Ken Frederickson summary

Summary of Oral History Mr. Ken Frederickson, b 1927, recorded 31/10/2013

  • Grandparents were first residents at newly built Windmill Terrace, Grenfell Park Estate.
  • Grandfather Dai Clarke ferryman at White Rock having followed his half brother John Llewellyn.  All lived originally in Samlet Row, White Rock
  • Ferry started each day at 6 a.m.
  • 1d single (c1935); 11/2d return; 41/2d weekly fare.
  • Accompanied his grandfather weekly to the White Rock Estate Office to collect fares due for workers who had used the ferry that week.
  • Allowed to scull the boat only at low tide until he could swim.
  • At very low tide possible to walk across at White Rock.
  • Thrown into Weaver’s basin by his uncle as a swimming lesson!
  • Uncle worked the ferry after his Grandfather until 1942.
  • Grandfather Clarke earned money as a boy soprano singing from pub to pub in Foxhole and Pentrechwyth in late 1880s.
  • Large families in Foxhole and with infant mortality children would move between relatives to balance out numbers.
  • Recalls young boys regularly jumping from Rifleman (Row) wall into empty coal wagons, riding to a curve and slower section of the track and switching to full wagons from the collieries, dropping off lumps of coal to cottagers along the line.
  • Still has scars from boyhood air rifle fights across the river!
  • St. Thomas and new housing in 1920’s viewed as well to do, but Danygraig school children often did not have shoes.
  • Sunday School at All Saints, Kilvey and outings by train to Glais from St. Thomas Station or from East Dock Station to Jersey Marine.
  • Conscripted on 18th birthday and joined Welsh Guards until 1945.
  • Remembers lead workers from White Rock who had lost their sight through lead poisoning.
  • Memories of WW1 veteran amputee carrying hose pipe and broom over his shoulder in his round cleaning urinals in Pentreguinea Road, Bonymaen and Llansamlet.
  • Recalls foul nature of the river and debris from the glue factory derived from cattle hooves!
  • Payment made weekly to friendly society.
  • A van called each Thursday at the home-6d payment for a fresh accumulator for the radio set!
  • Aware of illness and death from tuberculosis.
  • Grandfather and Uncles worked ferry on behalf of Vivian and Sons and their successors.
  • Mrs. Frederickson’s family were of farming stock, but worked for the Vivians also at Singleton Abbey as dairy maid, coachman and gardeners.
  • Remembers women workers at Hafod Isha Works, sitting on wooden ledge dangling their legs during their break. Large female working population using ferry.
  • Boathouse above ferry stage on east bank housed equipment and oars. Bricks kept to weight down sculling oars in water to straighten bent oars.
  • Ferryman had a refuge making tea. Well acquainted with passengers and their lives-source of information.
  • Spare boat anchored below boat house.
  • High Street the shopping centre………..made ferry a convenient and cheaper means of access.

Tjp 03/11/2013


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