Frank Green, Liverpool and the Welsh BuildersFrank Green, Lerpwl a'r Adeiladwyr Cymreig

Author: Nia Roberts; Gareth Wyn Jones.

Frank Green has been documenting his home city of Liverpool, on canvas, for nearly fifty years, with his most recent work concentrating on streets built by the Welsh builders that had such an impact on the development of the city from the mid nineteenth century.

 

A warm-hearted Scouser and enthusiastic Welshman – that's this book's description of Frank Green, and he won't mind that at all. But words aren't necessary to describe his gift as a painter. The hundreds of pictures in this book are a testimony in themselves.

There's a real historical value to his work as well, and that, in fact, sums up Frank Green's contribution over many years. He gives us a chronicle of Liverpool on canvas, and of the streets and buildings that are no longer there. As the debate continues over the future of some of the Welsh streets, the publication of this book could hardly be more timely. It also comes on the occasion of a large-scale exhibition of Frank's work at Plas Glyn-y-Weddw on the Llŷn peninsula.

There's a wealth of pictures here which will be of particular interest to those who know Liverpool, but also to many more besides. We are given details about some of the Welsh builders, including William Jones from Cerrigydrudion and Owen Williams from Aber-soch. Their Welsh influence on the city, alongside the hundreds of Welsh workers who worked for them, meant that the Welsh language was commonly heard in Frank Green's community when he was very young. By now he too is a fluent Welsh speaker, and there are lovely pictures of Snowdonia in this book as well, where Frank also has a home.

Gareth Wyn Jones also deserves praise for the book's flowing narrative, which is refreshingly concise. Even in the midst of all the pictures and bilingual commentary, there's still room for some entertaining tales. There were a few tight spots for Frank over the years, such as the incident when a group of youths stole his ladder leaving him stranded on a rooftop! I never knew you could make a picture out of coffee and chocolate, but this book shows you otherwise!

It might have been good to have had part of the story told in Frank's own voice – maybe an introduction – the style is one of speaking on his behalf throughout (which is done extremely well). But that doesn't in any way detract from a book which is a treasure of pictures and memories, and as good a depiction of a city as you could wish for in a far heavier volume.

Ellis Roberts

A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

 

 

Awdur: Nia Roberts; Gareth Wyn Jones.

Mae Frank Green wedi bod yn creu delweddau o ddinas Lerpwl, ei ddinas enedigol, ar ganfas ers hanner can mlynedd, bron. Mae ei luniau diweddar yn portreadu strydoedd yr adeiladwyr o Gymru fu'n rhan ganolog o ddatblygiad Lerpwl ers canol y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg.

 

Sgowsar cynnes a Chymro brwdfrydig – felly y mae'r llyfr yma'n cyfeirio at Frank Green, a fydd o fawr dicach o glywed hynny. Ond prin fod angen geiriau i ddisgrifrio'i ddawn fel arlunydd. Mae'r cannoedd o luniau sy'n britho'r llyfr yma'n dyst i'w fedr aruthrol yn y maes hwnnw.

Mae'r gyfrol yn gofnod hanesyddol gwerthfawr o waith yr arlunydd, ac yn wir, dyna grisialu gwaith Frank Green ar hyd y blynyddoedd. Yma ceir cofnod ar gynfas o ddinas Lerpwl, ac o'r strydoedd a'r adeiladau hynny sydd wedi'u hen ddymchwel erbyn hyn. Gyda'r ddadl barhaus ynglŷn â dyfodol y strydoedd Cymreig yn dal i gyniwair, mae'n adeg fendigedig i gyhoeddi'r llyfr yma, sy'n cyd-fynd â'r arddangosfa o waith Frank ym Mhlas Glyn-y-Weddw ym Mhen Llŷn.

Mae yma wledd o luniau fydd o ddiddordeb arbennig i'r rheini sy'n gyfarwydd â Lerpwl, ond nid y bobl hynny'n unig. Ceir gwybodaeth am rai o adeiladwyr Cymreig Lerpwl – William Jones, Cerrigydrudion, ac Owen Williams, Bwlchtocyn, yn eu plith. Roedd gwaddol Cymreig y rheini a'r cannoedd o Gymry a fu'n gweithio iddyn nhw, yn golygu bod y Gymraeg i'w chlywed yng nghymdogaeth Frank Green pan oedd yn blentyn bach. Erbyn hyn y mae'n Gymro gyda'r gorau, ac mae lluniau hyfryd o Eryri hefyd i'w gweld yn y llyfr, gan fod gan Frank gartref yn ogystal ym Mhont-rug.

Mae Gareth Wyn Jones hefyd yn haeddu canmoliaeth am y ffordd rwydd y mae'n ein tywys trwy'r hanes, a hynny heb ein gorlwytho. Mae'n gamp cynnwys cynifer o straeon difyr yn ogystal â'r lluniau, o gofio hefyd fod y llyfr yn gwbwl ddwyieithog. Fe ddaeth ambell dro trwstan i ran Frank dros y blynyddoedd – sonia am ryw rafins ar un achlysur yn dwyn ei ysgol gan ei adael ar ben to! Feddyliais i erioed am wneud llun trwy ddefnyddio coffi a siocled – ond mae'n bosib – cewch weld hwn yn y llyfr!

Efallai y byddai wedi bod yn braf clywed rhyw fymryn o lais Frank ei hun – mewn rhagair, efallai – gan mai arddull siarad ar ran yr arlunydd a geir yn y llyfr (er cystal y dweud). Ond nid yw hynny'n tynnu dim oddi ar gyfrol sy'n drysor o luniau ac atgofion, ac yn llawn cystal portread o ddinas ag y gellid ei ddisgwyl mewn llyfr trymach o lawer.

Ellis Roberts

Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.

£10.00 -



Code(s)Rhifnod: 9781845275105
9781845275105

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