Real Wales

the hand of Wales

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Real Wales the book


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The first that happens when you publish a book such as Real Wales is that it goes out of date. New roads are built, people move on, enterprises change. Naturally all of this has happened, although a lot of changes have been caught in the book's endnotes. Uncovered also are the work's errors. Inaccuracies, infelicities of style and fact. As author mistakes are entirely down to me. I am grateful to those who have pointed out errors and sent me corrections.

Barry Island - First off the block is Prof. Dai Smith, historian and author, and resident of Barry as noted on page 21 - Barry Island. "The problem with Barry Island, marina development apart, is sheer familiarity. There's no obvious literary connection, no series of readings that have drawn me. Creative antecedents are weak. Dai Smith lives in Redbrink Crescent, Deirdre Beddoe is at the Knapp. Tony Curtis, Prof of Poetry, still has an Edwardian semi up at the top of town." Thus runs the text.

"There's no obvious literary connection, no series of readings that have drawn me." Fair enough. Except that the late great novelist Gwyn Thomas lived here for decades teaching at Barry Grammar School. And "Creative antecedents are weak"? I might have meant poetry reading antecedents but that's not quite what I say. Check this list of reputed locals: Peter Stead, Glyn Daniel, Bob Hope, Naunton Wayne, Robert Tear, Keith Baxter, Leslie Moore, Alistair Reynolds, Sally Moore, Evan Charlton, Jack Crabtree, Sir Keith Thomas. I'll have to explore this further in Real Wales Vol Two.

Banwen - a correction provided via the Peter Finch Blog - "The online piece about Banwen claims that deep mining has ended in the Dulais Valley. That's not quite true. The deep workings of the former Treforgan colliery are being worked by a locally-owned company. Because British Coal sealed the shaft the workings are now reached via the Aberpergwm drift mine in nearby Glynneath. It's not what it was but it is 100+ miners working under the Dulais Valley."

Y Holl Ffordd Lan i'r Canolbarth - Newtown is, of course, on the Shrewsbury to Machynlleth line.

Blaen Rhondda


Peter Finch

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