Under the skin of Real Wrexham
If you thought you knew Wrexham, this book will make you think again.
A proud boast on the back of a new book and one which didn't fail to deliver as I read from cover to cover the fascinating Real Wrexham whilst stuck on a go-slow train running late to Cardiff yesterday.
Poet, author and colleague Grahame Davies really gets under the skin of this place we call home combining his knowledge as a local boy, his skill as a journalist to separate fact from fiction, and taking a tour of the district with people who know the area best - the locals. Here are a couple of things that took my interest:
Hightown: Did you know there are people who have an interest bordering on an obsession with tower blocks and, as Hightown flats are closest thing we've got, there's a following for them on www.skyscrapercity.com/.
Caia Park: "The former Amercian president, Richard Nixon, could trace his descent from John Puleston, a 15th century member of a family who lived at Hafod y Wern just behind where the Red Dragon pub now stands."
Brymbo: Thomas Price, the son of a stonemason, was born in Brymbo in 1852 and in 1905 rose to become president of Australia.
Almere Ferry, Rossett: Grahame shares the stories of locals who, due to flooding, keep "boats in their gardens like other people might keep lawnmowers".
Caergwrle: To my mind, he comes closest yet to proving a link between author CS Lewis and the village.
Dialect: On the Welsh-Scouse lilt, Grahame observes: "It's a frequent surprise to find that someone who sounds as if they'd be quite at home on Brookside is actually quite comfortable in the language of Pobl y Cwm."
I'll post more later.