The WAG’S 'in house' Heritage Department Cadw is leading the Heritage Tourism Project which is being funded by £8.5m of European funding as well as £7.6m in Welsh Assembly funding and according to the Cadw website, the Project is to have five key themes they being:
1. Princes of Gwynedd.
2. Princes of Deheubarth.
3. Owain Glyndŵr.
4. Edwardian Castles.
5. Lords of the Southern March.
Also according to the Cadw website:
“ The project will see investment in heritage sites across the Convergence area (north and west Wales and the valleys)”
“Only projects that are proposed for north/west Wales or Valleys regions can benefit from the EU funded bid, but Cadw will retain an all-Wales approach to developing the programme since many tourists will start and finish their visit to Wales outside of the Convergence funding area”.
Maybe, as part of the above last paragraph in the statement of ‘aims’ by Cadw in regards to this project they should have stipulated… “but not so far as that troublesome rebel Owain Glyndŵr is concerned, the less attention and credence we give him the better” !
...because, that is exactly what they’ve sanctioned by their acceptance of the proposed ‘Interpretation Plan for Owain Glyndŵr' which they commissioned and paid for generously.
Unbelievably, despite Cadw’s statement (as quoted above) that they are prepared to “retain an all-Wales approach” to developing the programme”, the plan concerned does not include the South West, North East, Central or the South of Wales! Its restricted to what Sian Shakespear (the Consultant that was commissioned to research and compose the plan) refers to as an ‘Eastern Cluster’ consisting only of Hanmer Village, Sycharth, Glyndyfrdwy and Bryn Glas and a Western Cluster, consisting only of Machynlleth, Pennal, Aberystwyth Castle and Harlech castle! Now, For the uninitiated in knowledge of 'Convergence areas eligible for funding' in Cymru up to 2013, Please see the map below which covers the Convergence area in Cymru as decided on by the EU (in yellow) and the rest of Cymru (in white) and bear in mind that the Owain Glyndŵr Great War of Independence was stretched to every corner of Wales for a number of years, and also bear in mind that Cadw had stated on their website that they...
"will retain an all-Wales approach to developing the programme since many tourists will start and finish their visit to Wales outside of the Convergence funding area”.
But, as earlier stated, they have no intention of making the 'Owain Glyndŵr Interpretation plan' an all Wales affair unless you insist they do!
“strengthen a sense of identity and pride in Welsh heritage including Wales’ links with the rest of the world – particularly amongst schoolchildren”
the fact that this Interpretation Plan’ has decreed what areas of the Owain Glyndŵr history is to be interpreted, is insidiously denying, both visitors and indigenous Cymry alike, of the full story and, to be fair to her, she does point to the danger of this occurring in her recommendations to Cadw on the same page:
“Sites beyond north-east and mid Wales which played a role in the uprising may be ignored and visitors will not appreciate the pan-Wales nature of the uprising”
So, the buck (as far as this particular issue in the ‘Interpretation plan’ is concerned) rests with Cadw, who has accepted and paid handsomely for the plan and, ultimately, at the feet of the Minister of Heritage.
The above is but a taster of our criticisms of the plan, there are other issues within it that need to be challenged and (a full critique will be published by Dydd Glyndŵr - Medi 16) but it is necessary to draw immediate attention now to the fact that Glyndŵr as a ‘Pan Wales Initiative’ is certainly not what has been set out in this Cadw/ Sian Shakespeare Owain Glyndŵr Interpretation Plan. On the whole, it’s certainly not worthy in regards to the telling of the Owain Glyndŵr Story to tourists - and 'definately not' not to our own people. And, just as important – if not more so, this is supposed to be a ‘Heritage Tourism Initiative’ and yet, it denies two thirds of Wales and its Tourism, the opportunity to be involved and to take advantage of a Pan Wales – Glyndŵr Initiative!
This is a very serious matter and, indeed, I would seriously propose an ‘uprising’ of Welsh Tourism in these areas, which is, in effect, the old medieval ‘Marcher Wallia’. All ‘Pobl Glyndŵr’ and all Cymric patriots and everyone concerned about promotion of the ‘truths’ in regards to their history and in utilizing that history for the sake of the economies of the ‘Marcher Wallia’ areas of Cymru excluded from this Interpretation Plan, should ask the question… why not us? and then demand that they are included.
And, yes…you’ve guessed it, there’s not going to be a ‘Princes of Powys’ Initiative either - and Owain Glyndŵr is descended from the Princes of Powys! Then, what of the North East?, also very much a part of the Gwynedd story - as Gwynedd îs Conwy is, plus, how on earth can you possibly tell a complete Glyndŵr story with out incorporating the ‘Gwlad Glyndŵr’ of the Northern Eastern March?
You just cannot possibly tell the Owain Glyndŵr Story with out it being an all Wales Initiative! However, be prepared to have Cadw tell you that they have no money available to extend the Glyndŵr Story across Wales - despite the assurance on their website that they will “retain an all-Wales approach” to developing the programme”
Most certainly, this issue urgently calls for everyone, not just nationalists, to protest and demand that The Glyndŵr Story be told as a national story and If Cadw tries to say that they have no money, then, how is it they can include in their packages ‘Lords of the South’ which, essentially, is the story of the Anglo – Norman ‘Conquistadors’ of the Southern Marches of the medieval ‘Marchia Wallia’, not even the story of the Welsh Princes, Lords and Chiefs of the South!, who, from ‘Y Blaenau’, continued to resist these ‘Conquistadores’ for two centuries and were native medieval Welsh families who supported Llywelyn III and Owain Glyndŵr -making his story pertinent to the South - but neither this history or the Glyndwr history of Powys or the North East March is included in this plan!Cadw, I suggest your ‘Interpretation plan’ is badly flawed and you need to go back to the drawing board or, I shall continue to be on your backs until you change a great deal of it - and I now call upon one and all who agree with me to get aboard a radical campaign against Cadw on these issues, starting at the Eisteddfod. Make your way to the Cadw Stand and demand answers and demand they put things right, do this every day, every hour if needs be, until they get the message!
If you are Welsh exiles living abroad, voice your protest from your current home. If you are groups abroad that believe this is 'unjust' and wish to support us by voicing your protest, please do. Your support is needed and will be appreciated and valued. Here is the address you need, to write your letter of protest to Cadw:
Marilyn Lewis. Director.
Cadw, Plas Carew, 5 - 7 Cefn Coed, Parc Nantgarw, Caerdydd, CF15 7QQ.
To voice your protest to the Minister of Heritage at the Welsh Assembly Government, write to: Alun Ffred Jones AM, Minister of Heritage, Welsh Assembly Government, Caerdydd CF10 3NQ
Please do not just leave it to others to do this, it must be one and all in an united front. If you do not 'voice your protest', you, us, the Owain Glyndŵr history, Welsh Tourism, Cymru and...the truth! will all miss out so, its up to all of you out there to unite as one to voice your protest. Go to Cadw on the Eisteddfod field and show them you're angry! and bombard their headquarters in Nantgarw with messages of protest until they radically revise this 'Interpretation Plan'.