Tryweryn, Happy Donkey Hill, Good-Lifers

TRYWERYN (Click to enlarge photographs)

I went to the Tryweryn commemoration on Saturday. (I wouldn’t have botTryweryn 1hered, but two old friends came up, stayed with me Friday night, and so I went with them.) There was a good crowd there, but not many young people; though in fairness, I suppose an event like that was always going to attract what’s left of the Sixties generation. (God! am I that old!)

There seemed to be a great many, er, mature women there, with the uniforms and hairstyles of their age and class. Many of these had been sparky young things in mini skirts back in the 1960s, and had marched with placards held aloft before, rebelliousness spent, settling down to become Miss Pugh of Tryweryn 2Nantiestyn Juniors, and stalwart of Merched y Wawr.

So it should come as no surprise to learn that the Tryweryn commemoration was exclusively a Plaid Cymru affair, which meant that the small number of ‘militants’ that turned up was massively outnumbered, though of course some were in mufti, while other firebrands of yore – like the aforementioned ladies – have turned quite respectable. In fact, there was a rather parchus – almost bourgeois – overlay to the whole thing. I swear anybody who’d farted would have been stared down into the murky waters covering Capel Celyn.Tryweryn 3

This parchus overlay might have influenced the pervading air of elegiac nostalgia. There was a lot of hand-wringing and reminiscing, nostalgia for a lost bucolic paradise; but little to dissuade me from believing that the only reason we haven’t seen another Tryweryn is the fear – on the part of the British state – of unleashing forces more threatening to English colonialism than Plaid Cymru.

Speeches were delivered by former Plaid leader Dafydd Wigley, 60s protest siTryweryn 5nger and politician Dafydd Iwan (who also gave us a couple of songs), former and current MPs for Meirionnydd Elfyn Llwyd and Liz Saville Roberts, with it all compered, rather well, by councillor Elwyn Edwards, a native of drowned Capel Celyn.

Absent was Plaid’s current leader, Leanne Wood, up at the SNP conference in Aberdeen getting the kind of reception she can only dream of in Wales and, much more surprisingly, the man who’s been the local AM since the Assembly started, Dafydd Elis Thomas.Tryweryn 6

As I say, there was a curious atmosphere hanging over the whole event, as if no one was quite sure how to deal with celebrating what was obviously a defeat for Wales but which turned out to be one poke in the eye too many even for a defeated and complaisant people like us.

This strange and uncertain mood became even more obvious at the anti-climatic conclusion. Speeches over . . . and that was it . . . no singing of the anthem, no Yma o Hyd from Dafydd Iwan, just people milling around wondering what to do next. As it turned out, we Tryweryn 7were told to line up behind the ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn‘ banner and march back to the car park on other side of the dam.

I remarked to a local freelance photographer I knew that the crowd marching silently over the dam looked more like the type of procession one sees in Catholic countries than anything political. And I suppose it was a kind of pilgrimage, but many there were not sure exactly what they were supposed to be commemorating. Or how they were supposed to commemorate it.

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MORE ON ‘HAPPY DONKEY HILL’

In the previous post I referred to the property known as Faerdre Fach near Llandysul being re-named Happy Donkey Hill. I have since been passed information that throws more light on the woman responsible for this insult.

It seems that the proprietrix of Happy Donkey Hill is named Kate Clamp, and she’s into ‘animal welfare’, as this report from the Northern Echo (of Newcastle) tells us. Though this 2008 article also tells us that she was forced to give up the Ramshaw Rescue Centre at Low Garth Farm because of a neck injury. Mercifully she recovered well enough to bring herself to Wales and buy Faerdre Fach, which she re-named Happy Donkey Hill.

After moving to Llandysul Kate Clamp branched out into B&B and other holiday accommodation. Not only that but she tried to advertise her new venture with this appearance on Channel 4’s Four in a Bed, a show in which B&B owners visit and assess each other’s establishments (not what you’re thinking!). In part excruciating, in part embarrassing, this example of ‘Welsh’ tourism should chill the heart of any true Welsh person.

