Ceri Shaw


 

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Category: Arts

Vote For Welsh Artist Nichola Hope!


By Ceri Shaw, 2020-05-23

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98380482_275547447155522_1847212270904410112_n 1.jpg A bit about me..

I am an artist of Welsh and Irish Nationality, born in Cardiff and living and working in South Wales and London. In 2006, I became a visiting artist for Welsh National Opera where I developed an interest in using drawing and paint as a medium to depict movement and theatricality. In 2019, I was given access to draw natural history specimens at Museum Wales. My work is inspired by figuration, our relationships with the animal world and human condition. I am a published illustrator and have exhibited widely across the UK and abroad.

I'm delighted that my Tansy Beetle, watercolour has been shortlisted for Wildlife Artist of the Year. My work is one of 159 artworks selected from an incredible 1,200 entries from across the world. All the work is for sale and 50% of the proceeds are donated to help protect precious wildlife. The ‘Facing Extinction’ category celebrates vulnerable species at risk of extinction, capturing their behaviour and importance in striking imagery. They may be gone tomorrow if we do not act today.

My artwork, people can vote for this for the People’s choice award here: https://davidshepherd.org/wildlife-art/artwork/tansy-beetle/

tansy beetle.jpg

Artwork

TITLE: TANSY BEETLE
ARTIST: NICHOLA HOPE
ARTWORK CATEGORY: 
FACING EXTINCTION
MEDIUM: WATERCOLOUR
ARTWORK SIZE (CM): 38 X 46

The exhibition usually runs in Mall Galleries, London but has launched online today due to the pandemic.

My website and social media http://nicholahope.com Instagram @thedrawingeye Twitter @thedrawingeye Facebook @thedrawingeye

Posted in: Arts | 0 comments


"Maid of Sker is a first-person survival horror, set in a remote hotel with a gory and macabre history from British folklore. Coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One in June 2020. Coming to Switch in Q3 2020."

If the quality of the trailer is anything to go by this could be a great game.

While you  await release why not catch up with the ghastly history of Sker House here:

Sker House – Where Fact & Fiction Collide by C.M. Saunders

From the article: "The history of Sker House dates back almost a thousand years to when it was first built as a monastic grange to support nearby Margam Abbey by monks of the Cistercian order. After the dissolution of the monasteries, ownership of the estate changed hands several times in quick succession whilst it remained a refuge for renegade monks. In 1597, then-owner Jenkin Turberville, a staunch Roman Catholic, was allegedly tortured to death after being accused of promoting the 'Old Religion' and in 1679, the missionary Saint Philip Evans was hung, drawn and quartered in Cardiff after being arrested at Sker House the previous year. Many other dignitaries and prominent historical figures have spent time there, and visitors once travelled from far and wide to marvel at its spectral beauty. Over the years, Sker House became a hive of paranormal activity. People have reported seeing ghost ships just off the coast and disembodied lights flickering along the beach, as well as hearing mysterious banshee-like wailing sounds in the grounds. Visitors often experience a crushing sense of doom when entering the premises, and there are also accounts of poltergeist activity and shadow people." 

Read More Here

Inspired by Harri Webb


By Ceri Shaw, 2020-03-26


This film shows the inspiration of Harri Webb’s life and poetry on the people of Merthyr. Those who knew him,read his verse and admired his politics. Children from three schools wrote poems in workshops inspired by his work for a competition. Locals at a monthly Open Mic at the Imperial Hotel read his poetry, sing songs and read their own poems based on Webb’s verse. Featuring ‘Colli Iaith’ music track with the vocals of Erin Lancaster and produced by Gwyncy Jones . Harri Webb lives on through all of them...

