PEEVISH BEE BOOKS
‘A Brecon Revealed’ (April 2008)
I began this book in February 2007, by taking photographs of the town during two days of heavy snow. Then, before I knew it, I’d taken pictures of friends and neighbours and had embarked (somewhat unwittingly) on an interesting project with no funding, planning or overall strategy. By mid summer I’d produced an interesting collection of photographs, to which I began to add my own essays. I also contacted ‘The Brecon Literary Group’ (who meet regularly at the ‘Three Horseshoes’) and asked them to contribute material. To their great credit, nearly fifty submissions were eventually handed in, despite me not being able to pay anyone for their efforts, or even guarantee that anything would ever be published.
In February 2008 a local business entrepreneur (who wishes to remain anonymous) very generously paid for a thousand soft back copies to be printed by ‘Cambrian Printers’ of Aberystwyth.
A launch party was held at the ‘Cathedral’s Heritage Centre,’ with about a hundred people attending. We were entertained by local artistes, including ‘The Westenders,’ ‘Brecon Town Band,’ ‘Brecon Community Choir,’ ‘Boliau Llawen’ (two Arabian dancers,) the poet ‘Jan Price’ and local rhythm and blues band ‘Calling Card.’ By February 2011 less than fifty copies remain unsold.
An extract from ‘Brecon Sleeps’ - The museum clock stands in the dimly lit foyer, gone are its hands, dial, hours and minutes. Weight driven, its pendulum swings back and forth, ticking away with loud metallic clicks; not counting time but sounding the tug of gravity.
Time itself is never still! At night it doesn’t unfold evenly, then it is like a river, here speeding along like sparkling water trickling over shallow beds of pebbles, there slow and limpid, stagnating in deep pools. Sleep is the only break from its relentless flow but Alistair lies awake and fumes – “Why waste my time? She comes in here looking for a toy dinosaur. We’ve got loads – she looks at them all and says – No I don’t want a violent one but there are some in the window I like. I want a brontosaurus; they were plant eaters you know! I climb into the window, a job I hate – I don’t want to upset the display. Do you just want the one I ask? Yes but not that one, it’s got a nasty face, a contorted mouth! How about this one then? Oh no not that one, I want one with kind eyes!
In the market hall hangs John Hando’s clock, showing the right time as always. No longer driven by clockwork, but the constant surge of electricity. Two faced with handsome black and gold hands and two dials. One looks into the market arcade dimly lit by electric light, its shops locked, shuttered and silent. The other stares into the pitch black empty void of hall. And Hando its maker? His time was up long ago but his clock lives on.
Quotes for ‘A Brecon Revealed’:
Beryl Gibson, International Textile and Trend Consultant
“What really struck me about Huw’s book is the wonderful rich mix of tradition and style, heritage and life that the town possesses. Reading through it I can honestly say I felt a bit tearful at times.”
Catrin Slater, Festival Administrator, HSBC Brecon Jazz
“I think ‘A Brecon Revealed’ is a wonderful book, which captures the unique character of the town and brings into focus the many personalities who drive this thriving community. From Brecon Jazz to Brecon Show, the snapshots, both literal and pictorial, are full of human warmth and interest.”
Jim Smith, Festival Director, HSBC Brecon Jazz
“Huw’s book looks terrific – what a tremendous contribution to the community. I particularly like the seasonal photographs of the town, with some stunning views. With its vast array of local characters, the book reflects all that is special about a market town like Brecon.”
Dr Phil Clark, Theatre Director
“Huw has an intimate knowledge and love/hate relationship with Brecon and small town living. This book is a kind of photographic ‘Under Milk Wood’ for the twenty first century. It will have important repercussions for many years to come.”
Gareth Wynn, Co-owner of ‘Gate Gallery Glassworks’
“Huw’s book – Brilliant! Cash from Chaos – Very Punk!”
Cathey Morgan, Education & Outreach Officer, ‘Theatr Brycheiniog’
“A Brecon Revealed’ really is a definitive insight into the town and what makes it tick!”