A Sunday in Swansea, Wales, in this autumn of 2013. From this hillside the sea below is a slab of silence, sliding landward with the rising tide,
beneath the heavy weight of cloud cloaking Swansea Bay. Mist above the Mumbles muffles all sound and it’s as grey as the day I left for London in the autumn of 1962.
I had left Coleg Harlech in North Wales, after a year of study, and spent the summer months working in Gower and Swansea, and celebrating my new life with a wide range of friends. A popular tavern at the time was the King’s Head in the High Street, often favoured by students from Swansea Arts College, and it was there in the spacious back bar that I began to read aloud my early poetry . A number of students were also talented musicians and singers, particularly Brynmor Jones (known as Bryn Pablo ), who hailed from Barmouth, but the star of the those raucous evenings at the King’s
Head in that bright and promising summertime was Spencer Davies, singing his own songs and playing his twelve string guitar.
After the pubs had closed we would often move on to Rob’s Cafe,
near the old Swansea Hospital, where one could play chess or talk the night away. And at weekends there would be frequent midnight
parties in the dunes and depths of Gower’s Crawley Woods. It was a memorable summer. But then it was autumn, time to leave for a writing career in London, and for the first of many similar journeys,
I caught the train to Paddington.