Twm Morys a'r Fenni Pethe


Twm Morys a'r Fenni

Wrth i'r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol ymweld â'r ardal, Twm Morys sydd ar daith, o'r Mynydd Du i dref Y Fenni. Twm Morys explores the Abergavenny area, home to the 2016 National Eist...


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Transcript


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-I'm in Abergavenny,

-in the Gorsedd stone circle.

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-They've been here since 1913...

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-..the last time the Eisteddfod

-came to Abergavenny.

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-I have a link to the area.

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-My father had family in Abergavenny.

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-In the 1970s, I lived nearby

-in the Black Mountains.

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-I'll take you on a journey through

-the mountains to Abergavenny.

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-It won't take long,

-but it will be full of its people...

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-..some from the past,

-some from the present...

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-..poets, musicians and a historian.

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-And before we finish the journey,

-we'll go for a walk to the future.

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-We start fifteen miles

-north of Abergavenny...

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-..in Capel-y-ffin,

-in the Vale Of Ewyas.

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-This is Capel-y-ffin.

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-There's a peculiar little church,

-like an owl with a hat...

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-..a house and a phone kiosk.

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-England is on the other

-side of the mountain.

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-TH Parry-Williams came here

-on a pilgrimage in the early 1950s.

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-This is what he wrote

-about the experience.

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-"I travelled to the border

-between Wales and England.

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-"There was an element

-of sadness to it all.

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-"Here, like in many other places...

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-"..Wales and the Welsh

-language is in decline.

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-"A blight on what we hold

-to be our inheritance...

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-"..has worked its way

-into our constitution.

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-"To all purposes, the language

-and people here are English.

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-"For me, there is a smell of

-lethargy and death in the area...

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-"..despite its beauty."

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-A sincere response, I'm sure.

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-But for once, I totally disagree

-with TH Parry-Williams's perception.

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-I'll tell you why,

-while we head for Abergavenny.

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-This is Cwmyoy, at the bottom

-of the Vale Of Ewyas...

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-..where TH Parry-Williams

-saw the end of everything...

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-..we consider to be our inheritance.

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-But when a Welsh person

-comes to a place like this...

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-..it's like someone taking

-a lamp to a big, dark cave.

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-Art from a distant age,

-the deer, wild horses and hunters...

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-..are revived on the walls.

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-Take the place names.

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-That big crag above the church

-looks like a yoke.

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-That's the name, Cwmyoy.

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-They said "yoy" here,

-not "iau", for "yoke".

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-In myths like Culhwch And Olwen...

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-..there's a story

-about King Arthur...

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-..hunting a wild boar, the Twrch

-Trwyth, in the Vale Of Ewyas.

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-Sometimes, old verses

-named farms and people.

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-"Three things are bent of aim

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-"Joni Pant Y Gwyddel's gun

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-"Cwmyoy's church steeple

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-"And the eyes of Moi Cwmbwchel"

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-Llanthony's real name

-is Llan Nant Honddu.

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-The ruins of Britain's highest

-Augustinian priory are located here.

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-In 1188, Gerald Of Wales

-described the monks...

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-..looking at the horizon...

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-..higher than the roof

-of their priory.

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-They could see

-the mountaintops touch the sky...

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-..and quite often, herds of wild

-deer grazing on the summits.

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-It's hard to believe now...

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-..but a few years before

-TH ParryWilliams's visit...

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-..there was a plan

-to flood the Vale Of Ewyas.

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-At the time, my father,

-James Morris...

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-..a young journalist at The Times,

-wrote a leader about it.

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-"The Honddu Valley's intangible

-charm, not any associations...

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-"..makes the proposed flooding

-seem little short of a tragedy...

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-"..to those who fished its stream

-or walked its mountains.

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-"It should be pointed out

-the Black Mountains...

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-"..are the nearest

-real mountains to London.

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-"They might be described,

-in the appropriate language...

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-"..as a valuable social amenity.

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-"The Honddu Valley is perhaps unique

-in its memories and in itself.

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-"Its metamorphosis into a sheet

-of water will be peculiarly sad."

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-The valley wasn't flooded,

-thank God.

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-I used to walk over the mountain...

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-..to sit amongst the ruins

-for an hour or two.

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-But the last time I came here,

-I was sent away, for singing.

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-I make a slight detour

-from the Abergavenny road...

