Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Up & Under with Eddie!

Being Welsh and having a dad who lives and breathes Rugby, or should I say "Pontypool RFC" it was only a matter of time until I returned to my home town, armed with a camera, in presenting mode and capture the Pride of Pooler.  Okay, so I didn’t know that the opportunity would present itself the night after a festive party in London, but I’ve learnt this year that you really can make ideas into realities, you have to be strong and focused and follow things through even if it does mean drinking soda water rather than bubbles.

I also didn’t know how the opportunity would arrive but as soon as my dad mentioned that Eddie Butler was having a book signing for his latest book "The Greatest Welsh 15 Ever" I literally clicked my heels together and landed up in Pontypool market.  Of course, I did get permission from Eddie himself and he seemed to be more than happy to assist!

I grew up wearing Red, White & Black socks, my garage was painted in the hoops and so was my swing and slide.  I was, back then and still am, proud to be from Pontypool and of course proud to be Welsh.  So returning home was a great day for me.  I remember growing up, every match day at pooler park crammed with more people than was probably safe, the chant, the passion of the team and supporters alike.  I also remember coming home on a match day to a very miserable, un-playful, sulky dad when we lost.  I’m sure that most households throughout Wales, with club Rugby were the same back then. 

These were the days of "amateur" rugby, when money hadn't yet taken over and made it a professional game.  I guess it has its advantages of both really and so I wanted to find out about these changes, these glory days of Rugby from the people who played and really wore that tee-shirt.

I was delighted with my day filming.  Eddie Butler arrived at Pontypool market at 11am and there was a queue of people awaiting his arrival, after all, he was returning to his home town.

The word had spread around town and it even caught the attention of Pontypool front Row, Graham Price.  Lucky for Eddie, he had included him in the book!  A scrum may have taken place if not!  I was really pleased to get a great interview with him and he talks about the Glory days of Pooler and what he believes has changed the game of rugby.

After Eddies signing we went for an all day tasty breakfast at The Bread of Heaven cafe, where we received a wonderful welcome in the hillside.  Well, I think it was Eddie who received the welcome really, but who's counting!  All caffined out, Eddie and I took a stroll to the good old park and with the rain holding off, Eddie talked to me about his book, his inspirations and his greatest Rugby moments Ever!

I had set out at 5 am that morning, with my camera man who drove me there, directed the day, filmed, then drove me home - good thing he happens to be my boyfriend too!  We arrived back in London that night at 22:00 and whilst we felt as if we had been in a scrum ourselves, we had caught the buzz of the day and couldn’t wait to watch back our work and begin the edit.

I am now, less than a week since filming, delighted to share my 2 part documentary with you.  I want to thank all of the people in Pontypool Market from stall holders to the people who stopped to talk to me, my (slightly biased and lovable) dad, Graham Price and of course The Greatest Welsh voice of Rugby, Eddie Butler.  And if you’re stuck as to what to buy that loved one for Christmas, then I know just the gift!  (Eddie, I hope your cheques in the post!)

1 comment:

  1. Well done Jenni,
    I left Pontypool 25yrs. ago lovely to see the Market and the Park, like your dad I never missed a game Home or away, good memories of a great team and of course great suporters,
    Mike Taylor (France)