Village Life - Aberkenfig and Sheilagh's Thoughts...

This is a place for stray thoughts and musings on and from my home village after thirty-odd yearsaway.

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Location: Bridgend, Wales, United Kingdom

I have recently moved back to Aberkenfig, my home village and have decided to write about it. I have a mixed Welsh, English and Maltese heritage and have spent some time (decades!)in Cardiff. I gave up fulltime work to go part-time and write. I am a mediator, trainer, facilitator, advocate and consultant and also do regular work with adults with learning disabilities - and love doing so. What else? I'm a very contented feminist living a pleasant life back in the village...

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Cafe Society...

...chippies, icecream vans, pies and Welsh-Italians

Sadly Hotpots is no more - the lease came to an end and they decided not to renew.
For earlier thoughts on cafes in Aberkenfig and South Wales and the delights of Hotpots see earlier post:
 Hitchin's, brilliant breafasts and the old sweetshop

The post got a response from a descendant of Mr Moruzzi who used to run the cafe in the square when I was growing up. As said in earlier post - this was a typical Welsh/Italian caff as described in "Lime, Lemon and Sarsparilla"
Lime,lemon and sarsaparilla

[Just had a quick google and discovered the first body found washed up after the sinking of the Andora Star was a Moruzzi:
wiki SS Arandora Star

This was the ship transporting "prisoners of war"  where many British Italian men lost their lives and is featured in the book.]

Anyway - back to caffs - What I really remember Mr Moruzzi for is his ice-cream! He made it himself and it was wonderful.  And in the days before freezers in the sixties and early seventies ice-cream did seem more special. There were Lyon's Maid and Walls and the icecream vans - and that was it. These were the days when whippy ice-cream had started and it was popuar with ice-cream vans - although I do remember an ice-cream van called "Langford's" that also did nice ice-cream.

Moruzzi's was also somewhere you could buy a bar of chocolate on a Sunday evening. As said earlier - I never hung out there, but was always impressed by those that did.

I love visiting traditional Welsh/Italian (Italian/Welsh?) caffs in South Wales and here are still a few around in valleys towns and villages. And Fulgoni's restaurant in Porthcawl still make their wonderful ice-cream but whether they make it or not now depends on the weather ! In the summer you can buy it at Rest Bay as well as their restaurant and I often drag friends to Porthcawl for a Fulgoni's!

Over on an Aberkenfig Facebook discussion site, "You know you're from Aberkenfig..." all sorts of cafe memories have emerged resulting from a memory of "steamed pies":
 facebook: You know you're from Aberkenfig...

I do remember that the bottom chip shop run by Mario Crucci used to heat pies by dropping them into the chip fat. I think before microwaving the top chippie had a hot cabinet but would also do fat dunking on request.

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Blogger ZACL said...

This is apt. Is Aberkenfig the same place as the sign I saw in Wales recently, written as Abercenfig? I thought of you when I saw it.

Also, we had just been talking about abiding memories of visits to South Welsh places; the overriding one being that of the ubiquity of cafes off all kinds, wherever we explored.

An Italian storyteller gave us two hours of story theatre of Italian life and history in Scotland, a couple of years ago. It would have applied equally well to places in England, Wales and other corners of the UK, too. In his history trail, he spoke of the families, already introduced to us in his story, who were affected by the loss of The Andorra Star.

Like you, I have abiding memories of Ice cream parlours, good fish and chip shops and the Italian cafes and some of the people who owned and ran them.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 2:02:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous louise said...

My partners grandfather was Mr Moruzzi who ran the cafe in Aberkenfig, he remembers it very well, mostly for the icecream and the steamed pies, and spent quite a bit of time in the cafe when he was a child

Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 7:19:00 AM PST  

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