Cardigan Castle: Victory in Sight?

My first post on this subject was Cardigan Castle – Ready to Fall? on July 7th. Since then I have posted Cardigan Castle – It’s Getting Worse! (July 12th), Cardigan Castle: Gang of Four + One (July 21st), there was a section in Updates, etc (July 26th), then came Cardigan Castle: Guest Post by ‘Dyn Deche Rhys’ (July 30th), and finally, Cardigan Castle: Connections Keep A-Coming (August 3rd). IGlen Johnson‘m listing them in case you feel the need to refer to them as you read on.

The reason I’m returning to the subject now is that it’s all getting a bit naughty. Those I’ve written about, and others behind them, are pulling out the stops in order, not to answer the many questions being asked, but to silence those doing the asking. I suppose things came to a head yesterday with the resignation of Glen Johnson, one of the trustees. Mr Johnson cited as his reason for stepping down the need to protect his family from “online persecution”.

This is the report from the BBC Wales website. Here’s the Tivy-Side Advertiser. Finally, the Cambrian News report talks of “online harassment” and mentions my blog, even gives my name, thereby inviting readers to make the erroneous connection. But then, this is the Cambrian News, and this is the nature of the beast. No one should be surprised to learn that Mike Lewis, husband of trustee Sue Lewis, is a staff reporter, possibly deputy editor, on this rag. Perhaps more pertinent may be the fact that Sue Lewis herself freelances for the CN, as these minutes from Aberporth Community Council make clear. Could it be that Sue Lewis herself wrote the Cambrian News report on Johnson’s resignation?

The first thing to understand about Glen Johnson is that for months he’s been telling anyone who’d listen that he’d had enough, and was stepping down at the September AGM of trustees . . . and these declarations of intent pre-date anything I’ve written about Cardigan Castle. His FaceGlen Johnson Facebookbook page carries a few of these statements. Here’s a couple from July. (Click to enlarge.)

After reading the media accounts I went to my blog to check what I had written about him . . . as opposed to what people what you to believe I’ve written. I could only find two references to Glen Johnson in my blog posts and both were positive. The first in my post of July 7th and the second in the guest post of July 30th. Read both extracts below.

JULY 7: “So this place (Cardigan Castle) has immense significance in Welsh history, yet I don’t think there’s a trustee other than Glen Johnson with any relevant expertise (in history).”

JULY 30: “A glimpse of what might have been is provided by A History of Cardigan Castle written by local historian Glen Johnson. Johnson is currently a trustee who has signalled his intention of stepping down from the role next year, but for years he was a persona non grata to the Aberporth clique running the show because of his awkward insistence on uncovering the archaeology and history of the site.

Bringing his story up to date, Johnson notes that, “in September 2007 Cadwgan B. P. T. revealed their plans to convert the front range of Castle Green House into a Welsh Language Learning Centre and the remainder of the building and all of the outbuildings into holiday accommodation”.

This is harassment! This is “online persecution”!

So if I haven’t been attacking him, what exactly is going on with this ‘resignation’? I am convinced that this whole episode can be explained by the press release issued to the media. Enquiries are referred to a Cardiff telephone number belonging to Equinox, Cardigan Castle’s PR agency. This resignation is nothing but a publicity stunt, one staged to depict critics of the Castle’s trustees as the sort of bastards who threaten the trustees’ wives and children. Remember! this man was resigning anyway, before I put out a word on Cardigan Castle, but someone, somewhere, saw the chance to capitalise on a long-planned resignation by twisting it into the sudden decision of a persecuted man forced out by internet bullies – i.e. me! And all designed to deflect criticism from the ruling trustees, and even allow them to shelter under the umbrella of victimhood.

Here’s my message to Glen Johnson. If your family really is being intimidated then you should have reported it to the police, not a PR agency. And if, as I suspect, you haven’t yet reported it to the police, get in touch with me and I’ll accompany you to the police station. Yes, I’ll hold your hand. But my best advice for you is, don’t allow yourself to be used by people much cleverer and more ruthless than you.

Glen Johnson’s stage-managed resignation is only the latest in a list of incidents which have been attempts to either frighten me off or have my blog closed down. Here’s an example worth recounting.

On August 12th a comment was made to my post, Cardigan Castle – Ready to Fall? of July 7th. The first comment to that post in a fortnight, and it came from ‘Charity Solicitor’. I responded and he / she came back the following day with a longer comment that contained, “It is, therefore, entirely ludicrous to claim, as you and your friends often do, that the trustees have their hands in the till.” I had never accused the trustees of that, and I made that fact clear; I also asked ‘Charity Solicitor’ to direct me to where, as he alleged, I had accused the trustees of theft.

Of course ‘Charity Solicitor’ could not find anything like this on my blog, for the simple reason that I had never written it. Others joined in the debate and eventually ‘Charity Solicitor’, realising he’d been sussed, admitted he was Dr (Charles) Robert Anthony. On August 14th he made what, for a lawyer, was an extraordinary statement, done in a pathetic attempt to laugh off the very serious allegation he had made against me only a few days earlier. He wrote, “‘Hands in the till’ is a figure of speech or metaphor. It’s not meant to be taken literally.” Sorry, pal , ‘hands in the till’ most definitely means stealing, there is no other interpretation. And for what, exactly, could ‘hands in the till’ be a metaphor?

Throughout this exchange with me and others Dr Anthony wasn’t clear whether he was speaking officially for the trustees or merely on their behalf, unofficially. Make your own guesses.

