Cardigan Castle – Ready to Fall?

A revealing piece on the Daily Wales website tells of the escalating controversy at Cardigan Castle where public funding is creating a tacky entertainment centre / wedding venue, with references to the site’s rich history and cultural importance being downplayed if not totally excluded. I urge you to read the DW piece before going any further with my contribution.

From the Daily Wales piece (and indeed other sources) it seems there has alsCardigan Charity 1o been a worryingly high turnover in both trustees and staff that should cause concern to any body funding, or in any other way supporting, this project. Though despite the comings and goings there appear to be two constants, both trustees. These are Elizabeth Jann Tucker who – and this should not surprise you – is involved in tourism, at Aberporth, a few miles up the coast from Cardigan. The other is Richard Thomas, a veterinary surgeon, and the local James Herriot, having written the autobiographical Dic y Fet, and in English, the equally autobiographical, Taking Stock.

Seeing as we are dealing with a charity, the obvious place to start making enquiries was the Charity Commission website. I soon found the page for Ymddiriedolaeth Cadwraeth Adeiladau Castell Aberteifi (Cardigan Castle Building Preservation Trust), (Number 1122015), which tells us that the contact is Jann Tucker . . . but according to the Daily Wales piece, the contact should be a Jonathan Timms of Ashford, Kent. Clearly, there was something wrong. The answer came when I saw that ‘Dick Thomas’ is also a trustee of another charity named Ymddiriedolaeth Cadwraeth Adeiladau Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust Charity (Number 1080667), which makes no mention of Cardigan castle in its name. and it’s here that we find Mr Timms given as the contact. (He may also go, or at one time have gone, by the name ‘Joff’,) So why are there two charities? (Click to enlarge panCardigan Charity 2els.)

Especially as they claim to be doing exactly the same thing. For the Charity Commission website, under ‘Activities’ says for both charities, “To preserve for the benefit of the people of Cardigan town and of the nation the historical, architectural and constructional heritage that may exist in and around Cardigan town in buildings (including any building as defined in Section 336 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) of particular beauty or historical, architectural or constructional interest’. Read it and tell me if you also think it says the same thing twice, or am I missing something? Also note that neither of these charities is confined in their activities to the castle. And which ‘nation’ is referred to?

For those curious about what the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 says, here it is: ‘“building” includes any structure or erection, and any part of a building, as so defined, but does not include plant or machinery comprised in a building;’. Er, in other words, a building.

To complicate the picture further, in addition to the two charities there is a company (limited by guarantee), Cardigan Castle Enterprises Ltd (Company No 07285463), which appears to be a trading arm for the charity / charities. The current directors appear to be Mr Cristoffer Wyn Tomos, Mrs Susan Joy Lewis and the mysterious Mr Jonathan Timms. Mrs Lewis is also a director of Small World Theatre Ltd (Company No 03294035), also based in Cardigan. The company involves itself in ‘Artistic and Literary Creation and Interpretation’. (Which may link with the reference below to the Mwldan Theatre and Bellowhead.) She is the former editor of the Tivyside Advertiser, which most people think has improved considerably since her departure. Her husband is Mike Lewis, who was editor of the South Wales Guardian before moving to the Cambrian News, which readers may remember for its scurrilous and unprincipled attack on the local Plaid Cymru candidate before May’s election. Both husband and wife are staunch and blinkered Britlanders.

Though if the Daily Wales piece is correct, and Cris Tomos has been suspended by the trustees from his post at the castle, then he is unlikely to be still serving as a director of the trading arm, especially as Lewis is one of the other directors.

C C Enterprises Ltd

I keep talking about ‘the castle’, so I think it’s time to remind ourselves of the history we are dealing with here. Cardigan castle was the home of Rhys ap Gruffydd, ‘the Lord Rhys’, who ruled Deheubarth from 1155 to 1197; an ally of Owain Gwynedd and, following the northern prince’s death in 1170, the most powerful of the Welsh rulers. In 1176 he organised at Cardigan castle what is generally agreed to have been the first national eisteddfod. So this place has immense significance in Welsh history, yet I don’t think there’s a trustee other than Glen Johnson with any relevant expertise. In fact, there seem to be more of the trustees involved with bed and breakfasts than with anything else.

This might explain why, it is rumoured, the Heritage Lottery Fund has now appointed (imposed?) a trustee who might know something about Welsh heritage, and also how to manage a project of this size. Though cynics might argue that it’s a bit late in the day, seeing as £12m has already been poured in. The name being mentioned is Gareth Gregory, who would appear to fit the bill. Whether this appointment will be welcomed by some of the other trustees, and some interested observers, reJames Lynchmains to be seem. But I can understand why the Heritage Lottery Fund felt it needed to be done.

Locals have been dismayed at the slow pace of the project, often due to contractor’s cock-ups and work having to be re-done. No clear chain of command is another allegation levelled – “too many bosses”. Few in the town can understand, let alone see, where twelve million pounds has been spent. And many in Cardigan wonder why Jann Tucker, a woman of eighty, with business interests of her own, is still knocking herself out in this thankless work. Perhaps she gets help from her family.

For about ten years ago Jann’s daughter Siân came home from London with her property developer husband James Lynch and their four sons. Since arriving in Cardigan the two have bought Fforest farm, set up a glamping business, opened an upmarket pizza joint on the river, and also run a wedding service, with hubby keeping his hand in in the property racket with Granary Lofts, across the Teifi from the castle. Basically catering for middle class poseurs of the, “I may be a computer programmer with two kids and a crippling mortgage but I’m a free spirit, me, oh yes”. A man untroubled by modesty, our Jim. For as he says on his Linkedin profile, he is “currently working on re-inventing the Cardigan riverside”. And if this site is to be believed then his ambition extends to taking over a wider area! Note that the map for ‘the Republic of Fforest’ covers the town of Cardigan, including of course the castle.

There is a link on his Linkedin profile to the Do lectures site, as Lynch has given a lecture. Here it is, it lasts twenty minutes (but I bet you won’t!). As a contact described them to me, “The Do Lectures are phenomenally expensive. This annual event pulls in minor celebrities who teach well-heeled 30-somethings from London how to knit yoghurt”. (Nice one, R.) Though looking at it another way, the people connected with Do lectures strike me as just the kind of people who listen to folk-rock bands like Bellowhead. Because I guarantee that until the name was suggested to them Jann Tucker and Dic y Fet had never heard of the group. Then again, other sources implicate the luvvies at the Mwldan theatre where, it is suggested, can be found someone with connections to Bellowhead. Either way, I hope to God that this Do Lecture shower has not received any funding from the Welsh public purse.Castle Green House

Before leaving lovely Aberteifi it’s only right to tell you that within the castle walls is Castle Green House (see panel, click to enlarge), completely renovated with public funds. It would be difficult to visualise a better location for weddings . . . or tourist accommodation . . . almost guaranteed to appeal to the kind of ludicrous poseurs attracted to the area by the burgeoning Lynch empire and the yoghurt-knitters up at Do Lectures. Such a pity there seems to be little or nothing in the renovated castle for Welsh people.

Which explains why so many locals are angry over a project that could have served as a beacon for Welsh culture being subverted into yet another tacky tourist trap or subsidised stage for third-rate provincial luvvies that nobody’d pay to watch. So here are some questions for Huw Lewis, who is, I’m told, the minister in the ‘Welsh’ Government responsible for this project.

  • Who owns Cardigan Castle?
  • Given that the purpose of the charity (or two charities) is solely to oversee the renovation of Cardigan castle, why does its (their) remit extend to any building of interest “in and around Cardigan”. Are other projects lined up, and if so, will these be funded from the public purse, and who will appoint the trustees?
  • Are you satisfied with the oversight of this project by ever-changing combinations of trustees?
  • Seeing as Jonathan Timms, the secretary to the trustees (or one set of them), and also a director of Cardigan Castle Enterprises, is based so far from Cardigan can you explain how he became involved? Was he appointed by the trustees? Was he appointed by you or some other funder?
  • The last accounts filed by the ‘Cadwgan’ trustees with the Charity Commission (Y/E 31.03.2014) show that the project received that year £1,838,894 from the European Regional Development Fund and a further £289,911 from CADW. Seeing as ERDF funding is allocated to Wales for “economic regeneration projects promoted primarily by the public sector” do you believe that this project falls within that expressed purpose? And do you believe that the small number of jobs created justifies this generous funding, over two million pounds in one year from your government? Seeing as there are so few jobs being offered by this project can you assure us that the administration you represent will insist these jobs are allocated to genuinely local people?
  • In the most recent accounts of the ‘Cadwgan’ trustees ‘fixed assets’ are shown to be valued at £5.4m. This, presumably, is the value of the castle and its grounds, including Castle Green House. Whose valuation is this?
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Jo Hutchings

No I haven’t gone to ground I have just had better things to do than enter into a dialogue with you.


Jo – why start the conversation at all if you have better things to do? Getting the facts right would be a better thing to do and then maybe admit you got it wrong. The message from Glen has changed over the weeks and if he has not been totally corrupted by the Cardiff PR company he would admit that long before this episode he was mulling over leaving the trust. The contempt the chair had for him over the years must surely have rankled even such a gentle soul as him.

Hefin Wyn

I take it therefore that you have both – Jo Hutchings and Dr Robert Anthony – gone to ground as far as responding to my explanations above are concerned. Jo, you vaguely mentioned that comments seen on this blog ‘border both on libellous and racist’ but fail to quote any of those alleged comments. It is difficult to maintain a dialogue when half truths and unfounded allegations are made without specific reference. Further, re your comment ‘my only regret is that he didn’t name you all!’ Well, surely Glen Johnson, and Sue Lewis, realise if he had named those he accuses of ‘on-line harassment’ he would be in deep legal trouble. Response on this blog so far seems to suggest there is no evidence and no substance to his allegations or allegations made in his name.

Dr Anthony, I presume you have therefore retired into a cleft in the rocks over at Pwll y Wrach in Ceibwr – metaphorically speaking of course – and to continue in a metaphorical vein – to lick your wounds – and regret your efforts to taint my name. It says a lot for those Trustees, whom you have refused to name, who put you up to the despicable job. Perhaps you will volunteer the information at the AGM.

If it’s of any help, I believe there is a tremendous opportunity with the Castell Aberteifi project to strike a blow for Welsh nationhood. I think of Dr Meredydd Evans, who after his stint as a philosopher in American universities, availed himself of the opportunity to set up a light entertainment department at the BBC in Cardiff. He pioneered such programmes as ‘Disc a Dawn’ and ‘Fo a Fe’ and set the mould for S4C. Similarly he availed himself of the opportunity to enhance the Welsh folk tradition. His American released LP of Welsh folk songs climbed the charts and was much praised by the American critics. He believed earnestly in Welsh nationhood.

I am convinced Merêd would support the efforts of Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd to develop Castell Aberteifi as an institution to be proud of within the pantheon of Welsh life. We are not interested in ‘on-line harassment’ but seek a dialogue with the powers that be re establishing a distinctive Welsh creative imagination. Strange that we were invited to a private meeting with ‘some of the trustees’ last Thursday morning.

I must say that Glen Johnson, from the photograph of him in the Cambrian News, looks remarkably healthy for an ‘on-line harassed’ historian. Indeed he looks in much better fettle than many men of his age that I have seen lately who have never been harassed on-line.