Mae'r ffilm hon yn dangos ysbrydoliaeth bywyd a farddoniaeth Harri Webb ar bobl Merthyr : y rhai oedd yn ei adnabod, yn darllen ei bennill ac yn edmygu ei wleidyddiaeth. Ysgrifennodd plant o dair ysgol gerddi a ysbrydolwyd gan ei waith ar gyfer cystadleuaeth. Pobl leol mewn Meic Agored misol yn darllen ei gerddi, yn canu chaneuon ac yn perfformio cerddi a ysbrydolwyd ganddo. Yn cynnwys y dôn thema 'Colli Iaith' chanu gan Erin Lancaster a'i chynhyrchu gan Gwyncy Jones. Mae Harri Webb yn byw trwy bob un ohonyn nhw...

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Looking Up England's Arsehole - Harri Webb

Many of Harri's titles are still available though some have become collectors items and this fact is sadly reflected in the prices.    Harri Webb on Amazon  

For first time readers, looking to acquaint themselves with Harri's patriotic and boozy ballads, we recommend the excellent Y Lolfa reprint of his collection - Looking Up England's Arsehole

Harri Webb on Wikipedia:- Harri Webb

Posted in: Harri Webb | 1 comments


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File 23032016 12 41 19 1.jpeg AmeriCymru:  Hi Annie and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. What was the inspiration for Black Dragon Crafts? When did you found the company?

Annie:   It’s a pleasure to be talking to you and thanks for being interested.
 
Black Dragon began back in the early 70’s, when the world was a significantly different place. My husband and I had sold most of our possessions to go on an adventure to the USA – when we got home, we didn’t really have anywhere to live and a friend volunteered us their barn in Wales. We set up a workshop and I began using the leatherworking skills I had learned in San Fransisco while he made candles.

We were invited to exhibit our wares at a show and needed a name for our enterprise: Black (because we were trying to buy a house called Llyn Ddu), Dragon (because we were in Wales) and Crafts (because that was what we were doing).

This was in 1974 and our work started to sell quite well, mostly in local gift shops and at Craft Markets. But we didn’t buy Llyn Ddu because a better place came along, then two children arrived, business expanded into shops and markets in England and we were living the dream. My leatherwork was Celtic, the kids were happy and the sun was always shining. Then in 1989 he left us. There were clouds covering the sun for a while but the world didn’t end and I had created my first Celtic bead within a couple of years. I never looked back. 

AmeriCymru:  Care to describe your workshop for our readers?

Annie:  My current workshop is the best ever. Everything started in a barn adjoining the cottage, then the weather changed and it all migrated to the kitchen table. It soon outgrew the table and I bought a big wooden shed to plant at the top of the garden. It lasted for over 10 years but the roof started leaking and everything went mouldy so I bit the bullet and built a proper building. Insulation galore, double glazed windows (with a fabulous view out of every one), green cladding, a pot bellied stove and proper workbenches. I started taking it all a lot more seriously and began winning prizes with my beads. 

My workshop is a building of two halves – I make the beads in the dirty half (lovingly called The Beadoir) and the jewelery in the clean half. 15 years on and it has settled into the landscape, green was a good choice. Visitors think it is all very well organised but it’s a busy space, there has to be some order and a plan. Having said that, I currently only have one helper and she has been with me for over 30 years, seen it all. There are changes afoot – I ought to be contemplating my retirement but I seem to be enjoying a growth spurt instead. Do I need more staff?

view from the workshop.jpeg

AmeriCymru:  What was the significance of beads to the ancient Celts? How are yours produced?

Annie:  Beads have always been used for adornment and trade, by every tribe and everywhere. Mine are unashamedly decorative and I cast them in lead free pewter.  I heat the pewter to around 350 degrees C, then  pour it into rubber moulds in a centrifugal casting machine. I fettle and file them by hand, then tumble them in a big tumbly machine to burnish and polish them.  It’s a hot, dirty, noisy, dangerous and dusty process, which involves many hours on my feet and zero romance. But I love it. To start with a 1kg stick of raw pewter and end with a batch of beads is wonderful and never ceases to amaze me. 

AmeriCymru:  What can you tell us about the range of Jewellery available from Black Dragon? How is the jewellery produced?

