All posts by Walking poet.

Author of Novel 'Forbidden Love' 'Between Aurora and Twilight' 'Spirit Cracked not Broken' 'Healing Garden' and 'Butterfly Kisses and A Bee Sting Mind' Was creator and Chair of Rhymney Valley Literature Art and Music Festival for three years. Creator and host "Poetry at the Capel" Bargoed CF81 8LW. since 2014 A published performance poet. A lover of nature and a keen walker.

Friday 23rd July, 1999, Bryan Adams Concert, Cardiff Castle.

In highlight to what is happening in the public domain at present, misogyny and police brutality, I wanted to tell you my story.

In July 1999, I was 38 years of age working full time and married to John. I was a Labour Councillor for the Park Estate. I am a white Welsh woman, At that time I had never ever been in trouble with the police and had not had any dealings with the police either.


It was a warm afternoon, clear skies. I travelled by train to Cardiff with three friends. I wore light green vest, dark green cotton shorts and walking boots. No bag but kept money in my back pocket of my shorts. None of us owned a mobile phones back then.

We sat outside ‘O’Neil’s’ pub, Cardiff was busy with people I drank white wine, my friends drank beer and coke. After an hour we made our way to ‘The Goat Major’ at the end of St Mary’s Street towards the Castle. I remember going upstairs to use the ladies and looking out towards the castle and saw a queue forming, a colourful snake like queue that was the length of the castle wall. There were many females and the odd male. I felt happy and excited, excited to see Bryan Adams performing live. I told my three friends a large queue was forming and it was best we go now.

The late afternoon warm sun kept us company, we joked and laughed. I had three small glasses of wine, my friends had three drinks of what they drank. Inside the Castle grounds many people wearing summer wear mingled, there were beer tents, merchandise tents selling Bryan Adams music and tee shirts and many burgher vans. The smell of beer, onions and laughter filled the air. I bought Bryan Adams tee shirt and wrapped it round the belt loop of my shorts. We had an hour before Bryan Adams came on stage. I told my friends I was going on a wander. I made my way down the front it being an open air concert no seats allocated you could sit anywhere. I stood by the barrier, and felt happy and looked forward to the live concert. Suddenly a dark haired attractive woman shouted at me and said I trod on her foot, I disagreed with her. She became vocal, abusive and pushed me and I pushed her back. She shouted to a medium height, stocky bouncer, who was the other side of the barrier. I noticed the bouncer and the woman were talking minutes earlier, she knew the man.

I am pushed to the barrier and cannot move the woman shouted again at her friend / partner the bouncer. The bouncer grabbed me from behind and pulled me over the barrier. I was disorientated and in shock, the shock turned to anger and I told the man off for handling me the way he did and I demanded to be allowed to go back into the concert. He refused and radioed to other bouncers. A female bouncer with long dark hair in her early 30’s came. I pleaded my case and told her I have friends at the concert they will be concerned as to my whereabouts and please, please can I go back in. I was refused and led away between the old Cardiff Castle and the exit. I refused to move and became tearful.

A policeman came, he was over 6ft tall, blond muscular and looked very Nordic. I 5 ft 4 inches tall, size 12 to 14. I cried to the policeman and said that I had not done anything wrong and my friends will be concerned about me. I was panicking my heart was racing and I was in terrible distress.

The South Wales police officer asked me to leave, and not in a polite way. I pleaded with him again. The police officer shouted in my face so loudly I jumped back. He shouted “SHUT UP” He then grabbed my hands pulled them behind my back and then twisted them put handcuffs on me and frog marched me towards a police van, he opened the door and threw me in!

I lay on the floor in shock crying and in pain and I could not stand up. I do not know how long I was on the floor before the police van moved. The van stopped he opened the door the air felt good but it was NOT to last!

I walked into Cardiff Central police station crying and my hands still twisted behind my back handcuffed. I am asked my details but I am so distressed.


