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Molly Parkin (Garw Valley Heritage Society)
'This extraordinary product of the Garw Valley: a slip of a girl who stormed the bastions of London's bohemia'
- Lyn Howells
This talented Garw Valley girl became editor of Harpers and Queen. She returned to painting in the 1990s and her work is now inspired by Celtic landscapes, especially around Pontycymer. In 2012 she was awarded a Civil List Pension by the Queen for her services to the arts.
‘Just a girl from Pontycymer…’

Born in Pontycymer,  Molly left the Valleys aged just 17 when she was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Goldsmiths College of Art in London.

She was alway proud of her background: 'I'm very rooted in Wales and in Pontycymer...I come from a background of teachers, preachers and miners, but my fate was very clear, I was always drawing and scribbling and colouring in.' She trained as a fine artist in London and was a successful painter and teacher.

In the 1960s Mary started making hats and bags for Biba and worked alongside Mary Quant. She became fashion editor of Harpers & Queen in 1967 and the Sunday Times in 1969. She had become as famous for her lifestyle as for her work! Lyn Howells describes her as:

'This extraordinary product of the Garw Valley: a slip of a girl who stormed the bastions of London's bohemia, charmed its extraordinary defenders with her beauty, intelligence and talent and remained defiantly independent and indefatigably outrageous.'

 

 

Dates
Birth: Pontycymer 03 February 1932
Molly Parkin
Arts, Stage & Screen