to the Welsh valleys.

 

[Maternal and paternal heritage – 00:42 to 01:51]

 

MH: Okay. Could you tell me a bit about how her grandparents came to Wales?

 

PM: They came from Austria to England, I presume that they came either because of persecution or for, for economic reasons. During the time in the 1880s, when there was a very large immigration at the time, they had been living in, in Vienna. They came originally from Lemberg in Galicia and then they were in Vienna, and they came from Vienna to England, as far as I know, in 1885. Whether they came directly to the valleys, or whether they were somewhere else first, it’s not known in the family.

 

MH: And this is your mother’s parents we’re talking about?

 

PM: My mother’s parents and grandparents, and they’re, they’re all buried in the Brynmawr cemetery.

 

MH: Okay, and where are your father’s parents from?

 

PM: They’re from Russia.

 

MH: They’re from Russia.

 

PM: And my father came with his mother, his father had died before he was born. His mother came with her widowed mother and her six-month-old son across Europe and arrived in England in 1911.

 

[How Pat’s parents met – 01:52 to 02:15]

 

MH: Okay. So, how did your parents meet? Did they meet in England, or…?

 

PM: They met at a student organisation in the 30s.

 

MH: Right. And then they—where were they living then? Where did they go to live?

 

PM: They were based in London.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: Although, during the war, when my father was in the army, my mother took me as a little baby down to Cardiff…

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: …which is where her parents were then living, and my first few years were really in Cardiff.

 

[Memories of maternal grandparents and Cardiff – 02:15 to 04:19]

 

MH: So, you remember your mother’s parents?

 

PM: Very well.

 

MH: Can you describe them? Tell me what they were like.

 

PM: My grandfather, I can remember him very much like his younger photos, but white haired. Very quiet, he was a very taciturn man, but he could be very good company. He loved to walk, and I love to walk, and I can remember going with him for walks out of Cardiff up into the hills, sometimes for a couple of hours at a time. And my grandmother, by the time I knew her, was quite ill with rheumatoid arthritis and moved very difficult… with great difficulty, but she was very sweet natured and very good company, and I can remember her reading to me as a child and singing to me as a child, and I have very good memories of their home in Cardiff.

 

MH: So, around what year would you have arrived at Cardiff?

 

PM: In 1944.

 

MH: 1944, so, the end of the war.

 

PM: Yes, I was born in 1943.

 

MH: Yes, okay. What are your—what age did you leave Cardiff?

 

PM: Well, in 1946 when my father was demobbed and came home, then my mother came back to London.

 

MH: So, your memories are of visiting, rather than of the time that you lived there?

 

PM: Yes, I was too little to remember living there, but we were very frequent visitors there.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: And I always slept in the same room, I have visions—I can visualise the whole house there.

 

MH: Right. What area did your parents…?

 

PM: They lived in Llandaff Road.

 

MH: Your grandparents.

 

PM: Llandaff Road in Cardiff.

 

MH: Yes, yes. Okay, and do you know what synagogue they went to there?

 

PM: I would imagine Cathedral Road.

 

MH: Do you remember Cathedral Road yourself at all?

 

PM: Vaguely.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: Because I used to go there, yes, sometimes on Sabbath with my father, I can remember the big, round room there. It was a very pretty, very beautiful synagogue.

 

MH: Were your grandparents a very observant family?

 

PM: They were observant.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: Like a lot of people of their time, probably without much knowledge behind it, but they were observant.

 

[Stories overhead about the Cardiff Jewish community – 04:20 to 05:46]

 

MH: Right. So, did you get told stories about Cardiff and the Jewish community when you went down there?

 

PM: Yes, I mean, my parents were, and my uncles were, often reminiscing, but even much more so when I met my husband because his father also grew up there. He was a contemporary of my uncles, and of course, then, you can imagine, the childhood reminiscences came out.

 

MH: So, what type of thing would they talk about?

