• 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.

  • Week 4 of 52, Trudi Petersen

    This week we introduce you to Trudi Petersen who is running an independent shop, Found and Seek in the county town of Carmarthen.

    I first met Trudi in a Cross Hands Working Men’s Club at a Spoken Word Open Mic. As a performance poet she is a very able artist with a great stage presence and a cultured use of language. She made me smile and she made me laugh. I’ll let her tell you her story in her own inimitable way.

    Last Friday Mother Bear travelled to Trawsfynydd. What a day! A 5.30 a.m. start meant we were up in Yr Ysgwrn in time for breakfast. The last productions of The Empty Chair were extremely powerful and the one-man multimedia show of Hedd Wynn’s life was performed by the national poet of Wales, Ifor Ap Glyn.

    The croeso at the bwythyn was warm and welcoming. The bara brith and panedd o de very much appreciated. It wasn’t for the first time in my life that I was sorry for the lack of a fluent Welsh tongue in my repertoire. I urge you if you visit Wales you must go to the home of the poet. http://www.yrysgwrn.com/home .

    We’re off this week to meet up with Anna of isea surfwear. An independent bespoke print and design business being run out of a barn in Llanteg, Amroth and if we can fit it in Columbus Campers in Swansea run by the illustrious Jimmy Page. Although not the Led Zeppelin guitarist, James does play a guitar beautifully. Coincidentally, I bought tickets for a Robert Plant show in the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen in April. It’s not the usual show they put on in the Lyric. We’ll have to try and get an interview and ask him about Led Zep’s impromptu performance at the Silverdales Caravan Club in Pendine in the 80’s!

    Well, we beat the Irish and the nation partied. They are an outstanding group of athletes dedicated to their professional sport. For me it is very gratifying to see local players coming through the system and to have coached them at a younger age, Kenneth Owens and Jonathan Davies dedicated their lives to rugby from a young age and they deserve all they get. Llongyfarchiadau.

    Perhaps it’s wrong to say it at this time of celebration and optimism but Welsh Rugby isn’t in a good place. I haven’t got statistics at my fingertips but from what I observe amateur grass roots rugby is dying fast. Second team rugby, social rugby is nearly dead and Youth rugby not far behind it. We live in a different world of professional sport and the emphasis of sport for all in rugby has now switched to providing the National team with the highest quality but it is at the detriment of social rugby. Sad to say but rugby isn’t what it used to be. Rugby clubs are fighting for their survival. Could be a video on the subject?

  • 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.