Sunday, 27 November 2011

Llanedwen Church in search of Henry Rowlands

Bit of a "mystery". The mission was to find the grave of Henry Rowlands (1655-1723) of Mona Antiqua Restaurata fame. I'd read somewhere that there was a memorial to the West or South of the Church but had headed off without thorough research - one of those Sunday afternoon spur of the moment trips. Head over to Anglesey. Spot of tea at Plas Newydd. Bring the boys. Llanedwen is so close - let's have a quick look for Henry Rowlands.........
Anyway after a quick scan of the graveyard I did find a stone with Henry Rowlands of Plas Gwyn, Llanedwen but the dates were wrong. Mona Antiqua Rowlands died in 1723. The grave I found for Henry Rowlands record's his death as 14th April 1842 - but the address is right if you like - both of Plas Gwyn, Llanedwen.

So is the 1842 Rowlands a descendent ? There is also some mention of the original Rowlands being interred in the Church under black Angelsey marble - on the South side ? Again the information is patchy and the Church was locked. Looks like we will need another vist !

On the other hand there was no doubt of finding the Celtic Cross gravestone for the 4th and 5th Marquis of Anglesey. I was pleased that Henry Cyril Paget (The Dancing Marquis) had such a noble gravestone - although very Celtic - suprisingly not covered in jewellery. Andrew Logan would have been the designer for Henry Cyril come to think of it ........

Here's the Celtic Cross for 4th and 5th Marquis

Friday, 25 November 2011

WOTGA Weekend 19-21 November 2011.


I'd been teaching a class of Welsh learners in the morning at Bangor University. The aim of the class was to get the group to chat in Welsh so I took in a couple of old 7" records by the Sex Pistols and a band called Essential Logic who were an early Rough Trade band, with the aim of discussing "songs that changed my life or had a big effect" - something along those lines.

Some of the class also attend another class of mine on 'Archaeoleg Gogledd Cymru / North Wales Archaeology' which runs every Wednesday morning in Llanfair PG.
Anyway we had a wonderful morning, they all engaged, some talked about Bob Dylan, some about "Flower Power" and another lady about the Rave scene in the mid-90s so as you can see they come from different backgrounds and are of different age groups.
But the point of all this is that this was an excellent start to the day, we had a good session and suddenly I realised it was nearly 12-30pm and I'd promised Dave Durrington NWTGA secretary that I would volunteer as a taxi service from the Celtic Royal Hotel in Caernarfon to bring some of our South Wales colleagues over to the Telford Centre in Porthaethwy (Menai Bridge).
So back to Caernarfon, just in time, quick snack in the bar, full car and back towards the Telford Centre.

As I arrived at the Telford Centre we were greeted by Dave Wagstaff who along with Dave Durrington had arranged the schedule for the weekend and we were then given a guided tour of the exhibition by Bob Daimond.
Due to the large numbers in attendance, part NWTGA local contingent and part WOTGA visitors it was decided to split the group in two, one group to do the Menai Bridge Town Walk - around Church Island / Belgian Promanade and the other to cross the Bridge with Bob. Both parties then to meet under the Bridge.

We had trained for our Green Badges at Menai Bridge, so it was a tough choice, follow a Menai Bridge guide around the same route or stick with Bob and see what we could learn. The walk along the Belgian Promenade is a good one but at the last minute I decided to stick with Bob and off we went along Telford's Suspension Bridge, stopping at the commemorative stone near the Bridge Inn, which is in the same style as the milestones and then proceeding to the middle of the bridge for a bird's eye view of Porthaethwy.

Crossing the bridge on food never ceases to be an amazing experience, it's interesting to note how close you are to the traffic and how narrow a squeeze it is for the larger vehicles to pass through the towers. It was also quite interesting to have Bob pointing out some of the older buildings of Porthaethwy and reminding us how little there was here before the bridge.

As we rejoined the other party beneath the bridge, once again, and this never ceases to be a superb experience, just the process of looking up at the bridge towering above us, the huge limestone blocks, the cars and lorries passing overhead. We moved along past the Bowling Green to look at the proposed site of the new Interpretation Centre near the old Porth y Wrach site.

Then back to the Celt for a meeting.For many of us our first WOTGA meeting. Quite some time was spent discussing Social Media. Some struggled with this and others embraced the new ways. My contribution to the debate was to agree that this could be a CPD action point but also to point out that Facebook and Twitter can actually lead to work.
As an example I was offered a job recently to guide Iraqi Students around Beaumarais following a posting about Siwan's sarcophagus on my Facebook page - so proof that this generates paid work. Look at it as advertising or promotion - but I am now convinced that it is of value to us as businesses to fully engage with Social Media.

Following the meeting we had an excellent presentation by Anthony Tavener on the Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens - a site we were due to visit the following morning as part of our CPD. What a man with a vision - quite remarkable what he has achieved in such a short period of time and without public funding. Hats off !

Neil Johnstone of Menter Mon also gave a short presentation, very well delivered and to the point as it was close to 7-30pm and everybody ready for supper after all the Menai fresh air. Neil of course has worked closely with many of us at NWTGA on the Mona Antiqua series of coach tours around CADW sites on Anglesey, a project which will continue during the 2012 season.

Saturday morning was the toughest of all jobs. "Guiding guides". No seriously I enjoyed the experience. First visit was to Cadnant Gardens. What a gem. Anthony took us around for first hand experience of what we had heard discussed the previous evening.
Interestingly, Plas Cadnant was built by John Price who was an agent for the Bayly family of Plas Newydd and who no doubt was inspired by the gardening of Humphry Repton at plas Newydd. I was recently sent an email by John Harris one of the guides at Plas Newydd after discussing with him the Plas Newydd Cromlech situated on the lawns near the cricket pitch.
A cromlech situated within the grounds of a hall like this could so easily have been a Romantic addition to the landscape but given that this area of S.W Anglesey on the limestone is an area common with other cromlechs we  assume that the cromlech does date to the Neolithic. This has been accepted to a degree by Frances Lynch (1995).
From John's email I read that Repton had in fact suggested placing a marble plaque near the cromlech to celebrate the Druidic origins of the stone. The Druidic origins were due to Henry Rowlands's theories presented in his book "Mona Antiqua Restaurata" - he suggested the capstones were druidic altars - "garreg yr allor".
Rowlands bless him was not entirely correct, but he was responsible for the first archaeological survey of Anglesey and his only reference book at this time would have been the Book of Genesis. So I do argue that Rowlands deserves credit not mockery - he was of his time - and the book is highly collectable these days.

