Now Caerphilly and Barry could be renamed as language campaigners push for ‘Welsh names for Welsh places’ after Snowdon and the Brecon Beacons were rebranded
- Gavin and Stacey’s beloved seaside town would change from Barry to Barri
- Linguist Mihangel ap Rhisiart presented 1,300 petition to Cardiff-based Senedd
Caerphilly and Barry could be renamed as language campaigners push for ‘Welsh names for Welsh places’.
Snowdonia has already been renamed and Brecon Beacons ditched but more ‘English-sounding’ place names in Wales could be axed.
A petition calling for ‘Welsh names for Welsh places’ has won sympathy from a Labour Government minister to end English spellings of well-known tourist towns.
It would mean that Caerphilly cheese would become Caerffili Cheese – and TV comedy Gavin and Stacey’s beloved seaside home town would switch from Barry to Barri in the latest English purge.
A 1,300 petition presented to the Cardiff-based Senedd by linguist Mihangel ap Rhisiart called for the use of ‘only Welsh names for places in Wales’.
He also hit out at the ‘cultural oppression’ by the English against Welsh speakers.
Campaigners are pushing to axe English spellings of Welsh places which would see Gavin and Stacey’s seaside town change from Barry to Barri
While Caerphilly cheese would become Caerffili Cheese. A 1,300 petition has been presented to the Cardiff-based Senedd by linguist Mihangel ap Rhisiart
Labour’s Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles – a contender to take over from First Minister Mark Drakeford – said there was ‘a strong argument’ for using just the Welsh in some cases.
READ MORE: Now ‘virtue-signalling’ bosses at Brecon Beacons announce plans to drop national park’s English name in favour of ‘eco-friendly’ Welsh one promoted by actor-turned-activist Michael Sheen
Mr ap Rhisiart said it would show ‘respect for Wales as its own nation with its own history and culture; and as a mark of acknowledgement concerning some of the cultural oppression that has historically been inflicted on Wales and her language and culture’.
He added: ‘English names might initially continue to be used by some out of habit but in all official avenues and in both spoken and written media, the original Welsh names for places in Wales should be used’.
Minister Mr Miles said: ‘We should aim for one spelling when there are only a few letters of difference between the Welsh and English versions’.
It would mean that places with distinctive English names like Cardiff, Swansea or Newport would not be automatically changed to Caerdydd, Abertawe or Casnewydd because of the differences.
But Caerphilly would be changed to Caerffili, Merthyr Tydfil to Merthyr Tudful and Treorchy to Treorchi to fit in with Welsh as the only official name.
It would mean road signs and other official documents being altered over time.
Brecon Beacons national park has already rebranded itself as Bannau Brycheiniog. But Conservative Welsh Secretary David TC Davies says it’ll always be known as Brecon Beacons
The crackdown follows a campaign for Anglesey to only be known by its Welsh name of Ynys Môn – despite a backlash from locals.
Mr Miles warned of local battles with people objecting to place names being changed.
Lawyer Mr Miles said: ‘We’ve seen in the past how changing only one letter in the name of a town or village, or adding a hyphen in order to standardise orthography can lead to strong disagreements in local communities.
‘I therefore continue to believe that we need to find a way of reflecting the wider range of perspectives and implications which exist.’
Snowdonia officially became known as Eryri and the Brecon Beacons national park rebranded itself as Bannau Brycheiniog.
But it faced huge opposition – with even Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying he would use the old name of the Brecon Beacons.
National park bosses were accused by both UK Government ministers and Welsh Conservatives for attempting to look ‘trendy’ with the move.
The park’s management said the decision was made because of links to wood-burning, carbon-emitting blazing beacons – which are not eco-friendly.
Conservative Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said he had ‘no prior notice’ of the name change.
Snowdonia has officially became known as Eryri. National park bosses were accused by both UK Government ministers and Welsh Conservatives for attempting to look ‘trendy’
He said: ‘What concerns me is the fact there was no consultation and people who live and work in the national park were not given the opportunity to voice their opinion. It would be somewhat alarming if this was an entirely executive decision.
‘The Brecon Beacons has a long-standing international identity and that is the name it will always be known by to so many around the world.
‘I do question the cost and feel this is money that could have been used to encourage tourism in a better way. As a bilingual country, I fail to understand why the Welsh name cannot be used alongside the English name.’
Bannau means peaks in Welsh while Brycheiniog refers to the kingdom of the fifth-century king Brychan. Mount Snowdon is also officially called Yr Wyddfa as part of the Eryri mountain range.
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