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This report is taken from PN Review 257, Volume 47 Number 3, January - February 2021.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
For a few weeks now I have been taking a walk down the hill from our house and, via Broadwalk and the road along the Common, back up the hill. It is little more than half a mile; enough, I hope, at least to keep me mobile. There is a cluster of shops at the bottom of the hill. The small supermarket usually has a well-spaced queue when I pass by on the other side. If I am lucky, a couple of blackbirds are singing competitively part of the way, but my route is just outside the perimeter of the Roman fortress and there is nothing notable to see, far less look forward to, on my brief passage. It was then a surprise to find last Friday three or four houses in Broadwalk had bunting strung along the railings of their front gardens marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.

I remember the beginning of the war, 3 September 1939. At 11.15 a.m. I was with my friends George and Trefor in their house across the road that Sunday when Chamberlain made the announcement on the wireless, and a couple of months short of my fifth birthday. It was not the prime minister’s words that imprinted the occasion on my memory, but the reaction of my friends’ mother and father – a peculiarly penetrating silence. They also had two sons old enough to bear arms. I recall more clearly, on my way home from afternoon school, Tuesday 8 May 1945, walking down the terraced hill of Coronation Road, Gilfach Goch, seeing ...


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