THE changing of Welsh names into English has been a major bone of contention lately.
If this process was not bad enough, we now have a situation where a Welsh name is being termed ‘racist’ .
Today (July 25) Standing Up Against Racism and Black Lives Matter are protesting against the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s move to name a new housing estate in Barry, ‘Ffordd Penrhyn’.
The protestors claim that the name is glorifying Lord Penrhyn of Bangor who owned 4 plantations and a 1,000 slaves in Jamaica during the 18th century.
What they haven’t taken on board is the fact that ‘penrhyn’ in Welsh just means peninsula, or headland, which is a correct description of Barry’s geographical situation.
GWLAD’s Senedd candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan, Karl-James Langford, said the protestors had misunderstood the meaning of the Welsh name entirely.
‘In this age of tensions, the rights and aspirations of all individuals as part of the human race – all lives – matter,’ he said. ‘The naming of locations should be left to local traditions.’
‘If a place is to be given a name associated with the national language, Cymraeg, then that is totally appropriate’.
The two protesting groups have called to rename the housing estate, Ffordd Pantycelyn, after the famous Welsh hymnist, William Willams – although there is no known connection between the hymnist and the town.
BLM and its associated groups are very effective at whipping up emotion and feelings on what they see as problematical symbols from the past.
But logic and reason is not their strongest card.
After all, if the name Penrhyn is now to be outlawed in Wales, there goes Penrhyndeudraeth, Penrhyncoch and Penrhyn Bay.
Perhaps someone should have a word with the residents of these places before it is too late……