Tag Archives: cultural heritage

Where to find the Reso Trilogy Books

BtR

If you are looking to buy a Reso Trilogy book, ake sure the publisher is JLB Learning Innovation.

If it shows Kings Hart Books, my former publisher, the company stopped trading a few years back and the book will be unavailable through them.

Probably the cheapest route to buying them is through Amazon marketplace, but nothing beats ordering them from an independent publisher.

Resolution

 

Having been vindicated by a publisher picking up the books, which for me suggested there was some value in them, and it wasn’t simply a vanity project, I decided to embark on self-publishing on a print on demand basis. I would recommend it for new writers as the big players like Ingram Spark cover all the incidental costs and help with marketing.

In theory, my books should always be available as long as you look for them under the publisher JLB Learning innovation. If you look under Kings Hart, you are likely to be disappointed.

The Reso - A Sixties Childhood

 

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Beyond the Reso : The Pavilion inspired cover

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The cover of the second Reso book, Beyond the Reso, was inspired by a sight that illuminated the Rhyl skyline throughout my youth, The Pavilion Theatre on the Promenade.

The coloured lights played on it at night, making it look like a giant ice cream which changed from strawberry, to orange to lemon to lime and blackcurrant.

I remember coming home from Auntie Betty’s home in St David’s Square late at night, my mum and Auntie Betty had been talking incessantly whilst drinking tea and eating biscuits. I’d amused myself with Prince the dog, but both of us fell asleep in the muggy atmosphere created by the gas fire.

BtR

 

Eventually I was awoken and told to get my coat on for the short walk home. As we drifted into Victoria Road, the playing field of Glyndwr field shone with dew and in the distance the Pavilion radiated warm and invited light. The spectacle was such that my mum and I stopped for a few moments and she waxed lyrical on the constancy of that sight which had remained the same from her childhood. She told me that both my grandparents had been involved in building the Pavilion and I felt I had something invested in it.

It later provided shelter for what my parents would have called my ‘courting days’. Hours were spent in the shelters on the seaward side desperately trying to keep warm in a full on Irish Sea wind with only warm hearts and hot lips to keep us from freezing.

I probably had a share in its demise as well because in all my days, apart from going to see the Billy Smart’s lions and tigers camped outside, I don’t believe I ever set foot in the theatre. Despite the delights of Wyn Calvin and Prince’s Circus ‘as seen on TV’ to entice me.

There was a furore when the Pavilion was demolished in 1973. It was said that it was unsafe and the pillars that held the dome in place did show structural decay. However, when the dome fell some seventy feet to the ground without shattering there were murmurings in the town that this was civic vandalism of the worst kind.

Many went to see the demolition. I didn’t, I preferred to remember happier times cuddled up and gazing lovingly at the world’s most beautiful girlfriend.

Thanks to Ben Overton and Luke Hughes for the cover design.

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Little Triker!

I’ve searched long and hard for this photo, and was beginning to think that it was lost! It is the earliest photo of me outside on the Reso under my own steam.

I’m sitting on the trike in a corner of the garden which would forever become known as Snowy’s Corner. A couple of years after this picture was taken, after asking incessantly for a dog like my Auntie Doris’ black spaniel Micky, my dad came up with a compromise and bought me an albino rabbit. It wasn’t quite the same in my opinion but Snowy spent almost a decade in a custom built hutch made with great care by my dad out of marine quality laminated wood. The hutch had two compartments, a lobby area and a main living space. The whole front of the hutch hinged upwards to allow food, water and bedding to be replaced on a daily basis. But I digress…

That trike was my pride and joy and I can remember vividly this picture being taken.  Behind me to the left is Iris Watkins garden. Her dad grew epic rhubarb and she taught me how to dance the Twist. Over my right shoulder is Vanessa’s garden. I used to climb over the fence behind me to play with her, Debbie and Mallie.

The spooky thing is that my lifelong friend Duncan has an almost identical picture taken at the other end of the Reso!

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History does repeat itself because this is my son Luke almost thirty years later in a similar pose…

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Family get together 1960s

A rummage through the old family archives ( a series of biscuit tins with pictures and documents really) has led to some further belated spring cleaning finds.

This photo turned up of my Nain and Uncle Elwyn together with our overseas relatives, in the front room no less, of the old family home of 5 Geufron in Rhyl. 5 Geufron was the scene of countless family gatherings and celebrations.

I think this might be of interest to the thriving US branch of the family!