 

PM: They would talk what life was like there, about how the community, about personalities within the community, very much what life was like with the cheder and with the school, and their relationships with their non-Jewish neighbours, the boys.

 

MH: Do you remember any of this? Can we talk about it now?

 

PM: I think a lot of the stories that I remember will be the same ones that Anthony’s [Morris] already told you.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: But I can remember the story of the cheder boys’ revolt, when the teacher…

 

MH: Yes, yes.

 

PM: …had been over strict and had caned, and the boys decided they were going on strike.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: And I can remember being told, I have one uncle—my middle uncle—was—ended up a multi-millionaire and he was already practicing for that, he didn’t like spending his money, and the boys on a Sunday afternoon used to sort-of get a film, a silent film, and sit and watch the film, and everybody had to contribute two pennies, and to get their pennies off Uncle Lewis they had to turn him upside down and shake it out of his pockets. I heard that both through Anthony’s family and my other uncle.

 

[Knowledge about the valleys – 05:46 to 07:26]

 

MH: And you have relatives in the valleys as well?

 

PM: My mother was actually born in Cwmfelinfach.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: And I think moved into Brynmawr when they were five.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: I had an uncle, Oswald, my grandfather’s brother, who was either in Merthyr or Llanelli, I’m not sure which, but other than that, no.

 

MH: So, you wouldn’t have any knowledge of Cwmfelinfach or Brynmawr yourself?

 

PM: Not from them.

 

MH: Well, would you have heard talk about it?

 

PM: They certainly talked about it, but I only went to Cwmfelinfach over two years ago when we took our grandchildren to do the ancestry tour.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: And I had the address at which she was born, and we went to the village and I found the house, didn’t quite have the courage to knock on the door.

 

MH: No. Okay.

 

PM: So, they talked about it. They talked about when they were children…

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: …sent out to play.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: They used to go up and play in the yard of the mine entrance.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: And they had their big vats (??) of tar and other things that were products, and children are curious, and my mother was a child and wanted to see inside. So, her brothers lifted her up to see and she fell in.

 

MH: Oh, right.

 

PM: So, apparently, it took three weeks’ worth of margarinings to get—butter—to get it all off her.

 

MH: I bet she was popular at that time.

 

PM: Well, my uncles were very popular, yes, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination [laughs]. And the boys talking about going over the hill to Brynmawr to school and to cheder.

 

[Knowledge of Brynmawr Jewish community – 07:26 to 12:23]

 

MH: Yes. So, when they lived in Cwmfelinfach, so, they went to Brynmawr they did from there?

 

PM: Yes, yes.

 

MH: Was there a—there wasn’t a synagogue in Cwmfelinfach?

 

PM: No. If—I don’t think there would have been a minyan there…

 

MH: No.

 

PM: If, if anything, two or three families.

 

MH: Yes, okay. So, do you have any—did you get any stories of Brynmawr at all while you were there?

 

PM: Yes, they talked about—the uncles, particularly, talked about their childhood there.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: And growing up there.

MH: Yes.

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: Okay. So, have you any—you went back there a couple of years ago.

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: And you got knowledge when you were there and used to visit, is there anything in between at all about your knowledge about South Wales?

 

PM: I used to go back there, we went up into the valleys and around, at that stage, the community in Brynmawr was practically dying.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: There was a shul there, we were never there for a Shabbos, so, I never went into the shul.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: But because Anthony’s grandfather still lived in Brynmawr, I got to know it more for a couple of years before he died, around about the time we got engaged, because whenever I went down there, I’d go up to visit him and then he—we’d go up to his house, and he would then take us round the village and “You know this, and you remember this, and you remember this,” and reminisce about the families and the things that had been.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: So, that’s when I got to know it, to know it more. And when I remember the boys talking about, my uncles, talking about—one of the things was remarkable about Brynmawr, of course, all these communities, they were very poor people…

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: …living hand from mouth, there came a time where they needed a Torah scroll for the community, and there wasn’t one person or two or three people that could put the money together to write one—they’re handwritten, they’re expensive. So, on the, the Atzai Chayim, the wooden supports for the Torah which is rolled, the names of all the people who contributed towards it are there, and there’s about 30 or 40 names, and of course, a lot of those names are very familiar.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: You know, so, it’s really an exercise in the sentimentality whenever I’ve seen it, to look down and “Yes, I remember this one, and I remember that one, and I remember the other.”

