Saturday, 19th April, 2014.

Out Of Copyright?!

     I heard a startling – and disturbing – item on radio as I went about my business this week.

There was a great tradition here in Wales of quilt-making.   We used our home-grown wool, our own patterns and our own styles.   It was a cottage-industry and, in centuries past, brought in a little money to keep families going in those difficult times.

Alas, soon after the start of the Second World War, the production of Welsh quilts faded away.   Perhaps a few dedicated makers kept going for a while, but you’d be hard to find a Welsh quilt-maker these days.

But the tradition did not die.   The making of “Traditional Welsh quilts” has become a production-industry in – of all places! – Ethiopia.   And the people making them use the age-old techniques and patterns.

Now then, Wales:  we are not in happy financial times these days.   We have no major industries in our land.   Jobs are hard to find.

So just imagine what an upsurge in quilt-making could do for Wales and its people.   We could sell ‘em, at good prices, in all sorts of places and to all sorts of people.   “Here on holiday, is it?   Well, why don’t you take home a real souvenir of your visit, and something to be proud of?   A genuine Welsh quilt made right here in Cymru Cymraeg!”

And, these days, we could copyright our designs and methods of manufacture, thus ensuring higher values to these lovely creations!

Where Am I?

     As I wander about our land, listening to my car-radio, I often hear a weather forecast broadcast from London.   Such forecasts lump a lot of the British Isles together and tell us what weather that lump can expect.

But statements such as “North Wales will be wet, but it will be brighter in the South” tell me nothing.

For where does North Wales end and South Wales begin – or vice versa?

That strange long-distance walker, George Borrow, had the same difficulty.   Whilst doing his long-distance walk in 1854, he had to ask someone how far he had to slog to get into South Wales.   He was told that he was already there, because he had crossed the Dyfi.

Is the Dyfi still considered the marker-line between North and South Wales?   Or is it at some point where the Welsh language is no longer spoken from the back of the throat and has a softer sound?

I await a reply from some academic in one of our universities – either in North or South Wales . . .

Wales On The Air

    I was delighted to hear a Welsh voice on Radio 4 UK last evening.   And moreso because Elis James was the speaker – and a very comical man he is!

This was on ‘The Now Show’, and Elis’ act let people know just what it’s like to be Welsh and to live in our land.

Please try to hear the repeat today – Saturday – at about 12:25 p.m. on the station, or you can Listen Again online.   You will really enjoy his act and feel even prouder to be Welsh (even if you haven’t a drop of Welshness in you!).

Picture in Archie Lowe, Editor.docimg201

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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