Hefin Wyn

I presume Jo Hutchings that you have read my above comments by now and have had time to dwell and digest upon their significance. Are you therefore in a position to apologize for your inference that I was in anyway responsible for Glen Johnson’s resignation? In the meantime we await clarification from Glen as to whom he was referring to in the context of ‘on-line harassment’.

Hefin Wyn

While we await Jac’s updated post I feel I must answer some of your comments Jo Hutchings since you have referred to me by name. Let me quote from my previous posting above.

You will recall the answer given by Glen Johnson, a Cadwgan Trustee, when quizzed on the matter following his lecture par excellence at Trewyddel recently. The gist of his comments were that the concert had been organised by Theatr Mwldan, and by the time the Trustees realised the choice of Bellowhead was such a sensitive issue, it was too late to make any amends. By the way, it is not often that I would say I would be prepared to listen to a particular lecture again but I will say that of Glen’s tour de force of a lecture.

Hardly harassing. I have made similar comments, several times recently, possibly to the embarrassment of Glen. Yes, I did rebuke him a few months ago when he announced he was publishing a book about the history of the castle. But it was not bilingual and there was no arrangement for a Welsh language book either by himself or another author. He seemed to take it in good heart and went about, at his own cost, to have his book translated. I understand the remaining trustees intend to launch the Welsh version at the AGM as the high point of the evening and as proof of their new found Welshness.

Indeed, Glen is such a mild mannered person I cannot imagine anyone who would want to harass him. If he genuinely has been harassed, along with his family, then surely it should be a matter for the police. Glen does not mention any names in the statement released by Equinox, the Cardiff based public relations company, acting on behalf of Sue Lewis and the Cardigan Castle fraternity.

Then the Cambrian News article mentions my name without any confirmation by Glen that I have harassed him and, therefore, insinuate in the mind of the reader that I am guilty by association. I am described as a poet and author. Poets and authors don’t do harassment on-line. They write poems and books. I sometimes consider myself as a flawed cultural historian and hence my interest in Castell Aberteifi and Welsh entertainment. Further explanation might be made elsewhere.

Now the managing director of Equinox has confirmed that neither he nor any of his staff briefed Cambrian News in any way regarding names of harassers. Indeed, a damning confession on his part, was that he did not even verify the truthfulness of Glen Johnson’s allegation. He has no idea who Glen had in mind even if it was Glen’s allegation or else words put in his mouth.

Furthermore, the timing of the release is interesting. Not on Monday morning in order to supply the Tivyside, the local paper, with an exclusive lead story. But on Tuesday morning just in time for the Cambrian News print run later in the day. It is purely a coincidence of course that Sue Lewis’s husband, Mike Lewis, is one of their journalists.

The article, possibly written by him, gives the spin that Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd organised a petition calling for the reinstatement of Cris Tomos. You know full well that is not so. Everyone in Aberteifi knows who instigated the petition. Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd supports the petition, of course, and are appalled at the treatment given to Cris.

The article states that nobody from Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd was available to comment. That again is misleading as the Deputy News Editor, Dylan Davies, will confirm. I received an e-mail from him. I did not offer a comment as he did not inform me of the gist of Glen’s comments nor did he send me a copy of the Equinox statement. Other news outlets later did so. It was my decision, under the circumstances, not to comment. Indeed I am loathe to get involved with such trivia. I would much prefer to discuss the real issues facing the Cadwgan Trustees in their effort to develop the heritage aspects of the project.

Glen’s resignation is a distraction designed to draw attention from the forthcoming AGM at which questions regarding the trustees stewardship of Castell Aberteifi will be asked. Will they be answered?
Needless to say I will be asking the Cambrian News for an apology and the right of reply. Shades of Mike Parker here. In my reply I intend to mention my debt to Merêd, whom, along with many others, I look upon as a mentor in these matters. I believe he would be very much in favour of the campaign to ascertain a distinctively Welsh creative imagination in the running of Castell Aberteifi.

I have also asked Equinox to distribute a disclaimer that their intention was not to involve me in the matter and distribute an apology for possibly harming my good name. Furthermore, I have asked Equinox to mention who Glen Johnson had in mind as ‘harassers’ and if he does not do so to then withdraw his allegation.

By the way, Equinox , on Monday morning, sent me an invitation to meet some of the Cadwgan Trustees on Thursday morning (tomorrow) for what was described as a private meeting. Strange that I should receive such an invitation if I am regarded by the Trustees as a harasser. Was the meeting sanctioned by Sue Lewis, the acting director?

Yet those leaked internal e-mails told Cris Tomos that under no circumstances he should invite Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd to a meeting. Ironically, if that meeting had taken place most of the current confusion and turmoil surely would not have happened.

In the meantime, perhaps you could persuade Glen Johnson to name his harassers on his Facebook page and, at the same time, offer me an apology – unless of course he can provide evidence of any harassment on my behalf. If he does it will be a serious matter. Again, if he had accepted my politely worded request to join his Facebook page recently, much of all this brouhaha might have been avoided.
You have done Glen a disservice by the over the top ego massaging. Let’s discuss matters rationally. Surely, you are aware of the tremendous concerns regarding almost every aspect of the project?


It makes one wonder! Glenn was elected onto the trust after many years of trying to become more activally involved. His previous attempts to get onto the trust were actively opposed by the chair. Now these comments are attributed to him, he should explain them – can he name anyone, as his ‘comments’ are being used by the trust to blacken the name of Jac o’ the North. It should also be no no surprise that the Cambrian News start naming people considering the connections to the trust.

Jo Hutchings

You and your ilk including HW have lost us Glen Johnson from the board of trustees, who above all others was the one person who was determined to bring the history of the castle alive. To be frank I am appalled at some of the things that have been said which border both on libellous and racist and I was pleased to see Glen’s statement on the Welsh news stating exactly why he has resigned, my only regret is that he didn’t name you all!



I have followed this saga about Castell Aberteifi having been alerted to it by your blog weeks ago. As far as I can recall ( and a quick review of the assorted contributions seems to confirm) you have always been positive, or at worst neutral, in your references to G Johnson, as indeed others have, when much of the contributions have been highly critical of other Trustees, managers and sundry participants in the castle project. Accordingly , to attribute Mr Johnson’s resignation to negative comment from you and your cotributors is odd, at least, or perhaps indicates yet another desperate attempt by some people to deflect away from their own part in the man’s departure.


That massive note from Hefin Wyn prompts me to comment.

When a person presents ample evidence that he is knowledgable about the subject in its historical and cultural context, and that resource is reinforced with immense emotional investment, a strong sense of cultural identity and a vision which was closely aligned with the original purpose of the project then it is axiomatic that such a person must in some way be formally involved with said project.

Castell Aberteifi/Cadwgan appears to date to have shunned the potential of Hefin Wyn to the detriment of the project thus far. Now had they decided to do without him because there was an ample supply of superior talent available, one would have to accept the decision. However the current state of affairs reflects a huge void in their “talent pool” and a brighter leadership team might reflect on that and seek early remedies.

Time to shed the ego tripping and all the nonsense that goes with it, get a grip, and get real local talent on board in whatever advisory or cotractual capacities that suit the need

Hefin Wyn

Annwyl Dr Anthony,

It appears that you have now given up the habit of referring to the ‘campaign to close the project down’. This I welcome. I presume that you are and were aware that there was no substance in the statement. And that you were in the wrong to have made such an inference. I take it for granted that you now realise the ‘campaign’ is to persuade Cadwgan Trustees to adopt a thoroughly creative Welsh imagination in order to enhance this Welsh heritage project to its utmost. Will you join? Let’s say farewell to the colonial mind-set. Will such a statement be made by the Trustees prior to the AGM?
By the way, what matters are you unable to comment upon, either because of a lack of information or professional confidentiality? Can’t the Trustees provide you with the necessary information since you are obviously operating at their behest or at least have easy access to them? Can you list the matters which you cannot comment upon?

You made the following statement under the guise of Charity Solicitor.

I can’t really comment on most of what you say because I really don’t have the inside story but I do agree wholeheartedly that it would be ridiculous if Welsh culture and language were not properly represented – although I hope you appreciate that if the project is to survive there really does has to be a money-making aspect. I know many feel that this is anathema, or at least irrelevant, to the portrayal of Welsh culture and history, but the 7 funding bodies (and Ceredigion County Council) inevitably have a substantial say. I don’t believe for one moment that there has been a deliberate attempt by the trustees to concentrate on the money-making aspect to the detriment of Welsh culture but obviously there must be a balance and perhaps this should be adjusted.

Your comments are a gross understatement. ‘. . not properly represented . . perhaps this should be adjusted’ – yes, with post haste. You are slowly getting there. Are the funders of the opinion that aspects of Welsh culture are not money-making concerns? Did the funders insist that the excellent Bellowhead should be engaged for the grand opening concert? Are Cyngor Sir Ceredigion of the opinion that a Dafydd Iwan concert, with his local ties with the Cilie family, and a mix of other prominent Welsh artistes, in order to emulate the 1176 get together gig, would not be a money spinner? What does their Cadwgan Trustee representative think? Are you aware of the significance of the term ‘Yma o Hyd’? The presence of Dafydd Iwan would be a means of uniting Deheubarth and Gwynedd, since Dafydd has spent most of his working life in Gwynedd, and such a gesture would undoubtedly have pleased Rhys ap Gruffudd. Anyone who thinks otherwise that Welsh culture should be belittled and only tolerated in small doses should not be allowed within 50 miles of the project. Super Fury Animals and Manic Street Preachers have done their share of sell-out concerts. It is a matter of pride as well. Making money and economic success does not necessarily equate with Englishness in the heritage field despite the glorious rant made by Sue Lewis in her now notorious leaked internal e-mail.

The concert would not have sold out ‘if the line-up had consisted of Welsh acts’ you venture in your guise as Robert Anthony. On what premise do you make such a statement? What of the various festivals held along the Western coast of late – Llangrannog, Dolgellau and Castell Caernarfon – were they dependent on the presence of English headlining groups for their financial success? Would a similar celebratory event in Ireland and Scotland have drawn a similar attitude from the organisers? Would the Scots and the Irish be so demeaning of their own culture? What will be the explanation of the Trustees when asked to justify the inclusion of Bellowhead as a headlining act at the ‘official opening concert of Castell Aberteifi’ at the forthcoming AGM?

You will recall the answer given by Glen Johnson, a Cadwgan Trustee, when quizzed on the matter following his lecture par excellence at Trewyddel recently. The gist of his comments were that the concert had been organised by Theatr Mwldan and by the time the Trustees realised the choice of Bellowhead was such a sensitive issue it was too late to make any amends. By the way, it is not often that I would say I would be prepared to listen to a particular lecture again but I will say that of Glen’s tour de force of a lecture.

I digress. Why has Mwldan Man been so deafeningly silent on the matter? When I endeavoured to approach Dilwyn Davies at the Bellowhead concert he turned his back and walked away escorted by a security officer. Needless to say none of my e-mails prior to the event were acknowledged let alone answered by him.

