Posts tagged: Swansea

Aug 18 2016

How others see us

I came across an interesting piece in The Cambrian published on 17 August 1894. It is called How Others See Us and reports the impressions formed by a visitor to Swansea. Here is an extract from it.

In Swansea you are mixed up with a none-too cleanly lot. Of course now I refer to the streets. Bareheaded women with well-oiled and cosmetiqued hair, occupy the pavements, and the newspaper and match boys are generally barefooted. Swansea will rank with Liverpool in this matter, and indeed it is a curious thing that where seafaring and coal are important factors in the local trade there you will see much misery and ill-clad children. One would think that with all the poverty of London the Metropolis would be the worst place in the world; but from personal observations I think this is not the case. The smaller seaports reek with immorality, illegitimacy, and filth, and nowhere can this be seen more than in the maritime towns and cities on the south and west coasts.

Match Boys

The Mumbles is the place where you are supposed to go for enjoyment, and here is the village to drive out on a Sabbath afternoon, and hoodwink the licensing laws of Sunday-Closing Wales. In Swansea you mustn’t have a smell of a potion, but at the Mumbles you can fill yourself up to the tonsils with oysters, stout, and all the good things the good fairies at the Mermaid and other hotels are pleased to provide tor you.


I will add some more extracts from it to my Facebook page soon

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.

Dec 19 2012

New Book Cover


Here is the suggested cover for my next book, which will be in the shops in the spring of 2013.

Swansea Murder.

The book will contain the details of 28 murders in Swansea, from 1730 until 1949, some of which remain unsolved today.

Nov 30 2012

Book Signing

Off to Waterstones in Swansea tomorrow (Saturday 1 December 2012)  to sign copies of my books. Three will be available – Swansea Then and Now, Bloody Welsh History – Swansea, and Stories in Welsh Stone and of course they are ideal Christmas presents!

I am there between 11.00 am and 2.00 pm.

Had a good signing in W. H. Smiths last week and hoping for similar interest tomorrow.

Oct 12 2012

Swansea Life

There is a feature about my book Bloody Welsh History  – Swansea in the October edition of Swansea Life magazine. Look around page 20. Avoid the photograph if at all possible. There was also a feature in the South Wales Evening Post on Monday 15 October 2012. It is why dartboards were developed.

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