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This report is taken from PN Review 231, Volume 43 Number 1, September - October 2016.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
JUST A WEEK ago, early evening, we set out for Merthyr Tydfil. The A470, that joke of a trunk road running from Cardiff almost two hundred miles to Llandudno, is dualled at least as far as Merthyr and, the crawl of commuter traffic over for the day, we made good progress to the gates of the town. Then things went badly awry. After a while of blundering into cul-de-sacs and halting, baffled, at No Entries, we saw a sign to Twynyrodyn. It was the memory of a fine poem, ‘Ponies Twynyrodyn’, that prompted me to point the car that way. At once we found ourselves on a steep hill, heading north, out of town. We stopped and asked directions. Discussion ensued about a number of options. The simplest appeared to be to keep going until we reached a roundabout at the top and there turn left. After that advice the road continued, if anything more steeply, up. No wonder the ponies in my old friend’s poem came down that way in winter: the top is at the very edge of the Brecon Beacons. But our advisers were wise indeed, the left turn brought us steeply down and precisely to our destination – the Red House, Merthyr’s old Town Hall, restored, in part with European Development Fund money, and re-opened on 1 March 2014 as a ‘creative industries centre’. This was the venue for Wales Book of the Year 2015. In recent years these events have alternated between Cardiff and Caernarfon; bringing it to Merthyr has underlined a sense of inclusivity in the arts ...


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