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They saw a ghost, but it was me!


Since early October I have been very busy giving talks to different organisations all over South Wales and it has been most enjoyable. Between now and July I have a further six to do and by then I shall have done twenty nine. It’s almost a full time job!

I have spoken to Probus, Inner Wheel, WI and local Welsh societies but mainly I speak to Merched y Wawr – a Waleswide organisation for Welsh ladies at which the medium is the Welsh language. The talks give me the chance to expound on my favourite topic –‘Wales and its Beauty’ and as you can imagine it is illustrated by my photographs which are carefully selected to help me persuade the doubting public that it never rains in Wales, yes quite – never!

Last night my talk was to the Summerhill branch of the WI and I was quite looking forward to be giving a talk on ‘my own patch’. My teenage years were spent in neighbouring Saundersfoot where my father was a vicar for twenty five years. Both he and my mother were much loved and respected both inside and outside the parish.

My talk was to start at 7.30 and I met the technician in Summerhill Village Hall porch at 7.20, he was there to set up my laptop with the projector. One of the ladies opened the door at 7.30 and I was shown in. I did not expect the response I got, there were about two dozen ladies and all eyes were towards me. “Goodness me” exclaimed the president “it’s like seeing a ghost!” Apparently I look very much like my father, both in looks and in ways.

The laptop was plugged in and soon the first image was projected onto the large screen and I was in control for the next hour. I always tell people that my talk takes 45 minutes and indeed I do strive to get it down to that, I’ve even cut seven of the original thirty five images but it still lasts an hour. The talk consists of a photographic journey from Anglesey to Pembrokeshire stopping in interesting places on the way to tell some stories, both historical and also my own personal ones. It is a rerun of the journey I made with my family in the early 1950s, although the roads are now much better. Prior to our journey Dad was the rector of Llanallgo on Anglesey and he was going on to a new life as the vicar of Saundersfoot, naturally we all had to go with him.

My talk over and the floor was open to questions and observations, it was very lively and I thought I would never leave, in fact I didn’t really want to. All my teenage memories were being rekindled.

The time came to make the journey home and I was expecting to feel tired but I was wide awake with adrenaline coursing through my body. I must have driven through Carmarthen and Cross Hands but I can’t say I remember.

In two months time I am giving the same talk to the Saundersfoot WI – now that will be really something!


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