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Huw Morgan quotes

View Quote I am packing my belongings in the shawl my mother used to wear when she went to the market. And I'm going from my valley. And this time, I shall never return. I am leaving behind me my fifty years of memory. Memory. Strange that the mind will forget so much of what only this moment has passed, and yet hold clear and bright the memory of what happened years ago - of men and women long since dead. Yet who shall say what is real and what is not? Can I believe my friends all gone when their voices are still a glory in my ears? No. And I will stand to say no and no again, for they remain a living truth within my mind. There is no fence nor hedge round Time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember. So I can close my eyes on my Valley as it is today - and it is gone - and I see it as it was when I was a boy. Green it was, and possessed of the plenty of the earth. In all Wales, there was none so beautiful. Everything I ever learnt as a small boy came from my father, and I never found anything he ever told me to be wrong or worthless. The simple lessons he taught me are as sharp and clear in my mind as if I had heard them only yesterday. In those days, the black slag - the waste of the coalpits - had only begun to cover the side of our hill, not yet enough to mar the countryside nor blacken the beauty of our village. For the colliery had only begun to poke its skinny black fingers through the green.
View Quote Someone would strike up a song, and the valley would ring with the sound of many voices - for singing is in my people as sight is in the eye.
View Quote Then came the scrubbing - out in the back yard. It was the duty of my sister Angharad to bring the buckets of hot water and cold. And I performed what little tasks I could as my father and brothers scrubbed the coal dust from their backs. Most would come off them, but some would stay for life. It is the honorable badge of the coal miner - and I envied it on my father and grown-up brothers. Scrub and scrub, and Mr. Coal would lie there and laugh at you.
View Quote After dinner, when dishes had been washed, the box was brought to the table, for the spending money to be handed out. No one in our Valley had ever seen a bank. We kept our savings on the mantelpiece. My father used to say that money was made to be spent, just as men spend their strength and brains in earning it - and as willingly - but always with a purpose.
View Quote Twenty-two weeks the men were out, as the strike moved into winter. It was strange to go out into the street and find the men there in the daytime. It had a feeling of fright in it. And always the mood of the men grew uglier as empty bellies and desperation began to conquer reason. Any man who was not their friend became their enemy. They knew that my father had opposed the strike and now it was they who opposed him.
View Quote Then the strike was settled - with the help of Mr. Gruffydd and my father. Work again. Work, to wipe out the memory of idleness and hardship. The men were happy going up the hill that morning. [The colliery gates are closed by guards, leaving some of the men on the outside and shut out.] But not all of them. For there were too many now for the jobs open, and some learned that never again would there be work for them in their own Valley.
View Quote Men like my father cannot die. They are with me still - real in memory as they were in flesh, loving and beloved forever. How green was my Valley then.
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