Friday 20 January 2017

BBC Radio Cymru interview with Aled Hughes, 19/01/2017

A face for radio!
It's all go here in the studio at the moment not only am I adding the finishing touches to some projects but I am also renovating the studio, that's right the studio is regenerating! (but more on that and the big reveal at a later date). Never the less I had a guest visit this week, fellow former Botwnnogschool pupil and BBC Radio Cymru (Radio Wales) presenter Aled Hughes. Radio Cymru is the BBC's Welsh-language radio station that brodacasts throughout Wales and Aled's show offers a mix of music and conversation and it was nice having him drop in for a cuppa and a chat (I've been on his show in the past discussing Doctor Who). I gave him a mini tour of the studio, showed off my projects (even the top secret ones!) and showed off parts of my collection not currently in storage and discussed classic Nintendo games, Daleks, Tiki and all manner of things nostalgic. He reported his finding to his listeners and the interview can be found on iplayer. I thought however, that seeing as the interview had been conducted in my native tongue I thought I would translate it for all of you that don't speak welsh (not to mention those of you that want to be spared listening to my nervous, nasally voice) either way this is how it went.

Introduction:We now go to Nefyn (North Wales) to meet Arfon Jones. He loves collecting all sorts of things, and is a collector of things that appeal to Arfon Jones, his collection is amazing! When he opened the door to me it was like going back to my childhood.”

Aled: “Right I am at a house in Nefyn.”
(knocks door)
Aled: “Arfon, how are you?”
Arfon: “fine thank you, how are you?”
Aled: “Fine thank you. Arfon Jones lives here and right away I can say that this is a house with a difference because I have just walked into, what can only be compared to a set in Hawaii.
Arfon: “That's it, this is my Tiki Bar!”
Aled: “The Tiki Bar. There are small mugs featuring likeliness/faces that would belong to the islands of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Why collect these Arfon?”
Arfon: “I've always had an interest in them and so I collect them. They built up and I needed somewhere to store them and show them off.”

Aled: “I'm not sure how to describe you
Arfon: “Careful now!”
Aled: “A collector of anything that interests Arfon Jones?”
Arfon: “Yeah, that's it! And there is no limit”
Aled: “So there is no limit, and these Tiki mugs, I'm taking a closer look and they are worth seeing. I'm a little concerned about touching them because I don't want to break them! But you say one of these is from the 1950's?”
Arfon:”Yes this one is from the Bali Hai Restaurant in California. I have some from New York... they come from all over. But most of them from Hawaii.”
Aled: “And you have created this bamboo bar that contains them, and as I said its worth seeing, its like being on the set of an Elvis movie in the 1950's, or some tropical beach and that's what you were trying to recreate?”
Arfon: “Yes, I love all things Tiki and also Elvis Presley so I merged them together here.”
(8-bit game music starts in the other room)
Aled:Right, now you are taking me into another room, and right away.... Arfon, this takes me back to my childhood. This is the first Nintendo console?”
Arfon: “This is a Nintendo Classic Mini”.
Aled: “If we just turn it down for a moment. Now, this goes back to the late 1980's but you have only just got it?”
Arfon: “ Yes, the Nintendo Classic Mini lets me play all the old vintage games.”
Aled: “I will get you to do my job for a moment and get you to hold the microphone. Donkey Kong! This was a favourite. Right, I have to be honest, I haven't played this for years... (Donkey Kong music starts) what's the appeal Arfon? Why have something from your childhood? With all these new games out now, that allow you to do anything within them why go back to something that's already been?”
Arfon: “Its the memories that it brings back for me, the games I played I also like the simplicity. It has a charm about it and that's what I like.”
Aled: “But these aren't the only things you collect?”
Arfon: “This is just a small sample of what I have... I'll show you the rest now.”
Aled: “Blimey, I'll follow you.”
Aled: “Here we are, the Tardis doors. (laughs) We start off with a door which looks like the doors of the Tardis, carefully painted. You made this?”
Arfon: “Yes, I made that.”
Aled: “ Blimey, Here we are inside a cave full of treasures, I will attempt to described what I am seeing, we have glass cabinet full of items relating to Monster Munch, there are several Daleks... I don't know where to begin. Arfon. Where do you think we should start.”
Arfon: “ Well, I can start here with the Cyberman?”
Aled: “Cyberman from the Doctor Who TV series is this a special one?
Arfon: “This one comes from the 1980's and was the version that terrified me as a child.”
Aled: “Is it an original?”
Arfon: “It's from a mould taken from one used in the show I've then added the details to make it look like an original and also rigged up the lights inside.”
Aled: “Then inside the glass cabinet underneath, Monster Munch crisps once a firm fixture in lunch boxes throughout the 1980's and 90's there are all sorts of things here, key-rings, teddies... I didn't know all this existed.”
Arfon: “Same here, I'm still discovering new things that I didn't know that had been produced. I have books relating to the fan club, items produced for bikes and all the (electronic) games I even have a story tape of Monster Munch stories for children to listen to on long car trips.”
Aled: “Did you know that these things existed or did you have to research it first?”
Arfon: “There has been a little homework involved, but I do remember most of them as a child and how one had to collect the tokens from packs to get them.”
Aled: “Right, beside this (case) is something I do remember... (taps the side) the 'Cheeky Chics' machine that would stand outside a shop, you explain it.”
Arfon: “This machine was actually outside the Nefyn beach shop/cafe for many years. Kids would put their 10p in, the chicken would cluck and drop and egg that contained a gift inside.”
Aled: “And once again I find the memories flooding back to me. Do you know anything about its history?
Arfon: “The only thing I know is that Sam Moffatt produced these machines and that they originated from Rhyl. But apart from that I know very little about them. A shame because I would love to know more about him.”
Aled: “Well, if anyone out there knows anything about this inventor from Rhyl called Sam Moffatt that made arcade machines get in touch.”