But yet again we have someone riding to the rescue but refusing to address the questions raised, and instead trying to steer the debate onto more promising ground by making me defend myself against things I never said. Very similar to what is happening with this ludicrously contrived resignation. I’m confronted with evasion, innuendo, non-sequiturs, smears, misrepresentation, and downright lies. So let me make my position clear.

I retract nothing I have written about Jann Tucker, Hedydd Jones, Sue Lewis and Sandra Davies. To see them hoping to hide behind poor, manipulated Glen Johnson is despicable, and it will not succeed. The questions are still awaiting answers.

  • Who is Jonathan Timms of Kent, and how did he get involved? Is he perhaps related to a trustee, or does he own a holiday home in Aberporth? Possibly both?
  • Why have so many trustees and staff walked away from this project (before I ever got involved)?
  • How many times did Sue Lewis shout ‘ENGLISH!’ in that now infamous e-mail?
  • How often does Jann Tucker crack open a bottle or twa with the Heritage Lottery Fund’s supposedly impartial representative, Gareth Gregory?
  • Was Hedydd Jones reprimanded for saying ‘Over my dead body” at the prospect of the Gorsedd visiting the Castle?
  • Why did the project – as Glen Johnson himself bemoaned – change from a historical and cultural icon into a tacky tourist venture that is financially unworkable?
  • What did Sandra Davies mean by saying, “We’ll never get world class staff if we have to rely on the Welsh”? Was she asked to explain that insulting remark?
  • What did Jonathan Timms, the trustees’ contact point and secretary, mean when he described Rhys ap Sue Lewis fairy godmotherGruffydd and his sons as “savages”?
  • Can you provide satisfactory evidence of contracts being properly advertised and put out to tender? Evidence that would satisfy someone other than Jann Tucker’s drinking buddy.
  • The same applies to appointments, or were they all advertised – online only – from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day, as was the case with the post created for trustee Sue Lewis almost immediately after she lost her job at the Tivy-Side Advertiser?

And yet, despite the slanders, I am greatly heartened that the Gang of Four’s defenders feel they need to resort to these tactics. I say ‘defenders’ because I am convinced that what we see now, with Johnson’s resignation especially, is intervention by persons who have come to realise that the Gang of Four are a liability, but to remove them would be an admission of defeat, so they have to be defended at all costs. It’s a difficult situation for them; and so desperate are they that someone must have thought this resignation stunt was worth a try.

Just stand back and consider the absurdity of the news coverage given. Here we have a nobody, in a small town, who resigns from a trust few will have heard of – but it makes the BBC News! This of course is the BBC we have come to know, this is the BBC of the Scottish independence referendum, the BBC of ‘British’ this and ‘Great British’ that, the defender of the British establishment. So in conclusion, let me reiterate . . .

Despite what has been alleged by the Cambrian News and others, nothing mildly derogatory, let alone threatening, has appeared on this blog in relation to Glen Johnson. Anyone persisting with these groundless accusations – or making fresh accusations – should be very careful what they say or write.

UPDATE 20.08.2015: La Tucker is to step down from her position of trustee at the AGM next month. Apparently, something to do with ‘rotation’ . . . are we talking turnips here?

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there is too much reguritation of the same subject on here, and not enough establishing facts and then taking decisive action to sort this mess out. Roll on AGM so it gets sorted out. And will people stop slagging people off because they are Cymry or Sais – its really embarrassing, stupid and shows you all up, despite some valid arguments

Dai Dom Da

One of the many questions trust members might want to ask at the upcoming AGM is how much the board has spent on the services of the castle’s Cardiff-based PR agency, Equinox. Oh, and when can they have their money back?

For the last 6 months the castle has been one long, unmitigated PR disaster, and the handling of Glen Johnson’s resignation has to be the lowest point so far.

It is all chronicled on this blog, of course, but a quick recap of the timeline may help here.

Johnson first announced his intention of standing down from the board on 3 July, which just happened to be the day that the BBC broke the news that Cris Tomos, the former Director, had been fired, or as an unnamed spokesperson for the castle had it, “suspended from his job pending an investigation”. An investigation into what and by whom we never found out, but the same source told the world that Tomos’s continued presence was considered to be putting the business “at risk”.

Johnson and other apologists for the board should put themselves in Cris Tomos’s shoes for a moment and imagine how it would feel to read press reports suggesting they are a “risk” and are under investigation for reasons which have never been spelt out.

It turned out that Tomos had been given the push almost a week before by some of the trustees – some, but not all, because it subsequently emerged that some of the trustees had been excluded on the grounds that this was a “staff matter”.

Johnson did not state his reasons on 3 July, but the timing of his announcement does not look like a coincidence.

Although there had been some fairly lively exchanges of letters in the local press in the run-up to these events, the social media were slow to react, and Jac’s first piece on the debacle was not published until 7 July, when Glen told his Facebook followers once again that he planned to sail off into the sunset.

As several commentators have noted, no criticism was levelled at Johnson, and he was several times singled out for praise by his supposed persecutors.

Nevertheless, Johnson seems to have felt that he was under attack, and by 18 July he had clearly concluded that criticism of the group around Jann Tucker (of which Johnson was never a part) was in fact all about him, so he took to Facebook once again to tell the world, “I see there is a petition circulating suggesting that I am unfit to govern Cardigan Castle.”

Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!

Except of course nobody had got it in for Glen.

On 22 July he announces once again that he intends to resign at the forthcoming AGM.

He then manages to get through an entire month without resigning, but then along come those nice people from Equinox who clearly have Glen’s best interests at heart.

