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Poetry in Motion as Youngsters Visit New Railway Line

As part of the South Wales Valleys Literature Development Project, fourteen pupils from Glyncoed Primary School in Ebbw Vale have taken a ride on the newly reopened railway line from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff while recording their experiences in poetry.

Led by poet Peter Read, the Glyncoed youngsters aged 10 to 11 were encouraged to produce a vivid journey of words reflecting the communities and scenery they travelled through, from the train itself and from their experiences during the day.

Peter Finch, Academi Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Arriva Trains Wales by offering the youngsters of Wales the chance to learn more about their country and to express their hopes and ideas in creative writing. This event with Glyncoed Primary is part of Academi’s South Wales Valleys Literature Development project.”

Gareth Jenkins, Teacher Glyncoed Primary said. “It was a wonderful idea to bring the romance of something as simple as a train ride together with the beauty of poetry writing. This was all too evident by the smiles on the children’s faces and the exceptional poetry they produced on the day.”

Geraint Morgan, Community Affairs Manager for Arriva Trains Wales, said:
“We have been delighted to offer the children an opportunity to travel by train, for many it was their first time.  It will have given them an opportunity to see the delights of the Ebbw Valley which can only be seen by train and the thrill of visiting the Capital City.”

Arriva Trains Wales and Academi are supporting the development of literature among young people across Wales through a series of special train rides for young writing squads. Their aim is to assist children who enjoy writing and who are beginning to write well.  Members are nominated by their schools and selected to join the squad for the quality of their writing.

Ebbw Vale Train Poems

Through the Train Window

Horses munching their frozen grass lunch
People hurrying, rushing dashing to the train

Flowing water passes by
Dead leaves stand on cold bay trees

Branches bend like dripping hands
Rugby pitch without players frozen from the night before

Houses stand to attention like brick soldiers
Valleys shivering over the hills

River and water, rocks and trees
All over the tracks is how it seems

Dark tunnels come and go, spooky and cold
Telegraph poles take messages from here to there

Grey smoke forever thinning
Giant lorry flies through the big, never-ending sky

Slowing train, wheezing conductor waits to greet us
His breath swirling in the frozen air, painting icy pictures.

Group poem created by
Peter Read and the Children of Glyncoed Primary School
19 February 2008

What I see out of the Train Window

Houses standing to attention,
Trees swaying in the breeze,
Pylons standing nice and tall,
The sound of constant drumming,
Striped tickets orange and yellow.

Trees, rocks, bushes and branches,
I see as I pass by,
The driver breathing smoke,
As he greets the people going by.

Caitlin Harris

On the Train

On the train from Ebbw Vale
It is very exciting.
Going to your favourite restaurants
And shops expensive things on sale.
Watching rugby hoping we will win.
High rise flats climbing up to space
Builders building big houses and high towers
Fields of gold when sun beats down
Farmers doing work busy as can be
Big railways new and old
We’re back in Ebbw Vale
Know we have arrived
We’re getting off the train

Jesse Edwards and Connor Davies

Journey on a Train

Driver focusing on the tracks
Teal train running on diesel,
The sound of the train is a constant drumming
Three carriages full of people.

Striped tickets of orange and yellow
People chatting, babies crying,
Some are sleeping, some are talking
Some are looking through the window like a screen.

Telegraph poles stretching over the horizon
Trees dancing with the wind,
Streets coming, streets going
Towns announce their names,
Then they are gone.

Jade Morton and Bethan Copner


Gushing By

Different things gushing by,
Branches swaying fields freezing,
Motorway traffic rushing by.

Crackling pylons,
Marching across fields,
Like an army of electric troops.

Dirty green grass as we pass.
Tall brown trees
Standing in the breeze

Adam Watkins and Joseph Lewis


My Journey

Fluffy clouds in the sky
Birds flying so high
I like to watch them float by
The pitch I see is wet not dry.
I see the trees swaying by
The hills and mountains are so high,
The tunnels are dark like the night sky
They are so dark they make me sigh,
I cry

Casey Haines and Matilda Wood


On the Train

Beep beep go the horn clack clack go the wheels
People chatting babies crying
Houses smoking pigeons flying
Cold frost melting on the street
Fields brown and green
Mountains look down on the boys playing football
On the frosty fields planes shooting past.

Sarah Hayden

On the Train

People listening all the time to the
Music and the rhyme Adam
Joseph, Sarah, Jesse, They are
Noisy and they’re messy.

See the cows and the sheep
Munching grass as the train goes beep.

Clickity clack, Clickity clack
The train is not allowed to be slack
Beep beep goes the horn
Chatter chatter go the people
Drum drum go the wheels.

Look at the people moaning and groaning
Look at the people sleeping and peeping.

Samantha Thomas.

Extra Time with the Gwent Dragons

In March 2008 seven students and two staff members of the Blaenau Gwent, OASIS team enjoyed a two day visit to Rodney Parade to visit the Gwent Dragons as part of the Extra Time Scheme.

Extra Time is a European Social funded educational and sporting project. It provides a valuable experience for young people who complete the course with tangible qualifications that assists them in their future career plans and become fitter due to the extensive sporting opportunity. The course involves motivation and confidence building activities such as interviewing Dragons Players.

The visit was arranged as part of Academi’s new Valleys Initiative. The boys had the opportunity to interview and write reports on Dragons Player Colin Charvis as well as taking part in a number of co-ordination activities run by Community Manager Mike Sage. To end an exciting two days, the group was invited to watch the finals of the Wales versus Italy Under 20 team match.


Rugby Legend Spreads the Word

Rugby legend Scott Quinnell travelled to Tredegar and Abertillery Comprehensive Schools in March 2008 to help inspire pupils with his speech about how dyslexia had prevented him from discovering books and the joys of reading until a few years ago. Former Wales number eight Quinnell generously gave up his afternoon to speak to pupils about his own difficulties with reading, sign autographs and hand out 250 copies of his book, The Hardest Test (Quick Reads, Accent Press, 2008).

South Wales Valleys Literature Development Officer, Louise Richards, worked with the schools to help advise and support them in their Reading is Fundamental Project, funded by the National Literacy Trust. RIF programs offer enriching activities that spark children’s interest in reading. And every child involved with RIF gets to choose and keep new books, at no cost to the children or their families.

English teacher Lisa Tippings, who helped coordinate the visit at Tredegar said: “It was wonderful to have Scott visit us at the school. He is an inspiration to many and spoke with passion about the importance of reading.”

Literacy Support Teacher Kieron Marnell welcomed the opportunity to set up a ‘Dads and Lads’ Group which saw over 40 pupils and their fathers attend the session to meet Scott and receive free signed copies of his book. The Dads and Lads will then read the book, talk about it together and write reviews to be displayed in the school library as an inspiration to other readers.