So we may conclude that the cromlech was standing before Repton's time. he did not build it, unless this was a double bluff of course ??????
Following the visit to Plas Cadnant we drove towards Tai Cochion, Brynsiencyn, site of recent excavations by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust 2010 and 2010 on a Roman settlement near the banks of the Menai. Interestingly the Tai Cochion lies almost opposite to Segontium, the Roman fort at Caernarfon established in 78AD during Agricola's campaign.
The other noteable feature of the Tai Cochion site is that it is undefended - this is not a Roman Fort and pottery finds may suggest an early C1st date for this site. This means that within about a 20 year period of establishing the auxillary fort at Segontium we see a trading post here near Brynsiencyn - the Romans and the native (Celts ?) are trading and co-existing. So there must have been a degree of political and economic stability at this time.

Dave Hopewell of GAT kindly supplied plans of the site - as we were having to do this sat on the bus and looking over at fields with no visible remains.

We can also suggest of course that taking on the Roman army was never the best idea - so did the "Anglesonians" (Monwysion) simply decide to live with the Romans rather than fight them ?
The Menai Strait of course was crossed by Suetonius Paulinus  in 60/61AD for his attack on the Druid stronghold of Anglesey. In effect we are having to re-rite history here, the end of the resistance, peaceful co-existence and even nearby sites such as Caer Leb and Din Lligwy are suggestions of native "villas" - suggesting that local cheiftians or well off farmers may have been "Romanised" - both sites have produced material culture dating to the Roman period.

“On the opposite shore stood the Britons, close embodied, and prepared for action. Women were seen running through the ranks in wild disorder; their apparel funeral; their hair loose to the wind, in their hands flaming torches, and their whole appearance resembling the frantic rage of the Furies. The Druids were ranged in order, with hands uplifted, invoking the gods, and pouring forth horrible imprecations”. TACITUS

As we headed around the corner from Tai Cochion I'm sure everyone appreciated the views over the Strait back towards Caernarfon, my job was done and a "panad" was well appreciated at Anglesey Sea Zoo our next stop. I have visited the zoo several times with my young boys, so I skipped this and headed straight for the panad having done my hour or so on the mic.

The highlights of the afternoon for me was the tour of Holyhead Port and the rare opportunity to visit and indeed climb the old Lighthouse overlooking the Fish Dock.(Thanks Dee and thanks to the Maritime Museum boys)
The Port is of obvious interest as this is where we pick up our American clients who come in on the Cruise Ships so any extra information, TVPs, is always handy, certainly if there are any hold-ups it's always good to have some back-up stories.
We did quite a bit on Skinner - a lot of stuff that was new to me and some gory details of his death - which we may be able to use in the right circumstances or as we sometimes say "too much information" .... but along with Skinner's home, the monument and of course St Cybi's Church and the Roman Fort it's an understatement to say that there is some really good stuff here in Holyhead - even from a coach !
The other interesting feature is the Aluminium Jetty where the coaches turn around - this is an experience in itself and hard to imagine on a November afternoon like this what it's like during Summer with a Cruise in and hundereds of tourists trying to find the right bus ready for a day's outing in Snowdonia. Cruise days are certainly an experience, almost a "spectacle" with entertainment on the jetty, buses lined up, all systems go.

John Cave of the Maritime Museum also took a group photo on the jetty

Then it was on to the Lighthouse

And a view from the top

All in all a brilliant brilliant day out and a superb weekend. To return to my post-punk roots there was a song by a Leeds based band in the late 70s, a band called The Gang of Four and a song called "At Home He Feel's Like a Tourist" and it just struck me on top of the lighthouse that indeed  "At Home I am a Tourist" !

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Graffiti as Archaeology

The story in the Independent comes just as I have written a piece for the Herald Gymraeg asking a very similar question.
My point was that FWA (Free Wales Army) graffiti from the late 60s should be treated as something of historical and cultural value - in that sense, this is material culture, therefore it could be classified as archaeology.
Back in my youth I can remember the debate regarding a survey of WWII pillboxes and whether this counted as archaeology or not. Today we would no ask such a question.
The Cofiwch Dryweryn wall near Llanrhystyd has been preserved. Arguably it is one of Wales's most iconic statements, one of our best known walls - and although it has been repainted several times - we do understand it's cultural significance - we do not want the wall knocked down o'r painted over.
It was on a visit to Bala recently, that I noticed the FWA graffiti on the bridge of the Bala Lake Railway. I took some pictures and then started to ask questions -
Does this date form the 60's ?
Is it authentic graffiti ?
Or does it date from more recent times ?
Should we document all the Welsh political slogans and graffiti from the 60's 70's 80's ?
Should I write to CADW ?
The piece on the Sex Pistols graffiti in the Independent strengthens our case - yes such graffiti should be documented and where possible preserved.
Maybe an interpretation board or a QR Code site could be set up at Bala Station for the benefit of tourists waiting for their train.
This is a fascinating episode of recent Welsh History and quite poignant considering the proximity to Tryweryn.

