The Coracle Races are part of the Cilgerran Festive Week, an annual celebration bringing together the whole village in a number of activities from children’s sports to fancy dress and carnival. The main event is the traditional coracle racing which took place on Saturday August 24th 2019 on the River Teifi not far from the Castle ruins in Cilgerran.

The coracle is a small, rounded, lightweight boat traditionally used for net fishing of Atlantic salmon and sea trout known locally as sewin in the rivers of Wales. The tradition is kept alive by fisherman on the River Towy and Teifi.

Welsh coracle on grass

The races give opportunities to novices and experts throughout the day

Posted in: Art | 0 comments

442764 1.jpg

801492.png Super Marine release their debut single ‘Decadent Flowers’ on the 4th of October 2019. A supercharged power pop-rock anthem, laced with glistening riffs, singalong refrains, energetic percussion and arms aloft choruses that recall to mind the anthemic work of the Foo Fighters, the melodic hooks of Jimmy Eat World and Ash and the rhythmic urgency of The Gaslight Anthem. 

Super Marine are a four-piece band from Blackwood, South Wales. Their music incorporates gutsy guitar-driven melody lines infused with classic vocal hooks.  In the spring of 2019 they started working with notable music producer Rich Jackson (Pretty Vicious, Future of the Left, SFA) and will be releasing their first single 'Decadent Flowers' on Friday 4th October 2019. 

Currently working with the Forté project this ambitious young band are cutting their teeth in the studio perfecting their sound, and playing a run of shows this autumn including a hometown single launch at the Blackwood Miners’ Institute and a slot at Swn festival in Cardiff,  that will prove they are a coming force in Welsh music. 

Super Marine say: "We’re extremely happy with how this track turned out and can’t wait for people to hear it. Working with Rich Jackson was fantastic, he really helped us bring this song to life. We’re excited to get out there and play this track at our upcoming shows."  


10 Feet Tall, Cardiff – 26th September

Cwmaman Festival – 29th September

Blackwood Miners’ Institute (single launch) – 5th October

Hardies Merthyr – 13th October

Swn Festival – 19th October

Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 27th October

Hangar 18 - Swansea - 8th November

McCann’s Newport - 22nd November

The Patriot, Crumlin - 29th November 



Posted in: Music | 0 comments

No Pasaran by Bee Richards

By BEE RICHARDS, 2019-09-10

Doesn't it ever stop raining? thought Mali as she gazed through the small kitchen window.  The mountains were covered in a grey wet mist, and the rain trickled miserably down the window pane, grimed with the black coal dust that was everywhere. There was a bucket placed in the middle of the lean to they called a kitchen, a steady drip could be heard filling the rusty bucket.  The roof was leaking, and there was no money to repair it.  She was on her own, left while Owen her husband had swanned off to Spain on some brainless socialist ideal to fight in that bloody War.

She had waited for hours, sitting in the sparse kitchen with Beth. There was a small fire burning.  She could no longer keep the house warm on the pittance she was receiving from the Parish.  Mari still wore the baggy old cardigan under her wraparound pinny for extra warmth.  Her hair once so beautiful was dull and lank, her mother said due to malnutrition. 

“Leave him” said Mam. 

“I love him” replied Mari. but now it was too late.

The evening meal was spoiled.  Bethan was upset her Dudda was absent again.  That bloody Union Lodge all they ever talked about was Revolution.  And now this thing in Spain, some sort of peasant uprising.  But with heavy political overtones, that's what Owen had told her.   Just what they had been waiting for so they could save the bloody world,  What about the peasants in the valley who were being starved out by the coal owners?  If it wasn't for Mam they would have no tea today.

Finally Owen appeared.

“Where have you been?”  she snapped.

“Oh don't start again Mari.  I've had a long day.”

“Yes, arguing the toss with that lot at the Lodge.  You need a job not ideals.  Owen you are useless.”

“Is it my fault they've offered us starvation wages?” he replied.

“Mam is feeding us.  Me and Bethan would go hungry if we depended on you.  
You know you won't get a better offer, than the one on the table.”


