BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

16 October 2014

BBC Homepage
Wales home

Contact Us

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Brushes with Time

By Ken Guy
November 2006, Llandysul
A digital story from Capture Wales

Lifetime Holiday

A theatre set designer swaps a home in the big city for a lifetime holiday in Wales.

"I was bread and buttered in Urmston, Lancashire and the only time I visited the countryside as a boy was to go with my mum and dad at weekends in our old Ford Anglia.

Mum drove on 'L' plates for 11 years. So when I could drive and decided to come to Wales for good I couldn't get over the feeling that it wasn't permanent ... and at the end of the week we - my wife and I - should be packing our bags and going back to the big city.

I'd loved my job painting stage sets for London's Festival Ballet. I now lived in an old cottage in Banc-y-Ffordd near Llandysul and had given up on the idea of ever working in the theatre again.

But the feeling that the holiday would be soon over persisted. I had to record everything that I saw. So I started taking mental photographs - spiders on the window; thrushes cracking snail shells on the milk stand; the way the cottages seemed to snuggle into the folds of the hills; sunlight slanting down between the beach trees.

This lasted for two years. Then things started to fall into place. A phonecall led me to a job in the brand new Theatr Felin Fach and I decided I could be on holiday for the rest of my life.

The other day I was talking to a lovely old lady in Llandysul. She asked me how long I'd lived in Wales. 'Oh, about 30 years' I replied. 'And do you think you'll like it?' she said.

'Yes, I think I will, given time.'"

Ken Guy

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I worked for Theatr Felinfach, near Lampeter for three years, then went freelance. Made furniture for a pub in Tal Sarn. Then a call came from Newcastle-on-Tyne asking me to paint scenery for a big Panto, featuring David Jason as Buttons - so long ago, we both had hair. Two more pantos followed and the money helped to build a studio of my own. At 1000 ft. above sea level it must be the highest scenic studio in Wales.

What's your story about?
The story is about how a jobbing artist came from England and ended up living up a Welsh Alp. This story is in answer to my most asked question: "What brought you to Wales?" I hated to think that people saw me as a holiday maker. Just here for the summer, then going back to a mansion in London.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
The rewards of the workshop were many (the food was yummy). I found the computer programmes very user friendly - only use mine at home to draw stage sets on. Lots of fun, hard work and dedication. Oh, and the food was yummy.

Your comments

"What a truly beautiful story! Thank you Ken, great to hear your voice on the other side of the world." Alex Hubert, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Latest videos here!

We've created a new site to watch our collection of your short films and videos in Flash. Videos will be still be available here in Real Media. Click here to visit the new site.

Search your video

Latest videos

Sian Eirian Rees Davies
New videos

Short films from Wales made by you.

An Indian doll
Video Nation Wales

Your views on camera and online.

Cipolwg ar Gymru

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy