Thursday, July 11, 2013


On this beautiful summer's day let's take a trip from the Herefordshire border town of Kington to Cardigan Bay.  Despite being the birthplace of one Radnorshire icon (Ffransis Payne) and the resting place of another (Elen Gethin) the 2011 Census shows Kington to be a thoroughly English place, 92% of the town claiming no Welsh identity of any kind.

No worries, we're soon over the border and crossing two Welsh community council areas, Old and New Radnor.  Back in Victorian times there were plans to erect a giant statue of the Duke of Wellington here, it would have dominated the Vale of Radnor.  Perhaps it should have gone ahead since both communities recorded 71% No Welsh identity in 2011.  The locals may have opted for a Welsh-only identity, but there were precious few of them around to bother the enumerators.

Cross Radnor Forest and, in the community council area of Penybont, Welsh identifiers are in the majority .... well just, with 49% opting for a non-Welsh identity.  The same is true (49% non-Welsh) in Llanbadarn Fawr - casual visitors will know it as Crossgates, the Post Office having made up the name to avoid confusion with a place further along our route.

We pass through Nantmel (52% non-Welsh) to arrive in the bwgi-wonderland of Rhaeadr Gwy.  As late as the 1960s the children of Rebecca were said to have dangled an over-zealous police officer from the Wye bridge until he promised to turn a blind eye to their activities. It's a much more law-abiding place today, with 45% claiming no affinity with such wild Welshness.

Respectible folk will be glad to leave Radnorshire and its "half things" behind as we enter the Montgomeryshire community of Llangurig (42% non-Welsh) with the promise of Ceredigion and a glimpse of the sea to come. Geraint Howells used to boast that his old cynefin - it's now officially called Blaen Rheidol - was a place where Cardis lived even though the crows starved.  The non-Welsh seem to be doing fairly well too - 51% no-Welsh identity.

We come to Melindwr - I'm the casual visitor now and would recognize it as Capel Bangor - and, saints be praised, the non-Welsh element is a miniscule 39%.  Dafydd ap Gwilym's Llanbadarn Fawr soon jolts us back to reality (58% non-Welsh).  Heavens, it's even less Welsh than Crossgates!  And so we arrive in cosmopolitan Aberystwyth, with a 55% Non-Welsh population. Its hardly surprising that I rarely hear Cymraeg on the streets or in the shops during my occasional visits to the town.

Does any of this matter?  You tell me.


Anonymous said...

Gwasanaeth coloneiddo proffesiynol yn cael ei hysbysebu yn y Brecon & Radnor heddi. Neis.

radnorian said...

Paid a son, rwy'n digon diflas fel y mae

Anonymous said...