Clearly, the multi-chinned Ms Clamp sees herself as one of those big and bubbly ‘personalities’ we are all Happy Donkey Hillexpected to cherish. Anyone who doesn’t accept this depiction is often dismissed as a ‘snob’. A less generous interpretation might be that she’s a loud and domineering woman more concerned with animals than people. With the latter being used to fund her concern for – even preference for – the former. (It may be significant that visitors to Happy Donkey Hill can bring their dogs but not their children.)

I trust that the required planning permissions have been received for all the changes she and her young partner are making to Faerdre Fach Happy Donkey Hill, and that the RSPCA is keeping check on the welfare of the assorted animals there, for Kate Clamp is a very busy woman. (And it must be worth asking, ‘How many more animal ‘refuges’ are we going to allow?) Another concern should be for public health inspectors, for I’d be concerned about so many animals in close proximity to where food is cooked and people sleep.

But at the end of the day, this is ‘Welsh’ tourism. Crude and alien. The time has surely come to curb the excesses of this exploitive and colonialist activity; for tourism, and the colonisation that comes with it, are now the biggest threats to the survival of Welsh identity, the Welsh language, and even Welsh place names, in our rural areas.

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LEGISLATING FOR GOOD-LIFERS

Back in January last year I wrote a piece about the ‘Welsh’ Government transferring 15% of EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2. (Read it here.) In other words, instead of this money going to Welsh farmers it would in future be given to ‘rural development projects’. (I think most people reading this will understand the code employed in ‘rural development projects’.) There have been many other assaults on Welsh agriculture recently. Here’s one I noticed in January this year.

On the one hand it would be easy to dismiss these attacks on farming as the behaviour of a political party whose ‘Wales’ is bounded by Llanelli, Ebbw Vale and Coedpoeth. Reasoning that, ‘Them buggers don’t vote for us so why should we do anything for them?’ But this argument doesn’t hold water because even areas that do vote Labour also get shafted. (Just think Valleys.)

One reason for these constant assaults on Welsh rural life is the advice received by the ‘Welsh’ Government in recent years from bodies such as the Wales Rural Observatory (WRO), which I wrote about back in September 2012. (I apologise for the lack of spacing, due to the formatting not transferring properly from my old Google Blogger blog.) Though since writing that piece I understand that the WRO may have had its funding pulled . . . I do hope it was something I said.

By a rather roundabout route I was recently made aware of yet more ludicrous advice being fed to the ‘Welsh’ Government, advice that, yet again, works against Welsh interests and also encourages further colonisation. I’m referring now to the ‘Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities’, set out in Technical Advice Note (TAN) 6 as ‘One Planet Development’. You will note that this was ‘prepared’ for the Planning Division of the ‘Welsh’ Government by Land Use Consultants and the Positive Development Trust. Although the address given for this lot on TAN 6 is in Bristol, their head office is in fact in London, so I presume that Bristol is the regional office for this part of Englandandwales.

I urge you to read TAN 6, especially if you want to expand your eco-babble vocabulary.

To cut a long story short, the civil servants who run the ‘Welsh’ Government’s Planning Department have accepted this guidance and imposed it on our local planning authorities. It demands that our local authorities give planning permission to projects meeting the criterion of ‘self-sufficiency’. The panel below is taken from TAN 6 and tells us that this directive does not merely apply to single properties, it can be used to build whole new ‘ecovillages’.

One Planet

The specific example I read about was in Carmarthenshire, planned for Rhiw Las, near Whitland. (Read more here.) While the source, West Wales News Review, is obviously published by environmentalists, it has some use in that it provides us with the name of Rhiw Las Ltd, Company Number, 08686077, Incorporated in September 2013. Rhiw Las Ltd has applied for what are, essentially, four new dwellings in open country, justified on the grounds that they will be self-sufficient smallholdings of the kind demanded by the One Planet legislation. (Read the planning application here.)

It was good to see Plaid Cymru (and other) councillors on Carmarthenshire council reject this application, but we can be sure of two things: 1/ The application will be allowed by the Planning Inspectorate on appeal, and 2/ No matter what the local councillors may think of it, Plaid AMs would have been falling over themselves to support this One Planet eco-bollocks.

