Gweithdai Cartrefi Preswyl


Drwy gydol misoedd Tachwedd 2013, Chwefror a Mawrth 2014 mwynhaodd trigolion Cartrefi Preswyl Spring Gardens yng Nghasnewydd, Llys Ton ym Mhen-y-bont ar Ogwr, Cliffhaven, Parkside a Thŷ Gwyn ym Mhenarth, gyfres o weithdai gyda’r beirdd Ric Hool, Mike Church a Phil Carradice.

Llys Ton yw cynllun Gofal Ychwanegol cyntaf Bwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr. Mae’n gyfadeilad pwrpasol sy’n cael ei rheoli gan Gymdeithas Tai Cymoedd i’r Arfordir ym Mynydd Cynffig, ac mae’n darparu cartrefi arbenigol o ansawdd uchel i 70 o hen bobl mewn 39 uned.

Mae Spring Gardens yn Gartref Gofal Preswyl sy’n eiddo i Gyngor Dinas Casnewydd, a leolir yn ardal Pill y Ddinas. Mae’n darparu gofal at anghenion 34 o bobl hŷn sydd â dementia. Mewn amgylchiadau eithriadol, bydd y cartref yn cymryd pobl dan 60 oed.

Mae Cartref Gofal Parkside ym Mhenarth wedi’i gofrestru i ddarparu gofal preswyl ar gyfer cyfanswm o 39 o bobl hŷn neu’n ddibynnol ar ofal. Ar un llawr mae ganddynt ardal benodol i ddarparu gofal arbenigol ar gyfer hyd at 12 o drigolion sydd wedi cael diagnosis o ddementia. Mae Cartref Gofal Tŷ Gwyn ym Mhenarth, yn wasanaeth sydd â capasiti o bedwar deg pump a gynlluniwyd i weddu i fywydau bob dydd pobl hŷn sydd ag anghenion gofal. Cartref Gofal Cliffhaven hefyd yn gartref preswyl sy’n arbenigo mewn cymorth i bobl â dementia neu Alzheimer ac yn darparu ar gyfer 19 o bobl.

Mwynhaodd trigolion weithdai hamddenol archwilio atgofion o blentyndod, Ysgol, eu hamgylchedd lleol a’u gobeithion ac ofnau. Ffurfiwyd y trafodaethau gan y beirdd i’r cerddi isod:

Spring Gardens with Ric Hool

Meeting Christina

I like the word, ‘worser’

because I’m not getting any, ‘worser’.

The ones that are I swear at…

and cuddle. They are the ones

battling through each misty day.

Fifty-one years married but separated

now, my husband, blind and deaf

can’t look after me, nor me him,

so he visits, he’s here today

my butterfly and I’m his favourite flower.

Christina’s Haiku

Pinky-salmon pill.

When I take that one I’m off

to La La La Land…

Spring Gardens 3: Christina in Australia

I was a singer

Had gowns

Had the body

Sang in hotels

Did some TV

Wore a yellow dress

In a film

Was going places

As a singer

As good as some

Better than others

‘Autumn Leaves’

(Nat King Cole)

My favourite song

D’you want to hear it?

I’ve still got the voice

Derrick’s Holiday in Torquay

I remember the hand built wooden boat

flat bottomed to easily beach,

getting in to play a pirate, the older boys

pushed me off, out to sea. Who knows

where I might have sailed, The Spanish Main

certainly, had it not been for the woman

tucking her skirt up into her knickers

wading out to rescue me.

Llys Ton with Mike Church

Holidays and Friendships

Packing the suitcase

Knowing what to take

What not to take.

Childhood holidays:

Some of us never had them.

In the old days

It was Chapel days out

Some days ‘Mystery Trips’

Booked on the train

That excitement of leaving home

For the first time

The Boys School Camp at St Athan

With tadpoles in the swimming pool

And pillows of straw

Rugged holidays they were

Mouths washed out with salt on stage

A display of humiliation to all

And you never forgot

The only holidays you were glad to get home from!

Then the Girls Group in the band

And we’d go potato picking or tomato picking

To earn a few bob on holiday

And for some never a holiday at all

But people mucked in together

And we were happy

Some shipped out to Cardigan to avoid The Blitz

The Guard on the train watching over us

All the way to Fishguard

Then there for the summer

Holidays that brought lifelong friendships

Meeting youngsters from another world

Or friends that took you to Buckingham Palace

And a first time in London

Saving up a penny in school

Three shillings was a lot of money in those days

We never had much

But we were content with what we had

In those old days

We’ll never forget

Growing Older

Growing Old

There’s the pain

The lack of mobility

The frustrations

The loneliness

There’s simple things you can’t do anymore

And regrets for those things you never got to do

Time now seems to go on so long

And you can’t do the things you want to do

It takes six hours to do a two minute job

Like making a cake

Every time you brush your hair

There’s more left on the brush than there is on your head

You look in the mirror and think ‘Who’s that?’

