I was musing about my desktop today and looking at some of the varied stuff that I gather at times and pop onto the desktop to use "sometime"..
One of those was a picture of Welsh Speaking in Wales - and because I can't think what else to say about it I thought I would just post it here for information ,
I was not totally unaware, I had a copy of Mary Jones and her Bible while I was still an evangelical youngster, indeed I later got a copy of the same book in Welsh and it is somewhere in the warehouse "in a box"....
|was the same edition I think|
The nearest copy was at a farm two miles distant from her little cottage, and there was no copy on sale nearer than Bala – 26 miles (42 km) miles away; and it was not certain that a copy could be obtained there.
Welsh Bibles were scarce in those days.
Having saved for six years until she had enough money to pay for a copy, she started one morning in 1800 for Bala, and walked the 26 miles over mountainous terrain, barefoot as usual, to obtain a copy from Rev. Thomas Charles, the only individual with Bibles for sale in the area.
According to one version of the story, Mr. Charles told her that all of the copies which he had received were sold or already spoken for. Mary was so distraught that Charles spared her one of the copies which was already promised to another.
In another version, she had to wait two days for a supply of Bibles to arrive, and was able to purchase a copy for herself and two other copies for members of her family. According to tradition, it was the impression that this visit by Mary Jones left upon him that impelled Charles to propose to the Council of the Religious Tract Society the formation of a Society to supply Wales with Bibles.
Mary later married a weaver of Bryn-crug named Thomas Lewis. She died in 1864 and was buried at the graveyard of Bryn-crug Calvinistic Methodist Chapel.
A "Mary Jones Walk" was held in the year 2000 to commemorate Mary's journey, and has been repeated several times.
The principle is still in existence despite the level of Welsh across Wales. However, as you cross the Loughour Bridge into "West" Wales rater than "South" Wales there is a subtle difference. In South Wales all street signs are in Welsh and English - that is law for Wales, however the law does not state which should have precedence. In South Wales, the English is followed by the Welsh. As soon as you come into Dyfed (now Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Ceredigion) the Welsh must be first. While I was back in my previous job I often would chair meetings to discuss roadworks and improvements with local authority and service suppliers. This included the interesting concept that if you were going to dig up the road it is better to do all the services at the same time - rather than do the gas today and water next week etc. Seemed a good idea in those days - do not know why it is not still done - but that is another matter. No, the interesting part of those meetings would be the big construction companies who had managed to get all their road works signs translated - and would be told that they were in the wrong order as soon as they passed into the county and would have to be re-made... That caused a lot of eyebrows for those who travelled up from the depths of England. But it was practice. Travel up the M4 motorway tomorrow and look at the road signs .. You will see the change in the last 5 miles as you enter "God's Own Land".....
I recall a friend visiting many years ago when the M4 was not completed and there was a stretch at Stormy down where the motorway stopped and all traffic had to cover about 12 miles on normal roads - always a bind.... But this Friend was delayed in her journey, and when queried, she explained that she kept of finding signs saying "Pob Cerbyd" with arrows and she had to stop a few times to try to find out if she wanted to go to Pob Cerbyd and where was it because she could not find it on the map.. Of course the signs actually read "All Traffic" with "Pob Cerbyd" beneath (because it was in South Wales). Not understanding Welsh she interpreted this as being "All Traffic that want to go to Pob Cerbyd" when of course "Pob Cerbyd" is the Welsh translation for "All Traffic"..
I still remember my first Welsh. "Dyma HTV Cymru. M'aen deg o'gloch" - not sure of the spelling, I never really learned to write. But that was "This is HTV Wales. It is 10 'oclock" which was time for the 10 o'clock news, and time to let the dogs out for their "last night walk" across the fields ...
In other news - there is still an election going on in the US