Saturday, 29th August, 2015

A Battle Of Wills

     There’s a tree in Newtown, Powys.   It’s five-hundred years old.   And there’s a famous bottleneck in the town for the traffic which passes through there.

     So, to solve the bottleneck problem, fifty-six million quid is going to be spent building a by-pass.   But it will involve cutting down a popular tree, a fine oak.   That does not please local wildlife campaigners.

     Merfyn Jones owns the land over which the by-pass will be built.   He has said that, unless the road is built so as to avoid the tree – by a mere fifteen feet – the oak will die.

     I wonder what history that old tree has seen.   Five-hundred years of Welsh history and border squabbles, of course.   And I know that many holidaymakers from our Eastern neighbour actually enjoy the traffic-jams in Newtown!   “It lets me know I’m in Welsh Wales,” quipped one of them to me a couple of weeks ago.

     If the Save Our Tree Campaign – or whatever it’s called – succeeds, there surely must be a plaque of some kind put near the tree telling of the struggle to save it.

More History

     Going back, perhaps, to when that oak was a mere twinkle in an acorn’s eye, a 15th Century silver ring has been found in Haverfordwest.   I would imagine the person who dropped it hasn’t claimed it yet . . .

     So that and another from the same time of dropping found in Carew a couple of years ago have been declared Treasure Trove.   And both Carmarthenshire County Museum and The National Library of Wales have set their minds on getting hold of the finds and displaying them.

     I publish this in case any of my readers have lost the items and will claim them before it’s too late.

Even More History!

     Not so long ago, a man with a metal-detector came across a horde of Viking coins and ingots near Llandwrog up in the Gogledd.   That, too, has now been declared Treasure Trove.

     I’m told that the coins were minted in the 11th Century.

     I suspect some of my readers will wonder why I’ve stuck to historical matters this week.   Well, I have heard from people in our Welsh education system that the history taught in our schools includes only a small element of the History of Wales.

     I hope what I have published, then, gets you all thinking of how Wales came to be . . . well . . . Wales – rather than just being another piece of English territory.

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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