RCT Housebound Writers link with Gwanwyn Arts Festival

There are many older people for whom writing in prose, poetry or diary form is a pleasure and by working with author Peter Read, eight users of the RCT Housebound Mobile Library Service were given the opportunity to find a new and exciting outlet for their creative writing.Peter Read worked with writers on an individual and small group basis to write and record their thoughts on ‘Life As We See It Now’. The finished poems were then digitally recorded and edited by a local sound technician before being submitted for the Gwanwyn Looking Over The Hill Competition. The poems now appear as an audio link on the Gwanwyn Website –

Penywaun local community radio station, Dapperfm,  also planned to interview one of the participants and air the poems as part of their new programme.


Early life a hunt to keep the coins coming in.

How could I look my mates in the eye
While selling ribbons and silky scarves
Like my Mother said? So I slipped underground with them
And worked the mines of County Durham.

Born in a village called Success
I struggled to make the name reality.

Sent to Carshalton to train for work,
The arrow pointed at my head.
“Don’t go to work; no work, no food,” they said.
Turned up at Barnaby Rudge’s pub
Three days too early. Explained I had no money to go home
So they took me on, kept me in Dickensian style.

On a platform in Ilford I found not silver
But pure gold on legs. With Mairwen I left for Wales
To mine the wealth of love. And now I sit
Remembering the early thirties’ excitement of five pounds a week.

After the explosion, it was work at Llantrisant
Minting money instead of mining it.

Now in my tenth decade I treasure
The riches of care from others
Plus the joy of money in the bank.

So many changes, but money is the premier one.

Joe Smith


The Computer

After the stroke
Anger came like a dreadful cloud.
I’d pick up a pen and it
Would run in different directions.

“Buy a computer,” they all said.
“No. I’ll blow it up,” I said
In a puff of smoke.

I must fight back at the world,
Fight through my stroke.

Quaking the day I enrolled.
Paul Baptiste a tutor with patience as infinite as the sky
Taught me all I know and all I’ll forget.

The Family Bible falling to bits
I avoided the Chat Rooms,
Went into Family History instead,
Found my Grandfather in Bristol
And the others separated by the war.

The mechanised American
Says my Anti Virus Programme
Has been successfully completed.

Thank you Mr USA
It’s good to know the computer’s feeling well.

Shirley Venn

The Septuagenarian Song

Apart from the War we’ve had the best of it.

Hospitals opened for us, pensions were formed to keep us safe.
Goodbye to tin baths, welcome to showers
Fitted with seats. Farewell to anxious
Walks in the cold dark to loos deep
In dense gardens. No need for sloshing
Potties, po’s or Jerries in the dead of night
We can flush our embarrassments out to sea.

Now we’re warm at the flick of a switch
Instead of riddling coal or filling buckets
Lined up at the door. With our new free hips
We’re not housebound. Merthyr, Cardiff, Swansea
Here we come – The Aberdare Hell Raisers
Riding here, there and everywhere, on our free bus passes.

In the corner it stands, a testimony to our freedom.
Just throw it in, and hang it out.
The glorious washing machine.

We do not fear the hoodie kids
Just feel sorry for them.
Apart from the war
We’ve had the best of it.

Anne Perkins, Laura Stride, Edna Rogers, Maureen Young and Rose Pugh


Looking through my kitchen window
As I wash my pots and pans
I see the wood across the Valley
Bursting now with buds
And once again I think I’m lucky
Just to see the wondrous sight
Nature changes everything is all right
And here amidst my pts and pans
I dream of far off lands and seas
Pretending I am there, where the skies are blues
And sands are white and then I think
What would I do without a mountain top in sight?
I would miss the luscious green the mountains
And the trees. The walks along soft green grass
The sounds of humming bees,
The soft singing words of Welsh voices
And as I wash my pots and pans
I realize with joy, paradise is here before me
The valley the mountains the trees
And the sky

Phyllis Bowen


Poetry, Planets and Music

Ninety children from Rhondda Cynon Taff Primary Schools enjoyed interactive creative writing and science workshops on 22 and 23 May 2008 at the Youth Centre in Treforest.

The events were part of a partnership project between Academi, Rhondda Cynon Taff Cultural Services Officers, University of Glamorgan and Park and Dare Band.

The beauty of Holst’s ‘The Planets’ was brought alive as the children were entertained by science in the University of Glamorgan’s Planetarium, discovering the history and astronomy of the stars.

Penyrengllyn Primary School worked with author Mike Church whilst Treorchy and Parc Primary Schools were encouraged by Peter Read to create planet inspired group poems. The poems were finally recorded bySimon Bayliss and played at the performance of The Planets by Park and Dare Band on the evening of Friday 13 June 2008.

Wild Planets
Parc Primary School  23 May 2008

Here on boring Earth
I telescope myself to the sky.

Staring at the changing screen
an unseen gun shoots stars.

The silent sky makes music
through Holst, Mickey Mouse
Tinkerbell and Bambi.

I’d rather eat it than live on Mars,
with sizzling skin, popping lungs and bulging eyes.

Uranus looks like gone off Dairylea,
Neptune like iced milk,
Mercury like a scrunched up yellow sponge.

Winds like two passing jets reminds me
those planets are not the place to be.

Is Earth so dull and boring?
Perhaps we’ll stay here after all.

The Moods of the Planets
Treorchy Primary School 23 May 2008

The moods of the planets change the Earth
as Gustav creates the silent sounds.

The blood red of Mars rings in his ears
like the beat of battle.

Venus comes to him
as waves of love and peace.

Faster than cheetahs
Mercury runs through his mind.

Big, jolly Jupiter barges onto the score.

Holst puts down his pen,
feels fragile and old as he thinks of Saturn.

Uranus’s magic flows through the room
sliding on Neptune’s frozen ocean.

Moving from the table Gustav knows
he’ll never capture those roving planets.

Looking into Space
Penyrengllyn Primary School 22 May 2008

Here I sit on the cold wet earth
Minding my own business for what it’s worth
Looking into the bright night sky
Will the stars be there till the day I die
Blasting up into the cold night space
And seeing reflections of my face
Is there life out there beyond the stars
Is there still any chance of life on Mars
Gases and Nebula in Orian’s Sword
Surfing in space you’re never bored.

Space, Time, Machine and Monster

Sci Fi, Fantasy and Horror Conference for the Valleys

One hundred and twenty people from all over Wales and beyond attended Academi’s Space, Time, Machine and Monster Conference on Saturday 21 June 2008 at the University of Glamorgan, Treforest. The event was part of the new South Wales Valleys Literature Development Initiative.

Professor Mark Brake, originator of the ‘Science, Fiction and Culture Course’ at the University introduced an exciting day including workshops, discussion panels and presentations from a wealth of talented authors, scriptwriters and creative artists including; Jasper Fforde, Philip Gross, Tim Lebbon, Steve Lockley, Stephen Volk, Catherine Fisher, Rhys Hughes, Louis Savy, Terry Cooper, Dr Dimitra Fimi, Andrew Cartmel and Rev Neil Hook.