It is pointless mentioning that Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd can hire the castle to organise their own event. What we are concerned with here is the travesty of ‘the official opening concert’ organised by Cadwgan Trustees/Theatr Mwldan. Bellowhead had no connection with the historical/cultural significance of the occasion. And, no, 9Bach would not appeal to the majority of Bellowhead supporters. As is often the case on these occasions the supporting artistes are to be tolerated until the main attraction appears. The atmosphere changed when Bellowhead began. 9Bach were there as a matter of tokenism given the colonial mind-set of the organisers as witnessed by the appalling write-up in the Theatr Mwldan brochure.

The gist of the dialogue I have been engaged in is the need for a genuine Welsh creative imagination to organise events and to be at the helm of the heritage project. That cannot be over-emphasised. Will you be prepared to use that phrase in your next posting? Will the Trustees be able to embrace the phrase at their AGM?

Just as I welcome your decision to refrain from repeating the phrase ‘closing down the project’ I am equally disturbed with the repetition of certain other phrases i.e. ‘relentless, bullying, defamatory attacks on Trustees . . . cowardly, personal, hurtful attacks . . . intimidate’ to describe my behaviour. I am not unduly perturbed. I suspect that I know the source of such comments. But you certainly do a disservice to your profession by repeating such phrases. I invite you to refrain from using such comments in any future postings. Or else produce the evidence to support such comments Dr Anthony.

I have trawled through all my previous postings in the press, on my face book account (I have no blog as such by the way) in my weekly column in the Pembrokeshire Herald and its associated publications and nowhere have I come across comments of mine that deserve to be described in such a manner. I have posted several columns dealing with the possibilities of the Welsh creative imagination (have you read them?) and, yes, I have been critical of the present regime. My writing, in judiciary parlance, would be considered ‘fair comment’. If they were as you have been instructed to describe my views then no doubt editors would have edited.

You must surely be aware that the Cadwgan Trustees are open to criticism as they are in the public arena engaged in a project on our behalf with vast amounts of public money at their disposal. They therefore have to be answerable. I look forward to hearing what their answers will be to the umpteen questions that will undoubtedly be asked at the AGM. Theirs is not a private project. It is a project in which we all have high hopes of utilising an unique aspect of our national heritage to enhance our own sense of nationhood to be shared with others within the vast global tourist industry. Sadly, it appears we are not on that path presently.

At the same time I have praised Cadwgan Trustees unreservedly for organising Noson Beirdd a Chantorion and Talwrn. Therein lies the future. I have little faith in the highlighting of the wedding facilities and the accommodation available. Why compete in an area where Aberteifi is already well served? The publicity for what Castell Aberteifi is really about appears to be woeful.

Did the Trustees have a presence at the National Eisteddfod in Meifod? Surely a must on considering the significance of 1176 and the current Eisteddfod institution? How will they explain their non-appearance on the Maes at the AGM? How will they explain their refusal to engage the Gorsedd for a grand opening ceremony? The online publication Daily Wales mentioned Hedydd Davies as the Trustee who infamously said at a Trust meeting that the Gorsedd would only make an appearance over her dead body. How will she justify such a statement at the AGM?

You will surely be aware Robert of Professor Peredur Lynch’s brave and enlightened lecture at the Eisteddfod disseminating the best Eisteddfod winning odes. He said he had no hesitancy in declaring Dic Jones’s awdl ‘Y Cynhaeaf’ as the best of them all. And as you and all the Cadwgan Trustees are surely aware the collected poems volume of Dic yr Hendre was edited by local bard and Radio Cymru Meuryn, Ceri Wyn Jones, whose own winning ode at Machynlleth was also highly rated. What an opportunity for a presentation of ‘Y Cynhaeaf’ at Castell Aberteifi. A Welsh creative imagination would be required of course. A quality which Ceri has in abundance. Other positive ideas would surely have emanated from the Eisteddfod.

Why haven’t Cardigan Trustees set up a close liaison with the National Eisteddfod years ago in order to develop the heritage aspect in tandem? A matter of common sense for most of us. How will such a question be answered at the AGM? Why haven’t Cadwgan Trustees set up a similar close liaison with similar other national bodies such as Theatr Genedlaethol, Croeso Cymru, Y Gler . . . ? How will they deal with such a question?

The current 150th anniversary of Y Wladfa has been celebrated in many ways – the result of forward planning by various agencies such as Theatr Cymru, S4C, National Eisteddfod. The result from the point of view of heritage has been illuminating. Why did Cadwgan Trustees not engage in a similar exercise albeit on a lesser scale? How will that question be answered if asked?
Let us put this whole issue in its context once and for all. Let us take Sandra Davies to task.

“I think it was decided at a trust meeting that we would not get involved with this group of bigots. Meeting them would only give them more fuel for the fire whatever is said. Let’s just leave them to run out of steam. We know that they have been mis-informed and we know who by. Let’s just carry on ignoring them as agreed. We have over two thousand ‘likes’ on Facebook. This tells its own story. What we should be concentrating on is getting the site completed and running as a professionals led cultural, tourist attraction. Don’t waste your precious time on trivia, just get us where we should have been on April 14th.”

What say you? Am I and any other critic a bigot? Are Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd bigots? Oh, the irony! A Trustee who purports to uphold the traditions of Arglwydd Rhys dismisses a group of concerned individuals who uphold his name as ‘bigots’. Will Sandra Davies stand up at the AGM and apologise for her remark? People who act on the basis of conviction do not run out of steam. Robert, we have over two thousand years of civilization to ‘like’. It is not a matter of trivia. By the way, by whom have we been misinformed? If you don’t know can you find out? What misinformation have we received? It could well be that Sandra Davies will have to pay dearly for her lack of insight. No doubt copies of her ill-advised internal e-mail will be brought to the AGM – so that no-one will be left in the dark – as will be the following attributed to Sue Lewis.

“I am becoming very concerned about the anti-English rants that are happening. To be frank they verge on extremism. Latest is the so called St George shield. Some facts. 1. It is the flag of St John knight templar, 2, It is a KID’S toy for god’s sake. 3. It is the same colour as the flag of St George. As is the Swiss flag. As is the Red Cross emblem. I would hope all trustees and staff answer these rather scary rants with FACTS.Our main source of income is ENGLISH tourists, we have crafts in the shop made by ENGLISH people who live locally, most of our castle products are sourced from ENGLISH companies, many loyal volunteers are ENGLISH as are some of your staff. If the castle is seen as a hotbed of anti-English factions we will attract hostile publicity from the English media. And our business plan will be dead in the water. If you want a policy that insists on only Welsh sourced products and Welsh speaking employees and volunteers throughout the project, then you need to return to the drawing board. Over the past 14 years that I have been involved with the project the main thrust was to restore a jewel of Welsh heritage and open it to the public. Censoring items because they are non-Welsh never came into it.”

I offer no comments apart from the fact that the contents of this internal e-mail is again sufficient evidence that its author is not a fit and proper person to be involved with such a high profile intrinsically Welsh heritage project. Other readers can judge for themselves. Will Sue Lewis stand up at the AGM and offer an apology?

No doubt you are aware of Mrs Lewis’s response when quizzed on the matter in the 10/7/15 issue of the Pembrokeshire Herald. She was very much in denial. She was quoted thus: “Someone is trying to discredit me. Until I get to the bottom of this libellous smear no comment. I have passed your e-mail on to our legal department”. I would venture the comment that Sue Lewis has discredited herself. By the way, were you ‘the legal department’ referred to? How did you react? Did you offer Sue Lewis the term ‘libellous smear’? I have not seen any further reference to the matter in the publication. I presume the publishers have not been asked to retract or publish an apology of any form.

I understand there has been some controversy regarding the appointment of Sue Lewis as Facilities Officer and indeed her previous involvement with the project. With your legal background perhaps you could enlighten us Robert. Was there a conflict of interest in the fact that Sue Lewis as editor of the Tivyside was also a Cadwgan Trustee? I am aware that the weekly was a supporter of the project and rightly so. But most editors would shy away from getting so closely involved as they would realise their impartiality as journalists would be compromised. And hence their readers would be at a disadvantage if any reporting appeared to be biased in any form or less than truthful. I am surprised that newspaper proprietors themselves do not impose a code of conduct that advises editors not to get involved in such a manner where they are seen to be directly influencing a project. If a project is a fairly harmonious affair perhaps such indulgence would be allowed but when matters get fractious, as in this case, would you not advise an editor to step down and concentrate on editing? What say you?

As to the appointment itself I am told that the post was only advertised in a cursory manner over the Xmas holiday period. In other words it was not widely advertised as one would expect in order to attract high calibre applicants. Perhaps there are fluent Welsh speakers from the area who have had experience of working on high profile heritage projects abroad who would be keen to apply. Such an appointment would surely be an asset?

Others have told me that Sue Lewis’s appointment was pre-determined once she had been made redundant as the editor of the Tivyside. The Tivyside is still published though. Was it partly because of this conflict of interest that her services were dispensed with? Hence from being a Trustee one week she became an employee the next week. Was she not in a brittle situation? Having lost her job and regular source of income and relinquishing her Trusteeship with no certainty of being appointed as Facilities Officer she was a brave gambler. However, another regular comment that has been brought to my ears and this is probably far more serious is that from the day of her appointment, part of her brief – in tandem with others – was to undermine the authority of Cris Tomos, the Director of the project. One must conclude that there could be some truth in the comment on reading those leaked e-mails. Is this just idle speculation or does it contain a grain of truth? What say ye? Perhaps light will be thrown on the matter at the AGM as surely there will be an explanation as to why Cris Tomos was sacked. The gathered members will deserve no less. It is what all those who have signed the petition to reinstate Cris deserve. How will the Trustees deal with the obvious groundswell of support for Cris Tomos at the AGM?

You refer to the ‘regime change’ which is a phrase that I coined. Does that mean that you are in favour of a ‘regime change’? Are you of the opinion that a ‘regime change’ is inevitable? Thank you for pointing out what is necessary to effect a regime change. But I do not agree with you. Presenting a business plan at the AGM is not necessary. What is required first of all is a distinct change of direction by whoever are appointed as Trustees upon which a business plan can then be imposed. One idea which I have already heard from a prominent business man would be to launch a £300 a head shares option in the project. If the Trustees had got their act together this could have been launched at the Meifod Eisteddfod and £300,000 raised within a week. But of course that would be dependent on announcing a clear vision regarding the development of the heritage potential and a programme of events. People will not invest in a project that appears to boast nothing more than a wedding venue and high class accommodation with only a passing glance at the historical and cultural facets. Please, out with the colonial attitude and in with an all-embracing Welsh attitude.

Will there be a declaration of such an intent prior to the AGM? Cyfeillion ap Rhys have little appetite for attending the AGM in order to partake in bickering about minutiae and scoring points.
They would much prefer discussing the future based on an unified vision under the direction of a creative Welsh imagination. Lest there be any doubt as to what I mean by a colonial attitude let me quote the gist of the conversation I had with Tony Tucker, who, unbeknown to me at the time, is the husband of Jann who has been at the helm of the Cadwgan Trusteeship for some time. He had just assiduously studied a copy of Rhys ap Gruffudd’s proclamation outside Castell Aberteifi prior to the Bellowhead concert.