Part 2

Aled: “Now then, this looks like a dangerous chair!”
Arfon: “Yes, this is my electric chair... This is my reading chair.”
Aled: (laughs) “you read in an electric chair?!”
Arfon: “Yes. And this is the chair I will have when I'm old and retired.”
Aled: “So you found this old chair in a shop, you've put leather straps on it to make it look like an old electric chair that would have been used in the 1950's that we would have seen in many horror films, my next question is why?”
Arfon: “I remember how Grandpa Munster from the Munsters TV series had one and I've always wanted one. So I got this chair, detailed it, popped in a bulb and instead of an electric shock I have a light to read from...”
Aled: “I shan't sit in it, just in case I don't get up again! You have shelves, and I noted as I walked in that it was like walking into an old video shop from back in the day, VHS's something that people might not remember now, certainly not young people but they would once have had videos on display and that's what you have recreated here.”
Arfon: “There you go, again I havememories of being able to go into shop and pick a film to watch and so that's what we do now. Friday night we come through, pick a movie and away you go.”
Aled: ”There are Daleks galore on this top shelf, there has to be between fifteen- twenty Daleks here each one stands about a foot tall and they cover the entire span of Doctor Who?”
Arfon” Yes, these are actually fairly new, but each design is different -reflecting how they have changed over the years. Some people collect models of Minis, showing off the different versions and colour schemes over the years- well I do that with Daleks.”
Aled: “The thing about this place is that I don't know where to turn next, its a room filled with all sorts of different things. I can see Morph here, you have badges on the wall I can see a badge from Hafoc (Welsh kids series from the 80's) I see all sorts of badges, I see a Slush Puppie one with the dog on it that I remember from my childhood.
Arfon: “This is my studio, its where I work from and most of my work has an element of nostalgia about it. I'm an artist/ illustrator I draw comics and books and also some sculptures, my own figures too.”
Aled: “So your inspiration is always around you. We will now move along into this part of the room, there is a rather eye catching coat here Arfon, what's the story here?”
Arfon: “This was Screaming LordSutch's original coat, Screaming Lord Sutch was the founder of the Monster Raving Loony Party, this is from 1983.”
Aled: “Where on Earth did you get that?”
Arfon: “Someone in America had it, and now thanks to eBay I now have it...”
Aled: “Are you serious?”
Arfon: “yes.”
Aled: “Speaking of eBay, there is a box here, in my hand... can I open it? And inside is a wrestling suit of a hero of any child growing up in the 1980's and early 90's one of Big Daddy's wrestling suits (leotards)”
Arfon: “there you go, the man himself.”
Aled: “Were did you get hold of this Arfon?”
Arfon: “eBay! (laugh). I remember meeting him in Caernarfon, seeing a photo of him brought it all back to me and when I saw that... I have one of his capes as well. I'm hoping to do more with it, show it off to people such as you and me that (fondly) remember him.”
Aled: “The white suit with big black letters spelling 'Big Daddy'
Arfon: “His wife would do that, sew them on and added the sequins.”
Aled: “Isn't it amazing to think that someone's hero during their childhood was in this! This is a collection that goes in all different directions Arfon, from Daleks to Big Daddy to arcade machines what is the end goal? What do you hope to do with all this stuff?”
Arfon: “ Id like to put together a small museum, I intend to do so with my own work- but my work reflects all this so I use them for that. I'm always learning something new and I like sharing my findings with people. Sometimes one finds something that the world seems to have completely forgotten about an I rediscover it.”
Aled: “What you do , seems to almost be disappearing now, because everything is on the internet, people take photos with their phones, they upload it and its gone.”
Arfon: “I look at myself as a curator, most people would probably prefer to forget these things but I prefer to keep them and learn from them- and show them off.”
Aled:” Your rekindled many a childhood memory for me and I thank you for doing so and sharing some of this with me, it was well worth seeing. Thanks for the chat.”
Arfon:”You are welcome, thank you.”

My sincere thanks to Aled Hughes and Cadï Mai
Be sure to tune in and catch Aled's show on BBC Radio Cymru
© Arfon Jones 2017. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.


  1. I want to see photos of all the goodies mentioned, AJ. Get your camera out and start snapping.

  2. I'm working on it sir! Promise!



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