Category: Blog

Sep 06 2016

The Maid of Cefn Ydfa

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This is the story of Ann Maddocks, the Maid of Cefn Ydfa, her forlorn love for the bard Wil Hopcyn remembered forever in a folk song we all know so well.

Cefn Ydfa was an impressive residence in the Llynfi Valley about six miles north of Bridgend where in the earliest years of the eighteenth century William and Catherine Thomas had two children, a son who died in infancy and a daughter Ann. When William died unexpectedly in 1706 three year old Ann suddenly became a desirable heiress.

Wil Hopcyn – or Hopkin – was born in Llangynwyd in 1700. He was a tradesman – thatcher, tiler, plasterer – who met Ann when they were both in their twenties during some maintenance work at Cefn Ydfa. They say she would send the servants away from the kitchen at dinner time so that she could talk to him. After all, he had a reputation as a silver-tongued devil, witty, articulate and romantic. This ‘ripened into deep and passionate love.’ Inevitably such emotions could not be concealed forever and, also inevitably, they outraged Ann’s mother. A rich heiress and a plasterer? How could that make sense? You might indeed have some sympathy for her views. The relationship was forbidden. Naturally they met in the woods around the house, ‘where the young people poured out their unavailing love.’ But these meetings couldn’t remain secret and Ann was confined to her room whilst her mother promoted marriage to the favoured suitor, Anthony Maddocks, a solicitor. His ardour should perhaps be seen in another context. His father was a trustee with some responsibility over Ann and some believe that he made use of this position to engineer a marriage which would enable the Maddocks family to absorb the Cefn Ydfa estate. But then, it would be quite easy to question Wil’s motives too – marriage to a wealthy heiress would not have harmed the finances of a local labourer.

Love will find a way though and, with the help of a servant, Ann Thomas still corresponded with Wil – using the hollow of a large tree as a post box where letters could be lodged. Again their clandestine communications were uncovered. Writing materials were taken away from Ann and the story has it that she wrote to Wil on a sycamore leaf, with a pin dipped in her own blood. She then ‘trusted the precious love-token to the mercy and charge of the wind that wailed around her room in the hope that the record of her love and suffering and constancy should reach his eyes.’ They never arrived, the Welsh weather as unreliable as always. Mind you, if you prefer a more prosaic explanation try the one that says her maid didn’t take the messages but burnt them. It doesn’t matter really because the essential element in the story is that Wil, hearing nothing from her, believed he had been rejected, love sacrificed for property. Ann heard nothing from him either. Perhaps it was time to move on. Of such misunderstanding is tragedy born.

So she married Anthony Maddocks on 5 May, 1725 and two years later Ann gave birth to a daughter who died – just a few days before she did.

Wil had gone to work in the docks at Bristol after the marriage and in June 1727 he dreamt that Maddocks was dead. The dream though was a bitter deception. He returned to Cefn Ydfa to find that Maddocks was still alive and thriving, but that Ann was wrestling with fatal illness. When she cried out for her one true love Anthony abandoned her. Her mother brought Wil to her and Ann fell into his arms. She died in his embrace. Her remains were interred in the chancel of Llangynwyd church with her father and brother. Anthony married a new heiress, and now lies buried in the family tomb, outside the beautiful church of St Cynwyd.

Wil Hopcyn lived for a further fourteen years, but he never married. He died when he fell from a ladder whilst working in Llangynwyd on 19 August 1741 and was buried close to the western yew tree in the churchyard. The stone which marked his grave was later used as a foundation for a neighbouring tomb.

He had however, expressed his heartbreak in a poem, sung to a haunting Welsh folk-tune, ‘Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn,’ which roughly translates as ‘Watching the White Wheat.’ In it Wil declared his undying love for someone who had abandoned him for another. Her beauty, which he had watched ripening like a field of corn, would be harvested by his rival.

I fondly watch the blooming wheat,
And others reap the treasure.

There had been a flurry of interest in the story in 1846 but it really took off in 1869 when it was published in a popular collection of poems called “The Cupid” by Thomas Morgan from Maesteg which were often performed on stage. It was followed in 1871 by a long letter to the Cambrian newspaper from Mrs. Penderel Llewellyn, ‘the worthy vicar’s wife’ in Llangynwyd, who was in the habit of putting flowers on Ann’s grave. Some have blamed her for the whole thing, claiming that she invented it all – the real Wil Hopcyn was nothing more than a drunken beggar. For others the point was that these were all real people, with gravestones. As such the story became fixed in the national consciousness, ‘the prettiest and most pathetic love-story in the whole history of Wales’ one journalist called it– and as such people wanted to believe it. And why shouldn’t they?

