Ystrad Rhondda

Ystrad Rhondda Ernest Zobole 1957

Ystrad Rhondda, Ernest Zobole, 1957

Ystrad Rhondda

Author: Jimmy Browne

Written in response to ‘Ystrad Rhondda’ Ernest Zobole, (1957)

It was a sunny but cold morning and the street was busy with mothers, some fathers too but mostly mothers, taking younger children to school; older children going in small groups to the big schools; and busy early morning traffic. Now they were all stopped in helpless anxiety and fear, except for those with the younger children who were shepherding them quickly away from the scene. “She just didn’t seem to see the car, just rushed out into the road. I think she was trying to catch the bus.” The woman spoke to the two police officers almost in a whisper, as if to speak louder would be somehow disrespectful to the elderly lady sprawled out in the middle of the road being given urgent treatment by the ambulance crew.

A younger, more distressed voice, came from behind me. “That’s my Nan, that’s my Nan!” I turned to see three teenage girls in school uniform. Two of them were clinging to the third who kept repeating the same words “That’s my Nan, that’s my Nan”, the words strangled by emotion and washed by tears flowing down a too white and disbelieving face. One of a second ambulance crew overheard and hurried to help the young girl, by now deeply in shock. The other crew member was treating the driver of the car that had struck the girl’s Nan; a man in his forties and as deeply in shock as the teenage schoolgirl. Next day, nearby railings covered with flowers.


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