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The Welsh Prince of words

I rediscovered the wonderful Gwyn Thomas recently.  He was the most brilliant of Welsh broadcasters, his voice a marvellous alchemy of the non conformist chapel, the grammar schoomaster, with the intellectual wit of Oxford and the poetry of the Rhondda.  Writer, raconteur, as if Richard Burton had met Rowan Williams with a touch of Wodehouse thrown in, the pride shines through his gloriously acid prose.  His description of Tiger Bay remains one of the finest pieces of documentary ever made.

But for me, for anyone seeking to explain the value of education, there can be no finer sixteen syllables than a few seconds of his televisual walk around Ebbw Vale. His description of our miners’ institutes stands above all else.   It was in their reading rooms that, he explains:

Men made their fumbling way out of darkened worlds by the lamp of words.

Oh, to have his command of language.

Personal views of a wordsmithing, sartorialist, horn-playing, state school Oxonian dad, rugby ref, recovering politico, and fan of vintage tailoring, Ralph Lauren style, and sharp writing.

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