“The Union will back us.  We'll stay out until we get what we want.”

“Thats all bravado.  What about that bloody useless Mining agent.  He gets fatter by the day.  He's in the pocket of the owners.  Until you get rid of him you can pass as many resolutions as you like,  while the children in the valley starve, and you lot form committees.  We used to be so happy before this all started.”

In a moment of resignation Owen looked at her

“ Mari do you think I like this?  With thousands of us out.  Our kids going hungry and the soles of their shoes getting ever thinner?  The valley is on the bones of its'
arse.  Because of those overfed bastards at the big house squeezing every penny out of us.  The only recourse we have is with the Union.”

“The bloody Union, is that all you ever think about.  Committees and resolutions, its' a bloody full  time job for you.  We used to be so good together.” She said softly as she moved towards him, but he pulled away.  “Another pregancy won't solve anything.”

“Don't you want me anymore?”

There was no answer.  The silence chilled her bones.  It was an answer in itself.

“Is there no future?” asked Mari quietly.

“Not while we're in this state.  I'm a free man, who can make his own decisions.”

“And me and Beth are free to starve.  Are we?  You are free to scavenge the tips for coal.  Where is the dignity in being free?”

He moved further away from her.  His face became pale.

“Why did you go there ?   She said.  Was it a 'man' thing?  Because you were the Lodge secretary?  Did you feel you had to?   Peer pressure?  Were you afraid you had to prove yourself a man?  Tell me .“ she screamed.

“There were people being oppressed, starving, massacred.  They needed our support.”  replied Owen.

Dont talk such rubbish.  There are hundreds in this valley being starved and oppressed, and you have the solution.  Negotiate.  But out of male chauvinist pride, you won't give yourselves the opportunity to get around the table.  Then you go off to that bloody war.  You left me and Beth without a word.  Some bloody hero.”

He stared  as though not seeing her.  It was as if she was'nt there.  He looked at her strangely

“What the hell is the matter with you Owen David?  Her voice rose in anger. 

“Why don't you answer me?”

He just sat there as if neither of this world or the next.

“I want to know why you did it Owen.” said Mari.

“Were'nt me and Beth enough for you?  You left us in the middle of the night, man! 

How could I explain it to Bethan?”   The tone of her voice betrayed her hopelessness.

Owen replied almost as if in a dream.

“You know I loved you and Beth.  It all happened so quickly.  I knew the call would come.  We had to meet at Cardiff at 6.00 the following morning to get the boat train to France.  We walked over the Pyrenees into Spain, where we were met by Manolo.

“You left me and Beth penniless.  There was no note.  We didn't know where you were.  Then of course, there was Manolo.”

“But Beth I was injured pretty early on.  Manolo looked after me.”  

“Bloody Manolo”  snapped Mari..

“Why do you talk so negatively of him?” asked Owen.

“If it was'nt for that man hundreds of us would have died.  You didn't know him Beth.”  replied Owen.

“I know what he was”  she said bitterly.

“He loved me.”

“It was obscene.  You were lovers.”

“They came for him Beth, he would not tell them about me – about us, or where we were hiding.  They tortured and finally shot him.  Such a beautiful human being.

Owen became ever more distant.

“The Brigaders who came back gave me the news that tried to rescue him. On your own of course.  You bloody fool Owen.  Now I'm a widow and you are buried god knows where..................” 

Posted in: default | 0 comments


Sonny Winnebago is the moniker of Welsh-Australian troubadour /musician Harvey Jones, who's spent the entirety of 2019 living out of his battered suitcase and beloved camper van, all whilst feeding other people's cats and dogs. He was born with hypermobility syndrome which allows him a heightened flexibility, creating a very dynamic and unusual performance style. His infectious music embodies a 'melody is king' approach to pop writing, drawing inspiration from 1970s figures Harry Nilsson &  Cat Stevens .

Following a string of profiled support slots, including Michael Kiwanuka & Joel Baker, Sonny Winnebago will be releasing his anticipated debut single  'Take Me For A Ride' . It is one of four tracks he'll be releasing with the support of Welsh artist development scheme 'Forté Project', enlisting the skills of producer Charlie Francis (R.E.M, The High Llamas), featuring session musicians Davey Newington (Boy Azooga), Matt Evans (KEYS) and Steve Black (Sweet Baboo).