The story of the Maid of Ydfa came to represent the village of Llangynwyd but by the end of the nineteenth century the churchyard was described as ‘one of the worst kept in the country.’ The remnants of Wil’s headstone had been rescued by the composer Joseph Parry and placed near Ann but when the church was renovated by Olive Talbot of Margam Park, the gravestones were found in the chancel, covered by building materials.

In October 1892 a committee met at the Maesteg Post Office to raise funds to erect a monument to Ann “in keeping with the beautified interior of the church.” They invited subscriptions and hoped to receive ‘sufficient to erect a memorial over the grave of Wil Hopcyn, her humble but talented lover, who was buried under the yew tree on the western side of the old churchyard.’ They commissioned a dark marble slab, with brass plate inlaid, with Ann’s name in a ‘facsimile of the maid’s handwriting.’ On one side of the plate you can see an engraving of wheat in bloom with a sickle and on the other side some sycamore leaves. The committee were so pleased with the design that before it was installed the brass was exhibited in the shop window of Mr. Williams, ironmonger in Bridgend. These are the memorials that we can see today – Ann in the chancel, and Wil in the churchyard under the shade of a yew tree. The original gravestones are in the bell tower of the church.

It is the old village of Llangynwyd you need to visit. They call it ‘Top Llan’ and it is up the hill from the A4063 that goes through the new village and into Maesteg. St Cynwyd has a tightly packed and surprisingly extensive cemetery, regarded as possibly the largest private graveyard in Europe. Wil though is easy to find. He is still under that lovely old yew just outside the church door.P1000838

Wil and Ann are also remembered on the Hopcyn Cross, erected in 1927 to mark the bicentenary of Ann’s death. It is outside the Corner House Inn, allegedly the site of Wil’s home. Naturally he is now said to haunt the premises. Together they have inspired novels, an opera by Joseph Parry, an early silent film made in Wales in 1904 and rediscovered in a stairwell of a house near Swansea in 1984 and of course, ‘Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn.” I could hum it for you but it might not go terribly well. Find Mary Hopkin singing it on YouTube. That would be best.

Aug 03 2016

La Supreme Sagesse and the Brotherhood of Strangers

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The Massif de la Clape rises above the Mediterranean outside Narbonne in the south of France. It is a beautiful wilderness, 17 km long and 8 km wide, perfect for rugged walking and cycling. The name comes from the local Occitan word Clapas – meaning a pile of stone. Rather unkind if you ask me – it is much more than that. It has fine vineyards for a start, for it is of the oldest wine growing regions in France and the wines are rich and deep, amongst Languedoc’s finest. At the top, looking down on the sea is La Chapelle Notre Dame des Auzils. It was a hot July morning as we made the long and dusty walk up the steep stones to the Chapelle, in order to enjoy the exceptional views from the top across the village of Gruissan and down towards the Pyrenees. The rocky path was lined with memorials to Gruissan’s sailors lost at sea. They died across the world – Syria, Dakar, Morocco, the Dardanelles, Colombo, Hong Kong, a father and son lost off Sicily. These are Les Marins de Gruissan and this is The Allée des Naufragés – the Path of the Shipwrecked. It is a beautiful peaceful and touching place and I stopped to look at one memorial, set back in an imposing niche in the rocks, to pay my respects. And as I read the inscription I was surprised by the unexpected reference to ‘La Cote D’Angleterre.’P1000436P1000438

 

Francois Iché, the captain and owner of Brig La Supreme Sagesse was lost with his ship during a terrible storm off the English coast on 17 December 1852. He was the hope and support of his inconsolable family who pray for his soul.

I needed to find out what had happened. That idea of a life lost so far from home, of a family bereaved, spoke to me. I wanted to find out what happened. When I returned home to Wales I was able to trace the story in the contemporary English newspapers without too much difficulty. Poor Francois, born in 1804 in Gruissan on the shores of the Mediterranean, died such a long way from home in the cold winter waters of the Bristol Channel.