Graffiti FWA Herald Gymraeg 25 Tachwedd 2011

Ar un o fy nheithiau draws gwlad, dyma ddod ar car i stop yn sydun, dwi newydd weld rhywbeth sydd wedi dwyn fy sylw. Dwi ddim yn siwr pa het dwi’n wisgo, yr un “canu pop” ta’r un “archaeoleg” ond dyma fi yn neidio allan o’r car. Mae’r camera bach digidol gennyf bob amser felly llun amdani.
                Rwyf wrth orsaf Tren Llyn Tegid, ochr Bala i’r llyn, ac ar bont y rheilffordd mae yna “graffiti Cymraeg” fel soniodd y grwp Anweledig , graffiti “F.W.A” sef y Free Wales Army wrthgwrs. Cwestiwn cyntaf oedd yn mynd drwy fy meddwl (gwisgo’r het archaeoleg) oedd pam mor hen yw’r graffiti ? Yw hwn yn arwydd sydd wedi goroesi ers y 60au hwyr ? Rydym yn y lle iawn mewn ffordd, ychydig o filltiroedd o Dryweryn.
                Ar y llaw arall mae nifer wedi parhau a’r arfer dros y blynyddoedd o beintio sloganau sydd yn cefnogi’r ymgyrch Iaith, felly fe all hwn fod yn genedlaetholwr diweddarach yn ceisio ail danio awydd am annibyniaeth i Gymru. Pwy a wyr, ond yn sicr mae’n drawiadol,ac  ar y bont gwelwn hefyd y cyhoeddiad swyddogol  “Yr Orsaf Bala Station” ond mae hwn hyd yn oed wedi ei baentio ar y bont mwen ffordd ddigon ffwrdd a hi.
                Rwan fe gofiwn am y sylw diweddar i’r slogan “Cofiwch Dryweryn” ar y wal ger ochr yr A487 ger Llanrhystud, slogan sydd bellach yn cael ei ystyried yn un o eiconau Cymru. Os cofiaf yn iawn fe gytunwyd i gadw’r slogan a hynny gan CADW, dwi’n siwr bydd rhywun yn fodlon ysgrifennu at yr Herald i’n diweddaru ar y mater hwn ? Ond yn gwisgo fy het “canu pop” mae’n bosib dadlau fod Cofiwch Dryweryn hefyd yn engraifft Cymreig o’r hyn a wnaethpwyd gan arlunwyr fel Richard Hamilton yn ystod y 60au sef “Celf Pop” (Pop Art yn y Saesneg).
                Felly dyma ni ger Llyn Tegid, Bala a dyma engraifft arall o’r graffiti gwleidyddol yma, yr un hanes, y 60au, boddi Tryweryn, sefydlu Cymdeithas yr Iaith, yr Arwisgo, Dafydd Iwan yn canu “Carlo” ……… mae’n rhaid fod yna ddadl gadwraethol, hanes cymdeithasol/gwleidyddol /celfyddydol dros sicrhau fod graffiti o’r fath yn cael ei gadw. Yr union ru’n ddadl sydd yna dros gadw’r tomeni llechi – da chi peidiwch a dinistrio ein hanes – da chi peidiwch ac anghofio ein hanes.
                Sylwais fod ymgyrch wedi ei sefydlu i gadw’r slogan ger Llanrhystud. Rwan mae angen rhywbeth tebyg ar gyfer holl graffiti gwleidyddol Cymreig o’r 60au/ 70au a hyd yn oed yr 80au cyfnod ymgyrch sefydlu S4C. Bellach mae hyn oll yn archaeoleg, yn rhan o hanes, nid graffiti sydd angen ei lanhau yw hyn ond graffiti sydd angen cael ei drin fel gwrthrych amgueddfaol – ond ei fod yn y gymuned yn hytrach na thu cefn gwydr !
                Byddai’n ddiddorol iawn clywed gan ddarllenwyr yr Herald, gan bobl Penllyn, ond hyd yn oed gyda ymwelwyr i’r rheilffordd bach rhwng Llanuwchllyn a Bala mi fyddwn yn dadlau fod angen bwrdd gwybodaeth ger yr orsaf yn Bala, yn rhoi hanes a chefndir yr FWA iddynt, y cyd-destun gwleidyddol, hyd yn oed apps bach gyda QR Code lle mae rhywun yn taro ei iPhone ac yn cael tudalen ar Cayo Evans, y FWA, MAC a wedyn awgrym eu bod yn mynd fyny wedyn i gael gweld Llyn Tryweryn. Gallwn fynd ymlaen ac ymlaen am hyn – ond llwybr hanesyddol yn dangos y frwydr yn ystod y 60au – mae yr un mor berthnasol, diddorol a phwysig ac unrhyw lwybr y Tywysogion (Llywelyn 1 a 2) neu gestyll Edward 1af.
                Gyda nifer o’r hen orsafeydd rheilffyrdd mae yna deimlad yn aml iawn o’r oes a fu, o gamu yn ol mewn amser, i rhyw olygfa o’r ffilm ddoniol honno gyda Arthur Askey “The Ghost Train”, a felly hefyd gyda’r orasf yma yn y Bala. Yn wir yn ogystal ar slogan FWA mae nifer o hen arwyddion yn dal i fod ar ochrau wal brics y bont. Sylwais ar hysbysebion, wyddo’chi yr hen rai ar damad o fetal tin, yn hysbysebu “Spratts Dog and Puppy Biscuits”,  “Allsop Milk Stout”  a  “Fry’s Chocolate”. Cofnod o gyfnod. Yna o hyd. Diddorol. Diddorol eu bod wedi cael llonydd.
                Gyda llaw teithio yn y car o’ni, nes i ddim mynd am dro ar y tren, dwi ddim hyd yn oed yn siwr os oedd y tren yn rhedeg gan fod tymor yr ymwelwyr drosodd, felly cefais yr orsaf i mi fy hyn, cefais amser yno i dynnu lluniau ac i ryfeddu ac i ddychmygu – ac i feddwl am lunio llythyr i CADW – rhaid cadw’r slogan !
                Rhywbeth arall sydd wedi bod yn fy mhoeni / corddi yn ddiweddar ac unwaith eto yn gwisgo fy het “canu pop” yw’r synaid yma nad oes enw Cymraeg am “Pop Culture”. Wrthgwrs mae’r cyfieithiad “Diwylliant Pop” ond dwi ddim yn siwr os yw hynny yn cyfleu yr un peth. Fy nadl i yw fod slogan yr FWA yn “Pop Culture”, yn union yr un ffordd ac roedd y ffilm o Tony ac Aloma yn croesi Pont Telford mewn car sport heb do, neu Efa y ferch noeth yn Lol, ac yn sicr y posteri gwreiddiol “Popeth yn Gymraeg”.
                Y dyddiau yma mae’r ddwy het yn cael eu drysu, mae elfennau o ganu pop ac archaeoleg yn cyfarfod, a mae nhw yn cyfarfod gyda’r FWA. Mae gennyf recordiad o Cayo Evans yn mynd drwy ei bethau ac yn chwarae’r acordeon – yn adrodd hanes yr FWA ei garchariad a’r Achos Llys, a mae hwn bellach ar CD – felly oleiaf mae’r cofnod yna. Dwi’n cofio ni’n dadlau ar y pryd mae cofnod diwyllainnol oedd hwn i fod – nid CD o gerddoriaeth yn yr ystyr arferol.
                Felly galwad sydd yma i ni ddechrau ymgyrch i gadw ein slogannau hanesyddol, y graffiti Cymraeg, y cofnodion yma o gofnod. Efallai mae ychydig o baent ar hen bont rheilffordd ydio ond mae o llawer mwy pwysig na hynny !