Harvey says that Take Me For A Ride  was written from a place of restlessness, following the event of a long-term friendship going south."It's a true story, and a relatable one too, with strong themes of detachment and self-empowerment" Backed up by an uptempo rhythm section and bright, choppy chords, 'Take Me For A Ride' ultimately engulfs the listener with feelings of summer abandonment and child-like joy.

Umbrella Hat.jpg

Posted in: Music | 0 comments


Within Mother Bear Productions we are finding that we have raced ahead in our challenge of one video a week for Americymru. Prepared videos are being held up from being released for weeks after they are ready to be published. So we now intend to release videos once they are ready. It may be that some weeks we’ll release two videos.

This week we concentrate on the Carmarthenshire Water Safety Partnership and the extremely important work that Adam and other charity workers do towards water safety awareness in the county and all over Wales.

Thanks for watching and please share away.


Posted in: Art | 0 comments


Yn gymsgedd byrlymus o gords gwych sy'n symud o'r bygythiol, miniog, a ffrwydol i dristwch synfyfyriol mae sengl ddwbwl  newydd Breichiau Hir yn destament i hyder cynyddol y band. Mae eu senglau diweddaraf yn profi bod Breichiau Hir yn torri  cwys eu hun. Mae'r sengl ddwbwl 'Yn Dawel Bach / Saethu Tri' yn perthyn i'w gilydd, maent yn dod o'r un man greadigol ac  emosiynol fel esbonia'r prif leisydd Steffan Dafydd - 

"Mae Saethu Tri yn esbonio'r ofn a'r edifarhad sy'n gallu dod drosta i, a sut yr ydw i byth rili'n siwr sut i ddelio ag e. Dwi ddim  yn trio dramateiddio'r teimlad yn y gân, dwi'n cadw'r disgrifio'n blaen ac yn onest, yn cyfleu'r gwacter a'r diflastod sy'n dod law  yn llaw a'r teimlad hwnnw. Mae'n drist ac yn dywyll"

"Mae Yn Dawel Bach yn ymateb uniongyrchol i'r ofn dwi'n siarad amdano yn Saethu Tri. Mae'n pwyntio allan y tonnau o banig  sy'n gallu dy lethu ar unrhyw adeg. Gall y teimlad grasho ar dy ben di lle bynnag yr wyt ti. Dyw e ddim yn gofyn caniatad, ma fe  jyst yn cyrraedd, heb wahoddiad a heb i neb ofyn amdano."

Mae'r emosiynau bregus yma i'w clywed trwy'r ddau trac ac yn cael eu disgrifio mewn modd hyfryd. Mae'r penillion llonydd yn  denu'r gwrandawydd mewn i rhyw fyd ffug-ddiogel cyn i wal enfawr o sŵn ddod i ddinistrio'r byd hwnnw.

Bydd y sengl ddwbwl ar gael ar niferoedd cyfyngedig o dapiau a bydd Breichiau Hir yn dathlu'r sengl ddwbwl yn The Dojo, Kings Road Yard, Caerdydd ar Medi 28.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++

To move from the caustic, the abrasive, the aggressive to a pensive sadness that eventually brake’s into a cacophony of blistering  chords with such ease is a testament to Breichiau Hir’s growing confidence. The last 12 month of releases has shown a band forever forging their own individual path. ‘Yn Dawel Bach / Saethu Tri’ is their new Double A side single, it’s also the band's most  melodic songs to date. These songs combine Breichiau Hir’s love for loud noise and soft sad moments. Emphatic sounds and melancholic atmosphere.  ‘Yn Dawel Bach / Saethu Tri’ belong together, they come from the same emotional and creative place. As Steffan Dafydd the bands lyricist and vocalist explains:

“In Saethu Tri, I outline the dread or regret that can overcome me and how I’m never totally sure how to deal with it. I don’t dramatise  it in the song, I kept it matter of factly and tried to convey the numbness and dullness that comes with it. It’s wistful and sombre.”

