Skip navigation

Welsh outlook


Vol. 16, No. 6 June 1929

The elastic-sided boots and the angel

Previous page Rotate Left Rotate Right Next page Original Image Large Image Zoom View text PDF
Jump to page
my knight errant seized me by the elbow and led
me into the street.
Look out for the traffic Then, as we
strode along, he pointed out to me the principal
buildings That's the Bank of England, where
all your good money comes from
Adopting the look of one who sees the Bank of
England for the first time, I gaped appreciatively,
but there was better still to come.
Fine hunting morning, this! was his next
Confound the fellow Were there straws in my
hair? Or was I bandy-legged as well as stiff?
Yet, always unwilling to miss my cue in any con-
versation, I replied,
Very, indeed! Where do you hunt?
Whaddon Chase is my country-and some-
times with the Pytchley and Quorn." (I thought
of Hendre cross roads).
by T. P. Ellis.
SOME time ago there was a spasmodic move-
ment in Wales-alas that it should be that
most movements in Wales are spasmodic
and fizzle out with a helpless sort of gasp-to
alter the names of certain towns which had ac-
quired an English nomenclature and to revert to
a more ancient and more distinctively Welsh
There were some errors of suggestion in this
movement, for instance, the insistence on the
spelling Dolgellau,' which is both philologically
and historically without anything to recommend
it but, on the whole, there was much to be said
for the proposed return to an ancient form of
names. It showed at least a sense of historic.
The most noteworthy instance was the case of
Holyhead, whose real name, Caergybi, is
both euphonious and capable of conjuring up
thoughts and visions of the past. Caergybi
links us up with the days of the Romans and with
one of the most charming and typically Welsh of
the old saints, for Cybi was both irascible and
mild in disposition, like all good Welshmen are
and in linking us up with Rome and Cybi, we
become linked up with two of the great factors
which, in olden days, helped to mould the Welsh
people. Holyhead has nothing to recommend it
as a name, firstly, because there is no head
Mynydd Twr is, in no sense, a cape-and
secondly, even if it were, because at no time was
Mynydd Twr 'holy.' Though it might have been
possible at one time to regard the island itself as
There's been a lot of frost this season, hasn't
there? I remarked, warming to my task.
Beastly rotten lot! I've not had more than
twenty days since Christmas."
Well, that's more than I've had," I said
Perhaps you haven't so many horses as I
have," he threw off. I've got sixteen."
No," I answered with truth. I haven't so
many as that."
Now, here's your 'bus. Conductor, will you
see that this young lady gets off in Fleet Street?
Are you all right now?
I assured him that I was, and thanked him
warmly. As I left him standing with lifted hat,
the sun shining on his ruddy countenance, I won-
dered what he would have thought of Polly and
the elastic-sided boots.
holy '-I believe it still has some aspirations in
that direction-the terrible looseness of phrase-
ology employed to-day has secured the appella-
tion of Holyhead Island being applied to it,
an appellation which is thoroughly bad and thor-
oughly meaningless English. In whatsoever cir-
cumstances the name of Holyhead became applied
to the place, its continuation was insisted upon
by Welsh people because of some fancied com-
mercial advantage accruing from doing so.
Whoever committed the sin originally, we are
ourselves voluntarily perpetuating it.
There are many cases in Wales where ancient
names are being replaced by English words or
a Welsh word is being turned into a fearsome
hybrid. The historic site of Bangor-is-y-coed,
for instance, is now spoken of as Bangor-on-Dee,
and two of the most recent perversions, Rhos-on-
Sea for Llandrillo-yn-Rhos, and Dyffryn-on-Sea
for Dyffryn Ardudwy, are inflictions imposed on
us by railway companies. Dyffryn-on-Sea is a
wicked monstrosity, but it is a mild offence com-
pared with Rhos-on-Sea. Dyffryn Ardudwy
might, by a stretch of the imagination and an
abuse of terms, be rendered into Dyffryn-on-Sea;
only of course the G.W.R., with a painful lack
of felicity, has applied the latter name not to
Dyffryn Ardudwy but to the charming old
parishes of Llanenddwyn and Llanddwywe,
which have another name still, Ystumgwern.
Geographical and historical memories have been
sacrificed to a linguistic barbarism but even
more than that has been done with Rhos-on-Sea,
Previous page Rotate Left Rotate Right Next page Original Image Large Image Zoom View text PDF
Jump to page

This text was generated automatically from the scanned page and has not been checked. Typical character accuracy is in excess of 99%, but this leaves one error per 100 characters.