The conference was a showcase for a particular genre of literature which is celebrating a revival of popularity and interest. The history of fantastical Welsh tales, dates back to the Mabinogion with stories of heroes, magic and the supernatural. The Bishop of Llandaff, Francis Godwin wrote the first story about alien contact in 1638 The Man on the Moone. Many more have followed including Peter GeorgeTerry Nationand more recently Russell T Davies with Dr Who and Torchwood. All of these celebrated authors have paved the way for a distinctive Welsh contribution to Science Fiction writing which continue to the present day.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror book publishers Screaming Dreams, Pendragon Press and Seren used the event to launch new titles in the genre. They were joined by comic book producers Monkeys with Machine Guns, a new company dedicated to printing the weird and wonderful.

The continuing support for such genres in Wales was summed up by Rev Neil Hook, who said: “Let’s hope that science fiction can grow and live long and prosper in this land of Wales.”


Sporting Academi

In late June and early July 2008, 167 Children from Caedraw Primary and Cyfarthfa High School’s in Merthyr took part in a variety of exciting and stimulating sports and literature projects as part of the South Wales Valleys Literature Development Project.

The initial idea was to create a transition project between Caedraw Primary School and Cyfarthfa High School with a selected number of pupils was realised on Monday 30 June at Caedraw Primary with poet and Circus Skill Performer, Mike Church. The 21 children aged 10-11 who attended the session received a free Reading Is Fundamental book with a sports theme.  A follow up event took place at Cyfarthfa High School in September with Rugby Player and Quick Reads author, Scott Quinnell, combining years 7 and 8. Each targeted child received a free copy of Scott’s Quick Read book Aim High, which is about his personal struggle with dyslexia.

On 7 July 2008, Cyfarthfa High School spent a day enjoying a variety of active sport and creative writing sports workshops to engage children in tackling both the literacy and obesity concerns which are prevalent in Wales, particularly the Valleys. Additional funding secured by Academi Officer, Louise Richards from Reading Is Fundamental, ( has helped to ensure that 200 children in the Welsh Valleys received free sports related books to help increase their enjoyment of reading and literature.

The event was a partnership idea by Sue Mulcahy, Literacy Co-ordinator and Louise Richards, South Wales Valleys Literature Development Officer to arrange a full day of sports and literature related workshops to engage the whole of year 7. Sue Mulcahy arranged a timetable of events to include 10 sessions, four of which involved authors engaged by Academi to run creative writing sessions.

Phil Carradice offered 5 x 60 minute sessions on sports journalism
Peter Read ran 5 x 60 minute sessions in which the groups worked together to produce group poems on sports
Mike Jenkins used sporting photographs to inspire poetry for 5 x 60 minute sessions
Daniel Morden told 3 x 60 minute sessions of sports related traditional stories
Cardiff City Football in the Community Team, ran a series of active sports sessions with one of their community Football coaches, Ashley Thomas.

146 children aged 11-12 took part in the whole day. They were divided into groups of 20 and one target group of 30 who received a free sports related book as part of the Sports and Literature Reading Is Fundamental project.

Poems compiled with Peter Read

The Swimmer
Sheldon Mason

He lay beside the water,
His skin as cold as ice,
I don’t think he’s heard us,
We’ve already called him twice.

His skin grew pale,
His face was white,
The pool of blood shone red.
All this happened on the day,
Our star swimmer hit his head.

Two months on we’re mourning,
No-one even knew his name,
Victory is still a dream,
The money and the fame.

One day our manager said to us,
“I think we need a plan,”
“A new coach” he said, “Oh, here she comes.”
She? It’s not a man?

Our arms came through the water,
Like butter and a knife,
I lift my head, look at the stands,
See my brother and my wife.

Victory! Shouts! Thunder and Joy!

We won a huge cup,
We felt the sorrow,
As we thought of friend
Who can’t see tomorrow.

Golfing Hero
Group poem with Peter Read

He came from nowhere.
No rating in the world,
no one knew his name
even the caddie got it wrong.

Playing the game of his life
he came from nowhere to somewhere.

The crowd followed him around
like stampeding horses;

Cheers like thunder
brought him home.

Suddenly everyone knows his name

The Fans
Group poem with Peter Read

Fans are crazy as animals,
shaken like a rug
scattering to the corners
of the stadium.

Watching the players
fills them with energy.
Drawing fans like moths
floodlights fill and light the stadium.

Group poem with Peter Read

Blood pumps through my body.
My heart races with me
wind in my hair,
feet airborne,
I feel like a superhero
running at the speed of light

Group poem with Peter Read

S swimming the surface.
Scuba diving below
Seeing an unknown, underwater world.

P Powerful pistols shoot vibrant colours
paintballing others from hair to toes

O 0rienteers wander the wood
out and about for clues
R Roaring rugby crowds welcome
Rugby players rough as rock.
T Tense tennis players rally the ball.
Two cats chasing the points.
The battle for victory begins

The Game
Group poem with Peter Read

From the air
the stadium is filled with regimented ants.

The player bounces the ball
like a small unseen trampoline.

The commentator wild with excitement
takes the crowd from love to deuce to game.

The umpire shouts quiet.
The crowd falls silent as the night

The ball as hot as fire
goes from player to player

The noise of the crowd
roars like an incoming train

Group poem with Peter Read

Football is a game of power.
Two armies line up
fighting for the ball, the cup,
possession of the other’s land

Group poem with Peter Read

Noisy, boozy, sweaty,
the flick of the wrist.

Moving the arm back and forth
with his eyes he positions the dart.

Throws for his triple twenty.
Roaring celebration.

Noisy, boozy, sweaty
The game is won.

Group poem with Peter Read

Pumping adrenalin
twisting, turning,
holding your balance
Scared of toppling,
stomach turning.

Ollies on the skateboard
A 360 turn.

Popping, jumping,
from earth to sky.

Photo poems
Written with Mike Jenkins
The Fight
Determined to win they fight till the end
Strong as a tiger as they take a punch
Dripping with sweat like you have just
Come out of the shower
The one on the left is defending himself
Like a lion protecting his cubs

I felt so fast and quick as I
Dodged the other players. I gripped
That ball as tight as I could
But I got tackled
The crowd went wild as
I scored a try
I stood to my feet and felt so proud

BMX Motorbike
I am angry but determined to get out of this hole
Which is muddy as a swamp.
I’m sweating; my face is wet as saliva
My bike can be fast as lightning but still stuck as my mind
I’m not going anywhere, so I give up

The boxer is a strong as an ox
They are as fast as cheetahs
They get aggressive as rhinos
They have cat like reflexes
They float like butterflies
And sting like bees
They sweat like a man on venus
They have their bones broken like a crippled man
They get battered as a man under a stampede
They’re determined as monkeys looking for bananas
After the fight they’re as exhausted as a turtle running

Hit it high
Hit it low
Hit it through the net below
Get under and grab it
Hit it through the net below
Try to score a goal
We need to win the trophy