Thursday, 17 November 2011

SRG Sylwadau gan blogwyr arall

Pwyntiau da yma. Fe dyfais fyny hefo dau gyd destun a'r ddau yn rhai gwleidyddol. Y cyntaf oedd Punk Rock, hwnna mwy na dim arall lywiodd fy ngwleidyddiaeth i, gan gychwyn hefo geiriau God Save The Queen a wedyn y twf mewn Labeli annibynnol fel Rough Trade a Factory a'r ethos DIY (Do it yourself).
Yr ail wrthgwrs oedd y cyd destun Cymreig, y Frwydr Iaith a hyd yn oed i ni oedd yn gwrthryfela yn erbyn y "pethe Cymraeg" roedd beth ddigwyddodd yn yr 80au hefo'r Sin Danddaearol dal yn rhan o'r frwydr Iaith.
Beth am gael Punk Rock a Post-punk Cymraeg a wedyn beth am fynd a fo tu hwnt i ffiniau'r hen sin Gymraeg a'r hen sin draddodiadol fel oedd o.
Ond yn sicr roedd yna gyd destun gwleidyddol - a swgn 'i os yw'r ffaith fod hynny wedi ei golli yn cael effaith mawr ar bethau ?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Herald Gymraeg 16 Tachwedd Segontium

Rwyf newydd dreulio rhai oriau, a rheini yn rhai ofnadwy o ddiddorol a phleserus, yn pori dros lyfryn “Segontium Roman Fort Department of the Environment official Handbook”. 15 ceiniog oedd cost y llyfryn yn ol yn y dydd, ond fe’i gyhoeddwyd gyntaf ym 1963 felly yn amlwg bydda’r arian wedi bod yn hen bres yn wreiddiol a felly mae’n rhaid i mi ymweld a’r safle yn y 70au cynnar felly gan fod y 15 ceiniog yn 15c a nid 15d. Mae’r llyfryn dal gennyf, y llyfrynnau clawr lliw glas oedd gan y DoE ar gyfer safleoedd dan eu gofal, cyn dyddiau CADW, cyn dyddiau’r Cynulliad.
                Ond beth wnaeth y profiad o ddarllen y llyfr tywys yn hyd yn oed mwy pleserus oedd fy mod yn gwneud hynny ar safle  Segontium. Roeddwn yn dilyn yr hyn oedd ar y ddaear gyda’r disgrifiad cyfatebol  o’r llyfr ac er fod hyn yn ei hyn yn bleserus roedd yna reswm penodol dros fynd ati i ddysgu mwy am olion Segontium.
                Ers tro bellach mae’r Amgueddfa yn Segontium wedi bod yn gaeedig, mae honno yn stori arall, ac efallai amhriodol fyddai mynd ar y trywydd hyn yr wythnos hon. Felly gan anghofio’r amgueddfa am y tro, rhywbeth arall oedd wedi bod yn fy mhoeni ers amser oedd fod ymwelwyr i Gaernarfon yn naturiol yn ymweld a Chastell Edward y 1af ond prin iawn wedyn oedd yr ymwelwyr oedd yn mentro ar hyd yr A4085 i fyny am Segontium ei hyn.
                Chydig bach rhy bell i gerdded o’r Maes, dim maes parcio cyfleus o flaen y safle – oes mae digon o esgusion gwan rhag ymweld – ond dyma’r safle Rhufeinig pwysicaf yng Ngogledd Orllewin Cymru a mae’r amgueddfa yn gaeedig, fawr o groeso i ymwelwyr, mae’n unig yna – mae angen gwneud rhywbeth !
                Digwydd bod, rwyf newydd gwblhau cwrs ‘Bathodyn Gwyrdd’, sef cymhwyster i dywys ymwelwyr, yn bennaf fel rhywbeth gallwn ei ddefnyddio  gyda’r archaeoleg, ond yn sgil hyn rwyf wedi dod i adnabod nifer o dywysion eraill, wedi gwneud ffrindiau newydd a wedi ymuno gyda corff o’r enw NWTGA. Enw ddigon od medda chi, yn y Saesneg yr ystyr yw North Wales Tourist Guiding Association er fod y safle we yn
                Does dim enw Cymraeg (ar hyn o bryd). Mae NWTGA wedyn yn rhan o WOTGA sef Wales Official Tourist Guides Association sydd yn gorff Cenedlaethol i Gymru a NWTGA wedyn yn cynrychioli’r Gogledd. Drwy ymaelodi rydym yn cael yswiriant ar gyfer tywys a mae bron fel ymuno ac undeb. Dros y blynyddoedd rwyf wedi bod yn aelod o’r Undeb y Cerddorion (M.U) a Fforwm Rhelolwyr Artsitiad (MMF). Rwyf yn undebwr yn sicr, yn wyr i chwarelwr felly fe ddyliwn i fod !
                Ond y fantais fawr o weithio gyda NWTGA yw fod criw ohonnon, pawb gyda cymhwyster o fathodyn gwyrdd neu las, felly pawb wedi eu hyfforddi er mwyn cynnig profiad o safon uchel i’r cwsmeriaid. Gall y cwsmeriaid fod yn ymwelwyr, yn newyddiadurwyr  neu yr un mor hawdd yn bobl leol sydd eisiau “gwybod mwy”  neu “rioed di bod yma o’r blaen”.
                Felly dyna’r man cychwyn, mae angen gwneud rhywbeth hefo Segontium, mae criw ohonnom yn ardal Caernarfon sydd wedi hen arfer mynd ac ymwelwyr i weld Castell Caernarfon felly pam na fedrwn gynnig mynd a ymwelwyr neu grwpiau i weld Segontium ?
                Rhywbryd o gwmpas y flwyddyn 78 Oed Crist mae Agricola yn glanio fel petae (nid ar gwch tybiaf ond o Gaer) yng Ngogledd Cymru i gael trefn ar yr Ordoficiaid, wedi’r cwbl bu Suetonius Paulinus yma yn 60/61 i gael trefn ar y Derwyddon ond hawliodd gwrthryfel Buddug yn ardal Essex heddiw ei sylw felly fe gafodd Gogledd Cymru lonydd am 17 mlynedd nes dychweliad Agricola. Dyma gyfnod diddorol yn ein hanes. Mae yna gwestiwn mawr beth ddigwyddodd i’r Derwyddon ar ol ymosodiad Suetonius ym 60/61. Dim son pellach amdanynt.
                Y joc gennyf pan fyddaf yn darlithio yw eu bod wedi heglu i ganol Sir Fon, i guddiad yn y coed ochrau Llanerchymedd, ond y tebygrwydd yw fod Suetonius wedi llwyddo i’w lladd i gyd. Wedyn mae yna gwestiwn o beth sydd yn digwydd yn ystod yr 17 mlynedd yna o ryddid Celtaidd neu diffyg rheolaeth Rhufeinig. Ac erbyn 78 unwaith eto mae hi ar ben ar yr Ordoficiaid.
                Fe all fod tystiolaeth er engraifft o waith cynnal a chadw yn Segontium oedd oherwydd ymosodiadau gan yr Ordoficiaid – yr arfer Rhufeinig oedd cofnodi digwyddiadau o’r fath fel trael amser ar y gaer yn hytrach na chyfaddef fod ymosodiad wedi digwydd. Ar y llaw arall rydym hefyd yn gwybod o waith cloddio diweddar gan Ymddiriedolaeth Archaeolegol Gwynedd yn Tai Cochion ger Brynsiencyn, gyferbyn a Segontium dros y Fenai, fod yma safle fasnachu yn dyddio o’r Ail Ganrif gynnar.
                Felly arwyddocad Tai Cochion yw cadarnhau prin ugain mlynedd ar ol ymosodiad Agricola fod yna sefydlogrwydd economaidd a felly gwleidyddol hefyd yn y rhan yma o’r Byd. Mae’r Rhufeiniad a’r trigolion lleol yn masnachu a’i gilydd yn Tai Cochion !
                Yr hyn sydd yn amlwg yw fod arwyddocad y cloddio diweddar yn Nhai Cochion yn ofnadwy o bwysig, yn dangos llawer mwy am y berthynas rhwng y trethwyr newydd a’r trigolion brodorol. Ychydig o olion fydd i’w gweld yn Nhai Cochion wrthgrws – ychydig o gerrig yn unig o dan y pridd – ond mae’n rhan o’r darlun llawn.
                Mae llawer mwy o olion i’w gweld yn Segontium, yn bennaf oherwydd gwaith cloddio Mortimer Wheeler yn y 20au bron ganrif yn ol bellach. Y ddadl yn fan hyn yn syml yw fod Segontium yn llawer rhy ddiddorol i gael ei “anwybyddu” fel hyn a gobeithiaf erbyn Haf 2012 bydd rhai o dywysion NWTGA yn cynnig teithiau cerdded o amgylch y safle hynod yma !

