The Street at the Top of the Mountain


Author – Derek J Southall

Introduction by Robert J Southall

Derek John Southall was born in December 1936 in the South Wales valley town of Tredegar. He spent the first twelve years of his life living with his close-knit family in Upper Mount Pleasant on the mountain above the Georgetown area of the town. Although life was hard there, it was a period that he cherished all the more as he grew older.

This unique and engaging book takes us back to a time before most of our modern day conveniences, when life in the valleys was shaped, and tainted, by heavy industry. The houses in Mount Pleasant lacked running water and electricity and often accommodated several families. However, the community was a strong one, held together by bonds of kinship, friendship and shared experience.

Derek fondly recalls his family and neighbours in the days before television, when the only escape was the long walks to the picture-house to catch a glimpse of the magic of Hollywood. He revelled in those films and the glamorous lives of their stars, and remained a passionate film-lover all his life.

Derek, passed away at his home in Ashton-under-Lyne in March 2015, but he never forgot his first 12 years in ‘the street at the top of the mountain’ and this book is a testament to those far off days of his childhood.