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-..to the next valley,

-Cwm Grwyne Fechan.

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-There's a very good reason.

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-About 15 years before

-TH Parry-Williams's visit...

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-..academic and author TJ Morgan

-came here to record the voices...

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-..of some of the last five

-in the valley who spoke Welsh.

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-They were all over 80 years old.

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-My name is John Williams.

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-I live in Felin Grwyne Fechan.

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-I have a small farm

-of about eighteen chains.

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-I have about 35 sheep and a cow.

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-Do you mill grain at all?

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-I did at one time, but not now.

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-The mill has gone down now.

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-Do you remember

-when everyone spoke Welsh?

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-I remember the time when everyone

-in Grwyne Fechan spoke Welsh...

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-..apart from a couple of doctors

-and a Scotsman up in Tal-y-Maes.

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-We have to finish now.

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-That interesting Welsh dialect

-sounds very like Breton to me.

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-This is what TJ Morgan said about

-his conversation with John Williams.

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-"I felt a pang of sadness...

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-"..as if seeing in a mirror the last

-speakers of the Welsh language."

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-You know the bent church

-steeple we saw earlier?

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-The motto of an old Black Mountains

-family can be seen there.

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-"Better die than languish long."

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-TJ Morgan and TH Parry-Williams

-would agree, I'm sure.

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-But what if a patient,

-all of a sudden...

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-..starts to get better?

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-This is Crickhowell.

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-I caught the bus to school

-here every day.

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-But I went in the other

-direction, to school in Brecon.

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-There was Welsh there.

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-But there was no Welsh

-in the late 1970s in Abergavenny.

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-Now, there's a Welsh

-medium school there.

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-Abergavenny

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-I've arranged to meet poet

-Frank Olding in Abergavenny.

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-Frank knows everything

-about the town's history.

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-He is also Chair...

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-..of the 2016 Monmouthshire

-Eisteddfod executive committee.

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-The eisteddfod was

-last held here in 1913.

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-There were complaints,

-mainly in the Goleuad newspaper...

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-..that it was very anglicized.

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-Is that true?

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-It seems it was, to some extent.

-Welsh was spoken here.

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-But authority,

-so to speak, was in English hands.

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-All the other activities

-were very anglicized.

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-It seems that they influenced

-the Eisteddfod a great deal.

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-There's a tendency to think that

-Welsh disappeared long before that.

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-Yes. It's not true.

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-At the time of the Eisteddfod...

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-..a quarter of the population

-still spoke Welsh.

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-When Southall came here in 1893...

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-..in places like Llanthony,

-Llanddewi Nant Honddu...

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-..he said that many people

-over 50 spoke Welsh.

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-The problem was they didn't speak

-Welsh to the next generation.

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-The language people spoke

-probably changed at this time.

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-It's hot and it will be like this

-the first week in August.

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-Are you thirsty?

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-Are you thirsty?

-

-Yes.

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-Me too.

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-This is the Coach And Horses

-in the centre of Abergavenny.

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-Why is this place significant?

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-Well, 150 years ago...

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-..the Abergavenny Cymreigyddion

-Society was founded here in 1833.

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-Hywel Teifi said if it wasn't

-for the Cymreigyddion Society...

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-..there would be no

-National Eisteddfod now.

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-Why?

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-The Abergavenny eisteddfodau

-were very big and successful.

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-The idea of a National Eisteddfod

-was first suggested here.

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-Five years after the Abergavenny

-eisteddfodau ended...

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-..an eisteddfod was

-held in Aberdare, then Llangollen.

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-So it could be argued that the

-National Eisteddfod was born here.

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-In this room.

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-Where we are now?

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-Where we are now?

-

-Yes.

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-Cheers.

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-Cheers.

-

-Cheers.

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-The Eisteddfod will be held

-on the banks of the Usk...

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-..at Castle Meadows...

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-..merrily lifting two fingers

-to the oppressors' towers.

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-So this is the Norman castle.

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-Yes.

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-There wasn't much Welsh

-in Abergavenny then.

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-No, very little.

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-Only the French, English

-and Flemings could live in the town.

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-At times, relations between

-the Normans and Welsh were very bad.

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-This where The Treachery

-Of The Long Knives took place...

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-..between the Welsh and Normans.

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-William de Braose,

-Lord Of Abergavenny...

