Voices From Wales - a video series from Mother Bear Productions
AmeriCymru is very proud and thankful to present a video series by Mother Bear Productions in Wales, a cooperative project by the incredibly talented team of Andy Edwards and Seimon Pugh Jones, sharing interviews and the beautiful land of Wales and its people with all of us. Please enjoy their first video in this series, below, and many more to come.
A video from the archives - in July 2016 Seimon and myself organised a day of commemoration. It was 100 years since the Battle of Mametz Wood took place on the Somme during the Great War of 1914-18.
We invited local people and musicians to come along and tell their stories and sing their songs of the war. We videod and recorded their oral history and their musical performance. The Open Day at the Tin Shed Museum in Laugharne was an amazing emotional day and thanks again to all those who cointributed!
I hope the film reflects the respect and gratitude that we always will have for those who fought during the Great War and especially those at Mametz Wood 103 years ago.
VOICES FROM WALES - NINETEEN OF FIFTY-TWO, CARMARTHEN VELODROME
For years Carmarthen Park was my rugby home. Privileged to play in an amphitheatre of sport, surrounded by a disused cycle track. Century-old photos showed the park as the sporting hub of the town and county.
As a supplement to my rugby training I always loved cycling and would occasionally find myself pedalling around the rugby ground, making sure I missed the surface cracks and the increased number of potholes that appeared as the years passed.
A £580,000 project to redevelop the site and make it a cycling hub for West...
VOICES FROM WALES - EIGHTEEN OF FIFTY-TWO, THOMAS SKEEL – A NAPOLEONIC SOLDIER FROM LAUGHARNE, CARMARTHENSHIRE, PART 2
In the second part of Thomas Skeel the 15 minute video showcases John Bradshaw recollecting the diaries of the landlord of The Ship Inn, Laugharne, Thomas Skeel. Skeel enlists into the 40 th Regiment of Foot and talks about his part in the fight against Napoleon in the Peninsular Wars of the early 19 th Century.
I first met Malcolm Cawley aka BB Skone over 25 years as a music journalist at a gig in the Officer’s Mess in Pembroke Dock. His writing was erudite, educated and entertainingly witty.
He has become a legend in West Wales for promoting and encouraging musical projects of aspiring performers. His Comprehensive Gig Guide column and gig reviews in local newspapers are always the place to find out what is going on in the music scene. For so many years he broadcast from Radio Pembrokeshire and was an innovator within the music scene: live performances from the smallest...
THOMAS SKEEL – A NAPOLEONIC SOLDIER FROM LAUGHARNE, CARMARTHENSHIRE PART 1
I’ve only ever heard it within the township of Laugharne.
Mother Bear is an exclamation of surprise, similar to the phrase Gordon Bennett! or Cor Blimey!
It began with the chance discovery of a memorial stone in churchyard, which led to finding the diary of Thomas Skeel, born 1781, a farm labourer from Hangman Street, Laugharne. The diary told the story of an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary events. His story deserved to be retold. So came the birth of Mother Bear Community Theatre Group, mixing...
The Big Spring Beach Clean, Surfers Against SewageFreshwater West, PembrokeshireApril 7th 2019
It’s World Oceans Day, June 8th, and people around our world celebrate and honour the ocean, which connects us all.
To celebrate we would like to release a video of the Big Spring Beach Clean. It is the UK’s biggest coordinated beach clean activity, which has brought together over 150,000 volunteers over the last five years, contributing an incredible two million hours of volunteer time to protecting and conserving our beaches for everyone...
THE FORGOTTEN CONSCRIPTS
These young men could well be described as having served in the secret underground movement during the Second World War, but not in the sense that most people would imagine, for even today many have not heard of the term Bevin Boy.
Sixty-eight years ago on the 2nd December 1943, Ernest Bevin the wartime Minister of Labour and National Service announced in the House of Commons a scheme that was to change the lives of many young men, by being directed to serve their National Service working underground in the coalmines of Britain.
When war was declared...
VOICES FROM WALES - THIRTEEN OF FIFTY-TWO
The ABC of Opera is the brainchild of Mark Llewelyn Evans. Mark has visited over 250 schools in South Wales and has now published a book to go with the workshops that is sold online worldwide. It is a fantastic piece of work that has been collated with the help of creatives across Wales.
