Why I’m collecting your stories about Wales’ independence journey

Picture by Ifan Morgan Jones / Llinos Dafydd. (CC BY 2.0)

*English follows below*

Mari Emlyn

Ar ddiwedd diwrnod olaf Ysgol Capel Celyn, gofynnodd Martha Roberts, y brifathrawes, i’r disgyblion osod eu cadeiriau’n dwt o dan y desgiau am y tro diwethaf ac i gerdded allan o’r ysgol yn barchus. A dyna wnaed. Cyn i’r plant gyrraedd gwaelod y lôn, roedd Cwmni Tarmac yn chwalu adeilad eu hysgol fach.

Corfforaeth Lerpwl oedd berchen yr ysgol a’r tiroedd o’i chwmpas bellach. Ymhen ychydig fisoedd, derbyniodd Martha Roberts lythyr yn gofyn am ddarn o’u heiddo. Yr eiddo roedden nhw’n awyddus iddi hi ei ddychwelyd oedd goriad drws yr hen ysgol. Roedd hwn yn gais rhyfedd, achos doedd dim drws nag ysgol erbyn hynny. Roedd yr argae wedi ei adeiladu a’r dŵr yn dechrau cronni yn y fan ble’r arferai’r ysgol sefyll. Gwrthododd Martha Roberts ddychwelyd y goriad.

Daeth cais arall gan Lerpwl. Gwrthododd Martha Roberts yn lân, a mynnodd gadw ei gafael ar y goriad: goriad i ddrws nad oedd yn bodoli; goriad i ysgol nad oedd yn bodoli. Efallai i Lerpwl ennill brwydr Tryweryn, ond roedd Martha Roberts yn benderfynol o ennill y frwydr fach, ond arwyddocaol hon. Brwydr y goriad. Treuliodd Martha Roberts y blynyddoedd ar ôl boddi Capel Celyn yn mynd o gwmpas ysgolion yn adrodd yr hanes gan agor drws dychymyg plant i’r anfadwaith hwn, a hynny’n cadw’r cof am Dryweryn yn fyw. Heddiw, mae’r goriad yn Amgueddfa Sain Ffagan.

Cof cenedl yw ei hanes hi. Os gollwn ni hynny, fe gollwn bopeth. Nid cymdeithas yn rhannu’r un stori fyddai gennym, ond clwstwr o unigolion yn teithio i gyfeiriadau gwahanol. Unigolion digyfeiriad. Dyna pam bod gweld yr holl furluniau’n ymddangos dros Gymru a thu hwnt yn ystod gwanwyn a haf 2019, mor galonogol. Datblygodd yn gwbl organig. Roedd gennym stori i’w dweud. Roedden ni ar dân i’w hadrodd hi. A doedden ni ddim am aros am ganiatâd gan unrhyw bwyllgor i’w rhannu hi. Didolwyd rhai o’r straeon hynny a’u cynnwys yn y gyfrol Cofiwch Dryweryn a gyhoeddwyd gan Y Lolfa ddiwedd 2019. Nododd sawl cyfrannwr mai gwaddol y murluniau fyddai annibyniaeth i Gymru o fewn y ddegawd nesaf.

Gall goriad i ddrws olygu’r gwahaniaeth rhwng rhyddid a chaethiwed. Yn achos Tryweryn, mae goriad Martha Roberts yn mynnu ein bod ni’n cofio. Mae’n arwyddocaol mai ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ oedd y ddau air ddewisodd Meic Stephens i’w peintio ar wal Troed y Rhiw. Mae’n arwyddocaol hefyd mai ar wal hen furddun y peintiwyd y slogan gwreiddiol. Doedd dim drws; dim goriad. Dim ond amlinelliad o gartref: symbol o hen ffordd o fyw; dadfeiliad cefn gwlad ac effaith andwyol hynny ar yr iaith Gymraeg; symbol o hen ddiwylliant yn mynd a’i ben iddo. Tanlinellodd Tryweryn ddiymadferthedd Cymru yn wleidyddol. A heddiw, efo aelodau seneddol Cymru’n ffurfio dim ond chwech y cant o Dŷ’r Cyffredin, rhaid gofyn eto, beth yw’r manteision i ni o fod yn rhan o’r ‘undeb’ anghyfartal a shambolig yma?

 

Cyfartal

Dilyniant i gyfrol ddwyieithog Cofiwch Dryweryn yw Annibyniaeth/Independence a gyhoeddir yn ddiweddarach eleni. Beth fydd ein straeon yn ystod cyfnod Covid-19? Wrth orfod gohirio tair gorymdaith AUOB eleni, ofnai llawer y byddai momentwm yr ymgyrch dros Annibyniaeth yn pylu. Ond mewn gwirionedd, mae’r llanast yn San Steffan wedi sodro annibyniaeth yn ôl ar yr agenda, gyda sawl un oedd yn Indycurious, yn datgan eu bod bellach yn Indyfurious. Denodd YesCymru dros fil o aelodau newydd ym mis Mai yn unig.

Mae’n wybyddus ers blynyddoedd mai pandemig ydi’r bygythiad mwyaf i Brydain, yn fwy felly na therfysgaeth. Does bosib na all Cymru greu strategaeth, cynllunio a gweithredu gwell ar gyfer pandemig y dyfodol yn hytrach na dim ond ‘taking it on the chin!’ Mae’r feirws wedi taflu goleuni ar anghyfartaledd yr ‘undeb.’ Ac onid yw cyfartaledd yn fater o ewyllys gwleidyddol? Mae gwledydd yn perfformio’n well pan mae pawb yn gyfartal.

