Tecwyn Lloyd was born 22 October 1914 and died suddenly almost 78 years later on 22 August 1992. He was the only child of John and Laura Lloyd, Penybryn, Glanyrafon, Corwen, Meirionethshire. Glanrafon and Llawrybetws was a totally Welsh-speaking area in Tecwyn Lloyd's childhood and this was to be an important influence on his life, his work and his convictions later on. His father John Lloyd was a brother to Robert (Bob) Lloyd, and Revd Trebor Lloyd Evans, Morriston, and Aled Lloyd Davies were his cousins. Tecwyn Lloyd claimed that he could trace his family back to Rhirid Flaidd.
After his early education at Llawrybetws primary school where the headteacher, Rhys Gruffydd, was, he said, an important influence on him, he proceeded to Bala Boys' Grammar School (Ysgol Tytandomen). After gaining his Higher School Certificate he went to the University College of North Wales Bangor where he graduated in Welsh in 1938 and then followed a teacher training course. However, apart from a few months after graduating when he was a supply teacher in Bala and Llanuwchllyn, and in his own primary school in Glanrafon between leaving the grammar schol and entering university, Tecwyn Lloyd never taught children. Rather, his teaching career was spent in adult education. His first post was as a WEA tutor in Uwchaled, between Betws-y-coed and Corwen. He held a number of evening classes in various villages as well as in Llawrybetws school, his old school. Though he lectured on a variety of topics, his primary field was Welsh literature, but according to some who attended his classes, the sessions wandered into many directions and attention was regularly given to Current Affairs in this period leading up to and during the early years of World War Two. Tecwyn Lloyd encouraged his students to compose their own work and and during these years their work was published in a magazine entitled Llafar Gwlad. His co-tutor was Islwyn Pritchard and together they organised a number of walking tours in the Scottish mountains in the summer for members of the course and others from the area.
Tecwyn Lloyd was a socialist and a nationalist. in his student years in Bangor he and a number of friends pondered deeply on the relationship between the young Nationalist Party and the socialist movement, and since reconciliation between the two was not possible in those days a new movement, Gwerin, was formed in Bangor and grew in the other colleges of the then University of Wales, especially Swansea. The movement waned when the founders left college and it came to an end at the start of World War Two. But Tecwyn Lloyd never lost his socialist convictions and from 1939 to 1941 he was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, wearing its badge when he was called to be assessed for military service during the war. Tecwyn Lloyd never served in the armed forces.
After six happy years in Uwchaled Tecwyn Lloyd decided to turn to a different sphere of education. He was appointed Welsh Tutor and Librarian at Coleg Harlech, ‘the college of second opportunity’, a college that aimed to equip adults for further education. Here again he was well received, revealing the talents of students to the utmost and joining with them in various activities. Among his fellow lecturers were Meredydd Evans and Gwyn Erfyl. During his time there he spent a sabbatical period studying in Rome, and from October 1951 to June 1952 he researched the history of Welsh scholars of the Counter-Reformation like Morus Clynnog and Gruffudd Robert of Milan. He met Pope Pius XII and visited centres of learning in Sienna, Florence, Milan, Padua and Venice in addition, of course, to Rome itself. His period in Italy taught him the important lesson that if he was to live in Italy and enjoy his time there he would have to learn Italian, a lesson that he adapted to his philosophy about Wales and her future.
By the end of the Christmas term of 1955, Tecwyn Lloyd realised that the atmosphere at Coleg Harlech was not to his liking; he had grown tired of all the political arguments and he had become disillusioned with the institution. He turned from adult education to a completely different field, to journalism and publishing, and joined the publishing firm, Hughes and Son, of Wrexham. He was deputy editor of the weekly newspaper Y Cymro (the editor was his friend since college days, John Roberts Williams) and Editorial Manager of the publishing company. Tecwyn Lloyd contributed many articles and snippets to Y Cymro, mostly of the character of a magazine rather than of a newspaper. By now he had married Frances Killen who came from the Wolverhampton area, a lady of staunch English stock. It was she who became Welsh, rather than Tecwyn becoming English.
