Memories of flower and bird and wind and world, and all the living and all the dead.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
William was born on the longest day of 1879, one of the younger children of a large and chaotic family in Merthyr Tydfil. Frank was a woodworker, his sister Jessie became a suffragette, Lizzie was a communist councillor, John set off to fight in the Spanish civil war. All the brothers and sisters were political radicals in the People’s Republic of Merthyr Tydfil. William was an artist and musician. He painted, drew and made jewellery winning first prize for jewellery making in the national Eisteddfod in 1950. He played the violin. Deciding to that he wanted to learn to play the harp and so started from first principles, making his own harp. But for everyday living, he worked in the pit as a coal hewer.
In 1905, he married Florence and in 1906 Violet was born. They moved to Aberfan where their son, Felix was born in 1910. New technology was coming to the mines; they were being electrified. William’s quick understanding of how things worked took him into the heart of this new technology. Florence took the children to live with her parents while William travelled around different coal mines, moving on again once electricity had been installed.
By 1914, he was lodging with a middle-aged woman and her pretty young niece and illegitimate baby. William became captivated by this young girl, fourteen years his junior.
Felix and Violet remained with Florence who married Abraham in 1921.
William's life took a different course. He had met Rachel.