'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.
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.”
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 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.