David John Pidgeon's Viaduct Memories. May, 2002 My name is David John Pidgeon, generally known as Jack. I was brought up for the first 31 years of my 82 years at 28 Rectory Road, Crumlin. From here we had a clear view of the viaduct and Crumlin High Level Station in the area beyond. The viaduct had to cross two sepatate valleys, a small one in the Treowen area and a much larger Ebbw Valley. They looked like two separate viaducts. Between the two valleys the railway line was not supported by a pier, but by concrete on the ground. The railway going to and through Crumlin High Level Station would be travelling west, a rough guess, and then after a few small changes of direction arriving in our area travelling north. parallel and quite near to our street which was on high ground overlooking the viaduct and the line. To see the train now passing this point we had to go to the edge of a steep embankment which went down to the line. Just beyond here the line arrived at Hafodrynys Station and on to Pontypoool. Most of our shopping was done in Pontypool and when we were getting ready to go we could look out for the train leaving Crumlin High Level Station, then it was time for us to go down the embankment via a trodden down pathway to the station. It was believed that the viaduct wasn't as safe as it should have been, but that could have been due to the fact that no two trains passed at the same time and they always travelled very slowly. When the viaduct went the youngsters not only lost a railway, they lost their play areas. The base of the supporting piers were set in five or six feet deep concrete holes. Many hours were spent in these. Where the viaduct ended it was set on concrete and we could climb up onto the walkway which was under the railway. As for walking all the way across my memories are vague as it was such a long time ago. Although I did, according to my daughter Wendy who can remember a few things that I'd told her when she was very young about my exploits on the viaduct. We have a picture of the viaduct on the wall in our living room and I will say what I have always said that the railway could have been closed without knocking down our viaduct! The last train to run across the viaduct was made known, so I decided to take Wendy who was eight years of age and had never made this journey before.......I'd done it many times, sadly, on this memorable trip. She was a bit apprehensive at first but later looked forward to it. The date had been published. We caught the train at Pontypool, it was packed....not Pontypool, the train! We crossed the viaduct at a very slow speed I might add. Everyone who hadn't done this journey before were speechless. We still have the tickets today, both in good condition. Mine costing 1/6d and Wendy's 6d. We've also managed to find copies of the Argus local newspaper dated 15/6/64 and 18/6/64 in which our journey was mentioned by a reporter who interviewed us on the train. Wendy was chuffed to beans to see her name in the local newspaper.....It was a journey to remember.