Monday 5 July 2010

Stairlifts in South Wales ? ... fitted tomorrow in Cardiff & Swansea - the rest of Wales a day longer!

Click here to find new and reconditioned stairlifts in South Wales

This blog is part of a series from Castle Comfort Stairlifts that profiles the areas we serve and where our stairlift offices are plus facts about the region. 

Also we will give you links to stairlift information or frequently asked questions about stairlifts to guide you in making the best decision.

... that is of course, if they need a stair lift! South Wales has perhaps often been regarded as one of those inaccessible parts of the UK to many national suppliers of curved and straight stairlifts. Glamorgan and Gwent, Monmouth, Bridgend, Neath, Camarthen and Pembrokeshire have been served for many years by an excellent road system and with these South Wales regions containing two thirds of the Welsh population. Most are based in these towns/cities -

Cardiff, population - 316,800

Swansea 225,500

Newport 139,500

Merthyr Tydfil 55,000

Cwmbran 50,000

Neath 45,000

Bridgend 40,000

Barry 40,000

We have highlighted Barry, as this town, which you can study on the blue link, only had a population of 85 just over a century ago - has now produced a current world political leader ... go to 'Famous Names from South Wales' further on.

Castle Comfort Stairlifts soon realised that there is a higher than average, UK-wise - percentage of that populous being over 65 - then just as well that , this expanding national stairlift company has opened its regional office at Swansea that now serves the whole of South Wales. A Cardiff office will open soon to get a chairlift anywhere in South Wales.

Castle Comfort Stairlifts have in fact been arranging the installation of their Stairlifts in South Wales for some years - but the astute directors had long ago noticed the extra demand.

It all started with a few installations being completed for their range of Acorn, Minivator and Stannah stairlifts by relatives of contented clients living in other areas. So a small advertising campaign was started in the Swansea Evening Post, followed by Yellow Pages and then Castle Comfort took the step to open a regional registered office at Uplands to the west of Swansea.

Within weeks, most major Internet search engines had picked up Castle's presence in the South Wales region, and recognised this established chair lift company originating from Stoke on Trent, from its ratings elsewhere. Google, for example granted Castle Stairlifts a number one map rating - stairlifts swansea As with all Castle Comfort Stairlifts Internet placings - they are not paid (or sponsored) adverts - they are judged by the ever powerful search engines, to be given a place on longevity (how long the firm has been in business), reputation, reviews and opinions by third parties - along with acknowledgement by countless authorities, directories, and in general - trustworthy sources capable of giving the 'thumbs up.' The opinions of others are always useful to judge a company - see what these people had to say about their experience with Castle Comfort Stairlifts.

The owners of this popular chairlift company know that these information links will lead you to other stairlift companies in competition to Castle. They are in fact delighted and hope that you will invite quotations from all of them. Keith & Ann however, who personally run the company, have placed a 'shopping tip' in most of their marketing ...

"Before choosing a stairlift firm - call them at midnight (you may have to one day in an emergency) and see whether you get an answerphone, nothing at all - or personal attention."

- 0800 007 6959
OR SWANSEA (01792) 359 212


(Micky-takers will be warned and pardoned once but any persistent sad examples will be called back at 5 am in the morning!)

In addition, to remind folk to be aware of the dubious sales tactics that sadly some stairlift companies use - have a glance (and a laugh at) the now famous SPAM blog. Monty Python lovers and those with memories of school dinners will love it!

We'll come back to stairlifts and Castle Comfort shortly, but as with our series of 'City and Regional blogs' we are going to provide some fascinating facts about SOUTH WALES, its people - its history and above all a few things about the region that its citizens may well be proud of.

BUT FIRST IF YOU ARE DESPERATE FOR STAIRLIFT PRICES? Well you can bookmark this page and come back to it later. Please go to Castle Comfort's web page
Stairlift prices - or to cut even more corners - click on stairlift solutions wales .... or .. for the those really in a rush because the pub is closing, telephone free, the number below -

0800 007 6959
or - 01792 359 212

and a director of Castle Comfort will answer your call (directed to his mobile if he is already in the pub!)

Swansea has many
links with North Staffordshire, especially Newcastle under Lyme and Stoke on Trent - the region from which Castle Comfort originates.

For instance, both regions enjoyed the post-war boom of coal mining, with both Staffordshire and South Wales having similar sized industries. Consequently, with the demise of such a job providing facility - both areas suffered enormously economically when inevitable unemployment followed the Thatcher days.

South Wales produced one of the most famous names in football - only to have him 'exported' to England as a player and manager. He guided Stoke City as a manager back in to the old first division. ALAN DURBAN, from Bridgend, was a Welsh international and manager between the 1970s and 1990s.

He began his career at Cardiff in 1959, playing fifty games before going to Derby County four yeas later. After 27 appearances for the national Welsh team he had a spell at Shrewsbury town as player manager before coming to Stoke in 1978. After gaining promotion he was poached by Sunderland only to return to Cardifff City for a four year spell as manager and then returning to Stoke.