“Why not announce your resignation again”, they whisper, “because clearly nobody took much notice on the other three occasions. We’re a PR agency, after all, and can ensure that you receive maximum publicity!”

Oh, and if you feel that you’ve been given a hard time by the blogs and social media, our advice is to say that all these horrible people have been hounding and persecuting you. So much so that you might want to consider the safety and well-being of your family. Not that we want to make you paranoid, or anything, but that’ll really get them off your back and take you out of the limelight! Trust us, we’re spin doctors!”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Hefin Wyn

As always Rhodri Dafis makes a number of salient points. Glen Johnson is the epitome of a local historian; the sort of person that should be treasured within every community. What pleased me on hearing his illustrated lecture on ‘The History of Cardigan Castle’ was the fact that he had the measure of Rhys ap Gruffudd. He offered more than just the facts of his life. He acknowledged his greatness.

Unfortunately, during his short tenure as a trustee, he was unable to persuade his fellow trustees – Englishman Jonathan Timms in particular – of the merits of our Arglwydd Rhys. He could just as well have cited the historical boorishness of his fellow trustees as a valid reason for his resignation.

But that would not have suited the master plan of Acting Director, Sue Lewis, to use any means, by hook or crook, to undermine rather than engage with castle critics. Glen Johnson was used to cite ‘on-line harassment’, without offering any evidence, to justify a decision he had announced, over a month ago, to step down from all four committees on which he served. The local historian had had enough.

Myself, I took it for granted that Cadwgan Trustees had teamed up with a leading publisher and an academic historical expert, years ago, to produce a specific book evaluating the role of Lord Rhys at Aberteifi and the Deheubarth, in establishing the seeds of Welsh nationhood, which would have been launched at the re-opening of the castle.

This I still hope will occur within my own lifetime. It should be one of the readily available souvenirs at Castell Aberteifi. Similarly, a book outlining the history of the National Eisteddfod based on a proper exhibition and interpretation of the institution at the premises, in tandem, of course, with the Gorsedd.

However, there appears to be a slight problem in that direction in that all the current trustees would prefer to become ‘dead bodies’ before entertaining the notion of co-operating with the Gorsedd in any form or manner. Bang goes the chances of Jann Tucker, MBE, (for alleged services to heritage) of becoming a member of the Gorsedd for her services in enhancing the obvious national heritage aspects of Castell Aberteifi.

It seems, therefore, that Glen Johnson’s presence as a trustee did not bear any fruit as far as promoting a sense of heritage among his fellow members was concerned. Indeed, when I first heard of his resignation, I took it for granted that it was because of his feeling of hitting his head against a brick wall in trustee meetings that led to his decision. That might well still be true and a far more poignant reason than the alleged ‘on-line harassment’.

At least Glen Johnson will not have to face the multitude of awkward questions that will be asked at the AGM querying the stewardship of the Cadwgan project. Who knows, Glen might be voted back on the trustee board.

Gyda llaw, synna i wedi gweld llyfr Glen Johnson ‘to na darllen adolygiad ohono. Wyt ti? Oes rhywun wedi? Odi’r fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael?


You are wrong to suggest Emlyn Dole has been caught flouting planning regulations. He was the owner of an old agricultural building which was not listed, had no preservation order and was beyond it’s useful life. Nice of him to submit a planning application for a conversion, but there is no reason whatsoever the stop him binning the conversion plan and demolishing his old barn. I am also of the opinion that the ‘conversion’ design of his former architect to provide a holiday let annexe is not a desirable one. Once the redundant cow shed is demolished and no longer a useless drain in he is correct to seek planning permission to build a modern indigenous business premises. Being a councillor he has followed the planning applications correctly, has done no flouting, and played no role in this decision making process.

I am also of the opinion that ‘incomers’ who infest Dyfed Archaeological Trust who wish to preserve an old barn because it was once owned by an English squire and argue that it should be preserved because it helps them keep the village looking like an English chocolate box cover of their wet colonial dream, whilst at the same time them buying up the rather more distant farmworkers cottages (the real historical heritage of Carmarthenshire) and converting those into holiday homes or bunkhouses somehow don’t merit historical note.

Which brings me back to the issues at Cardigan Castle. If instead of binning the Welsh heritage aspect to this ancient monument to pursue a public funds subsidised boutique hotel for English tourists at the implanted Georgian townhouse for English tourists for them to “squire it up at the weekend” perhaps it would have been better to use such renovated property to establish a an indigenous business employing local people. A sort of ‘old and new’. Do the Eisteddfod stuff but also recognise the pioneering spirit of Rhys ap Gruffudd, the pinnacle of advanced social and cultural development in the Wales of his day, with a 21st century complement. Not a glamping site for the English, but a technology and post-industrial high-tech hub employing the good people of Aberteifi in high tech skilled work.



the kind of ideas contained in your last para will get you into trouble – natives thinking “well out of the box” are generally unwelcome !

But seriously you are promoting a much better pathway forward, bit of culture mixed with a real commercial activity would be mutually beneficial. Apart from the high tech stuff, which can attract some seriously wierd ( not wired ) people, Aberteifi is well placed to engage in the food sector – not the mass produced muck that flies off supermarket shelves but top notch added value dairy, meat, fruit and vegetable offerings. Indeed that Teifi valley could be developed far more in that direction giving native youth a reason for staying and doing well for themselves and the community. This would reverse the decay of decades where “raw” ingredients get shipped out of the area, processed elsewhere and sold back to our communities with all profits logged well away from here.

