Glyntaff Upper Campus, University of South Wales

Poet Tracey Rhys says of her A470 poem, And in those days …

Back in the last week of August 1992, I passed my A levels and turned eighteen. A week later, I started an Art Foundation Course at the Mid-Glamorgan Centre for Art & Design Technology. I broke my toe running there on the first day, passed my driving test at the end of the first week, bought my first car, an ancient yellow Mini, and lost my dear childhood dog to cancer. It all seemed like I was on some accelerated programme into adulthood. I remember the anxiety of driving the A470, the honks of other drivers as I bumbled along towards Glyntaff, the cassette player blasting out The Manic Street Preachers and Prefab Sprout to drown it all out.

Often, along this journey, hearses and mourners trailed me, or I them, on their way to the Crematorium next door. We art students lined the corridors of the formidable Alfred Russel Wallace Building and dotted the grass. Within a year, we would be headed someplace else, beginning our degrees all over the country, but in the meantime, there we were, as if on pause, chewing the fat as life rushed past along the A470.