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.
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...
Week 9 of 52 - yr Ysgwrn
This week, from Mother Bear Productions, we have a visit to the poet Hedd Wyn's home, Yr Ysgwrn, in Snowdonia National Park in Wales.
After a breakfast stop in Aberystwyth and the sharing of a black coffee thermos, we arrived at Trawsfynydd early morning. The sun had risen early on a daffodil March morning.
Turning right we followed the signs for Yr Ysgwrn, a fascinating magical place especially in the blush of a strong spring breeze. The farmhouse welcomes all visitors with an open door and an ethereal warmth that not only comes from the kitchen hearth but from...
Week 8 of 52 - Operation Bolero
From the archives: this week we have a change in subject matter and style and introduce a commemorative piece in honour of the friendly invasion of 1943 by American troops.
With the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings on the horizon Operation Bolero was to see the American troops arrive in Britain and to spend over six months training for the invasion of Europe.
Back in early 2002, Seimon Pugh Jones decided to record the experiences of local Welsh people and their memories of the occupation. The sound and picture quality isn’t great but it’s been ripped...
Week 7 of 52 - Emlyn Schiavone
This week we introduce you to a face of Carmarthen, Emlyn Schiavone, Mayor 2018-19. The Mayor also has the title of Admiral of the Port of Carmarthen, granted by a Charter of Henry VIII in 1546. Henry granted a 'Charter of Admiral to the Mayor and Burgesses and Commonalty to the town of Carmarthen and to their successors forever upon the River Towy from the bridge of Carmarthen to the bar of the said river’. Emlyn is a charismatic figure around the town who works hard to serve as best he can.
Trenchfoot provides the music on the video, a track called Lead...
Week 6 of 52 - Hut Number 9, Island Farm
This week, Hut Number 9, Island Farm in Bridgend takes centre stage. Enthusiastic volunteers curate the World War Two German prisoner of war camp, organising Open Days at regular intervals. On 10th March 1945, 70 German POW’s attempted to escape digging a tunnel out of their wartime imprisonment. It became known as The Great Escape in Wales.
The Tommy Jenkins video has had some great comments. He’s had to postpone a few gigs lately through ill health but is up and running again for his summer engagements and has a new album out soon. Here’s a link...
Week 5 of 52 - Tommy Jenkins
This week Tommy Jenkins allows us an insight into the musical life story of one of Wales’ most unique folk singers. His work in the folk scene in South Wales is unparalleled as a solo artist and in various bands including Cromlech. I have an album of theirs in my collection, Igam Ogam on the Sain record label.
A self-taught Welsh speaker, he gives us an in depth view into his career. I wanted to edit the video down to ten minutes so that more viewers in this digital age would watch. It’s well known that the short attention span of the You Tube generations want...
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...
Week 3 of 52, Iannis Ireland
Into our third week already. We had a few hiccups last week and had to delay release but hopefully we’re back to the Friday release day from this week on. Monday was a big editing morning. There’s a need to be on top of it if we are going to get things out on time.
This week we introduce you to Iannis Ireland, self-publishing, self-financing author of the recently released, The Educator. Brought up on Bond Avenue , Penyfan overlooking The Morfa in Llanelli and educated at Bigyn Primary School and Coedcae Comp. Now living in Devon with his family, Iannis is a...
Week 2 of 52, Nora Evans and Penrhiwbeili
This week we introduce you to Nora Evans, who reminisces about life on her grandparent’s farm, Penrhiwbeili in the village of Talog. We were asked by Carmarthen Museum to put this small video together as the contents is now in situ at the Museum in Abergwili, and the video will form part of the exhibition.
I’ll let her tell you her story in her own inimitable way – enjoy.
We hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.
Hope you enjoyed Alun Gibbard at Number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive?
We had some great feedback. Thank you. We hope to re-visit the...
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.