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Torfaen Tales


Part 8 of the K-Nine Stories

The door to the reference section of the library was open so K-Nine went in. He paused and looked around. There was a young man sat behind a desk to his right. "Can I help you sir ?" he said.

"I'm looking for information on Cwmbran" replied K-Nine.

"Local history section, far corner on the right by the window, and if you want to use the Internet, computer number six is free".

"That's rather fortunate" thought K-Nine as he didn't have any money on him at the time.

It wasn't long before K-Nine had gathered together a large number of books, maps and other assorted reference material including an English - Welsh dictionary. K-Nine scanned all the material in front of him and then entered the data into his Combined Research Archive Program. He asked it to generate a list of areas and places of interest in Cwmbran. A few minutes later, the program finished and printed out the results ...

  • Upper Cwmbran: A pleasant semi-rural area below picturesque woodlands and hillside. Places of interest include: 
    • The Bush Inn - An excellent little pub with very friendly bar staff, real ales brewed locally, pool, darts, bingo, live and recorded entertainment, lounge, log fire (winter only).
    • The Regal Lady - Another pub.
  • Rose Prickle Hill: A large sprawling residential estate containing houses and flats. Limited local amenities include a benefit collection centre, general store, retail outlet selling hot battered sea creatures and vegetables and a pub called the Royal Angler.
  • New Bridge: Originally a small village between Cwmbran and Pontypool. Contains a small shopping centre and a number of drinking places including The Decapitated Monarch, The Strangechappies and the New Bridge Male Labourers Club.
  • West New Bridge: Area to the West of new Bridge.
  • Emerald Field: Police College, Doctor's Surgery, Indian restaurant and bar (recommended), Community Farm with weird animals that spit !
  • Foul Water: Large school, small shopping centre – far too many kids !
  • Henllys: Village with two eating and drinking establishments with communal car park (according to the patrons anyway) - Well worth a walk up the hill.
  • Holly Small Tree: Wide roads, small roundabouts and a large playing field. Numerous estates with unpronouncable names !
  • Counterfeit Mallet: Small industrial estate and cheap foreign supermarkets.
  • North Town: Tightly packed residential area North of the town centre.
  • South Town: Like North Town but further South.
  • Cross-Eyed Golliwog: No Data available.

The list of areas continued for several more pages but K-Nine had already concluded that his archive program appeared to produce exactly what it said on the tin and he was not impressed. He briefly considered passing the data through his Automatic Regional Summary Exporter but decided that the results would probably be very similar.

K-Nine picked up his notes and headed for the exit. He was just about to enter the lift when he spotted Stephanie, the helpful young lady he had met earlier that day.

"Any luck with your research ?" she asked.

"Not really" replied K-Nine "I think my archiving software needs an upgrade."

"Maybe one of these might be useful" she said handing him a copy of the Cwmbran Handbook.

"Thank you very much" said K-Nine.

K-Nine chatted with Stephanie for a few minutes and discovered that she worked as a barmaid at the Bush Inn several nights a week.

"I was in the Bush only the other day" said K-Nine.

"It's a small world, isn't it ?" said Stephanie.

"Indeed it is" said K-Nine “Especially when you compare it to Jupiter, Skaro or Metebelis 3 !”

K-Nine then left the library and decided to explore the rest of the town centre before returning to the TARDIS. He was quite pleased to discover that there were plenty of ramps and lifts around as he really could not handle steps.

As he wandered around the town centre he noticed there were several places for people to sit down and eat .. Kansas Fried Poultry, Pizza Shed, and a number of places selling hot battered sea creatures and vegetables. He came across a drinking place called The Equilateral Rectangle near to the bandstand but it didn’t look as friendly or inviting as the Bush Inn so he decided not to go in.

K-Nine was also intrigued by a number of machines which were set into the walls of various buildings near to the Library. People would queue up next to them, insert a piece of plastic into a narrow slot, punch numbers on a keypad and then extract bunches of paper from the machine before collecting their piece of plastic and walking away.

Having completed his tour of the town centre K-Nine decided that the best way to get back to the TARDIS was by bus, the only problem was which number bus did he want ?

There was a man near the bus station selling hot vegetables in their skins so he asked him which bus he should use to get to Upper Cwmbran.

“Take the number 1, butt” he said.

K-Nine only had to wait around ten minutes before a number 1 bus arrived. Thankfully, the kerbs had been raised so that he could roll on the bus quite easily. The bus driver assumed that he belonged to one of the other passengers and so he got on without paying. Five minutes later, K-Nine was back in Upper Cwmbran. He passed by the Regal Lady pub once again and made his way slowly up the hill to the TARDIS …

by Nigel Daft

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