Running passing
Muddy ‘n’ brown
Trying to score
With a grunting sound

Rough as sandpaper
Persistent as a team
Reaching  for the ball
To score a goal

Unaware of choking
His team mate falls
The ball bouncing
And scores a goal

Cheerful and happy
Unaware of winning
Singing and chanting
And celebrating

People smiling because they have won a trophy
People smiling because they are happy
All cwtched together to have a picture
He is holding the ball ready to score
They are holding the trophy up high
It looks like they are looking in to the ether
The circle looks like a big plate

The unknown surfer
I sit on the sand
Nearly every day
And watch the unknown surfer
I sit on the sand on Sydney Bay
And watch the unknown surfer

The waves climb over him
Like a prowling tiger
Clawing him under the water
For he’s the unknown surfer
He crawls back onto his board
And surfs the waves again
For he is the unknown surfer

The next morning I sit on the sand
The sand of Sydney Bay
Watching the unknown surfer
Surf the waves again

Fight of the year
It was one big fight
In a dark, dark night

He hit me, I hit him
I gave him a right jab and he went down

1,2,3 he was still on the floor
Out, he got up just on four

I circled him round and round
Until he got tired and went to the ground

1,2,3,4,5,6,7 but he got up
I was hoping for a belt not a cup

I hit him but he blocked with his glove
I hit up a bone

I hit him flat to the ring
And the bell went ding ding

I won the fight
I’m the man of the night
The longest Jab
I walked down the lane to the ring
soon went the ding
Crack went my jaw
Down went my hope

Left jab
Right jab
I was out
1,2,3 and 4
I’m on the floor
I got back up
I ducked
and dodged
and hooked
and blocked
he was scaring me
like a creep

He was making me bleed and
Break, but I never
Gave up
I persevered and
Stuck to my guns
Young Ricky was
Down for the count
The fight was over
And I had won

The Old and New
The old and new
Its time to go
Go to a stadium
To put on a new show
To win the championship
To be glorious again
To go to the premiership
And start all over again

Walking through the tunnel
Feeling scared as ever
But I felt excited as I hear the Anthem being sung
I’m walking closer towards the crowd
They’re screaming my name so loud
I felt the nerves kick in
Running with the ball, I’m almost there
I score with joy
I’m running so fast until I get knocked down
A big man tackling me I almost get stuck
I eventually get up but in the wrong position
What do I do? I passed to a team mate
Luckily he made it. We Won!

Wonder Boy
My punch is lethal as a bullet
My dodge quick as the wind
Never lost a game since he was 13
I am the Welsh Champion

My muscles tense
The right hook hurts my jaw
Jab, jab, uppercut he’s out for the count
I am the Welsh Champion

I trains and trains in the gym
Punching the bag and on the running machine
Muscles like King Kong the bell goes
Ding dong he is the Welsh Champion

The next fight is a hard one
My title is for either of us at the moment
I am the Welsh Champion

I won the Trophy
I win round 2
He wins round 2
I cut my face
And blood squirts out to you
I get back you
And win in the ring
Just for you till the bell dings
I win the trophy at the end
I’ll go jogging next weekend

Bars, beam, floor, vault
Flip, twist, flip, twist
Round and round her body’s spinning
In a pose she lands

Cartwheels round offs, flick, flick, flick
Full twist, front sum and Arabian
Backwards flip and front one too
Maybe she’ll do the splits

Right leg, left leg, box and bridge
Flick of her legs and she’s up
Oh no! She fell and broke her leg
Someone call 911

As fast as a dart
As fast as a dart down the hill
As high as a plane in the sky
Taking the turns, ripping up the mud
Jumping high with the skill in the clouds
Landing hard on dirt, bouncing all around
With the wheels on the ground

The Team
The team who won the match
Was saved by the keeper’s classic catch
Now the keeper can pose and smile
And he feels he could probably run a mile
Now his team has their arms in the air
While the losing team thinks “Oh what a mare”
And know with that winning catch
His team has won the match

Last fight of the year
The bell has gone
The game has started
One takes a swing
So the referee has parted
He lands to the floor with a crash
Because the punch was such a smash
He gets back up from the punch
And hits him back, you can hear him crunch

He turns around and knocks him down
This is the second hit
He could be crowned king, let’s admit
It’s coming near to the end
He takes a sharp punch that they can’t mend
This is the end 1,2,3, he is down for good
Like I knew he would
He has been crowned king for that I know
If you matched the fight again it will show

Fight Night
The bell goes they hit hands
And then they start
They hit and hit
Until someone drops

He ducks and gives him an uppercut
He jabs him twice
With a left followed by a right

He ducks and he dodges
And dances around his opponent
But sooner or later
His opponent will lay him out flat

They fight until the seventh round
Both men are exhausted
But the fans carry them on
But they know they won’t be on for long

The bell for the 13th round just went
And the men are feeling the pains
Both men have cuts and bruises
They know there are only two rounds left
But it feels like twenty

The bell has gone for the 15th round
And coming to the end
And Hatton gets furious and stronger
And hits his opponent and drops him
He then wins the championship
And now for the celebration

The Half Pip
As I acid dropped down the edge
My feelings, all of them out of my head
I could hear my wheels screeching and rolling
The crowd almost started booing

But I couldn’t care, what so ever
It’s like going up in an elevator
As I went in the air
Oh my gosh I slipped over there

So in the air I grabbed my board
And I grinded across a very thick cord
Sparks like fire went everywhere
And now the crowd started to care

As I skated all the way down
I could hear a child starting to howl
Then I stopped, dead silence
Then these people gave me presents

On that day I was known everywhere
Everyone looked and stared
Almost every time I get paid
By the way, my name’s Danny Wade

11 players on each side
2 strikers
4 midfielders
4 defenders
And 1 goalkeeper

Strikers score
Midfielders take free kicks
Defenders defend
Goalkeeper protects

90 minutes we play
45 minutes then a break
We are winning but then
The ball came flying at me
I hit it with my hands
It bounced away
The whistle blew
We had won
We had our photos taken especially me

I had won the game

The water, rock, waves and sun
Here’s a place to have some fun
California here we come
Surfing is our number one

Waves are finally here to stay
We’ll enjoy them every day
The rocks are sharp, seagulls are loud
Surfing is the way and we’re so proud

We’ve been playing all night
Waiting for the game to end
There has been a big fight
It’s driving me round the bend

Everyone’s kicking like kangaroos
I really want to go home
Because I need the loo
I’m sitting here all alone.

I glide through the water
As I am splashed by the waves
I feel nothing but excitement
And most of all determined

My excitement is fading
And turning into tiredness
The noisy waves almost sound
Like a lullaby sending me to sleep

I am wet through, cold
Alone and waiting for this to end
As the sunset sets

I am really pleased that I won
Very proud indeed
I have got a trophy
That I have worked hard to get

When I had the ball, I nearly missed the ring
But as I am a good athlete
It went through the ring

I’m so glad I scored, I gave my team a point
Now we are a step closer
To winning the cup

I was shooting like a man with a gun
It was really hard because
Someone was marking me like a teacher with your work

Suddenly someone scored
Yeah we all screamed
Now we are victorious evenings approaching nearer

As we won our faces were
Smiley as a happy face you draw
Happy as a sun. Oh we are happy
Smiling at the camera
And we couldn’t be happier

Get ready to skate
I did a stall
On a really thin pole
It’s on a ramp
And it’s a bit damp

Balanced like a bird on a wire
Adrenalin burning like fire
Life on the edge of a corping

I’ve got the ability
And I’ve got flexibility
My best mate Bert
He skates vert
Kitted up like a knight
Who’s ready to fight.

