Saturday, 8th December, 2012.

The Opportunity Is Here!

          At last!   I have the chance to write the most famous place-name in Wales!


          Everyone knows (or perhaps doesn’t know) that back in 1915 the first meetings of the Women’s Institute were held there.   The WI has gone from strength to strength ever since.   And, to quote one of their slogans, “it’s not all jam and Jerusalem”.

          There’s a lovely old toll-house in Llanfair PG.   It was designed by Thomas Telford, one of the great Victorian engineers.   Alas, the building is now old and showing signs of wear.

          Back in the early 1920s, the local WI had grown sufficiently to need to meet in a bigger place rather than in the home of a lady who lived just down the road from the toll-house.   So the group moved its meetings to the house next door to the old place – and used the toll-gate’s kitchen to make its cups of tea.

          A few years ago, the current WI members decided they’d like to own the toll-house and – well done, them – have just signed a twenty-five year least with the local Council.

          If you’re ever up that way, go and have a look at the lovely old building and remember your Welsh history.   And, for your homework, learn to spell and translate into English Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. 

Setting An Example

          Looks like Wales and Scotland are not the only countries working towards independence.

          The good people of the Isle of Wight has decided that they’re going to start generating their own power and growing their own food.   Being self-sustaining is their way of showing that they are ready for self-government.

          I do not know what the Isle of Man did to retain its own government in the face of Mother England’s imperialist expansion, though The Tynwald does a splendid job, I’m sure.   And the Channel Isles seem to do alright running their own affairs.

          Scotland has oil-production to underpin its economy when independence comes.   What does Wales have now that the coal-industry has virtually closed?   Farming, perhaps – but is our agricultural situation strong enough to support and feed our people.

          Let’s start working towards such a situation.



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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