Gwen Rees grew up in and spent her life in Roath. She lived on Glenroy Street for 52 Years.
I used to go and watch the swimming races in the park, but I wasn't much of a swimmer myself. Many is the time when I had the children that I would walk around the lake We used to take lunch up there, then you had the old Gas Stoves. You would put a penny in a boil a kettle. Then you would stay up there all day. They were happy times, more so that today. Everyone is in a rush these days. They have to work to pay these huge mortgages. We paid £100 deposit and the house was £1200, but my husband was earning £3 a week. I always used to think why don't we earn less money and pay less out. It seems stupid all this money. I was married in 1939 and the war finished in 1945 so we were rationed then to 2oz cheese 2 oz of butter for 6 years after. Still, we got through it all, it was hard going. We had an air raid shelter in the cellar of the house on Claude Road but when I moved to Glenroy Street we had an Anderson Shelter in the garden. If fact the first time my daughter went out of the room was to go in the Anderson Shelter because she was born of Feb. 5th. My mother was alive then and she was nursing the baby and the bombs were coming down and we were bombing them and my mother said 'what are we bringing children into the world for, for this life?'. She was down in the shelter 9 hours and that was the first time she left the house because I had her at home.
It was very frightening because you would hear the sirens go and have to stay in this shelter all night. You didn't know what it was like to go to bed and get undressed. I had a niece who used to make me laugh. She would take pop and biscuits down there and have a good feed. I couldn't think of eating. Then you would have to get up at 7am and carry on with the day as though nothing had happened. Sometimes I would take the baby down Newport Road and there would be all shelters along there, so if the sirens went off you had to dash in. It was terrifying. Rose Street was flattened and I was living on City Road then and it was so scary. My mother was getting old then and she used to refuse to black out and the wardens would come around tell her off. Then there was this big raid and my mothers Front door blew off, then she couldn't black out quick enough. I think the civilians felt there was nothing to fight back with you were just at the mercy of whatever happened.