The Supreme Sagesse, (The Supreme Wisdom) was registered in Marseilles and was a busy ship taking goods wherever they were needed. Previously it is recorded as sailing between Nantes and Liverpool, Newcastle and Malta and In December 1852 it had been chartered to take coal from Cardiff to Sierra Leone. The captain was a twenty-four year old man from Dunkerque called Aubril and he had a crew of six men and a boy. The owner of the vessel, Francois Iché from Gruissan, had previously acted as captain but on this occasion he was serving as mate.   They left Cardiff on the 11 December 1852 but very quickly things started to go badly wrong. Before they had reached Land’s End they ran into heavy gales, which forced them to turn back to seek safety. Within three days the heavily-laden vessel was in serious difficulty. It was leaking badly in the rough seas and whilst the crew began pumping out the ship they couldn’t keep up with the volume of water collecting in the hold. Then the pumps failed. They threw part of their cargo overboard in a desperate attempt to stay afloat but it made little difference. By 16 December they were looking desperately for Lundy Island, with the intention of sheltering there until the storm passed. However they had little control over the ship and they were driven inexorably in the dark towards the Barnstaple Bar, a notorious sand bank on the Devon coast, with ‘its two formidable and perilous sand-banks.’ These created ‘local circumstances on which a stranger can be at best but partially informed.’ Notwithstanding the name of their ship, Aubril and the crew of La Supreme Sagesse knew nothing of the Barnstaple Bar. They vainly tried to drop anchor but the storm intensified. The North Devon Journal described an apocalyptic scene, with the ship ‘enveloped in the densest darkness, only penetrated by the vivid lightning.’ The deck was repeatedly swamped. Everything was washed away and their long boat, their only – and unlikely- means of escape, was broken in two. The crew took temporary shelter in the rigging but very soon the ship capsized and they were washed into the sea. Captain Aubril and seaman Paul Meriel managed to grab hold of a spar but the others disappeared into the boiling surf. After two hours in the cold sea Aubril and Meriel were washed on to Braunton Sands, exhausted, near death. Drawn by the beacon, the captain staggered to the lighthouse half a mile away to seek help. The keepers of the light, Spicer and Lamping, together with Mrs Lamping, gave ‘all the assistance and the kind attention that humanity could dictate.’ Meriel was in a particularly bad way, with ‘limbs rigid and his teeth fixed,’ but in the lighthouse keeper’s home he was eventually revived.

It is impossible to speak too highly of the kindness shewn to the unfortunate men by Mr and Mrs Lamping. This the objects of their solicitude appeared duly to appreciate and, as the captain expressed himself to us, ‘he should preserve it in eternal and grateful remembrance. The local community came to their assistance. They were given clothes by the Shipwrecked Mariner’s Society in Barnstaple and The North Devon Journal was proud to report such ‘Brotherhood among strangers.’ Other local people however had a different agenda. The ship had been completely destroyed and the debris was scattered over several miles of beach. ‘Two casks of claret and a small tub of butter was washed ashore’ and the spars and timber were given to the collector of Customs, Richard White. These were sold by auction. But the shore was also lined with wreckers who, ‘like vultures greedy of their prey seized on everything that came to hand.’ The captain’s chest containing all his possessions, like his watch sextant and compass, was found broken open and emptied of its contents. The reporter was shocked when he saw fifty women walking away from the beach carrying wreckage, ‘evidence of their depravity and tangible proof of their guilt.’ We are assured that ‘strenuous exertions to discover the perpetrators of such base and unfeeling crimes, and bring them to justice’ were being made. But for them this was their right, their harvest from the sea. The sea returned others from the crew. On 22 December 1852 the body of a crew member called Salengro was found on the sand and another, unrecognisable, was recovered the day after. The body of Francois Iché was found on Christmas Day. He was a married man who ‘left a family to mourn their bereavement.’ He was buried the next day in St Margaret’s Churchyard in Northam when a large crowd of local people gathered to support Captain Aubril in his grief. The body was carried to St Margaret’s on the shoulders of fourteen masters of vessels of Appledore, led by the Reverend Gossett.

The service was read in French and from the solemn and impressive manner in which it was performed there was scarcely an individual who did not drop the tribute of a tear to the memory of the unfortunate stranger.