The legislation set out in TAN 6 could result in whole new villages of hippies and other undesirables setting up anywhere in Wales. In fact, TAN 6 encourages it. All they’d need to do is form a small company, buy a bit of land (I’m sure the ‘Welsh’ Government will help) and whack in a planning application. It’s frightening to think that a government supposedly serving Welsh interests is agreeing to legislation like this. For no matter that this colonisation ploy originated in England, no matter that is was taken up and presented by the English civil servants controlling the Assembly, it still had to be agreed by those traitorous buffoons down Cardiff docks.

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Everywhere we look in rural Wales, and along our coasts, we see the same picture – Welsh identity being swamped under a tide of colonisation. Worse, the ‘Welsh’ Government is facilitating this ethnic cleansing by legislating against the indigenous Welsh and passing laws that can only benefit strangers. Also, by encouraging activities and industries that are guaranteed to work against Welsh interests.

We Welsh today are a nation without leaders or representatives, those we have put our faith in have betrayed us time and time again. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a monoglot socialist agitator in Dowlais or a lover of the Welsh language in Dolgellau, you have been taken for granted and betrayed, time after time!

This system will eventually turn Wales into a larger version of Cornwall, with impoverished natives being told to rejoice as wealthy outsiders buy everything – for this is ‘investment’, this is ‘progress’. Only a ‘racist’ would fight against his people being marginalised and their identity destroyed in this way.

But ‘racist’ is just another convenient lie for politicians and media, it’s just another smear; like the ‘terrorists’ who fought to free their countries from English oppression. How can these ingrates, these scoundrels, be compared to the visionaries who set up the first concentration camps, the lauded commanders who took the decision to bomb Dresden, or our noble allies in Saudi Arabia – ideal human rights watchdogs!

With devolution we Welsh are confronted with the colonial appendage of a morally bankrupt system. As such, it deserves neither our respect nor our support. So start rejecting it, treat it with the contempt it deserves. Start today!

UPDATE: As I predicted, the English Planning Inspectorate overruled Carmarthenshire County Council to give these colonists planning permission for their hippy settlement. Not only that but the Inspector decided that the council should pay the colonists’ costs in preparing their appeal. No doubt we Welsh will be paying for lots of other things for these bastards in the years ahead because the ‘self-sufficiency’ they’re always banging on about never leads to them being independent of the public purse.

54 thoughts on “Tryweryn, Happy Donkey Hill, Good-Lifers

    1. I’ve just seen the programme. Though the spokesman for Liverpool argued that under the terms of the Act of Parliament that allowed Tryweryn Liverpool had no alternative but to sell water from Tryweryn to other towns nearby. Whatever the truth of that, there’s no denying that very soon after Tryweryn Liverpool went into industrial decline resulting in population loss, and this must have reduced the city’s need for water.

      1. Colin

        Thank you for the summary of the events last Saturday at Cwm Tryweryn, we had hoped to be there but I ended up staying in bed with a chest infection. I think it was probably for the best as it turned out, what a waste of a good opportunity to light a fire in peoples bellies, walking quietly back to the car park sums it up really by the sound of it. Very different to the events of 50 years ago with the charge down the hill, the first public outing for the FWA if I remember correctly.

        Liverpool were held under the act of parliament from the building of the dam at Vyrnwy to sell water to other authorities, is it the case that they were bound by the same at Tryweryn? I didn’t think so. Liverpool only used about 60% of the water from Vyrnwy I think, with the rest sold at a healthy profit, this is where the need for a new dam came from in my opinion, yes water could be used in future industrial expansion but the drive was plain profit.

        I wish we still had the FWA, OK they weren’t the most effective (if that’s the right word) organisation, seen by many as idiots apparently, what they did in my eyes was to galvanise the feeling of Welsh conciousness amongst the young of the time, myself included; many a time I daubed big paint letters over a railway bridge, desperate to be a part of it. The future is with the young, we’d all be wise to remember that, I hope their time comes

  1. So there’s a clear theme running through all of this post, Wales, a land of happy donkeys passively chewing the cud and looking on while their nation is ‘drowned’. But here’s the problem, how is it that all the initiative, all the new ideas, all the innovation, seems to be flooding in from outside? Where are all the (young?) innovative Welsh people who might build a modern Wales in their own image? Can they all have jumped ship to earn pots of money abroad?

