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Welcome to my clonc page!  Clonc means chat or gossip in Welsh, and there will be some of that, along with poems, pictures, stories, comments...anything that pops into my head and stays there long enough for me to get it down on paper and publish it here.  I hope you enjoy it.  Just scroll down, or click here for an index.  Please let me know what you think.




 





Drop me a line!

I'm always happy to hear from new friends and old ones who have found their way to my website and have something to say about it, good or bad!You should be able to pull up an e-mail form by clicking on the blue link above, but if that doesn't work, you can just copy my address into your own programme.  It's marydavgl20@gmail.com.  I look forward to your comments!

(The photo here is from Tewkesbury Borough Council, with my thanks!)








With the summer solstice just a few days behind us and rainfall down to just an hour or two every other day, it's quite hard to imagine our rivers rising so high that our whole community was threatened and some people lost their lives just a few years ago.

Soon after the floods receded back in 2007, I wrote down some of my own memories of that awful, sodden summer, and I must admit I went on a bit!

The full version runs to about 12 pages, so I'm not putting it here on my website.

Instead, I have taken my editing pencil to my memoir, and you'll find a briefer version here.

It was a devastating time for everyone, and I don't want to revive unhappy memories.  It just seems to me that now things are back to normal, this is a good time for us to look back and be grateful that we survived those difficult weeks and can enjoy our wonderful town and people the way we should.


Love,
Mary



 








I have always felt especially proud of our High Street in Tewkesbury, the heart of our idyllic country market town, and the place were I worked for many years and made countless friends.

I am happy to see shops that have been empty for far too long finally being spruced up and taken over by new businesses, and the transformation has made me feel a little nostalgic.

Here's an article I wrote about Tewkesbury High Street back in the days when I was getting up long before dawn most days to run a business I managed with my late husband, Dewi:

Tewkesbury High street in the ’60s and ’70s    

What am I doing at 5.45am walking up the High Street, passing the Black Bear, Riverside Hotel, Hereford House, Tudor House, all their inhabitants sleeping?  The street is quiet, hardly any traffic or people walking about.  In winter, I walk in rain, sometimes snow lies like a mantle on the street and rooftops.  In summer, particularly on a beautiful morning, the buildings gleam in the early sun.

I am on my way to open up the newsagent’s I manage with my husband, to give him a lie in.  The papers and magazines securely tied with thick nylon string have been left on the doorstep and are too heavy for me to handle.  I wait for the Healings delivery men to arrive.  Big, cheerful, strong they lift up the heavy parcels and take them into the shop.  Out comes the sturdy pocket knife, cutting the thick string, waiting patiently for me to count the papers, full of quips, “What have you done with him this morning?”, they tease.  Off they go with their papers and Old Holborn to get on with their day.  Why are the early customers much more cheerful than those who arrive later?  More regulars come in, we say “Good morning!” – “What’s good about it?” the moaners reply.

The High Street is coming to life, husband arrives, staff too, and we are busy, busy.  People come in, jokes, leg-pulling. “You miserable so-and-so!” says one to my husband, “How do you put up with him?” says another.

 

 

 

 

Suddenly, my husband has a heart attack, and customers, friends, queue up to ask how he is.  The one who called him a miserable so-and-so is in tears.  Traffic cops call off the motorway, having heard the news on their radio.  The local undertaker asks how he is, “Go away I say, you can’t have him yet!” (and they didn’t for another 15 years).  All caring...one of the staff makes a collection to buy him a bottle of champagne as he has been told it is good for the heart.

There are many other shops in the High Street. Mr. Sweet the grocer, white-aproned, always pleasant, polite.  Cheese is cut with precision and neatly wrapped in greaseproof paper.  Packet of Persil—that’s on the top shelf, wait while the steps are fetched: he climbs carefully up and brings the powder to the counter, to be neatly wrapped in newspaper. Time goes by peacefully, spiced with generalities, passing the time of day.

Want a new hat, call at Hopkins, dainty ladies, neatly dressed serve with quiet efficiency, anxious to please.  Call at Fowlers, enveloped in the smell of coffee, cooked ham on the bone and spices.  Orders brought to the door, to be paid the following week when you re-order. Then it’s over to Woolworths, particularly on a rainy day, looking for bargains. 

