My Ramblings….

Roger Newberry – retired teacher – now full time husband, father and grandfather.


I was born not too long after the end of the Second World War in Grangetown, Cardiff.  I grew up in a council house in Llanishen, a suburb in the north of the city. It was, in many ways, an idyllic childhood. We had streets with very few cars, where we played our childhood games. There was a wood nearby, where  we played in streams, built dams, fished in the stream and in a nearby newt pond. We often took some bread and jam and had picnics and always felt safe. At the end of every day, I went home to parents who loved me and made sacrifices for me, my brother and sister.

I am a Christian and I met the young lady who changed my life in church, where we were young people together. She became my wife and my life in 1975, when I was a young teacher.

The adventure we began together in 1973 has been a remarkable one.



You can join us in this adventure anytime you like…just click on the links on the left…  and don’t forget to look in the archives.

I would love it if you left a comment or two.


Thanks for looking!

17 thoughts on “My Ramblings….”

  1. One of the reasons i turned out the way i have. Truly gave me a fantastic start to education after moving from India. I always remember you going the extra mile to make sure i was ok and to actually care about what i was doing. I cannot describe how much of an influence you have had on my education and life. Never got to say thank you but i hope this goes to show it did not go unnoticed. Thank you


  2. So lovely to hear of your super childhood. You passed on that care and love to the children you taught Roger.

  3. This is lovely and full of imagination, i drift away reading your posts. Keep going!

  4. Your childhood does sound idyllic and makes me feel a bit sorry for the kids today – unfortunately progress comes with a price! At least you can share all those happy memories with your lovely grandchildren x

  5. Remember all those hours in a stock cupboard attempted level Welsh. Not a great success. Paul Gibbins

  6. I have just stumbled upon your “ramblings”. I was also a pupil at Howardian but just a few years before you. The yorkshireman “Archie” was my headmaster, and yes, “Slinky” was his very much feared deputy. But the greatest influence on my life, even now, were four teachers “Plug” Roberts, the art teacher, Tom Foster, my english teacher, Dewi Williams also an english teacher and my young maths teacher whose name now escapes me. A fellow pupil in my time was Owain Arwel Hughes who became famous as a Conductor, I think of the Hallé Orchestra, and as a Composer. I went on to become a Civil Engineer and spent all my working life in Yorkshire. I now live in Belgium and although retired remain very active in the amateur film world here.
    It goes without saying that should you wish to contact me please feel free to so!
    But anyway, thanks for the the memory! Howardian School was the BEST!!!
    IAN (Roe): Howardian 1955 to 1960

  7. Just like Ian Roe who commented earlier, I happened upon your Howardian HS notes and immediately had vivid – overwhelmingly pleasant – flashbacks. THANKS Roger for that delightful jolt. Like Ian, my Howardian years were 1955 – 60. I left after O Levels and then “went posh” for my A Levels to Taunton School! Howardian was still fairly new in ’55 and keep to the left, daps only, polite to those in gowns were the basic rules. Not to forget the embarrassment of detention standing in the main lobby. Akin to a public execution!

    As well as those teachers Ian mentioned – Tommy Foster and Dewi in particular – I also recall Walter Locke my swimming coach; Fred Whitlow gym teacher played cricket for Barry; Jogger Thomas (probably Geog-a) who was a Wales table tennis star and sharp cricketer; DA Jones (Dadge) who also was a pretty good 880 runner. Selwyn Wyatt who later taught at HHS was a few years ahead of me. I was always jealous of the Catholic and Jewish boys who could skip the weekly RI class. Sneaky bastards! Dai Phillips and (Graham?) Sullivan were two I remember. True that Slinky Lloyd was a real pain at times. He caught me climbing through a classroom window once from the front playing fields. As I look back that was not the smartest move of my childhood. My bum still hurts.

    I fell in love with a New Yorker and moved to US in ’69. Since then we’ve had magical time in NY, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Charlotte. Now thrilled to be retired and close to five grandbrats in North Carolina. But I still watch every Six Nations match and all the cricket I can thanks to cunning but probably illegal links online.

