Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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HAYCOCK , BLODWEN MYFANWY ( 1913 - 1963 ), artist and author ;

b. at Glyndŵr , Mount Pleasant , Pontnewydd, Mon. on 23 Mar. 1913 , the youngest of the three daughters of James David Haycock , miner (known locally as Jim Pearce ) and Alice Maud , née Perry (both natives of Mon. ) Educated at Cwm-ffrwd-oer primary school , Pontypool grammar school for girls and Cardiff Technical College (later Cardiff College of Art ). Her skill as an illustrator in black and white , coupled with her early success with a lyric in English at the Port Talbot national eisteddfod of 1932 , where W.H. Davies ( DWB , 162) was the adjudicator , prompted her to reject a career as an art teacher and to take up one as a freelance journalist . From 1936 her poems and stories, illustrated with scraper-board drawings, appeared in The Western Mail and other newspapers and journals. On the outbreak of World War II she was in turn wages clerk in a munitions factory , assistant welfare officer in a factory in Cardiff 's slumland, teacher , and information officer for the Institute of Agriculture at Usk . In 1943 she joined the B.B.C. in London : two of her radio plays were broadcast and her poems read over the air. Leaving the B.B.C. in 1945 , she became a successful journalist in London , writing articles and poems , illustrating books , designing Christmas cards and becoming a member of the council of the Society of Women Journalists . In July 1947 she married Dr. Arthur Merion Williams of Borth ( consultant anaesthetist at Redhill county hospital and the East Surrey group of hospitals) at the presbyterian church , Llanover , and lived after her marriage at Buckland , near Reigate , where she brought up their three children. Despite increasing ill-health, she continued to write and not infrequently read her poems on television . She d. on 9 Nov. 1963 . The four volumes she published were Fantasy and other poems ( 1937 ), Poems ( 1944 ), More poems ( 1945 ) and (posthumously) Mountain over Paddington ( 1964 ). A fluent impressionistic poet , ‘ her imagery often touched with elfin whimsicality ' ( A.G. Prys-Jones ), she used traditional forms with an effect which occasionally echoed W.H. Davies , leading Wil Ifan ’ ( William Evans ) to call her ‘ Gwent's Second Voice ’.

Sources:

  • W. J. T. Collins , Monmouthshire writers. A literary history and anthology… , Newport, 1945 (1945) ;
  • Some contemporary Anglo-Welsh writers , Cardiff City Library, 1941 (1941) ;
  • Western Mail , 14 Nov. 1963 ;
  • information from Miss Gwladys Haycock .

Author:

Roland Glyn Mathias, Brecon

Published date: 2001