I know a man who knew Lloyd George - and I was talking to him tonight. It was fascinating listening to Lord Hooson describe chatting to the great man at the National Eisteddfod about the 'Peace in our time' letter that Chamberlain brought home from Munich in 1938. Emlyn also told me that he'd been selected as the Liberal candidate to replace Lloyd George when he stood down - but never fought it because there were boundary changes. Caernarfon's loss and Montgomeryshire's gain. I must find time to read Ffion Hague's book about the Lloyd George love life. Emlyn's read it and recommends that I do the same. And then he started telling me about some of his discussions with Churchill. Amazing.
We were both at a reception at the Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown. The occasion was to celebrate the Gallery being awarded the Arts Council of Wales Beacon Award 2008-10. The Gallery is the only recipient of the award in Powys. 80,000 visitors are attracted to Oriel Davies every year. It has some very good exhibitions. Last time I was there, the actual Monet painting that starred in The Thomas Crown Affair was there in person. I found it particularly fascinating because I'd just seen the film for the first time the week before.
My enjoyment of these events is linked to who's there. Tonight, it was full of friends. Now I'm home and thinking about it, I imagine that Lloyd George, Churchill and Chamberlain were there as well. That's the wonder of direct contact with history. There's also a nice little restaurant attached to the Gallery. If ever you're in need of a break as you are near Newtown, why not slip into the main car park and have a coffee in the Gallery which is adjacent to it.