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