Refreshments were provided afterwards in the Vicarage. The community continued to support Captain Aubril, to help him beguile the tedious hours that duty required him to remain here. The Mayor of Bideford even took him to see Wigelsworth’s Pictorial Panorama and Exhibition of Arts which had arrived in town, though the captain left in some distress when there was an unfortunate performance of a piece called “Storm at Sea.” Eventually he left, his return home arranged by Mr Chanter, the Lloyd’s Agent in Bideford. He carried with him ‘the best wishes of all who have known him during his brief sojourn.’ He was only 24 but in his short career he had already been shipwrecked twice. In August 1853 he wrote to the people of Bideford of his intention to return to the town. He would consider it ‘the most beautiful day in his life when he shall have the happiness of personally returning thanks to those who were all to him when everything in the world was lost.’

Francois was 48 when he died, lost on the cruel sea like so many others. For me he became a representative for all those other sailors lost and for whom there is no one perhaps to tell their story.

Like the others recovered from the beach, Francois Iché was buried, sadly for the historian, in an unmarked grave. His only memorial is the one amongst the hot rocks on La Clape, in the Allée des Naufragés, a long way away from where his body lies, somewhere in the soft green grass of Devon.

Aug 13 2015

Tenuta Contessa Chiara

We have returned from a magical holiday in Piemonte in northern Italy. I promised the owners Alessandro and Andrea that I would put a link here on my website in case anyone is interested in a perfect Italian villa holiday.  Alessandro is in the process of changing his web hosting service so once that has been done I will post a proper link to the website. Until then I can offer you a link to the page on the Home Away website where we made our booking. The pictures you will see of the beautiful are entirely accurate I can assure you of that. Here is the link. http://www.homeaway.co.uk/p518644

Here is the text of the review of the property I have submitted.

This is a beautiful place. We stayed here in August with our extended family and had a fantastic time. The weather was glorious and we didn’t go far but then we didn’t have to. The villa had everything we needed and is a very attractive property indeed. It was exactly as outlined in the entry on this website and no matter how beautiful the property looks in the photos, in reality it is even more attractive. We were very well looked after by our hosts, the brothers Alessandro and Andrea and our maid Kate was a little marvel who kept everything looking just right. They did everything to ensure our holiday was a success right from the first moment we arrived to such a warm welcome.

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The wonderful swimming pool became the centre of our holiday and the children, ranging from 14 to 4 loved having such a large and well-maintained pool entirely to themselves. The water was very comfortable, the perfect place to cool off, and the views were remarkable.

The villa has everything that you need. There are lovely seating areas, very nice bedrooms, all with their own bathrooms (including Jacuzzis) , various terraces for outdoor eating and a good kitchen. The pool house is a fantastic facility. It is a steep walk down to the pool but once you are there you will find a second fully equipped kitchen. It has an oven, a fridge freezer, two sinks, a dishwasher a barbecue and all the pots pans and glasses you could ever need – though we did think that plastic glasses would be useful down there for outdoor living on the pool side. There is also a library a television room, a games room with a full size pool table and a home cinema.

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I would recommend the villa to anyone looking for a peaceful holiday in beautiful area of Piemonte. It is pastoral, timeless, elegant and it shimmered in the heat. The lovely villages are set amongst a sea of vines and remain entirely untouched. The village of Fontanile itself is dominated by a remarkable church, built in the late nineteenth century after the discovery of a treasure hoard beneath the original building. There is also a bar and a small grocery. Nizza a short distance away will fulfil all your shopping needs. Acqui Terme is a pleasant town too, but it is the villa itself that will make your holiday a success. On our last night Alessandro and Andrea prepared a typical Piemonte meal for us – it was brilliant and a fitting end to a wonderful holiday that all of us, especially the children, will always remember.

Feb 04 2013

A Bit of Needle

This is taken from the Cambrian Newspaper in 1856. It deals with an extraordinary operation necessitated by a most singular accident.

It involved a young Irishman who was, as they say, larking about with some young country women.  He grabbed a buxom girl who was engaged in seamstress work and hugged her.But as he pressed her to his bosom it turned into an almost fatal embrace. There was a needle in the breast of her gown which penetrated his heart and then broke off.

He was immediately taken to the Infirmary where it was decided that the remains of the needle must be extracted since otherwise, death must quickly ensue from inflammation of the heart.So Doctor Green cut through the flesh and laid bare the surface of the heart. He could see the end of the needle and so he pulled it out gently with his forceps. Clearly a triumph and such delicate skill mightily impressed the newspaper.

Almost as an afterthought, we are told that since inflammation had already begun, it is very doubtful whether his life will be saved, regrettable perhaps, but apparently less important than Doctor Green’s undoubted skills. Perhaps though the unfortunate incident should, we are told, be viewed as a cautionary tale.

