In Memory of a Scotsman

I have just learned of the death of a Scotsman who loved Wales and Welsh History, particularly the history of Morgannwg Canol, Merthyr and the Industrial Revolution, Scott Reid, Curator, Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery died suddenly on Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Scott the Scot as my husband and I loved to call him, was a charming enthusiast for all things antiquarian. He will be, and has been, sorely missed by his colleagues and friends.

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On This Day in Cymru

September 24th

The first recorded shipwreck on the coast of Cymru/Wales: an English ship supplying Henry III ran aground on Morfa Conwy and many deaths followed when the Welsh attacked it.

SR1885 — Death of Samuel Roberts, publisher and reformer, minister, radical and biographer, at Conwy. S.R., as he was known, was also one of the first in Cymru to master shorthand.

clydachvale1966 — Cambrian colliery, Clydach Vale, Rhondda — scene of the lat major coal mining disaster in Wales. The mine is now closed. The worst mining disaster in Welsh history, Senghenydd, killed 440 miners near the town of Caerphilly, on October 14, 1913. Among the most heartbreaking mining disasters occurred in the village of Aberfan, when the colliery spoil tip collapsed and destroyed the local school, killing 116 children and 28 adults, on October 21, 1966.

 Welshman, Hurdler Colin Jackson, from

Welshman, Hurdler Colin Jackson, from

1988 — Colin Jackson of Caerdydd/Cardiff won the silver medal in the 110 metres hurdles at the Seoul Olympics.


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Today in Welsh History: August 30th

tyddewi1In 1536, the Grey Friars of Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen) surrendered during the dissolution of the monasteries. The Grey Friars were Franciscans, holding to the teachings and spiritual beliefs of St. Francis of Assisi, and of his associates and many followers, such as St. Clare of Assisi (after whom the town, Sanclêr [St. Clears] to the west of Caerfyrddin is named), St. Anthony of Padua, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary, among many others. “Franciscan” is usually applied to members who also adhere to the Roman Catholic Church.

tintern2bHowever, other denominations also have members who describe themselves as Franciscans. They include Old Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran. Franciscans in Poland and Lithuania are known as Bernardines, after Bernardino of Siena. Grey Friars is now at the center of the Caerfyrddin’s shopping district which occupies the grounds of the ancient priory. The Franciscan order is also unique in its co-educational practice, following the established practice of religious orders in Cymru (Wales) from the early Middle Ages.

In 1937, from the sublime to the New York world of boxing, Welshman, Tommy Farr, of Tonypandy, lost by a narrow margin to Joe Louis, for the World Heavyweight Title.

And in 1940, eight Welsh citizens were killed in Gresford, near the north Wales town of Wrexham (famous for its football team) during a German air raid. On the next day, ten people died in bombing raids on Rhos and Penycae, also in Clwyd. Later in the war, Abertawe (Swansea) was nearly leveled by German bombing raids, much of the city’s ancient medieval architecture was destroyed, leaving only the remnants of the Norman castle wall in the city centre.

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Be Your Own Fiction Editor: A Revision Clinic

Workshop for Writers offered by Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, given by Alice Osborn

Details of the Course:

Are you frustrated that your fiction is not captivating agents? If you’ve revised and revised, but still no bites, then you might need the help of a good fiction editor. In this workshop, experienced freelance fiction editor Alice Osborn will offer tips and techniques for overcoming “revision fatigue.” She’ll discuss timelines, character motivation, dialogue, point of view, setting and more. Everyone will feel more comfortable with the publishing process and with using style guides. For those wanting to go into the fiction editing business, we’ll also discuss time management, communication, and other smart business practices. Come with questions and problems from your work-in-progress and Alice will help you help yourself.

Alice Osborn, M.A. is the author of three books of poetry, After the Steaming Stops(Main Street Rag, 2012), Unfinished Projects (Main Street Rag, 2010) and Right Lane Ends (Catawba, 2006) and is the editor of the anthology, Tattoos (Main Street Rag, 2012); her past educational and work experience is unusually varied and now it feeds her strengths as an editor who makes good writers great authors. Alice teaches creative writing all over the country where she uses sensory images and road-tested prompts to stimulate her students’ best work. Her pieces have appeared in the News and Observer, The Broad River Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Soundings Review and in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. Visit her website at

Cost to Celtic Hearts Members: $10.00

Cost to Non-Members: $20.00

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Feasts and Festivals: July and August

Heol Awst is the main street of the ancient market town of Caerfyrddin. In the opening chapter of my forthcoming novel, 220px-Eisteddfod_1991Vengeance’s Son, the growing family of Huw Brodawel walks through the 10th Century street, avoiding the horses but unable to avoid an altercation with Heledd’s nemesis, Alys Talgarth.

Throughout Cymru and Iwerddon, the summer months of July and August are famous for their horse-trading events. Farmers gather in fairs from one end of the country to the other, but none is more renown than the gathering referred to as The Royal Welsh, held in mid Wales at Llanelwedd, near Llanfair-ym-Muallt.

However, in medieval times, another renown event was Gwyl Awst, held in Caerfyrddin — a horse show and market event that brought citizens from as far away as the continent to deal in horse-flesh. The same interest in horse trading and races takes place in Iwerddon in July – the Galway Races. My family and I were not as aware of the Irish event in July when we visited our Gaelic neighbors a few years ago. Accommodation was not readily available, even for a family with three hearty, sleepy boys.

Heol Awst is also known as Lammas Street. This name refers to Lammas Day, celebrated on August 1st, when the fields were thrown open for common grazing. Lammas is a corruption of “loaf-mass” – a celebration in the early church when the first loaves of the harvest were consecrated.

mererid2001No festival is as widely celebrated than the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol (National Eisteddfod) – a festival arising from the earliest bardic events. This takes place during the first full week of August. The EG is a celebration of all things Welsh and Wales, but especially the Welsh language (Cymraeg). Iolo Morgannwg is credited with having revived the bardic festival – a competition for money and patronage between poets. The EG has grown into an Arts Festival, larger than any other in the world and, together with its daughter festival in May for the young people and children of Wales – Eisteddfod yr Urdd, offers entertainment and creative competition in all forms of the Arts.

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