I’m clutching on tight
To the handles of my bike
I’m going quite fast, I’m getting blurred sight

I wish this photographer would hurry up
I want to train and win the cup
The wind is blowing me off balance
C’mon I want to show off my cycling talents

Finally I’m back on track
I’ve trained so hard, I’ve hurt my back
I think I’ll stop and have a rest
I’ll try tomorrow to beat the best

The seat is hard
My bum is sore
I pushed the peddles
I can’t no more

Final Glory
At the beginning of the year we were nothing
Other girls laughed at us and put us to shame
We lost 10-0 to Merthyr that was the worst.

We trained all the time but never improved
But we never lost hope, we never gave up
We lost 9-1 to Merthyr that was better.

We practiced out passing
We practiced our shooting
All night until one day our coach said “We have to get better.”
We beat Merthyr 5-0 that was our final glory.

Girls aren’t supposed to play boxing
They told me over and over
You’re supposed to be into dolls and tennis.

Now he can’t hurt me can he
I let him throw the first punch
And I throw two
The referee blows the whistle.

You’re not strong only I am
He scoffed @It’s for boys only”
I dodge him and throw a punch.

And when I throw the punch
I knew it would be
You knocked out for punch.

Men vs Women
The crowds are cheering on the teams
As they are coming out of the tunnel
Running onto the pitch
Full of muddy puddles.

It’s five minutes into the game
Neath are over the line
5 points on the board
Followed by a conversion.

Rugby ball being forever passed
Running around like headless chickens.

The Surfer
Sliding through the open water
Arms spread out like an eagle flying freely
Waves break behind m and form into a watery froth
I feel protected, with my wetsuit as a waterproof skin.

The freezing cold spray comes as a shock
It burns my eyes and stings my skin
The salty taste spreads around my mouth like a juicy rumour
Spreading amongst the school.

A Long Ride Home
I just learnt how to ride a bike
I ride it all the time
I’m much better now I’ve grown
But there’s a secret I’ve never shown
I want to be a champion
And win all of the races
And pass all of those silly losing faces.

The Race
The helmet goes on and it’s the start
The engine starts up, off we go
The rain pours down, making it slow
The crowd’s roaring all you can hear is the beating of my heart.
The wind is blowing, but don’t you worry
I’ll pull the throttle in a hurry
I can see the ending just down there
Quick drive not a second to spare
I’ve won the race, I feel great
Here’s your medal well done mate

The Match
The impact of the punch is like a car crash into a wall
The punch is as deadly as an archer
The boxer is aggressive as a gorilla on a bad day
The ropes are straight as a ruler
The punch is a fast as a sound
The spectators are serious yet look so bored

The Biker who went the wrong way
I got lost on the motorway
In a bike race I’ve got to say
I went up the road to the other field
I went through some cow poo
And then I lost me shoe
Then up the hill my wheel fell off
Just when I had a strop

The wave of a lifetime
Riding the waves
What an exciting feeling
Your friends cheering you on
Drowning out the sound of the waves behind me.

The waves crashing ferociously into the rocks
Like a female lion protecting her young cubs
I’m quite at home on the waves
Like a bird in a nest high up in a tree.

I’m almost at the beach
Where the sand can go through my toes
This was a wave of a lifetime
And now it’s no more.


Welsh Writing Squad Day

On Saturday 12 July, 12 children from the Merthyr and Blaenau Gwent Welsh Writing Squads attended a fun filled day of creative writing at the Canolfan, Merthyr.

The new Bardd Plant Cymru, Ifor ap Glyn and celebrated poet,Grahame Davies supported the children in creating their own poems and stories.

These were compiled as a leaflet and ultimately included in a book produced by Merthyr Arts Development to celebrate the work produced by the gifted and talented writers of Merthyr.

Jamie Bevan, Outreach Officer for Menter Merthyr said ’It’s wonderful to be able to offer children and young people the opportunity to work with writers of such a high standard. Experiences like this are so important in nurturing an interest in the literary arts’

Grahame Davies said “It was a pleasure to work with the young people. I enjoyed the stories they told, and was impressed with the literary work they produced.   For me personally, the visit was also a chance to reconnect with the town where I lived for 10 years. The young writers are a credit to the area.”

Ifor ap Glyn said:
When rhyming’s hard as steel
they know how to use
the hammer of the Merthyr Muse

Cerddi Sgwad Sgwennu Merthyr
Workshops with Ifor ap Glyn

Roedd ei gynffon rhwng ei goesau
Pan aeth yr heddlu i mewn,
Roedd ganddo lygaid mawr
Fel darnau enfawr o lo
Roedd ei goesau fel darnau syth o bren.
Roedd ei ben mor fawr â tŷ
ond gwelodd yr Heddlu bod y s?n yn fuwch fach yn y sinc!


Tri pheth sydd yn fy ngwylltio
Gweld tîm Man U yn sgorio
Mynd i’r ysgol fel plant da
A cholli’r gala nofio.

(Sgwad sgwennu Merthyr)

Tri pheth sydd yn fy ngwylltio
Bod yn hwyr yn cael fy nghinio
Bob tro dwi’n methu agor jar
A gwely cynnar heno.

(Sgwad sgwennu Merthyr)

Tri pheth sydd yn fy llonni
Cael siopa gyda Abbie
Bwyta siocled drwy’r holl ddydd
A’r llaeth sydd yn fy nghoffi.

(Sgwad sgwennu Merthyr)

Tri pheth sydd yn fy llonni
Cael mynd i weld Llanelli
Mynd i Anfield, er mor bell,
Ond gwell yw gwylio Cymru.

(Sgwad sgwennu Merthyr)
Workshops with Grahame Davies

Fy Ngerdd

Rhyd y Grug yw fy ysgol
Ac rwyn dwli mynd ar dripiau

Yn y diwedd ffeindiodd hi mas
Fi oedd wedi ei dorri
A fel y pysgodyn bach prysur
Prynnodd hi un arall yn ei le

Tân enfawr a chas
Rhoddodd y dynion e mas
Sialens mawr am cawr
Adeilad y tân yn fawr.


Fe es I ar drip
Gyda blwyddyn 5 i gyd
i Langrannog am yr wythnos
Wow! Am hwyl a sbri!

Fe gafon ni £30
i wario yr un yn y siop
ac yna ar y cownter Eisteddfod
Pethau china yn cynnwys pysgod.

Nawr mae fy ffrindiau gorau yn hoff iawn o tseina
Yn cynnwys fy ffrind Gwen
A prynodd hi y pysgodyn
A rhoi ef ar y top shelf.

