Cwmbran: it’s ok if you like Greggs

Living in Cwmbran, Wales
Living in Cwmbran, Wales

Cwmbran: it’s ok if you like Greggs

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My god where to even start with this utter slum. Cwmbran is set deep within the barren wastelands of South Wales, sticking out of its surroundings like a particularly sore haemorrhoid from an un-wiped anus. It is fringed by the delightful spa town of Newport to the south and the thriving social hubs of Ebbw Vale and Merthyr Tydfil to the north. Just kidding, they’re all sh*tholes as well.

Cwmbran is what they call a ‘new town’, similar to the English towns of Telford and Milton Keynes (but even worse). It was built in the 40’s and 50’s, joining together a handful of crusty little villages and creating a central hub in the middle of them. Like many ‘new towns’, Cwmbran is devoid of any attractive buildings. The centre of the town is essentially a soulless shopping precinct set within a mass of grey concrete and pebbledash. It feels almost like walking into a prison, only with far more criminals around.

In other towns and cities across the UK, the high street is slowly dying. In Cmbran, it died years ago, and is now at the stage of maggots eating its rotting corpse. The shops within this nuclear wasteland are truly pitiful. Whilst a few respectable brands do co-exist alongside the pound shops and the empty units, they do not help to improve the town’s image. There is a butcher’s shop stocking local produce which looks decent enough.

Another infuriating aspect of Cwmbran (and many Valley towns in general), is the insistence of using the Welsh language on all of the signs, despite only about 11 people in the country being able to speak it. In Primark, I was looking around for socks and t shirts, and all the signs said things like ‘sanau’ and ‘crysau’. For a moment I thought my dyslexia was playing up, however when I looked closer I saw they had put the words in English in slightly smaller letters beneath, just to prove a point.

Cwmbran is a real epicentre of Welsh pride. Alongside the many signs and billboards written in gobbledygook, there are Welsh flags literally everywhere. If an Englishman hangs a flag from his window, he is a fascist neo-Nazi *******. If a Welshman does it he is a proud, noble patriot.

Now, on to the people. I feel the inhabitants of Cwmbran are almost too easy of a target, and that maybe the decent thing to do would be to just not even go there. It would be a little bit like picking on a downs syndrome child.

However, I am not a decent person so . . . .

The people of Cwmbran are ugly: fact. And not just ugly, but shockingly ugly, the kind of ugly where you have to look twice to make sure you really did just see a woman who’s face resembles a lump of spam (tip- don’t look twice or you will probably get knocked out).

The locals are so scary to look at, when Halloween comes around the supermarkets stock ‘Cwmbran people’ masks next to the Freddy Kruger masks. I mean Valley dwellers tend to be pretty unpleasant to look at in general, but in Cwmbran it appears that they go out of their way to look as f*ck ugly as possible.

It is said that the Capuchin monkeys of South America urinate on their hands before rubbing the liquid all over their body, in an attempt to attract a mate. A similar ritual can be seen in Cwmbran late on a Saturday night outside Weatherspoons and Mecca bingo.

The word **** takes on a whole new meaning in Cwmbran, a town where owning a Nike tracksuit is considered ‘posh’ and to see a toddler with a red bull and a fag hanging from its mouth is standard. There are 3, yes 3, Greggs bakeries all within the same shopping centre. Nothing screams **** town like having a selection of Greggs to choose from. Watching the hordes of overweight grease-bags in their sweatpants squeezing through the door, lured by the scent of steak bake, is a nauseating experience. Often the fattest of the Greggs addicts will send their children in to fetch their multipacks of sausage rolls whilst they sit and watch from the comfort of their mobility scooters, soaked in their own drool and Monster energy drinks.

I don’t know exactly what the future holds for Cwmbran (I expect a few more branches of Greggs are probably in the pipeline), however one thing is certain, i’m glad I don’t live there.

The team at iLivehere would like to thank the author for this epic rant and add this video!

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