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Photomaton portrait of the author as a young sniper…

m7ynmpiok,

In an age before selfies, this was as close as you got. Five pictures for ten pence or two shillings in old money… and this was definitely in an age of old money. This was from a Photomaton booth on the Promenade in Rhyl… this is what I chose to do with a sacred two shillings which otherwise would have been spent on an Airfix kit.

The year is 1969. I’m with my best friend of the time, Ted Henderson. We’d met in the first term at Rhyl Junior High School. He’d gone to Ysgol Llewelyn so we met for the first time in the lottery of form room allocation in the big school.

Ted lived near my auntie in a new build bungalow that was close to the railway. His mum and dad were smashing, as was his younger brother. What was there not to like.

We seemed to spend a lot of time walking around the place. We had matching wind-cheater jackets, by coincidence rather than design, and we must have looked like two people trying to start a mod based, bad haircut cult. I don’t know what that haircut actually represents, but I’d asked for it to be feathered and layered at the fashionable hairdressers upstairs on Wellington Road. I returned to Bill the Barber’s on Vale Road not long after due to the cost of this, so-called fashionable haircut, and the stream of invective I received from my dad. He recounted how if I had been in the services the drill sergeant would stand behind me on the parade ground and say,

‘Am I hurting you laddie? Because I should be, because I’m standing on your hair! Get it cut.’

Ted had clearly had the same tonsorial experience.

They were generally happy but frustrating days. I always felt that something good was going on, just out of our reach. Like the girls we phoned from my auntie’s phone to arrange a date that never happened.

I remember we spent a lot of time shooting air pistols at paper targets. That was until I lost the firing pin, which screwed into the barrel, by dropping it into the Cut.

My second pistol was confiscated and broken up by my dad.

I had been firing it from my bedroom at a metal target at the end of the garden. The target was the lid of a broken washing machine. This was all that remained of the washing machine my mum had told us to take down to Rifkin’s scrap yard, adding that we could keep the money they gave us as scrap value. I was already spending the money in my head when Mr Rifkin, in no uncertain terms, told me that the washing machine had no value and to kindly remove it from his premises.

We ended up carrying it all the way back home. My mum’s suggestion was that we buried it deep in the garden and digging the hole took a couple of hours.  Living by the seaside meant that we reached a water sodden sandy layer before we had dug the height of the washing machine. As we didn’t want to carry on digging in quicksand, we had a sit down and a drink of squash to fathom the problem.

In the end, after much heated conversation we decided to change the shape of the hole so that we could bury it on its side. The whole exercise reminded me of the Bernard Cribbens song ‘There I was, digging this hole.’  I look forward to the day when the Time Team are excavating in Rhyl and ‘Geo-Phys’ throw up some very exciting pictures of a large metal object, which could be a chest of some sort, buried on its side a few feet below a garden patio.

Anyway, the lid was all that remained and I used it as a target. Firing upwards of 500 pellets at it over the course of a fortnight. It must be stated that the pellets barely reached the target but did make a satisfying ‘ding’ when they hit the metal.

The ding was what alerted a distant neighbour, who shouted from about six gardens down that he’d have the police on me as I could kill his little girl or have her eye out. He clearly had me down as a sniper in the league of the Jackal in the eponymous ‘Day of’ film. The idea was so preposterous that I ignored him and he was perplexed that he could not get a clear look at me as I shot from behind the less than grassy knoll of my bedroom curtains. There were some school books in my room, but it was hardly the Repository Building in Dallas.

I ignored him the second day as well and continued to register satisfying dings every thirty seconds or so, right up until there was an insistent knock on our front door. I guessed it was my vocal accuser and climbed out of the bedroom window and down to the outside toilet where I placed the pistol on top of the cistern, in its usual hiding place.

I quickly set up the dart board on the coal hole and assumed the demeanour of someone who had been playing darts for some considerable time.

Within seconds the back door opened and my enraged dad and a florid, bald-headed man appeared demanding that I hand over the pistol. I thought for no more than a couple of seconds and realised that I did not have a story cunning enough to talk myself out of this one. I retrieved and handed over the pistol for my dad to remove the screw pin and throw it in the bin and dismantle the barrel and hand the spring to the irate man.

That put paid to my career as a sniper.

As for Ted, we drifted into other friendships and I have not seen him since about 1973. I hope, unlike me, he managed to get his hair sorted out and that he still displays glimpses of the same sartorial elegance we managed to muster in this photograph.

 

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