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-..invited Welsh princes to a feast.

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-During the festivities...

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-..an order was given

-to murder the princes.

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-Stabbed.

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-Stabbed.

-

-Stabbed, yes!

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-We've been invited to a celebration.

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-I hope we don't get stabbed.

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-I hope we don't get stabbed.

-

-I hope not! We'd better go.

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-.

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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

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-# I was standing on a corner,

-didn't mean no harm

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-# Police walked up, grabbed me

-by my arms standing on a corner

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-# I didn't mean no harm #

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-My friend, John Barnie,

-is a local poet and blues singer.

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-He was invited to perform

-tonight in The Hen & Chickens...

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-..with Frank Olding,

-me, and local author Jane Blank.

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-I'd like to know about your

-experience of the Welsh language.

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-You come from Abergavenny. There was

-no Welsh here when you were a child.

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-No.

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-What is your relationship

-with the language?

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-I started to learn Welsh

-in Copenhagen.

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-It's quite far from Abergavenny!

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-I had learnt Danish.

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-I realized how a language...

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-..can change who you are.

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-What is the situation

-in Abergavenny?

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-The language is all around us.

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-It's part of the landscape,

-its character and history.

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-If you don't understand its role,

-you only get half of the history.

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-The language is an integral part

-of the character of the place.

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-TWRCH

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-"He seizes

-the sovereignty of his lineage

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-"Treasure of a kingdom

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-"Taunting a tame generation

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-"For its lost passion"

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-What about you?

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-What about you?

-

-I was born and raised in Sheffield.

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-We spent the school summer holidays

-in Eglwys Fach with my grandparents.

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-The family spoke Welsh.

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-Do you write poetry in Welsh?

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-Do you write poetry in Welsh?

-

-No.

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-I write dramatic

-dialogues and monologues.

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-Poetry is something I feel.

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-"Only words he had for the woman

-whose depression had such weight

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-"She could not even stand

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-"So many words that span the black

-mass of the mountain out of focus"

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-Raymond Williams once said...

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-"..If you come from the borders,

-you're not part of the English.

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-"You're not part of the Welsh,

-either." We're border people.

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-It's interesting

-if that has changed.

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-I get very angry...

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-..when articles

-in Golwg or Y Cymro...

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-..say the strongholds

-are weakening.

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-That's true.

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-They criticise

-schools in South-East Wales....

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-..because the children

-don't speak Welsh outside school.

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-That makes me furious.

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-Don't criticise our children.

-They speak Welsh.

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-And out of nowhere.

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-Welsh is the language

-of all of Wales.

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-Wherever I go in Wales,

-everything is Welsh.

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-All the names are there

-to welcome us.

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-# More

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-# More

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-# To save so much more

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-# A thirst returns

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-# To save

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-# So much more #

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-That's it. Thank you.

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-"Abergavenny market

-sells butter and milk

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-"Eggs, fruit and all sorts of meat

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-"In Abergavenny market,

-there are sheep and lambs

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-"In Abergavenny market,

-I'll find Beti Pentwyn."

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-But that was a long time ago.

-Beti isn't waiting for me today.

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-I'm meeting Dr Elin Jones

-in the cafe.

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-Hey, Twm!

-It's nice to see you. Sit down.

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-Take a chair.

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-Take a chair.

-

-"Cater"?

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-Do you understand?

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-Do you understand?

-

-Yes.

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-Good!

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-It's Gwenhwyseg, the local language.

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-The dialect of Gwent.

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-It's disappeared.

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-Don't say that.

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-Don't say that.

-

-Not in your case, obviously.

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-It has, from Abergavenny.

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-To be honest...

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-..hardly anyone under 50 speaks it.

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-A very small number of us, over 50

-years old, keep Gwenhwyseg alive.

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-It was strong at one time.

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-In the early 20th century...

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-..John Griffiths wrote a book

-about Gwenhwyseg.

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-He discussed the dialect...

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-..the hardened consonants,

-long 'E' and so on.

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-He said it was

-the strongest dialect in Wales...

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-..because of the number of speakers.

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-At the height

-of the coal industry...

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-..it was the most widely spoken

-dialect in Wales.

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-In a century,

-it has disappeared completely.

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-People were ashamed

-of their own language.

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-Mam refused to speak Welsh outside

-the home.

