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Owner of house at centre of Hakuna Matata storm ‘didn’t know about Welsh place name’

01 Feb 2022 3 minute read
Hakuna Matata. Screenshot by Aled Hughes of Ordnance Survey map

The owner of a house at the centre of a storm about a Welsh place name being replaced on an Ordnance Survey map has responded to the furore.

The British mapping agency has come in for heavy criticism after a Welsh place name was changed to “Hakuna Matata” on one of its maps.

Sarah Davies said the property on the site was already called Hakuna Matata when she bought it, and that she would have kept the original Welsh name, Banc Cornicyll, had she known about it.

The site of farm in Gorslas is now registered under the phrase which roughly translates to “there are no troubles” in Swahili, which was popularised by the 1994 Disney movie The Lion King.

According to the owner, a house was built on the site of the farm a quarter of a century ago, and it was given the name Hakuna Matata at that time.

Sarah Davies told the Newyddion news programme on S4C: “Obviously if we’d known there was a historic name here, I see no reason to be trashing any kinds of traditions, and we would have stayed with that name.

“My family, my husband’s family are all Welsh speaking. We wouldn’t have wanted to lose that tradition. But it was just never shown on any of the maps or anything we bought from.”

Map. List of Historic Place Names

‘Deleting and replacing’

The comedian Tudur Owen has accused Ordnance Survey of collaborating in “deleting and replacing” Welsh place names. He has reiterated his call for Welsh place names to be protected and for the government to legislate to do so.

Tudur told Newyddion: “When someone takes old property like Banc Cornicyll and it has been registered on old maps, and change that name, and then that name gets deleted from the official maps, that’s something pretty serious and it raises questions about the future, about out identity.

“I think we need to somehow, on a governmental level perhaps, take ownership of our history and make sure that these records are kept, because they are, I think, priceless.”

He added: “The importance that we stand our ground and that we make sure that these names are kept on the maps, on those all important OS maps, for the future, for the generations that are going to come after we’ve gone.”

In response to the outrage at the name change on social media, Ordnance Survey said: “Thanks for your tweet. Ordnance Survey’s remit is to capture the names of buildings and places that are currently in use. We can confirm that this name has been inputted in accordance with our Names Place policy which can be found here.

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Dai Rob
Dai Rob
2 years ago

Would the lady consider changing it back? I’m sure her family would support it?

John Young
John Young
2 years ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

This would be the best outcome.

2 years ago

Why on earth would anybody think that Hakuna Matata was an appropriate name for a Welsh house anyway?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
2 years ago

Call me cynical but I’ll be checking an old Ordnance Survey map.

Gill Jones
Gill Jones
2 years ago

Hen bryd i Lywodraeth Cymru sicrhau bod enwau gwreiddiol yn y Gymraeg yn cael eu gwarchod drwy ddeddf. Cynghoraf bob aelod o’r Senedd i ddarllen cerdd wych Twm Morys sef ‘Darllen y map go iawn’ . Rhaid gwneud rhywbeth ar frys cyn bod yn rhy hwyr. Yr un brys sydd eisiau i rheoli gwerthiant tai Chymru yn ail-gartrefi hefyd.

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