The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post
The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post.
Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.
A shock to the system:
It’s been announced that rail electrification between London and South Wales will stop at Cardiff Central – although no-one is prepared to predict at the precise time it’ll come to a halt.
Having taken the train to Paddington and back on more occasions I can remember, there’s every chance it’ll be delayed because of a signal failure between Reading and Didcot Parkway, a cow on the line outside Swindon and the possibility of a nervous little train refusing to move out of the safety of the Severn Tunnel and on into Newport in case it has its wheels stolen while waiting in the station for two minutes.
I have friends in Newport.
They can take a joke.
Well, you’d be exactly the same if you lived there.
As soon it was announced rail electrification would stop at Cardiff, a lot of people around here got themselves into a lather, complaining that yet again Swansea was being overlooked; rejected; ignored - choose any verb you like - and that, over the decades, various things stopped at Cardiff and didn’t come to Swansea – like the Welsh Assembly Government.
Then again, a lot of people are relieved it didn’t come here.
Another complaint was the Beatles never performed in Swansea!
I honestly don’t think the Fab Four deliberately snubbed the city any more than they did hundreds of other places they didn’t get around to visiting during the short period they toured the UK.
After 50 years, I think it’s time we let that one go, don’t you?
The thing is, even if rail electrification does stop at Cardiff, the brand spanking new hybrid electric-diesel trains will still be travelling on from Cardiff to Swansea (and back!) so what are we really missing out on?
Let’s enjoy the new, smooth rail travel experience.
At least until we get to Didcot Parkway . . .
The cost of holidays have rocketed again, making it far too expensive for many parents to go and enjoy family time together.
It has been well documented that some holidays are between two and six times more expensive during the peak school holiday periods.
The majority of the public see this as exploitation – and who can blame them?
Many get into debt and end up paying huge rates of interest for the privilege of borrowing, which is an added cost to an already over-inflated holiday break.
Gone are the days where many valley folk would venture to Porthcawl and Barry Island during miners’ fortnight to spend two weeks in an old, damp and mouldy caravan, where the whole family had to walk half a mile to the other side of the site to visit the toilet and have a cold shower.
Not to mention the carrying of the water butt back to ensure a supply of tea, coffee and squash.
And all this took place, more often than not, in the rain.
The two-week holiday in Wales back then prepared us for outdoor pursuits and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
I can’t say that I miss those days, but I’m sure many readers would agree that it was all very character building and gave us some amazing memories and stories to pass on to the younger generation.
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk