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martyn142

Welsh speakers

I was in the garden yesterday and two young lads walked past my house chatting in Welsh to each other. It occurred to me that I can't recall ever hearing a Welsh conversation on an Abertillery street before.
Ian

Probabaly a rare occurence,there are however a number of Welsh Schools fairly local now.Keri swears that myself and a someone you know who I won't name were speaking Welsh to each other in a drunken stupor in our house one night.I reckon though it was probably gibberish  Laughing
martyn142

Laughing Sounds plausible Ian.

Yes, I wasn't so much surprised at hearing the conversation now, but more that I couldn't remember hearing one before.

My dad spoke Welsh - in fact he didn't speak English until he was around 14 - but the only time I ever heard him speak it was when he did the occasional radio or TV interview. Sounds crazy but it was a different world then and Welsh was viewed as a second-class language in this area.
Brithyll

Martyn, there is a group of Welsh speakers and learners who meet at the leisure centre every Thursday night for a chat and to practice. We also meet once a month on a Saturday morning in various locations in Blaenau Gwent.
As Ian has said the boys were probably from the local school in Blaina.
martyn142

Yes I know about the leisure centre group Brithyll. It's just a street conversation which I can'tr remember having heard before.
cymrocymraeg123

Hi everyone, I see you have posted about hearing Welsh in Abertillery. If you were in your garden in Six Bells, then it was probably me and my friend, we speak Welsh to eachother. I myself am doing a degree in Welsh and Welsh literature but my main interest is the social history of Welsh in Gwent, so I find it very interesting that you said your father spoke Welsh? Was he local? My and my friend both speak Welsh and we have friends who also speak it further up the valley near Queen Street.
martyn142

Hello there  Very Happy

No my dad was from Nantymoel in the Ogmore valley. As you will obviously know, Welsh was pretty much non-existent in Abertillery in the 60s and 70s and he never spoke it at home. Because he was a councillor though he often got interviewed for Welsh language radio and occasionally TV. Whenver I visited my grandparents though, he would speak Welsh to the neighbours.

Where are you doing your degree Ben? A friend's ex-husband teaches Welsh at Aberystwyth.

Martyn
cymrocymraeg123

Hi Martyn thank's for you reply. Yeah I know, my grandparents were just saying the same thing yesterday about the language in abertillery, it seems the town always has had an English language presence since its development, but the surrounding area and the area before industrialisation was Welsh. Interesting you said Ogmore Valley, I was just reading about Ogmore and Garw Valley.
I'm doing Welsh in Cardiff, I'm due to start my second year now in septmember (they havn't sent for me yet I hope they want back  Wink
martyn142

Where is Welsh taught at Cardiff Ben? I spent two stints studying at Cardiff, as well as teaching there for a short while. Good luck with the degree.
cymrocymraeg123

Thanks Martyn, it's taught in Cardiff University of course in the new humanities building near Corllet road by the law building. Welsh was one of the first chairs Cardiff had to I would imagine that it was once also taught in the main building near Cathays Park.
martyn142

Is that the tower block - although that's on Park Place so maybe not? That's where most of my undergraduate lectures took place. I was based in 64 Park Place when I was working there. Good times.
cymrocymraeg123

yeah I think it is near park place, just up the road from there. I think the humanities building is quite new though, the arts and social studies library seems older and is just in front of it. What did you study in Cardiff then? Nice to know Cardiff has an alumni in the town  Smile
martyn142

Ah right. I am thinking of a different building. I did a BSc Econ as did my wife. There are quite a few graduates of Cardiff in Abertillery.
martyn142

Apologies by the way for dragging Ben off thread  Embarassed
cymrocymraeg123

I know girl who I went to school with who is also doing that degree. I find it really interesting, I'm man of words rather than numbers and figures though! Shame the other debate on welsh in healthcare has degenerated into conjecture about 'cost' and 'doctors not coming to Wales' now, it was interesting but such is the debate with people who just can't stand the thought of civic bilingualism and welsh speakers being treated equally. It's nice to think I'm not alone in supporting the language or at least having a healthy attitude to it in the town!

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