We can’t keep up with the gadgets

But then there’s the family

The children and the grandchildren

The photographs

And those yet to come

A sense of pride in what youngsters do

Growing old

You lose your sense of inhibitions

Or sometimes you develop them

The youngsters hold doors open

You notice the kindness and care

And you get to know your doctor well

But everything takes longer

And someone has to make you a cup of tea (usually Carl)

There’s the physical chore of putting your socks on

All those things you took for granted

Some people sail through

But growing old…

You never thought it would happen.

Courting and Nights Out

We’ll tell you about courting

We used to go to the Ranch House Cinema

With double seats at the back

Walking home from the cinema then making another date

Meeting boyfriends on the school bus

My father had a frying pan for those times

I missed the last bus

There were dances held everywhere

Clubs taking turns to put them on

And girls never drank back then

If you did you were the scarlet lady

My mother never went to the pub in her life

My grandfather resigned from the Committee

When women were allowed in the Club one Sunday a month

There was no binge drinking

We never had the money

Or the inclination

We had to get back for the nightshift

Mothers would buy jugs of beer

At the back door of the pub

For pitmen to have at home after a shift

The Town Hall was the centre of everything

Young Farmers, Girls Brigade and a dance each month

We had the Ambulance Hall and the Snooker Hall

And we liked our entertainment face to face

With bags of chips and a fritter

Crackling and a pennorth’s worth of scraps of fish

Faggots and peas was a good night out

And when the courting got serious

It was a best tea, best dishes and meet the family

Getting your feet under the table

We could tell you something about courting

And nights out…….

Welsh Rugby

The rugby brings the Welsh camaraderie

You can talk to everyone about it

We can all share how terrible the game was

And ‘What do you know anyway…you’re English!’

You’d never see your husband on a Saturday afternoon

But the women are worse now

It’s entertainment for everybody

It’s patriotic

Children dressed up, painted faces, waving flags

In Cardiff it was the Bluebirds

But rugby was the man’s game

I remember the TV broke down

We had to get another in two hours

It cost £25 but we did it with no online shopping then

And the shouting went on

I remember Erica the streaker

The day I hitched a ride in a helicopter

I remember the Aussie team staying in the Seabank Hotel in Porthcawl

Everyone packed the cinema in the night they went

As they always sat down together those huge men

And the seats always collapsed

The locals laughed

The rugby is when people meet upagain

We all know Barry John, JPR and Gareth Edwards

An they’re like us

All in it together all part of Wales

You’re obliged to ask how the team got on

Even if you hate sport

It gets Wales on the map

But only when we win

And if they don’t

Let’s not mention it at all

To be born Welsh

Is to be born privileged

With poetry in your head

And music in your soul

Childhood Memories

Childhood changes

There’s a bigger range of food now

We never saw bananas

In fact we went pinching them from a boat in the docks

The family went mad for them

And people ate them peel and all

We didn’t know

Rabbits too were big foods for us

Shot and shared

We’d buy them for sixpence

Childhood changes

If we were lucky we had a Sunday best suit

There was row upon row of children

Reciting their times tables

When we were older some of us would bunk off

If we could

We had orphanages, church and chapel

Children sent to Australia overnight

Horrific tales of almost slavery

Childhood changes

We had the war and the constant sirens

Hopscotch and hula hoops

Marbles and home built bikes

There were no cars then

We walked to school and played in the streets

And everything was shared

Childhood changes

An outbreak of polio in the river

And the police would chase us out

We had coal tips to play on

Spending summer holidays up the mountain

We stayed in tents by the pond

Come home and raid the pantry

And we’d catch starlings and sparrows in fine nets

And BBQ them at night

But we’d never touch a crow

They always stank of soot

Childhood changes

Picking primroses and blackberries

And scrumping apples

Everyone had allotments

And the sheep would get in

If you caught them you could keep them

Slaughter it and share it out

We had to have food back then

Childhood changes

Now it’s phone in one hand

Computer in the other

Children not safe to go out

Everything risk assessed until the fun has gone

We played wild

Childhood changes

Is it better?