 

MH: I’m going to ask you a bit more about Cardiff in a moment, but is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Brynmawr or Cwmfelinfach or the valleys at all?

 

PM: That I think they had a unique way of life there, that their wonderful relationships with their non-Jewish neighbours was possibly, at that time, unique. That each community had a respect for and an admiration for the other, and that the numerous stories of how they worked together. I mean, things like, they had the young Rabbis, very often the Rabbi in Brynmawr would be a young man who would sort of cut his teeth on one of these communities, and he was also responsible for the Shechita, for, for the killing the animals and they had the non-Jewish slaughterers and men who worked with them and helped them. And if they had a very young Rabbi who wasn’t doing it properly, the slaughter-men would come to the heads of the community and say, “Look, you need to speak to Rabbi so-and-so, it’s not our place to do it, but you know, he’s making this mistake and this mistake, and I’m not sure the meat is kosher.”

 

MH: Yes, yes. Alright.

 

PM: And they had a—with the kosher meat, it was once a week they slaughtered, and then the meat went and that was it. There was no freezers in those days, so, you had your meat and you had your bit of meat or your chicken for the Sabbath, the rest of the week you probably didn’t see meat.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: But they had a separate counter in the ordinary butcher shop, and after the meat was finished, people would come in and say to the butcher, “Have you got a bit of kosher left?”

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: Because they knew it was really fresh, it had been slaughtered that day.

 

MH: Yes, I see. Oh, right, okay. Yes. So, wait until the Jews had gone and got their kosher, then go and see…

 

PM: If anything left, yes. It was a nice thing to find. The other thing is my mother tells me that obviously no milk deliveries the way we had, I grew up to doorstep deliveries of milk and bread in the 40s and 50s, so… But what would happen was the farmer would bring his cow into the central square and everyone would come with their jugs or whatever containers and have the milk straight into the jug.

 

MH: So, there was a lot of cooperation between the Jewish community and the local community.

 

PM: Yes, yes.

 

[Knowledge of Cardiff Jewish community – 12:24 to 13:53]

 

MH: Okay. So, is your knowledge of south Wales mainly valleys based or Cardiff, or a mix of the two?

 

PM: My own experience is mostly—my own personal experience is Cardiff based.

 

MH: Okay, right. So, we’ll talk about Cardiff now then. So, do you have any knowledge about how—and this would be your grandparents we’re talking about living there?

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: Do you have any recollection of how easy it would have been for them to lead a kind of kosher life there in Cardiff?

 

PM: I think they had everything there. There was kosher deli, there were two kosher delicatessens, I think, in—no, they weren’t delicatessens, they were grocery shops.

 

MH: Okay, yes.

 

PM: Two kosher grocery shops. Was it one or two butchers in Cardiff?

 

AM: Two.

 

PM: There were two butchers, two kosher butchers there, two kosher grocery shops, and fresh fruit and vegetables and everything else, no supermarkets in those days.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: But there was—there was—it wasn’t difficult.

 

MH: Did you get a feel for what the social life was like there?

 

PM: Very good social life, a very, very close-knit community.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: A lot of ‘discussion’ in inverted commas.

 

MH: Right, yes.

 

PM: But very close and if anyone needed anything, people were there immediately.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: Whether they’d been quarrelling, whether they hadn’t been quarrelling, if you needed something, you got—there were people there to help.

 

MH: Yes. So, you got the feeling that when it mattered, then people would pitch in and?