My hands were finally released and I was taken into another room with a blond female officer who appeared friendly but you cannot go my appearances! I was taken into a cell and the door slammed shut! I became hysterical. I could not use my hands but I managed to take my boot off and banged the cell door and cried to be released. A male police officer pulled open the flap and shout “Valley scum, whore, slag and my husband does not want to know me and does not care” I still continued to bang the cell door and cried to be released. Male police officers continued to abuse me verbally through the flap in the cell door. Suddenly the cell door swung open I do not know what happened to me.

I lay weeping on a bed no boots they were taken and my money too. I do not recall being man handled in the cell by these officers, I do not know why either. Later an older woman opened the flap and I begged her to open the door as I suffer with claustrophobia! She did and made me tea.

I saw a doctor and was asked had I taken drugs and was I drunk? I said no to both and that I do not smoke either. Photos were taken of me and I was to be charged and a date was fixed for me to appear in court. My money was in a plastic bag, my managed to get my boots on but could not tie up the laces because my hands were badly swollen. I was allowed to phone my auntie who lived in Leckwith and book a taxi. All the time the desk sergeant watched me struggle.

The night air was warm but I shivered in fear as I waited for a taxi. As the taxi stopped I dropped the plastic bag that had my money in. I became distressed the driver got out of the taxi, he picked up the bag helped me into the taxi and fixed the seat belt. The taxi driver refused any money and told me the F….ing times he had seen what the police do in their brutality.

I arrived at my aunties in an emotional state she held me and we both cried. My cousin her son a young teenager said “The Coppers do this all the time Ju” I am in shock, have had no sleep and cannot think straight.

John came at 8am Saturday 24th July. John was horrified when he saw me ! He was angry and took me back to the police station to make a complaint. I was hysterical and terrified the police would lock me up again!

At the police station John was angry and we were taken into another room and a senior officer immaculately dressed dealt with us. John told him that I had never been in trouble had who had done this to my wife’s hands, arms and legs? The Senior office lied when he told John that I assaulted six police officers. John turned to me and looked at me in distain. I felt sick and said “I have no memory of this but what I do know is that I am not capable of any kind of violence!” John’s face said it all and a deep sense of shame washed over me and I felt utter despair!

We arrived home I asked John did he believe me. We both stared at each other and John said yes I believe you. We hugged and cried. John took me to our doctor’s surgery that was open on a Saturday. Our doctor saw my hands and arms and cried and I cried too. He told me to go to Caerphilly Miners and we did. At the hospital the female doctor who was treating me said “I know who did this the bastard police!” I wept again.

We arrived at the court. We had never been in a court and did not know what to expect. We did not expect a row of police officers! They sat outside the court room sneering at me. Inside the court room I had truth on my side and I pleaded not guilty and the police officers who were there to intimidate me were not happy!

John had an old school friend who had retired from CID. We made arrangements to visit him. We were told that there was CCTV at the station and the cells! It took us months to get the video, finally we had the video! I have to repeat again I have no recollection of what the police did to me in the cell it was as if I had passed out and to this day March 2023 I still have no memory.

The video showed me in distress crying at the police reception desk. Later me banging the cell with my boot and then of six officers barged in grabbed me pushed me on the bed and hitting me! They took my boots off and the money. In the video there is no footage of me being violent, only crying and in great distressed.


It beggars belief that the CPS continued TO PROSECUTE ME BUT THEY DID!

From 1999 to 2001, many times I would attend court to be told that some officers could not make it and my case would be adjourned. I would lose a days pay and still had to pay the solicitor from Caerphilly Town his fees. One by one the South Wales police officers withdrew their charges except one! two and half years later the police had a barrister representing the one and only officer. I had the video, my friend who was with me at the concert came as witness to say I was not drunk, our ex CID friend came as a character witness. Those in the know postponed the case to the afternoon, my friend had to go back to work. Our retired CID friend remained. The woman who caused the fracas at the concert and the bouncer who pulled me over the barrier never came, I never saw them only the female bouncer with long dark hair and a short petite female bouncer who I had never seen before and the one remaining police officer who was the desk sergeant on the night of the 23rd July.

I kept repeating to the police barrister please look at the video when he kept calling me a drunk. The magistrate told the one and only police officer there is no evidence of a ripped shirt or violence from me to him. I was told that police officer had a caution but I do not think so! I in my innocents I did not realise that security guards and bouncers are thick in with police!