It ought to teach young men before they hug their sweethearts to see that the latter have no needles in their bosoms…The lethal character of Cupid’s darts is a mere figure compared with the puncture of such a tiny weapon.

Wise words indeed.

Jan 27 2013

Bedside Manners

The story comes from Hanmer in Flintshire in the seventeenth century and concerns Elinor Evans who was a maidservant. She had injured her ankle and  a surgeon named William Jones was called. She had financial assistance from her  friends and neighbours to pay for treatment. It cost 30 shillings. You can  judge for yourself whether she got value for money.
Sadly it did not go well. Once he had  the money he neglected his duties.

In a short tyme (her) legg and bonn did  putrifye and petrishe.

Now personally I would regard this as bad news. Elinor  did too.
She called him back and gave him more money,  this time to perform an amputation. For those of you who know Flaubert’s Madame Bovary there are certain echoes  here. But it gets worse. He now decided to devote more time to her than he had  originally, for he

 did so perswade and entise (her) to yeald and consent to  his leud and fleshly desire that he begat her with child.

Perhaps in those  pre-anaesthetic days it was the only way he had to take her mind off things.  Perhaps his only hope of success in establishing adult relationships came with a woman who might struggle to run  away, but perhaps I am being unkind.
Jones had been bound over to appear at  Denbigh Great Sessions, since he was being pursued for maintenance and he had  gone into hiding. Sadly I don’t know any more than this, but it certainly adds  a little something to the traditional doctor/patient relationship.
But if Elinor had had access to those  amputation tools the story might have ended very differently

Jan 18 2013

Wales is Weird

It won’t come as a surprise to you to learn that Wales is one of the strangest countries in the world. And it is official – paranormal investigators say so. We are surrounded by the unexplained. The message is clear. If you want to be puzzled and bewildered  then come to Wales. The place is rammed with haunting, mysteries and oddness.  There are ghosts everywhere. You can’t move without bumping into an exorcist on a mission it seems.

Plas Teg near Mold might be an important Jacobean house but it is also regarded as the most haunted house in Wales. It is very popular with paranormal groups who are keen to scare themselves witless on an overnight vigil. Its rival is The Skirrid Mountain Inn. It appears to be full of ghosts kicking up a fuss because they can’t get served. The first floor once served as a court and they  say that the condemned  were hanged from a beam over the stairwell. It is supposed to be haunted as a result, though people have always had strange experiences and visions in pubs, especially as the evening wears on.

Want to  watch fairies dancing? Who doesn’t? So get up to North Wales, though it might be explained by imaginative developments in the training programmes of some rugby clubs.

If that particular flight of fancy doesn’t do much for you, then consider UFO spotting in St. Bride’s Bay in Pembrokeshire. Some nights it is like the M4 in Newport on a Friday night apparently. And before you scoff and say “pigs might fly,” let me tell you that in 1905 a “dark object with four legs and short wings” was seen over Froncysyllte in North Wales.

That is not the only odd creature here in Wales. Even if you dismiss all the Big Cat sightings as nothing more than a quick glimpse of the local tabby on his way back from the gym, consider LakeBala, or Lyn Tegid, as it is in Welsh. You’ve got the gwyniad, a species of fish trapped there since the last ice age and the rare mollusc The Glutinous snail. He isn’t trapped, he just has never travelled far, obviously. But there is also the legendary monster known as Teggie, our very own version of the Loch Ness Monster. It is said to be 8 feet long and humpbacked but it is hard to be sure since it is so shy. Teggie doesn’t surface too often and never when there is a quality camera ready to go on the shore.

And I haven’t even mentioned ghost ships, ghost armies, wandering Roman centurions, big black dogs. The list goes on and on.

So you see, we are not only towards the top of the rain league but of the weirdness league too.

It gives you a warm glow, doesn’t it?

Unlike our weather.

Jan 13 2013

The Holy Grail

Did you know that the Holy Grail, used by Christ at the Last Supper and then later to gather His blood from the Cross, is in a secret bank vault in Wales? Trust me,  Indiana Jones got it spectacularly wrong.

The story is quite straightforward.The Grail was brought to Glastonbury by Joseph of Arimathea and closely guarded by the monks of the Abbey. They ran off with it to Strata Florida in mid-Wales when they were harassed by Henry VIII and then they took it up into the wild hills near Aberystwyth to the manor house of Nanteos, where it was protected and venerated.

