Wales’s most famous Welsh-language graffiti became the subject of a national campaign earlier this year after the ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ mural in Ceredigion was almost destroyed on two separate occasions.
But it has been announced in a special programme on S4C this week, Huw Stephens: Cofiwch Dryweryn, that the wall displaying the message has been sold to a new owner, who intends to protect it for the future.
The wall’s new owner, Dilys Davies, said: “I, like so many others, felt angry and hurt when the symbolic ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ wall was damaged twice earlier this year. It led me to think of what I could do. For certain I could not run up to Llanrhystud late at night, climb over fences and repaint the wall, so I contacted Elin Jones to ask how I could help.”
Within a few days of Dilys Davies contacting Elin Jones, the Assembly Member for Ceredigion and Welsh Assembly President, the owners of the wall had also contacted Elin and expressed their interest in selling the land where the wall stands in order to safeguard it.
Elin Jones AC said: “Through an amazing coincidence I received a message from the farmers who owned the wall and Dilys who wanted to buy the wall within a few days of each other. I arranged for us all to meet by the Tryweryn wall, and within 10 minutes Dilys and the farmers had agreed on a price.
“My thanks go to the farmers who have looked after the wall for 50 years before transferring it to Dilys Davies who will now ensure its safety and how it is interpreted in the future. The Tryweryn wall is a message to spur us on to demand respect and freedom for our country.”
Although Dilys Davies has bought the wall, she explains in the S4C programme that a charity will be set up to look after it.
“The wall will be transferred to a charity called Tro’r Trai whose purpose is to promote our Welsh language and culture. This will ensure a secure future for the wall, and the monument will be preserved by the charity for good,” explained Dilys.
“In terms of the future of the wall, I didn’t want to make that decision myself, because there are many ways of preserving it. You could put a fence around it, but on the other hand there is something nice about the street art element and that it has been re-done after the original was done (by Meic Stephens). I would like to think that, although I own the wall, it belongs to all of us.”
The message was originally painted in the 1960s by young nationalist Meic Stephens, who was determined that the people of Wales would never forget the decision by the UK Government to drown the village of Capel Celyn near Bala in 1965 to create a reservoir for Liverpool City Council.
In the emotional and deeply personal programme, which will be shown on S4C on Thursday, August 8, Meic Stephens’s son, the presenter and DJ Huw Stephens, asks why the mural has fired the imagination of a new generation of Welsh people who want to safeguard our history.
Huw Stephens said: “The ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ wall is an important part of our history, and for everybody in Wales. As a family we are very pleased that – thanks to Dilys – the wall is being put into the hands of a charity, to preserve it, so that what happened in Tryweryn will never be forgotten.”
There will be a special event discussing Cofiwch Dryweryn with Huw Stephens at the S4C stand in the Sir Conwy National Eisteddfod at 1.30pm on Wednesday.