Alan Durban's allegiance to Stoke and its people was highlighted when he made a celebrity appearance at the now closed Jollies Nightclub in The Potteries in 1985. The former Stoke manager confidently occupied for two hours a stage that had been graced by the very top in show business - such as Shirley Bassey, Morecambe & Wise, Neil Sedaka, Tommy Cooper, Jimmy Tarbuck, Cilla Black and of course Pontypridd's Tom Jones.

Durban was always regarded as something as a 'tough nut' yet tears were brought to many in the audience when he detailed an account of something that totally changed his attitude to life, in particular whether success at what we do career-wise was really that vital. He had had apparently a bad time at work on the day of October 21st 1966. It was during a period when it seemed excitment would never wain over England having just won the World Cup. He switched on the radio to hear that 144 people had lost their lives - 116 of them school children, aged just 7 to 10. It was, moreover at Aberfan just a few miles from where Alan was born.

The pupils of Pantglas Junior School had arrived only minutes earlier for the last day before the half-term holiday. They had just left the assembly hall, where they had been singing "All Things Bright and Beautiful", when a great noise was heard outside - a colossal landslide. One of the worst disasters in history had struck.

We all hope lessons have been learnt and subsequent enquiries, though they will not return a lost generation, can prevent such a thing happening again. The web has countless tributes to those lost and their families. One reference to an Aberfan premonition- is that of the nightmare of a 10 year old that had told her mother of the coming tragedy. Correctly, but with hindsight tragically, the mother reassured her daughter, dismissing it as a child's dream - and saw her safely off to school.

See this photo collection


As with all our regional blogs, we list a few of the famous that originate from South Wales. This is one of the most widely read features of the Castle Comfort Stairlifts series as we are told time and time again that most people had no idea and are amazed that so many celebrities, stars and those famous for different reasons - come from their town.

A selection of the 'South Wales Gallery' is here - but before you read on, we'll present you with a challenge. You may know some of these people personally (or knew them when they were alive!) or at least be aware of lesser known facts about them.




We'll chip in £25 for every correct answer to this very good cause.

So here is a selection of the famous that originate from Wales -

Alan Durban (born in Bridgend, Mid Glamoragan) Alfred Wallace (Usk, Gwent) Alun Hoddinot (Bargoed, Mid-Glamorgan) Alun Richards (Potnypridd, Mid Glamorgan) Aneurin Bevan (Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent) Angus McBean (Newbridge, Caerphilly) Arthur Horner (Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan)

Arthur Machen (Carleon, Newport) Bertrand Russell (Trelleck Monmouthshire) Brian Josephson (Cardiff) Catherine Zeta Jones (Swansea) Ceri Richards (Swansea) Charles Kemble (Brecon, Powys) Charlotte Church (Llandaff, Cardiff) Chris Addison (Cardiff) Christian Malcolm (Newport, Gwent) Colin Jackson (Cardiff) David Davies (Barry, Glamorgan) David Thomas (Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf) Dick Francis (Lawrenny, Pembrokeshire) Dillon Prendergast (Cardiff) Donald Swann (Llanelli, Carmarthenshire) Dylan Thomas (Swansea) Eric Linklater (Penarth. Cardiff) Ernest Jones (Llwchwr, Swansea) Gareth Thomas (Bridgend)

Geoffrey Howe (Port Talbot) Geoffrey of Monmouth (Monmouth) Gethin Jones (Cardiff) Gillian Clarke (Cardiff) Griff Rhys Jones (Cardiff) Gwilym Lloyd-George (Criccieth, Caernarvonshire) Gwyn Jones (New Tredegar, Monmouthshire) Gwyneth Jones (Pontnewynydd, Monmouthshire) H H Price (Neath, Port Talbot) Harry Secombe (Swansea) Henry V (Monmouth, Monmouthshire) Henry Vaughan (Newton, Gwent) Howard Spring (Cardiff) Ian Hislop (Swansea) Ivor Novello (Cardiff) Ivor Emmanuel (Port Talbot) James Kemsley (Merthyr Tydfil, Gwent) James Thomas (Newport, Gwent) Jeff Banks (Ebbw Vale, Gwent) Joan Ruddock (Pontypool, Torfaen) John Humphrys (Cardiff)

John Ormond (Dunvant, Swansea) Jon Ronson (Cardiff) Julila Gillard (Barry, Glamorgan) Kenneth Baker (Newport, Gwent) Laura Ashley (Merthyr Tydfil, Gwent) Lisa Rogers (Cardiff) Mandy Rice-Davies (Llanelli, Carmarthenshire) Megan Lloyd-George (Criccieth, Caenarfon) Michael Heseltine (Swansea) Michael Howard (Gorseinon, Swansea) Michael Sheen (Newport, Gwent) Neil Hamilton (Fleur-de-Lis, Caephilly) Neil Kinnock (Tredegar, Gwent) Nicole Cooke (Cowbridge, Glamorgan) Paul Whitehouse (Caerphilly) Peter Greenaway (Newport. Gwent) R S Thomas (Cardiff) Ray Milland (Neath, Port Talbot) Ray Reardon (Tredegar, Gwent) Rhodri Morgan (Cardiff) Richard Burton (Pontrhydfen, Glamorgan) Richard Lewis (Aberavon, Port Talbot)