“Yn Dawel Bach is nearly a response to this dread I talk about in Saethu Tri. It basically points out that these waves of panic can overwhelm you whenever it wishes. It can come crashing at you wherever you are. It doesn’t ask permission, it just arrives, unannounced and uninvited.”

These frail emotional landscapes the songs move through are beautifully conveyed. Calm verses that ease the listener into a false sense  of security and control before a wall of sound blissfully brakes into the chorus.

The single will be available on limited edition cassette tape and Breichiau Hir will celebrate the release with a launch night at The Dojo, Kings Road Yard, Cardiff on September 28th.

Breichiau Hir Links:

Posted in: Music | 0 comments


By BEE RICHARDS, 2019-09-04


The women of Wales have a gritty and courageous story to tell.  Expressed in terms of fashion the tale is outlined by the changing social and historical forces which influenced what they wore. And in turn influenced who they were and what they became.

At the start of the First World War in 1914, society in Britain remained much as it had always been since the beginning of the twentieth century.  Britain was rigidly class ridden between the aristocracy the middle classes who formed the professional and blue collar workers such as doctors, lawyers teachers and scientists etc., Then there were the working classes, manual and factory workers, miners, iron foundry workers, also dock workers, and those who maintained the railways.  Generally these were the men who maintained the fabric of society.  Skilled and semi skilled workers who earned a living in the heavy industries with their hands and their strength.
Working class women and girls were mainly wives, mothers, and home makers.  Their role in society had not changed since Victorian times.  Once married they were expected to look after their husbands and sometimes very large families.  Birth control was not generally used, and these women often had very large families, some had a dozen or more children.  

In the mining valleys of South Wales, as well as cooking and cleaning, women had to provide hot baths for their husbands and older sons who worked in the pits, and who came home at different times of the day. There were no pithead baths provided until the 1930’s.  Sometimes women worked almost 24 hours a day!

From the early part of the 20th century, there was controversy over pithead baths which would enable the miners to bathe and wear clean clothes at the end of their shift.  This would take a great deal of strain off women who provided this facility at home.

Some companies did not want to install them.  Sometimes the miners paid for them out of small weekly donations from their wages.  Gradually during the twenties and thirties pit head baths were installed. Thus relieving the heavy chores housewives had to undertake to provide daily bathing for sons and husbands using zinc baths and lifting gallons of hot water which had been heated over the kitchen fire. The majority of miner’s cottages had no hot water and no bathrooms.

There were some young middle class women who had gained entrance to University but this was a very rare occurrence.  It was practically unheard of, and very controversial in the male dominated society of the time.  Middle class educated women usually who wished to work outside the home used their talents in charitable works, or the church, and were considered 'suitable' for these purposes, by their fathers and husbands.

Working class women were mainly employed in 'service' in the great houses and as maids working in middle class houses.  Many young Welsh women and girls migrated all over England to serve in menial domestic capacities.  Some were treated well others just used as family drudges, washing cooking and cleaning for sometimes quite a number of people of the household. 

Women were also employed as seamstresses, and some young women were 'mobile' who would take their sewing machines and work wherever needed, becoming very early female business owners.  Others were employed as shop assistants, or worked on farms as dairy maids and farm servants.  A lot of these jobs were very poorly paid.

Women could not own property in their own right.  


There was some movement however to improve the lot of women.  During the 1800's laws were passed that made it possible for married women to own property in their own right the same as unmarried women and widows.


One of the prominent women’s movements was the Women's Social and Political Union known as the WSUP formed to campaign for Votes for Women, which originated in England in 1903.

This was a highly controversial movement, because the women took the view that the Suffragist movement who campaigned through peaceful means and through their male dominated Parliament were ineffective. The WSUP in 1906 start to used violence to advance their cause.  The majority of the Suffragettes who formed the WSUP were mainly educated upper middle class women.

Many of them were arrested and jailed for their activities.  They went on hunger strikes in prison, and a cruel method called force feeding was employed, whereby a tube was forced down the throat and food and liquid poured directly into the digestive system.  

