Cymru Culture

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The snows of yesteryear, Boyd Clack (March 2018)

(March 01, 2018)

The snows of yesteryear *

Boyd Clack (Photo- Ben Hussain)
Boyd Clack (photo - Ben Hussain) 

In the mid to late sixties me, Steve Dudley, Paul Davies and his then wife Sandra used to drive up to The Lamb and Flag in Paul's fruit and veg van every Sunday evening in the summers when it stayed light till late. We'd drink Whitbread Tankard, or in my case Mackeson Fillups, eat cheese and onion rolls and crisps and play darts till chucking out time. We behaved like idiots a lot of the time, clowning about, standing on tables reciting poetry, that kind of thing. We'd be pretty much plastered driving home and we'd sing “The Wild Rover” and other songs at the top of our voices. We were innocent fellows, though like all youngsters we thought ourselves sophisticated.

I used to walk up there other times with Maldwyn Collier and some of the other football playing gang. The night would be similar but we'd have to walk home in the moonlight. We'd run over the fields some nights shouting and laughing in our drunken joy.

These were times that have stayed with me to this day. My entire life has been moulded by my youth in Ton in the sixties. I haven't lived there for a long time now, hardly at all really as an adult but Ton is always in my heart. It is my home.

I also have a crystal clear memory of walking up Cymer Hill drunk at one o'clock one winter's morning watching the snow falling from the black sky in the light of the street lamps. It was like being inside one of those little snow domes that had been shaken. I was wearing my beautiful green Afghan coat that they took off me in Sydney Airport. I had long hair and round John Lennon glasses. I must have looked so sweet and delicate. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. A great French writer wrote the beautiful line 'Mais, où sont les neiges d'antan?'* - 'But where are the snows of yesteryear?'. Where is the beauty I saw as a child? Indeed.


* Mais, où sont les neiges d'antan? (But, where are the snows of yesteryear?) taken from Ballade des dames du temps jadis (Ballad of the Ladies of Times Past), a poem by François Villon (c. 1431–1463)

Boyd Clack, March 2018


If you missed Boyd in the excellent S4C/BBC Wales series Keeping Faith (“Watch Tuesday night [13 February] at 9PM and you will see a handsome, charismatic older actor giving a master class on top quality TV acting demonstrating effortless technique and seamless control. Just a tip!! XX PS I'm in it too!”), you can see him live this Sunday evening [4 March] at 8PM. He will be doing a few numbers backed by Al Steele's excellent band The Alcoholics at The Globe on Albany Street, Roath, Cardiff. Al and his band will be playing from his new CD and they are hot. There are a few other guests, one of whom are a family band from Caerphilly who are lovely people who own a most gorgeous Whippet. It should be a good night for those who enjoy live music. So if you are such a one and fancy a few pints please shuffle along. “Please say hello, Boyd.

Previous poems and articles from Boyd Clack:


Suburban Paranoia; December 2018
The steel hard hard womwen of Saskatchewan; September 2017
Walking on Fleetwood Lane; June 2017
Care in the community; March 2017
Kaleidoscope; December 2016
The Cost; September 2016
Song of the Mother Vixen; September 2014
The snows of yesteryear; June 2014

The snows of yesteryear; March 2014
The snows of yesteryear; December 2013
The snows of yesteryear; September 2013
Requiem; June 2013
Mother to her son; March 2013 (with Kirsten Jones)
The snows of yesteryear; December 2012
The snows of yesteryear; September 2012
The snows of yesteryear; June 2012

Interview with Boyd Clack; September 2011

Boyd Clack's album, Labourer of Love is available in Tesco and ASDA stores, or online from Amazon - as a CD at £8.99, or to download at £5.99.


Boyd Clack - Labourer of Love
Boyd Clack's album, Labourer of Love


cylchgrawn Cymru Culture magazine
Published by/Cyhoeddwyd gan: Caregos Cyf., 2018

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