Annie:  In case you haven’t noticed already, I love my beads and I thread them in as many different ways as I can. I also love my gemstones, so we have developed different jewellery ranges which showcase the various styles of beads and stones. And each stone has its power or story, all carefully researched and printed on the packaging. There are massive 12mm gembeads in the Big Beady jewellery interspersed with our Globe and Bauble beads. Boxed Beady jewellery is made in many different bead configurations but mostly uses 6mm gembeads. Cwtch heart jewellery and Seren star jewellery both use mainly 6mm gemstones and you’ll find little hearts or stars dangling throughout. The agate jewellery is full of beautiful 8mm agate stones, in all of the colours you can think of. They are challenging to pair on earrings because they are all so very different but stringing the bracelets is quite therapeutic! And on it goes – with the Beady , Cyfrin , carded Beady and Dragon jewelley . Then there are little TWT bracelets    for the wee ones and even a Boy-o range   for the boys (large and small!)  As you can imagine – there are lots of components for each range, so we use our tried and trusted “templates” to make sure that the bracelets turn out the right length and the necklaces are symmetrical! 


AmeriCymru:  You also offer 'Crystalight' and 'Celtic Chakra' products for sale on your site. What can you tell us about these? 

Annie:   We’ve been making Crystalights for many years – we stopped (for a decade!) when I realized that there was a spelling mistake on the packaging!  Repackaged now, they make a perfect gift. “A cut crystal glass drop, genuine gemstones and a pewter Celtic bead...hanging at your window it will capture the sunlight and scatter glorious rainbows” What’s not to like?!

And what can I say about my Celtic Chakra jewelery?   People are searching endlessly for “wellness” and everybody loves a rainbow. Just in case you don’t know about the Chakra – the human body has seven Chakras or energy wheels and each of the genuine gemstones used in this jewelery relates to one of those power centres. Combined with the magic of the ancient Celts and threaded with hematite to give you courage, this jewelery should help to keep you balanced and energized. Try it?


AmeriCymru:  I'm sure that our readers would love to know more about the 'ORIGIN' shop in Carmarthen. Care to share?

Annie:   The Origin shop in Carmarthen is a wonderful place to go for treats and treasures, all hand made in either Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire – the old county of Dyfed. The shop is on King Street, which is in the old part of the town and far away from all of the multiple stores that you can find anywhere in anytown. On our street, most of the shops are independent and interesting – there’s an antique centre, three other galleries, a couple of nice eateries, a delicatessen, a couple of lovely gift shops, craft supplies, a smattering of charity shops plus vintage, interiors and clothing. Origin was the first Community Crafts Co-operative in Wales and was established back in in 1990, at a massive public meeting. It exists to promote local arts and crafts, to raise the standards of craftsmanship and to increase sales opportunities for local artists and makers. For my sins, I am a founder member and have been an active Director since the beginning. We all take it in turns to steward in the shop and we “muck in” to redecorate and move the displays around. We have three shop windows, changed every month, to give all co-op members their chance to shine. We have ceramics, fine art, glass, jewellery, metal, photography, sculpture, textiles, wood, slate and marbling – on two floors and all gorgeous. 

shopfront xmas 17.jpeg

AmeriCymru:  What's next for Annie Wealleans? Any new products or product ranges in the works?

Annie:   I’m 68 now and I ought to be thinking about retiring...but I’m not sure that I ever will. I love my work and I am very proud of my beads. I’m just an ordinary person but I have created something extraordinary – put ‘celticbeads’ into Google and there I am, top of the page. I had my first webpage in 1996 and have recently had a whole new website. You can register as a trade customer and buy for your shop, or you can buy for yourself. You can pick your preferred currency and have your own account, there’s plenty to look at and you can always ask if you can’t quite find what you want.  And my beads are gorgeous – each one with its own peculiarities and flaws but that’s what makes them special. I’m always dreaming up new shapes and designs but each one takes an age and costs a fortune, so I can’t be constantly launching new ones.  I’m currently wondering about more little pendants and maybe even some torc bracelets but that’s a whole new departure. The casting equipment in my Beadoir is all getting rather old and tired (most of it came over from Poland before the war, literally! It was used in London to create buttons and trims before I had it...but that’s a story for another day). I’m currently thinking about replacing it with something a bit more 21st century and taking on an apprentice. It would be a giant leap but this black dragon has still got plenty of fire left to breathe... and I may (brain permitting) start to learn Welsh soon. It’s kind of late, now that I’ve been living here for nearly 45 years ... but better late than never!