We’re not convinced…

The Suitcase

Inside might be the string you need to tie it up

Everything needs string eventually

Holding suitcases and lives together

There might be a toy motorbike

Or a thousand labels from a thousand countries

There might be childhood memories and family photographs

Yours and mine

Or perhaps there’s just another smaller suitcase

Who knows what awaits you inside the suitcase

Maybe a pair of earrings

Or all my worldly possessions

Perhaps a pack of sandwiches and a flat iron

Or a ladder to god knows where

Maybe to catch sparrows and starlings

Who knows what awaits you inside the suitcase

A bottle of pop, sausage roll, toad in the hole

Or the key to a special place

And toiletries to travel?

Maybe there are just two pairs of dirty socks

And some foreign coins

Maybe you’ll find the cogs of a working mind

Perhaps the last thing on your mind

Who knows what awaits you inside the suitcase

You might find a blanket and a stolen ashtray

Or words and thoughts for your future

Let’s open the suitcase

And appease our curiosity

And find out who it belongs to

Or shall we just leave it there

And keep the mystery and illusion going forever?

There’s no community anymore

People used to help out

Even in residential settings community means different things

In the Valleys of old I had 60 or 70 aunties

Doors were left open

Never needed to be locked

Nothing to steal too

But is there any community anymore?

I used to get babysat for a bottle of guinness

Mrs Whitfield would babysit the whole street

Industries created community

Bonded at the core

But is there any community anymore?

People stayed in one place

They didn’t have the money

Everybody pulled together

Everybody equal

Nowadays you don’t always see children playing

And sharing in the street

In the old days every lamp post doubled up as a wicket

And we had rope swings around them too

We’d dress up and hold concerts

We had sing songs together

We had community spirit

But is there any community anymore?

A proud Welsh nation

Who are now texting as they’re talking

With phones and ipods and ipads

When you lose your sight

You become invisible to the younger generation

Time was when people would respect the elderly

There was a real sense of belonging

But is there community anymore?

You tell me

Poems from Penarth with Phil Carradice

Poems from Cliffhaven


Dad was delicate

although he smoked

just like a chimney.

We’d go to town

and he’d light up –

Don’t tell your man, he’d say,

she’d have a fit.

It didn’t stop him.

I used to whisper

Got a fag, Dad?

And he’d smile.

But he never gave me one.

I remember it

with so much love.


Mice; the house

was full of mice.

Mum would sweep the table,

throw crumbs onto the floor.

And mice would come,

so many mice,

to eat it all.

Nothing left.

Only the mice.

In the Air Raid Shelter

I remember

our air raid shelter,

in the cellar, warm as toast.

My Mum would wrap us up so snug,

my younger brother and me,

and down we’d go..

Not Dad – I’m not

spending half my life down there

he’d say. I’d smile

at him so sweetly.

I’d be far happier

if you came, I said.

He never did.

Those years, so rich,

so full of love.


It was safe, back then,

safe to run around. And warm.

My Dad was kind, I loved him.

He didn’t go anywhere,

do anything,

but he always

took me with him.

Until he died.

I remember him

with so much love.

The Bus to School

A big red bus to take me

off to school, from my house, each day,

my house just opposite the stop.

Everyone would shout

and I’d come running out

to catch the bus to school,

the big red bus.

The Stream

Outside the school a stream, a brook,

and giant conker trees.

Fish in the stream,

conkers in their rough green jackets.

And in the season we’d wade in,

water swirling round our boot tops

and our ankles.

We didn’t care, not then.

Anything for conkers.

The Bus to Cardiff

We’d go to Cardiff on the bus,

getting off at Kingsway.

I’d stand there, on the bridge

to watch the men go fishing

in the river as it curved away

from the castle walls.

I don’t suppose they

ever caught a thing.


Barry was a part of me,

I was there so many years

just growing up.

All of my childhood was Barry.

You’d see the ships

from every part of town,

in the dock, out in the river.

Barry was all sea, really.

And Barry was a part

of me.

Poems from Parkside

I Remember

I remember colours blending,

nature with its green grass and trees.

The sky so blue above.

I remember

father with his kettle,

brewing tea, sitting on the beach.

I remember

walking in the woods,

tying primroses together

using coloured string,

for gifts to take home.

I remember always smiling

when the sun came out

and the fields so green and fresh.


I was so proud,

those wartime years.

My father’s medals,

silver and gold,

glinting in the sunlight.

The pride shone through,

it shines through still,

my father’s medals,

silver and gold

in the sunlight.


Penarth is calming, soothing.

Time was the docks

were full of ships

and bombing every night.

But now Penarth is calming,

sitting on the beach, the pebbles

round and hard beneath your body.

Penarth is calming.

Painters on the sea front,

decoupage and 3D landscapes.

Penarth is calming.