Wrth gwrs roedd fy hylif haul
Ar yr un shelf
Ac es i i nôl e
Roedd rhaid ymestyn, o help.

So beth digwyddodd, oh, rhywbeth ofnadwy
Roedd y pysgod ar fin cwympo
So es i bigo e lan
Ond oedd y pysgodyn wedi smashio!

Yna cerddodd Gwen i mewn i’r ystafell
A gweld y pysgodyn wedi ei ffrio
Edrychodd hi arna i a dwedais
Nid fi oedd ar fai, ond Leah.

Roedd gen i gi o’r enw Woodi
Un dydd ro’ fi’n gwisgo hoodi
A roedd Woodi yn rhedeg i ffwrdd

Ro’n i’n aros am fws yr afon
Yn bwyta hufen ia cone
Yn oh, neis iawn.

Woodi oedd fy nghi
Un dydd aeth e ar goll
Oriau yn mynd heibio a dal dim byd
Roedd fy nghalon yn stopio yn meddwl bod e wedi marw
Galwodd y ffôn
Woodi oedd e ac oedd fy nghalon yn mynd eto.

Roedd y gwynt yn chwyrnu
a roedd y nos yn dywyll
siglodd y teils ar ben fy
nhŷ. Ond gadawon ni’r
teils ac arosom ni tan
y bore, pan roedd yr haul yn

Ond yna cwympodd
Un o’r teils. SMASH! Aeth
Gwydr bobman
Ond roedden ni yn saff.
Ro’n ni yn y tŷ.

Yn y bore gwelon ni
Fod y gwydr o’r car
Newydd fynd i bobman
A roedd fy radio a’r
Olwyn car wedi diflannu
Ond roedden ni’n saff yn y tŷ.

Amser pan deimlais fod rhywbeth goruwchnaturiol yn digwydd
Pan oeddwn yn 8 aethon ni i Ogledd Cymru fel trip bach yn y gwyliau. Mae fy mam yn hoffi gwneud hanes y teulu ac aethon ni i fynwent hen. Yn y
fynwent roedd llawer o feddau wedi torri a roedd y llawr i gyd yn moss ac yn mwshi. Roedd yr eglwys yn hen ac yn y pentref bach. Clywais riddfan o’r beddau a chath ddu yn cerdded o gwmpas y glaswellt hir. Roedd fy nhad wedi aros yn y car, arosodd fy mam i edrych ar enwau y beddau a rhedais i nôl i’r car. Mae’n beth da i wneud hanes teulu ond paid ag anghofio nhw ond angen fod marw.
Elis William Lewis

Un tro, es i i ffair yr ysgol ac roedd hwc a duck a’r prize oedd pysgodyn aur. Wedyn cefais i go ac ennillais i ddau bysgodyn a teimlais yn hapus iawn. Yr enwau oedd Lucky a Cian a marwodd Cian 4 diwrnod wedyn. Wedyn
marwodd Lucky mewn 2 wythnos. Roeddwn i’n teimlo’n drist ofnadwy. Doedd Cian ddim yn lwcus oherwydd marwodd e yn gyntaf a cyn Lucky. Ond roedd Lucky yn fwy lwcus na Cian.

Wrth wisgo fy ngwisg,
A rhedeg i’r fflat
Fe welais i ddwy ferch wrth y ffloat
A’r un wisg a fi!
Ond pan roedd pawb yna,
Roedd pawb yn yr un wisg.

Pan roedden ni wedi cyrraedd
Nôl, roedd fy nain wedi
Anghofio pa un oeddwn i!
Rydw i’n galw hi’n dwp ers hynny!

(Abbie Mack)
Fe edrychais i lan
A gweld neidr enfawr
O’r enw Megafobia,
Plant ac oedolion yn
Gweiddi a sgrechian,

Rhai o’r plant yn gwenu
Yn symud i’r chwith a’r dde,
Es i yn y cart a
Aethon ni mewn fflach
Lan a lawr i’r chwith ac i’r
Dde. Roedd e’n hwyl a sbri
Ond ar ben.
Megaforbia aroson ni
Am eiliad ond wedyn
I lawr a ni i lawr
Cefn y neidr a wedyn
Fe stopion ni
O’r diwedd doedd y
Neidr ddim di brathu fi

(Tirion Grace Davies)

Fy Nghuddfan

Roedd e’n fawr ac yn gynnes,
Yn olau ac yn lliwgar,
Yn lle dim ond i fi fy hun.

Lle i fi ymlacio
A gwneud beth bynnag dwi eisiau
Yn lle dim ond i fi fy hun.

Lle i neb arall
Lle dim ond i mi
Yn lle dim ond i fi fy hun.


Enw fy mhysgodyn yw Barney
Nofio o gwmpas yn llosgi un neu ddau calori
Cysgu o fore tan y wawr yn y gwely mawr
Enw fy mhysgodyn yw Barney
Gwyn fel cymylau
Anghofio llawer o batrymau.
Sullivan Un Clust

Un dydd ym Mehefin 2007 es i i dŷ fy modryb. Cafodd bochdew hi 5 babi. Cefais i un gyda un clust! Galwais i fe’n Sullivan. Mae e’n fochdew dwarf. Mae e’n frown golau gyda streip du lawr ei gefn. Rwy’n meddwl roedd e’n gallu clywed. Pan dyfodd e dipyn aethon ni a fe i’r fet, doedd y fet ddim yn gallu gwneud dim! Ond dwedodd hi fod e yn iawn. Rhoddodd y fet antibiotics i ni i weld beth oedd wedi digwydd.

Cafodd fy chwaer un hefyd, Justin oedd ei enw. Mae Sullivan yn casau Justin.  Pob amser mae Sullivan yn gweld e bydd nhw’n ymladd. Bydd Justin yn gweiddi squeak mawr.

Doedd clust Sullivan ddim yn gwella o gwbl ac roedd en casau yr antibiotics. Mewn cwpl o ddiwrnodau tyfodd y glust tua chwarter cm ond cwympodd hwnna bant! Aethon ni a Sullivan a’r darn bach o glust nôl at y fet unwaith eto!

Dwedodd hi mewn llais cyffrous “Rydw i’n gallu rhoi y glust nôl ar Sullivan os chi eisiau!” Dwedon ni “Ie!”

Mewn tua 2 awr aethom ni adref a doedd Sullivan ddim yn edrych fel Sullivan nawr. Mewn 5 mis roedd clust Sullivan wedi tyfu’n iawn! Am y tro olaf aethon ni nôl i’r fet, aeth y fet a Sullivan i ystafell, mewn amser agorodd y drws, roedd y darn fach o glust wedi diflanu! Aethon ni adref gyda gwên ar ein wynebau. Dydy Sullivan ddim yn Sullivan Un Clust nawr, mae e’n Sullivan dwy glust mawr! Gobeithio mae’n diolchgar!

(Elen Evans).

Surf Academy

From July – September 2008, 12 children from Rest Bay Lifeguards Club worked with author Tom Anderson, illustrator Dom Williams and Chris Morgan from Canllaw Online to create a digital Graphic Novel. It was shown as part of the Surf Cult Exhibition in Porthcawl Grand Pavilion from 13-23 September 2008.

