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Have you got a minute?

7th March 2018 | Beverly Landais

I was recently featured by Hewetson & Co for their 'Have you got a minute' series of interviews. It was an enjoyable experience, and the questions made me think. One question, in particular, struck a chord:

'Who or what inspires you?'

My answer is my grandfather, Foster Lewis (now sadly passed away). He and my nanna, Doris Lewis, led an interesting life and raised seven children. I grew up in South Wales. It was a typical Welsh community with my grandparents next door but one to our home with many other relatives living close by.

As a small child, I’d start my day before school by spending time with my grandparents as both my parents worked. I was entertained by the rich voice of my grandfather reading poetry, extracts from Shakespeare and Aesop’s Fables. More than anything else, it was this that started my love of reading and thirst to learn.

My grandfather had been a coal miner until the age of 36. He was forced to quit because he developed miners’ nystagmus disease which is characterised by rapid involuntary movements of the eyes, defective vision, sensitivity to light and night-blindness. Over the years he gradually lost his sight. In between, he fought for miners’ rights, became the warden of the campsite at Porthcawl and later manager of the local brewery.

Despite his failing eyesight, he never lost the love of literature which he passed on to me. My grandfather lived until he was 83. In his final years, he taught himself to use a manual typewriter and wrote his memoir entitled ‘The Miner’s Tale: Recollections of the events in the inconsequential life of a South Wales coal miner 1916-1938’. His book was published by members of my family shortly before his death. His tenacity, resourcefulness and enjoyment of learning is a source of inspiration to me, and I am grateful for it. 

Read the full article here: https://hewetsonco.com/have-you-got-a-minute/beverly-landais/

 

7th March 2018 | Beverly Landais

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