AmeriCymru:  Any final message for the members and readers of AmeriCymru?

Annie:   Hey, it has been lovely talking to you! It has been a bit one-sided but still lovely. Wales joins us all and as you know, I am not born welsh but I’m certainly “honorary welsh”. It’s in my heart and I couldn’t live anywhere else now. If you haven’t been here yet then you really need to come.  My parents had their honeymoon in Tenby, just a few miles from my workshop, back in 1947, They bought my sister and I back here for many family holidays – usually camping in a leaking tent but always happy. I wish they were all still here to see the way it all turned out - me happy with my beads and still loving life on the side of this Welsh hill with my dragons.  I am,very lucky. 



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. AmeriCymru spoke to Lawrence about his new book:- The Story of Welsh Boxing - Prize Fighters of Wales

Story of Welsh Boxing Lawrence Davies Image 1.jpg

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AmeriCymru: Hi Lawrence and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. Care to introduce your new book The Story of Welsh Boxing for our readers?

Lawrence: Hi, well my new book, 'The Story of Welsh Boxing, Prize Fighters of Wales' will be available to purchase at the start of June, 2019, and is published as a hardback by Pitch Publishing. This is the first book I have written on Welsh boxing to attempt to trace the origins of the sport of boxing in Wales, and to outline the careers of the most prominent Welsh fighters (or pugilists) recorded in the earliest days of British Boxing History.

The book introduces a number of forgotten early boxing 'champions' to have come from Wales, and features full accounts of some of the most prominent of the Welsh bare-knuckle fighters to have earned some measure of fame in the days before the advent of boxing gloves. There are some real surprises in the book and I hope that Welsh boxing fans enjoy reading about the forgotten fighters to have come from Wales.

It also introduces a full account of the career of Ned Turner, whose name might be familiar to some readers, as he is occasionally name-checked, although I don't think a full account of his career has been printed previously. Ned was a national hero in Wales in the 1820's and was thought to be the second greatest lightweight in Britain after a fighter named Jack Randall. His tale really is very engaging, Ned was a very likable and honorable man, and was greatly admired in his day. To the people of Wales it is no exaggeration to say he was a national hero. I hope that I have done him justice, and that readers enjoy his story.

AmeriCymru: What period of Welsh boxing history does the book cover? How difficult is it to research the earlier periods in the development of the sport given the dearth of written records?

Lawrence: The book covers what I would consider to be the first 'period' of Welsh boxing history, starting from the early 1700's with the most prominent Welsh fighters to have earned some measure of fame outside Wales, mostly within the 'London Prize Ring'. At this time, boxing or 'pugilism' had not yet broken away from the 'prize fighters' of the time, who were engaging in armed battles with the sword and staff, and the first chapter of the book gives background details on the types of contests that were fought with weapons, prior to fist fighting splitting away and being viewed as a separate art. It also contains details on some Welsh fighters who took part in these gladiatorial contests.

It also features those bare-knuckle fighters who were battling on native soil within Wales, right through to the fighting career of a boxer named William Charles from Newport who was deemed to be the 'Champion of Wales' by 1828, although he was not the first. The book covers a timescale of roughly 130 years, and charts the development of boxing within Wales, and the most prominent Welsh fighters that were recorded in the sporting journals and newspapers of the time.

Researching the book proved to be very difficult, in part because the first Welsh newspapers were founded at the start of the nineteenth century, and were very reluctant to print any information on boxing, or 'prize fighting' as it was known, mainly due to the influence of religious leaders and the chapel within Wales, who saw boxing as a demoralizing and brutal activity, although it was very popular, and often drew crowds of thousands to contests between prominent local 'Champions'.

