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No Nelson rename says Senedd member – but historian backs village using its Welsh title

11 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
The Lord Nelson Inn and war memorial in the centre of Nelson. Picture by Ashley0690 (CC BY-SA 3.0). Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1799 portrait by Lemuel Francis Abbott.

The Senedd Member for Caerphilly has said that the village of Nelson should retain its present name, while a Welsh historian has suggested it use its Welsh title instead.

The Welsh village that shares its name with Lord Nelson has been listed in an audit of possibly “problematic” places because the Admiral “opposed abolition of the slave trade or slavery”.

The Welsh Government had requested last year that councils across Wales compile lists of streets, monuments and buildings with any possible links to slavery.

Caerphilly’s Senedd Member Hefin David was unimpressed with the furore which first kicked off when The Telegraph newspaper unearthed the dossier that was compiled in November of last year.

“The village of Nelson is called Nelson and will remain Nelson, unless the people of Nelson decide it should change,” he said. “So far, I’ve not heard from any resident who feels a rename is in order.”

Historian Baron Kenneth O. Morgan, author of Rebirth of a Nation: Wales 1880-1980, however told The Times newspaper that the village should use its Welsh name, Ffos y Gerddinen.

“I am all in favour of turning their names into the Welsh version, which they have had for centuries,” he said. “I think it would be desirable if Nelson was known by its Welsh name.”

Caerphilly Council meanwhile said that it was strange that there was so much focus on Nelson when the audit compiled by the Welsh Government included place names the length and breadth of the country.

“We are keen to set the record straight on this matter as the audit was initiated by Welsh Government, not Caerphilly council,” a spokesperson told Nation.Cymru.

“The Welsh Government document contains references to hundreds of streets, buildings and other locations that are named after historical figures across the whole of Wales, so we are not sure why the village of Nelson has been unfairly singled out in the press.”

‘Woke’

Meirion MacIntyre Huws, who has been appointed as the person responsible for protecting indigenous place names in Gwynedd in the north, also weighed in, pointing out said that the name Nelson was a later addition to the area.

“The location that was on the drovers’ route is known as Ffos y Gerddinen,” he said. “‘Nelson’ was a public house built during the Trafalgar war (they say).

“As a result of the growth of the coal industry, the village grew around the pub until the whole village was recognized as ‘Nelson’.”

Others however were keen to retain the English name.  Welsh Conservative Member of Senedd Natasha Asghar branded the dossier “absolutely absurd”, telling the Telegraph newspaper: “The village was named after its pub The Nelson, and not because of potential links to Lord Nelson. To slander an entire village in this way is outrageous.

“Sadly, this is just another example of political correctness going too far, and it is high time we stop pandering to the woke left. I hope it has dawned on officers at Caerphilly Council just how ridiculous this really is, and that the village of Nelson should remain Nelson.”

Simon Hart, the Secretary of State for Wales, said: “I imagine the residents of Nelson will have plenty to say. From what I’ve heard they are totally nonplussed that the Welsh government and Caerphilly Council are focusing on this rather than local jobs.”

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BigPooba
BigPooba
12 days ago

What absurdity.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
12 days ago

Use the Welsh name for the simple reason that that is its name. The English name is in fact the name of a pub and not the name of the village. The only reason to call it ‘Nelson’ instead of ‘Ffos y Gerddinen’ is for the benefit of the hard of speaking.

Shea
Shea
12 days ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Llancaiach seems a better choice since this is quite well known and also the name of the junior school in the village

Wynford Jones
Wynford Jones
12 days ago
Reply to  Shea

Where exactly is the church of St. Caiach? Isn’t “Llancaiach” a corruption of Glancaiach , so called after the nearby Afon Caiach?

arthur owen
12 days ago
Reply to  Wynford Jones

This is brilliant,more pedantry is the way forward.No I am not being ironic,but I see that pedantry means leave well alone.

Derec Stockley
Derec Stockley
12 days ago
Reply to  Wynford Jones

Yes, the Caeach or Caiach is a stream and ‘Glan’ (the riverbank) commonly became ‘Llan’ by analogy with the churches. When ‘Llan’ is a church, there is a soft mutation of the saint’s name, e.g. Llanfabon o’r Llanddewi. ‘Caeach’ does not mutante after ‘llan’ = ‘glan’.

