Ysgol Sant Gwynfor

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has refused to allow the new Welsh-medium starter school in Barry to name itself after Gwynfor Evans. Apparently this is considered "too political".

Gwynfor Evans new school name in Barry 'too political' – BBC, 25 May 2011

There has obviously been some misunderstanding. As anyone in Plaid Cymru will tell you, Gwynfor wasn't a politician ... he was a saint.

Two other WM primaries—Ysgol Sant Curig and Ysgol Sant Baruc—are named after local saints, so it is hard to see why the new school shouldn't follow this tradition and be called Ysgol Sant Gwynfor.

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Anonymous said...

I assume the Aneurin Bevan Health Board was fine then?

Anonymous said...

or Glyndwr university?


Anonymous said...

I'll leave the general point that across Wales there's a shortage of schools named after prominent Welsh people and that reflects at dozens in honour of English/British politicians, monarchy etc. So, Ysgol Gwynfor would have brought some over all balance. I'm also in favour of Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan or even Callaghan Sq in Cardiff etc.

Had a quick look at names of other schools in the Vale to see if there were other school names which were inappropriate and could offend some people. Maybe we should campaign against these?

In the Vale:
1. St Richard Gwyn - anti-Protestant and anti non Christian.

3. All Staints - ditto for non-Christians.

2. Albert Primary - in Albert Street, one presumes after the Prince Consort. Husband of British monarch who ruled when Welsh Not was applied and spent 7 days in Wales. Not known for his great contribution to Welsh life nor academic study.

3. Gladstone Primary - British Liberal PM. Good man, but hated socialism. Anti-socialist.

4. Palmertson - another PM. Sympathised with Conferederate States in US Civil War. Offensive to American blacks and peoples conquered by British army during height of colonial expansion.

5. Victoria - see above. Ruled during period of genocide of Aboriginals in Australia, Tasmania and ethnic wars of colonial aggression against: Maori, Irish, Boers, Zulus, Xhosa, Shona, Ntbele, Kuykuyu, Punjhabis, Afghanis, Bengalis, Chinese, Russians, Arabs etc etc.

6. Iolo Morganwg - all round great guy but is a bad influence on young children as he was a drug addict, addicted to laudinum.

So, these names are all OK. But a man who is from Barry, who relearnt Welsh as an adult (like many parents at the school), who was willing to give his life for a Welsh medium tv channel and who tirelessly campagined in a non-violent way, is beyond the Pale?

If this school was to be called 'Ysgol Owain Glyndwr' then, fine, it's not specific to Barry. But this man is specific to the town and to the school.

The Council's decision is a deliberate political decision to say that Welshies can't be honoured in their own country. If Gwynfor was a sportsman, or had written books which have nothing to do with Wales or was a colonial master, it'd be OK. The problem is that he was 'too Welsh' and the Vale Council don't want Welsh kids to know too much Welsh history - why there was no education in Welsh, why a man had to threaten to starve himself to death to get a tv station in Welsh, why he campaigned through his life for the kind of Assembly we now have.

Partisan and petty decision. The school parents and governors should carry on and call the school Ysgol Gwynfor.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post Macsen.

MH said...

Your list was twice as long as anything I could have thought of, Macsen. But with a bit of Googling and a lot of luck, I've just come across Tom Clemett's History of Barry. This page gives details of street names in Barry, and he lists seven which were named after MPs:

Aneurin Road was named after Aneurin Bevan, MP, the founder of the National Health Service.

Awbery House named after Mr Stan Awbery, author and local historian, Mayor of Barry in 1941, and MP for Bristol Central for a number of years.

Dorothy Avenue was named after Dorothy Rees, the first female MP to represent Barry.

Dunraven Street was named after W.H. Wyndham Quinn, MP, of the Dunraven family.

Lloyd Avenue was named after C. Ellis Lloyd, first Labour MP for Llandaff & Barry Division 1929-31.

Munro Place was named after Pat Munro, National Conservative MP for Llandaff and Barry.

Wyndham Street was named after W. H. Wyndham Quinn, MP, a member of the Dunraven family.

On top of that there are another dozen or so named after mayors and council officials.

Lyndon said...

I was absolutely livid when I read about this yesterday so it's great to have somewhere to vent some steam.

We really shouldn't take this lying down, it's a nakedly partisan and viciously spiteful and petty intervention into the normal process for naming schools; and the reason given, that the Vale does not name schools after politicians, is quite simply a lie, unless you suppose that the Tory knuckle-draggers on the council cabinet are too thick to know who Gladstone and Palmerston were.

These cretins are going to be turfed out of office next May, will it be too late to change the name after that?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The list of schools is on the Vale's webpage.

Just a little thing, could you call it Ysgol Gwynfor Evans and not Ysgol Gwynfor. Please don't infantile the man.

He had a surname. His surname is also a nod to a much respected family in Barry which employed hundreds of people over the years. By all means, call it Ysgol Gwynfor informally, but please call it Ysgol Gwynfor Evans officially.


Anonymous said...

What are they going to call it instead?

"Ysgol Gavin a Stacey"?

With Y Bari, nothing would surprise me.

Anonymous said...

Ysgol Gwynfor Evans amdani! Excellent name.

Owen Saer, Cymraeg i Oedolion, Morgannwg/Pen-y-bont

Syd Morgan said...

All over the country we are lumbered with places named after Labour politicians.In Caerffili, Lansbury Park after the UK Labour leader; Bondfield Park after Margaret Bondfield a Labour minister, Aneurin Park after the nuclear bomber; Morgan Jones Park after the Labour Welsh nationalist, etc. In the Rhondda, the Dai Davies Centre was named when he was still alive.

Notice they never name sewerage farms or rubbish tips after them?

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