Tag: Swansea

The soul of a blackbird

July 9, 2021 0 Comments
The soul of a blackbird

The other day, as I was coming home from an evening walk, a strange thing happened.  I was nearing a place where the road narrows and the pavement gives out and you need to take care before crossing to the safer side.  On a small patch of grass, outside the gate of the house called […]

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Edward Thomas in Gower

April 23, 2021 2 Comments
Edward Thomas in Gower

At last some warmth returned with the sun, and I took the rough path along the top of the cliff between Rotherslade and Limeslade.  The sea was calm, empty and quiet, except for one thing: the bell of a floating buoy, its clear sound carried over the water by a light onshore breeze.  I’ve been […]

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Henry de la Beche defends slavery

December 4, 2020 5 Comments
Henry de la Beche defends slavery

If you were a financial beneficiary of a Caribbean sugar plantation dependent on slave labour, how would you react to the movement to abolish slavery?  Fight the movement aggressively in order to defend your interests?  Keep your head down and wait to collect your government compensation?  Admit the rightness of the movement’s cause, and ‘disinvest’?  […]

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A Czech refugee artist in Mumbles

December 20, 2019 10 Comments
A Czech refugee artist in Mumbles

In the big show of Swansea-themed art currently on in the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery are three paintings from the permanent collection I’d not seen before.  They’re by a Czech artist called Ernst (later Ernest) Neuschul.  What intrigued me was a note in the caption for one of them to say that he’d found refuge […]

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More poetry is needed

December 6, 2019 2 Comments
More poetry is needed

These are dark times.  Walking through the streets of central Swansea, it can seem that the dark is rising.  More shops close with every month, leaving empty and boarded windows.  In some parts only charity, pawn and vape shops appear to be in business.  Never-ending cuts have reduced what were once thriving public and third […]

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Greening Swansea: a forgotten pioneer

November 1, 2019 0 Comments
Greening Swansea: a forgotten pioneer

Greening cities and towns, we might imagine, is a contemporary concern – a response to the realisation that we’re rapidly destroying the earth’s environment and depleting its non-human lifeforms.  Swansea has its share of green activists and agitators working to raise awareness and press for action. It would be fair to say, though, that those […]

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Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, selenophotographer

October 29, 2019 2 Comments
Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, selenophotographer

If you visit the Penllergare Valley Woods, as we did last week, you can’t leave without developing a strong respect for the estate’s chief creator, John Dillwyn Llewelyn.  Photographic pioneer, astronomer, botanist, orchid collector, landscapist, inventor – he used his wealth, leisure and connections, after inheriting the estate as a boy from his grandfather in […]

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Swansea automatic

July 21, 2019 0 Comments
Swansea automatic

I first came across the name Rhys Trimble last month while wandering down a narrow lane from the castle to the main street in Denbigh.  At the bottom of Lôn Brombil (Broomhill Lane) a poem by him, ‘Moliant i Ddinbych’, is painted on the wall of a building.  It begins ‘Boreon Dafydd; o ael bryn […]

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Black boys

June 16, 2019 0 Comments
Black boys

On the way to give a talk in Killay Library in Swansea last week I passed a pub I remembered seeing before.  It struck me as odd the first time.  Not because of its building or location, but because of its name – The Black Boy. Years ago such a name might not have raised […]

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The Londonification of Cardiff

April 21, 2019 6 Comments
The Londonification of Cardiff

It’s a commonplace that the UK has the least well-balanced economy in Western Europe.  While London and its region, dominated by financial and allied services, continue to grow and thrive, the rest of the country is bogged in post-industrial depression, suffering still from the effects of George Osborne’s planned ‘austerity’ (still very much with us, […]

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