Five Hundred years of opera to captivate, inspire, enlighten and empower children of all ages and abilities.
I feel so passionate that every child should have the chance to experience the performing artswhilst using their imagination to their full potential....
VOICES FROM WALES - TWELVE OF FIFTY-TWO
The Eclectic Shed Experience are Ron Savory and Liz Crippin. Both solo singer-songwriters who have now combined to inspire fresh arrangements of their most popular self-penned material.
They hope to record their first album soon. You can find them on the web at: theese.co.uk
They have just performed at the World famous Tredegar House Folk Festival in Gwent.
Last week they recorded an interview with Malcolm Cawley for B.B.Skone’s Pembrokeshire Music Show for Pure West Radio.
If you want to listen to one of the the tracks in full that...
VOICES FROM WALES - 11 of 52 James Page, Columbus Campervans
An enthusiast from Swansea who over the years has learnt how to restore old VW vans and from a hobby has turned the projects into a small business.
I first heard about Jimmy nearly 30 years ago when a guitar tutor friend came to a band rehearsal and said:
"You wont believe this but I am teaching guitar to Jimmy Page! Hang on!" he said, "I’m also teaching bass to his mate, Steve Miller!"
As the boys grew older and learnt their respective guitars to a high standard, they formed a band. Another friend called Paul Young...
Voices from Wales - Week 10 of 52 - isea surfwear
In March 2012 I cycled with my brother in law from Chicago to New York as The Two Fat Cyclists and played in bars as we went. A supportive business woman sponsored us by making us some promotional hoodies and tee shirts in support of a Children’s Ward in Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen.
Anna Strzelecki has set up her buisness isea surfwear in the coastal village of Amroth. In the video Anna discusses how she started and developed her business from virtually nothing, whilst bringing up her daughter. It’s a story of a young woman having...
I had a decision to make after finishing my education nearly forty years ago: follow a career in theatre and film or to try and play rugby to the highest level. I decided on the latter. Different lives have come and gone: rugby player, teacher, rugby coach and outdoor pursuit centre manager. Hobbies illustrate a love of life and the challenge of the outdoor. extreme cyclist, mountain walker, songwriter, musician and storyteller.
I am now free to concentrate on projects of my choice. Something I should have done at the start of my career, maybe, capitalising on my schooling and love for working in film, television and theatre.
Seimon Pugh Jones
Seimon Pugh Jones, Born in Carmarthen back in 1966. Been a professional photographer for most of his life and has been very lucky to have been involved in some interesting projects.Lives in Laugharne with his partner Min (Meinir) and Stepson Daf (Dafydd).Loves to play drums, paints and history.
Andy Edwards, Mother Bear Productions
Mother Bear started out as a Community Theatre Project. It is based in the township of Laugharne. The aim of the project is to research local historical figures and play out scenes usually by characters listening to stories in a public house in an improvised situation.
One of the most informed pieces is about a Napoleonic soldier who retires after the Wars to run a pub in Laugharne. Research was done and his diaries found. They become the basis of the treatment that has been performed in cafes, churches, chip shops, town halls and pubs across South Wales.
Another part of the project is to put together videos of community interest, whether they are cultural, historical or have a community interest. We have basic equipment but found that we could produce reasonable quality videos that were of interest.
Seimon and myself have been friends for many years. He now hopes to relocate his WW2 museum and artifacts to Kidwelly very soon and is working hard towards that end. For twenty years I helped run an outdoor pursuit centre in Pendine. Six years ago I built a WW1 trench system as an educational tool for children of all ages.
We have a network across South Wales of like-minded friends and now and again you will see that our videos have a slant to the two major conflicts of the 20th century.
I contacted Gaabriel at Americymru over ten years ago when I was organizing a charity cycle trip from California to Florida. I wanted to link up with different Welsh communities as we went. Americymru supported the trip by putting it out there that we were looking for help. The straight route across the States became a zig-zag as we endeavored to meet all of Gaabriel’s contacts. Over £80,000 raised for Noah’s Ark Hospital in Cardiff.
So it all goes quiet for ten years until Seimon announces that he’s got a great contact in Oregon.
‘Let’s do a few videos for them!’
‘How many is a few, butt?’ I say.
‘One a week for a year!’ he says.
Today we launch our video series with author Alun Gibbard, at Number Five, Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea, the birthplace of Dylan Thomas.