“It’s a pity there is such gross negativity in the proclamation . . .”
“I beg to disagree, much praise is given to the Noson Beirdd a Chantorion and Talwrn of which more similar events should be organised surely.
“No, no, everything written here seems to be negative. No mention of all the hard work that has gone on here . . .
“Well, many people are disappointed the Gorsedd were not brought along for the opening ceremony.
“The Gorsedd,” said with a derisory laugh, “ and do you know how much they charged?
“Yes, £10,000. Cheap at the price on considering the world wide publicity to draw in tourists if handled properly.
“And where would we get that money from?”, with a further derisory laugh.
“Obviously, the £12m received in Heritage Lottery Funds etc.
“No, no, all that money was for the building project. The Gorsedd really”, he guffaws. “Why didn’t you raise the money yourself?
“But the site is important as the home of the Eisteddfod. It is part of our heritage. It is the unique selling point.
“Some people say so. It appears to be only hearsay. No clear evidence. Anyway you can’t make money out of heritage. Do you know what was the initial intention of this project? To develop a pile of rubble into an economic success”.
I then decided to move aside as it was obvious Mr Tony Tucker held an entrenched colonial attitude.

Then again the AGM might be hardly quorate unless the Cadwgan Trustees announce a declaration of intent before hand.

Another possibility I am told is that Cyngor Sir Ceredigion, as the leaseholders, might well pull the carpet from under the current Board of Trustees sooner rather than later, as they would be seen as a huge embarrassment if the National Eisteddfod is to be held in the vicinity in 2020. Aberteifi of course would be the obvious choice.

The mind boggles on thinking what the present coterie of Trustees would arrange ; cut-price weddings for Eisteddfodwyr during the week, cut-price accommodation for the Archdruid and his cohorts with St George’s Cross souvenirs to take away with them and a Benjamin Zephaniah concert on the concluding evening. Benjamin by then will have been robed and rightly so. How many dead bodies would the Gorsedd members have to step over to get to their accommodation?

Is there any truth in the rumour that Tina Turner is being lined up next year in order to ensure a ‘sold out concert’ irrespective of any historical and cultural association she might have with Castell Aberteifi?

You mention September 10 as the date of the AGM. Has this been verified? I am slightly perturbed with the veracity of some of your comments. Initially, as Charity Solicitor, you mentioned the AGM would be held in October, then you posted you would inform us when the date would be known and later you mentioned September 10. All within a matter of hours. Any particular reason you were unable to mention the date in your initial posting?

Indeed my concern with the veracity of your postings is further challenged by the confession of your own inaccuracy re your relationship with the Trustees. Are you acting on their behalf? I take it for granted that you are their latest apologist. Can you tell me therefore why and how they approached you? Who approached you and what was your given brief? Was this based on a unilateral decision at a trust meeting? Do I understand that you were prepared to take up the cudgels to confront Jac O’North/Royston Jones but not Hefin Wyn? I applaud you for not wishing to pursue me on behalf of Cadwgan Trustees. You would surely soon realise that their vitriolic comments about me would be baseless and no more than fair comments and justified criticism.

However you mention that other solicitors should be employed to pursue me. I have yet to receive a letter. Is that likely? What would be the gist of the letter? Am I that important? Will I be referred to as a ‘bigot’? I appreciate that you have not used such a word. Has Sandra Davies been disciplined for her ill-advised outburst? Yet it seems you have decided to pursue me nevertheless, using some of the phraseology borrowed from the Trustees no doubt, and which I have asked you to refrain from using as it is not conducive to a dialogue to introduce a creative Welsh imagination. Are you therefore doing the bidding of the Trustees as a freelance agent? Or are you reporting back to them? What are the motives? Is it the last throw of the dice before the AGM? Panic stations? Is there a method in their madness?

I am slightly confused because ‘about three weeks ago’ as well an invitation was received via Equinox to a hurriedly arranged meeting where only two Trustees would be present. If you are acting on behalf of the Trustees you obviously are aware of such a development and are in possession of the reply given. Am I due to receive a solicitors letter as well?

The background to the invitation is interesting. On a Monday – July 20th – I was interviewed by Non Tudur from Golwg magazine. I told her that Cadwgan Trustees were not receptive to any suggestions of a meeting and that had been so for a good three months. When the article was published at the end of the week the journalist emphasised that she had spoken to a Cadwgan source on the Tuesday who said they were prepared to arrange a meeting. I presume the ‘source’ then waited until the issue was published in the hope that the reference would not appear in the article and nothing would have to be done. Allow them to run out of steam.

On realising the promise had been published a telephone call was received from the managing director of Equinox on Friday afternoon on his mobile from I believe Leeds. An e-mail was received the following day confirming the intended arrangements. A reply was sent. I sensed the offer was no more than a public relations exercise of appeasement with no real intention of engaging in a meaningful dialogue. Can you enlighten? Though I must add further correspondence has now been received which is receiving attention.

Of course there is a sensible middle way. That was made clear by Cris Tomos – a dialogue – which was then sabotaged by the Trustees. We have made it known that a power point presentation has been prepared to discuss the heritage angle and the way ahead. There is only five years before the National Eisteddfod visits Aberteifi in 2020. Not much time for the Cadwgan Trustees to get their house in order.

I await your response.

Dr Robert Anthony

Dear Hefin Wyn

I was pleased to receive your posting and thank you for the courteous language in which it’s couched. I shall answer your points as best and as fully as I can although you should understand that there are (genuinely) some matters that I can’t comment on because I don’t know, or because of professional confidentiality.

1. I think that I have to object mildly to the comment that I have ‘divulged’ my identity: look at this blog and you’ll see that the vast majority of posters (?) are anonymous. I had no idea of Jac’s identity. I’m not normally a blogger and thought that this was the convention.

2. I’m slightly flattered that I’m ‘known’ but can’t think why I should be. Who outed me?

3. Many of my ‘misguided’ comments must be concerned either with the law (on which Jac appears to be rather ignorant) or the unfair treatment of the Cadwgan trustees. As I’ve been a solicitor for more than 40 years, I think that I know my trade. How else have I strayed off the track?

4. I don’t entirely disagree with your comments on the first concert but (my personal opinion) I doubt very much that it would’ve sold out if the line-up had consisted entirely of Welsh acts. Your response will be, I anticipate, that commercial considerations shouldn’t enter into it but I say that this is unrealistic when the project must make a surplus and most of the Welsh population do not speak the language. We won’t agree on this. I’m afraid that I can’t comment on anything else (except that someone told me that she didn’t enjoy 9Bach!) because I just don’t know, and I didn’t go to the concert. Don’t forget that the facilities at the Castle are available for hire so no reason why Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd shouldn’t promote concerts. I promise to go to the first one.

5. Assuming, for one moment, that the trustees are as bad as you claim, how do you think, in legal and practical terms, you are going to effect ‘regime change’ and ‘bring Castell Aberteifi to its full heritage potential’, if you and members of CR can’t even be bothered to join Cadwgan as members and attend the AGMs? I can assure you that it will take more than ‘vision’ and you’d better start galvanising your rich businessmen and sort out a viable business plan with which to wow the Castle funders, the freeholder Ceredigion County Council, and the Charity Commission. You might as well forget it otherwise.

6. A meeting between you and the trustees might well be desirable (I have no influence) in normal circumstances but it would obviously have to be on the strict condition that the appalling (yes, my opinion), bullying, defamatory attacks on the trustees cease. Your attempts to intimidate them out of office just aren’t right, fair or democratic. Can’t you see that these tactics are entirely counter-productive to your desire for change? None of the bodies mentioned in 5 above will be impressed with your behaviour, that’s for sure. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘lesser’ trustees: they all have the same status.

7. You ask how I became involved. Some of this is outlined in my post to Dai above. My main interest in not legal but historical: I have a master’s in archaeology (trustee of DAT) and my PhD is in urban history, my thesis being the historical development of Swansea (so I know a little bit about Welsh castles and towns). I’m not meaning to brag but wish to answer your question fully. As a solicitor for Ceredigion CC I worked between 2009 and 2012 on the Castle project and prepared most of the legal documentation. I had known some of the trustees from about 2000 and when I (semi-) retired from the Council the trustees asked me to revise their governing document (I frequently do this work for other charities) following which I’ve given advice from time to time. No, not nepotism: as with all charities for which I work, I’m not paid a penny. The Trust mainly employs its own ‘official’ solicitors for advice including on employment law.

8. Too right my posts on Jac’s blog were ‘less than judicious’! I could see that Jac was hardly ever challenged on his aggressive and inaccurate postings and I took a deliberate decision to confront him.

9. In fact, the comment that the trustees were unaware that I was ‘defending’ them is not entirely accurate. About 3 weeks ago I was asked to write to you to concerning your personal, hurtful attacks. My response was that, as I was now semi-retired, I couldn’t take this on and that they should employ their own solicitors. But I also suggested that they meet you. At that time I had no knowledge whatsoever of your and Jac’s blogs – but now I do! The trustees are aware that I’m engaged with Jac. Incidentally, it’s a bit rich that you take such exception to the threat to ‘undermine and besmirch’ Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd! Motes and planks come to mind.

10. I’ve been as open and honest as I can, Hefin, and hope that you’ll be able to respond constructively in kind (and not make me another ‘target’ in your blog). There must be a sensible middle way.

Dr Robert Anthony

Thank you for your latest, Jac. I think that I’ve said all I need say and shall now leave you in peace. I’m pleased to see Hefin Wyn’s post and shall respond to him this weekend.

Dr Robert Anthony

Sorry, Jac but I’ve found someone else….

Hefin Wyn

Annwyl Robert Anthony,

Now that you have divulged your true identity, and that you are whom I suspected you were, I will respond to some of your misguided comments, particularly the assumption that I am orchestrating a campaign to close down Castell Aberteifi. Nothing could be further from the truth Robert. It is my wish that Castell Aberteifi becomes a national treasure based on the rich heritage to be found within its walls. Surely, the Eisteddfod connection is an unique selling point to attract visitors from all over the world?

But first of all, to allay those comments regarding my alleged negativity, let me praise Ymddiriedolwyr Cadwgan. I have nothing but praise for the Noson Beirdd a Chantorion and the Talwrn held on the castle grounds. It was a mesmerising experience. It made me feel proud of my heritage. My cup overfloweth. I saw a glimpse of what is possible on harnessing the vitality of our culture to attract tourists and proudly present what is our own to all and sundry. We never have to apologise for our means of cultural expression. Melys moes mwy.

But I will not be carried away. I am aware of the englyn composed by one of the town’s foremost bards.

Yn y lle hwn mae ein llys, ac o’i weld
mewn gwisg mor drwsiadus
awn i fragian yn fregus
mor Gymraeg yw muriau Rhys

But, yes, I have been critical, and I continue to be, because I am orchestrating a campaign to establish a creative Welsh imagination within the coterie of trustees.

Yes, I was tamping – as you would say in the Valleys – when I received my copy of the Theatr Mwldan brochure at the end of April advertising the ‘official Cardigan Castle opening concert’ with English folk group Bellowhead as headliners. I instantly sent off a short letter to the Tivyside calling upon Cadwgan Trustees to stand down en bloc immediately. Lo and behold there was another letter along the same lines. I was not the only one who felt aggrieved – for obvious reasons that need not be repeated. Indeed, both Dr Richard Crawford and I seemed to be representing a groundswell of opinion.

When I approached my good friend Cris Tomos, Director of the Castle at the time, for an explanation, he could do no more than shrug his shoulders. It soon became apparent that there was a strong conflict of ideas within the Cadwgan employees. There was no agreed vision.

