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Albert Crandon (1897-1989)

Eitemau yn y stori hon

 Albert Crandon (02/11/1897 - 30/01/1989), my grandfather, emigrated to America from the village of Pantyscallog near Merthyr Tydfil when he was aged 32, because of the lack of work in Wales after the war. He arrived at Ellis Island, New York on November 7th 1928 after sailing on The Majestic from Southampton for a six day journey. The Majestic was built in 1922 and incidentally was a sister ship to the Titanic which sank in 1912, so it must have been a very precarious and nerve-wracking journey for all those many people who crossed the Atlantic in the 1920s in search of a better life.  Albert moved to 52 Nash St., Akron, Ohio to stay for a short while with an uncle.  A little later Albert moved again to 586 Spicer Street in Akron, as he hadn’t been made as welcome at the uncle’s home as he’d been led to expect! America at the time was a ‘dry’ country and the gangsters were in control of producing illegal liquor and running protection rackets. On the first day he moved in to his house, Grandpa was approached by three gangsters (probably mafia) asking if they could rent his basement at a good price to store illegal liquor. Albert had to think quickly in order to get rid of them so he pretended that he had a cousin in the police who was likely to drop round at any time, so sorry, but he couldn’t help them. Albert found work at the large Miller Rubber Company in Akron (see postcard in Collection). He told us that in America if people couldn’t work they weren’t paid. He recounted stories of sick people being carried to factories by their friends in order to be seen clocking in. He later went on to start a small business with a partner. They called their company Durkin and Crandon, bought a truck and sold ice and coal. On the 17th April 1929 his second wife Esther (aged 27) and son Christopher (aged 2) sailed on the Olympic to join him in America. Albert's child Elsie from his first marriage was being brought up by his late-wife's family. Elsie chose not to go to America and remained in Pant.   My father was born on 10th June 1932 and named Ernest Charles after Albert’s brother and father. Dad made news straightaway as the doctor who delivered him was fined $14.8 for speeding at 74 M.P.H. to attend the birth. The event appeared in the local paper headlined ‘Doctor Wins Race with Stork!’ Dad didn’t stay very long in America as the family came back to Wales when he was nearly two years old sailing back on the RMS Berengaria from New York to Southampton on 6th April 1934. They returned because of illness in my grandmother Esther’s family and feelings of home sickness. On their return, they bought a cottage behind the Pantyscallog Pub in Pant which was one room up and one room down and where one outside toilet was shared between three cottages. But Albert, ever the entrepreneur, kept twelve nanny goats in a local field, and supplied goat’s milk mainly for expectant mothers and for sick children. Having left America, they must have missed the money and type of life they had there. Albert had owned two cars, a truck and even a fridge which was unheard of in most of Britain at this time, so their change of lifestyle was quite significant. He was, however, one of the first people in Pant to own a radio and a car.

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