Prior to the founding of the Welsh papers, what information can be found on the Welsh fighters of the eighteenth century is very hard to find, and piecing together the fragments of their fighting careers is a long and time consuming process, even after you have uncovered names of boxers who have long been forgotten. After fight accounts have been uncovered, you have to be able to review the materials critically and cross reference against other sources, which are often contradictory, in order to establish the accuracy of the material. The early history of prize fighting and boxing hasn't been explored in as great a detail as you might imagine. Most of the early works on boxing focus on the heavyweights, and the most prominent of the national champions.

AmeriCymru: What are the major differences between the bare knuckle fights of old and modern day boxing contests? Were fighters tougher back in the day?

Lawrence: One of the main differences in the bare-knuckle fights that took place in the days of prize fighting is that the contests were open ended, so there was no limit to the number of rounds. A man was expected to come up to the 'scratch' - a line in the center of the ring to fight - until such time as he was physically incapable of continuing. A round only ended when a man was sent down, rather than lasting a set time of three minutes. A fight could conceivably last hours, and often resulted in terrible injuries, particularly as a fighters supporters might well keep sending him out despite his injuries as they were naturally reluctant to lose the money they had wagered on their man.

Prize fighting was also an 'underground' activity. While there were many prominent members of the aristocracy who privately admired prize fighters, contests were always at risk of being broken up and the fighters and their supporters taken into custody and forced to defend themselves in court. Fights were therefore scheduled to take place at spots outside police jurisdiction, often on county boundaries, so the fighters and supporters could hop across the boundary in the event that they were being pursued by the constabulary of one county, and find another spot outside their reach to pitch another ring in a neighbouring one. As these contests took place outside, a portable 'ring' consisting of ropes and stakes were pitched once a suitable piece of flat turf was found, so it was a sport that took place 'on the fly'.

It seems to be one of those questions that creates a great deal of debate in boxing circles - were the old timers tougher than the fighters of today? I guess it depends on your point of view. Nowadays we have the benefit of science when it comes to physical training. Modern professional boxers are superbly conditioned athletes, but the toughness of some of the old fighters is quite phenomenal when you consider that they fought for hour after hour. They often sustained terrible injuries, with little medical assistance, without the benefits of modern methods of pain relief, and often for figures that would be unthinkably small for the professional boxers of today. Prize fighting was an incredibly dangerous sport. The book contains details of one fighter, recorded as a 'Welchman' who fought 276 rounds and was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records!

AmeriCymru: I think it's fair to say that bare knuckle fights were frowned upon by the authorities. Care to share some examples of the subterfuges fight organizers adopted to safeguard their events from interference by the local constabulary? Didn't the police face significant danger trying to break up these events?

Lawrence: The location where an important prize fight was to take place was often kept a secret until the day of the battle, usually when contests were to take place they were specified within a certain number of miles of London - which was the hub of prize fighting. This information was then circulated to fight fans of all walks of life, known as 'The Fancy' who would congregate at sporting houses, or pubs, where tips as to where the fight might come off might be heard.

At a later time, a 'special' train might even be booked to take the fighters and spectators to the scene of a battle, with the train pulling up at some quiet point on the line for the party to jump off, pitch a portable ring on a suitable spot of turf and bring off the fight before the authorities could locate the battleground.

Some prize fights drew crowds of thousands, and it might well be imagined in such circumstances it proved all but impossible for the police to exert their authority over such a vast number of people. There are accounts of people turning on the police when they attempted to break up a fight, and occasions where a posse of policemen scouring for the location of a fight were so out-manned that they had to merely watch from a distance with no ability to stop a contest.

AmeriCymru: From the book listing we learn that your "meticulous original research has uncovered many Welsh prize fighters previously unrecorded in any publication." Do you have any personal favorites? Are there any you would like to give a special mention to here?