Mae’r pandemig wedi profi bod gan Gymru’r potensial i lywodraethu mewn dull mwy cyfrifol na San Steffan – nid bod hynny’n heriol iawn ar y funud wrth i ni wylio syrcas ddyddiol Downing Street. Allwn ni ddim dechrau golchi ein dwylo o lanast a llygredd celwyddau San Steffan? Gallai gymryd mwy nag ugain eiliad Boris, ond beth am roi cynnig arni?

A ninnau’n byw y tu ôl i ddrysau caeedig y clo mawr, nawr yw’r amser i ni adrodd ein straeon a dychmygu’r Gymru’r hoffem ei gweld: Cymru fwy cyfartal a gwâr; Cymru fwy gwyrdd ac iach.

A beth am fynd un cam bach ymhellach? Yn hytrach na dim ond sbecian drwy dwll clo ein breuddwydion, beth am ddeffro a mentro gwthio’r drws led y pen ar agor? Wedi’r cyfan, mae’r allwedd yn ein dwylo ni.

I rannu stori eich taith chi at gefnogi Annibyniaeth i Gymru yng nghyfrol Annibyniaeth Independence, cysylltwch â Mari yma ar mari.emlyn@btinternet.com.


The Cofiwch Dryweryn mural. Picture by Ifan Morgan Jones (CC BY 2.0)

Mari Emlyn

At the end of Ysgol Capel Celyn’s final day, Martha Roberts, the headteacher, asked the pupils to place their chairs neatly under their desks for the last time, and to walk out of the school in a respectful manner. The children complied. Before they had reached the end of the road, the Tarmac Company began destroying their old school building.

Liverpool Corporation now owned the school and the land surrounding it. Within a few months, Martha Roberts received a letter demanding a piece of their property. The property they were so eager for her to return, was the key to the door of the school. This was a strange request, because there was, by then, no school door. The dam had been built and the water had started to accumulate on the site where the school once stood. Martha Roberts refused to return the key.

Another demand came from Liverpool. Martha Roberts refused yet again, doggedly holding on to that key: a key to a door that no longer existed; a key to a school that no longer existed. Perhaps Liverpool had won the battle of Tryweryn, but Martha Roberts was determined to win this small, but highly significant battle. The battle for the key. Martha Roberts spent the years following the drowning of Capel Celyn visiting schools recounting the story, opening the door to children’s imagination about the villainy of the event, thereby keeping alive the memory of Tryweryn. Today this key is in Sain Ffagan Museum.

A nation’s memory is its history. If we were to lose that, we’d lose everything. Ours wouldn’t be a society sharing the same story, but rather a cluster of individuals travelling in different directions. Clueless individuals. That is why the appearance of the murals all over Wales and beyond, during the spring and summer of last year, was so heartening. It developed organically. We had a story to tell. We were itching to recount it. And we weren’t going to wait for any committee’s permission to share it. Some of those stories were collated and included in the Cofiwch Dryweryn book published by Y Lolfa at the end of 2019. Many contributors remarked that the legacy of these murals would be independence for Wales within the next decade.

A key to a door can suggest the difference between freedom and captivity. In the case of Tryweryn, Martha Roberts’ key demands that we remember. It’s highly significant that the two words chosen by Meic Stephens to paint on the wall of Troed y Rhiw in the sixties, were ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn.’ It is also significant that the original slogan was painted on an old derelict wall. There was no door; there was no key. Only an outline of a home; a symbol of an old way of life; the unravelling of rural life and its destructive impact on the Welsh language; a symbol of an ancient culture in decline.

Tryweryn emphasised Wales’ political impotence. And today, with Wales’ members of parliament making up just six per cent of the House of Commons, one must ask again, what are the benefits of us being a part of this unequal and shambolic ‘union?’

 

Equal

Annibyniaeth/Independence, published later this year, is a sequel to the bi-lingual book, Cofiwch Dryweryn. What will our stories be during the Covid-19 period? Having had to cancel this year’s three AUOB marches, many feared that the momentum for Independence would dwindle. But in truth, the chaos in Westminster has forced independence back on the agenda, with many who were Indycurious, declaring that they are now Indyfurious. YesCymru attracted over a thousand new members in the month of May alone.

It has been known for years that a pandemic is the main threat to Britain, more so than terrorism. Surely, Wales has the ability to create a better strategy, planning and action for future pandemics, rather than just ‘taking it on the chin!’ The virus has highlighted the inequity of the ‘union.’ And isn’t equality a matter of political will? Nations perform better when everyone is equal. The pandemic has proved that Wales has the potential to govern more responsibly than Westminster – not that that is very challenging as we watch Downing Street’s daily circus. Can’t we start washing our hands of the corruption and lies of Westminster? It might take longer than Boris’ twenty seconds, but let’s give it a go!

Living behind closed doors in the great lockdown, now is the time to share our stories and to imagine the Wales we would like to see: a more equal and civilised Wales; a greener and healthier Wales. And what about taking that one tiny step further? Rather than just peeping through the keyhole of our dreams, how about waking up and venturing to fling the door wide open? After all, we hold the keys.

To share the story of your journey to support Independence for Wales in the book Annibyniaeth Independence, contact Mari here at mari.emlyn@btinternet.com.

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