The project was a partnership between Academi, Bridgend Arts Development, Canllaw Online, Rest Bay Lifeguards, Bridgend Libraries and Harris Printers.

Rest Bay Lifeguards were encouraged by Tom Anderson to write a selection of poetry, news stories and short stories about surfing and their experiences of lifesaving. They worked with graphic artist Dom Williams of Malarky Arts to create a series of images to illustrate their writing.

These were then used to compose a digital graphic novel, designed byAndre Van Wyk, Bridgend Arts Development Officer. A further workshop included recording the stories with Chris Morgan from Canllaw Online and ultimately producing an audio digital graphic novel which was a major component of the second Surf Cult Exhibition at Porthcawl Grand Pavilion. Harris Printers, Porthcawl sponsored the production of 200 copies of the CD and a small booklet version of the Graphic Novel, which was gifted to interested people during the Surf Cult Exhibition.

As part of the Surf Cult Exhibition, over 1500 people were also able to enjoy an Academi relaxing reading corner, which contained a selection of surfing magazines and books supplied by Bridgend Libraries, as well as scrap books detailing the work produced by the Rest Bay Lifeguards for the Surf Academi Project and a selection of Surf Diaries.

Visitors comments included:

’Very impressive and varied – nice mixture very enjoyable.’

’Nicely put together. Alot of thought and imagination. Well done.’

’Excellent Presntation. Great photographs and displays 10/10 for presentation. Come again please.’  Town Mayor

Peter Finch said: ‘This is an exciting new project, which shows how writing can be part of the language of the real world’.

Surf CultAndre Van Wyk said: ’The Surf Academi project was a great addition to Surf Cult ’08 as it directly engaged young people in a meaningful and creative way. The end result was superb and I think it’s a great example of making the arts relevant to the lives of youth.’

Surf Cult Tom etcTom Anderson said: “The fact that Academi asked me to help create a graphic novel based around surf culture shows how things have changes since the days when being a surfer meant you were an outcast. I think the ocean is one of the most inspirational subjects any writer or artist could ever look to, and encouraging the youth of Wales to grow up with a love of the sea is something I’ll always be keen help out with.

The stories and poetry they came up with were incredible, and the end product completely blew me away. I’ve been sitting at home thinking of characters for a graphic novel now – I’m totally sold on the idea.”

Surf Cult Creative Writing

Frank the Great

The bright-red alarm danced across the bed. It was 8am of the last school day that week – about time Frank got ready for school.

By the time Frank was on his way, his face was as red as his alarm clock. The reason was that Frank wore his wetsuit at all times – school, bed, in the bath, out at parties, on the bus – even to his grandparents’ house for Sunday lunch.

This way, any time the surf came up he could be in there in a flash. You see, nobody knew about his passion – it was a total secret. Like Superman or Spiderman, he could just tear off his shirt and tie, and transform into his surfy alter-ego.

Everybody thought he was a nerd. He had big round glasses with a chequered suit and brown school trousers that were held up to his chest by a cheap leather belt. The trousers were always tucked into a pair of white socks that had had his name embroidered into them: ‘Frank Simons.’

But, unknown to the rest of the world, Frank Simons was the best surfer ever to set foot in the earth’s oceans.

There were ten surfers at school who all the girls loved and wanted to be around. On the hottest day of the year everyone turned up for morning registration in shorts, skirts or bikinis (except Frank of course, who was still in full uniform to hide his wetsuit).

However, as the day went on, Frank’s face got redder and redder. In the end he could take no more, and he ripped off his uniform. To the amazement of his fellow pupils Frank was now standing in the middle of a Science experiment in his pure white, short-sleeve wetsuit.

He ran for the door – but the ten coolest surfers got there before him, and wouldn’t let him out – until he’d faced up to them in a massive surf competition.

The next day the red alarm clock woke him as usual at 8am. He jumped out of bed, and ran to his garage to get his surfboard. He ran to the beach, where the ten best surfers were waiting, also in their wetsuits and with boards under-arm.

They ran to the sea and a huge wave suddenly appeared on the horizon. It was the biggest wave any of them had ever seen. It turned out to be a tsunami. Nobody could believe it – especially when Frank caught it! The biggest wave that had ever broken on the planet.

It was all over the news. He became the coolest guy in the school. And the girls no longer wanted to know the other ten surfers – whose abilities were nothing compared to Frank – the greatest surfer of all time. A boy who still wears his wetsuit, day and night, so that when the waves come calling, Frank is ready and waiting…

Surf’s Up

The surf’s up high,
Where’s my board?
The sky is blue,
Oh, my Lord!

The tide is in,
My wetsuit on.
Must race to the beach,
and join the throng!

Everyone’s there,
The excitement is high.
Waves crash to the shore,
Spray rises to the sky.

Must catch a wave
And try not to fall.
No time for errors –
Must keep standing tall.

Success at last!
Had the wave of the day,
And went home happy.
Hip, hip, hooray!


Nippers play in the sea and sand.
I sometimes see that dogs are banned.
People play and mess about,
But lifeguards still keep a keen lookout.
Come and join in with me –
You will have fun, you’ll see…

Hannah Gibbons

I wake up each morning
with surfing on my mind
I rush down to the beach
Ready to catch the tide
I paddle out with my board
all waxed up
Ready for the waves to blow my mind.

The surf is big and white against the golden sand
Crashing on rocks with spray on the land,
Top turns, bottom turns carving my name on the waves
Front side, back side doing my style,
The buzz is captured and memory saved.

Rest Bay Rap
Hannah Gibbons
As I stand on my board
Looking cool and chic
I’m ready for the wave of the day
To blow my mind away
Listen to what I say
Hey, this will be a good day.

Rest Bay Guards are cool and sweet
Ready for action always on their feet
Tooled up guys walking the beach
Ready for action on their feet.

Coz I need help
I know where to go,
The lessons are wasted
School is too slow
The Bay is the place
For action and style
As I strut on my board
With mile long smile.

Rest Bay Guards are cool and sweet
Ready for action always on their feet
Tooled up guys walking the beach
Ready for action on their feet.

With sun in my hair
I have to play fair
Goofy feet ,bottom turn
Front turn
Back turn
Front flip
Three sixty
They all look nifty
And so shifty

Rest bay you are so beautiful
Cool and sweet
Tooled up guys on their feet
Ready for action

I take a look at my life
Even my mum says I’m crazy
On my board looking wavy
And loud and so tall
I my fall
On the sand
Landing on my hand
Hey, watch my smile
It will last just a while
Or as long as a mile
I can see the Bay
And Hey,
This is where I want to stay
In the surf or the pudding
Movin’ an snakin’
Rollin’ an makin’
Hey,  is this my day?

Rest Bay Guards are cool and sweet
Ready for action always on their feet
Tooled up guys walking the beach
Ready for action on their feet.