 

PM: Absolutely. Absolutely.

 

[Memories of Cathedral Road Synagogue – 13:54 to 15:10]

 

MH: Okay. Do you—you say your grandparents were fairly observant, have you got recollections of going to the synagogue there at all?

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: And this would be Cathedral Road?

 

PM: Would be Cathedral Road, yes.

 

MH: Can you describe Cathedral Road to me?

 

PM: Well, I was quite young.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: But I do have remembrance of this round—it was a round synagogue which was completely different to the synagogues I would have gone to in London.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: This beautiful round room, very pretty, very well decorated. I can remember the, the—they had a good chazen there, it was really nice to listen to the services. I don’t remember much about the sermons.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: I probably either played or went to sleep.

 

MH: Were you there for any High Holy Days or Feast Days at all?

 

PM: Yes, we would have gone down for Rosh Hashanah. I think in Pesach everyone came to my mother, they came to us. But for Rosh Hashanah, we sometimes went down to Cardiff, yes.

 

MH: And was that similar to London, or did you notice a difference between Cardiff and London when you went there?

 

PM: I don’t think I noticed that much difference.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: It was very much the same in both, yes.

 

[Memories of Cardiff and the Cardiff Jewish community – 15:10 to 18:58]

 

MH: Were there any people you remember from Cardiff in the community?

 

PM: Do I remember from Cardiff?

 

MH: Other than your grandparents?

 

PM: My uncles.

 

MH: Okay, yes.

 

PM: My uncle was very central in the Cardiff-

 

MH: Tell me about your uncle.

 

PM: Name was David Shane.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: Very central in the Cardiff community.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: They moved out from the Llandaff Road area into Roath Park.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: And I think they were among the founder members of the Cyncoed and…

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: …Penylan community.

 

MH: Okay, yes.

 

PM: So, I do have quite a lot of memories of Penylan.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: Because as a teenager, my grandparents weren’t there anymore, and I used to go and stay with my uncle.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: So…

 

MH: So, was Penylan becoming a Jewish area at that time or was that very?

 

PM: Yes, that I think, at that time, Cathedral Road—no, Windsor Place had closed, and Cathedral Road was still there.

 

MH: Right, yes.

 

PM: Yes, I don’t think I ever went to Windsor, not knowingly, remembering going to Windsor Place. I think my grandfather davenned at Cathedral Road.

 

MH: Yes. Did anyone mention or think about the Reform there, or was that just not spoken about?

 

PM: There was a Reform shul there, there was there by the time I was a teenager.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: Just that we didn’t have anything to do with it.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: I was a member of Jewish youth study groups which is how I met Anthony.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: And in Cardiff, there was a very strong study group.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: And I—so, I knew a lot of the people in the Welsh study group.

 

MH: So, where did that meet in Cardiff?

 

PM: They—that would have met in Penylan shul.

 

MH: Okay, yes. Can you describe what activities they did there?

 

PM: It was—well, they used to meet on a Sunday evening, you would have a lecture.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: Which was usually very interesting, then there would be discussion group and probably word games…

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: …and then, refreshments, general sit around, sing, dance, talk. It was our social, social life.

 

MH: Yes, and that would have been every week?

 

PM: They were there every week, yes.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: I don’t know whether the Newport boys came through every week, yes.

 

MH: If they were allowed, yes.

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: I don’t think—whatever the conditions between the two communities, I don’t think they ever banned the study group people, the kids from coming across to study group.

 

MH: Yes, yes.

 

PM: They, they, they were, I must say, these Welsh communities, they were very disputatious lot, but there was never any—what’s the word I’m looking for? There was never any bad feeling in it.

 

MH: No animosity?

 

PM: No animosity, that’s it.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: There was never animosity, there were differences of opinion, sometimes very strongly voiced, but there was never animosity.

 

MH: Okay. Do you have any other memories of Cardiff at all?

