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This report is taken from PN Review 272, Volume 49 Number 6, July - August 2023.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
Joan, my late sister and elder by a dozen years, small, daintily proportioned and quite fearless, was a keen and accomplished horsewoman. Her favourite was a roan mare, a big hunter that would look down its long nose at her and do her bidding without demur. During the war years, when Joan worked in a vast and vitally important munitions factory, whatever daylight free time was at her disposal she spent riding the moorland tops of the mining valleys, usually alone, for the release it gave and to clear her lungs of chemicals. I mention this because, early on, during one of these rides, about five miles west over the mountain from our home in Gilfach Goch, she came upon Llangeinor, a village with some 280 inhabitants at that time, on the banks of Afon Garw, which drains one of the lesser fingers of the ‘glove-shaped’ Glamorgan valleys in Auden’s poem. Friendships made and sustained there resulted in the Llangeinor hunt, a colourful moil of horses and hounds, assembling on post-war Boxing Days in the yard of the Griffin, the pub she and her husband kept by the hump-backed bridge over the branch line at Hendreforgan.   

That recollection was triggered by an interesting coincidence. Recently I came across a newspaper advertisement for the sale of ‘Tynton’, a house and twenty-six-acre smallholding in Llangeinor. Photographs revealed a near derelict seventeenth-century property set among trees on the hillside above the village – just the sort of place where, in her riding days, my sister would have called to water the horse at a trough and ...


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