I was further incensed on being told that the Trustees had turned down the Gorsedd’s offer to be present at an opening ceremony. The comment attributed to one of the Trustees that the ‘Gorsedd will come to Cardigan over my dead body’, which has been verified by several who were present at the time, has now become part of Cardigan folklore.

I was further dismayed by the contents of a letter written by the esteemed Father James Cunanne, acting as a Cadwgan apologist, who had been fed with incorrect information regarding the Gorsedd debacle. A fee of a mere £10,000 (not £20,000) – 0.083% of the £12m available – had been asked for. Don’t you agree Robert, that if handled correctly, it would have proven to be a bonanza as far as worldwide publicity was concerned and the ensuing tourist trade. It was a matter of privilege. Not to invite the Gorsedd was surely a blunder of mammoth proportions.

It is good to see that Father Cunanne has now repositioned himself and recently published a letter in the Tivyside drawing attention to the defects of archaeological work at the castle.

I digress. Do you not agree Robert that the grand opening concert should be on the theme of ‘Yma o Hyd’ with Dafydd Iwan as the closing artist? Far more relevant than Bellowhead on this occasion surely despite their excellent musicianship? As it turned out the Bellowhead concert was nothing more than a Bellowhead concert. The high point of the evening was the soaring voice of Lisa Jên of 9Bach beneath the blue evening sky and the brave intrusion by Vicky Moller to extoll the virtues of the indefatigable Cris Tomos, sadly the former Director by now. ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ was not sung as would have been expected on such a celebratory event. Is it the Trustees intention to extinguish our national anthem?

Now, what if Max Boyce, Candellas, Geraint Jarman, Bryn Fôn, Super Furry Animals, Cerys Mathews, Sunami, Calan or Only Men Aloud had lined up with 9Bach for the occasion? Am noson o ddathlu wedyn. Castell Aberteifi meant nothing to the majority of the punters as I witnessed on distributing the first Rhys ap Gruffudd proclamation since his death. It was no more than the venue of a Bellowhead gig. Doedd dim calon yn perthyn i’r noson.

Nevertheless, I was glad that I was there if only for the conversation I had with Tony Tucker husband of Jann, Cadwgan Trust chairman. His ridiculing of the Eisteddfod convinced me that I was dealing with a colonialist attitude and that such an attitude has permeated the mind-set of the Trustees. In that instant I realised a regime change is required before a thoroughly Welsh creative imagination can be installed to bring Castell Aberteifi to its full heritage potential. Do you agree?

There does seem to be a gradual realization by now that we have been woefully let down by the lack of heritage emphasis at Castell Aberteifi. A visit to the Magna Carta exhibition at the British Library in London recently brought the matter home within a few seconds of browsing. There seems to be a lack of ambition and a realization of the potential to develop a truly national treasure at Aberteifi. No clear vision apart from ensuring a footfall by any means. The Magna Carta exhibition was full of English creative imagination. No cheap souvenirs on sale. Even the well-produced book cost £25 (now reduced to £15) by acknowledged experts. No mention of souvenirs on Castell Aberteifi’s website. Cadwgan Trustees and Sue Lewis appear to be devoid of a Welsh creative imagination. They do not even seek a link with the National Eisteddfod so that the heritage aspect can be developed in tandem. Other national institutions could be mentioned as well.

You will be aware of course that myself and tens of other Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd have been in touch with Cadwgan, individual Trustees and Equinox on numerous occasions since the end of April seeking information, answers and indeed a meeting in order to convey our constructive viewpoint. Our e-mails and enquiries were not even acknowledged until I received an e-mail on Saturday July 25. An invitation was received to meet two of the lesser Trustees for an hour on the Monday. A response was given indicating a meeting would be welcomed but not at such a short notice. No further correspondence has been received to date.

Why no correspondence during the previous three months? Well you know the answer Robert. Sandra Davies in that by now infamous leaked internal e-mail described us as ‘bigots’ and insisted no meeting should be arranged despite Cris Tomos’s perfectly valid suggestion that a meeting should be arranged. Cris obviously saw us as an interested third party. Theoretically Sandra was subservient to Cris in the employment hierarchy. But the tone of her e-mail as was the other infamous e-mail under the authorship of Sue Lewis did not give that impression.

Sandra Davies’s advice, as if she was a public relations expert, was to let the ‘bigots run out of steam’. As a solicitor closely involved with the Trustees do you condone such behaviour? Has Sandra Davies been disciplined?

What Sandra and others of her ilk do not realise is that people who act on the basis of conviction never run out of steam. The conviction will only cease with the breathing of the last breath.
Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd had arranged to give an illustrated presentation of an alternative scenario of how to manage the heritage wealth of Castell Aberteifi to all the Trustees. Now, what can be more positive than that? The offer is still there.

Remember that Rhys ap Gruffudd as Lord of the Deheubarth was treated as an equal by Norman and English contemporaries. He was never summoned to a meeting at short notice. It was a matter of negotiation. The same is still true today.

By the way how did you become involved with the Cadwgan Trustees? Who invited you to act on their behalf and offer your advice? And as a lawyer what is your take surrounding the alleged circumstances of the appointment of Sue Lewis? Should not the holder of the post of Facilities Officer – whatever that means – in this instance be fully bilingual and in tandem with the heritage expectations of the project? The beauty of appointing a Welsh speaking person is that invariably that person can speak English as well. The converse is not true.

Why was Cris Tomos’s services dispensed with? We deserve an explanation particularly as Cris is highly regarded on the basis of his involvment with umpteen community projects during his career and no doubt he will be again.

You state that you have ‘great concern over the survival of Welsh culture’. Could you bring some of that concern to bear upon Cadwgan Trustees?

You ask whether we have “economically viable contingency plans in place . . . detailed, fully costed, fully funded business plan”. No, we do not have a coveted business plan in place. But what we do have is a vision to be shared which requires faith, conviction and belief to be accomplished. It is based on a creative Welsh imagination.

But do you now what? We know several businessmen who would share such a vision and would welcome the challenges of developing Castell Aberteifi as a national treasure. Beth amdani?

By the way thank you for mentioning September 10 as the date of the annual general meeting. My diary tells me I have another engagement that evening which means that even if invited I would not be able to be present. I do not particularly seek the post of a Trustee but I would be available in an advisory capacity to deal with matters cultural and heritage – as would many others.

I await your response. Many of your previous postings contained comments and references to me that were less than judicious. That does not bother me. I hope you will accept the above comments and criticisms in good faith.

By the way, you mention that you correspond on behalf of the Trustees but without their knowledge. Isn’t that rather strange? It seems others have done so recently as well in an effort to undermine and besmurch Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd and others. It won’t work. Why do they not confront their critics themselves? Why hasn’t the Cardiff based company, Equinox, been allowed to do what they have been contracted to do which is to deal with issues of public relations? If a meeting had been held at Cris Tomos’s suggestion it might well be that Jac O’North aka Royston Jones would not have had material to write any of his recent revealing and insightful blogs. Neither would Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd have become ‘keyboard warriors’ as they have been rightfully described by Cerian Jones.

To constantly cite the hard work of volunteers and trustees over the years is no defence any more on considering the future of the whole project appears to be in jeopardy and the path taken, in many people’s views, appears to be the wrong one.

Dr Robert Anthony

Thank you Mr Jones: I appreciate knowing your real name (it wasn’t common knowledge to me). I used a pseudonym at the outset because this is the convention in your blog (or ‘anonymous’). Have you requested everybody else’s real name? Or is it because I’ve been critising you? I quickly provided my real name because I’ve nothing to hide. ‘New-found and self-serving transparency’? How can you possibly know that about me? This is yet another example of your cavalier attitude to the truth. And, yet again, it’s verging on defamation.

I’m sorry it’s necessary to explain this to you. ‘Hands in the till’ is a figure of speech or metaphor. It’s not meant to be taken literally. A major theme of your blog is that the trustees are corrupt, feathering their nests, gaining advantage from their trust. Those are very serious allegations (whether they come from you or not) warranting an apology from you.

I’m certainly not going to apologise – it’s incredible that you think that it’s warranted! Sue me instead!

I was going to conclude on a conciliatory note but as you’re going to proscribe this post (seems rather cowardly) there seems to be little point. I will, however, be saving this thread.

Dr Robert Anthony

Utterly pathetic.

I’m doing this on behalf of the trustees but not at their behest: they know nothing of it. I don’t even know who your ‘Gang of Four’ are.

Quite a few of my questions left unanswered, Jac.

I’m not apologising to you for anything: sue me if you dare.

In the interests of transparency, I’ve signed my name below (which is more than you do).

The AGM will be on Thursday,10 September at 6pm at the Castle.

Charity solicitor


I’ve already told you that the AGM will be advertised fully in accordance with the law and the Trust’s Articles of Association. I’ve also already told you that I will notify you of the date personally via this blog.

Yes, I make some serious allegations but your and Hefin Wyn’s (and those of a few of your respective blogging friends) are much more serious. I’d love you to sue me, incidentally….

Yes, I am who I say I am – and more since I’ve dealt with the legal aspects of procurement and tendering for some years and, for once, you are correct in saying that very strict rules apply ie now the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (see online). This is a very specialist area of the law and I’m curious to know the nature of your ‘enquiries’ on the letting of contracts in respect of the Castle, and how you were able to come to the conclusion that these were not conducted in accordance with the Regulations. Did you take legal advice, perhaps? You are, no doubt, aware that disappointed tenderers have a right of challenge if there appears to be any suggestion of breach of contract procedures.

I’m afraid that you show your ignorance by suggesting that there’s something sinister about the wording of the objects clause of the Trust. Again, I have long experience (unpaid) with buildings preservation trusts and their governance and can assure you that this particular clause is based on the model Charity Commission wording. An objects clause often does, but need not, make reference to a specific project, but otherwise is meant to be flexible enough to enable the Trust to take on other projects, if it so chooses. From memory, the Cardigan Castle Trust was the first to be set up to deal with the restoration of the coloured cottages, and this Trust, and not Cadwgan, will be the vehicle for any further projects that come along. Why on earth do you think that this is this a problem?

I have noted the further potentially defamatory remark concerning Jann Tucker.

I was highly amused by your attempt to disinherit me because of a typo! Full details of my pedigree in the south Wales valleys, going back more than 200 years, is available to all on request.

I should’ve mentioned in my last posting that there’s one more level of control over the Trust. The freeholder of the Castle is Ceredigion County Council and the Trust has a 125 year lease. As with all leases, there are a number of conditions and restrictions which the Trust must observe or the lease could be forfeited. You can obtain a copy of this document from the Land Registry.

Finally, I repeat: if you and HW achieve your aim of bringing down the project you’d better have to hand a detailed, fully costed, fully funded business plan if you think that you will have the remotest chance of taking over or even contributing in a meaningful fashion. ‘Faith’ won’t be enough, I’m afraid.


Charity Solicitor not sure why you think of car parking. I was referring to the initial project (were you there?) when many people put a lot off effort into getting the castle project going. This was done on the understanding that it would celebrate Welsh culture, as outlined in the aims of the Cadwgan Trust, but also understanding sustainability. Many who were there have now dropped any involvement due to the direction it has taken. Look at the turnover of trustees, staff and volunteers and their comments. Whilst the current trustees did put in a lot of work they also at times deliberately undermined the efforts of many. Then there was the funding, now there is none and a different set of skills is required to make a going concern. Editing a 2000 circulation newspaper does not make an expert in heritage tourism nor vice versa (the expert was chased out after 4 months). Look at the overall picture and the same is always shown – ignore the economic heritage value of such a site and continue with the obsession of a glorified bed and breakfast – for the rich of course.