Next door is WH Smith, husband asks Ted the manager, “How is business Ted?—Good, so are we”—well, we all say that don’t we?  “How are the Radio Times going this week, I’m a bit short, spare us a quire, I’ll settle up with you later.”  “Our Annuals are sticking a bit, can you help me out, great—I’ll bring them down later.”

Call at Martins, the fishmonger—Bill, effusive, bustling, cheerful.  Pheasants and rabbits hanging at the open door, best fish, plucked fowls, fresh eggs.

Chapmans, furniture shop, goods for sale on two floors.  Need a tin opener, go across the road to Mills & Carter the ironmongers, make your way through the galvanized buckets and brooms to the counter.

Watson House, curtains, nets and pillows.  Milk Bar across the road selling frothy coffee, juke box playing in the corner, egg and chips one shilling and ninepence.

 

 

Westray the butchers, Reynolds electrical goods, Martins the florists, Counsel selling dog food, seeds etc., and many other shops, thriving businesses with the personal touch.

This was the High Street of the 60s/70s, full of life, local characters making our days enjoyable and full.  Where have all of them gone—the very elderly gentleman just back from his honeymoon, shouting gleefully over his pint in the Black Bear, with his stick in the air: “I can do it, I can still do it!”  Everyone applauds him and says, “Well done!”

What has happened to Mrs.“Haven’t you got?” who could never find what she wanted in our well-stocked shop, and the old dear, who despite our constant vigilance, always managed to partake of a bar of Lindt chocolate (the brandy centre was her favourite).  She was usually seen eating it very contentedly, sitting on the low wall in front of the old toilets in Oldbury Road.

What about Ringo, the black Labrador, who would never leave the shop without being given a sweet?  Dogs were not allowed in our shop, but who could say no to Ringo?

Mike Noone, Barber, Conservative, ready for a debate with my husband, Labour.  They were always arguing, laughing, leg-pulling, each trying to get the better of the other.  We made Mike tea and coffee, which was taken in to him, for he was counted to be a part of our staff.

Dear Roger from Tudor House with some story or other, only we heard a small version  of it, as the first part was told to Meg Stone, Greengrocers, the second part to Mike and then to us.  He was a lovely man and we were always pleased to see him.

We were all part of a community; trade was good, people friendly and known to us by name.  Sadly, our newsagents is no more, all the hard work, laughter, community centre for the town gone, as indeed are all the other traders that we knew.  I asked a customer one day how long one has to live in Tewkesbury to be considered local.  “At least 40 years my duck,” he replied.  Well, I am now into my 50th year and I do hope that I now qualify as a local of this lovely town that is very dear to me.

Mary Davies © 2016

 




Croeso!  Welcome!  to those who have visited my website before and those who are visiting for the first time.

You will see some more of my little people paintings and also some of the cartoon silhouettes and quirky little images filled with little houses that  started as doodles and then seem to turn into people and animal shapes.

I know it sounds mad but they have been received well over the years. 

I think they take people back to their childhood!    The favourites of the little images are Flirty Gertie and the Colourful Cockerel.

 

(Click on a thumbnail above to see it full-size, or here to see all of my quirky friends!)

I have always loved Art and joined the Tewkesbury Art Society, WAGS at Walsworth House (Nature in Art) and was accepted by the Gloucestershire Society of Artists and so perhaps my pictures are not so mad after all!




For those who are visiting for the first time, the "home" page of my website includes the book I wrote over a period of three years to put on paper my feelings of grief and despair at losing my husband very suddenly. 

As I had run out of copies and I was still being asked for a copy, I decided to put it on my website that would make it still accessible to all those in need.

My book has travelled all over the country and some places abroad, even India!  My laptop prevented me sending emails one evening and even though a very kind employee of TalkTalk from India I believe, did his best to help me, we decided to hand  the problem over to their technicians.  Before I hung up, he asked me for my website address (that I had previously mentioned ) and I gave it to him.  After a while there was a laugh and he said “Mrs. Davies you are on my screen and you are very beautiful”.  It is nice to have a compliment isn’t it? 