Herald Gymraeg 9 Tachwedd Never Mind The Dovecotes

Digwydd bod yn teithio yn y car yr oeddwn, ac yn neidio o un sianel radio i’r llall fel mae rhywun, felly dwi ddim yn cofio yn iawn os mae eitem newyddion ar Radio 2 ynte Radio 4 a glywais, yn sicr doedd hwn ddim yn eitem ar Radio Cymru (neu mae’n siwr byddwn wedi cael galwad ganddynt i ddweud gair neu ddau), ond y datganiad syfrdanol oedd fod y Sex Pistols yn cefnogi’r Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol !
                Rwan rydym yn gyfarwydd bellach a rhai o ser gwrthryfelgar, gwrth-sefydliadol y mudiad pync yn ymddangos ar hysbysebion teledu, Iggy Pop yn gwerthu yswiriant (Swiftcover) a John Lydon (Rottent gynt) yn hysbysebu  menyn (Country Life) felly doedd hyn ddim mor syfrdanol a hynny efallai meddyliais.
                I ddechrau roeddwn yn meddwl efallai fod yr Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol yn mynd i gyhoeddi cyfres o gyngherddau ar rhai o’u stadau ond yr hyn dan sylw oedd CD amlgyfrannog o’r enw “Never Mind The Dovecotes”, yr enw wrthgwrs yn arall eiriad o enw record hir gyntaf y Sex Pistols, “Never Mind The Bollocks”.
                Diddorol, a finnau bron yn hanner cant, ac yn wir wedi ymaelodi gyda’r Ymddiriedolaeth am y tro cyntaf yn ddiweddar, dyma ddechrau ofyn y cwestiwn, beth sydd yn digwydd i ni gyd, yr holl hen byncs nawr yn ymweld a Erddig’s y Byd ? Rhaid cyfaddef fod  y syniad o Steve Jones a Paul Cook o’r Pistols yn troedio gerddi Erddig fel petae, yn ddigon i roi gwen ar fy wyneb ond na, i fod o ddifri, mae pawb a’r hawl i ymddiddori mewn hanes, does dim o’i le yn hynny, a mae pawb yn aeddfedu ac yn darganfod diddordebau newydd.
                I droi i ddechrau at y CD ei hyn, casgliad “Pync” yw hwn ond o ran y diffiniad cul gwreiddiol o “Punk Rock” mae’n siwr byddai dipyn yn dadlau fod rhan helaeth o’r artistiiad efallai yn perthyn i’r cyfnod “Don Newydd” yn hytrach na “Pync” ond wedyn dwi’n arbenigwr ar y ddiffiniadau cul haearnaidd yma – fe newidiodd y cyfnod yma fy mymwyd wedi’r cwbl !
                Beth gawn felly yw rhai o’r artistiaid gwreiddiol o 1976, y Sex Pistols, The Jam, X Ray Spex a Siouxsie and the Banshees, artistiad tra wahanol o Fanceinion, John Cooper Clarke, The Fall a Slaughter and The Dogs a wedyn rhai artistiaid sydd yn sicr yn perthyn i’r Don Newydd fel Jilted John a Lene Lovich.
                O ran casgliad ar CD mae’n gasgliad bach da, hollol addas ar gyfer y car, casgliad amrywiol, caneuon rydym yn eu cofio, a mae caneuon fel “Where Have all the Bootboys Gone ?” gan Slaughter and the Dogs yn dal i wneud rhywun chwerthin am ei naifrwydd pur. Dyma gan i neidio fyny i lawr iddo yn yr un lle, sef y ddawns “pogo” a ddechreuwyd gan Sid Vicious ond yma yng Nghymru rydym yn gwybod yn well wrthgwrs, gan i’r Methodistiaid (jumpers) ddechrau’r arfer yma rhai canrifoedd cyn i Vicious droedio’r ddaear.
                Felly hefyd can Jilted John, ac er mai ‘Jilted John’ yw enw’r gan, bydd y rhan fwyaf ohonnom yn cofio’r gan fel “Gordon is a Moron”. Roedd pawb yn y 6ed yn canu hynny y bore ar ol i Jilted John ymddangos ar Top of the Pops a dyma’r wraig a finnau yn cytuno yn syth – “mi fydd yr hogia yn hoffi hon !”. Can arall sydd wirioneddol yn sefyll allan yw “Lucky Number” gan Lene Lovich, can a ryddhawyd yn wrieddiol ar y Label hynod hwnnw “Stiff Records”.
                Rhywsut mae Lene druan wedi mynd yn angof yn y “Byd Pop Mawr” ond dyma artist wirioneddol unigryw, o’i hamser ond hefyd ymhell o flaen ei hamser, does fawr newydd na gwreiddiol ym mherfformiadau Lady Gaga go iawn !
                Hefyd ar y CD ceir nifer o ser yr “ail –adran”, Stiff little Fingers. Anti Nowhere League, Tenpole Tudor a’r Toy Dolls ac erbyn hyn mae rhwyun yn gorfod chwerthin achos mae pwy bynnag sydd wedi rhoi y casgliad yma at ei gilydd wedi cael rhwydd hynt go iawn, mwy fel rhaglen radio amrywiol na unrhywbeth fyddai’n cael ei dderbyn gan y pyncs gwreiddiol o ’76. Ond pam lai ?
                Erbyn heddiw rwyf yn teimlo fod hyd yn oed trafod “Pync” bron yn ddi-werth, mae yna adwaith gryf yn ei erbyn yn aml ond ar y llaw arall fel symudiad ffasiwn, cerddorol a chymdeithasol ac yn sicr o ran y gwleidyddiaeth fe gafodd y cyfnod yma effaith fawr ar nifer fawr o bobl. Wrth son am y cyfnod ar fy ymweliadau i ysgolion a cholegau mae’r rhan fwyaf yn edrych yn syn – Pync Beth ????? does fawr o neb i weld yn ymwybodol ond beth fyddai eu hymateb petawn yn trafod y 60au, hipis a “Flower Power” – rhywbeth tebyg ma’n siwr ?
                Ac i droi wedyn at ymaelodi hefo’r Ymddiriedolaeth, wel, rwyf yn gweld cymaint o’r adeiladau, gerddi a stadau yn ddifir iawn, hyd yn oed Castell Penrhyn a Plas Newydd ac yn sicr does dim modd eu hosgoi os am drafod Hanes Cymru. Yn hanesyddol fe wnaeth y teuluoedd yma eu cyfoeth ar gefn y werin bobl, chwarelwyr ardal Bethesda, mwyngloddwyr copr Amlwch ac yn sicr hefyd caethweisiaeth “traddodiadol” gyda siwgwr ayyb. Y ddadl yn syml yw fod yr hyn wnaethpwyd ganddynt yng Nghymru hefyd yn ffurf o gaethweisiaeth.
                Faint o hawliau gafodd rheini arweiniodd Streic Fawr y Penrhyn ac onid oedd Twm Charae Teg (Thomas Williams) yn un o’r rheini oedd yn pwyso ar y Llywodraeth i beidio dod a diwedd i Gaethweisiaeth ?  Felly wrthgwrs mae popeth yma yn drysu rhywun, CD “Pync” gan yr Ymddiriedoalaeth Genedlaethol – be nesa ?