Charity solicitor

Dai, I’m sorry if I misunderstood your last posting. It wasn’t deliberate, I assure you.

Yes, I attended the first meeting upstairs at the Black Lion to discuss the setting up of what became the Cardigan BPT in, I think, 2000 when the late, lamented, Trevor Griffiths was present. I wasn’t really involved after that until about 2009 when I had joined Ceredigion CC as a solicitor. I then was responsible for drafting most of the rather voluminous legal documentation for the Castle (which is why I appear to know so much about that aspect!). Whilst I have since attended the occasional meeting to give legal advice, I haven’t had anything to do with the running of the Castle.

I can’t really comment on most of what you say because I really don’t have the inside story but I do agree wholeheartedly that it would be ridiculous if Welsh culture and language were not properly represented – although I hope you appreciate that if the project is to survive there really does has to be a money-making aspect. I know many feel that this is anathema, or at least irrelevant, to the portrayal of Welsh culture and history, but the 7 funding bodies (and Ceredigion County Council) inevitably have a substantial say. I don’t believe for one moment that there has been a deliberate attempt by the trustees to concentrate on the money-making aspect to the detriment of Welsh culture but obviously there must be a balance and perhaps this should be adjusted.

What I really object to on this Blog, and that of Hefin Wyn, is the negativity, and the relentless, bullying, cowardly personal attacks on the trustees, most of whom are Welsh speaking and all of whom are flesh and blood and have done their best over many years to bring this project to fruition. I wonder if Jac or Hefin Wyn could have done this.

Charity solicitor

I’m sorry, Jac, that you are unable to resist a snide remark on publicity for Cadwgan’s AGM but I suppose it’s habit. The AGM will take place in October and I promise to let you have a date when I know it (and no, this is not an attempt to keep information back). In accordance with the law, copies of the AGM notice, together with reports and accounts must be sent to every member of Cadwgan (why don’t you join and contribute?) and the event advertised in the Tivy Side.

You and your friends are, of course, welcome to attend provided you recognise that an AGM is a democratic process and not an occasion for more defamation of trustees (believe me, many of the comments in your blog are defamatory in law).

A (very) brief comment on the law relating to charities. Charitable companies are strictly regulated under not only the Charities Act 2011 but also the Companies Act 2006. These bodies have to be entirely transparent (documentation may be obtained by anyone online from the Charity Commission and Companies House) and all charities (except the smallest) have to have their accounts independently audited (Cadwgan’s auditor will attend the AGM and answer questions). It is, therefore, entirely ludicrous to claim, as you and your friends often do, that the trustees have their hands in the till. Additionally, your claim that the trustees can, in some way, hive off parts of the Castle for their own benefit is even more ludicrous. The site, together with restricted funds (unrestricted funds are used for salaries and running costs etc – but not paying trustees) are permanent endowment and, as such, subject to very strictly control by the Charity Commissioners. In addition to statutory controls, Cadwgan’s operations are very strictly monitored by the funders of the project who (believe me) want to know how every penny is spent.

Please try to take some time to look at the statutes mentioned above (although, I’m sorry to say, I suspect that you will be tempted wilfully to misconstrue them, as you did with the Land Registry documents).

Forgive me, Dai, but I don’t altogether understand your comment unless it’s something to do with car parking charges. I assure you, however, that as a Welshman (and so not part of the Great English Conspiracy to Oppress), I have great concern over the survival of Welsh culture and how the economy and fabric of our towns may be improved. I have to say (and this a subjective view, of course) that Cardigan seems in better nick now than 15 years ago.

I appreciate that I’m probably whistling in the wind, Jac, but wouldn’t it be more sensible if you and your friends (including, presumably, Hefin Wynn) called a truce and discussed with the ‘other side’ a more constructive method of proceeding? What will happen if you and HW succeed in your ostensible campaign to close the project down? Do you have economically viable contingency plans in place? Or will the Castle settle into yet another phase of decay and dilapidation?

I called at the Castle this morning and it was full of visitors.

Charity solicitor

I trust that Jac and his friends have put their names forward as trustees at the forthcoming AGM? If not, why not? Where would the Castle be if those who are now subject to such unjust and vicious comment had not worked so hard over 15 years to rescue it? Where was Jac 15 years ago, I wonder?


I wa there 15 years ago and so was most of the town. No longer there now nor is most of the town. The latter is what you should worry about


Are we able to see the Financial Accounts of the incommeing and outgoings of the castle if so where are they, if not why not..

CA Jones

Blydi Cardis always bigitian.. 😉


Cardigan Castle – Ready to Fall…… why has this turned into a blog about a business/person who has nothing to do with the Castle?
Jac – this would be a more credible blog if you kept to facts!! Oh well, it must be heart warming for you to have your little group of ‘fans’.


Having kind of looked at comments to this article all I can think is… the castle etc is now finished and along the way there has been casualties. What it has done is made cardigan interesting and it will surely be a work in progress as they need to make it a going concern. So for now it may be used to build the coffers but I’m sure that when it gets going the culture and heritage of cardigan will become apparent. As for bad mouthing sue lewis well she has put herself out there to promote cardigan etc. In such a clickey political area as cardigan you can never satisfy every person. Give them a chance to get the show on the road …. I am disgusted at comments from forest if it is them… as the saying goes .. silence speaks volumes and rising to the bait does nothing but fuel the fire.

Previous bright welsh young person

Don’t be supprised by Fforest CJ. This is how the gentry speaks to the locals. The man is a fool who lacks respect for his workers to ever show true professionalism.


Do you think that was the real Fforest posting up there? You probably have a better idea than any of us, I had it down as some idiot after the second reply thinking surely he couldn’t be that much of a coc oen. If it is then I blame his mother for not slapping his arse more often when he was a kid. God help us if that guy is for real!


Brychan No1 here…

I am of the opinion that the business concept of a quality hotel and quality restaurant in towns such as Aberteifi to be sound and desirable. The challenge for tourism in Wales is not Doris from Dudley but Takishi from Tokyo. Increase the quality and spend. It should not however, be on the basis of subverting the original purpose of public funding for a local amenity. Not only is this damaging to native language and culture, it’s also diverting cash for personal greed and puts other quality local establishments at a competitive disadvantage who have to fund their enterprise via normal capitalisation.


Whilst sidelines such as ‘wedding and events’ can augment the cash flow of a pre-existing quality hotel business during their shoulder periods it is not a viable stand-alone business venture. An example of when it would is the weddings and events that take place at Castell Coch on the outskirts of Cardiff, but in this instance it operates as a brokerage for a catchment population of over a million. The sub-contracting of catering and associated employment to small businesses who’s staff are fully employed throughout the year.

Having desperate youngsters sat at home on benefits to be on call for a minimum wage on a zero hour contract in Aberteifi is not really creating wealth for the local economy. As for the comments about ‘vibrant’. This cannot be judged on a hot sunny July weekend. The real test is how vibrant a town is on a wet Wednesday in December.


As for the comments about creating the riverbank. The creator of the riverbank was the last ice age. It’s been there since then. To claim a property developer arrived from England to ‘create it’ is nonsense. A cycle path and some wooden benches is good but this should really be measured in year-round income into the local economy.

As for Pizza Tipi. There are other good food establishments in the town. One set up by another type of immigrant. The fare is slightly more spicey and they invested their cash and talents from distant Lahore. These fine gentlemen do not have the arrogance to claim to ‘rescue’ the locals, or to have ‘created’ an existing river amenity. They also don’t threaten Welsh people with product dusted with excrement.


I have a business idea for Aberteifi based on high paid jobs throughout the year. A wildlife estate, like many in prosperous Scotland. Some salmon fishing, game shooting and perhaps some deer stalking. Needs some moorland, woods and stocked wetland. No public subsidy. A self financing top notch hotel in the grounds. I think there’s an excellent site at Cilgarren. Evict the sponging good lifers. Leave the towns’ castle alone.

As for weddings inside the walls of a castle, I suggest Caernarfon. They’ve been dishing out fake tiaras there for decades.


As somebody who was brought up in the area, I can assure Barri D, that Cardigan is a shadow of it’s former self. Really…..”Its never felt so vibarant” LOL


A lot of truth being spoken here and sadly we have become a nation without a backbone and if you ask me now is the time to do something about it.

We do rely reasonably heavily on tourism and yes a lot of that money is shoved back into England, this is because of colonisation rather than your common day tourists. In my village the 3 campsites are run by local natives but another two that specialise in static caravans are English owned. So the problem to me is people buying houses here and setting up businesses, or even just setting up a business. The English and even the Scotts have always been more entrepreneurial that us Welsh. They seem to be willing to put their money where their mouths are (no shortage of either!) whereas we aren’t and let the opportunities pass us by then whine at the injustice of it.

Where I work, and there isn’t much choice up here these days, the owner is English, he gets Grants from within Wales, but employs significantly more Poles than Locals, in fact he encourages the Polish to bring their family members to live here to work for him whilst Welsh people get their CVs thrown in the bin as a matter of course. I don’t imagine for one minute that this is unique in Wales but it’s plain wrong much like Jac’s observations about shit loads of Welsh cash being ploughed into what seems like a venture that uses Wales’ deepest heritage to make money for a few unscrupulous types who see fit to take advantage.

There are so many English here now it seems like we will never be able to take control of our own country.

Question for Big Gee (or anyone who cares to offer an answer), I’m with you all the way but how do you propose we make this situation better?

Big Gee

And here’s my answer for what it’s worth Colin.

I have been trying for decades by persuation & moral argument to make the nation wake up – as have MANY others – Jac especially included. Unfortunately, because we have dealt in the past with colonisers who do not listen, even to the most persuasive and morally sound arguments regarding the injustices, add to that the apathy displayed by our fellow countrymen (which are becoming increasingly diluted by the colonisers and increasingly fall foul of the ‘colonisers’ racist propaganda), I have to conclude that bringing change through debate is futile, unless you have something far more potent in reserve in your arsenal. It is an exercise in banging your head against a brick wall. Much to my chagrin, I have all but given up in latter years and no longer have the energy or youth on my side to persue it further.

There are a few avenues:

1. Grow a backbone. Forget it. Backbones don’t grow very fast overnight and our victor/ vanquished status has dissolved what little backbone we had to begin with.

2. Political solution? Forget it, we don’t have a National party that champions our cause or understands the situation. I was a vice president of Plaid Cymru up until the early part of this century. I got hounded out because I dared to say – in my position at the time – that Cymru was becoming a dumping ground for oddballs, social misfits & society drop-outs from England – with devastating results to follow.

I then became a founder member of Cymuned – whilst there was still a spark of fire in the bellies of a few patriots – we failed, primarily because Plaid Cymru shat a brick and went into panic mode for fear that we would turn into a competing ‘Nationalist’ party against them. I then joined the Independent Wales Party – it never got off the ground properly and got ripped to ribbons by a few meglomaniacs within it and fierce opposition from all quarters outside it. I then became involved with Llais Ceredigion and with Emyr Hywel, Simon Brooks and others like Felix Aubel under the Cymuned banner we got a mayoral referendum for Ceredigion. Plaid Cymru stabbed us in the back and jumped into bed with the other political parties, including the Independants on Ceredigion County Council in order to defeat us. So getting the job done through political means with the rules set by the Westminster parties and supported by the likes of Plaid Cymru is a non starter.

