Williams specialises in illustrating the history and social
traditions of South Wales in which he combines his natural talent
as a storyteller with the superb skills of a master draughtsman
to weave an intriguing and witty history of the ancient Kingdom
Pictorial Calendar of the Ancient Kingdom of Gwent - 2003.
Twelve episodes from local history depicted in an illustrated
calendar for 2003
Produced in association with the Gwent Country History Association
and Newport Local History Society.
The year starts off with the great floods of
January 1606, when 26 Monmouthshire parishes were submerged
and between 500 and 2,000 people are thought to have drowned.
"One of the stories I have portrayed is the one of the
couple marooned on their cottage roof, despairing of ever
being rescued, when a large barrel floated by. They gratefully
climbed into the barrel and were carried to safety on the
>> go back to top
February highlights the feud between the Morgan and Herbert
families back in the 1500s. March, which starts with St David's
Day, is about the English and Welsh sides of Monmouthshire
and also the fact the writer George Borrow, who was in Newport
in 1854, found Welsh still being spoken there.
|"It's history and folklore all mixed up. One of
my favourite stories concerned Edmund Jones, the 'Prophet
of the Tranch', near Pontypool. "The reverend gentleman
was born, appropriately enough, on April 1, 1702, and
believed that if you believed in ghosts you were bound,
therefore, to believe in the Holy Ghost. "He went
round collecting all sorts of ghost stories and folk tales
without bothering too much as to whether they were true
or not. When a tongue-in-cheek miner said that he had
seen swallows underground in winter, hibernating with
their beaks stuck into the roofs of caverns, the credulous
Jones took it all in."
"Gwent is rich in human stories which I have tried to
work into the calendar. For October, for instance, I've featured
the 'stay down' strike at Nine Mile Point colliery in 1935,
when over 200 miners stayed underground for 177 hours as a
protest at the employment of non-union colliers. "Some
of the policemen drafted in to break the strike were seen
to be in tears when the sound of the miners singing hymns
floated up the mine shaft."
Historical Map of the Ancient Kingdom of Gwent
This large scale drawing of the ancient Welsh
Kingdom of Gwent depicts literally hundreds of events and
places in the historic kingdom. The giant A0 sized poster
shows the whole of the present day county with its villages
and towns picked out in detailed pen and ink drawings and
the historic stories associated with the place.