    I don’t mind sharing my email if anyone chooses to drop me a line. Thanks again for the memory jog, Roger and Ian.

    Stuart Clode

  8. I was a pupil at Howardian Grammar from 1952-1957.I enjoyed reading Ramblings and recall fond memories of our school. Dewi Williams lived in Claude Road, Cardiff just two streets from where I was brought up. I remember Mr Heale and Mr Baber who taught geography. Mr Lloyd was a disciplinarian but I never crossed him. I recall Mr Gomer Evans whose advice to us on the rugby field was to tackle low quote ‘they can’t go anywhere without their legs as a fullback it was good advice to me. I live down in Devon now and I retired from the police service in 1996.

  9. I was at Howardian from 1961 to 1968 and I think I remember you vaguely as I think you were in the year below me. I certainly remember all the teachers you named. I also became a teacher, first in London then Manchester. I was brought up in Llanishen,.We lived in Wolfs Castle Avenue off Heol Hir. I also used to fish for newts in the Glider woods.
    I certainly remember Slinky. He caned a boy called Edwards in front of the class. It was about the second week I was at the school and it certainly made an impression. The teachers I most respected were H.S. Roblin, D.A. Jones, M.E.M. Jones and D.L (Dewi) Williams and of course Tommy Foster. By the time I was in the sixth form Dewi had a flat in Westgate Street, overlooking the Arms Park, which I think was his idea of heaven. My closest friend at school was David Stotter, although we did fall out a few times. He also lived in Llanishen, off Fishguard Road and became head boy. I could go on, but I`ll leave it there for now.
    David Robertson

    1. I was David Stotter’s girlfriend back in the day.Remember you and your mum,a warm outgoing lady.Did you know that David died last September?Regards,Jane Howard Griffiths

  10. Hi Roger. Hope you remember me. Paul Davies.
    Loved your blog. Brought back SO many memoroes.
    Hope you are well!
    Are you still in touch with our old mates ?

  11. Hello Roger,
    Praise the Lord! I, too, am a born-again Christian. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog on Wenvoe Tunnel. Why? Because I could sense myself being on that tunnel walk with you. ALSO, I’m researching a train that ONCE went through Wenvoe Tunnel – my presentation is called BY ‘SUPER D’ to BARRY ISLAND. This summer Sunday train started in Brynmawr (sometimes Nantybwch) with 6 coaches (non-corridor??).hauled by a freight locomotive (an ex-LNWR ‘Super D’ 0-8-0) via the Sirhowey Valley, Hengoed (High Level), Ystrad Mynach, Aber Junction, Penrhos Junction, Walnut Tree Viaduct, Wenvoe, Cadaxton to Barry Island. Recently I’ve been working on the Penrhos Junction to Wenvoe section (I have very little material, so was uplifted when I saw material on Cardiff’s hollow mountain. An e-mail to that blogger and his reply gave me a link to your Wenvoe blog – fantastic. PTL.
    May I use SOME of your material (including photos in my presentation, please. I will most certainly give you credit – just let me know your terms and conditions.
    I, too, was a teacher – first at two secondary school in North London, then in 1973 God led my wife + 2 childrten to Swindon where we’ve been ever since.
    Tunnels – when my wife (Tricia) and I organised eductional visits (mainly to South Wales – we both lived in Blackwood, Gwent – I often took pupils through Britain’s highest tunnel in the Brecon Beacons – indeed I’ve been working on that section iof another presentation – THE BREAKNECK & MURDER RAILWAY which i’ve given this coming Tuesday at Bishops Waltham, near Winchester.

    I look forward to receving your reply.
    Every blessing to you and your family,

    1. Hi Ken of course you can use my pictures. Please give me a mention and publicise my blog! If you make any money I am sure you will share it!
      All good wishes!

