So, the rubbish isn’t completely gone and the over-riding sense of doom hasn’t entirely been cast-off BUT, since I last visited at the start of the year a shift has definitely occurred.
There was much less rubbish around – until you get across the chems, of course, and then there still is an inordinate amount of garbage (and random household garbage too) floating about by the fence between the old cricket field and the stadium. Beyond that, there was just a regular amount of rubbish – still not brilliant but so much better than last January when it appeared that it was the desire of the council for Cwmbran to become newly twinned with “The Tip”.
A complaint – the Flower Gardens. They aren’t anymore, are they. Poorly mown and poorly sown. Still, at least a bit of green in the burbs, isn’t it. One wonders why the fish-pond can be maintained as a flowerbed but not the flowerbeds themselves…
Anyway – on to the real reason for this post:
The Boating Lake.
The new housing estates are soulless and awful.
The bridge is still as magical as it was when I was a boy – my daughter called it “mysterious” because it disappears into the trees – still such an evocative sound.
The park – magnificent – I simply cannot praise the park enough – alright, I can praise it in two ways, actually: one it’s been superbly brought back to life and the actually play-items are awesome (brilliant that they kept the helicopter!) – secondly, the amount of people using it. We were there on a Saturday afternoon, and you had to queue for the attractions. We were there on a Sunday morning and we had the pleasure of watching the “boys” with their remote control boats and the dog walkers and, specifically, the families out using the park and bringing life to it. – Full marks too to Cwmbran Council for the way in which the park is being maintained – the rubbish collectors out on Sunday morning were a pleasure to see. Brilliant.
The park, the lake, the cafe, the atmosphere. A pity – I’m given to understand – that it can be a magnet for thieves and vandals – perhaps use and reputation will keep the detritus away?
There’s still much to moan about re Cwmbran – town centre is a monstrosity, simply ridiculous and other words that mean the same things – but the change from then to now is noticeable and to be commended.