Monday, 18 June 2012

Tan ar y Comin, Dry Weather at Last, Welsh Game Fair

Last evening on S4C (the Welsh tv channel) the film 'Tan ar y Comin' was shown again . This was the film about a gypsy boy & his horses starring Edward Woodward & directed by David Hemmings, that was made here at Penyrallt nearly 20 years ago. Watching it again was great fun as it brought back lots of memories of a very hectic summer.
A daily invasion of about 60 people and all the film equipment plus wardrobe buses,  props vans, caterers & all and sundry needed to make a film would turn up usually about 7 o'clock to get everything ready to start shooting at 9-ish. We were involved too, not just as the owners of the location but as extras, props suppliers, animal handlers & general farm advisers. I have clear memories of David Hemmings turning up very early one morning ahead of the rest of the crew and sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee with me while waiting for his assistant directors to appear. For some reason the conversation was about breeding poodles!! Very odd as neither of us had poodles.
 It was fascinating watching DH direct his cast and how he prepared every shot and worked through exactly what he wanted with the actors and the camera-man.
 Both the Farmer & Elder Son had several opportunities to be in the film and can be seen briefly appearing in the scenes shot in Newcastle Emlyn at the fair. Elder Son is the naughty little boy who gets scolded for throwing mud at the gypsy boy, the hero of the story.
The farm has changed very little since the film was made, though the house is now yellow not white, thanks to another film project that took place some years later.
'Tan ar y Comin' was shown ahead of a new series being shown on S4C starting next week about the gypsies in Wales,
 'Y Sipswn' in one episode of which Carol Byrne-Jones the director of the Welsh version of the film, is interviewed here on the farm.

After days & days of torrential rain, we have had a day of sunshine which has meant that the men are flat out cutting silage for ourselves and others. It is going to be a very long night for them I suspect. The crop is very heavy  and thick which is good but makes for long hours of tractor driving.

Yesterday the Farmer & I went to the Welsh Game Fair which was held for the first time at the Three Counties Showground near Carmarthen. It opened on Saturday which was so very wet but yesterday the weather improved and we had only a couple of showers. We had a lovely time watching terrieres & lurchers & talking to various people we had not seen for a while. I dearly wanted to bring home some Muscovy ducks but this was not encouraged...the reason given being that they would just be expensive fox food! It is true of course but we had Muscovies years ago who survived many years and were such fun to see around the yard and flying up onto the roof ridges to survey activities. They are real characters & very good mothers unlike many other ducks. Maybe when the Farmer gets himself a new pea-hen I shall mention the Muscovy duck question again.

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