Friday, 11 November 2011

Never Mind The Dovecotes. CD Review.

I have just reviewed this CD for my weekly cloumn in the Herald Gymraeg which is in Welsh obviously but rather than do a direct translation which hardly ever works anyway I thought I'd just play it again and put some thoughts down as we go.

Punk Rock totally changed my life back in 1977 (I was in Wales so we didnt get it in 1976 due to the Border Controls) but really it was the politics of "God Save The Queen" and Sid Vicious's acne that really swung it. Up until then I was a George Best fan had had zero interest in music. God Save The Queen was probably the first time that a song spoke to me - the first time I agreed with a song - the first time I thought that the band was just like me - very pissed off - wanting something else - not really sure what but when I heard the Sex Pistols it was like a light switch going on - that instant - that life changing.

The next day I cut my hair - just like J.J Brunell of the Stranglers, started listening to John Peel every night and Stuart Henry's Streetheat show on Radio Luxembourg every weekend. Mail order was the only way of getting the singles, so I'd send off from adverts in the back of the NME and a few days later there would be a package with "In The City" or "Safety in Numbers" - delivered to downtown Llanfair Caereinion - pretty good for the pre-Internet age. We even managed to get over to Shrewsbury to see bands at the Music Hall and by 78, 79 we were not so cut off. Even the Clash came close - they came to Deeside Leisure Centre on the 16 Ton Tour - one of the best gigs ever (obviously!).

I still call myself a "punk" in terms of politics, those in the know realise that things can still be "punk rock" but for others it may well appear that we are still banging on about something that happened 35 years ago. I'm sure I felt that all those 60s heads were banging on about things - so I do understand that Punk Rock can appear totally irrelevent in this day and age and obviously totally irrelevent to those not even born 35 years ago. I'm now doing workshops in schools and colleges where they were not born when we did the first records with Catatonia back in 1993 so Punk Rock must really seem like archaeology to them.

As Iggy Pop and John Lydon do their bit for insurance and butter it came as no suprise to hear a news item on Radio 2 or Radio 4 - I forget which because I was flicking channels on the car radio at the time, announcing that the Sex Pistols and various punk bands were supporting the National Trust. At first I thought they were going to announce a series of concerts in some of the National Trust estates but hey, it's a CD !

I actually asked for the CD at Plas Newydd, Anglesey but no one really knew if they had copies for sale. Anglesey was never that punk rock I guess. I have actually recently joined the National Trust. I have a background in archaeology and do quite a bit of tour guiding around various sites, archaeological, castles and also to National Trust sites in North Wales - so the whole thingh seems to have come together.

In my Welsh Language review I suggested that the thought of Steve Jones and Paul Cook from the Pistols wandering around Erddig brought a smile to my face but why not of course ..... so let's get on to the CD itself.

This is quite an interesting collection because strictly speaking it covers "New Wave" acts and also "League Division II" bands, those that came later which would probably not be acknowledged as punk by the '76 or '77 purists, but what it does make is a great CD for the car - in fact a great CD for a car journey en route to a National Trust property - just right for me going from Caernarfon to say Erddig or Plas Newydd or Plas yn Rhiw.

We start with "Identity" by X Ray Spex and this track really reminds us or even confirms how "original" the original punk bands were back in '77. They all had an unique sound, they may have been influenced by the Sex Pistols, provoked and inspired to pick up a guitar but they did not all sound the same. ADSIDE : This is a lesson that Welsh bands should consider - DO NOT SOUND LIKE THE SUPER FURRY'S - get your own sound.
So Polystyrene (RIP)'s ouutfit do just that - come up with their own sound. She was of her time and in many ways ahead. They even managed with the help of a very young Lora Logic to make good use of the saxophone. Normally all saxophones should be banned and kept a healthy distance away from pop music.

The two Sex Pistols tracks are both demos from the Dave Goodman period, Anarchy and Pretty Vacant. Intersesting for the fact that they are early demos, these are the raw versions before Chris Thomas polished them off for Never Mind The Bollocks but boy are they slow, they are almost painfully slow. I remember the Damned taking the piss that Anarchy was so slow but then the Damned speeded up the tapes to get New Rose that fast. Welcome to the punk wars.

In fact after a few plays both Pistols tracks sound quite good but you are aware that Steve Jones is still at the work in progress stage as is Rotten's lyrics / vocals.

If we go with the "original" punk tracks first we get two Weller classics, "In The City" and "Going Underground" - classics if only for the lines "and the kids know where it's at" and "the people want what the people get". For all his sins Weller did stir things up, by being a bit mod and un-punk in many ways he was more punk than those who fell into the cliches so backtracking to '77 I certainly accepted what the Jam were doing as being part of the same thing as The Adverts and The Clash, whether Weller called it punk or not. "Modern World" was the theme tune to Street Heat for years - it made sense - it was a call to arms.