I appreciate we can’t all go off and do the same things, but there is scope for a variety of developments within the rural environment which don’t have to be under heritage, culture or tourism/hospitality badges.


Food and science are not different planets, Dafis.

A few years ago a minister of the Welsh Government commissioned some leading edge bio-tech work. It was to find out what effect a ‘perturbation boundary’ would have on the transmissibility of bTB in badgers. The high tech lab which was set up to do the work was in England but the scientist who led the research was Welsh, who’d previously graduated from Swansea Uni. What was this perturbation boundary? The Afon Teifi !! What constituency did the minister represent? Ceredigion !! So why are we chucking our talent and cash over the border doing real work, yet dishing out funds to “create jobs” in Wales that consist of stuffing pillows in hotel rooms?

Note – The Vet Laboratory in question was in York. The city has a castle the same pedigree as that of Cardigan. While Lord Rhys was being ‘a savage’ as a Cadwgan trustee claims, the King of England was on a famous pogrom which consisted of hanging 150 Jews from the parapets of York castle. Just saying.

Rhodri Dafis

Glen Johnson will know perfectly well who I am, and so will others who read your blog.

I speak my mind without fear or favour, and am more than happy to stand by everything I say.

Glen is an excellent speaker and is very enthusiastic about the subject matter, and has probably read and collected every reference he can find to Cardigan Castle.

S Martin, who I also assume to be the mother of Catherine his wife states.

“Glen Johnson is a Welshman born and bred, an intelligent and well informed historian and far too nice a human being to name names or resort to law to answer his attackers. Maybe you could turn some of your crusading zeal to urging your followers to leave him alone.”

There are a number of statements she has made, which are not entirely accurate.

The birth of Glen Kelsall Johnson was registered at Carmarthen in the September Quarter 1970. His mother was Pamela A Crankshaw who married John Johnson. The marriage took place in Bucklow Registration District in the March Quarter 1962. Pamela A Crankshaw was, it would appear, (there no other likely candidate) born in Southport. Her birth registered in the March Quarter of 1942. Fathers name Hall. There is nothing in his maternal line that suggests Welsh ancestry.

His paternal side is more problematic to decipher, but I cannot find a birth of a John Johnson registered in Wales during the correct time scale. There are Johnsons in West Wales and St. Dogmaels, but I cannot connect them to Glen, (I am more than happy for him to prove me wrong and produce references I can check) and therefore assume that his paternal line is also from England.

An accident of birth does make him “Welsh born” but not on the available evidence “Welsh bred”.

That said, being Welsh is not a matter of ethnicity in my view. It is more about absorbing and identifying with the culture and traditions of Wales, and not adopting a superior attitude.

Glen is an honorary Welshman, but his children will be Welsh.

Glen is referred to as Dr Glen Kelsall Johnson, in the Companies House Director records and I presume that he therefore has a Phd, although he does not mention his qualifications on his website.

Whatever discipline he obtained his doctorate in, I doubt if it was History.

A historian will examine all the available information, analyse, question, interpret and then pronounce an opinion based on his research.

Glen simply absorbs the information and ideas of others, and does not subject them to critical scrutiny. Like Francis Jones the former Herald of Wales he is a mere cataloguer. His website is all cut and paste, with no attempt to express an opinion, or understanding of what he is quoting.

Hefin Wyn states that Glen is a historian, as does S Martin. Before you judge how much another person knows his subject, you must have a degree of knowledge yourself.

Hefin Wyn would not I suspect claim to be a Historian, but probably due to his interest knows more about Twm Carnabwth and Rebecca in Efail-wen and the surrounding area than most, and should compare like with like.

I attended a visit to Cardigan Castle with approximately 50 members of the Cambrian Archaeological Society. They consist invariably of academics or interested amateurs. The group was split into two, and I opted to listen to Glen Johnson.

The comments and feedback from members who included Prys Morgan, and Tom Lloyd, to name but two, were very interesting.

Referring to Glen – “He presents supposition as facts.”
Referring to the Castle- “There is nothing here to really see except parts of a Georgian Mansion.”
Referring to the “Exhibition’ – “I feel I am being insulted by a couple of rusty bicycles hanging on a wall, and a clock case with no workings.”
Overall – “I cannot tell anyone that Cardigan Castle is worth a visit, as there is nothing to see, and I certainly would not pay to visit again.”

Most were surprised and disgusted when I pointed out that Cardigan Castle have adopted colours and a coat of arms, that has nothing to do with the “Arglwydd Rhys”.

I do not claim to be a historian. I am simply an amateur interested in genealogy. Not simply in collecting lists of names, but putting them in their historical and social contexts. I have taught myself to read and understand medieval and early Welsh, and interpret the legal shorthand used in Wills and other documents, and even understand the gist of documents in Latin or Norman French. I correspond and assist others to decipher original documents on several continents.

These are all skills I would expect a “historian” to have. I would also expect Glen the “historian” to have a degree of legal knowledge, so that he can understand and interpret the National Library of Wales and other catalogue entries that he quotes.

I have corrected Glen on several occasions, directly by E-mail. I have at times asked him for sources, but he never reciprocated with the link or source. I am in the business of collaborating and not spoon-feeding. I expect a “quid pro quo”. Glen wants to take and not share!

He believed that an “Inquisition Post Mortem” was a medical rather than a legal procedure. That alone demonstrates his lack of knowledge. The subject in question had been dead for two years and stinking to high heaven! Anyone with a brain would have questioned the likelihood of this.

He constantly refers to property being leased for a year, without any understanding of the artificial legal machinations of the time.