Lawrence: Very few of the fighters within the book have been recorded at all in modern books of boxing history. As mentioned previously, Ned Turner was a symbol of bravery and honour in his day, but there are a few other fighters that appear within the book that are worth remembering. One is a particularly fierce Welsh butcher who plied his trade in Whitechapel Market, who was appropriately named 'Jack Rasher'. His fights were incredibly hard long and brutal, but he would laugh while his head was beaten 'like a rainbow, all manner of colours', and he would still spit on his fists and come out to fight. They called him 'Ironface'.

Another fighter within the book was known as the 'Wrexham Champion', he had a big reputation for thrashing everyone for miles around but died at the age of 38 after being attacked by a mob of 61 people. One of my favourites, because he sounds like a bit of a loon, is someone I know far too little about, a fighter named 'Taffy' Pritchard who challenged another fighter to eat 6lb of liver in less time than Taffy could eat 7lb of liver fried in candle wax! There are also some interesting details on the fighters that came after Ned Turner's time who claimed to be the 'Welsh Champion', whether merited or not.

Perhaps one of the most interesting accounts for Welsh boxing fans is the story of William Charles of Newport, who was genuinely held to be the 'Champion of Wales' by the general public - and was even compared to Owain Glyndwr the heroic rebel Prince of Wales. He has never been recorded in any book of Welsh boxing history before now. Charles was a smashing and powerful fighter and incredibly popular. For one of his fights in Monmouth, approximately 4,000 people traveled by horse, carriage and on foot from far and wide to a field to watch him take on one of his rivals, which seems astonishing to me, most of them trudging mile after mile for hour after hour to see their champion fight. I have tried to present as complete an account of his career as possible within the book.

AmeriCymru: Care to tell our readers a little about your earlier titles:- Mountain Fighters: Lost Tales of Welsh Boxing and Jack Scarrott's Prize Fighters.

Lawrence: The Mountain Fighters book was the first book I wrote on Welsh bare-knuckle boxing history, and it was published back in 2011. Prior to boxers wearing gloves, at the end of the nineteenth century, the bare-knuckle fighters of Wales were known as 'Mountain Fighters' because they fought on the mountains above the towns to avoid the interference of the police. I had come across references to them, but no details, who they were, who they fought, or any aspects of their lives and decided to research them. The book presented accounts of aspects of the lives of a number of the most prominent mountain fighters for the first time, including William Samuels, Robert Dunbar, Pete Burns (Dublin Tom), Sam Thomas (Sam Butcher), Dai St John, Patsy Perkins and others. Looking back it was a mammoth of a book, probably a bit too big. I wrote it in a very general style in an attempt to make it more readable to people who weren't necessarily only interested in boxing, but also in Welsh history, about a period that hadn't been previously explored.

The Jack Scarrott book finally came out in 2016 after many years of research. The name is probably most familiar to fight fans because Jack discovered the legendary Flyweight Champion of the World, Jimmy Wilde. Scarrott was a fairground boxing 'booth' owner. A boxing booth proprietor had a string of fighters who he employed to stand on the front of the booth, and he would invite members of the audience to challenge them over a few rounds. If they lasted the distance they won a cash prize. The spectators would pay an entrance fee to go into the booth, a large heavily decorated tent, to witness the contest. Virtually all the early Welsh gloved boxing champions started in the booths, and Jack handled most of them at one stage or another, the great 'Peerless' Jim Driscoll, Wilde, Tom Thomas the middleweight champion of Britain, Percy Jones, World Flyweight champion, and so many others all started out with Jack. Scarrott toured South Wales, packing up his booth and putting on contests around Wales for decades. He was a showman, a promoter, and one of the most important figures in Welsh boxing, although he had become something of a footnote in history, more of a myth than a man. His life and times were incredibly colourful, and the book shows how he took boxing from a small tent he knocked up himself in the town of Pontypridd, featuring ex-mountain fighters on his booth front, to venues where thousands watched the 96lb future wonder of the world Jimmy Wilde destroy all comers. It is an amazing story. As I learned more about Jack I admired him more and more. I hope one day that a revised edition will be published.

