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Event planned to commemorate Dinorwig quarrymen and honour area’s original Welsh names

17 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Dinorwig slate quarry. Photo by ohefin, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Stephen Price

A unique event is set to take place to commemorate the North Wales Quarrymen’s Union and to demand the protection of Dinorwig quarry’s historic Welsh place names which have been replaced by English names such as ‘Dali’s Hole’.

Taking place at the sword on the shore of Llyn Padarn on 23 June, the event will be held to mark the 150th anniversary of the first battle of the North Wales Quarrymen’s Uunion.

Organisers hope create a tribute to those who died, with many suffering from silicosis in the quarries which employed 15,000 at the turn of the twentieth century.


Another key element of the event will be to demand that the memory of the quarrymen who shaped the landscape is respected.

To this end, organisers are calling for the Ponciau and Sinciau (galleries and deep holes) to be marked with their correct names, as well as the names of the men who lost their lives in Chwarel Dinorwig to be etched in stone at appropriate places.

Organisers are also calling on Cyngor Gwynedd to engage with First Hydro (now called ENGIE) the quarry owner to secure agreement that the traditional Welsh names given to the parts of the quarry cannot be displaced by modern English names which were given by climbers in the last 40 years such as Mordor, The Lost World, Dali’s Hole and others.

Llyn Padarn, Gwynedd. Image: Hefin Owen

During the event, Cor Meibion y Penrhyn will perform at the lakeside and will sing the traditional hymns that were once sung during the kick outs and strikes.

Harsh landscape

Poetry by quarrymen will also be read out during the event, with attendees expected from Bethesda Ffestiniog and Dyffryn Nantlle and the wider region.

Arfon Wyn will sing and offer a prayer for the men who lost their lives and the thousands whose lives were shortened by silicosis.

The event is organised by a Facebook group Eryri Wen and a Member of the Senedd is expected to speak at the event in support.

The few remaining quarrymen from Dinorwig have been invited, as well as others who worked at the quarry including train drivers, mechanics and fitters.

Event poster

Eilian Williams, one of the organisers of the event said: “Some have suggested that both sets of names should be recognised but we reject that completely.

“This quarry is the place of our ancestors and history for over two centuries, and the land for millennia.

“We were offered to landscape the quarry but this was not felt appropriate as it stands as a monument to the toil and sacrifice of our families.

“This desicion resulted in climbers moving in to use it for recreation. The least that they could have done would be to learn our language and learn the names of the galleries.

“We will press Cyngor Gwynedd and the board of UNESCO for action.”

The event takes place at 3pm on Sunday 23 June at Llyn Padarn. All are welcome.

Find out more about the quarry here.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
28 days ago

What is this story in the Post, £19 million for a new toilet !?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
28 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

ENGIE French, parent company SOFINA international investment bankers and “patient” land and energy acquirers – Africa, Asia, Europe, friends of Macquarie – more lumps of Wales sold out under our noses – and you are having a go at the climbers who pay half your wages…Arglwydd Mawr…! More, so much more extractions including a Scottish name for a French Person…history repeats and people forget…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
28 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

‘I Bought a Mountain’ needs a re-write…have a good day Dylan…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
28 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Must be a hot potato, my heart is in the hard rock of my home, be it gold or slate believe me…but there is a massive shed in Porthmadog that used to be called Gellerts. There must be 100 outdoor shops and loads of great cafes like Siabod in a thriving micro economy…chwarae teg…

Pobl Leol
Pobl Leol
26 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Couldn’t agree more. There is no need for artificial dualism. It’s obtuse and myopic. Or let’s just fill the whole lot in and go back to calling it Elidir Fawr? (itself a relatively recent name fabricated this millenium to aid tourism) You can’t control what name one group of people want to call something, even if you fee like it is your right to. It’s an ill advised attempt to erase a set of culture that you don’t understand or agree with (sound familiar?) Or instead we could come together, recognise that climbing has breathed new life into a once… Read more »

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