After five years of journalism it was time, he felt, to return to adult education. He was appointed to a post in the Extramural Studies Department of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. He moved from Wrexham to Carmarthenshire in 1960, to be responsible for courses on the history and literature of Wales in west Carmarthenshire, south Cardiganshire and north Pembrokeshire. While Tecwyn Lloyd was a tutor in the Extramural Department Yr Academi Gymreig (the Welsh Academy) was established and its journal Taliesin began to appear; within a year or two Tecwyn Lloyd was appointed editor, a post that he held for 25 years. This was the period, too, when he began to publish his volumes of literary criticism, short stories and portraits. See the list below. Tecwyn Lloyd had a strong sense of humour and was something of a trickster. He ‘created’ a Welsh writer, E. H. Francis Thomas, with an exotic background, who wrote paranormal short stories, and a poet, ‘Miss J. M. Davies’ whose work gave him an opportunity to satirise some pseudo-avant garde features of modern poetry. While he was in Carmarthen he realised that the Calvinistic Methodist denomination intended to sell the library of Bala College, historically a library of great significance, and he campaigned against the sale, but to no avail.
As retirement at 65 drew nearer he decided to return to his roots and purchased the old vicarage of Maerdy church near Corwen as a home for Frances and himself and his library of some thousands of books. Unfortunately Frances did not live to make the move to Tecwyn's native area; she died 13 February 1980. Tecwyn, however, later moved to Uwchaled and travelled for sometime to Carmarthen, spending the night in his old home Garth Martin. A little while later he gave up the travelling, retiring from his post and settling in Maerdy. He met Gwyneth Owen, from Powys, and they were married in July 1984.
Tecwyn Lloyd continued to hold classes in east Merionethshire and to research local and family history of the Llawrybetws area, noting the changes that had occurred during the second half of the 20th century. Honours and recognition came to him now. He had been a member of the Powys Regional Eisteddfod Gorsedd of Bards since 1944, and he was elected Officiating Druid in 1988, leading the proclamation ceremony in Machynlleth in October that year. He was awarded an honorary D.Litt by the University of Wales in 1990 and an honorary Fellowship of Bangor University College. In 1991 he was elected FSA. He had gained his MA from Liverpool for a dissertation on Anglo-Welsh writers in 1961.
He died suddenly, after a brief illness, in Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan on 22 August 1992 and was buried in Glanrafon church cemetery 27 August.
Main publications: Trafod Llenyddiaeth, 1943, WEA; Rhyw Ystyr Hud, 1944, (‘E. H. Francis Thomas’); Erthyglau Beirniadol, 1946; Trwy Diroedd y Dwyrain, (translation of work by H. I. Bell) 1946; Ysgol Llawrybetws, 1908-1958 (ed.), 1958; Ned Sera Jôs, (private publication) R. Williams Parry (Pamffledi Llenyddol Cyfadran Addysg Aberystwyth), 1962; Tannau'r Cawn (ed.) (the poems of William Jones), 1965; Y Cythreuliaid (translation of The Devils by John Whiting) 1965; Safle'r Gerbydres ac Ysgrifau Eraill, 1970; Hyd Eithaf y Ddaear a Storïau Eraill (‘E. H. Francis Thomas’, 1972; Saunders Lewis (ed. with Gwilym Rees Hughes), 1975; Y Wers Rydd a'i Hamserau (Darlith Lenyddol Eisteddfod Caernarfon), 1979; Gysfenu i'r Wasg Gynt, (Darlith Radio Flynyddol BBC Cymru), 1980; Bore Da Lloyd, a Chofnodion Eraill, 1980; Grawnsypiau i'w Macsu, neu Bwysïau gan Hen Bisyn (poetry by Miss J. M. Davies, private publication); Cymysgadw, 1986; Drych o Genedl, 1987; Llên Cyni a Rhyfel a Thrafodion Eraill, 1987; Cofio Rhai Pethe … a Phethe eraill, 1988; John Saunders Lewis - y gyfrol gyntaf, 1988; Ardal Llawrybetws 1989-90, (private publication - two copies). Also hundreds of letters to the press, adjudications, lectures etc.
Published date: 2013-04-15
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/