It took me a number of years to clear my name!

This is the first time in 24 years I have written about what South Wales police force did to me! I am a pacifist, pro peace and I believe the world is not colour and there is one world and the race is called humanity! To this day I still cannot remember or feel what those police officers did to me in that cell! When I look back I recall the shame I felt and how desperate I was to clear my name and to put the awful episode behind me. Sadly what is going on today brought it back and that is why I have told my story.

I am no longer afraid of the police and do not need to be next to an exit when I go out socially. I do believe that not all police officers are bad but the few that are bad taint the good honest police officers!


Are we sleep walking into being worked to death?

Dear women,

Are we sleep walking into being worked to death?

The Blair/ Brown Government decided that a state pension age fixed at 65 was no longer affordable or sustainable. Blair / Brown government introduced an increase in state Pension age to 66 years with 2007 Pension Act.

Tory / Lib Dem coalition took power and with the Pension Act 2011 accelerated the rise of the state pension age to 66 for both men and women. In 2014 the coalition government AGAIN accelerated the rise in the state pension age to 67.

I have worked mostly fulltime from 1977 to 2018, from 2018 to now I am part time. Also self employed since 2001. I discovered in 2018, when I phoned ‘Work and Pension’ that my state pension was already paid up and I will be entitled to a full state pension and I no longer need to pay a full stamp. However, because of the above I cannot touch my pension. Angry would be an understatement! I am fuming! Where is this money gone? I am not alone here there are thousands upon thousands who are the same age as me and in the same situation. What is this money being used for?

The retirement age in Russia is 63, France 62, Turkey 58, China 50. We talk of mental health, less stress! I am the first woman in my family on my mothers side to work to the age of 67! To me it is immoral for people to work beyond the age of 60!

Tories get away with this because there is no opposition and because of the weak opposition they will continue! The Tories now what to move the age to 68. PS Not all can afford to contribute to a private pension!

One good positive thing reaching the age of 60! I have a bus pass and yes I use it a lot! They talk about the environment and the many cars that are now on our roads, public transport is good. I also get half price train tickets too. On my bus journeys I have met many bus drivers from Somalia and other parts of Africa and we strike up wonderful conversations. All will be told in another blog.

‘You can tell a lie to some people and make them believe it all the time!’

With time the truth will ultimately come out!

“Julie do not leave me do not turn your back on me”

“Mama I am not I can not visit because of covid 19”

“I do not have it they tested me. I need to see a familiar face Julie!”

“Mam we miss you and want to visit but we are not allowed because we could bring covid 19 to you”

“Julie you know I love you very much”

“I know and I love you”

The telephone conversation ends and I am on the floor sobbing to John.

” I need to get Mama out from there. Please lets bring Mama home to our home we can look after her”

John gives me wisdom and a reality check “Julie we bring your Mam home she could die by just moving her”

This conversation with my mother took place on Sunday afternoon 2pm, 25th July 2020.

Tuesday July 27th 2020 6 30am I am loading the boot of the car with shopping for us and a couple I shop for. My mobile rings it is the Heath hospital a nurse gushes “Julie you need to come your mother is dying” I go in auto pilot, yet I keep screaming “Mama” my inner voice says Julie calm down you, will crash the car, you need to calm down and I do. I leave the shopping with John and the people I shop for.

Mama died four days later. Thursday 30th July 2020 at 4pm. I held her hand until the end and let her spirit free. That evening at 10pm John and I sat in our garden Venus shone like a diamond and we raised a glass to Mama. Then an orange gold orb flew over! It was a meteorite but I knew it was Mama and her feisty spirit!

Only 20 of us could attend my mothers funeral. There were no hymns and my mother loved singing. I read the poem “Blackberries” that I wrote for her. There was no celebration of her life. We all went home to our own homes.


I see the empty jar where the blackberries were.

Idle, on its own, redundant till next time.

Mam is in the kitchen singing while she bakes

I know this is Mam’s favourite room

for she is always happy here.

Her floury hands make clouds of dust,

her nails are encrusted with dough.