3. Civil disobedience? Sounds good and has worked in other historical settings – like India & South Africa. Forget it. To get civil disonedience to work requires large numbers withinn the population to take part. We don’t have that luxury in Cymru.

4. Direct action? It’s not politically correct at the moment to mention such actions. You get tagged as being a terrorist and land up in jail without being charged for mentioning it in 2015. It also gives the pacifist sons of the manse in Plaid’s ranks palpitations and high blood pressure – we all know what happened to poor old Dr. Phil Williams (although in fairness he wasn’t a son of the manse) when he ratcheted his BP up too high!

However of all the options it’s the only one left that could change matters. Meibion Glyndŵr stopped a lot of wrong from carrying on in it’s tracks – like buying second home holiday cottages in our country.

When you whip a dog it cowers, whip it some more and it’ll start snarling, carry on whipping and you get bitten. Our problem has been that we have not had it hard enough for a period in our history. We’ve had the water drip torture for centuries. Ireland and Scotland got a taste of the hot poker torture treatment – it has a totally fifferent reaction. They have both faught back – especially Ireland. Scotland has cleverly managed to bring a real threat to England in the form of an independence referendum. It’s blown the wax out of the ears of the English political establishment. Suddenly they can hear again and are starting to respond. I have no need to write down what the Irish did to get the wax out. Here in Cymru? Well judge for yourself, but sure as God made little green apples ‘mother’ England ain’t going to listen unless you have something more than a verbal pea shooter to threaten it, or it’s economy with.


I 100%% agree with you!

The trigger for the last nationwide ill feeling was Capel Celyn (50 years ago this October since the dams commissioning), an event that allowed the likes of Cayo and Denis Coslett to become the public faces (I wont say heroes) of what could have been a bigger movement that what it was. With the help of MAC’s displays those events could have snowballed into something that might have made the difference. Since those days the English have learnt not to dump on us big time but instead to do it bit by bit. A wind farm here and a power station there, OK so a few locals get upset but it’s only a few locals, the rest of Wales doesn’t give a flyer so the rot continues.

And yes those glorious days of the 80’s and early 90’s, they did make a difference. Here in my village on Sir Fon it was very noticeable, those that stuck it out had alarms fitted by companies from England because they didn’t trust the locals in case they were connected with Meibion Glyndwr. I was in the fire service at the time, our station and others that we talked to regularly enough to raise the subject were all in agreement that if we were called to an event of that nature we wouldn’t put our backs into the job unless there was a risk to life, such was the level of sympathy/support here. Sadly since then it has all been forgotten about and my village has changed beyond all belief, the amount of development work is alarming, houses appearing everywhere, in peoples back gardens, anything for the English to make a profit. On the sea front, a house is being built so big I have seen many many smaller hotels, it’s being built in front of a small bungalow completely removing their view, OK it’s a holiday home so why should I care but it just shows the arrogant attitudes of these arseholes!

Could those glory days return? I don’t think so, or if they could it would have to be organised by smarter people than me who could avoid detection but I can wish even if I don’t hold out much hope

Big Gee

Many of the atrocities in Northern Ireland were never admitted to by the IRA freedom fighters because quite sinply it was not of their doing, and although no evidence ever came to the fore, those in the know suspected it was the work of the English army (due to the kit used and the manner in which the explosions were carried out) – to stir trouble and gain support for the loyalists and to blacken the republicans.

I’ve often wondered what the reaction would be here if some demented, English national racist ever did something atrocious at our National Eisteddfod. That is the sort of thing that could light a blue touch paper and trigger something a lot more far reaching than Capel Celyn. Mind you it probably wouldn’t get reported east of Clawdd Offa!


It would get reported but the blame would be on Welsh extremists trying to frame English nationalists or put at the feet of ISIS.

I believe the same thing probably happened here in the 80’s by MI5 trying to unpopularise the actions of MG or to provoke some rash action.

I think something should be made of this years anniversary of the Tryweryn dam if only to inform the average Welsh person what actually happened there. The fact that Liverpool didn’t actually need the water and the whole affair was for financial gain, the shit deal the displaced families got etc. etc. etc….. I don’t know how anyone else feels but it angers me on a daily basis, if a few more could be made to feel the same way it could be a start

Big Gee

I agree Colin

Get some heads together Jac . . . . .


The one thing we lack in Wales is self-confidence – the rest would follow. So rather than knock what is going on, take our future in your own hands. We need to build from community level up. Otherwise the same will happen as for decades, no change, endless commemorations and just moaning about it. Dramatic it ain’t but is the proven model.


What became of the Greater Horseshoe bats hibernating in the tower?


The greater horseshoe bat is strictly protected under Annex IV of the Habitats Directive in Europe.

What happens to EU funding if a project is found to have impacted a habitat?


Been to the castle, its a nice place, disappointed to hear Cris left, I don’t know what the circumstances are , but it would be good to have things out in the open. Was disappointed with non welsh speaker on reception on that day, if the board is problematic as it obviously is from the history of sacking, redundancies and staff change over the years. They should be made accountable, many of these trusts are one man bands.

The place is worth a visit. So is Aberteifi a lovely town which has bucked up the last few years and is a nice community thanks to the initiative of locals and people from away. Think the pizza place is great for the town – of course they should use MORE WELSH there and Fforest and make the Do lectures accessible to locals as that is so elitist it contradicts the ethos of the whole point of the Do LEctures,, so they organisers aren’t that bright are they? Happy to see anybody organise diverse events in west Wales as long as they reflect our culture and language and include it in their programmes.

That goes for Welsh people as well who ignore their own culture and language and there are plenty of them. But lot of people just moan and do’t get off their fat welsh arses, which seem to get fatter by the day. Don’ t worry Jac the nation will be dead from over eating in 40 yrs time. Interesting research as usual

Barri D

Tourism is a lifeline for a town that is geography isolated. To deny its importance is ridiculously short-sighted. It never fails to amaze me how many people criticize tourism around here yet offer no alternative. Simple economics make our town uneconomical for most manufacturing unless it services the local community. If you are looking to be competitive and export the long windy road between here and Carmarthen rips your profit to shreds. I suppose you would rather they build a call centre and let our young workers rot away behind computer screens trying to sell PPI. Need I remind you that the UK is one of the few countries that really devalues hospitality staff. In most parts of the world it is considered a respectable job. If people like yourselves give hospitality staff the kudos they deserve they would have no reason to resent their career. The primary purpose of the castle has to be as a tourist attraction. How else could it be funded? Trust me, the locals don’t have enough money to keep it afloat (including myself) regardless of how many culturally important events you would like to hold there.

Nosey parker

Is this the case of the emperor’s new clothes? There is a stonking great banner advertising Cardigan Castle on the walls – however THERE IS NO CASTLE. There is a rather indifferent period house, many examples of which are in Ceredigion. And the room within rooms are virtually empty.
As for the Jones family donating all the Eisteddford memorabilia they have, they are waiting for an apology from one of the trustees who was extreemly rude to a senior member of that family.
If I had paid to go in with my 2.4 kids I would be very disappointed – ask for my money back and go to Cilgerran where there is still as castle.
And who was the idiot who ordered St. George’s cross memorabilia? Whoever it was should be “suspened” for crass stupidity.

Barri D

Jac…your insane. When are people like you going to embrace change in our town. Its never felt so vibrant. But I suppose you would prefer to have no tourists spend money here. Crazy.

Big Gee

Is that ‘Cardigan’ or Aberteifi that you are referring to? After all ‘Cardigan’ suits the tourist industy’s attractions & businesses owned by foreigners. Pay the ‘natives’ a few beads to do the work and pocket the money for transfer elsewhere. Is that beneficial to us?

Wakey wakey, smell the coffee! Or would you prefer we lived in a Carribean style environment where the locals live in corrugated iron shacks, whilst the visitors stay in luxury hotels owned and managed by exploitive white skinned foreigners?

Pathetic shortsighted bullshit. You have obviously swallowed the propaganda.


hey Jac!
Got another special for you at the pizzatipi this weekend: It’s called the conspiracy pizza. It won’t have the ingredients you want in it, but you’ll convince yourself you can taste them anyway!


In Wales, hotels, guest houses, nature conservation sites, heritage sites, eateries and even a 3 star pizza house serving special toppings in Abitivi are owned and managed by English colonists who interpret our country through their eyes, according to their version of history, and to their ideals and special linguistic interpretation! Is this happening in Scotland and Ireland? Is this the vision of the ‘Welsh tourist board’? Is this the experience Wales should be offering our domestic and international tourists? A dummed down anglicised and easily pronounced and more palatable version? Is this what we should be tolerating? Should we be content with flexing our Welshness just a couple of times a year at the Eisteddfod and Royal Welsh and crawl back under our rocks for the remainder of the year? Dim diawl o beryg! Deffrwch bois bach!


If you want a foretaste of where this is going, just come and look at Cornwall. It’s long been observed that most of the tourist business is owned and run by incomers. Often people who holidayed here and then moved down to sell their misty-eyed romantic vision to others of their ilk. Never mind that C. is one of the poorest parts of the UK. Tourism provides as few low-paid seasonal local jobs while most of the real profit is exported. Even some of the heavily anglicised place-names cause problems for the emergency services, now controlled from far away up-country. It was rumoured that some of them would be wiped off the map for their convenience. Dyna beth sy’n digwydd pan fydd yr iaith wedi colli.

Max Hare

“Hiraeth” is a term I have used many times since becoming an ” ex Patriot” Welshman more than 30 years ago! without the honour of being born a Welshman – nevertheless one who grew up fully immersed in the language, the place you are writing about is my home.! what on earth is going on? -when I was last down in Tresaith for my mums funeral I took some time to go by the castle – a place with very – very special memories for me and I just cannot believe that its STILL not finished -and too hear now of the scandalous miss use of funds which Cardigan desperately needs – to hear that the hospital that used to patch up my “sporting wounds” can no longer provide the care which would have saved my mother years of travel to Caerfyrthin and even Abertawe !

cmon now boys ! sort it out -I will want to come home one day soon – that’s what hiraeth does to you, dont cock it all up


Dw i’n cofio Jan yn gweud shwt yr hoffai wneud pethau anymunol i bwy bynnag benderfynodd mai Ceredigion oedd enw’r sir yn lle Cardiganshire gan fod neb yn gallu gweud ‘Ceredigion’ a’i fod yn atal twristiaid rhag dod yma a’n hatal i allu denu twristiaid i’r sir. Gweud y cwbwl!

Big Gee

Gwir y gair! Yr ydw innau’n cofio’r ddadl hurt yna – gyda Geraint Howells a’i debyg yn cwyno am newid yr enw. Efallai yr hoffai yr un garfan newid enw pob pentref a thref yng Nghymru i rywbeth estron er lles twristiaeth. Dyna dwpdra sylfaenol cenedl heb addysg na dealldwriaeth am eu cenedl, eu hanes a’u diwylliant – heb sôn am eu hiaith!

