17th September 1947
Under the heading “David and Goliath”, in The Observer of September 10th 1989, the Pendeniss column said:
Gossip columns – even this one, intent on subverting the genre – too often dwell on famous people: Prince Charles this, Joan Collins that. So today we toast an unsung village Hampden: physics teacher David Powell. Powell has played a leading role in persuading the Canadians to reconsider sending their Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) to the ReChem incinerator near Powell’s home. The publicity at one point knocked a cool £24 million off ReChem’s share price. Powell was sued. He was not alone. ReChem issues writs like Clint Eastwood bullets . . . Radio 4’s The World Tonight grovelled on air after a feature which quoted Powell . . . .
Following seventeen fascinating years in industry I was a schoolteacher when I was sued in 1989 at the age of forty-two. Married with two young children, I was then playing rugby for Caerleon and slowly trying to finish an unusual home. In my other life, our community campaign resulted in the turning-around of Soviet vessels carrying Canadian toxic waste and led to my four-year fight against a libel writ. My High Court success made me the only unscathed survivor of a legal onslaught that caused newspapers and broadcasters to cower.
I'm catching up on things I didn't have time to do when campaigning and then when writing the book. One of those things is making music, on my own and with a band. Another occupation is the finishing of The Unfinished House.