I feel a trip to Wolverhampton coming on.

The city’s Light House gallery is staging an exhibition of photographs by Robert Haines of Merthyr Tydfil.

Merthyr is the town that time forgot in the heart of the South Wales, a rich, fruity, friendly and forbidding place for those of us brought up near the brighter lights of Cardiff and Newport.

As a young journalist I spent a week in Merthyr covering a high-profile court case and got to know the town and the people who called it home a whole lot better. It was still a rich, fruity, friendly and forbidding place, but I started to understand it a lot more.

Haines’ photographs capture Merthyr perfectly, as you’d expect from someone born and brought up there.

As well as Dai Passmore and his dog you’ll find the wonderful Billy Diana and a whole host of other Merthyr luminaries at the exhibition, plus get more of an insight of the town itself.

Once Upon a Time in Wales runs at the Light House from March 20 – May 9 and a book of the same name has been launched by Dewi Lewis Publishing.

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