Siouxsie of course was there right at the begining and on listening to the 12" mix of Spellbound on this CD I kind of thought that current bands like Joy Formidable are so lightweight, maybe that's unfair and unkind, but the energy coming from the Banshees just makes that point. Today the NME is certainly the e-n-e-m-y - it encourages and supports the average, no diffrerent to X Factor - just another set of rules to follow, to conform to, not so with the Banshees ......

In terms of originality, the Manchester bands really do stand out. "Bingo -Master's Break Out" by The Fall still sounds punchy, Mark E Smith singing remarkably well on this track and despite the highly crap punk guitars on John Cooper Clarke's track "Innocents" and the shouty shouty chorus you still realise that Clarke is an original, a visionary - he was the "punk poet" - brilliant, poetry was allowed and welcomed - try that with the NME today - ohh yeahhhh they'd be soooo supportive.

The other Manchester band here are Slaughter and The Dogs, more glam-mods- Mott The Hoople almost, probably not punk rock at all but they did release "Where Have All The Bootboys Gone ?" What a classic moronic song, moronic riffs, moronic beat but what a brilliant brilliant chorus "Where have all the bootboys gone ?" can't fault that one. it's the kind of track Jon savage would either hate for being shite or he'd love for being pure moronic genius. Not sure where Savage stands on Slaughter and The Dogs but as far as this CD is concerned it put a huge smile on my face for sure !

Sham 69 were good for a while, then it turned into a bit of a Jimmy Pursey soap opera at the point that he was to join up with Steve and Paul post-Pistols. That never happened and Sham 69 probably never recovered. Great guitar sounds on "If The Kids Are United" as there was on "Angels With Dirty Faces" but it does not stand the test of time so well "if the kids are united they will never be divided" or "I don't want to be rejected, I don't want to be denied, it's not my misfortune that I opened up your eyes" or something like that in the passionate middle eight. Yep during 6th Form Pursey did make some kind of sense but listening today you tend to go with "Where have all the Bootboys gone ?" because that's blatantly funny and blatantly moronic and still more cred than Pursey going on and on ........

Likewise Stiff Little Fingers, that first album Inflammable Material and those early tracks "Suspect Device" and "Alternative Ulster" sounded absolutely brilliant on those first Peel plays, and of course the subject matter dealing with the North of Ireland - how much more punk rock could you get - but the track here "Beirut Moon" seems a bit out of context, a bit out of date, who cares even ? I don't really know if anybody does care about SLF these days. Even if they do they probably just want the old hits. Pass or rather skip.
I actually caught the last song of their set at Rebellion Festival last year - I'd just finished working with Viv Albertine, got her back to her hotel and came back just to catch the last song - and it was the same feeling - pass - I may have loved the first album, today I have no interest at all ......

What really made me laugh about this CD is that whoever compiled it must have had a laugh because it does really jump through New Wave through the League Division II bands and even manages to squezee in  Discharge with "Protest and Survive". Discharge were part of the early 80s Crass / post-Crass scene - lyrically and politically they had developed the Anti Nuclear, Anarchist, vegetarian arguments - I still agree with a lot of that to this day - still veggie. Musically it's a F*** Knows ?????

I do not approach this review with cynicism towards the New Wave. Some of it was good. Listening today to "Lucky Number" by Lene Lovich there is a good argument that she was ahead of her time, of her time as well but a visionary - Lucky Number still sounds pretty good to me, pretty fresh and pretty strange. great Label of course, Stiff Records, mavericks who released maverick pop records - again a lesson for today's popstars and NME stars - stand out for F*** sake ! God Bless Lene.

We always called Jilted John's song "Jilted John" by the hook "Gordon is a Moron". The moronic quality here is high indeed. Bless Mr Shuttleworth. This is utter shite of course but it's brilliant utter shite - and again it;s very very funny and still sounds good..

Apologies for not reviewing G.B.H - what would I say ?  Same with Anti Nowhere League but again respect the compiler for throwing all these acts at us on one CD - this is probably what makes the CD a little bit punk rock. It stretches things a bit and that's no bad thing. It make you smile - and that's another no bad thing.

On the front cover we get a little sticker that say's "A British Music Culture that started a revolution". Agreed !

Never Mind The Dovecotes (Punk Collection) is released by the National Trust - how much more punk rock can you get !

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Misericords @ St Mary's & St Nicholas, Biwmares.

Spent the afternoon photographing the brilliant brilliant misericords in the church - this really is the medieval version of a Vogue fashion spread - all walks of life, from the bishops to the barmaids. Recommended - they can be seen in the Chancel of St Mary's & St Nicholas. Church is open most days. You pass the sarcophagus of Joan (Siwan) on your way in. Misericords may have come from Llanfaes Priory  - date from C15th.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Herald Gymraeg 2 Tachwedd 2011. Llanddeiniolen.

