Troubador To Where We Once Belonged

Released: 28/10/2015

ISBN: 9781784623883

Format: Paperback

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To Where We Once Belonged

Colwyn Bay Revisited


This novel is inspired by the reality of true events in a small coastal town during the Second World War, some of the characters are based on people who lived, others are purely fictitious. It is a fact realised only in recent years that the town of Colwyn Bay and its population deserved huge recognition for its vitally important administrative role during wartime in feeding the nation. This function is now celebrated annually at a festival each April since the publication of ‘Colwyn Bay Accredited’.

The prologue describes a young girl fascinated by the diary of her great grandmother written as a teenager during the war years. We visit Spain, and continue on to Liverpool and North Wales in an obscure seemingly insignificant area. Set in the 21st century, stories of the past and wartime years surface in memories of the characters, all of whom have their own agenda for returning, and many have connections to each other. Rita, retired to the Costa Blanca is an ageing former singer, famous and successful in the past, and now wealthy but widowed and lonely. There has been a family rift with her brother and she has no children of her own.

An explanation of the appearance of the mysterious stranger at The Metropole is eventually revealed in a surprising twist. A glimpse of the future is disclosed. Themes of regeneration, the downward spiral of society, in comparison to attitudes during former times of challenge and adversity, and nostalgic curiosity about the past in a hometown are explored. Many mysteries are explained but some things will never be known.

'Colwyn Bay Accredited: The Wartime Experience' was written in 2010 to highlight the vital contribution of her home town during the second world war.The town was taken over with a dramatic influx of 5000 civil servants who were to administer the distribution of food during the war years under teh leadership of Lord Woolton. The contribution went unaccredited for many years and Cindy was passionate about getting credit adn appreciation for the town during the lifetime of many of the former workers.

Local History Magazine

North Wales Pioneer

Having lived in Colwyn-Bay as a wartime refugee during WW2, I found this book most fasinating and it took me back through those historic days of this once tranquile sea-side resort. A lovely story which, once you begin reading, you cannot help but continue till it's end. Well worth reading !

by Hans Wins

To Where We Once Belonged
Colwyn Bay Revisited

The story spans a century in the life of “this small, low profile but wonderful town”. Its fictional elements are rooted firmly in the fertile ground of diligently researched biographical material. Clearly proud of being brought up in this seaside town in North Wales, Cindy Lowe published Colwyn Bay Accredited in 2010. Documenting Colwyn Bay’s vitally important role in the feeding of the nation during World War II, her first book produced a wealth of responses from readers whose contributions came to provide many of the authentic structural elements upon which this book is based. The result has all the alluring aspects of a novel to carry the reader effortlessly through what is in reality a meticulous piece of research. As such it reflects upon social change taking place all over the country.

With an artist’s eye for detail the author provides a vivid visual account. (Browsing through her great grandmother’s wartime diary, “Alexis scooped the wing of raven-dark hair behind her ear and frowned at the difficult to decipher neat but inky handwriting….” You can see it all, can’t you?) The story is authenticated with such poignant non-fictional material as the First World War diary entries of a genuine great uncle, for example.

You need not have lived in or even visited Colwyn Bay to enjoy this book. The social and civic processes through which it takes us are universal in their applicability. It will promote reminiscent reflection upon the reader’s own home town, be that this one or anywhere else.

In her introduction to the book Cindy Lowe writes: “In the nineteenth Century nostalgia was thought to be a mental illness, an idea to which we do not subscribe today. People are heartened by reminiscing.” Towards the end of the book, with the character Grandma Faye now in her eighties, the descriptive writing is still as rich as ever: “Alexis shook back her mane of silky hair, her green peridot earrings glittered….” as the author begins to pull the narrative motifs together to a satisfying conclusion. Grandma Faye, alone on her rocking chair with her black and white cat was, we learn: “not content with revisiting the past. She aimed to make new memories. She always looked to the future.”

by Rogerpendragon

As an ex-patriate now living in BC Canada, This book has revived many pleasant memories of my formative years living in Colwyn Bay.
Born in Llanddulas in 1936 and moving to Old Colwyn at age 6, I spent my formative years there attending the Pendorlan school in Colwyn Bay.
My pals and I used to go fishing from the pier which I am now told is
facing demolition. This would be a great shame as it was a major focal
point for summer visitors. and could be again were it to be restored.
My heartfelt thanks to the author for a well presented look at the past.

by Don Matthews.

Cindy Lowe

Cindy Lowe was born in Wales to a Welsh speaking father, and and English mother. She attended school in her home town of Colwyn Bay and later went to college first in Wrexham, then Swansea College or Art. Her first career was as an art teacher in North London; due to a career change in the late 1970s she travelled the world and worked abroad for several years, returning to the UK to marry a man from home. When her husband, sadly died of a brain tumour in 1994, she then returned to study as a mature student in Surrey for a BA in History and Sociology and eventually a master’s degree. She worked at a college for disadvantaged women for several years. She lives near Surbiton and has one son.

This is her first novel, although she has recently published a book of local historical interest entitled ‘Colwyn Bay Accredited: The Wartime Experience’ which has been well received, and is presently being reviewed by a journal. She is passionate about the local area of North Wales and has researched Colwyn Bay’s Home Front during the Second World War in depth, and recorded many oral histories, many of which have provided inspiration for this, her first novel. She has independently created two exhibitions in the local library, and dreams of establishing a local museum. As a member of a Heritage group she is involved in the continuing collection of memories of personal experiences of the local people through a Heritage Group, encouraging interaction between the younger and older generations, and she is passionate about the importance and timeliness of this.

Attending 1940s festival in Colwyn Bay

Colwyn Bay Accredited
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