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-My parents were told off

-for speaking Welsh to me.

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-English was the language

-of business and the world.

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-This is how a language disappears.

-The dialect has gone in my lifetime.

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-Now we must think how

-to safeguard the Welsh language...

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-..for us and our children...

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-..and also safeguard the dialect

-spoken by Welsh schoolchildren!

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-The Eisteddfod is coming here.

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-You are the Eisteddfod President.

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-Will you address the nation

-in Gwenhwyseg?

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-Yes, on the final Saturday.

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-It'll be the last time Gwenhwyseg

-will be heard in the Eisteddfod...

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-..and maybe the first time!

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-People were ashamed

-of their dialect.

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-"Happiness is a Warm Welsh Cake".

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-I must have one before

-going to the local Welsh school.

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-Mmm! "Pice ar y maen".

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-"Pice ar y maen?"

-Is that Welsh cakes?

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-Yes.

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-Right.

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-The pupils and I

-are preparing for the Eisteddfod.

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-The work is based on the voice

-of John Williams Grwyne Fechan.

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-I live in Felin Grwyne Fechan.

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-I have a small farm

-of about eighteen chains.

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-I get up at six in the morning.

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-I light the fire,

-and have breakfast.

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-Then I feed the cow and chickens.

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-We have to finish now.

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-Which of the words did you notice?

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-He said "fferem", for farm.

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-He said "fferem", for farm.

-

-What else?

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-He said six o'clock differently.

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-He said "catw", and not "cadw".

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-He hardened the consonants.

0:21:020:21:03

-He hardened the consonants.

-

-He said "cod", and not "coed".

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-He barked out his words.

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-It's very different

-from how you speak.

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-We turned the old man's voice

-into verses.

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-They will open the Literary

-Pavilion on the first Saturday.

0:21:210:21:25

-# John Williams is my name

0:21:260:21:29

-# John Williams is my name

0:21:300:21:34

-# I live in Grwyne Fechan

0:21:350:21:38

-# Ffal-di-ral-di-ro

0:21:390:21:41

-# I live in Grwyne Fechan

0:21:420:21:46

-# Ffal-di-ral-di-ro #

0:21:460:21:49

-Well! Are you looking forward

-to the Eisteddfod?

0:21:510:21:55

-Yes!

0:21:550:21:56

-Yes!

-

-Why?

0:21:560:21:57

-We don't have the opportunity

-to hear Welsh in the area.

0:21:570:22:02

-There will be a lot of Welsh

-in the Eisteddfod.

0:22:020:22:05

-I hope more people

-will speak Welsh...

0:22:060:22:11

-..more than they do now.

0:22:110:22:13

-It'll only happen once in our lives.

0:22:140:22:17

-It doesn't usually

-come to a town like ours.

0:22:180:22:21

-That isn't true. The Eisteddfod

-could return in your lifetime.

0:22:210:22:27

-If the Abergavenny Eisteddfod

-is a success...

0:22:280:22:32

-..it'll be back more often

-than once in a hundred years.

0:22:320:22:36

-You might be the Archdruid!

0:22:370:22:39

-"We have to finish now,"

-said TJ Morgan.

0:22:540:22:58

-But we don't. Think of the children.

0:22:580:23:01

-They are an antidote to despair.

0:23:010:23:05

-They have the medicine

-to heal the patient.

0:23:050:23:08

-The Eisteddfod

-will be great for Abergavenny.

0:23:080:23:12

-That's why, in my opinion...

0:23:130:23:15

-..it would be

-an unforgivable tragedy...

0:23:150:23:18

-..if the Eisteddfod

-stopped travelling...

0:23:190:23:22

-..to shine its light

-in places like the Black Mountains.

0:23:220:23:26

-# The old millstone is on the floor

0:23:280:23:31

-# We have to finish now

0:23:320:23:35

-# Ffal-di-ral-di-ro

0:23:360:23:39

-# We have to finish now

0:23:400:23:44

-# Ffal-di-ral-di-ro #

0:23:450:23:49

-S4C Subtitles by Gwead

0:23:490:23:52

Wrth i'r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol ymweld â'r ardal, Twm Morys sydd ar daith, o'r Mynydd Du i dref Y Fenni. Twm Morys explores the Abergavenny area, home to the 2016 National Eisteddfod.


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