 

PM: I can remember playing in Llandaff Park.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: Going to Llandaff Park with my grandparents.

 

MH: That would have been opposite your house?

 

PM: Right opposite, they lived right opposite the park, yes.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: And I remember my mother telling another story, my grandmother wanting some peace and quiet in the house, probably to prepare for Shabbat or Yom Tov or whatever, tell the brothers, “Go out, go play, take your sister with you. I don’t want to see you till lunch time.” So, they’d go to Llandaff Park to play and they’d meet up with their friends, and they’d want to play cowboys and Indians, and they had this wretched girl with them who they really could have done well without. So, they made a very good decision, she was going to be the squaw, so she was going to be tied to the tree and they were going to fight over her. Only one problem, when they went home to lunch, they forgot to untie her.

 

MH: Oh right, okay.

 

[Laughter.]

 

PM: Again, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination [laughs].

 

MH: They went back the following week and found her [laughs].

 

PM: Yes. My grandfather was a fairly strict father as well [laughs].

[What does Wales mean to you? – 18:59 to 19:45]

 

MH: You were born in Scotland, lived in London.

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: Do you feel connections with Welsh- do you feel Welsh in any way?

 

PM: Yes, I do feel a connection to Wales.

 

MH: What does that mean to you?

 

PM: I think, it’s my childhood, I remember Wales, I remember my childhood, it’s my grandparents.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: When we went back to Wales two years ago to take our grandchildren to the places that meant such a lot to us, I almost felt like I was coming home.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: It really did because there was a very strong connection with my—with my Welsh grandparents. My other grandparents had, in 1950, went to live in Israel and I didn’t see them after that. So, really, the grandparents I grew up with were the ones in Cardiff.

 

MH: Yes, okay.

 

PM: And my mother was very close with her parents.

 

[Relationship between Welsh identity and Jewish identity – 19:45 to 22:08]

 

MH: Do you see any similarities or differences between Welshness and Jewishness at all?

 

PM: Not that I was aware of as a child.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: You know, just everything fitted in.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: Certainly, no discomfort.

 

MH: Yes, yes.

 

PM: It was, you know, they’re Welsh, they were Jewish, each was a part of—I think I still feel like that.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: I don’t feel a great difference because I’m Jewish to my Englishness, I don’t feel it affects it. I think religion and nationality are two separate things.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: And two separate loyalties which don’t clash and, as far as our lives are concerned, have never clashed.

 

MH: So, you felt, generally, that the Jewish community was welcome in Wales?

 

PM: Yes, yes.

 

MH: And they cooperated well with each other, the Jewish and the non-Jewish?

 

PM: Yes. Well, my brother-in-law, also a couple of years ago, the same year that we went, had done a pilgrimage, if you like, back to the things of his childhood.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: And when they were in Brynmawr, you know, the jeweller’s shop that my husband’s grandfather used to have is still a jeweller’s shop.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: And he’s still got a clock on the wall that says J. Morris Jeweller’s. So, we were in there and we were talking to him and reminiscing there, and my brother-in-law said they’d gone—there’s a little museum in Brynmawr as well, which has a section on the Jewish life in Brynmawr, and they were there, and they were looking round this, and somebody came up to them and said, you know, “What’s your connection?” And they explained it and she said, “I wish the Jewish people had never left Brynmawr, we were so comfortable when they were here, and it’s been hard since then.”

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: And asked why did they leave, and of course, I suppose it’s the same reasons as, you know, the economy went down…

 

MH: Yes, yes.

 

PM: …there wasn’t a living. The children—the youngsters wanted to be in a centre where there were more people, you know, because in those days we wouldn’t dream of marrying outside the faith.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: And there’s a very high in-marriage, you know, the people—a very high proportion of the Welsh people married inside the faith at a time when there were a lot of people moving away. So, there was a very great communal feeling of loyalty, but they didn’t feel that that, that that separated them from their neighbours either.