To take an example from the Cardigan Castle entry on his Website.

“On 17th June 1761 Hannah Mathias of Cardigan, widow, daughter of Thomas Brock, leased the close called Castle Green to Thomas Lloyd of Bronwydd and John Morgan of Cardigan for a year.”

This is based on the following entry in the Bronwydd Catalogue at the NLW.

1761, June 17
1. Hannah Mathias of Cardigan, co. Cardigan, widow, daughter of Thomas Brock;
2. Thomas Lloyd of Bronwidd, co. Cardigan, esq., and John Morgan of Cardigan, co. Cardigan, esq.
LEASE for a year of a moiety of a messuage in Cardigan, a messuage and land called Stepaside and the Little Mead, closes called Park Tir Marll, and Park Pwll Marll, Park yr Adley and Castle Green, all in the parish of St. Mary in the town of Cardigan.

If he had read the next catalogue entry, (Which I would expect someone who claims to be a historian to do) he would have seen that on the following day there was another transaction between the same parties.

1761, June 18
1. Hannah Mathias;
2. Thomas Lloyd and John Morgan;
3. Watkin Lewes of Penybenglog, clerk, and Thomas Morris of Park y Trap, gent.;
4. David Mathias eldest son and heir apparent of the said Hannah Mathias, and Elizabeth Mathias only daughter of the said Hannah Mathias. RELEASE of the moiety specified in No. 2912. Copy.

I know exactly the meaning of this transaction, and would expect any competent historian to do so. Glen is obviously not a historian.

I have nothing personal against Glen, but I do not suffer fools gladly, and value accuracy.

There is enough false information on the internet without him adding to it.

Rhodri Dafis

Gyda ymddiheuriadau I Cynnan, a’i dyma oedd y Freuddwyd?

“Pan fwyf yn hen a pharchus,
A’r castell yn fy nghod,
A phob beirniadaeth drosodd
A phawb yn canu ‘nghlod,

Mi brynaf fwthyn arall
Heb ddim o flaen ei ddor
Ond tywod Traeth y Dyffryn
A thonnau gwyllt y mor.

Oblegid mi gaf yno
Yng nghri’r ystormus wynt
Adlais o’r hen wrthryfel
A wybu f’enaid gynt.

A meddwaf a’r hen angerdd
Wrth syllu tua’r ddor
Ar dywod Traeth y Dyffryn
A thonnau gwyllt y mor.”

Traeth y Dyffryn is one of two beaches in Aberporth.


It should be noted that trustees cannot ’employ themselves’ as this is illegal under charity law, which would bring into question the role of Ms Lewis as a concurrent trustee and ‘facilities officer’. For this to be compliant she would need to be employed by the SIC subsidiary, Cardigan Castle Enterprises Ltd, her remuneration offset against taxable trading income, and not employed directly by the holding charity, Cadwgan.

Here is an example of error….

For some obscure reason Mr Timms has chosen to register at companies house under two separate identities.Firstly as director. ID 911718354 (Cadwgan), and then separately as director ID 915200087 (Cardigan Castle Enterprises Limited). This cannot be a typo in the registration process as the latter company is a non charitable and wholly owned subsidiary, incorporated as a Community Interest Company owned by the former.Why did he do this?


The Timms discrepancy only occurs if your details of director appointments are made on different dates, a chronological matching error, where you home address or name changes when you become director of different companies at different times. His must have had a change in home residential address between 2007(Cadwgan) and 2010(Enterprises), on his AP01s, for such a clerical error. Mr Timms can easily clear this matter up with a free CH1 declaration to companies house (can be done online) prior to the Cadwgan AGM. He needs to be reminded that both should correspond with the address he has registered at the charity commission.

Hefin Wyn

Yes, indeed, I was Carnabwth, and I sang his praises and still do. Glen Johnson is a gentleman and a committed historian. He gave a wonderful illustrated lecture that I would listen to again. We spoke at the break at length. Glen did not harass me and I did not harass him. Not a bad word was exchanged. I cannot imagine anyone who would want to harass Glen.

He obviously bore no grudge towards me for castigating him recently when he inadvertently did not prepare a Welsh language version of his ‘History of Cardigan Castle’ to be published simultaneously. This he promised to rectify. Our conversation was conducted in Welsh as always.

His references to St George’s Cross etc. I regard as irrelevances in the grand design of things. Such minutiae are not the relevant issues though they are symptomatic of the ailment within the Cadwgan Trustees – a failure to see the project as part of the rebuilding of Welsh nationhood based on Arglwydd Rhys’s vision.

Why did Dilwyn Davies, Theatr Mwldan supremo, insist on inviting English folk group, Bellowhead, to headline what he described as the ‘official opening concert of Castell Aberteifi? The message given out, loud and clear, is that there are no Welsh groups worthy of such an occasion. Bryn Fon or Manic Street Preachers are obviously not on his radar. Why didn’t Dilwyn Davies organise a concert along the lines of ‘Yma o Hyd’? Is it because of a thoroughly colonial mind-set? His message appears to be that Welsh culture should always be subservient to English culture.
I digress or do I not?

By the way where does Jonathan Timms, the Trustees secretary, fit into all this. He is not a native of the area. Why should he be interested in such an intrinsically Welsh heritage project with his background of attending dinner parties at Highgrove Mansion? Did he not describe Rhys ap Gruffudd and his sons as ‘savages’.

Glen Johnson has never called Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd ‘bigots’. I can’t imagine him doing so. Historians would not behave in such a manner. The term was used, surely, much to her shame, by his fellow trustee, Sandra Davies, in an internal e-mail which has been leaked.

