Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Recommended Welsh blogs and websites

I've just added a few interesting links to the sidebar which I ought to mention. Read and enjoy...


Miserable Old Fart
Alwyn ap Huw's blog on politics, Plaid and Welsh social issues. Don't be put off by the title!

A new blog by Welsh nationalist, Sanddef. He's been a very prolific poster thus far.

Steffan Lewis
Lewis is a decentralist Socialist whose "primary aspirations are to see an independent Wales and a Socialist society".

Undoubtedly Bodacious
A blog by a Welsh learner and patriot from Newport.


Casglu'r Tlysau/Gathering the Jewels
Over 20,000 images of objects, books, letters, aerial photographs and other items from museums, libraries and record offices in Wales.

Images and stories about the Welsh settlements in Patagonia.

Like Wikipedia, but dedicated entirely to Wales.

This has been going for a while now, but it deserves a mention. The Welsh language Wikipedia.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Owain Glyndwr fields open

This story was published in the Daily Post, March 20, 2007.
Three Wrexham fields dedicated to Welsh hero Owain Glyndŵr will be opened this week.

A field at Station Road, Marchwiel, comes first followed by official openings at Heol Kenyon, Johnstown, and Vicarage Hill, Rhostyllen.

They are being opened to the public as part of the Owain Glyndŵr Fields network established across Wales by the National Playing Fields Association.

The initiative, endorsed by the National Assembly, aims to establish an Owain Glyndŵr Field in every unitary authority in Wales.
More information about the Glyndŵr Fields can be found on the NPFA website:
Owain Glyndwr FieldsNPFA Cymru established the Owain Glyndŵr Fields scheme as a memorial to the Welsh hero, Owain Glyndŵr, Prince of Wales.

When the scheme was first launched at Caerphilly in 2001, Mrs Jenny Randerson AM, Wales’ Minister for Culture, Sport and Welsh Language said: “I am wholeheartedly in support of the NPFA Cymru’s Owain Glyndŵr Fields initiative. It is important that local communities throughout Wales, and the children within those communities in particular, have continued access to local recreation facilities. I believe the programme to be a worthwhile initiative, which can help secure the protection, and environmentally-friendly management, of playing fields and open spaces.”

Endorsed by the National Assembly for Wales, the Owain Glyndŵr Society, and the Owain Glyndŵr Embassy, the scheme has the support of almost all Welsh local authorities. Some of the fields are owned by the NPFA and others remain under the day-to-day control of the local authorities. All come under NPFA Cymru’s guardianship and are legally protected from being built on.

Each field displays special plaques commemorating Owain Glyndŵr and acknowledging the HSBC and the Foundation for Sports and the Arts which have supported the scheme. A welcome is extendend to any individual, company or society to support the scheme locally or nationally. Please contact the NPFA Cymru office in Cardiff.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Why it matters that we beat the English

"As long as we beat the English, we don't care" sang the Stereophonics's Kelly Jones on the BBC, perfectly summing-up the mood in Wales before Wales's clash with England at the Millennium Stadium yesterday.

But why does it matter so much to us Welsh that we beat the English at rugby? Is it because we're racist and we simply don't like English people? Some probably don't. But for most of us, it's plain old rivalry, which has its roots in several hundred years of history in which Wales has had to battle against the odds to merely exist.

Even today, the legacy of that history can be seen in England's dominance over Wales in areas such as politics, economics and culture.

But despite living next door to one of the world's biggest expansionists we've somehow managed to retain our identity, our language, our pride in being Welsh, and our pride in Wales. The fact that there is still anything such as "Wales" and a Welsh language is pretty amazing.

We are comparatively much smaller, much less populous and much less powerful than England ... and yet we can still out-play and beat them on the rugby field at our 'national sport'. That gives us real pride, not only for our rugby team but for being Welsh too.

But having said all that, whether the Welsh rugby team win or lose, I wouldn't want to be part of any other country - not because I hate the English or anyone else - but because I have such pride and love for my own beautiful and magnificent country.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Angel of North East Wales

Five design teams have been picked to come with up ideas for a major landmark to be built at Queensferry, reports BBC's North East Wales blog. Apparently, the Blue Bridge in Queensferry is looking like the likely spot for North East Wales's version of the Angel of the North.

"The proposed Flintshire site in the vicinity of the Blue Bridge in Queensferry is an historic crossing and entry point into Wales. It is an area with a range of transport – the River Dee, the A494, London – Holyhead and Wrexham – Liverpool railway lines and the River Dee Cycle Route and is the location of Northern Gateway, the proposed major expansion of Deeside Industrial Park...

"In April there will be an exhibition locally of the proposed designs from the five artists for the Flintshire scheme. The preferred scheme will be chosen in May and the final bid for funding made to the Big Lottery who will decide if the scheme is successful later in the year," the Flintshire Council website reports.

There's plans for similar projects at Holyhead Harbour and the Second Severn Crossing in Monmouth.

God only knows what they'll come up with. Hopefully it'll be a little more interesting and relevant than that hideous lump of rust in Gateshead. What we need is something that draws on the unique aspects of North East Wales and it's historical importance to the shaping of Wales. An historical figure such as Owain Glyndwr would be a great choice. My fear, though, is that they'll opt for something akin to the Angel of the North - an irrelevant piece of modern "art" which at the same time offends and pleases nobody. Please, please prove me wrong Flintshire County Council.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Wales DOES get a bank holiday afterall - but it's got nothing to do with Wales

Well, well, it appears that Tony Blair has asked Whitehall to consider a proposal that a public holiday be granted in recognition of the Queen becoming the first monarch in history to record 60 years of marriage.

So we in Wales are not allowed the day off on March 1st to celebrate our patron saint and our Welshness because it would be bad for the Welsh economy but we are allowed to take the day off, along with about 57 million other people in the UK, merely to celebrate the Queen's 60th Wedding Anniversary? You couldn't make it up if you tried.

And remember the conversation I had with a British nationalist friend who said we didn't need a bank holiday on St. David's Day because it'd be bad for business? His reaction to this new proposal for another bank holiday this year? A shrug of the shoulders and the comment "That'll do me nicely"...

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