 

[Memories from photographs – 22:09 to 26:08]

 

MH: Now, you’ve got a number of photos here, we talked about some of these with your husband, but are there any of these that bring back any memories that you’d like to talk about at all?

 

PM: Well, this one, as I said, this is—I’m obviously, not memories for myself, this is before I was born.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: This is my great-grandparents and their three sons.

 

MH: Okay, yes.

 

PM: Right? And as we just looking on the family tree that there’s—it’s interesting, I never realised that there was a fourth son who, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem to have come with them…

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: …to, to England. And this one, this is my grandparents with my two uncles.

 

MH: So, your grandparents were born—where would they have been born?

 

PM: He came with his parents, Adolphus came with his parents, right?

 

MH: Okay, right.

 

PM: And Leah, my grandmother, she came from Romania.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: And they, they got married. Now, the interesting thing is that I have a daughter who is an absolute living image of her.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: She really—when I first saw this picture, I thought, “My heavens, that is Estée (??).”

 

MH: And where would they have been living?

 

PM: This would have been taken probably in Cwmfelinfach.

 

MH: Okay, right. Yes.

 

PM: They were the ages of the children.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: And this one, that’s my mother as a baby.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: And I think that would also have been in Cwmfelinfach.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: That’s my grandfather as I remember him because all the difference there was between this picture and the man I knew was the colour of his hair.

 

MH: Okay, yes.

 

PM: And that’s my grandmother at my mother’s wedding.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: But you can see, she was already suffering from arthritis by then.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: See the difference between that picture and the one of her as a young woman?

 

MH: Yes. Okay.

 

PM: That’s my parents in their older days. This…

 

MH: The parents one, where would that have been taken, do you know?

 

PM: …this one, this was taken—they used to go back and forth from Zambia, they came on the union castle line.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: Because to fly was quite a performance, it used to maybe take eighteen hours to fly from there to England with two changes of plane.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: So, they used to like to come by sea and that made their holiday for the year. So, this was on one of the voyages.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: And this one was at the very end of their lives with my grandson, that’s their great grandson, and they’d already been living back in England for 10 years then.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: More than 10 years, maybe 20 years then.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: So, that’s my father with him. That’s my mother with all her paintings. This is the daughter who looks so like my grandmother.

​​

MH: Okay.

 

PM: Yes. And then these are my husband’s family there.

 

MH: Okay, these are your husband’s family, yes.

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: There’s a black and white photo here, there’s a set of three somewhere. There’s a very distinguished looking gentleman here.

 

PM: Now, that was my, my father’s grandfather.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: Now, we’re a Lubavitch family, although I didn’t grow up knowing that.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: Because—but he was actually one of the secretaries to the fifth Lubavitcher rebbe.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: So, my girls, who are very much into the being Lubavitch, are very proud of him. He was a personality. In fact, a few years ago, I was in Crown Heights and somebody there who was a book collector, I told him about this gentleman, whose name is Reb Simcha Sacks, and he went into his library and came back with a book of the speeches of the, of the fifth rebbe, and he showed me my grand—my great-grandfather’s writing in the margin as a commentary on the speech.

 

MH: Oh right, so it was there.

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: His name was Simcha Sacks.

 

[Great-grandfather and grandfather’s shop – 26:13 to 30:30]

 

MH: Okay. Is there anything you’d like me to ask now, Klavdija?

 

[Break in the recording.]

 

MH: Right, sorry, we’re just looking a photograph in the (______________??)-

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: (___________??) ancestry here, yes.

 

PM: This one was my great-grandfather’s shop, the original drapery shop. Right, this was around the corner from where Anthony’s grandfather’s shop was now, you know, his shop was here, and what is now a café on the corner, and round the back three shops down is this one. They moved from there to the one—the shop that is now the café that’s on the corner where the round turns, and my grandfather had the shop that was next to Anthony’s grandfather’s.