Women had to be held down in order for this process to be carried out.  In certain instances their health was badly affected, and they were released from prison only to recover and be re-imprisoned.  This process was made legal under legislations which came to be called The Cat and Mouse Act passed in 1913.

Some very wealthy Welsh women were involved in the Suffragette Movement.


Significantly, with the advent of WW1 in 1914 Suffragette activities were curtailed.  After the first draft of Volunteers to France there was suddenly a shortage of labour in areas which men had been traditionally employed. i.e.,  farming, industrial work, manufacturing even the Post Office.

Miners were, for a time in a ‘protected’ occupation, but as the war advanced conscription was brought in, and some of the soldiers who were conscripted were taken from the mines.  It was the unpleasant duty of the Lodge Secretary to name the men selected for active service.

Initially there was some prejudice to women being employed in jobs which men had traditionally held. The fact that the war machine took millions of volunteers to France left Britain without enough labour to maintain Great Britain.


During the month of March 1915 women were called to register for employment at their local Labour Exchanges.  Within a short time women were filling jobs traditionally occupied by men in the clerical, shop work even bus conductresses and taxi and vehicle drivers.  Nurses were employed in hospitals and many went out to France to serve in hospitals close to the Western Front.  The casualties were enormous, 20,000 were killed or wounded in ONE DAY, during the battle of the Somme.

Women were needed in factories and industry.  In Wales where munitions factories were established. Thousands of women were employed producing shell casings.  There were three factories in Wales which produced high explosives.   Young women were employed in filling the manufactured shell casings with highly dangerous and volatile material which caused accidents.  In one case in Swansea a fatality occurred where the young woman had a funeral with her coffin draped in the Union Jack, accompanied by and escort of munitionettes clad in their working gear.

The emancipation of women had begun.  Through employment and higher wages (although still not equal with men).  Women began to find a life outside the home.  They took responsibility, gained independence and above all realised that they could do almost anything that men could!

WOMEN’S FASHION 1914 -1918

Because of the variety of jobs which women were called upon to perform, a radical change came about in the lives of millions of women, and the way they dressed.   The constricting long skirts and elaborate gowns of the Edwardian era were replaced with more practical clothes.  

Women needed garments which were suitable and safe for their employment.  Sometimes Breeches were used in conjunction with an overall with a skirt which was knee length and heavy duty boots were worn completing the uniform.  This was a great departure for the female workforce who worked in the farming and munitions areas of work.  

Every day wear also became more practical with a variety of working ‘suits’ being worn which comprised of a straight skirt, fitted jacket and a blouse, often cut on very masculine lines. The necessary alterations in fashion began to reflect in the increasing independence and self reliance of the female population. 

Posted in: default | 0 comments


The Battle of Bosworth, the last battle of The War of The Roses is celebrated/commemorated in Carmarthen in August annually. The battle took place on 22 August 1485. The House of Lancaster was victorious over Richard and the House of York. Henry Tudor was crowned King, it was the beginning of the Tudor dynasty.

What’s Carmarthen got to do with Bosworth?

Sir Rhys ap Thomas was a Welsh soldier and supported Henry at Bosworth. It is believed that Rhys was the man who delivered the fatal blow to Richard III. The warrior poet of the time, Guto’r Glyn described the death of Richard as a vicious blow to the head with a battle axe, "killed the boar, shaved his head."

He was supposedly knighted on the battlefield and in return for his loyalty to Henry VII he was rewarded with titles that made him one of the most influential men in Wales.

Sir Rhys’s tomb is now situated in St Peter’s Church Carmarthen.

Coat of arms of Sir Rhys ap Thomas, KG

Posted in: Art | 0 comments

The Story of Welsh Boxing - A Review

By Ceri Shaw, 2019-08-31

Lawrence Davies is a Welsh boxing historian, the author of Mountain Fighters: Lost Tales of Welsh Boxing and Jack Scarrott's Prize Fighters. His groundbreaking work has served as the basis of a TV documentary and numerous newspaper articles. His meticulous original research has uncovered many Welsh prize fighters previously unrecorded in any publication. Read our interview with author Lawrence Davies here .

