A Welsh family that has lived amid a bustling roundabout for more than 40 years says the unique location “doesn’t bother” them, but it’s a problem arranging deliveries since trucks can’t find their house. Clwyd Howatson, 64, and Anwen, 60, reside in a cottage in a roundabout on Denbighshire’s A525 bypass. Since the bypass was erected in the scenic Vale of Clwyd in North Wales, their home has been surrounded by five crossroads.
Mr. Howatson, a builder, and electrician from a big family has lived on the roundabout for over 40 years and says it is “almost all I know,” adding that his family plans to remain there for many years to come, despite issues with deliveries and potential crashes. The family has become such a staple in the area that it has become known as “Howatson Corner,” as their neighbors across the road are also family members. As they insisted they had no plans to move, the couple joked, “We will never get Clwyd out of here unless in his coffin.”
However, Mr. Howatson said, “It’s like living anywhere else on the side of a busy road.” It’s just that it wraps around us. But it’s a lot noisier next to the A55 dual carriageway. At least here, motorists have to slow down. His parents moved to the bungalow in 1960; before that, 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 smallholding with no bypass in sight.
David John and Eirian were told they couldn’t build another home on their smallholding, so they stayed still while the roundabout was built around them. David John had died by the time the roundabout was finished in 1980. The cottage is still in the hands of the Howatson family in 2022, and it is a hive of activity with seven children and 12 grandchildren who visit daily. Living on the roundabout is a fantastic conversation starter, according to Mr. Howatson, and people usually ask the same questions: “The first is always, “How do you get to your house?” which is quite self-explanatory with the drive at the bottom.”