From the West Indies

I came from the West Indies,

Grenada where I lived.

I been gone a long time now.

But Grenada, all them fruits –

take what you want, anytime.

I came to Cardiff,

working on the docks.

All changed now, them tenements

all gone – and the old timers,

they gone, too.

Some ships still come.

Not many though,

not like they used to,

the docks all changed.

I came from the West Indies,

Grenada where I lived.



I had dolls but didn’t play with them.

I played with my friend Glenys.

Or maybe watched TV

or listened to the radio.

The war?

Oh, I remember it

but only vaguely.

It didn’t really register with us

all that much.

Too young, I suppose.

My Dad

Dad was strict – he had to be.

Eleven children, wife dead in childbirth.

A big, big family, me stuck in the middle.

Yes, he was strict.

He had to be.

Church on Sunday

We always went to church

on Sunday, sitting with the Vicar’s wife

in the front row.

I loved the singing, the reciting,

all the books of the Bible –

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,

and the rest.

I can say them even now.

I learned them

for a competition,

me and the Vicar’s daughter.

She got them wrong – I didn’t.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus

and all the rest.

Band of Hope

Band of Hope in the evening,

Church on Sundays,

everything around the church.

I loved that Church,

part of my life, it was.

We learned so much.

I still sing the songs –

“The best book to read is the Bible.

If you read it every day,

it will help you on your way.

The best book to read is the Bible.”

Oh, I loved that Church.

Swansea Market

Swansea town, so lovely.

All the shops, the market.

Cockles and cakes

from the market stalls.

And the man with the jar

of broken sweets.

Dad would buy a bag.

We’d share them out.

So much cheaper

than the new, unbroken ones.

Oh yes, the old

Swansea Market stalls.

Poems from Ty Gwyn


I remember all the plays we did,

bits of acting, bits of dancing.

Six of us singing

“Impudent Barney, none of your blarney,

Impudent Barney O’Hay.”

I remember rugby out on Llandaff Fields,

playing hooker – stupid, stuck there

in the front row like a man on a cross,

open for anyone to punch.

I remember playing wooden tops

in the middle of the road, the tops

spinning, whirling in the roadway.

No traffic in those days.

I remember it all so well.

Ten in the Family

Ten in the family –

no TV back then.

Church each Sunday,

miss it at your peril.

Bloody good living,

Cardiff in those days,

all the enjoyment

of the family.

The Brass Plaque

On the pavement in front of our house

a big brass plaque – Portland Cement, it said.

A woman from the office,

close to where we lived,

she polished it each week.

She was so proud

of that big brass plaque.

It disappeared, that plaque,

when the cement works got closed down.

I often wondered where it went.

Below the Stairs

We had a space, beneath the stairs.

During the war we slept there every night,

us little ones.

A tiny window opened up

into the shed.

When the raids had ended

we climbed out that way,

over old potato sacks.

Like escaping

from a prison camp.


Bombs dropped, falling

in the fields

across the way.

Craters everywhere.

Walking through the trees,

bombs falling all around,

the noise so loud,

explosions in your ears.

A Good Life

A great, good life when I was young.

Milk from the farm, fresh food.

We’d ride the hay carts

as they cut the hay, the men,

in the field across the road.

Then stroke the horses

and roam the hay fields.

Yes, a great good life

when I was young.

Scarlet Fever

When I caught Scarlet Fever, they put me

in the isolation hospital at Ely.

There were air raids all the time

and so they’d carry us, wrapped

up in blankets, through the trees.

Bombs dropping, we ran towards the shelter,

the noise so loud

it hurt your ears.


Waiting, always waiting.

We lived in rooms,

shared a kitchen.

It was horrible.

Six years we waited

for a Council House

and picked up the keys

on my thirtieth birthday.

A Nasty Blighter

My father was a nasty blighter,

loved to beat my Mum.

It sticks in your mind, all that.

Mum couldn’t leave, do anything.

She had the kids, us children.

She had to take it.


I had toys, Minnie Mouse and things.

But I loved sport, netball and athletics.

They were my thing.

They were what I played.


WPC 6, I was, when I joined the force.

I wanted the excitement, on the beat

night and day, walking or driving

in the squad car.

Arresting people?

Not that nice – unless

they needed it!


I loved music, still do, I guess,

listening and singing.

The Ink Spots, Platters,

Mills Brothers and Bing Crosby.

Anything a bit sentimental, loving.

I still sing, even now.


I remember seeing people

walking up the lane, with soldiers.

And soldiers,

American soldiers, marching.

You’d hear the bombs,

whistling as they fell.

Then the explosions

as we say, shivering,

in the Air