Then Was… is the last resting place for some of my stories, photos and memories. I sometimes go by the name David W. J. Lloyd, not as an affection and nod to a grander sense of self worth, but to differentiate myself from the 1000s of other people with the same name! I’m a writer / film producer / artist / web content creator based in South Wales.
This site came about because I was too lazy to write a book. I’ve had an idea for a hyper-local style memoir, misleadingly titled My Life On Broadway, referring to Broadway in Roath, Cardiff as opposed to the more famous Broadway in New York. The idea was it would be part memory, part local history and part magical realism fiction based around my time growing up close to Broadway (and on it for a period) and some of the adventures we had.
The book would have various chapters with over-riding themes to collect various stories and events, which in truth would have little audience beyond maybe 2 or 3 other people whom were also there, but would give me a lot of pleasure in writing. Those chapters would have titles like Drunk, Crazies, Movies, Space Invaders, Dereliction, Murder, VHS shops, Drugs, Fights, Parties, Wizardry etc, with the aim to run a narrative of elemental magic through the book, with unseen powers and figures at work in the background (like Neil Gaiman does so masterfully).
I never quite managed to plot that aspect of the book to a satisfactory or original conclusion, so the idea has remained just that. In the meantime I keep thinking of things that could have gone in or would make an interesting piece of writing, or just simply a memory I’d like to preserve as I get older and the faculties wane. Alongside the book idea I’ve found myself commenting on some of the local history groups on Facebook and enjoy reading others stories on those groups. Given the wealth of material I’d been considering, and the way those old posts disappear on Facebook, I wanted something more personal and permanent to place these stories, hence this blog.
This blog will mainly cover my time which stretches from the early 1970s to the present (as long as that lasts.) Maybe in the future if there’s enough interest I’ll open it up so other writers can join in, but for now it’s just me. I don’t claim to have had a particularly interesting life or to be as self-deluding to think I have a history worthy of note in the annals of time. I do this because I enjoy it, and have some potentially interesting memories and hopefully an ability to turn them into stories for others to enjoy.
Nostalgia can be a tricky place at times and can lead to dull self-absorption, as this site may seem. However, I’ve always enjoyed reading history and reminiscences and enjoy looking back, if at times only to help go forward. As memory is the main filter on the majority of the stories and photos here, things won’t always be historically correct or factional, sometimes I may embellish details if it makes the story better, and I may leave out important stuff that others feel would be relevant or might just drop into complete fiction and anecdote.
The photos maybe the most ‘truthful’ aspect here, but sometimes even then there’s room for errors. I have a number of old photos that I’ve taken over the years which aren’t great photos, but are worthy of sharing as they capture a bygone time, place or event that may spark memories for others or encourage them to share their photos. I’m not expecting this to be a busy site either in terms of content, just as an when I get the chance or urge to write something or share photos, then I will.
If you’ve wound up here, then I hope you enjoy the site in the spirit it’s meant.
David W. J. Lloyd