    All I see in your posts is a reactionary rearguard action. How can this inspire a new generation whether natives or amenable incomers?
    If instead of seeing a vibrant positive society which they are welcomed to join, all they encounter are bitter old people who give them the cold shoulder, is it any wonder they reject you and everything you stand for?

    Take your reaction to the apparent change of heart over ‘eco-settlements’. Instead of a knee-jerk “more bloody foreigners” reaction, why not revive the ideals of earlier times and create new thoroughly Welsh communities? Well, why not, all the basic thinking was done decades ago.

    1. Big Gee

      An over simplistic solution to a very complex problem Marconatrix.

      If everything was that simple we wouldn’t have ANY problems in our world. Unfortunately, life is not like that and most of the utopic suggestions come from people who have a very shallow and uneducated understanding of the problems faced.

      It reminds me of one of my sons – many years ago. He told me when he was five, that next Saturday he was going to build a time machine in our back garden. Did he manage it? What do you think?

      Sadly many still think like five year olds after they’ve grown up.

      1. Big Gee. The ‘hippies’ (for want of a better description) have from time to time set up communities in Wales (among other places), some fail but some succeed and establish their own mini-culture different from normal conventions, both English and Welsh. If they can do this practically from a standing start, why can’t the Welsh who have a centuries’ old culture as a foundation?

        A century ago the equivalent of a ‘commune’ or ‘alternative community’ was called a ‘home colony’. Why not take advantage of the changes mentioned in planning outlook to establish ‘Gwladfeydd yng Nghymu’? If you have a enough people willing to back such schemes, with loans and expertise, then you wouldn’t even need government funding. There are suitable co-operative models available that ought to appeal to Welsh ideals.

        Ond mae’n debig dwi’n adeiladi bont does neb yn barod ei groesi …druan o beth.

        1. Big Gee

          In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

          I’d quietly take Jac’s advice if I were you.

          1. I’d like to build bridges for people to cross over, share ideas and information for everyone’s benefit. This is often a thankless task as the responses here plainly demonstrate. You can go and sulk under the bridge and snap at travellers if you wish, but that was never my desire.

            I am grateful to Jac for approving my last two comments (in the sense of allowing them to be displayed), the responses only make my point too clearly. I think this a great shame, but there we go. So who’s the troll now?

  2. YBarddCwsc

    Happy Donkey Hill is a name of truly unsurpassing ugliness.

    Quite suitable for this proprietor, though.

    It should require planning permission to change an old Welsh name.

    But, I am less worried it about in the case of Faerdre Fach. It is hard to believe the next proprietor would put up with such a excessively twee and nauseating name.

    1. Colin

      Did you watch the Happy Donkey hill video? I’m completely bloody speechless apart from the photo above of the said Clamp woman sums it all up perfectly

      1. That woman is a grotesque. When I go away I want a bed, breakfast, and then to be left to my own devices. The thought of jumping into a tub with her is terrifying! Making me wonder if this place might not advertise itself in certain media as ‘adult’. And then everybody going off in a mini bus with her leading the singing! Sweet Jesus! Some interesting comments here #HappyDonkeyHill

  3. 2 things, firstly the farm is called FAERDRE FACH, it always will be, we support everything Welsh, (I did an interview on S4C agreeing these wonderful names shall never be changed) and we have just acquired another adjoining 31 acres including a registered Welsh Castell (GWYNIODD) as part of the estate of FAERDRE FACH, a rare chance to reown land that was once sold off in parcels, Happy Donkey Hill is the name of the business, a very successful one I might add, bringing in at least 28 paying guests a week that are spending money in the area, this is a bit of a witch hunt without indeed knowing the facts so I am going to defend myself as weirdly I am on your side even though you appear to be narrow minded bigots, and secondly I have lost over NINE STONE since this picture was taken so if you wish to try to bully and belittle me I am going to bet my BMI is now healthier than yours 😉

    1. How can you ‘re-own’ what you haven’t owned before? You say you’re keeping the name Faerdre Fach, so why use Happy Donkey Hill at all? Why not call your business Faerdre Fach?