Glen Johnson has never ranted insisting that everything regarding the castle should be ‘English, English, English’. I can’t imagine him doing so. Historians would not behave in such a manner. The rant was the making of the Facilities Officer – now Acting Director, Sue Lewis, in an internal e-mail. Strangely a former editor of a local newspaper.

Those are the issues that should be addressed by Glen Johnson, Jo Hutchings, S Martin and their ilk and, in particular, Dr Robert Anthony, the ex-Cyngor Sir Ceredigion solicitor, who made a brief appearance on this blog specifically, in his own words, on behalf of the trustees to undermine the credibility of Jac O’North and Hefin Wyn.
“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.”

He is now conspicuous by his silence. He must have retreated to complete retirement by now. Perhaps he will make an appearance at the AGM to explain his erratic behaviour and offer an apology. Will he even take up the notion of adopting a creative Welsh imagination to the whole project? That of course is the crux of the matter which all trustees and Acting Director insist on remaining oblivious to.

All this brouhaha would never have occurred if a meeting, as advised by Cris Tomos, the former Director, had taken place. Glen Johnson, surely, as a historian, understands that there are fellow Welshmen who feel the presence of Rhys ap Gruffudd within the castle walls and are keen to emulate his vision. Glen was one of two trustees who had been lined up to meet a deputation from Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd which had been hurriedly arranged early in August. No, Sandra Davies, was not the other one. It seems strange therefore that Glen was prepared to engage with an alleged harasser.

I was therefore astounded by the press release put out by Equinox and even more astounded by the Cambrian News slant of the story that implied I have been harassing Glen Johnson on-line without any confirmation from Glen himself. Shoddy journalism which raises a few questions. The Pembrokeshire Herald’s take on the story is much nearer the mark.

The Cambrian News journalist obviously did not speak to Glen before publishing. They took the handout at face value and added their own irresponsible twist. No names were mentioned in the press release i.e. Hefin Wyn, Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffydd nor Jac O’North.

I have been in touch with Equinox. Managing Director, Eryl Jones, stated categorically in an e-mail that no names had been mentioned by them. He added that no off the record briefing had taken place as that would only be done with journalists they know well in the vicinity of Cardiff.

He said that 30 years in the PR business had taught him not to mention names in such a context. Fair enough. But what was startling was his admission he had not quizzed Glen Johnson in order to confirm his allegations. He had no idea who the alleged ‘on-line harassers’ are. He had no idea who the alleged individuals who have placed Glen’s family under ‘virtual persecution’ are. Yet he chose to release the statement to the media. That is one lesson he has not learnt in 30 years. Newspapers, beware of press releases sent by Equinox.

When I prodded him further and asked some penetrating questions regarding the possibility of verifying the allegations and distributing a further press release, either firming or denying the allegations, he shied away. Eventually he told me to sort the matter out with the Cambrian News and basically gave me a two fingered salute and said he was off on his holidays for two weeks. No other member of staff was suggested as my point of contact during his absence.

Managing directors, of course, rarely cut themselves away from the office whether they be holidaying in Pwllheli or Panyong. There is a possibility of course that the press release was only given a furtive glance in his office before being distributed in time for Cambrian News’s deadline on Tuesday morning. The Tivyside, the local Cardigan weekly, was already in the shops by then. The handout could well have been written in Cardigan.

Yes, I have been in touch with the Cambrian News editor, Simon Middlehurst, suggesting they should publish an apology or else ask Glen for names and evidence of online harassment. Obviously they will try their damnedest now to persuade Glen to come up with the goods. They have massaged the press release? There could well be an agenda. The best they have done so far is to state that Glen has ‘complained’ about an e-mail I sent him. No details given and no mention of the word ‘harassment’. Has he complained about the weather as well? Has he complained about the content of those two leaked internal e-mails?

Does an e-mail constitute ‘on-line’ as obviously such platforms as face book, twitter, etc. are as they are accessible to everyone on-line? The article wrongly states that Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd organised a petition calling for the reinstatement of Cris Tomos, the former Director. The accolade for organising a petition should be given to the hairdresser lady which in itself shows the widespread unease within Cardigan re the situation at Castell Aberteifi. Over a 1,000 names gathered. Will the Cambrian News run such a story? Will the Tivyside?

They wrongly state that no member of Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd was available for comment. Deputy editor, Dylan Davies, would be able to say otherwise. I was available but chose not to respond as he would not tell me what the gist of Glen’s comments were and did not even tell me about the press release let alone show me a copy. I replied that I did not wish to respond on speculation and was not keen to get involved with what seemed to me nothing but trivia as Glen had already announced his resignation over a month ago. Dylan Davies did not mention the expression ‘online harassment’. Obviously the story had already been written because it was deadline time. Neither did he ask me any questions regarding Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd.

PR companies usually deal with good news stories on behalf of their clients. Where does this story fit in? Equinox’s website extolls the company’s virtues with their numerous awards and accolades received from clients. Cannot see Cardigan Castle mentioned as one of its clients. Does mention though that it does offer a service in crisis management.

Glen Johnson’s picture in the Cambrian News suggests that he is remarkably healthy for an on-line harassed historian. He looks in better fettle than many other men I have seen of his age who have never been harassed on-line. I suspect it is all designed to be a distraction. A ploy designed to intimidate and undermine Cadwgan Trustee critics prior to the AGM just as was the brief given to Dr Robert Anthony. What else have they got planned?

I still hum the tune of ‘English Heritage Castle’ courtesy of Dewi Pws.