Five hungry faces moan

“How much longer must we wait?”

as we sit at the table in Mam’s favourite room.

The oven is opened, the heat flushes

our faces to bright red as we wait to be fed.

The plump purple blackberries smell so sweet

encased in their coat of pastry, good enough to eat.

The juices of the fruit leak out from the tart

as she cuts six slices and pours ‘ideal milk’

from a tin onto our plates which are now licked clean

as we giggle and make fun of each others purple tongues.

Sat in Mam’s favourite room surrounded in warmth,

but most of all LOVE.

Julie Prichard 2006

October 2020 Caerphilly Brough was in a full lock down. I could not leave the area to attend my mother’s internment of her ashes at Barry Crematorium.

March 2020. Life had changed! Where we shared our time over food with family and friends was gone. My work was gone, hugs, kisses and cwtches were no longer. John had TARAGGAN and sudoku, I had walks and books. I cancelled the poetry open night that I run. My book launch of ‘Between Aurora and Twilight’ was cancelled. We would watch all news channels religiously, heart in our mouths, full of fear!

‘You can fool some people all the time and all of the people sometimes but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.’

I am no Tory, I am a working class woman. I remember the 60’s evil 70’s and 80’s. Three day week, blackouts and Strikes. Boris Johnson came across chummy, your friend, an upper class twit sometimes. He was Mayor of London. He rode a bike, slap you on the back. Lied over Brexit (I voted to remain) He even convinced retired miners up North, to vote Tory! YES retired miners voted Tory, beggars belief. He is no friend to the working class he does not comprehend our way of life. An honest days work. However, bettering yourself is good but to me if you work for a living you are working class! Not middle class, gentry or landowners! Some landowners earned their money on backs of slavery. Bowes Lyons, sugar, white gold, that family made their money from slavery! Boris Johnson is no fool, no friend either he lacks compassion, empathy and morals. He is a walking ego and deluded because he believes in his own lies. Those of you who were manipulated my his lies, what can I say? It was your choice. I have a good memory and I know what is is like to live under a Tory government.

Not all politicians are wise yet wisdom is best. I am 61 years of age worked since the age of 16, even worked while in school. I was made redundant three times, retrained too. Lost half of my family by the age of twenty five. I wear my scars well and proud of my life experiences. I recall the Thatcher years 1980’s. I was living on my own and working full time. I remember all my wages went on my rent and bills! I worked the extra shift, bought second hand, made do and mend and I used my library for books. Today some people do not know what it is like to make do and mend. They do not think of learning from the wise, well experienced elders. Many go at a click of a button or a swipe of a finger, to social media, their confessor, their best friend and bare all and tell the whole world!

The art of listening when someone speaks is to be understood, not to have an your opinion.

We can learn from the Lockdown. Now is the time for humanity to gather, to be more kind, use compassion and empathy. No we repeat history and use the working class as cannon fodder because of another war on the horizon.

Reviews and quotes. my first novel titled ‘Forbidden Love’Prose poetry of my walks ‘Between Aurora and Twilight’ Poetry on abuse, ‘Spirit Cracked not Broken’ Poetry, ‘Healing Garden’ and poetry ‘Butterfly Kisses and a Bee Sting Mind’

Poems and thoughts from the walking poet

I am the author of three poetry books ‘Butterfly Kisses and a Bee Sting Mind’ 2014, ‘Healing Garden’ 2016 and ‘Spirit Cracked not Broken’ 2017 and prose poetry ‘Between Aurora and Twilight’ 2020. My first novel titled ‘Forbidden Love’ was published. May 2021

The novel titled ‘Forbidden Love’ is an historical novel covering Ireland and Wales over a hundred years. A true love story of an Irish woman falling in love with a Welsh soldier, (my grandparents) I show and tell how love can conquer, a military rising, 1WW, Irelands war for Independence/ Anglo Irish war, racism, depression of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Photo of my grandparents on their wedding day, May 1921 and the front cover of the novel.

Review of ‘Forbidden Love’

Review by Poet Ceri Creffield.

“Two families in two cities two young people who will bring division and discord to those they love. Julie Griffin…

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