My new book, 'The Story of Welsh Boxing' is a bit different. It tries to present a full period of boxing history in as much detail as possible. I hope it is something that readers enjoy whether a wholehearted boxing fan, or whether they are just interested in the history of Wales generally. This is the first book that I have written that contains full footnotes, appendices, and a lot of wonderful portraiture and illustrations, and I really hope that people enjoy it. Sometimes it was hard trying to push on with writing it, and pull the various pieces together but I have tried to do credit to the courage and bravery of some of the great forgotten Welsh fighters of the past that should be remembered.

AmeriCymru: When will the book be available and where can readers buy it online

Lawrence: The book will be on general release at the start of June, 2019. I believe that Amazon are taking pre-orders. On the high street it should be available at Waterstones and WH Smiths and other bookshops.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-story-of-welsh-boxing/lawrence-davies/9781785315039

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Story-Welsh-Boxing-Prize-Fighters/dp/178531503X

https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/the-story-of-welsh-boxing-prize-fighters-of-wales/9781785315039

AmeriCymru: What's next for Lawrence Davies? Do you have any other projects ongoing at the moment?

Really hard to say right now, I have a few other things sitting on the shelf, mostly Welsh boxing related. I am also trying to fit in research time when I can, and would like to continue charting the 'Story of Welsh Boxing' when I get time to sit down and write. Hopefully people will like the new book enough that I will be spurred on to write some more, all I ever really wanted to do when I was a kid was to write something worth reading. I used to bash away with two fingers on a dusty old Remington typewriter that my dad had, the hope is that each time I try, I get better at doing it. He used to say, keep trying, keep fighting, keep going. I think thats probably the best advice I ever had.

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the members and readers of AmeriCymru?

Lawrence: I really hope that if you read the new book, 'The Story of Welsh Boxing' that you enjoy it. If you do I would be really grateful if you might be so kind as to post a review on amazon, or share your thoughts on it with others on facebook, twitter, etc. Its always wonderful to read that someone has enjoyed something that you have written, or tried to write to the best of your ability.

If you are on twitter you can tweet about the book to Pitch Publishing @pitchpublishing using #TheStoryofWelshBoxing. If you follow Pitch on Twitter you can leave book reviews, get exclusive news and enter competitions and prize giveaways.

Alternatively, you can also find out more about the book on facebook, or give your thoughts on it by visiting :

https://www.facebook.com/PitchPublishing

I am really thankful for all the people who have supported my previous books, or have been so kind as to review them, or write forum posts on them, etc. it really helps you keep trying and keep writing when you are struggling to find the momentum to keep working on a something that you know is going to take you a very long time to put together. Some people have been incredibly generous with their support, so thank you for your kindness to date. Also want to especially thank AmeriCymru for having alerted readers to my previous books when they came out, sometimes its the interest and enthusiasm of others that keeps you going when you are flagging.






https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/ play/m00027xk

Link above to BBC Radio 4 Web Site Programme

Melvin Bragg did a radio programme. The link is above on the BBC Radio 4 Web Site

It's about Owain Glyndwr who proclaimed himself Prince of Wales and who is buried secretly in Herefordshire - the position of his grave is passed on to the next generation on the death bed. It's somewhere over in the Golden Valley that leads to Hay on Wye. They mention how the Mortimer Marcher Lord of Hereford and Mid Wales sided with him and how the Welsh were finally recognised through his decedents the Tudors. How Owain used the historian Geoffrey of Monmouths Books to try to unite others - who refers to the British being the decedents of the people of Troy.

Owain Glyndwr tried basically to unseat the Norman Marcher rulers in Wales and thus the Norman King Henry of England wanting himself the rule Wales & the West Midlands with Mortimer ruling the South East England.



Many thanks to AmeriCymru reader Owen Evans for the above message and heads up.


