Posts Tagged ‘Cynthia Clarke’

To the wedding reception – by digger!

February 13, 2013



The winter of 1963 must hold memories for the people of Pontypool similar to those of 1947 when we had huge snowfalls and which are recorded earlier in this blog. I have to admit that the snow of 1963 was a “treat” I missed. I was working in the hot African bush of Nigeria training African teachers for the Nigerian Government. I was walking around in shorts and a sports shirt.

I vividly remember all the mail from family and friends from back home as they described in their letters and on the recorded tapes we used to use how very cold and snowy things were in the UK. I  recall a photograph, in one of the newspapers we received,  of Roath Park Lake in Cardiff being frozen over.

One of the regular visitors to this blog, Harold Clarke, recently sent me an account of his wedding at the time; Pontypool people will find it interesting. He says:


“Attached is a photo of the snow of 1963. After moving back to Pontypool, some six or seven hundred meters below where this was taken outside the cricket club at Pentwyn, I am surprised how many people in the area are not aware of how deep the snow can get up here. Cynthia is from just above where the picture was taken. It took her 49 years to get me to move up here but I have to admit I love it here now.

Picture 1Harold’s wedding party

Left to right in the photo are: Brian Morgan Joan White nee Hayward, Harold Clarke, Cynthia Clarke nee White, Allen Mullings, Cliff Powell sat down, and Renee Tucker. This was not the only unusual vehicle that day. After leaving the church on St.Luke’s road by car to big arch a land rover was supposed to take over but it had broken down and a Rutter’s greengrocery lorry took over with Cynthia and bride’s maids in front and my new father-in-law and myself on the back. The digger working to clear snow up to the Blaensychan pit took over from the cross road to get us to the reception in the cricket club.

It was March before we got a car back to collect Cynthia’s things and only then via big arch. The plough was still clearing snow blowing off the mountain. The driver told us not to be too long as this was his last run for the day as the miners were on their way down from the pit. Did Cynthia take any notice? No, we got stuck in a drift by the brick works, long gone now; we could only just get out of the car. Cynthia took off for Ponewynydd to get a friend with a land rover to get us out of a drift. In the meantime, miners going home half lifted and half pushed and got the car out of the snow. We took off to intercept the four wheel drive car coming from Pontnewynydd but found Cynthia had not got to her friend’s house so I started off up the hill to Pentrepiod when I saw Cynthia with a miner on each arm leading her down the track in the snow. They had found her blown off the hard track in a snowdrift.” 


Thanks for this account Harold.