Life on Byways Estate
by Mark Wells
Mark was born in 1966 and he moved into 8 The Twinings in around 1971 with his mother, Kay Thomas, his brother, Bob Wells, and his younger sister and stepfather. Later, the family moved into 10 The Twinings.
When they were growing up, Mark and Bob used to enjoy playing in the woods. They had some great times building and playing in dens, as well as some less good times like when Mark fell off his chopper bike… On one occasion when he was little, Mark noticed that there were lots of hazelnuts on the trees and he thought he would surprise his family with a treat – unfortunately, when he got home, he was upset to find that nobody wanted any of the nuts because he’d only been wearing his swimming trunks and that was the only place he’d had to carry them in!
One Christmas, Mark remembers his mum bought a blue T-shirt and shorts and asked Mrs Thomas the seamstress to sew on stripes and a Cardiff badge so he could have a Cardiff City top.
He also remembers hanging out with his friends, who included Tony Robins, Lee Robins, Paul Curtis, Eddy Heart and Terry Blanks. He remembers playing football on the fields behind the Pantry Shop against Andrew Sinderby and Jeremy Edwards – and kicking balls against the garage doors on the estate! He also remembers riding bikes and skateboards, and making a skateboard out of roller skates that wouldn’t roll – they had more luck with homemade go-carts and used to ride them around the estate.
Mark used to use the Threepenny Bit for lots of activities, including ballroom dancing for 8-9 year olds – which he got certificates for. On Saturdays, the hall was always full of kids sitting on the floor for the film matinee, which showed cartoons and old cowboy films. When he was about 14-15, Mark was a punk and he and his friends used to go to the disco in the Threepenny Bit, which he thinks was run by Francis Clark.
Mark used to deliver the Argus to the Barnets estate, Maes-y-Rhiw and around the Golden Harvest, which was very good for tips around Christmas!