Saturday, 7th August, 2010.

As One Door Closes
. . .

     . .
another one opens in this land of song and music.

     The National Eisteddfod showed to the
world that
Wales still has its own culture, its own
language.   Now, the Brecon Jazz Festival
shows that we are able to rise, Phoenix-like, from the ashes and revive yet
another traditional musical event.

     Let us hope that we remember our
indomitable spirit as we build our nation’s fortunes after our pits were closed
(by non-Welsh agents) and many of our industries are struggling to survive.

     It was not the first time that the
Eisteddfod was held in Ebbw Vale.   It
was thee back in 1958 when pit-closures were imminent and the people in the
area were worried about their future.

      It was at that Eisteddfod that a
non-Welsh speaker obtained permission to use English up there on the
stage.   His name was Paul Robeson, a
black American, best known as a superb singer of international fame.

     He was a campaigner for civil-rights,
almost a voice in the wilderness back then.  
In 1926, Paul Robeson had come into contact with a bunch of Welsh miners
who had marched on
London to draw attention of the Westminster government to the poverty among
families in the Valleys.   It was a
hunger-strike, and the black singer was very impressed with the determination
of the under-class in
He, too, was part of an under-class.

     This year, Paul Robeson’s grand-daughter,
Susan, visited the Eisteddfod.   She is
well aware of the struggles of her own people to gain full civil-rights in The
Land of the Free.

     We in Wales, too, must become more aware of our
status in the current British society: 
“factory-fodder in peacetime, gun-fodder in wartime” as the old slogan
runs.   But we have very few factories now
. . .

     Perhaps, as we march happily through
Brecon’s street with our brightly-coloured brollies, we should consider how we
can change
Wales and give all of our people true


A True Christian

     Wales is a land of oddities.   And Rhos-on-Sea has as many eccentricities
as anywhere in our land.

     But a recent event there raises obvious

     A proper dog-collar wearing minister held
a wedding ceremony this week in the smallest church in the
British Isles.  
It was no ordinary ceremony, for this one brought together in holy
wedlock . . . two wooden puppets!   Punch
and Judy, who have entertained thousands of people on Llandudno Pier for a
century and a half, were finally married.

     The first question to be asked must
be:  “Are the Christians missing the
point of marriage here?”.   And that must
be closely followed by:  “Isn’t this
making a mockery of the sanctity of marriage?”  
Then comes the third question: 
“Could this not be classed as blasphemy against the laws of the Christian

     You may add more questions to this list as
you ponder the daftness of contemporary religion.


A Geographical

     The BBC has a reputation for producing
excellent dramas.   On Radio 7 this week,
a light comedy was repeated in which a vicar was asked where he had studied for
the ministry.

     He said he had done so in Lampeter.

     Naturally, as the play was set in England, none of the other characters knew
where Lampeter was.   So he told them it
was in
Wales, in the county of Carmarthenshire.

     Whoops-a-daisy!   Had that sort of error occurred over an
English town’s location – “
Dover is in Sussex” for instance – there would have
been a public outcry, organised marches on Broadcasting House, and a petition
to the Queen of England.

     But nothing happened over Lampeter’s
“relocation” – ‘cause it’s only
Wales . . .

Archie Lowe


About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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