Friday, 27 July 2012

Only in the valleys....

One of the people we spoke to in Cardiff described how he and his colleagues would laugh derogatorily and groan, "Only in the Valleys," as their expectations were confirmed.

Yesterday we completed our fifth day out in the van. And we too can say, "Only in the Valleys." But we say it with affection and awe.

We began the day in Brynmawr, the top of our Ebbw Fach patch. Within half an hour Donna, the manager of Kutz and Kurlz, had decided to let Laura, her beautician, give us an interview there and then.

Within another few minutes we were being regaled with stories by Ralph, the manager of the cinema.

He's fascinated by anything mechanical. "I wasn't interested in the Romans or the Stone Age in school, but once we got onto the Industrial Revolution my history teacher couldn't believe how my marks went up." Now he's a passionate air-show and steam fair visitor, expertly using his long-distance lenses to capture great shots.

After a chat with Tash, the Breaking Barriers Community Arts project manager, 

we parked up by Blaina bowls club for lunch. To our delight, our lovely signage brought ten teenagers over, who were all game for telling their tales, giving us their very positive views of their valley.

"We've got mountains. They haven't got mountains in Cardiff."

As we drove, we started counting, and by the time we'd called in on our old friends in the Blaina Library and art class, we calculated that we'd collected 15 stories in the last few days. Good, strong, long stories.

It's 'Only in the Valleys' you'll find people so hospitable, so welcoming and ready to give their time to talk and get involved. 

Now, to edit them.

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