Graham Jones was born in Garston, Liverpool the son of a Welsh railwayman. Garston was a dockland area and he remembers his grandfather arriving home in a gabardine raincoat which was frequently stuffed with coal on one side and bananas on the other. The old boy was a gate keeper at the dockland railway and the train drivers would “accidently” kick coal off the footplate. Dockers returning from their shift would drop off small quantities of the produce that was coming in to the port. Sometimes there would be tomatoes or oranges. When he was five, the family moved to Groeslon in North Wales where his father worked as a relief signalman on the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales. This was a cultural shock for the small boy from Liverpool. He felt isolated until he learned Welsh and was able to integrate more fully with the chapel based community, rich in the music and poetry of the eisteddfodau. He describes those years as the most happy of his life and the genesis of his lifelong interest in poetry, singing, story telling, and an innate love of nature and of Wales itself. At the chapel eisteddfodau, coached by Esyllt, a teenage neighbour, he would learn to recite poems and sing songs. On a Sunday, with his father, he would attend evening services in the Methodist Chapel and learn the beautiful melodies of the Welsh Hymns.
When he was 10, his father was appointed station master at Gwyddelwern a small village in the then county of Merioneth in North Wales. Graham spent many happy hours helping out on a local hill farm and riding the footplate of the passing trains [in the days before health and safety!]. In complete freedom, he roamed the local country side, fishing for eels under bridges, gathering watercress from the streams, collecting primroses from the hedgerows – it was idyllic. There remained also the chapels and their eisteddfodau and Graham embraced them with a passion.
From that rich tapestry of his formative years developed his love of writing and singing which he has developed and renewed over the years. Many of his poems have appeared in magazines and poetry collections and he is in the process of bringing together a number of his best poems for a book he is intending to publish shortly. He also has an 11,000 word children’s story called The Glunks which has been described as enchanting and mystical. His first novel is now in its final stages.
Graham has organised week long poetry festivals, one of which featured the renowned national poet Eva Saltzman and a national poetry competition which attracted over 1,500 entries. He loves to visit poetry groups for readings, and enjoys talking about poetry in schools and other groups. He enjoys singing and his taste in music is eclectic. Graham believes that everyone has a poem to write and loves helping individuals to draw out their own particular muse. He believes that poetry can be a brilliant tool for team building.