      What you’ve said here doesn’t change anything. My fundamental criticism of ‘Welsh’ tourism is that there is too little Welsh involvement, too few benefits for Welsh people. We Welsh have to put up with the problems tourism creates – increased traffic; rocketing property prices (from tourists wanting to move here); higher council tax, for rubbish, road maintenance, etc; low wages in seasonal employment dressed up as the economic salvation of rural Wales; loss of language and national identity.

      The truth is that most Welsh people would be better off if we had no tourism in Wales.

      1. A very insular and very Welsh response…….funny how all the successful businesses locally are run by non Welsh, we spent in excess of £250,000 developing a derelict farm steading and mostly due to unreliable contractors locally used English workmen, you should indeed be very proud to be Welsh and happy that you live in such a beautiful part of the world, when I said reown I meant buying back part of the original estate and restoring it to its former glory, why wouldnt you be pleased someone wanted to do that, tourism keeps Wales afloat!!
        If we are going to get personal you sound and indeed look like a very miserable old man. Cheer up for Gods sake

        1. You want applause for buying up another 31 acres. From where I’m standing, that’s just more of Wales in foreign ownership – what’s to applaud?

          As for the money you spent on Faerdre Fach, you got that from selling the farm you owned in north east England. And I guarantee that the animal rescue centre you ran there was well funded by little old ladies and others. So don’t make yourself out to be some great businesswoman.

          What do you mean by mine being “A very insular and very Welsh response”? You’re an expert on the Welsh now, are you? Like so many of your kind, who spend a few years here, have little interaction with us natives, but still set themselves up as ‘experts’ on everything anyone would want to know about Wales and the Welsh. You can find them in most country pubs, or running little businesses.

          Or maybe you do explain it when you wrote, “due to unreliable contractors locally (we) used English workmen”. You don’t think much of us, do you? Seeing as you used English workers on Faerdre Fach, tell me again, where are the Welsh benefits from tourism, and businesses like yours? We Welsh come across your attitude time and time again – ‘Wales is a beautiful country . . . pity about the Welsh’. The colonialist belief held by people like you that nothing would be done in Wales if it wasn’t for people like you.

          But it’s not all bad. Because you say you’ve lost eight stone since Four in a Bed was made, I’m glad to hear it (though you could probably afford to lose a bit more). Whatever possessed you to agree to be ridiculed like that? That programme is out there on the internet forever, and anyone searching for ‘Happy Donkey Hill’ will turn up that disaster. Well, disaster for you, I thought it was hilarious.

          1. Ever heard the expression ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ ?? We run at 82-90% occupancy ALL YEAR ROUND, no seasonal tourists here, so have an extraordinarily large chip on your shoulder dont you?

            Another grossly misinformed remark about my farm in the North East of England as we still own it!! You really need to research facts before you try to belittle me dear.

            I wont be commenting again as I am a busy woman and refuse to get embroiled in a slanging match, I am very proud of what we have achieved both in Wales and in England, I have created 2 remarkable businesses from nothing, what is your contribution?

            1. After watching Four in a Bed I have to disagree, there is definitely such a thing as bad publicity. Though if you are getting 80-90% occupancy I can only assume you’ve tapped into the masochist market, the kind of people who’d go back again and again to Fawlty Towers.

              I agree that it’s best you post no more comments here, you’ve already said enough to make your attitude to us Welsh very clear.

              By the way, the photo is not of me, it’s the great French film actor, Jean Gabin, but I wouldn’t expect someone like you to know that.

            2. Colin

              The masochistic market? That has to involve a donkey! I would explain the expression on her face

              What are the chances of the place in the NE being called “Fluffy Bunny Farm”?

