performed at the Edinburgh Festival, the Bristol Old Vic and the Barbican. He had numerous photographs which provided graphic displays of the poverty and deprivation in the city in the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly the influx of destitute Irish immigrants after the Great Hunger 1845-47. These conditions led to a considerable number of crimes particularly street robberies facilitated by the complete lack of street lighting in the poorer areas of the city such as the officially designated Temperance Town which had in fact 72 or more pubs and brothels. He then described a number of more recent crimes. John’s first experience of the area was when he first joined the police at a time when it was still very run-down. He vividly described how many homeless men there were on the streets; many were able to get shelter in the Salvation Army hostel and often were able to turn their lives around but others who had become meths drinkers slept rough and were often WWII veterans suffering, he suggested, from PTSD, sadly not then a recognised condition. Although conditions in the city have now improved immeasurably, there are still crimes including some recent murders. This account of real life crime, past and present, provided an excellent foundation for the fictional crimes which followed.
character-driven. Rebecca told us that village mysteries should always have a pub!
Another talk, featuring writers writing in Welsh, had an audience of 10-12 people – evidence of the importance to the people of Wales of the importance of their language. And there were two workshops, Katherine Stansfield* on Detectives and their Stories, and Sally Spedding*, Fear is the Key.
looking forward to the next Cardiff Conference!