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New podcast explores the story of the drowning of Capel Celyn

02 Mar 2023 2 minute read
Cofiwch Dryweryn 1966 by alh1 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The heart-breaking story of a Welsh community being forced off their land in order to build a reservoir is being aired on a BBC podcast.

Capel Celyn near Bala in Gwynedd was flooded in 1965 to create the Tryweryn reservoir in order to supply the people of Liverpool with water.

Around 70 members of the Welsh speaking community were forced out, leaving behind their way of life as well as their homes, school and place of worship.

A new seven-part BBC Sounds podcast explores the burning sense of injustice that remains to this day which led to activists bombing the most controversial construction project in modern Welsh history.

The first episode of Drowned, launches 60 years after three Welsh activists bombed the Tryweryn reservoir.

Presented by the highly accomplished journalist Betsan Powys, the podcast tells the deeply personal stories of the people at the very heart of this chapter in Welsh history.


The podcast also includes the people who tried, and failed, to stop the flooding of Capel Celyn.

When peaceful protest had failed, three Welshmen – Owain Williams, Emyr Llewelyn and John Albert Jones – took matters into their own hands.

They formed Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (MAC) – the Movement for the Defence of Wales.

On the night of 9 February 1963, they travelled through blizzard conditions to plant bomb which destroyed an electricity transformer on the site.

They were eventually caught and imprisoned.

Executive Producer of the BBC podcast, Karen Voisey says, “Drowned is a powerful story looking back at the decisions surrounding the contentious drowning of Capel Celyn.

“In the series Betsan Powys really gets to the heart of the anger and grievances leading to the Tryweryn reservoir bombing with new insights and accounts. It explores how the sense of injustice in Wales which led to that fateful night acted as a catalyst for the political and cultural battles that ensued into the 70s and 80s and still remain to this day”.

The first episode of Drowned is available here………

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