‘Doing their bit for diversity’: Local bemused as Welsh language road signs appear in Worcester
Worcester may have once been part of the Welsh marches but that did not reassure bemused locals who reacted with surprise to the appearance of Welsh signage in the city.
The bilingual road signs saying ‘Ffordd Ymlaen ar Gau’ and ‘Gwyriad’ were placed by the Norton Road roundabout in the St. Peter’s part of the city known in Welsh as Caerwrangon.
They were spotted by St Peter’s parish councillor John Renshaw who informed the local paper, the Worcester News.
“I expect that the Welsh language population of St Peter’s is vanishingly small,” he told them. “Still, it’s great to see Worcestershire County Council doing its bit for diversity!”
The newspaper responded by asking its readers in Welsh: “Ydych chi wedi cael trafferth darllen arwyddion ffyrdd yn ddiweddar?” (Have you had trouble reading road signs recently?)
Worcestershire Council however said that the signs were not theirs but rather the responsibility of Severn Trent, a water company that also serves part of the north of Powys.
A spokesperson for the council said: “The signs are not related to our work and we believe that they belong to the contractors working on the industrial park site.
“Severn Trent are working on the closure on Norton Road.”
Worcestershire was from the 15th to 17th centuries administered by the Council of Wales and the Marches, which also covered modern Wales as well as Shropshire, Herefordshire, Cheshire and Gloucestershire.
Westminster accidentally ceded much of the area back to Wales recently when a petition covering the catchment areas of the rivers Severn and Wye has was rejected on the basis that they are “Wales’ responsibility”.