Our life on Byways Estate
by Brenda Horton
Brenda was born in Pontypool in 1954 and moved to Cwmbran, aged 18, when she married Allan. Initially, they lived in a house in Woolpitch in Greenmeadow. Brenda remembers looking at the houses on the Byways estate and finding them appealing, with their flat roofs. However, after being offered 4 Littledene and looking inside, she was impressed by the spacious rooms and nice garden and she was very happy to move in. The house was also on the end of the row next to the woods and fields and felt secluded.
They had one daughter, Louise, when they moved in, but later had a son and then another daughter.
Because there wasn’t a playgroup in the area in the late 70s, Brenda and a friend started a mother and toddler group in the Methodist Church, which later moved to the Threepenny Bit, which was far more suitable, with a nice sized room and central heating. The mother and toddler group was so successful that it developed into a regular, organised playgroup.
The road sweeper, which used to go around the estate, always missed out Littledene so, one day, Brenda organised all the women in the houses to go out with sweeping brushes and sweep the road and pick up all the litter. There was a strong community in Littledene, and on the wider estate, where everybody looked after everybody else and the children were in and out of the houses all the time.
Brenda remembers that they used to call it ‘The Hanging Carpets of Greenmeadow’ because, if anybody put a carpet out it would quickly disappear into the woods and up the trees to make a den. When the family moved to Caerleon, Brenda’s youngest daughter was very disappointed that there weren’t any carpets hanging in the trees!