      1. Roger,
        I appreciate your helkp – thank you.
        Would you like a Gospel tract which links my Chrisdtian faith to my intersst in steam trains – if so I’ll need your anail-mail address, please. The printer has no further stocks of this tract, so I;ve been asked for more Steam photos AND some normal bus ones!!
        Every blessing and every succerss with yur blog,

  12. Dear Mr. Newberry,
    I have never had the pleasure of meeting you, nor unfortunately am I ever likely to. I have never even heard of the Cardiff school mentioned in the page I have read, (but I have heard of Monkton House – my Dad’s Alma Mater, and Howell’s, idem my Mother’s), but, I stumbled across your delightful page about Parc Cefn Onn. You will know, I am certain, that pricking feeling behind the eyes, and that swelling choking sensation in the throat that somehow seems to threaten one’s very breathing, that comes with total association with long-buried memories of youth. I shall clarify.

    I was born in darkest Canton (the Cardiff – not the Chinese one) in Romilly Road Nursing Home, in the depths of WW2 within touching distance of the Pearl Harbour attack – which if I am not mistaken puts me a station or two further along the (life)line than your goodself. At that moment in time, my Grandparents had a grocery business along Cowbridge Road East (at the corner of Lionel Road), my Mum had a children’s clothing shop in Whitchurch Rd., (on the corner of Dogfield Street) with boarded up windows painted by her with Disney’s Mickey Mouse characters, because a close land-mine and glass do not make good bedmates. My Dad was posted somewhere in the Army. My (maternal) Grandpa was the Ashdown of Ashdown’s Dairies, later his son Bill, who quite possibly delivered your morning pint, as they seemed to supply much of Cardiff.
    We moved out of fairly central Cardiff to Rhiwbina, towards the upper end of Wenallt Road shortly before the end of hostilities, but well before that horrendous Beast from the East of January-February 1947, of which I have clear and vivid recall.
    What has prompted this was reading your account of a re-visit to Cefn Onn, and its Halt, and the photographs accompanying it. One of which shows that other than your lack of a beard, and the fact that I still retain some colour in my hair, we appear to be of a remarkably similar build and physical description.
    We. the family, left the U.K. in 1960, and have lived in Europe (Spain) since then.
    On a good number of occasions during the 1950s we would collect Dad’s parents, and drive to Cefn Onn, above all during the period of the blossoming of the Azaleas and Rhododendrons. The winding paths, the admirably placed benches where elderly legs could take the weight off themselves, the all-encompassing peace and beauty of the place, form a great part of the tapestry of my personal formative years. To read your words brought it all flooding back, hence the prickling eyes and throat. I was even more moved by the fact that you are by way of being a Steam/Railway/and (I trust) God’s Wonderful Railway buff. (Perhaps I can top you there, because as a 10 or 11 year-old, closely watched by her driver, I cautiously opened her regulator and took a GWR Hall Class Locomotive out of the Roundhouse of Taunton sheds and about 100 yards along to the first set of points. Sadly I cannot remember now, which ‘Hall’ she was, but it was a Sunday morning visit with the Trevithick Society of which I was a member, and I had drawn the lucky ticket. I guess that ‘elf an’ safety would have fifty fits nowadays. I should perhaps explain that I was by then in Prep. School in Taunton).
    You also mention in your biographical notes, a stream within which you played as a youngster. My (paternal) grandparents lived in a bungalow at the furthest end of Maes y Deri in Rhiwbina. A thick hedge and a few trees separated their garden from a brook or stream, that was a delightful Stickleback and Bullyhead hunting ground most of the year, but was capable of turning into a brown, foaming monster that gnawed hungrily at the bank bordering their garden in a wet winter. The slightest excuse of extended summer weather however, saw all the kids from the area labouring to build a dam and create a swimming bathing pool. Now I am wondering if, perhaps it is the self-same stream that you have fond memories of. I must search for a Google map that marks the route of the various streams birthed by the Wenallt and Caerphilly mountain.

    I am conscious of rabbiting-on a bit, but I so enjoyed that article, that I wished to let you know it, and to join the probably many others who have expressed their pleasure. So power to you Sir, thank you and keep up the good work. Robert P. Edwardes

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