..... it's a football chant that is sometimes used to wind-up the fans of Hereford United, and like all good insults it works because it has an element of truth.
Now why Herefordians, especially those from the south and west of the county, should be at all ashamed of their Welsh roots is a puzzle. After all native speakers of a Celtic language lived-on in Herefordshire for a hundred years after Cornish had died out. Yet while the Cornish are rightly proud of their heritage, Herefordshire, even her local historians, seems to be in denial.
The author of this little book* - it was written in 2003, published in 2006 but I've only just got around to obtaining a copy - hopes that it will go some way to rectifying a situation where "the great majority" of those in Welsh Herefordshire are unaware of their history.
Does it succeed? I think not. The book concentrates far too much on earlier times rather than the more recent past; and too much on general Welsh history rather than particular Herefordshire concerns.
The first 143 pages take us up to Owain Glyndwr, whereas the next 600 years merit just 28 pages. You'll look in vain for the clash between the Welsh party and their English rivals in 15C Hereford. There's no mention of Hergest and it's importance to Welsh literature nor of the Herefordshire patrons of the Welsh bardic tradition in the 15C and 16C. Although the survival of the Welsh language into the 19C is mentioned there's no real detail; you'd be better off reading this blog: here for example. or here, or to save too much searching, here.
An annoying aspect of the book is the way in which the origins of some local placenames are guessed at because of their similarity to modern Welsh words. An old fault of the amateur historian which really shouldn't have a place in a 21C work.