My final day in Denbighshire. After a breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast and a chat to a nice guy about the history of Sheffield FC (the oldest football club in the world) I was picked up by my librarian of the day, Carys Harries, and driven to Corwen.
Corwen was different from Ruthin in that the building materials are made of dark slate quarried from the surrounding hillside. Bathed in sunlight it gave the town a grand, ancient feel but I imagine in the rain Corwen might feel a little forbidding.
The library is a tall imposing building that was once the town hall. I was taken upstairs to find a huge hall, complete with a stage hidden by long blue velvet curtains and round lights that hung from the ceiling in pairs like gigantic mistletoe berries.
Ysgol Corrag arrived first clutching swimming bags for afterwards and then Ysgol Caerdrewyn joined them. As had been the case all week, the two schools listened attentively and joined in wholeheartedly with the session. I was especially thrilled to meet Megan (above) who had scored five out of five on my Girls FC penalty shoot out game (see the Girls FC section on this website). I’ve never manged more than three so far!
For the second session I had three village schools – Ysgols Gwyddelwern, Betwys and Llandrillo. I always like meeting rural schools because it gives me chance to tell them all about when I taught at Besthorpe Primary, then the smallest primary school in Nottinghamshire and the inspiration behind There’s Only One Danny Ogle and Jade’s Story. Empathy, you see. It helps no end. Once more apologies to those three schools and Caerdrewyn for not taking a photograph. My time keeping is woeful.
Carys then drove me to LLangollen, a famous town that attracts thousands of tourists a year because it is home to the International Musical Eisteddfod as well as having a steam railway, an aqueduct built by Thomas Telford and Dinas Bran. Dynas Bran sits atop a high hill looking down on the town. Once a castle, there’s not much remaining now but a few crumbling walls but legend has it that this is where the Holy Grail was hidden.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Llangollen Library still had the Holy Grail hidden in its archives somewhere. it was certainly a gem of a building. Light, airy and with decorative plasterwork on the ceiling. How would my final session in Denbighshire end? On a high. The Y3s and 4s from Ysgols Gwernant and Bryn Collen were terrific. And so happy. The good schools always are. When I asked them if they had a teacher who put on silly voices and made stories come alive when they read to them the response was immediate. They had and, better still, they were in the room! This time my camera was at the ready as I captured that moment.
A great end to a brilliant three days. Thank you, Bethan Hughes at Denbighshire Library Services, for inviting me.