            3. Colin

              I tried to be nice with you but no you had to go on the offensive and piss everybody off with your we spent £250,000 in our country and used foreign builders and bought up more of our land aren’t we clever! Are you fucking stupid or what? Never mind luv, go and find another daft TV show to go and make a laughing stock of yourselves again

              Jac, grotesque, good one, fucking perfect actually

            4. Brychan

              An interesting declaration by Ms Clamp. There appears to be a discrepancy in what she is saying. In the Northern Echo it says that the Ramshaw Rescue Centre, near Bishop Auckland, was for sale at £850,000. On this blog she says that the sale did not take place and she still owns it as a profitable business. Strange as the Ramshaw Rescue Centre was trading recently declaring on it’s website as a ‘non-profit organisation’.
              http://www.dogservices.co.uk/ramshaw-rescue-centre/
              Until recently it was seeking donations, and transactions were banked by a Ms Kate Price. At the time Faerdre Fach was purchased, the Ramshaw Rescue Centre near Bishop Auckland lost all its donkeys, and the stables were converted to dog kennels. No doubt there would have been many elderly animal lovers willing to donate large sums of money to look after, or in memory of, much loved pets. Strange thing is, I cannot find any registered charity in the name of Ramshaw Rescue Centre, and Kate Clamp (or maybe Price) may need to explain further.

            5. Well that is interesting. I wonder who ‘Kate Price’ might be? I think Kate Clamp and her various ventures merit further investigation.

            6. The link you provided opens to some info on Ramshaw but the link it provides to Ramshaw’s own website is broken. Or rather, it says ‘Account Suspended’.

              Elsewhere, I’m getting fascinating information from a source who tells me that Kate Clamp is the daughter of multi-millionaire Mike Gooley, who has given some £500,000 to the Conservative Party.

              What’s more, I’m told that Kate Clamp (or whatever her name is) owes everything she’s got to daddy’s money and legacies and donations conned out of gullible people who want to help animals. Follow this link and scroll down to the comment from ‘batmanandrobin’.

              This tweet would appear to be to her brother, Tristan Gooley.

              Kate Clamp makes a big thing of being a self-made woman who’s worked hard for all she’s got. The truth may be very different. And this easy money might explain why there seems to be neither a company nor a registered charity involved with either Ramshaw or Faerdre Fach. And why there is nothing on Kate Clamp other than Faerdre Fach / Happy Donkey Hill.

              Kate What’s-her-name has some explaining to do. And we have more digging to do.

            7. Colin

              Good find! Did you read further through that forum? Looks like the doughnut lady is very popular all round, lots of broken links but they must have been live once and comments such as “even her family hates her” leave telling signs to what may have been.

            8. Ian

              1. “Lady” is a purchased title she is NO Lady, 2. Her father Mr Gooley who is made good and extremely rich totally finances his spoilt brat Katie Clamp, 3. She is a vile, foul woman who uses her false oh I am a “Lady” to win the Planning Officer and run a static covered up with cheap fencing panels and calls it a chicken shed – see her video on her web site and 4. Why live in Wales when you hate the Welsh – oh because you can because daddy’s money will protect you – shame the locals and the Welsh don’t help her move back over the Bridge she won’t need daddy’s money for that – free returning back to England

            9. Everybody who comes here to comment on her says roughly the same thing – a rather vulgar loud-mouth with delusions of grandeur.

            10. Ian

              MRS Clap more like – whose father is the son of an Irish Guards officer. His mother, a nurse, built a successful nursing homes business but she died when Gooley was 15 and her business quickly collapsed – an experience, he has remarked in the past – (Hardly a titled family background)

        2. Colin

          Word from the wise:

          Anyone who ever ever had a photo like the one above should never ever… well you get the drift
          Let’s face it Jac can cheer up but no matter how much weight you have lost you’ll still be a bit on the rough side

          I’m still gobsmaked about that happy donkey video but what do you expect, it takes a certain kind of person (and that has nothing whatsoever to do with nationality)

        3. Myfanwy

          Kate Clamp, your ignorance knows no bounds, with your totally arrogant attitude and lack of sensitivity, like the many others who move to Wales thinking they are moving to just another part of England, you have failed abysmally to acknowledge and appreciate, a very rich and ancient Culture, so distinct from whence you came and which has survived for Centuries, against all the odds, from the invasion of ignorant minded people, such as yourself. It might come as a shock to you, but Wales is a totally different Country, you may look out at the scenery and admire the view, but it is you, with your attitude, who will forever be the outsider in Wales!

