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Friday, 16 August 2013

A constant reminder of a grave injustice

In the 1960's, Wales was starting to get formal recognition that it was (whilst part of the United Kingdom) a seperate entity. The formation of the Wales Office after the 1964 general election was evidence of this, however a lot of people still felt that Wales was being taken for granted. An example of this was in Tryweryn in Gwynedd.

Liverpool City Council (or the corporation of Liverpool as it was called then) wanted a fresh supply of water and as Wales was the nearest location made an application to create a reservior. This application was immediately rejected by the local people who claimed that the local area was going to be flooded just so an English city could have water at the cost of the Welsh language. Several protests were held, but the project was completed and the residents were forced to leave their homes. This action led, indirectly, to Plaid Cymru winning the Carmarthen by-election in 1966 which forced the issue of the Welsh language onto the floor of Parliament for the first time.

Shortly after the flooding, a piece of graffiti appeared on a piece of wall just outside the village of Llanrhystud. The graffiti read "Cofiwch Dryweryn" which translates as "Remember Tryweryn" and has gone on to be regarded as "an iconic declaration of the Welsh people" which in 2005 attracted an apology from Liverpool City Council.

However, other people have treated it as just an example of graffiti. This was proven in 2008 when it was replaced by the words "Angofiwch Dryweryn" which translates as "Forget Dryweryn". The correct spelling was replaced the following day but in 2010 a more serious edit of the wording appeared when it was tagged

This led to a major discussion on how to preserve the wall and a fund had been launched the previous year by the Assembly Minister with responsibility for Heritage at the National Eisteddfod. And just as in 2008, this  edit was also replaced and the whole design given a fresh lick of paint

That was until today, when Mark Williams MP posted this picture on his Facebook page

Yep, it's been defaced again and even though it's not under the direct auspices of our community council, as Llanrhystud Community Council is next door, the mood of this area is the same:

"This wall is in rememberance of the people of Tryweryn who were forced to leave their community some fifty years ago. As such it is a piece of Welsh history. Would people appreciate things such as Nelson's Column in London being defaced? Or the Royal Mile in Edinburgh? Or the Giant's Causeway in Antrim? No and neither do I!"


  1. Russell G MorrisMarch 06, 2014 11:47 am

    We at Balchder Cymru have redone it 3 times since that above pic . Its a shame that folk are out there who do not give a toss about our history

    1. And sadly, it's been defaced again quite recently. My personal feelings are there could be three reasons for the constant defacing. 1) People just assume it's graffiti and as such is open to other artists to tag themselves 2) There is a hard-core of English nationalists who are intent on winding up supporters of Welsh nationalism 3) People from outside Wales do not know what it is and therefore assume it's an open air art installation. If that is the case, then perhaps there is an argument for making the history of Wales be taught throughout the United Kingdom as part of the national curriculum?

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