A family from Wales who have been living in the middle of a busy roundabout for more than 40 years has revealed the unusual location ‘doesn’t bother’ them, but it’s a nightmare trying to arrange deliveries as drivers can’t find their house.
Clwyd Howatson, 64, and his wife Anwen, 60, live in a bungalow in the middle of a roundabout on the Denbigh A525 bypass in Denbighshire.
Their home has been surrounded by five junctions ever since the bypass in the picturesque Vale of Clwyd in North Wales was built.
Mr Howatson, a builder and electrician from a big family, has lived on the roundabout over 40 years, and says it is ‘almost all I know’, adding his family plan to remain there for many years to come – despite issues with deliveries and potential crashes.
The family have become such a staple in the area that it has become known as ‘Howatson Corner’ – as their neighbours across the road are also family members.
As they insisted they have no plans to move, the couple joked: ‘We will never get Clwyd out of here unless in his coffin.’
Speaking today, Mr Howatson said: ’62 years I have lived here and there are many happy memories. Before, we had lived across the road.
‘We get the odd accident and loads of drivers went the wrong way when the roundabout first opened but it happens rarely now.
‘We love the view of the mountains and we have no neighbours encroaching on us.’
The white house sits in the middle of the large roundabout, with a driveway that leads directly onto the road at one point.
Until the 1960s there was a railway nearby. Now the four-bedroom bungalow is passed daily by thousands of motorists using the scenic A525 route which heads from the coast.
Mrs Howatson, 60, a cleaner, said today: ‘You get used to the noise. I don’t hear the cars anymore.
‘The two main questions we get asked are “how do you get off the roundabout and is it noisy?” But the traffic is only going one way so it’s not that difficult to get out.’
Grandfather Mr Howatson, who keeps a pony and hens, said: ‘The only disadvantage is we have to cross the road to our field to reach them.’
However, he added: ‘It’s like living anywhere else on the side of a busy road. It’s just it’s all the way around us. But it’s a lot noisier next to the A55 dual carriageway. At least here motorists have to slow.’
His parents moved to the bungalow in 1960 – before there was a roundabout or bypass through their smallholding.
He also boasted about the ‘spectacular’ views from the middle of the roundabout – with no other houses or buildings close enough to block the Welsh scenery – but said he and his wife had perhaps started to ‘take it for granted’.
It was his relatives, David John and Eirian Howatson, who first moved into the bungalow in 1960, which was then located in the middle of a small holding with no bypass in sight.
But in the late 1970s plans for the roundabout following the bypass’ completion were submitted, and building work began.