Steam Fair

There was an excellent turn-out of exhibits at this year’s Steam Fair. It’s probably the best I’ve seen and maybe a response to the relaxation of the Covid restrictions. The care and attention that is lavished onto the historic steam engines is amazing, and we all owe a debt of gratitude to these remarkable people for valuing and maintaining our cultural history. And what’s even more astonishing is that some of the engines have been hand-built in sheds and workshops.Read more

Scarecrow Festival

It was interesting to see the variances in interpretation of the term ‘scarecrow’ for St. Mary’s Scarecrow Festival. Most of the exhibits looked far too friendly to scare any crows.  What impressed me the most was to consider the collaboration and cooperation in the design and execution of the production of each scarecrow. The design of each one had to be agreed on, the materials specified and sourced, and the skill set of each member had to be identified toRead more

Capitalism in the 21st Century #3 Zero Hours Contracts

At this point I’ve now had two of my proposals rejected by my tutor and I only have 10 days in which to submit my completed body of work and 3,000-word dissertation. TATA Steel and Tesco have both been declined, where to next? What encapsulates current corporate policy? What best describes the exploitation of the worker? Zero Hours Contracts! I was aware of a near neighbour, who is on a Zero Hours Contract and contacted her to enquire if sheRead more

Capitalism in the 21st Century – #2 Tesco, Fforestfach

Following the setback of the rejection of my TATA Steel proposal by my university tutor, I decided to consider an aspect of consumerism, and how it affects our behaviours. I commenced by looking at our 24-hour way of life, and the opportunity to buy anything, at any time.  I discovered a 24-hour gym in Fforestfach, Swansea and approached the manager to gain permission to photograph the users over a 24-hour period. I obtained consent, but I decided that the excessivelyRead more

Capitalism in the 21st Century #1 – TATA Steel

During my last year at university, us students were given an assignment to produce a body of work and 3,000 words on Capitalism in the 21st Century. Apart from being a challenging task, there were only three weeks to turn-in the work. There’s no escaping the imposing edifice of the TATA Steelworks in Port Talbot as you travel along the M4. The chimneys emit smoke into the atmosphere, which at times appear to be creating the dark rain clouds overheadRead more

WW1 event – Pembrey Country Park

I attended a WW1 event at Pembrey Country Park over the May bank holiday. It was hosted by Yeoman Great War; a clutch of well-equipped and uber motivated men and women who are eager to talk about WW1 and the role that their character played in the conflict. I am constantly in awe of the participants of history reenactors, who give up their time to impart their knowledge and passion for their interest in our history. In particular the wayRead more

Gilsland Flaneur

Gilsland is a small village just a few miles east of the farm house we were renting near Brampton in Cumbria. Upon entering the village is a small free car park on the right-hand side for about a dozen cars, presumably for visitors to experience and walk a section of Hadrian’s Wall (fig #1) across the road. Tragically the Wall is truncated by a house and garden at his point. I can’t help wondering at what point did we, theRead more

Hurstwood Flaneur

The last stop on our tour of northern England was Hurstwood, which is a beautiful little hamlet on the outskirts of Burnley. The settlement consists of a handful stunning Elizabethan properties including the once-home of the poet Edmund Spencer, Hurstwood Hall, which I believe now provides B&B accommodation. We stayed in a charming little cottage, which may have been erected for the construction workers of the Hurstwood reservoir, which was built in 1925.  Typically, my Flanéur is inspired by casual observationsRead more

Super Heroes

I now know why they are called Super Heroes. I was so impressed with the way in which all the characters interacted with the kids. It’s said that we “shouldn’t meet our heroes”, and many of the children were clearly overwhelmed with coming face-to-face with their Super Hero. But in each case, the Super Hero ensured that the child was comfortable and enjoyed the moment and engaged in an activity that they could relate to and enjoy and hold aRead more

Harbour Iron

My objective in producing this body of work is to celebrate the aesthetic quality of Burry Port’s maritime structures, to highlight the patina, the intricate design of the iron work and to signify their historic and heritage value. It is all too easy to walk pass the town’s history without noticing these edifices, assuming that they will always be there, but without knowing the future of our harbour. I consider the harbour to be the heart of Burry Port’s heritage.Read more