On This Day: July 29, 1965

The workforce of the Brewer-Spinks factory in Blaenau Ffestiniog held a protest after the owner asked the workers to sign a contract, publicly stating they would not speak Welsh during working hours.

The workers’ resistance was huge and the owner capitulated.

Not so long ago, I stopped by The Llaw Goch (Red Hand) — a pub in the area near Blaenau Ffestiniog with a colleague from the community arts organization I was then working for. My colleague was a Welsh learner. When I asked for a menu “Ga’ i fwydlen os gwelwch yn dda?” the barman said “We don’t speak Welsh around here.”

Speaking Welsh in Merionnydd is an act of rebellion, even in the 21st Century.

Coat of Arms of the House of Gwynedd

Coat of Arms of the House of Gwynedd

The Llaw Goch is named after one of the many heroic warriors of the middle ages, Owain Lawgoch, c 1330 – July 1378, (in French, Yvain de Galles). His full name was Owain ap Tomas ap Rhodri. He was one of the last descendants of Llywelyn Mawr (the Great) and a true claimant for the title of Prince of Wales. He fought with the French against the English during the 100 years war — can it be otherwise after what the English crown did to his Great-Great Uncle Dafydd ap Llywelyn?

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Filed under Cymru/Wales, Hanes Cymru/Welsh History

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