Robert Williams
Robert Williams
12 days ago

Do we really want to drive people into the arms of Nadine Dorries and her ignorant army of culture warriors?

Observer
Observer
10 days ago

?..pretty unintelligible response.

Fiati
12 days ago

If the original name of the village is Ffos y Gerddinen then it should be recognised as that. For one thing it sounds far better than than just plain Nelson.

Alex
Alex
11 days ago
Reply to  Fiati

Are you from there? No. The people from there decided nelson and its iip to the people who are from there, not some clown on the Internet.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
10 days ago
Reply to  Alex

Yeh, that’s it’s English name. Enw Cymraeg — Ffos y Gerddynen. Use whichever you like, dim ots.

Phil
Phil
11 days ago

Any of the learned commenters on this page ever lived in or near Nelson? I think there’s a number of the language Taliban here just jumping on the bandwagon.
I doubt anyone living there has even heard of Ffos y Gerddinen.
That was the name back in the days of the drovers?.. when was the last time a drover took his cattle there?
Everyone living there knows it as Nelson. Leave it alone!

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
11 days ago
Reply to  Phil

There is no language Taliban. No doubt local people will continue to call the village Nelson, but it’s good to know there’s a Welsh alternative that predates it.

Phil
Phil
11 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Agreed. There’s a Welsh name which predates it. Probably, before the arrival of drovers, there was a Welsh name meaning ‘There’s nothing over there but a big field’

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
11 days ago
Reply to  Phil

No, Ffos y Gerddinen doesn’t, in fact, translate as that.

Observant
Observant
11 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

OK. Before it was called the marshy ground of the Rowan tree people called it ‘that big patch of ground with no distinguishing features’.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
10 days ago
Reply to  Observant

Fascinating…

Alex
Alex
11 days ago

What a bunch of jokers. We got crime going on daily. Women selling themselves for £5 and don’t get me started on the drug use, but the goverment think place names are the problem.

Observer
Observer
11 days ago
Reply to  Alex

Perhaps we should adopt more up-to-date street names… Ffordd- yr-Asbo perhaps or Heol-y-Mugging?

Fiati
11 days ago
Reply to  Alex

Well what a nice portrait of society you paint which I must agree these problems are a concern. Also a concern is the survival of our native language and a small step to preserving our language is to recognise that place names are known by their original Welsh Names

Internet clown
10 days ago
Reply to  Alex

So Alex You sound fed up with £5 women and drug use (each to his own) if your finding your lifestyle is a problem go and try rehab it might expand your little brain to read posts with a little positivity and look at the bigger picture.

Observer
Observer
10 days ago
Reply to  Internet clown

What bigger picture? Replacing the name of a village which everyone who lives in the area with one no-one will recognise? The name that you post messages under suits you perfectly.

Internet clown
10 days ago
Reply to  Observer

Thanks I like the name, if you cannot see the struggle for the survival of our language that is being chipped away at and eroded., any opportunity to preserve it is welcome don’t you think? Oh I’m sorry did I ask you to think, how insensitive of me. After you have googled the meaning of the word think and tried it. Then move on to the bigger picture, it might take you a while but you will get there.

Observer
Observer
9 days ago
Reply to  Internet clown

The struggle for the survival of our language, as you put it, does go on. However the struggle for the survival of the name Ffos y Gerddinen is over. Finito. Gone. Done and dusted.Ended. wedi mynd.
Sorry I’ve taken so long to reply and not had a chance to Google ‘think’ as you advised but I’ve been out in the car. Entered Ffos y Gerddinen as the destination on the Satnav but no luck. Just went Round in circles.
A bit like this conversation. I’m off now to seek a bigger picture.
Bye.

Gill
Gill
11 days ago

The only people with a say on this are the residents of the village. Its the name of a pub, like in many villages, the pib came first, urbanisation later. Watch out the Black Boy, Caernarfon. Interesting programme on pubs called the Black Boy on Radio 4, worth a listen to. Some allude to Charles 11, as he was dark , having a Spanish mother.

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