Tas Wair

Shortly to be renamed The Cambrian ‘Nazty’ News


Another reference on this blog to Mr Johnson was made by Hefin Wyn. He said that he had been listening to a lecture by Mr Johnson and he was full of praise regarding the historian’s knowledge about the Castle and Arglwydd Rhys. I myself was a little suspect of Mr Johnson after elsewhere learning of a twitter exchange he was involved in regarding the defence of having the Cross of St George sold at the castle shop. However, after reading this blog, I genuinely warmed to the fellow.


I have to say that the photo of Glen Johnson does smack a little of a famous Benny Hill pose, but that’s not Jac’s fault – who forced Mr Johnson to pose like that for the photo?

I think S Martin has got her (/his?) knickers in such a twist that the pain has obviously had an effect on the optical nerve! Glen Johnson has been portrayed as the good guy in this thread – no where can I find ANY reference to him being the villain of the piece. In fact he has been praised in all mentions I can find of him on this blog.

Now “calm down dear” untwist your knickers and read the thread again from the top – and this time do it thoroughly and carefully – we don’t want you to make a further spectacle of yourself.

Jo Hutchings

If that is so then I suggest she has first hand knowledge of what has been going on and the effect all this ranting has had on his family.


I suggest you also get your reading specs on & stop relying on your hormones and prejudices to fuel your posts instead of your brain. You are just spouting the first bit of venom that comes into your little head.

If you haven’t got anything intelligent and reasonable to contribute then I suggest you take Jac’s advice.


Ah yes – it figures! Sounds about right to me. Nice bit of sleuthing Jac. Is she also a colonising immigrant? Judging by her level of understanding of these matters appertaining to us natives my guess is she was educated on the other side of Clawdd Offa.


What gets me is the complete lack of understanding of how much this stuff matters to us natives. But hey; screw em, they’re only Welsh, there’s a profit to be made!


Err, your informant is incorrect!!


Oh here we go again – another ‘anonymous’ rectifier of information. Why don’t you step out of the shadows and enlighten us all, instead of making a short, glib, ‘cover all’ statement like that. What do you base your comment on?

S Martin

Your articles are clearly slanted as anti English/pro Welsh. You are a proud Welshman that is understood. Another proud Welshman is Glen Johnson who you portray as a foolish dupe. He has not at any point indicted you or your self important rant as the source of his online persecution – others emboldened by your inflammatory language have done that. He has been subject to verbal harassment as well as emails and social media messages and it is this that has confirmed his decision to leave not just the Cadogan committee but all others that involved him. Yes he was fed up with several aspects of the castle management I am sure and had expressed this openly and honestly. I call on you to correct the misinformation of your followers – Glen Johnson is a Welshman born and bred, an intelligent and we’ll informed historian and far too nice a human being to name names or resort to law to answer his attackers. Maybe you could turn some of your crusading zeal to urging your followers to leave him alone.

S Martin

Thank you for pointing out my mis-typing of Cadwgan. May I point out to you that you state that I “clearly point the figure at certain people” I have assumed that you meant to type finger proving that a mis-type can be just that!

Your comments in justification of your anti-English stance are a well worn pathway and come under the same category as the phrase “just following orders” in my opinion but I leave that to your conscience.

What the hell am I talking about you ask – Followers is a common enough term for those who follow (or subscribe to) a blog. I therefore clearly mean those who read your comments and opinions. For further clarification I suggest you consult a dictionary.

Lastly, I am not ‘you people’ you do not know me, you have no idea who or what I stand for as I generally do not inflict my world views on others. But for clarification I am not in any way involved with the current leadership of the castle (although I was active as a volunteer before it was restored – were you?) So whoever ‘you people’ are I do not consider myself one of them unless by that term you mean people who failed to grasp your self proclaimed genius and agree with your views. As for balls, you are correct I do not possess these and being female I do not feel the need for them to in any way lead my actions.

Name names you cry – why? So that you can either laud them or condem them according to how their views agree with yours – not bloody likely. In Wales we have a saying -chwarae teg, fair play and some of us live by that.

S Martin

If you can find a reference to Nazi’s in my writing then you are delusional.

I take it that is the nearest I will get to an apology from you for your accusation of my anglicisation of Cadwgan.

Further the whole point I have made (ignored by you) is that SOME of your followers are not, or may not be harmless and my urging you to put them right and using the power you have as a respected (by them) blogger still stands.

I neither support the Cadwgan Trust members nor do I slander those who oppose them (although they at least were elected to their posts and have to answer to powers above them).

I have said my peace and satisfied myself as to your quality. I will not be entering into any further discussion as banging my head against a large ego has never appealled.


Earl Cadogan (pronounced Ka Dug Ann) owns a most of Chelsea and is the second richest landlord in London.


So what are you saying, there’s more than just the followers of this blog who feel the same way? Although to be fair and correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t read anywhere of Jac or anyone else having a go at Mr Johnson, it seems more like sympathy for his position to me, I could of course be wrong, it wouldn’t be the first or last time. I wonder if the phantom emailer hasn’t been at work here?


I have in my possession a petition to reinstat Cris Tomos with over 1,000 signatures on. Let’s try to persuade him back, its what the people want.

Ian Perryman

The BBC article appears to be almost entirely based on the PR company’s press release. Basically a lazy copy and paste exercise for which the BBC have been condemned in the past.
I don’t see why the fact that a trustee has left a few weeks earlier than planned needs a press release at all. Did all the other trustees who left get similar coverage?


