Author Archives: Rheolwr Gwefan

Remembering Harri Webb 1920 -1994

The 100th anniversary of the birth of the celebrated nationalist poet Harri Webb has been marked with the laying of flowers at his grave at St Mary’s Church, Pennard, Gower (12 noon Monday 7 September 2020). 

Harri Webb was born in Swansea at 45 Tycoch Road and grew up in Catherine Street near the centre of the city.  His family had strong links with the Gower peninsula.

He became a leading figure in Plaid Cymru, editing the party’s newspaper Welsh Nation and standing as its candidate at Pontypool in the general election of 1970.

Harri Webb came to prominence as a poet during the 1960s, when political nationalism was beginning to make headway in the industrial valleys of South Wales, and became a regular contributor to the magazine Poetry Wales.

The gathering at Pennard was told by Emeritus Professor Prys Morgan that Harri Webb had succeeded in achieving great popularity as a poet.

“His work was mainly through the medium of the English language, but no-one was a more warm-hearted Welshman than Harri Webb”.

Flowers were laid at the grave by Guto Ap Gwent, Kittle.


Guto Ap Gwent and Professor Prys Morgan at the grave of Harri Webb
after the ceremony in St Mary’s Church, Pennard

The ceremony was promoted by the Plaid Cymru History Society and Swansea and Gower Plaid Cymru with the kind cooperation of the Rev Peter Brooks, Vicar of the Parish of Three Cliffs, and conducted in adherence with current social distancing regulations.

 

Full details of the life of Harri Webb may be found at:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-harri-webb-1566453.html

 

 

 

Harri Webb 1920 – 1994

On what would have been his 100th birthday, here’s a lovely little film about the great poet Harri Webb, and his Merthyr connections. ‘Sing for Wales or shut your trap, all the rest’s a load of crap!’

This film shows the inspiration of Harri Webb’s life and poetry on the people of Merthyr. Those who knew him,read his verse and admired his politics. Children from three schools wrote poems in workshops inspired by his work for a competition. Locals at a monthly Open Mic at the Imperial Hotel read his poetry, sing songs and read their own poems based on Webb’s verse. Featuring ‘Colli Iaith’ music track with the vocals of Erin Lancaster and produced by Gwyncy Jones . Harri Webb lives on through all of them…

Gwilym Hughes Cartoons

 

Gwilym Hughes was an art teacher at Ysgol Glan Clwyd, Rhyl.  He was an excellent cartoonist who subtly made his point. Here are two cartoons which appeared in the Welsh Nation portraying Alec Douglas Home and Harold Wilson perfectly. 
   Gwilym Hughes won an election to Rhyl Civic Council.

Films of the Eisteddfod

Berian Williams, Hirwaun, was a keen follower of the Eisteddfod and brought his cine camera to the event on numerous occasions.

Here is the 1974 Carmarthen Eisteddfod film :- Linc 

It’s obvious form looking at the film that many people knew Berian and were willing to smile to the camera. How many famous people can you spot?

Berian was a Botany and Science teacher at Liverpool, Chester and Narberth.  He then became a lecturer at Aberystwyth University. He translated many books from English to  Welsh. He died in 2015.

 

Alcwyn Deiniol Evans 1942 – 2020

Alcwyn Deiniol Evans

At the age of 78, Alcwyn Deiniol Evans died at his home in Romilly Park Road, Barry.  A former Director of the famous department store Dan Evans, Alcwyn was a familiar face and a very well-known figure in the public life of Barry. 

He was the eldest son of Gwynfor Evans, the former President of Plaid Cymru and a native of the town.  During the Carmarthen by-election of July 1966, Alcwyn campaigned enthusiastically for the party.  He worked strenuously to ensure his father’s success when he won the seat to become Plaid Cymru’s first Member of Parliament.  Alcwyn was passionate in his support for the Welsh language and identity, supporting and promoting the same beliefs and values as his father.