      2. Myfanwy

        Really well said! Like many Welsh people, I am now in the position of not being able to move back to Wales, where my Parents were from, because of the ridiculous increase in property prices. So property speculation, by mainly English holiday makers means that my daughter will not get a Welsh education. Compound that with others, who are also in the same position and you can see why the local schools are closing. Inevitably, the Welsh language and Culture suffers and our villages become ghost towns. Enough is enough, if more stringent laws and taxes are not introduced, to dissuade the influx of holiday home owners etc, our Culture will die. One sometimes wonders, if that’s not the intended outcome desired by Westminster.

    2. Colin

      Well done on losing 9 stone, that’s no mean feat, credit where it’s due

      I take a slightly different view to Jac in that I think some tourism is good but 100% agree with him that it should be controlled. I live in a small fishing village on Sir Fon, when I was young I knew everybody and everybody knew me. Even then (early 60s) there was a few holiday homes here but not many and the population remained stable through the year. There was green fields between various parts of the village, large gardens, shops of all sorts and a small but thriving fishing industry.

      Today the amount of second homes has gone through the roof, well over 50% of the village is empty for 75% of the year. Incomers can afford to pay over the odds for their second home so prices rise and the young locals can’t afford to live here any more. Because the village is deserted most of the year the shops have all shut, we have lots of cafes that cater for the hungry hoards that descend on us during the summer holidays but come winter most of them shut and the others open at the weekend only. Remember that the young people have been forced to move away, well that meant that these business have been bought by incomers who are based in Wimslow or some such place, they employ friends and relatives from back home so there’s no work even for local kids during the summer. That thriving fishing industry has now had to close because in order to have a mooring in the sea you need permission from the RYA committee run by some person from Manchester so it’s whoever pays the most gets the mooring.

      On the good side there are a couple of small caravan sites run by local people, they employ local people throughout the year but that’s not many but at least some money stays in the village

      My opinion is that tourism brings more harm than good, it’s certainly screwed my home village

  4. I heard on the radio that the Tryweryn Capel Coffa is more or less being left to ruin although a little work has been done there recently by somebody. It’s meant to be under the care of the multi billion pound company Dwr Cymru. This is disgusting and another insult to the Welsh nation.

  5. Dai Dom Da

    Happy Donkey Hill featured in an interview on the Dylan Jones programme on Radio Cymru the other day. I can’t imagine that Lady Clamp will be getting many bookings from Welsh speakers.

    The interview was with a representative of Cymdeithas Enwau Lleoedd Cymru and dealt with the loss of historic place names. The crass Happy Donkey Hill was one of a couple of examples from the Llandysul area.

    Unfortunately the society’s website appears to be broken at the moment, but it would be an ideal place to gather examples of what is nothing less than cultural vandalism.

    Nauseatingly, our local authorities happily dole out hundreds of thousands of pounds in grants to establishments like Happy Donkey Hill every year. Hot tubs, jacuzzis, barbecue pavilions, solar panels to heat the hot tubs and much else besides are being paid for out of EU regeneration funds which are being squandered instead of used to create a stronger and more viable local economy to benefit the wider community. This is the economics of the the mad house – £20,000 gifted to someone like Lady Clamp for a hot tub will never, ever produce £20,000 in additional revenue for businesses in the surrounding area.

    In one recent case not far away from Lady C and her donkeys, the owners of a swish B&B were given £10,000 to build a barbecue hut so that guests could eat in rather than have to venture out and try their luck in local pubs and restaurants.

    1. Actually, this is the economics of colonialism. It is colonisation being funded with EU and other money that is supposed to raise standards for the wider population of the area.

  6. Albert Hill

    If you relied on Twitter you’d think Wales was full of militants inspired by the “tragedy” of Tryweryn to take up the cudgels on behalf of a truly free and independent Wales.

    Meanwhile from the photographs I’ve seen the famous Cofio Tryweryn artwork is now decorated with an anemic Tafod y Ddraig rather than the Eryr Wen. It all seems a rather appropriate.

