As I mentioned last week I had a visit planned for the Monday and I’m pleased to say it came to fruition. We travelled down to Hay-on-Wye on the Sunday in the camper and parked up at a lovely site just five minutes walk from the centre of Hay. Although it was Sunday the majority of the bookshops were open (unlike places to eat!) I was prepared to be disappointed and so I was not disappointed when I was if that makes sense? Several shops I remembered had gone, a lot are selling remaindered stock and a few actually have vintage paperbacks. I was really pleased, in the Cinema Bookshop, to pick up five Mazo de la Roche titles that look as though they have never been read. They were £3 each which was about three times what I like to pay but as they were so good even my wife told me to go ahead and buy them.
Monday’s visit was to meet up with Sue, widow of artist Hans Helweg, at her fantastically located mill cottage. She was really welcoming and still has a lot of pieces relating to Hans kept in his studio the roof of which can just be seen behind the section with the wooden conservatory. There is a bridge over the brook and the foreground is in Wales and the cottage in England.
Sue was interested to see the two Mazo de la Roche covers that Hans had painted as she’d not see them before (‘Whiteoaks’ and ‘Finch’s Fortune’) We found ‘Whiteoaks’ in the ledger Hans kept and it looks like he got paid £42 for it.
She also had hundreds of printers proofs of covers which show that Hans painted over 250 for PAN many of which I didn’t know were his. She has also lent me notes on Hans life and I’ll put together a section for him including some of that material.
Finally, and not Hans related, but strangely linked I received a comment from Kathy, Sam Peffer’s neice who had just noticed back in 2014 I mentioned after a computer crash I had lost her contact details. We have now remade contact and I’ll be arranging a visit to see her very soon.