I was recently given a book that belonged to my Great Grandfather. I never knew him so it was like a hand reached out of the past and gave mine a firm shake. From photographs of him I imagine he would have had a firm handshake.
Grandpa Evans, as he was known to everyone, was a school teacher in Wales. The book I was given was the only remaining volume of a collection of books he would have used to teach from, called the Teacher’s Encyclopaedia. The reason the book was given to me is because it is full of the most incredible illustrations with all sorts of amazing flaps. I’ve put a short film of some of the pages here. It is honestly the most beautiful book. Grandpa Evans studied natural history at university and I can just imagine him pouring over the wonderful imagery with the same delight that I do.
Even in his last days Grandpa Evans used to put on his hat, take up his stick and stride out across the hills to go ‘visiting’. He would plague my Grandma, sitting in the living room of an evening. At last he would pick up his hat and stick again to go home. He would pause on the doorstep, gaze out into the deep Welsh night, and tell her about the constellations high above their heads. Then with a final shout of “Nos da!” he’d be away into the dark. Have you ever really wished you could have met someone? I wish I could have met him. I’d have drunk in those doorstep chats about the stars.