The Actress Sia^n Phillips

She was born on May 14th. 1934 at Ty Mawr (Big House), a mountain farm on Mynydd y Betws above Gwaun Cae Gurwen, about five miles from here, and of course was a fluent Welsh speaker. She was educated at Pontardawe Grammar School by Eic Davies, also the Welsh teacher of my cousin, the famous singer Mary Hopkin, and myself. Mary is a few days older than I, and also born in May 1950. Sir Goronwy Daniels, sometime Principal of Aberystwyth, was also educated at the School in an earlier era. He awarded me my Doctor in Scientia in 1978, the highest distinction of the University of Wales, and was as critical as he could be of my treatment at the EDCL, being an instinctive diplomat and sometime Permanent Under Secretary of Power at Whitehall. His actual words are on www.aias.us . He invited me to a reception with his wife Valerie, grand daughter of David Lloyd George. They were both very pleasant to me and I remember them well, Lady Daniels looked exactly like Lloyd George. I was prevented from applying for the post of Head of Department at EDCL in 1978, and I would have had as good a chance as any. I was told to withdraw my application by my own former Ph. D. advisor Mansel Davies, no reason being given. This is why I remember him with mixed views. My guess is that the job was fixed up in a smoky room, the appointment of Jeremy Jones from Cambridge being a disaster that closed the EDCL. I was 28 at the time and already the British Ramsay Memorial Fellow and in charge of the later BBC Hall of Fame Group. Hamilton was professor at about 23, Heisenberg at about 26. At that time I was being told by Fellows of the Royal Society such as David Whiffen, sometime Vice Chancellor at Newcastle, that my work was the best since Debye. The underlying story is one of Joseph and the coat of many colours, and denial of merit, but in the end I survived all the intense animosity and career destruction. My only regret is that my post doctorals were also subjected to this insanity, just because they were part of the Hall of Fame Group.

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