 

MH: Right, okay.

 

PM: But this was the original one, this is the one my great-grandparents had.

 

MH: Right, and is that next door to number 36 there?

 

PM: Yes. This is 35.

 

MH: 35, okay.

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: And that’s Bailey Street.

 

PM: That’s?

 

MH: Bailey Street?

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: Yes. It’s now, I think, it’s either a shoe shop or a video place.

 

MH: So, do you remember that shop?

 

PM: No.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: I wouldn’t because by the time I knew them they’d been living in Cardiff for about 15 or 20 years.

 

MH: Yes, okay.

 

PM: Yes, I knew from Anthony’s grandfather his shop. Now, when they lived here, when they were there, they lived above the shop.

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: When they were in this one.

 

MH: Okay, and what type of shop was it at that time?

 

PM: It was a draper’s shop.

 

MH: A draper’s shop.

 

PM: A credit draper.

 

MH: So, when you say that, did they also tour around and visit people in their homes, or did everyone come into the shop?

 

PM: Not by then, by the time they had a shop, they would have stayed with the shop and people…

 

MH: Right.

 

PM: …would have come into them. I don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t mind betting that when he first started there, he also went around the villages with a pack.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: And then when they decided they had to be there for Shabbat and they’re going to stay, then he bought a shop.

 

MH: Okay, yes. Yes.

 

PM: But I don’t know, I don’t know very much about their lives before they came. I don’t know whether they came with money, or whether they came with just themselves and they had to build up, and I don’t think there’s anybody in the family now anymore who would know.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: I do know the china pieces over there, they came from my grandparents.

 

MH: Right, okay.

 

PM: Now, my grandfather had a pawn shop.

 

MH: Where would that have been?

 

PM: That would have been the one that was next to Anthony’s grandfather’s shop.

 

MH: Okay, yes.

 

PM: And whether this was stuff that he acquired through the pawn shop or whether this came with them from Austria, again, we don’t know.

 

MH: Having a pawn shop, certain people feel awkward about that, are you happy to talk about that or is it something…?

 

PM: They talked about it, I mean, this wasn’t—it was a fact of life in the valleys.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: And I told you, people got paid on the Friday, by Sunday night there’s no money.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: Right, so, what did they do? The Sunday suit went to the pawn shop and on Friday when they got paid, it got redeemed, and on Sunday, it came back, and that’s how they lived, that’s how the people lived then.

 

MH: So, did the—the people that got paid on Friday, they’d shut the shop on Friday evening?

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: So, there was a mad rush to get the money in before the shop shut, I presume?

 

PM: I would imagine, yes, yes.

 

MH: Yes, because I guess if they left it till the Monday, people would have no money left.

 

PM: That’s right.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: I mean, this is a way of life that I think in this day-and-age very few of us know.

 

MH: Yes, yes.

 

PM: But this is what life was like in the ‘teens and the 19-teens and the 1920s and the 30s.

 

MH: What date do we think that photograph was, do we have any idea?

 

PM: This, this was the address in 1909.

 

MH: Okay.

 

PM: You know, the census?

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: In the 1909 census, that’s the address that’s given.

 

MH: But the picture obviously is much, much later.

 

PM: You’ve got some of the census’ as well, haven’t you?

 

AM: 1911 was the census.

 

PM: Were they still in there, in that shop then? I think when we looked up grandpa, we didn’t think to look up my family then, it didn’t occur to us.

 

MH: Anthony’s still with us now, yes.

 

PM: Yes.

 

MH: Okay. Right, well, thank you very much for your time with us.

 

KE: Thank you.

 

PM: I’m really pleased that you’re doing this project because listening to all these stories as I grew up…

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: One felt very much that it should be remembered, that it shouldn’t die off.

 

MH: Yes.

 

PM: I mean, our generation, we’re among the youngest people, most of them are in their 80s already, and then as they go, so will these memories go.

 

KE: Thank you.

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