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Finnish Boys

Finnish Boys – An excerpt

The new novel ‘Finnish Boys has now been released and as a celebration of my birthday (happy birthday to me!), I am publishing the beginning of chapter one on the web page today. The story begins in 1940, on the eve of the Red Terror, when the new Soviet government arrests ten thousand people across […]

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The Turn of the Wheel

Turn of the wheel – a modern pictorial tour of some key settings

Frongoch mine ruins in the 1980s. The Cornish pumping engine dominates, with its distinct yellow Flintshire brick chimney. Behind to the left, is the older pumping engine and the waterwheel/crusher. To the right is the site of the original mill ,

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Finnish Boys

Finnish Boys – historical background. Pt 1: Pre-war

Many people in the UK have limited knowledge of Estonia’s past. When I was in school, the Baltic States were not even a footnote in the story of the Soviet Union. Personally, I only stumbled across their existence by accident, courtesy of a pre-war atlas. For those who have a similar lack of knowledge, here […]

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The Turn of the Wheel

Women workers in Victorian metal mines.

Mining in the UK has been looked on as a male preserve in modern times. The work underground was deemed like many industrial jobs as being being too dirty or difficult for a woman. This is a brief summary of a woman’s role in the Ceredigion metal mines of the 19th century. I recommend those […]

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Finnish Boys

Finnish Boys – Q&A session about the new novel

Q: A new Estonian novel – is it availableto buy? A: Yes, The new novel is called Finnish Boys and is available online via my website and Amazon at present. Amazon also provides an e-book option. Q: It’s a prequel to Forest Brothers. Why did you choose to do it this way? A: It sort […]

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The Turn of the Wheel

Mining is a hard job, so why did the Ceredigion lead miners think their lot was worse than coal?

‘It’s hard, duw its hard. Harder than they will ever know…. Max Boyce, himself a former coal miner, penned a few poignant songs and poems about the work underground. He does a great job, but then, to fully understand is to do – and most of us have never or will never get close to […]

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Finnish Boys

Finnish Boys – a background: Estonia before 1940

With the release of Finnish Boys, I thought it would be useful to give a background to the story. The history of Estonia is not well known in the UK and it is useful to have an understanding of how the circumstances of 1941, This is a brief summary to get you in the mood, […]

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Blog

A note on the chronology of the novels

The way that my novels have arrived on the market may appear bizarre to some, confusing to others and certainly not in sequence! There are reasons for this, which I will explain. Firstly, let’s explore the three novel series The mining series, featuring Owain Thomas, lead miner The railway series, featuring Dafydd Thomas, railwayman The […]

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The Turn of the Wheel

Turn of the Wheel Pt 3: Some notes about the Cardiganshire lead miner

The life of any miner is hard: Labouring underground in narrow openings from dusk until dawn. yet this was the work for thousands of men in Victorian times. Wales is well known for its coal mines, which dominated life in the South and to a degree, around Wrexham and Rhyl in the north. Metal miners […]

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The Turn of the Wheel

Turn of the Wheel part 2 – Frongoch lead/zinc mine; an introduction to the mine and milling

North Ceredigion and West Montgomeryshire was well-known in Victorian times for its metal mining. The main producing area was bounded by the villages Talybont, Dylife, Van, Cwmystwyth and Pontrhydfendigaid. The produce was ore in the form of galena (lead sulphide) and zinc blende (zinc sulphide). Silver was found in the lead ore. Copper ore – […]