Myfanwy Haycock

Myfanwy Haycock (1913–1963), born Blodwen Myfanwy Haycock in Pontnewynydd near Pontypool in the traditional county of Monmouthshire, was a poet, artist and broadcaster.

She was the youngest of three daughters born to James David Haycock, a stonemason and his wife, Alice Maud (nee Perry).

She was educated locally at Cwm-ffrwd-oer Primary School and Pontypool Grammar School for Girls, entering Cardiff Technical College, later to become Cardiff College of Art, to study art and design.

Teaching or Journalism?
Her first skill was as a black and white illustrator. But she also entered a lyric poem, in English, in the Welsh National Eisteddfod in Port Talbot in 1932 where WH Davies, a local Monmouthshire poet was the adjudicator.

She decided to forsake a career as an art teacher for that of a freelance journalist.

Gaining Success
From 1936 she wrote poems and short stories and often illustrated them with woodcuts and black and white illustrations. These were regularly published in the Western Mail newspaper, based in Cardiff, and other South Wales papers and she also submitted work to journals and other publications.

World War II
During World War II she initially became a wages clerk in a munitions factory at ROF Glascoed between Pontypool and Usk , then Assistant Welfare Officer in a Cardiff barrage balloon factory, a teacher and then an Information Officer at the local agricultural college at Usk.

At the BBC
In 1943 she joined the BBC in London where two of her radio plays were broadcast and she gave regular readings over the airwaves and she entered journalism in 1945, also in London, writing articles for various papers.

She also designed cards, had poems published, illustrated books and became a member of the Society of Women Journalists.

Marriage & Family Life
In the summer of 1947 she married a Dr. Arthur Meirion Williams of Borth, a hospital Consultant based in Surrey. They lived at Buckland near Reigate and brought up three children.

Her health gradually deteriorated although she still wrote articles and even read some of her poems on television.

She died in 1963.

Her work is still remembered, although not widely known and rarely heard, reading her work repays the effort of discovering it.

She is best known for ‘Mountain Over Paddington’ 1964 and collections of her poetry, ‘Poems’ 1944 and ‘More Poems’ 1945.

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