As for my poems, these were written when I was a member of a poetry group run by a good friend Dougal Lothian, a poet with several books of poetry to his name.  Some are funny, some sad, the ‘Fear’ poem described my fear of reading out in public as I had a bad stammer as a child.

The poem on my being burgled was describing what I felt when an intruder broke into my house.  I sent a copy of the poem to our local police station and had a phone call from the Police Inspector asking if they could include it in their magazine and of course, I said yes if it would be of value to someone.

My next addition to my website is about a booklet I wrote years ago again called ‘Clonc’! and describing what it was like for a young country girl in wartime.

It is about my parents, younger sister and myself living on a farm in a small village in Wales during the World War II . 

 

We had hundreds of English and American soldiers billeted in a local manor house outside my village and I have included a section on them as well, particularly when we woke up one morning to find out that our farmyard was under siege!

My mother was not at all pleased and she went out to confront them telling them to go away as she had to milk the cows and get my father and her daughters out to work and school!  I hope you will enjoy reading it.

I have a new email address now should you wish to "clonc" about anything at all - just click here!  (You can copy my e-mail address by right-clicking on the link, if that works better for you).

 

Cofion Cynnes (Best Wishes) 

Mary

            

P.S.  One of the many things I love about being part of our local Art Society is that I get to spend time with some very talented people...

I get credit for naming this beautiful study "Nobody Understands Me," but the work itself is by my good friend Penny Dron.  Prints are available from The Cotswold Framing Company in Cheltenham.

One amateur critic at a show in town once told me that I'm not an artist, I'm an illustrator, whatever that means!  All I know is that I love doing what I do the way I do it, and if a few other people get pleasure from it, then so much the better.

No artist, even Penny, can please everybody all the time!

 



             

    





My dear husband died in his sleep with no warning of any impending illness in 1993 at the age of 63 (he would have been 64 the following day). I found that writing my feelings in prose and verse with a few drawings of my Art over the next three years, helped me. I had no idea at the time that the little book I put together would be accepted by Cruse Bereavement Care and that it would be included in their catalogue for 12 years. The response was overwhelming and I have a big file full of letters from people of all ages saying how much my little book has helped them.

As a result, I felt duty bound to make it available to all those who have suffered the painful loss of a loved one but cannot put their feelings into words.

 

I will tell you a little about myself. My name is Mary Davies and I have a son Alun, who with his wife Karen lives in nearby Cheltenham. 

For the last 49 years I have lived in the beautiful town of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire and hopefully, can now be called a ‘local’.

I am a member of the Tewkesbury Methodist Church that I count my second home. The church family is very important to me as we care very much about each other. Over the years I have also been very much involved in many activities in the town and derived great enjoyment in doing so.


I am also an amateur artist and belong to the Tewkesbury Art Society and have been accepted as a member of the Gloucestershire Society of Artists where you have to be ‘vetted’ to join. My form of media is water colour, and being a big fan of Lowry I draw little people, snowmen, etc. that seem to endear themselves to the general public. I will be including some of my Artwork for you to see from time to time on my website.

Although I have lived most of my life in England mostly in Tewkesbury, I am still Welsh to the core in birth and language.


 
I am in seventh heaven as I write this, as the Welsh National Eisteddfod is taking place in Llanelli, South Wales and I am glued to the TV channel SC4.

Do not let anyone tell you that the Welsh language is dying, one only has to view the 350 children on screen at the Opening Ceremony last Friday to see that it is very much alive and kicking.


You my have wondered what the word Welsh word ‘Clonc’ means in my website address - it means a chat, some would say gossip - and that is what I hope my website will be all about. I will be including some of the poems and prose that I have written over the years ,and hope that you will enjoy reading them.

As Alun, my son would say, when I was Editor of the Church Magazine, stop now, give a chance for others to have their say!

So, I will stop for now, here’s to the next bulletin...and I would love to hear from you.

Mewn cariad, in love,

Mary
 

 

 

 

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