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Glamorgan Seascape Pathways

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Success Stories

by Terry Breverton 


ISBN 1 903 529 115
Wales Books, 2003
144pp, paperback
Retail price 10.99

Open Book

Review by Deborah Fisher

Terry Breverton is one of those remarkable individuals whose energies match his abilities. He began by writing books. He went on to publish his own books. Then he proceeded to publish books by other authors, taking an interest in titles that had been rejected by everyone else. And he manages, though he does not always make a profit, to break even, which, he says, is all he asks.

The name of Terry Breverton’s imprint is Wales Books, which gives a clue to his ambitions. The books he publishes relate to Wales, its history, its geography and its people, no matter how obscure and neglected in previous literature. He succeeds because there are enough readers who are interested in reading about these subjects.

Glamorgan Seascape Pathways is one of Wales Books’ best-selling titles, because it fulfils readers’ requirements. To quote another enterprising South Walean author, Phil Carradice, it is simply "a good idea for a book", and that is so often the clue to success in self-publishing. You need to find your niche in the market. Mr Breverton has done so by combining a favourite pastime, walking, with another favourite pastime, historical research, the result being a comprehensive guidebook that takes its owner along some of the most popular footpaths in South Wales.

I’m not too sure why the title. The book’s coverage stops short of West Glamorgan. It does not venture into Swansea and the Gower, which are both, admittedly, well-covered by guidebooks, but which are also definitely in the area once known as Glamorgan. The word "seascape" is also somewhat misleading, as Terry Breverton occasionally strays well inland. If you live in this part of south Wales, though, the sea is never far enough away to be out of the picture.

Black-and-white photographs are interspersed throughout the text, giving a taster of the churches, cliffs, promenades and piers they can expect to see if they follow the paths recommended. There are, unfortunately, no maps included. Maps are often a problem for self-publishers, as those commercially available come at a price, and those drawn by hand are inevitably either inaccurate or lacking in detail. Mr Breverton makes the assumption that any serious walker will want to buy an Ordnance Survey map in any case, and those not serious about it will be content to follow his directions.

I admit that I have not actually tried out any of these books, but I know that Terry Breverton has tried them all and assessed with care their suitability for inclusion. This book serves a double purpose, in that it can be used either as a walking guide or simply as a visitors’ guide to some of the more intriguing features of our local scene. It will make a great gift for anyone who lives in, or visits, south-eastern Wales’s coastal areas, whether or not they attempt the walks.