Dinas Dinorwig ger Llanddeiniolen, y gaer sydd wedi ei enwi ar ol y llwyth Celtiadd yr Ordoficiaid, oedd y lle roeddwn yn ei anelu amdano. Penderfynais adael y car ger cylchfan Ty Mawr rhwng Llandegai a Bethel (ger y ty bwyta) a wedyn cerdded y milltir a hanner oedd yn weddill er mwyn cael y teimlad o gerdded tuag at y bryngaer Oes Haearn hynod yma oedd yn ymddangos dan fanetell o goed ar y gorwel. Cefais ginio yno cyn cychwyn felly hawdd wedyn oedd cael caniatad i adael y car yno am awr neu ddwy !
                Buan iawn roeddwn yn ymadael a’r ffordd i Lanberis ac yn cael troedio lon wledig ddistaw gan edrych ar enwau ffermydd, edrych dros gloddiau, a cherdded wedyn yn raddol am i fyny. Teimlas ychychydig o chwys ar fy nhalcen. Roedd yn ddiwrnod ddigon braf o Hydref, ac er fod ambell gwmwl bygythiol yn yr awyr roedd rheini rhywsut ddigon pell i mi fentro cerdded gan wybod fod y daith yn mynd i gymeryd yn agos i dair awr i mi rhwng bob dim.
                Erbyn i rhywun gyrraedd troad fferm Pen Dinas mae rhywun mwy neu lai wrth droed y drydedd clawdd, sef y clawdd allanol i’r gaer, a mae rhywun yn dilyn cwrs y clawdd yma wedyn tua’r ffermdy. Mae’r gaer ar dir preifat felly bydd angen gofyn caniatad yn y ffermdy os am ymweld a’r safle.
                Yr hyn sydd yn nodweddiadol o’r gaer yma yw fod yna ddau gyfnod o adeiladu yma.  Y cyfnod cyntaf lle roedd mur o garreg yn amgylchu’r safle a wedyn yr ail gyfnod o adeiladu lle ychwanegwyd y cloddiau a ffosydd anferth sydd i’w gweld hyd heddiw. Hefyd nodwedd arall weddol anghyffredin yw fod y cloddiau a’r ffosydd wedi eu hadeiladu yn y dull “glacis” sef fod yr ochr o waelod y ffos i ben y clawdd yn un ochr llyfn parhaol.
                Gwelir y math yma o adeiladwaith yng Nghastell Maiden, Dorset a’r tebygrwydd yw y byddai’r math yma o ffos a chlawdd yn ofnadwy o anodd i’w ddringo. Y broblem fwyaf hefo ymweld a Dinas Dinorwig yw fod yr eithin mwy neu lai wedi tyfu dros y cloddiau i gyd felly mae’n anodd iawn cerdded o gwmpas heblaw am ar hyd y ffos rhwng y clawdd mewnol a’r ail glawdd.
                Wedyn does dim i’w weld yn fewnol a mae coedwig ar yr ochr arall i’r gaer felly dydi’r profiad ymweld ddim ymhlith y gorau. Amhosib tynnu lluniau ac anodd cael golwg clir o’r cloddiau a’r ffosydd drwy’r holl eithion a mieri. Yma hefyd mae carreg danio, un o’r cerrig yno sy’n dyddio o’r bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg oedd yn cael eu tanio i ddathlu gwyliau neu benblwydd. Er i mi ddod o hyd i’r garreg hon flynyddoedd yn ol, doedd dim modd croesi’r ffosydd y tro yma oherwydd y mieri.
                Wrth ymadael a’r gaer penderfynais wneud fy nhaith yn gylch llawn yn hytrach na ail ddilyn yr un llwybr yn ol, felly fe es yn fy mlaen ar hyd y ffordd  i gyfeiriad Eglwys St Deiniol, Llanddeiniolen. Wrth gyrraedd yr Eglwys dyma sylwi fod nifer o geir tu allan a dyma fentro daro fy mhen drwy’r drws. Cafwyd croeso yn syth a dyma ddechrau sgwrsio hefo rhai o’r gwirfoddolwyr oedd yn glanhau’r Eglwys ar gyfer  dathliadau Diolchgarwch.
                Daeth gwahoddiad hefyd yn ddigon sydun i mi ddod draw ar y Sul i sgwennu am y Gwasanaeth Diolchgarwch ar gyfer yr Herald. Rhaid dweud roedd y syniad yn apelio ond roedd rhaid i mi ddweud yn o glir na fedrwn addo y byddwn yn mynychu. Mae Dydd Sul yn tueddu i fod yn ddiwrnod mynd a’r hogia allan am dro felly yn sicr y peth doeth fyddai peidio gaddo ond mynegi fy mod yn ddiolchgar am y gwahoddiad.
                Petae mwy o amser gan rhywun, byddai hyn wedi gallu gwneud erthygl ddigon difir, dewis taith gerdded arall fyddai wedi caniatau i mi fynychu’r Gwasanaeth y prynhawn hwnnw. Byddai wedi bod yn ddiddorol gweld beth yw’r dathliadau, pwy sydd yn mynychu, byddai wedi bod yn brofiad o’r newydd i mi yn sicr. Sylwais faint o hwyl roedd y gwirfoddolwyr yn ei gael wrth lanhau, roedd yna gyfeillgarwch cymunedol yn eu plith a mae hynny yn braf o hyd i’w weld – fod yna’r fath peth a chymuned Gymraeg yn parhau yn y pentrefi bach yma.
                Efallai fod un arall o’r criw wedi sylweddoli fy mod yn methu sicrhau fy mhresenoldeb ar y Sul a dyma wahoddiad na fedrwn ei wrthod, a gwahoddiad roeddwn yn fwy na pharod ac yn falch iawn i’w dderbyn.  “Oeddwn i wedi gweld carreg fedd W.J Gruffydd ?” Mae unrhywbeth sydd yn ymwneud a hen gerrig yn rhywbeth na fyddwn byth yn ei wrthod a dyma ddilyn y wraig garedig tuag at garreg fedd y athro, bard a llenor.
                A dyna chi garreg fedd ! Mewn mynwent orlawn o gerrig llechi gleision roedd hon yn sefyll allan. Bron fel rhyw faenhir isel. Fel rhyw garreg Gristnogol gynnar o’r 6ed Ganrif. Hen bostyn giat yn ol y son. Hen bostyn giat ? Rhywsut roedd yn garreg fedd addas i’r dyn hynod yma. Llawer gwell na’r lechan arferol. Dyma ddatganiad o’r hunnan, o hunnaniaeth, o annibyniaeth barn hyd yn oed o’r bedd. Syml ond effeithiol. Dwi isho carreg fel hyn !
                Ar un adeg roedd y gair radical ac anghydffurfiaeth yn ddigon cyson a’i gilydd, ac yntau yn fab i chwarelwr, digon rhesymol fod radicalaieth yn ei waed, yn llifo drwy ei wthienau ers ei ddyddiau cynnar. Ymunodd a Phlaid Cymru ac erbyn 1937 roedd yn gweithredu fel Is-Lywydd i’r Blaid nes iddo ffraeo neu anghytuno a Saunders Lewis. Saunders yn unben ta W.J yn ormod y gymeriad ? Dwi ddim yn gyfarwydd a’r hanes ond rwyf isho gwybod mwy …….
                Canlyniad hyn oedd iddo gael ei ethol i’r Senedd ar ran y Rhyddfrydwyr fel cynrhychiolydd Prifysgol Cymru ar y 29ain Ionawr, 1943 a fe’i ail etholwyd ym 1945 a bu yn y Ty Cyffredin wedyn  nes 1950 pryd diddymwyd seddau Prifysgolion yn y Senedd.
                Rhywsut cefais y teimlad fod trigolion Llanddeiniolen yn edrych ar W.J fel ychydig o “gymeriad” ond mewn goleuni ddigon ffafriol hefyd. Wrth ddychweld adre sylwais fod dau gopi o “Hen Atgofion” yn fy llyfrgell o hen lyfrau, bydd rhaid i mi ddarllen y llyfr a dysgu mwy am y dyn yma. Felly ymddiheuriadau am fethu’r Gwasanaeth Diolchgarwch ond diolch o galon am ddangos y garreg fedd hynod hon i mi, carreg fedd a hanner, hen bostyn giat !