    1. There has been a considerable re-writing of the history of the 1960s. To read certain accounts the opposition to Tryweryn, the Investiture, and much else beside was restricted to Plaid Cymru and / or CyIG. I was there, and I know this is rubbish.

      Plaid Cymru’s idea of ‘defending’ Capel Celyn was to act as targets for Scouse spitters. While the Investiture proved embarrassing to PC and CyI, both ended up trying to ignore it. Which of course made it go away.

      1. Colin

        I read somewhere that Gwynfor Evans’ biggest regret was he hadn’t been more militant in his defence of his country which is a fair admission of the above.

        There’ll be another investiture coming up soon, unless sense prevails it will be very interesting to see what happens then, I suspect whatever happens it will be as inspiring as the events of last Saturday. I’d have nothing against them personally if it was “the queen of England” and “a prince of England”, they do a great job for England’s tourist trade keeping the Americans away from me.

  7. dafis

    just been restored to “active communications” after a disasterous crash of this old machine ! Steam hissing everywhere and shredded gasketry and perished hoses had to be replaced, only kidding, but at least with gaskets and hoses I think I might have worked out for myself what was going wrong, but software and operating systems, well I just don’t get it so I went to a man who can !

    Anyway to the Tryweryn event, well I guess it was bound to be a bit of a damp squib because it is mainly about grieving, no point going up there and ranting and raving – anger should be channelled in a more appropriate direction. On the box it was good to see a re run of Owain, John Albert and Emyr Llew getting together, maybe all 3 should have been given more of a hearing in the decades that followed their grand gesture. Sad though that the “Party”, that “corpse that sits in my chair”, took the lead in the event but to be expected as they do handle grief and moping rather well. Today I watched the other side of their divided personality pontificate at Abertitswith, promising some heavy duty pipe dreams with no real regard for how this stuff is to be funded. Now I’m all for a bit of ambition and aspiration but lets be able to show clearly the steps that will take the nation to these heady goals otherwise we are tempted to conclude that we might sink in the quagmire of underfunding and broken promises.

    Colin, I honestly believe that Gwynfor was a decent man whose pacifism was sincerely held and I can accept his word on what happened in the 50’s and 60’s. However the current generation are professional politicians of the worst kind engaging in a competitive frenzy of policy bullshit when they have no chance of ever implimenting such promises. Indeed by making such promises they are increasing the likelihood of remaining in the doldrums for another generation or more.

  8. Do they actually know what self-sufficient means, and that it is quite absurd to apply that to what will probably turn out to be a rather run of the mill housing development just maybe with a few allotments added?
    I am used to seeing ‘sustainable’ and ‘eco-‘ bastardised into meaningless buzzwords but to actually claim self-sufficiency is to put it mildly audacious. Do they propose settlements that produce most of their own food and manufactured goods onsite? I think not.

    Seeing as you mention Cornwall I suggest you look up the eco-towns proposal near St. Austell, which it is instructive to notice that the application included parking space enough for an average of more than one car per housing unit.

    Not the only example either: https://coserginfo.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/shortlanesend-eco-community/

    It’s only sustainable development until the whole land is built on, which apparently at current rates of growth will happen in Cornwall by the end of the next century.

  9. Sorry, I just noticed the link I posted was a few years old. This was actually a rather speculative exercise and in fact there is part of the consultants’ report here which is mildly entertaining given their maps look like they were done with screengrabs of Google Earth edited in Microsoft Paint. In fact this is more confusing because these documents are available via search engines but don’t appear to be linked via the council website itself.

    The strange thing is I can’t find anything up to date on the St. Austell project. It is much scaled down from what the original idea which was labelled an ‘eco-town’ even though the 5000 homes would be various suburbs tacked onto existing settlements.
    Even the website of the company behind it ‘Eco-bos’ http://www.eco-bos.com/ (a joint venture company which includes as a developer Orascom Development whose original business was to ‘create a little piece of paradise on the exquisitely desolate Red Sea coast’ shows no new information in several years. It actually now looks to me like there is a planning application outstanding on it which hasn’t been determined despite many months having passed.

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