I think you will find that each year a Trustee will stand down on rotation, just to be re-elected!


seems like a perfectly decent arrangement to perpetuate control ! bit like royalty. …. and Welsh Labour. Are you sure these folks aren’t card carrying members ?


Just another ‘dodge the missiles’ strategy. I detect an air of desperation to save skins from that mob – thanks in no small part to this blog.

Dai Dom Da

Not only is Mike Lewis an employee of the Cambrian News, but Sue Lewis earns some pocket money by moonlighting as a freelancer for the same paper. Her duties include reporting on meetings of Aberporth Community Council whose members include her old friend and colleague Jann Tucker. Here is an extract from the council’s minutes in April 2015:

“Present: Cllr Jann Tucker, Cllr Hywel Evans, Cllr Mike Harwood, Cllr Gethin James, Cllr Dai Ogilvie, Cllr Colin Evans, Cllr June Allen, Cllr Gethin Davies, Cllr Richard Williams., Vanessa Owens (Clerk) and Mrs Sue Lewis (Cambrian News) ”

Decide for yourselves how reliable and objective the paper’s reporting is likely to be in a set-up like this. But then a newspaper which can dredge up an old article about neo-Nazis and white supremacists settling in parts of rural mid-Wales and come up with the headline “Incomers are ‘Nazis’ says would-be MP” clearly doesn’t worry too much about ethical journalism.

Big Gee

Interesting that – wheels within wheels eh? As the Nazi slur has come up again – as an example of disgraceful journalism (or lack of it) by this rag, maybe you’d be interested to read what Mike Parker wrote in Planet & the Cambrian News’ response:


That 2001 article from M Parker is one of the most rational pieces of work I have read about the migrant related issues. It is strikingly dispassionate yet displays real concern, something rare in any commentary written by a person with obvious interest.

2 things spring to mind. I have quite a good memory, yet I do not recall Plaid Cymru pushing this critique into the “front row” of any of their debates, conferences events etc. That should have given us out in the country at large a signal that this party was becoming a touch wishy washy and spineless, a condition which today appears near terminal. My major recall of 2001 is the effort made by Cymuned to agitate communities to defend themselves. I have no recall of much coming from Cymdeithas either, although their members may well have fallen in behind Cymuned’s leadership.

Secondly, only a deliberate act of selective editing could have led to the Cambrian News’ attack on Parker in 2015. That rag should be terminated unless it voluntarily declares its status as a propoganda sheet for assorted enemies of the Welsh people, prepared to misrepresent informationwhile relying on the general public’s unwillingness or inability to check facts from other sources.


For those who may have missed the 2001 article (Loaded Dice) that ‘Dafis’ refers to, here’s a link to it:

A MUST read for followers of Jac o’ the North!


Very true, this is as far as I can see a common thing. As another example, I have mentioned in another reply on your blog of my own employer (and the fact that he still is my employer is to my own shame) who relocated from Leeds along with his friends) twelve years go. The attitudes towards the Asian incomers in his town are shocking even upsetting but curiously prefers to prefers to employ Poles rather than Welsh despite receiving grants from the Welsh authorities to fund his business’s growth (currently 150 employees). I have witnessed with my own eyes Welsh peoples CVs getting chucked in the bin without even being read whereas he will have the Polish employees have members of their families and friends brought over from Poland with a guarantee of a job despite being even able to speak English. Selectively racist?

Dai Dom Da

Anyone know the name of the journalist who wrote the “Nazi” piece? Although to be fair on him or her, they were clearly only acting on orders….


Why not invite Mike Lewis and the ‘writer’ of the news item in the Cambrian News to advance what’s been written in their rag here on Jac’s blog? Should make entertaining reading when the blog members (including Jac himself) start their cross examination of the (amateurish) Cambrian News mob’s contribution! The same applies to the BBC reporter whoever he/she was.

But I guess that’s wishful thinking – I don’t think their guts could face the stress! It could get very smelly . . . .


Is this Mike Lewis the same man who recently edited, or still does, the once decent newspaper that became a rag called South Wales Guardian under his control? He was a big supporter of the Wind Turbine Tafia on the hills south of Ammanford! On a recent visit to Tesco Ammanford I see that the Carmarthen Journal is muscling in on the turf of the South Wales Guardian – even offering free choicolate bars to help bury the South Wales Guardian. Maybe TESCO Cardigan could do the same and help bury both the Tivyside and the Cambrian News in favour of an expanded Carmarthen Journal. To rid west Wales of this Tafia.

Chris Corrigan

It is my strong opinion that “Jac O’ The North” has carried out very thorough and diligent reporting of the developments regarding the Cardigan Castle controversy. He has succeeded in bringing to light some startling facts that would not otherwise have become public knowledge.
His investigative skills must be admired, so it is surprising to say the least to see the article about Glen Johnson in the Cambrian News, particularly in reference to “online harrassment”. The writer of this Cambrian News article fails to substantiate this claim. As the latest ‘Jac O’ The North’ blog makes clear, Mr Johnson had expressed an intention to depart some time in advance of the online blog ever mentioning him.
What kind of journalism is this? It is not journalism at all. The article refers to Jac O ‘The North’s “criticisms” without saying what they were. I wonder why? This is lazy and one-sided in my view. The work of a novice.
I must admit I was not aware that the deputy editor of the Cambrian News, Mike Lewis, is the husband of Sue Lewis, who is a central character in the Cardigan Castle controversy.
I think it is incumbent upon Mr Lewis to make it known whether or not he was involved in any way in the preparation of, the writing of, or the decision to publish, this article.