Beth am ddechrau trwy gyfeirio at ‘Cardigan’ fel Aberteifi – neu ydy’r enw cywir yn rhy anodd i dafod yr estron? Neu cyflwynwyr y BBC – fel Jamie Owen?

Yr ydym erbyn hyn yn genedl heb asgwrn cefn, hunan barch na gweledigaeth. Mor daeog mewn gwirinedd fel na ddylem gael hawlio’r urddas o alw ein hunain yn genedl. Testun chwerthin a thristwch i weddill y byd, yn enwedig cenedloedd eraill y DG.

Heledd Gwyndaf

Dw i’n cofio Jan yn gweud shwr yr hoffai wneud pethau anymunol i bwy bynnag benderfynodd mai Ceredigion oedd enw’r sir yn lle Cardiganshire gan fod neb yn gallu gweud ‘Ceredigion’ a’i fod yn atal twristiaid rhag dod yma a’n hatal i allu denu twristiaid i’r sir. Gweud y cwbwl!


I worked there for the two years of the renovation, i was led to believe that the contract cost of the work was in the region of 2.4million, Money was wasted for sure, leeks supplied the kitchens, the cost of them was extortionate, 10’s of thousands, but i recall someone telling me the leeks family were related to one of the trustees !! makes you think. I know that Cardigan kitchens supply the very same make of kitchens, but they weren’t asked to tender.
The glass display cabinets are the same as the ones used to home the crown Jewell’s, i kid you not, but why, what for ?? i could go on.
As i said, i was there for the duration of the renovation, and was proud to have been involved on the project, but on the opening day, i was still told that i would have to pay my £5 to enter, not even a thank you i had, i turned and walked out, I have yet to go and have a look at it finished, but i probably wont…..


I worked there for the two years of the renovation, i was led to believe that the contract cost of the work was in the region of 2.4million, Money was wasted for sure, leeks supplied the kitchens, the cost of them was extortionate, 10’s of thousands, but i recall someone telling me the leeks family were related to one of the trustees !! makes you think. I know that Cardigan kitchens supply the very same make of kitchens, but they weren’t asked to tender.
The glass display cabinets are the same as the ones used to home the crown jewel’s, i kid you not, but why, what for ?? i could go on.
As i said, i was there for the duration of the renovation, and was proud to have been involved on the project, but on the opening day, i was still told that i would have to pay my £5 to enter, not even a thank you i had, i turned and walked out, I have yet to go and have a look at it finished, but i probably wont…..

Mr G Jones (CJL)

I’d just like to say that l would rather pay to go to the pizza tipi then the over priced castle! Mr Lynch has created JOBS in cardigan, something that is’nt easy to find in this town for students/young people. He’s also turned the rivers edge in to very popular place to go to for locals as well as tourists without spending a fortune. As for the castle, as soon as l heard Sue Lewis name mentioned as a director l choked on my cornflakes!!! As far as I’m concerned that women is TROUBLE. She destroyed the tivyside with her biased, one sided reports and l know a lot of people who haven’t got one good thing to say about that women! I wouldn’t get her cleaning the toilets. Cardigan castle ready to fall? With that silly b***h involved it’s just a matter of time.


The whole thing stinks worst than the shit I’m spreading in field today!


If Brychan no2 of Tipi fame is the real one… might be willing to comment on your father’s memorabilia which the family removed from the castle?


They would have been better spending the money on doing up cardigan hospital, and bringing it back to how it was years ago, people have to travel further now over 30 miles just one way, so as far as I’m concerned they can pull the bloody castle down and build a multi storey car park


Real Brychan from Hendre here, yes tipi camp site manager, not the same Brychan who posted the pizza comment above. That’s some other Brychan.

Mrs Hazel Jones

For me and my family, who lived near for 22 happy years, the best use of Castle Green House would be as a repository for Eisteddfod memorabilia. What more relevant place could there be??


Shwmae, the real Brychan Llyr Jones of Hendre, Blaenannerch here. The manager of a tipi camp site at Aberporth, yes. But the message above, regarding pizza, was not sent by me.
Who that Bychan is remains to be seen!



spikey jones

Brychan, are you not the owner of a Tipi campsite aimed at those over the border?


There’s no one who dislikes the second home immigrants more than me but I don’t have a problem with those from that foreign land beyond Offa’s dyke coming on holiday here. Camping and even those rows of caravans are OK by me to some extent as they generally do bring some income to the local economy.

I like (occasionally) taking our campervan to Englandshire, I could hardly deny the same to them, especially considering how much more beautiful our country is. Come for 2 weeks have a nice time and then ….. off!


I am Brychan who manages tipi camp site near Aberporth. Not the same Brychan who wrote pizza comment above.

Peter Jones

On the positive side Cardigan Castle is no longer the cancerous wart that welcomed the weary traveller on his return from Pembrokeshire and a few punters get to listen to a couple of good bands. And after that?


That is a bloody disgrace, I wonder if there are any plans to turn the “Tower” into a venue? Or couldn’t they possibly do that because of it’s historical importance to the English people?


If you was looking for 12m worth of building works & renovations etc then you will be looking for ever !

As is always the case with these types of initiatives much of the dough will have been dispersed among the sundry services like surveyors, lawyers, accountants, heritage “specialists” and that’s just when the project is broadly legit ! When scammers get on board the capacity for “soaking away” funds increases geometrically, so if that is the case at Aberteifi then it’s likely that only a few bags of cement, some rock and a few tools were the sum total of the “direct” costs ! No doubt someone will come up with a set of accounts ( where a participant’s new extension or conservatory may have been skilfully tagged on )

We shall see !


RE: Fforest chief’s earlier comment, bile pizza probably describes accurately the compost you serve up to unsuspecting customers

Ianto Phillips

With a hygiene rating of 3 “**Three**!”, bodily fluids are probably the least disgusting things in the pizza.


hey Jac!

thanks for all the free plugs.

If you can ever prise yourself out of the web-search armchair, and find yourself in Cardigan, drop by for a bile pizza. probably made and served by one of the many bright welsh young people we employ. They’re the future.


james, fforestchief.


any links here to Welsh Labour ? This guy has all the symptoms of a 3rd sector grant guzzler/ fund sponger with top drawer Anglo Brit credentials to round it off.


That Mr Lynch mentioned above.

and while on matters cultural can we hope that Mr Ian Jones is getting ready to put in maximum effort to fight off combined weight of BBC and Tory government

S4C boss calls for ‘full negotiations’ to start on the broadcaster’s future funding and pushes for a ‘cash-flat’ deal – Wales Online

They will both do their best to squeeze the remaining juice out of S4C, which will give us a S”1 and 1/2″C by the time the bastards are finished if they have their own way on matters.

Previous bright welsh young person

Previous bright welsh young person here. Elitist BS was far too depressing for me.

Can’t belive this freemason style clique has moved in on the sight of the first eisteddfod. The world can be a bitter place and even in the backwaters of west wales, corruption and cancerous moral criminals get to re-establish gentrification of locals and buy out their heritage.


If the best these bright young Welsh people can aspire to is working in a pizza bar then it’s a sad reflection on how communities throughout “our” country are being changed by the influx of self righteous arseholes from England inflicting their will on a foreign land like they have done throughout the world and have become hated for it. Where the hell have all the local jobs gone these days? The sooner we get out of the UK and the EU the better in my opinion.

Apologies to all except james (who looks like he is too ignorant to spell his own name with a capital letter) for this non constructive rant


“A bit less claret and a bit more clarity” (or in your case ‘pizza’) would be welcomed fforestchief. Do tell us a little more about your jaunt over Offa’s Dyke and what you hope to gain from the raid – apart from employing “many bright welsh young people” in your pizza parlour – for fear that the natives might tread a more lucrative path to future success.


I would not recommend cold pizza.
Hot ones attract VAT.

A business employing ‘many people’ would be well above the registration threshold. I have assumed when you use the term ‘we’ that you are the employer of these staff. All of the advertising I have seen both online and in print does not display a VAT registration number.

Perhaps you can clear this matter up in relation to the Pizza Tipi Company Ltd, James. You are the sole director. Please reveal it, if only for the piece of mind of your own staff and customers.

I do hope you manage to improve the rather disappointing ‘3’ rating for Food Hygiene.


It seems this all blew up back in April, which is not to say you’re wrong to investigate and publicise it here and now. Keep digging!

The key question I suppose is who is benefiting from all of this. In theory charitable funds can only be used for charitable purposes, which are defined by law, and further limited by the ‘Objects’ clauses in the particular charity’s governing document, which ought to be on file with the Charities’ Commission.

If as it seems we’ve got a right bunch of chancers muscling in here, with their eyes on some prime real-estate, they must be planning to benefit somehow. Yet the basic principle is that charitable trustees must not use their position for personal gain. Quite probably there’s a whole web of dubious connections and dodgy deals behind all of this.

If only they hadn’t stepped on the locals’ cultural toes in so ignorant a manner they might have got away with it.

Keep digging … 🙂


The mysterious Mr Timms has moved.

When originally registered at the charity commission he declared he was resident at a period mansion, Glebe House, Mersham in the Weald of Kent. This property is grade II listed. It was renovated by Talus, who are specialists in restoring period structures and sub dividing the property for sale. Half of this property is now up for sale for £950,000. I find no record of title change for the other parts of the structure. 12 other properties were built on associated land.

Mr Timms subsequently changed his address declared at the charity commission to another of his properties at 44 Oxenturn Road, Wye, a village some miles away, nestled in the North Downs.

One half of his renovated mansion up for sale…

The restoration specialists….

It is quite evident, as his original Glebe House period mansion changed from detached to two semi-detached properties. He specialises in buying and renovating period structures and then sub-dividing them for sale as separate units at vast profit. The ‘wedding venue’ and ‘events’ businesses that habit the property for a short period are merely ghost enterprises, the real cash is generated by the sub-division and subsequent piecemeal sale of a renovated freehold.

Do the good people of Aberteifi really know who their dealing with? I have assumed the Welsh Government, Cadw and Cyngor Ceredigion have done the precautionary background checks on this geezer. I wonder what he did with his bats? Did they move to Wye or Aberteifi?


That’s very useful research. One question, if he first has ‘events/weddings’ at his properties that would I imagine involve a change of use from residential to business, and then back again before the final division and sale. That would require planning permission and leave a paper trail, and no doubt involve a few ‘favours’. He may well have the connivance of councillors in Kent, but what leverage does he have over the local worthies of Ceredigion?


When Mr Timms was ‘resident’ at Glebe House he would have has the opportunity to take part in the consultation relating to the new junction 10a of the M20 motorway. The property is within a few hundred meters of one of the slip roads (Kingsford Street on the below map leads to Glebe House and the village of Mersham).

No doubt when Highways England got approval many of the affected properties were awarded some form of compensation for blight. This coincides with the investment in the renovation of the mansion and the construction of 12 new properties in the grounds, and Mr Timms return to the family ‘main residence’ in the village of Wye. Also the land surrounding Mersham is tipped for a huge lorry park and laidage area to alleviate instances of ‘operation stack’. The backlog of lorries to the channel tunnel.

Another wedge of blight compensation may be on its way, which may explain why only half of the Glebe investment is up for sale. A useful fund to upgrade a holiday home in Aberporth to something more befitting a gentleman so accustomed to lording it up in substantial period mansions.