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The year 2009 had special significance for Hawarden (Penarlâg) Flintshire, North Wales. It marked the bicentenary of the birth of one of the village's most illustrious residents; Victorian-era and four-times UK Prime Minister, Mr W E Gladstone. For local, back-pack, community filmmaker John Butler, it offered a unique, creative opportunity; a time to capture something of local events and people. The result is a series of short films, each one intended to document for future generations, an aspect of everyday life during 2009 -in the village that Mr Gladstone had once made his home.

As a retired retail professional, "JB" had long held a curiosity for everything to do with the area's thriving business community. Especially in the growth of innovative, post-steelmaking enterprises located around Deeside that continued to attract investment and talent from far afield. So when he heard that an American business executive who, for almost two years of his UK assignment had lived with his family in the heart of Hawarden village, he saw an an opportunity to seek and preserve an "outsider" view of a modern, suburban Welsh community.

And so, in July of 2009 and shortly before his subject was due to leave to assume a fresh assignment outside the UK, JB arranged to meet and chat with USA visitor, Matt Knipmeyer. His mission was to learn of Matt's recent, first-hand experiences and his reflections on his time living as part of the community of a modest little corner of North Wales.

"Oh would Some Power the gift to give us
to see ourselves as others see us"
Robert Burns

(c) John Butler December 2023

Camera: Panasonic GS-400 3CCD Mini DV (Tape)
Microphone(s): 2x Audio-Technica ATR35 Lavalier
Editing software: Adobe Premiere Elements v14

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