Posted in: History | 0 comments

It's not too late to enter the singing and (poetic) recitation competitions at the Eisteddfod of The North American Festival of Wales ( www. nafow .org ), Sat. Sept. 2, 2017 , at the Hyatt Regency Rochester (125 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14604) - deadline for receiving entry forms (via email or regular mail) is August 21 !


Everything you need to know is in the Information Sheet and Entry Form linked below and - excepting the Solo Voice / Semi-Professional (David G. Morris) Competition - all entry fees this year have been eliminated!


We look forward to seeing you onstage on Rochester... for any questions, contact us anytime at eisteddfod @ nafow .org !




Posted in: NAFOW | 0 comments


Bryn Seion Welsh Church - 82nd annual Gymanfa Ganu

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The Welsh Society of Oregon held its 82nd annual Gymanfa Ganu at Bryn Seion Welsh church in Beavercreek on June 25th 2017. It was part of a wider Welsh celebration which included a lively Noson Lawen at the Lucky Labrador pub on Saturday night. The event was well attended with around 200 participants showing up for the afternoon and evening sessions.

Musical director Nerys Jones and organist Geneva Cook were joined by Harpist Bronn Journey in the afternoon, and The Picton Singers in the evening, for a lively and uplifting program of group singing and performances.

During the afternoon session Tad Davis outlined future plans for Welsh events in the Spring and Fall to supplement the already scheduled Portland Gymanfa Ganu and Christmas celebrations. The Society has also recently established the 'Gwaddol Group' which will seek to raise funds for "individuals conducting Welsh research, or support for development of music or art with a Welsh connection."  ( for more details go here )


Noson Lawen - Portland 2017

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The Welsh Society of Oregon’s annual Noson Lawen was hosted by the Welsh Society Festival Chorus who presented a handful of enchanting Welsh tunes.  MCs Andrea Wild and Hugo Glanville led the crowd in pub singing and their band Three Pound Note  also joined them on the stage for some Welsh, Cornish and English folk songs. Throughout the night there were contributions from the floor and one of the evenings highlights was a reading of Dylan Thomas's 'August Bank Holiday' given by Jonathan Nicholas.


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Bryn Seion Welsh Church, Beavercreek, Oregon




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Bryn Seion (Mt Zion) was built in 1884, and is the last active Welsh church on the Pacific Coast. Visit the church website here: Bryn Seion Welsh Church



What Is A Gymanfa Ganu?




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From the Welsh Society of Oregon website:- "Gymanfa Ganu (guh-mahn-vah GAH-nee) is a magnificent Welsh hymn-singing festival and more! Literally meaning “sing gathering,” it is a tradition of song and worship that has been practiced in Wales for centuries. The songs are sung in English and Welsh in four-part harmonies. Bryn Seion Welsh Church, Beavercreek, Oregon, has carried on the Gymanfa Ganu tradition since 1935. You don’t need to know Welsh to make a joyful noise, so please join us."..... Read More



The Welsh In The Northwest




Many Welsh moved into Oregon and Washington Territory in the 1880's. When train travel opened up the west. They found that land was cheap and abundant. Compared with the Great Plains, the land was much morelike that of Wales.

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A beautiful new online collection of audio stories suitable for children from Beyond the Border 



alunthebear.jpg £11.95 for one year's subscription

We're really excited to announce Beyond Storytime - a way of providing families everywhere with beautifully told stories in their own homes.  It is a small taste of the children’s part of our wonderful festival, available all the time, wherever in the world you live.

This online collection has nearly 20 audio stories told for English speakers and carefully chosen for us by our entertaining storytellers, to be suitable for children.  More stories will be added later so Beyond Storytime becomes a collection of treasured tales that grows and grows.  There is a handful of stories in Welsh as well.

For just £11.95 (less than £1 a month) you can subscribe to the service for a whole year.  Find out more, listen to some extracts, subscribe to the site for yourself or buy a gift subscription by visiting www.beyondstorytime.com .

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