My stepfather John Jones was born in Dafen - he lived next door to Dorothy Squires - of which he tells a wonderful story about her skipping out of her bedroom, onto the roof below and out through Jum's [he's known to me as Jumbo] bedroom. The start of her singing career? He left for the war and then returned to play football for Fulham and Millwall, and be on the playing staff for Surrey Cricket Club. Another fun story involving Dorothy Squires occurred during this time. Passing one of the London theatres - can't remember the name- he noticed her name up in lights and said to a football friend [also from South Wales can't remember name] ' I know her ' a banter ensued over the following couple of weeks until his friend harangued him into seeing if they could see her. They ended up knocking on one of the doors to be met by her brother who of course recognised Jum. He dragged them in and once Dorothy had come off stage she too was amazed to see the boy from next door. Once she had found out their living arrangements - not grand for two young professional footballers, she told them they were coming to live with her. Which they did. For next 8 months. It's wonderful listening to stories about Jum's life and it would be great to find out more about his early years in Dafen.
Mark Lee Williams left a comment on Dafen Community Website Facebook page:
"Spoke to my father Ken Williams, he remembers him, but is a bit younger, 83 years, says he was hell of a footballer. My father still living in Dafen in Tir Capel, if there is anything specific you want to know i will ask him. His older brother was friendly with Dorothy Squires too, same age".
Thanks for responding. Nothing specific to ask just happy to share some of his history and intrigued to hear any other stories. What was you uncle's name? What school did they all go to?
Mark Lee Williams replied:
"My father is the youngest of 11, there were 7 brothers, Len, Gerald, Will, Walter,Alcwyn ,Huw, and my father. Only my father and Huw are alive. There were 4 sisters, Doris, Muriel, Phyllis and Elsy. Only Elsy is alive, she is living in America. Think they all went to Dafen School. Is you father still alive ?"
Yes. 90 in October, so trying to see if I can find out any stories from his youth. Think he is the last of his lot. He only ever really kept in contact with his sister Brenda, who lived in Warrington, and her children.
I'm John's niece. I am still in touch with Uncle John. My mother Ivy was his youngest sister. The last time he was in Dafen was about 15years ago. We met him and Rupert in the cricket club it was great to see him back in his "roots" . The last time I saw both him and Penny was about 3 years ago when we visited them at home. The last time we chatted was Christmas time.
He is still a legend with the older people who remember him, we were reminiscing with Terry Mclean about him recently in the Nevills.
I used to live next door to Kens brother Bill.
Have you got any photos or stories of Dafen in days gone by? Please get in touch!
A General View Of Dafen
Old Dafen (works) School
Parties And Festivals
Parties And Festivals