Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Did Elaine Morgan ever live in Radnorshire?

How celebrated would Elaine Morgan have been if she'd lived in Hampstead instead of Mountain Ash?  She would surely have made it into the pages of Private Eye as yet another example of the London hacks over-use of the term "a national treasure."

As well as speaking with a regional accent and living in "the valleys" -  the current stereotype of the Welsh is based on television programmes such as BBC3's The Call Centre or MTV's The Valleys, certainly not on working-class girls who went to Oxford - Elaine Morgan also made the mistake of rather charmingly propounding an idea which is quite unacceptable to the closed ranks of academia:

I certainly agree with her comment that the scientific establishment is morphing into a priesthood and our reaction should be to treat them with the same lack of reverence that all chasuble wearers deserve.

No doubt the London broadsheets will eventually get around to printing an obituary and it may contain a reference, like Trevor Fishlock's piece, to Ms Morgan having once lived in Radnorshire.  The source for this will have been her autobiography Knock 'em Cold, Kid which mentions living on the border between Radnorshire and Herefordshire in Michaelchurch Escley.  Of course Michaelchurch Escley isn't near Radnorshire at all, and the farm mentioned, The Birches, certainly seems to be there and not in Radnorshire's Michaelchurch-on-Arrow.

It's a shame, but Radnorshire can't claim a connection with this talented woman.


Anonymous said...

O, but it can since she was quite a friend of Jenny Glandon Davies, widow of the Rev. J. Glandon Davies who was minister at Ithon Road Presbyterian Church, and she almost certainly visited Llandrindod many times.

Alun Davies said...

She was indeed a friend of my mum Jenny, who met her through my mother's friendship with Gwen Griffiths (widow of Rev W J Griffiths, minister at Tabernacle Baptist Chapel). Elaine was Gwen's sister-in-law and consequently visited Llandrindod many times.