Another Historical Loss
It had been a long time since I went to or through the little village of Erwood. In that time, its pub has closed. (I have commented on the closure of pubs – those centres of community – on other occasions in this column.)
Erwood’s inn had a special claim to fame, a claim proudly displayed on its sign. For did not Henry Mahew have connections with the place?
Who, you may ask, is or was Henry Mahew?
He was the prime-mover of ‘Punch’, a magazine far-famed for its well written and wonderfully funny articles, and its well-drawn and clever cartoons.
We lose many hostelries these days, usually through the current and rotten “financial downturn”. We lose places which have a history and a story to tell.
And, as I point out above, we lose community meeting-places where we can share our own tales and our own opinions in comfortable and cosy surroundings.
Sic transit gloria Erwood.
A Fortunate Find
A glimpse of Wales’ historic past has been discovered at Montgomery. Three-thousand Roman coins were found by a member of the Welshpool Metal Detector Club.
Dating from the third-century A.D., they give evidence that the Romans came to Wales, settled and – presumably – inter-married with the local Celts. Indeed, I have met a fair few people in our land who “feel” that they are descended from soldiers who marched with the legions.
This comes hot on the heels of the discovery of the site of a Roman villa at a known Roman site at Trawscoed, Ceredigion.
So, when someone tells you that it is important to protect Wales from “foreign infiltration”, bear in mind that we are not necessarily descended from the pure blood of the Celts.
Oh – and there is some excellent and visible evidence that the Romans spent time at Erwood, too.
And The Bad News
The National Eisteddfod Executive has issued a sad warning. This important annual celebration of Welshness is suffering, as are so many other national institutions, from the Slump (sorry to use that word, but that’s what it is . . . and will be for the next couple of years).
So it may be that administrative jobs provided by The National Eisteddfod may have to have the chop.
How sad that such a wonderful and enjoyable part of our culture – it’s good to be there even though I’m not really a Welsh speaker – should be threatened by the machinations of a system under which “the rich get rich and the poor get poorer”.