Rest Bay rox
With their red an’ yellow sox
I see the blocks
Or the frocks
Looking at clocks
Makin’up mocks
Of the boards in my head
When I’m ready for bed
All I see is the white
Spraying and flaying an’
Swirling an’ gleamin an’
Sparking an’ frothing
Deep into the night.

Hey, this is the day
After day,
after day
Listen to what I say.
What I say.

Restbay Lifeguards
Joanne Morgan

The sun is out
The day is bright
All wetsuits are on
The sea is in sight

Sprinting towards it
Gasping for air
Strides getting shorter
Our feet remain bare

The water is icy
The waves are rough
It’s hard to breathe
But us lifeguards are tough

We battle the waves
Dive below to the sand
Passing waist depths
Now finding it hard to stand

Arms reaching out
Legs kicking like mad
Body’s are tiring
Aching real bad

The shore’s in the distance
Open water all around
But we cannot give up
Till the patient id found

We never give up
Never no way
We’re simply the best
And we are RESTBAY!

My First Surf
by Owen Leary

The day had finally arrived! My Dad had promised to take me surfing. It was a cold, dreary winter day, but I was so excited it felt like Christmas Day. As I was walking down to the beach I could see the sea getting closer and closer. I started to hear the waves like they were the roars of lions. The waves looked as big as houses. The closer I got the more excited I got – it felt like my head was going to explode. Within a matter of five minutes I was in the sea.

I was so cold my head felt like an ice cream and my feet like ice blocks. Then the moment came… I could see the perfect wave coming. I closed my eyes and heard my Dad cheering. I had caught the wave. I felt like I was on top of the world. When I got in to bed I prayed for surf tomorrow. I fell asleep sore, tired and aching but with a smile from ear to ear.

Surfer Girl
by Jessica Sutton

There was a little surfer girl,
She was small and very bright.
Her name was Roxy and surfing was her life.

She spent her summer holidays on the beaches of Porthcawl,
Hitting waves however big or small.

She worked long and hard to learn to surf as
she longed to be a lifeguard,
Spending her days on the golden sands and watching
The shimmering sea.

I loved the way she surfed the waves on a hot Summers night,
Her bright pink board standing out loud and bright.
She was easy to see as she surfed with glee,
Waiting for the waves to turn and break.

A brilliant Lifeguard she will make!

Killer Shark Attacks Surfer
by Zak Thackery

There has been a shark spotted at Rest Bay, Porthcawl by local fishermen. The shark, a great white, was spotted flowing through the water on New Year’s Day.
The local surf competition had to be cancelled, because a surfer was knocked off his board and bitten as he swam. His board was demolished by the shark. The local fishermen were out looking for the great white with stun-guns to stun the shark.
The shark is looking for food as it is a fierce predator. Rest Bay Lifeguards have closed the beach while local fishermen are taking their boats from the harbour and hunting the shark. The shark hasn’t been seen for days but last night a local fisherman was killed by the shark after he was knocked out of his boat and eaten alive.
The shark is still out there… somewhere, and must be caught before he eats someone else. A reward has been offered by the local mayor. If seen please contact your local shark watching team on 0800 111555.

Greenmeadow Farm Community Poem

Over 60 people were involved in contributing to an exciting new Community Poem exploring farming, history and conservation matters at Greenmeadow Farm, Cwmbran Agricultural day on Sunday 14 September 2008.

Poet, Peter Read encouraged people from as young as three years old to compose a few lines to add to the Community Poem. Extracts of the poem have been painted on the floor of the newly renovated Haybarn on the farm.

Alliteration, rhyme and rhythm were employed by all involved to create a stunning composition exploring the history and current position of the farm and it’s position in the local community.


Countrified in the middle of Cwmbran,
fields crowded by Fibreglass, Rechem and Cardboard factories.

Pigs enclosed in smelly happiness, we reach for the wellies
they will never need.

Shrunken horses look up to their elders,
their horizon, little higher than blades of grass.

Owls set free in main enclosure,
wiser than we imagine,
seeing backwards and forwards
with all round vision,
they fly home for food.

Amid tumbled straw in vales of green
there are amazing sights to be seen.

Birds of prey, crafts and creatures,
rides and ice creams, plus other features.

Conservation and things that matter
attract the people for lively chatter.

Sticky, snouted, snuffling sows,
search for secret supplies,
snaffling truffles from the soil.

Fearsome, furry ferrets ferociously
forage for fruity fancies.

Delicate, dancing deer
drink daintily down in the dip.

Racing, random rabbits romp riotously
rebounding, round and round.

I see the big pig,
snoring like my dad.

I see rabbits with twitching noses,
cows furry with big horns
goats and sheep a plenty .

And most of all I see
the big dragon with his watery breath.

Walkers scuff up the straw
lying on the ground.
Strands of golden straw
like spaghetti reflecting in the sun.
Signs and smells of nature
all around us, but people
talking loudly, their laughter
drowning out nature’s sounds.

Large brown horses with fluffy manes
wait at the fences,
munching the morning away
on food and grains.

At the Archery Site
arrows, fly straight
as aeroplanes,
hitting their targets,
but the goats steal my food.

Tramping through the dark, damp woods,
cracking and crunching twigs underfoot.
Smells of moss and earthy vegetation.
Hearing birdsong and animals, scurrying away.
Enjoying nature on a crisp autumn day.

Friends together, we feed the goats.
They lick our hands. It feels funny and slimy
but it’s fun.

Tractors like horses with engines,
animals with wheels, pull the people around the farm.
It’s bouncy, bumpy and noisy.

Our world’s so very beautiful
full of unpredictable places still unexplored.

And yet we need go no further,
it’s simply outside our doors.
Happiness is priceless.
Come and feel it for yourselves,
it’s there for us to share.
Just come outside and look around,
there’s nothing to compare.

Woodland Street house
filled with candlelight
in a street of friends, uncles and aunts:
one bike shared between us all.
House pulled down for better things
which never came. Still there’s nothing there.
A community demolished by a council.

Coal mines gave way
to GKN and steel. Then roads
pushing this way and that
sprouted Lidl’s and other superstores.
Industrial estates blew away the wildlife.
Now coal and steel are gone
the birds, the badgers and others are back.

How green is my valley?
From what I’ve seen
it doesn’t look very green.

How green is my valley?
Look to the mountains, not to the town.
Look around, then up, not down.
The rocks, the gulleys, farms, tracks and paths,
that will make you happy, giggle and laugh.

How green is my valley?
Very green if you stop and look.
Nature and history all around you,
not just in a  book.

Dianne Evans, Kath Hyde, Derek Morgan, Lindsey Smith, Tryfan Hobbs (14), Corrine Jones, Roger Stevenson, Geraldine Pugh,Joseph Wood (9), Joseph Bourne (7), Zack Davies (10), Jacob Williams (9), Gil Barnett, Meghan Edwards (4), Ffion Phillips (3),Sian Phillips (6), Jessica Richardson (11), Irene Taylor, Ranjit Ghoshal, Glyn Hughes, Mark Mahoney.