He spent over 40 years in business, and the family shop, Dan Evans, was very close to his heart.  Alcwyn was a true gentleman who won the respect and affection of his staff and customers.  He was responsible for a number of departments within the store, and was recognised as a specialist in the toy industry.  He was a regular contributor to television and radio programmes until recently, sharing his knowledge and interest with style, polish and enthusiasm.

Dan Evans closed its doors for the last time in 2006, and as a grandson of its founder, Alcwyn recorded the shop’s history and published a book, Siop Dan Evans Y Barri (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2014), which is an important historical and social portrayal of the business and the town.  More recently Alcwyn worked at the St Fagans National Museum of History, where he enjoyed the further opportunity of sharing his interest, enthusiasm and love of Wales, its customs and its traditions.

He leaves an enormous gap, especially for his wife Rhoswen and son Trystan. Alcwyn will be remembered in Barry and beyond for his wide smile, his sincerity, his humour and his remarkable kindness.

Geraint Evans

Rhys Lewis 1937 – 2020

Rhys Lewis (1937-2020) was a mainstay of Plaid Cymru in Cardiff Central for very many years. Ever present in party meetings, his commitment, his wisdom and his many organisational skills were a constant source of inspiration to all members.

Born in Machynlleth, he was just 1 year old when his family settled in Cardiff, and he was undoubtedly a proud Cardiffian.  Although Welsh had been his parents’ language, that had been largely abandoned in the home when they settled in the city, and Rhys attributed his mastery of the Welsh language to his inspirational teacher in Cathays.

A successful career in journalism within BBC Wales and independent broadcasting companies enabled him to keep abreast of Welsh current affairs even if those roles limited the ways in which he could contribute to party political work,  but he more than made up for that when, following retirement, he grasped the opportunity to work full time alongside his lifelong friend and collaborator, Owen John Thomas throughout the first two National Assembly terms (1999 – 2007). As a keen gardener he was used to nurturing plants and at a time when the fledging legislature was far from accepted in many quarters, Rhys worked tirelessly to show the relevance of the Assembly to the people of Cardiff.  He was a caring individual and helped many a Plaid member and their families during difficult periods.

Rhys was a confirmed Francophile. He loved the times he spent in France and never missed an opportunity to use his French. He was a firm believer in Wales as a European nation, and the result of the European referendum was something that troubled him greatly.

Recent ill-health had left him with limited mobility, inhibiting his ability to canvass and leaflet, but he still found alternative ways to contribute to Plaid Cymru campaigns – organising, contacting supporters, and sharing his political insights and his humour.

It was while he was in hospital for an unrelated condition that he contracted Covid-19 and died on April 12th.  We extend our sympathy to his wife Sue, his children Geraint, Menna and Non and his grandchildren Gwen, Sophie, Alice, Nel and Cesia. Rhys enjoyed good wine and I’m sure many of us will raise a glass in memory of a true gentleman and Welsh patriot.

Marc Phillips

Remembering Glyn James

A Blue Plaque in memory of the leading nationalist Glyn James was unveiled on Saturday 19th October at 9 Darran Terrace, Glyn Rhedynog / Ferndale, Rhondda CF43 4LG.  

The plaque was unveiled by Councillor Geraint Davies and tributes were given by Cennard Davies and Jill Evans A.E. A musical contribution was given by Côr y Morlais. The event was organised by Maerdy Archive and its Secretary, David Owen.  

 

The Reverend Fred Jones (1877-1948) one founders of Plaid Cymru

The Reverend Fred Jones (1877-1948) was one of the six founding fathers of Plaid Cymru who launched the party at a historic meeting at Pwllheli in 1925 and one of the famous Cilie family of poets from Ceredigion.  He worked as a minister in Rhymni, Treorci and Tal-y-bont Ceredigion and was a lifelong nationalist.

Dafydd Iwan delivering a lecture on the career of his grandfather, Fred Jones, one of the founding members of Plaid Cymru.  Also in the picture is Ben Lake MP, who took the chair at the Plaid History session on 4 October during the party’s 2019 annual conference in Swansea.