It became well known in the area and people would come to borrow it from the family. Drinking water from it would cure anything. Mind you, there were some pretty desperate people around because they would bite chunks off it. Today they say that there is only about two thirds of it left. The rest was eaten.

They could chew it because it was made from wood . Mythology might suggest that the Grail was a precious vessel of transcendant beauty made from gold and studded with precious stones. This one though was made from wood which certainly lends it an air of authenticity.

Sadly those who know say that it can’t be the Holy Grail. It was on display for a while in the National Museum of Wales where it was assessed and dated. It is old certainly, but only about 600 years. Not the 2000 years that are necessary for complete authenticity. They say that it is a mazer bowl and that it is made out of 14th century wych elm. Just a very old drinking vessel mounted in metal, with a band round the rim. A popular item in those earliest homeware catalogues apparently.

But if you believe that it is authentic then it doesn’t matter what people say. It is what you want to believe that matters. Contradictory information is obviously part of an elaborate smoke screen to hide the truth. Once you start to believe in conspiracies then everything is possible. You will want to believe that it is protected by a Guardian, who moves it around from place to place to keep it out of the hands of the government. Not that it would do them any good of course. In the hands of a sinner it is just a cup. In the hands of a believer it turns into something far more spiritual and powerful.

So what do you want to believe? That it was guarded by the Knights Templar? That it was buried at Glastonbury?

Or that it is in the safe at the bank?

Aug 17 2012

Rotten Rabbit

Here is another small item from the pages of the Cambrian newspaper published in Swansea throughout most of the nineteenth century

July 1875

You will be pleased to learn that the Inspectors of Nuisances for the Swansea urban Sanitary Authority buried the creature in the rubbish heaps near the Old Infirmary.

It was a rabbit and it had been seized in Swansea Market as unfit for human consumption. Anne Fewiness had it for sale on her stall. It was apparently in the most offensive condition. And whilst there are those who llike to hang their game for a while, this was putrescent.

She was fined 16 shillings and we are reminded that the seizure prevented it reaching and poisoning some poor family who would have bought it for a small sum. And presumably a family without a sense of smell.

The newspaper applauds the role of the heroic sanitary officers in keeping offensive rabbits away from the public and rages against the guilty trickery of some Swansea sale people.

Aug 14 2012

The Extraordinary Child

Let us consider the great Monsieur Chouville. A showman without a doubt, determined to bring thrills to the eager public of Swansea, starved as they had been of top-quality and spectacular entertainment.

This was June 1858. There was no need for a large and grainy TV screen displaying inaccurate weather forecasts to the discerning crowds in Castle Square, not with Monsieur in town. He was perfectly in tune with the needs of his audience.

He took a shop where he exhibited what he described as an extraordinary child. Strangely the reporter for the local newspaper, the Cambrian, was less impressed and, frankly, rather dismissive. He said it was merely a youth with a little unnatural hair on one side of his face. To be honest, it does seem a bit unkind. Surely it was more than that. This was  a youth ahead of his time. Go down Wind Street on a Saturday night and you will see that The Extraordinary Child could in fact have been a stranded time traveller.

The respected people of Castle Square objected to the public nuisance caused by Madame Chouville bellowing all day long, inviting those starved of entertainment to come inside and see the child.

The police prosecuted. Madame had become a major irritant. She apologised on behalf of her husband who could not speak English and promised that the exhibition would close on Monday, after which they would presumably give the poor youth a proper shave.

In such circumstances the case was dismissed on payment of 6s costs.

And thus, sadly, an early chapter in the thrilling history of public entertainment in Swansea came to a close.

 

Note

I came across this story whilst researching the story of a policeman who stole a table napkin for my book Murder and Crime in Swansea which will be published in 2013.

Jul 31 2012

Bloody Welsh History – Swansea now available!

I am pleased to be able to announce that my latest volume, Bloody Welsh History – Swansea is now available. It is a fine looking book – for which I take no responsibility whatsoever. It is available in bookshops and of course from Amazon where you can get a Kindle version too. Or you can contact me directly via the website.

I am very pleased with how the book looks. I hope readers feel that the content is as interesting.

The publicity machine now begins. I am being interviewed on Jamie and Louise’s programme on BBC  Radio Wales on Thursday 2 August and book signings are to follow. And at the same time I am trying to finalise my book for 2013 – Murder and Crime in Swansea. A busy time indeed.

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