Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Seven Wonders of South Wales

Someone mentioned the Seven Wonders of Wales this morning, and I'd not heard of them, so I looked them up.

Pistyll Rhaeadr and Wrexham steeple,
Snowdon's mountain without its people,
Overton yew trees, St Winefride wells,
Llangollen bridge and Gresford bells.

I felt a bit underwhelmed, I must say. Not least because they are all in North Wales. So, in an attempt to redress the balance, I spent three minutes listing these, the Seven Wonders of South Wales. (contents subject to change depending on how the mood takes me, suggestions (polite suggestions) gratefully received).

Crawshay's great gravestone at Vaynor, near Merthyr
Port Talbot's blast furnaces, flickering at night.
The slagheap at Bargoed, now gone but still worth a
High place on the list; Tiger Bay, shiny bright
(I preferred it before). Down at Newport, now- tsk!
The Transporter Bridge gondola
Traverses no longer the mud of the Usk
-in fact, most of these wonders are broken or, duller,
Demolished, or seized up and covered in rust...

...The Market at Cardiff for faggots and rissoles.
The M4 which carries me safe home to Bristol.


  1. *shh* don't tell anyone, it'll only end up getting spoiled

  2. Arrh, Slag heaps! we had spoil heaps from the pits like small volcanoes but a fortune was spent turning them into billiard table smooth boring prairies!!!

    If it is interesting tear it down.

    Mediocrity rules, OK.

    Caroline xxx

  3. How about Kenfig Castle poking out above land, it's surrounding village buried in sand?

  4. Slag heaps were fun, Caroline; I used to really like scree-running down them. It's strange how thoroughly the area has changed, so that it feels almost like we were living in a black and white movie...

    I did give some serious thought to adding Kenfig, Krissie, because it is truly wonderful (and thank you for introducing me to it) but thought I'd stick to the industrial stuff just to be annoying

  5. ...though maybe in the revised version :-)

  6. There's poetry for you ;-)

  7. Arr, now that's a reminder. I shall always remember Uncle Trevor's immolation at Margam Crematorium, luckily we waited for him to die first. It was very poetic, alamost but not quite as poetic as your list, watching his smoke mingle with that from the chimneys and funnels at Port Talbot. My first and so far only visit to South Wales. I learned from Uncle Trevor's example.
    He spent all his first 62 years dreaming of and yearning for a life in a small isolated village in the Brecon Beacons, and within six months of living there he had a heart attack and died.
    Follow your dreams? Yeah, right.

  8. The "worth a" rhyming with "Merthyr" is exACTly the sort of thing that features in my stuff, too - I love it - and I WILL one day finish that pirate poem!

  9. there indeed, Jo. With rhymes and all that, too. So you can tell. :-)

    Not quite a 'pulse in the eternal mind', Graham... coming back as acid rain. Oh dear.

    I've been tinkering, Delia, and adjusting the rhymes for 'gondola' too. I toyed with 'gone duller', as it really should be done, but perhaps it was a bridge too far.

  10. When I was young I loved going to the cafe upstairs at Cardiff Market, I also loved to look at the animals in their cages as well.

  11. me too, Hetty! And the morally-uplifting posters in the religious shop next to the records! -