Memories of a Resolven childhood from Nik Samuel


This is something I wrote about My Old Pal William Willis…


Memories of Childhood with “Willy Stamp”


“Oye you two, be quiet!  . I’m trying to do the balancing”

It was Victor, William’s Dad and The Balancing wasn’t some sort of Circus act, but balancing the books, which he did every Friday evening at The Post Office.

Anyway, we didn’t take much notice we were too busy fighting Germans in North Africa, in a Jeep made of pillows and cushions from The Willis’s best G.plan three piece suite.  We’d moved on from last week in France, Poland and Japan.  This was very much helped by a very nice unseen Japanese Lady who’d left us rations of biscuits and pop.

These were the winter months and all though fulfilling our childish imagination, we longed for the summer months, when we would build dens behind The Farmer’s and up Henllyn.We would build armies of Action men with Cuzy and Glynn. We had an envy of Melissa, who had a talking Action man and a Jonny Seven This was before The Comp years, where we would discover The Goodies and Monty Pythons Flying Circus( again nothing to do with The Circus)We had acquired a cassette recorder and joined by Glynn and Robert Richards started to write and record little sketches.

It was at this time that William came up with the idea of scaling the road between Sardis to the canal basin.  We plan a Friday assault starting outside the stables next to Sardis, along the pavement to the bridge and a sneaky manoeuvre at the bridge to the basin where it was only a short hop to Glynn’s house for refreshments.

We used our pocket money to purchase line rope from Place’s hardware shop and I made crampons from Welsh cake cutters sellotaped to my daps.  The rope was laid out along the pavement ahead of us and we began the crawl, with the thought of biscuits and pop ahead.  This was a Friday like I said and timing wasn’t good at a few points– Sylvia and Mervin from John Street had to step over us shaking their heads and tutting.  A bit further on, John and Ann, Wilky’s Mam and Dad did the same.  Hunger and light took over at some point and we agreed We would attempt it again the week after and abandoned that first attempt.

If all this sound a bit far fetched Glynn filmed it all on William’s Dads super eight. I know William kept the tapes (audio and film) and I hope one day that Jo, Williams wife finds them and is able to watch them with their kids and see how wonderfully daft we were.

As teenagers, we took different paths, `me with my music and William with his many talent-. writing and painting, having success with both and I remember how proud I was to be present at two recordings of his radio plays D.I.Y…and I have every book He published and signed for me.  He also did Angie and me the honour of hand writing our wedding invitations- about a hundred and fifty of them as our wedding present.

We kept in touch over the years and talked about our daftness and our adventures. He even encouraged my Son William to pursue His creative ways and was very proud when I told him that he and his work mates had won a Bafta Cymru.

I spoke to him back earlier in the year and talked about a story we were thinking about and also, putting a book of verse together using some of my few poems and the newly discovered talent of Geeky, also some of William’s words.

We never did finish the assault on Glynneath Road,

We’ll leave that till We meet again, see you later butty …

The are many other adventures I could share about William, like the bonfire nights we’d have down John Street with

Diane Evans

Stephen “Cuzy” Cousins

Glyn “Crocket” Davis

Lyn”Goyle” Hardwick

Wayne”Tom Cat” Thomas

Nigel Thomas

Marie Wrona

Sian Thomas

Marcia Davis

Melissa “Lisa” Andrews

Leighton “Wilky” Wilcocks

And I know I’ve missed many of William’s friends and they must have other memories of William …


Ref: Willy Stamp.—, William  lived at The Post office…