Art of Brian Jones

screen-printed Dolydd ‘bank note’ (front view)

© Brian Jones 2009

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‘Dolydd (front)’

date : 2009

size : 6½” x 3¼”

medium : screen print

notes : The Llanfyllin Union Workhouse, which opened in 1837, is known locally as “the Dolydd” (pron. “Dolith”), which Brian thought was similar in sound to “dollar”; when asked to produce these, he immediately came up with his design for the ‘Dolydd bill’. Featuring the most infamous former resident of the Workhouse, they were used in lieu of £ Sterling at a Green Fayre weekend during summer 2009. The printing of, and ‘trading’ in Dolydds was filmed for the BBC, for a new series to be screened in late 2009.

comment : “Within hours of their issue, kids were selling them onsite to adults for £3 each, so they obviously had some ‘value’ attached to them by others, which I find interesting. ‘The Dartmoor Shepherd’ was the title of the biography of David Davies of Llanfyllin, a man who was sentenced to over 60 years in prison sentences for stealing from church poor boxes. He actually spent over 50 years in prison; as he was from rural Wales, they gave him the job of looking after the sheep while he was in Dartmoor. He received a 13-year sentence for stealing 2 shillings (10p), which led David Lloyd-George and Winston Churchill to plead with the governor for his early release. Part of the condition of release was that he work on a farm near Rhiwabon for 6 months; he absconded after a couple of weeks, broke into Moreton Hall's cellar, and pinched 4 bottles of whiskey, valued at £2. He asked the judge to send him to Llanfyllin workhouse, as he didn't want to die in gaol. On his death in 1929, the local populace paid for a headstone, so that he wasn't buried in a paupers grave. A twist of historical irony places him on their new ‘currency’; I hope it raises a smile.”
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