Story of Welsh Boxing Lawrence Davies Image 1.jpg


Lawrence Davies' new book confirms his status as the historian of Welsh Boxing. His earlier title 'Mountain Fighters of Wales' ( see this post ) first published in 2012, established his reputation and subsequent offerings have amply confirmed his dedication to the task of chronicling the early development of the Welsh 'fancy'. Davies' obvious passion for his subject matter and meticulous research combine to ensure that this book will appeal to boxing afficianados everywhere but the general reader will also find it a richly rewarding experience.

The core of the book consists of a series of biographies of early Welsh pugilists all of whom have been more or less lost to history. You might be forgiven if the names of Thomas 'Paddington' Jones, Ned Turner, the Savage brothers and William Charles are not familiar to you. In his day the last named was, "considered another Glendower,..." and was hailed as the Welsh Champion. William Charles' battles with Bristolian Jem Bailey are vividly and entertainingly recounted in the closing chapters of the book. 

Readers who are intrigued by Tom 'Paddington' Jones and wish to learn more are advised to check out this article which Lawrence Davies posted on AmeriCymru earlier this year:- Tom Jones Inducted Into International Boxing Hall Of Fame!

Ten chapters are devoted to the career of Ned Turner, the Out-and-Outer, who in his day was 'the greatest fighting Welshman of the age'. Although he was born in London both his parents were from Newtown in Montgomeryshire and this fact sufficed to guarantee him the support of his countrymen. He was noted for his extreme skill in the ring and his gentlemanly conduct outside it.

'The game Ned Turner once a toast,
No better man alive!
He was 'the Fancy's' pride and boast,
On victory did thrive.'

This is also a book which will delight social historians and anyone with a penchant for archaic English slang. Pierce Egan was the author of Boxiana, a  series of volumes of prizefighting articles published in the early 19th century. Mr Davies says of him:-

"Egan was .... named 'the Great Lexicographer of the Fancy' as he did not merely record the language of the followers of the ring; in many instances he created it. The 1822 edition of Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, which had been edited by Pierce Egan, would include many terms that had been coined by Egan himself.'

The book includes an appendix on pugilistic terminology where we find such entries as:-

KNIGHT OF THE LEEK - A term used to denote that a pugilist was of Welsh origin. Occasionally also used to describe his supporters 'the benefit was well attended by the knights of the leek'

IVORIES - The teeth. A pugilist who has broken his opponent's teeth is said to have 'cabbaged his ivories'.

In conclusion we unreservedly recommend 'The Story of Welsh Boxing' to the Boxing enthusiast and general reader alike. You may find inspiration and you will certainly find humour, but above all you are guaranteed a first rate read.


The Story of Welsh Boxing: Hardcover

The Story of Welsh Boxing: Kindle Edition

2012 Interview with Lawrence Davies

2019 Interview with Lawrence Davies

Posted in: about | 0 comments


Sport is loved all over Wales and football is a game that I was brought up on. There was no rugby for my generation in Carmarthen until you were Under 11 and then it was 15 a side District game on a full size pitch! The rugby clubs of town only offered the sport to Youth and Senior teams. All primary schools had the tradition of playing football on a Friday afternoon , eleven a side on specially prepared smaller pitches.

Rugby enthused us as youngsters, world class Gareth Edwards, Barry John , icons of the sport displayed their skills in the Five Nations Championship. But football lived alongside rugby and offered us other Welsh sporting heroes: John Charles , Leighton James, Gary Sprake, Terry Hennesey, Brian Flynn.

As we get older, joints creak, muscle get sore and sometimes the heart beats to an irregular pace but the older generation can still feel the buzz of the team ethic and the thrill of competition in walk football sessions at the same pitch that I would have played those primary school cup finals : Richmond Park, Carmarthen.

Josh Edwards, is coach at Carmarthen Town AFC – ‘ The Old Golds ’.

Check the video out and find a club near you and start enjoying sport again.

Posted in: Art | 0 comments
 / 481