Richard Meade (Chepstow, Monmouthshire) Richard Nash (Swansea) Richard Price (Tynton, Flint) Roald Dahl (Llandaff, Cardiff) Rob Brydon (Port Talbot) Rowan Williams (Swansea) Roy Jenkins (Abersychan, Gwent) Ryan Giggs (Cardiff) Sarah Siddons (Brecon, Powys)

Shakin' Stevens (Cardiff) Shirley Bassey (Cardiff) Sir Anthony Hopkins (Port Talbot) Stanley Baker (Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taff) Tanni Grey-Thompson (Cardiff) Thomas Lewis (Cardiff) Tom Jones (Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff) Tommy Cooper (Caerphilly) William Berry (Merthyr Tydfil, Gwent) William Grove (Swansea)


As promised, we come to the tale of a humble family from Barry, Glamorgan which many yeas ago decided to try and do a little better for itself. Miss Julia Gillard, now 48, was an unwell five-year-old when her parents took her from Wales for the warmer climate of Australia. Young Julia had suffered with pneumonia and doctors advised her family of the benefits of moving from damp and drizzly old South Wales to the sun of New South Wales.

Her policeman father John and mum Moira decided to emigrate to Australia settling in Adelaide in 1966 with Julia and sister Alison, three years older. The family were among thousands of ‘£10 Poms’ - Brits who emigrated to Australia in the sixties paying just £10 for their boat fare.
But Barry's 47,000 residents woke up in June 2009 to discover that Julia has become Australia's first woman Prime Minister. The new first lady of Australia has roots that are thousands of miles away from TV's Neighbours - in the Gavin and Stacey seaside town of Barry, Glamorgan. The family lived at Queen Street in a two-bedroomed terraced house - just like the modest home of Stacey from the popular BBC comedy. (Could this be the first comedy/soap eventually to feature a stairlift?)

Neighbours in Queen Street commented to an excited press contingent - 'She was a lovely young girl – we remember her playing with the local children in the street. 'She was very small when she left here and no one could imagine she would go on to become the most powerful person in Australia.' A rags to riches tale indeed – and above all one from illness to full health and may it continue and be many years before Julia needs a stairlift!

Juila Gillard comes from a long line of Welsh Labour politicians including former Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and Labour leaders Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot.

Julia Gillard from Barry Glamorgan

How about another famous head of state with connections in South Wales - the man who reputedly invented the STAIRLIFT. He was in fact a king of notoriety who designed a block and tackle rope-pulling system to enable his servants to carry his 30 stone carcass upstairs. His name? HENRY V111 !


Henry's father was Welsh - Henry Tudor, whose real name was Hari Tudur and was born at Pembroke Castle. Old 'Harri' was proud of his Welsh identity and said he originated from an ancient Anglesey family with its roots going back to Cadwaladr the last legendary and ancient ruling Welsh king. He passed on a lot of land the lords in Wales but his son did not inherit this affection for Welsh soil. Henry V111 passed laws annexing Wales, and didn't stop there. He made English the official language of bureaucracy especially the courts - so the Welsh language was intentionally chopped as brutally as were the heads of the monarch's out of favour wives!

He didn't speak Welsh, so he had banned it - though rumour has it that he tried, practising phrases like 'Ble alla ca a stairlift beiriannydd chlosia Caerdydd?'

For the none Welsh language aficionados out there struggling to understand, it means -

Where can I get a stairlift engineer near Cardiff?'


We have already covered in many regional blogs the 'Good Deeds' that the Castle Comfort team get up to - well, Stairlift Stephen who has already caused the Coronation Street scriptwriters to pledge that a STAIRLIFT will soon feature in 'Corrie' is up to it again - now it's the turn of Emmerdale.

Castle Comfort Stairlifts immortal cartoons have been given the thumbs up from many regional blog fans. Indeed Richard, our unpaid professional cartoonist has received many requests for his skillful services after his works were posted world wide in the name of 'making stairlifts a little humorous.' See the collection of stairlift cartoons and then struggle up the stairs with a smile on your face - but please be careful.

Click here to find new and reconditioned
Stairlifts in South Wales

Being fed properly at home is one of the most vital things for elderly and vulnerable people especially during cold weather. 'Meals on wheels' services have come a long way in recent years so whilst you may be looking for information on stairlifts - just consider if this Castle Comfort Stairlifts sister blog here, has information that may be needed by someone you know in South Wales. Print off the section relating to South Wales and pass it on. You may be doing them a great service.