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Finally, some of the real skinny on Nantyglo, Wales

Letter No. 29 | June 14, 1998

Webmaster's note: I replied to the note dated June 12, below, and asked Rob James these questions: "So tell us about Nantyglo, Wales. Is or was it a coalmining town? How far from Cardiff or other city if it's in North Wales? How big is it and what's there now (stores, McDonald's...)?" His statements about my being suspicious and his "poking fun at your good selves" refer to my saying I doubted his real existence after initial emails were returned with "no such account" as the explanation, and that I thought he might be trying to make us Yankees look like rubes.

My, you are a suspicious one, Jon. Thanks for writing anyway. Nantyglo is a small village in South Wales about a 3/4 of an hour's drive from Cardiff. I'ts a pretty run down town these days.

There used to be a lot of mines in this valley, but they are all closed now. As for stores, we have a Post Office, two general stores and a motorbike shop...oh, and six pubs. Actually, there are only two pubs, but there are four clubs, a workman's club, rugby club, golf club and a private members club. You'll understand that I devote so much time to telling you about these places because I tend to spend quite a lot of time researching them myself!!!!!! (oh come on I'm only 27, I need to relax).

The nearest Macs is a 10-minute drive away, in a town called Ebbw Vale. No I'm not a sicko, honestly but I do admit to having an inkling to poking fun at your good selves once in a while. I actually worked in Pa several years ago, in a town called Greeley, near Scranton in Eastern Pa.; they have a AAA team called the Red Barons who I went to see a few times.

So there you have it, I'm not actually that bad am I? So come on then, I've written, now it's your turn. After all, it was you who laid down the gauntlet. Speak to you soon.

Rob James

Webmaster's reply: So Nantyglo is closer to Cardiff by about half the drive time as Nanty Glo is to Pittsburgh. Cardiff, Wales, which I visited in 1994, is a lovely city. All the mines are closed in the Blacklick Valley now, too, though the one that used to be Nanty Glo's Mine is still working and has its entrance now six or seven miles away near Ebensburg. Also, I don't believe Ebensburg has a Mac's, but it does have some other fast food places including a Burger King (a subsidiary of a British company, by the way) and a Wendy's (which I doubt if you have in Wales). Ebensburg has some large shopping centers, and Nanty Glo is now reduced to mainly a large food store with a merchandise department, and a large drug store, and still a number of smaller shops but nothing like what it was into the 1960's. It probably has even more pubs (bars, we call them) and clubs like the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Polish and Italian Clubs (though I'm not sure how many of these are still operating; someone with more recent research will have to fill us in!). You didn't say whether Nantyglo has any churches; in this country we usually count those first :-)! In fact, it didn't occur to me until now to include such public facilities among the resources for this site!

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