Posts tagged: Welsh Country Magazine

Nov 13 2017

The Maja – 1945

My piece in Welsh Country Magazine for November 2017 looks at two graves side by side  in Holyhead, Anglesey. In the spirit of Remembrance and to reflect that World War Two was indeed a global conflict, I have written about two Chinese sailors who died whilst serving in our Merchant Navy. Ah Teng Lie was a Pantry Boy and Tsai Sin Ling served as a fireman on the Merchant Vessel ‘Maja,’ a tanker which left Swansea in 1945 for Belfast and Reykjavik. It was sunk when it was struck by a torpedo from U Boat 1055 off the coast of Ireland on Monday 15 January 1945.
It is important that when we honour those who have been lost in conflict, we also remember those from all over the world who died fighting in our forces, just like Ah Teng and Tsai Sin, who now lie buried by the side of a foreign sea.
Welsh Country Magazine is available in newsagents and supermarkets across Wales. £2.95
Sep 10 2017

The Physicians of Myddfai – Welsh Country Magazine Sept 2017

The September edition of Welsh Country Magazine is now available in newsagents and supermarkets in Wales (price £2.95). In this edition my article is about the Physicians of Myddfai. This beautiful village is three miles south of Llandovery on the edge of the Brecon Beacons . It has a long tradition of healing and therapeutic remedies and I would certainly recommend a visit. It has a lovely church where  you can see the grave of David Jones and his son John, two of the physicians from the early eighteenth century and there is an excellent and informative Community and Visitor centre. You will learn, should you wish, how to cure tooothache by shoving honeysuckle leaves up your nose and how to make someone tell the truth (it involves a bit of business with a frog’s tongue.)  You will come home with an understanding of the three qualities of water – it will not bring sickness debt or widowhood. So a good day out all round I’d say.

Aug 06 2017

The Cowbridge Murder of 1885

The Grave of David Thomas in Llysworney

My piece in the recent edition of Welsh Country Magazine is about the horrible murder of David Thomas during a midnight storm in October 1885. It reached a similarly horrible conclusion with the botched execution of David Roberts who was arrested and condemned for the crime.

Welsh Country Magazine is available from newsagents and supermarkets, price £2.95


Mar 10 2017

Welsh Country Magazine March 2017 Edition

My story in the March edition of Welsh Country Magazine is about the brutal murder of an elderly couple in Bassaleg Newport in 1909. Charles Thomas was 82 and his wife Mary was 72 and they were beaten to death by William Butler with a hammer. Even though, as the headline tells us, he told the police ‘I never did do it,’ he was nevertheless hanged in March 1910 in Usk Prison.
Welsh Country Magazine is available from newsagents and supermarkets including Marks and Spencer and Waitrose – only £2.95.

Dec 28 2016

Dic Aberdaron

The January 2017 edition of Welsh Country Magazine is now available in newsagents, supermarkets (and Marks and Spencer) across Wales, price £2.95.
I write this time about the strange eccentric Richard Jones from the Llyn Peninsular who was born in 1780. He became better known as Dic Aberdaron, an itinerant with a peculiar gift for languages. He was particular interested in ancient languages which it was claimed he could speak fluently, though how anyone could judge his proficiency  in North Wales  is another issue altogether.

He died in 1843 and is buried in the grounds of St Asaph Parish Church.










Sep 05 2016

Watching the White Wheat

My piece in the September edition of Welsh Country Magazine is about the doomed love of Ann Maddocks and Wil Hopcyn from Llangynwyd, near Maesteg. They are buried in St Cynwyd’s church and are perhaps best known from the famous Welsh folksong Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn – Watching the White Wheat – which allegedly is Wil’s lament for his lost love. You can find Mary Hopkin singing the song on YouTube if you follow this link



Jul 21 2016

Violet, Victor, Violence


My latest article in Welsh Country Magazine (July 2016) explores the story behind the murder of Violet Pick, strangled on the Vauxhall Bridge over the river Monnow in Monmouth by her boyfriend in 1910.
When Victor was sentenced to death at the assizes a couple of months later, he waved to the public gallery shouting “Ta Ta! Goodbye boys! Goodbye all…”Headline 2

Poor Violet is buried in the decaying family grave below the Baptist Chapel in the village of Whitebrook near Tintern  in the beautiful Wye Valley


Jun 12 2016

Frances Power Cobbe

Cobbe 2

My article in the May edition of Welsh Country Magazine is about Frances Power Cobbe (1822 – 1904). She was a fascinating nineteenth century personality- a journalist, a campaigner for women’s rights and a leading anti-vivisectionist. She is a  buried in a quiet grave in the cemetery of St Illtyd’s church in Llanelltyd near Dollgellau, alongside her companion and partner, the sculptor Mary Lloyd.

“I desire that my coffin be not made of oak, or of any durable wood but, on the principle of earth to earth burials, of the lightest and most perishable materials, merely sufficient to carry my body decently to the grave. I desire to be carried to Llanelltyd Cemetery, not in a funeral hearse, but in one or other of my own carriages, driven by my coachman, at his usual pace. And I desire that neither then, nor at any other time, may my friends or servants wear mourning for me.”

As her gravestone says, “Bless her for her noble and unselfish life …a valiant champion of the oppressed, both man and beasts.”


Mar 06 2016

The Cribyn Murders of 1919

My piece in the March Edition of Welsh Country Magazine is a fascinating and largely forgotten story from 1919. It is about the Evans family who lived in Cribyn between Lampeter and Aberaeron. And the unsolved question is this. Did Willie Evans really murder his mother so that he could get the money to buy a bicycle? What do you think?

Where the Evans Family lived  - and where Mary died

Where the Evans Family lived – and where Mary died










You can buy Welsh Country Magazine in newsagents and supermarkets across Wales.

Price £2.95











Jul 21 2015

Daniel Thomas

My piece in the July Edition of Welsh Country Magazine is about Daniel Thomas a mine owner from Porth. He was renowned for his bravery as a rescue worker in colliery accidents – of which of course there were many. He died in 1880 in a rescue attempt following an explosion at the Naval Steam Coal Colliery in Penygraig. There is a memorial to him in the cemetery at Trealaw.

Welsh Country Magazine is available in over 780 outlets including Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose.


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