Cwmbran: it’s ok if you like Greggs

Living in Cwmbran, Wales

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 ****. 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.

How grim is your Postcode?

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-****. If a Welshman does it he is a proud, noble patriot.

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.

In Cwmbran, owning a Nike tracksuit is considered ‘posh’ and to see a toddler with a red bull and a *** ******* from its mouth is standard. There are 3, yes 3, Greggs bakeries all within the same shopping centre. Nothing screams awful like having a selection of Greggs to choose from.

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!