Caerleon Remembered - Characters
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Caerleon had a few characters, such as Harriet who lived in Backhall Street. A tiny little lady she lisped and had the longest tongue, ever. She worked as a char lady at the Vicarage in Llanhonnock, each day walking the two miles to the country village. She always carried a fish frail, a type of woven straw shopping bag, into which she would put anything she could scrounge on the way from out of the fields, such as potatoes and swede. She was quite fun to talk to. Everyone knew Harriet.

Charlie Allet

Charlie was a casual worker seeking labour on the farms. He was a tall fair-haired man, quite good-looking and very polite.

He was spotlessly clean and neat in spite of sleeping rough in barns and outbuildings.

He wore moleskin trousers scrubbed white, with a strap around the leg, just below the knee, to keep the bottom of his trousers out of the mud, and always a spotted handkerchief around his neck.

He often worked for us when extra help was needed, such as haymaking, and always sat at table with us - my mother treated the workmen well.

Jack Wrexham

Jack too was a casual worker around the farms, a tall dark haired man, I think an ex-guardsman, again a clean man in spite of living rough.

He lived in a dingle between Penrose Farm and the Glebe Farm, Usk Road, quite hidden from view, with a stream running through, and so having plenty of water for washing his clothes and his person. He had cut himself a dugout in the bank which was of red clay and could be fashioned into shape. He had moulded a fireplace with a mantelshelf on which he kept his tobacco.

I remember going with my brother John (he wanted to see Jack Wrexham as he had work for him) and so I was able to see his abode. It was quite snug, the area around quite neat and tidy, perhaps due to his army training.

Black Tom

Tom was a tramp who travelled the countryside. He was aptly named, he was so dirty… his face was black, his clothes were black and shining with dirt. I don't think he had washed for years. He wore two bowler hats one on top of the other.

His billy can, frying pan, and mug, hung about his person; all black from cooking on a camp fire. I was only a child but watched fascinated. He usually called at our place, the Tan House, on passing through the area; begging for food. Mam never turned anyone away without giving them food, so Tom would sit on the ground with his back against the garden wall and Mother would take him a jug of tea, bread and cheese and a thick slice of cake. He was quite harmless, but the children in the street would run a mile from him. There were quite a few tramps around at that time.

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Memories of Caerleon Past:

[ Brian Blythe ] [ Mary Isobel Davies ] [ Cosette Allsopp ] [ Lionel Turner ] [ Lyndon Watts ] [ Evacuee Mavis Robinson ]