What’s in a name… the origins of Ambrose Conway

The Reso - A Sixties Childhood

I was on to a hiding to nothing being a Welsh writer called David Hughes. There is possibly no more sepia tone name in the land. I was one of four David Hughes’ I knew growing up in Rhyl and even the artistic ground was occupied by the singer of the same name. I therefore resolved to publish the books under an assumed name to give it a distinctive moniker.

I settled for Ambrose Conway. The Conway comes from my mum’s side of the family.

The Ambrose comes from a secondary school teacher called John Ambrose who taught me in my early years in secondary school. John Ambrose was a calm and kind influence to all and I really appreciated the time he spent patiently listening to me babble on. John taught us Welsh and would often finish off lessons with a reading from the Mabinogion, the book of Welsh legends. Looking back, the most important thing he taught me was not Welsh, but how to be.

John went on to teach at a number of schools, and was Headteacher at Ysgol Brynhyfryd in Ruthin. He died tragically young whilst leading the school. I hope he would have approved of the books and I’m only sorry I did not have the opportunity to pass them on to him and thank him properly for his positive influence in my youth.

Anyway, I thought I was on safe ground with the composition of Ambrose Conway… not so. Apparently I share my fate and Google search with a whole range of characters with that name. These include a stock car racer, US Football player and a Cistercian monk… I feel the need to up my game!

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