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It’s St David’s Day and for my Facebook, twitter and flickr friends it’s an excuse to proclaim their nationality by posting icons of Welshness, images of daffodils, dragons, rugby shirts, leeks, traditional costume, coracles, flags, you name it, if there’s a link to Wales my friends and contacts are broadcasting their Welshness by promoting their, or others, works of art. I don’t blame them, it’s good to know we’re all proud of our nationality and it’s very difficult not to jump on the proverbial bandwagon and follow suit. But, after seeing images and links on my various home pages all day, I’ve finally relented and dug out one I did a few years ago, well forty years to be exact.

Back in 1975 I was employed at a residential school for children with disabilities, that meant, like teachers, I didn’t work during school holidays. Not quite sure now exactly how it came about but during the long summer of 1975 I found myself doing the decorative painting on a vintage steam roller, that is the coach lining and other embellishments. One of the decorative items the owner wanted was a Welsh Dragon on the gear casing of the roller. It took me a while to find a suitable image the owner liked but eventually we agreed and I set about my work and soon he had a Welsh dragon on the side of his roller.

Unfortunately I don’t seem to have a colour photograph. This one was taken the year after I finished the work on the coach-lining of the wheels and painting the dragon. In November 1975 I moved to London for a few years so never got to do the sign writing on the steam roller’s canopy, that was a job I was looking forward to doing, but it was not to be. There’s a photo of the roller on flickr.

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