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1969 TUESDAY AUGUST 1; Miners' holidays begins, rats invade home, bingo has to wait for church services, dog fears and more made the headlines 48 years ago this week...

From the Valleys the pilgrims seek the sun THEY travel just a short distance from the slag heaps and huddled terraced homes to the sun, sand and sea.

They come in droves by train, double-deck bus and crowded car...

It is the miner's pilgrimage to the coast.

Every year, as regular as the seasons themselves, South Wales Miners say goodbye to the pithead baths and head for Porthcawl, Barry, Aberavon and Tenby.

For a fortnight the coal dust in their boots is replaced by sand. They can be seen swilling beer at noon and sweating on the beach after closing time. Wives fret as daughters strip for that "Continental tan," as one red-skinned girl aged 18, described it.

Sons swim out into the Bristol Channel, while Mam and Dad are content to paddle in the shallows.

The annual trip to the sea is as much a part of their way of life as chapels and arguing about Sunday drinking.

"We come because we always have, said a face worker from the Deep Duffryn pit between kicking a beach ball to his offspring.

"I've come to Porthcawl ever since I can remember. Years ago everyone in the street came, now some go to Spain.

"I don't know why they want to go so far - we enjoy ourselves just as much here," he said.

Stones at bedside to throw at rats A MERTHYR man living in a house due for demolition, claims his home has been over-run by rats since the council started work on a site nearby for a road improvement scheme.

Mr Rufus Lewis, of Tramroadside North, said the council had promised to rehouse him more than six years ago.

"Since the work started nearby, a sewer has been disturbed and the rats come into the house," he said.

"They jump on my bed and play all night. I keep stones and a pair of old boots by my bed to throw at them and I get only two or three hours sleep a night."

Bingo can start - when church services are over BEFORE people can start playing bingo in a Cardiff cinema on a Sunday night, services have to be over at a Methodist church in the area, stipulated the Secretary of State for Wales, Mr George Thomas - himself a Methodist lay preacher.

Mr Thomas made the order after making a change in a Welsh Office inspector's report of a planning appeal.

In approving the report, Mr Thomas ruled the club should not be open for bingo before 8pm on Sundays.

Mr Thomas said in February that he was not satisfied the report was proper on the evidence before him because the possible effect bingo sessions on Penarth Road Methodist Church had not been considered.

Frightened women skirt street of 'terror' dogs PEOPLE living on a Cardiff housing estate complained today that roaming dogs have bitten children, knocked old people to the ground and fouled the pavements.

Some women on the estate at Ely said they were so afraid of the dogs that they no longer walk down certain streets.

Mrs Beryl Baker, of Caerwent Road, said: "My daughter Cheryl, aged three, used to go shopping with my mother in the afternoon, until one day a rather wild-looking dog bit her hand for no apparent reason.

"She had to receive medical treatment and now she no longer wants to go near the shops."

Two women from Deere Road, Mrs Gladys Husson and Mrs Julia Sutton say they no longer take the shortest route to the shops - because they have to make a detour around the streets where they know they will not be pestered by dogs.

Mr C Jones, of Deere Road said both he and his wife had been bitten.

"Now my wife refuses to leave the house," he added.

A police spokesman said: "We have dealt with a number of complaints in the area and in one or two cases the animal concerned has been put to sleep."

Enthusiasts plan to recover tailplane SIX members of a South Wales aircraft preservation society will set out on a gruelling hike in the Brecon Beacons on Sunday - in the cause of historical research.

The men, members of the South Wales Historical Aircraft Preservation Society, will manhandle a 12ft-by-5ft section of a Wellington bomber over more than two miles of rough country to the nearest road.

Later the piece of aircraft, a tailplane from a bomber that crashed on the mountain during World War II, will go on show at RAF St Athan.

The secretary of the society, Mr Mal Sketchley, of Llantwit Major said: "We understand the plane crashed in the Beacons about 10 miles north-east of Merthyr in 1943 and that the Canadian crew of seven died in the accident.

Medical students fined for prank TWO medical students who for a "prank" removed wheel trims and discs from their former landlord's car were seen in the act by a schoolgirl, who took their registration.

"It was just a stupid prank that went wrong," John Jones, of Neville Street, told magistrates.

The court fined Jones and fellow Welsh National School of Medicine student Ian Michael Stokes, each PS10.

Archive information courtesy of Central Library, Mill Lane, Cardiff, CF10 1FL. Call 029 2038 2116, email: or visit Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 6pm; Thursday, 9am to 7pm; Friday, 9am to 6pm; Saturday, 9am to 5.30pm.


Three boys paddle across the old Cardiff West Dock on their homemade raft in August 1969
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 1, 2017
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