War Memorial Gary Trouton

Letter to The Editor

March 2009

Marion expresses her sorrow that Ron Watts didn't enjoy his trip to Wales

Dear Ray

I was sorry to read in the February edition of The Pump that Ron Watts failed to find a welcome in the hillsides when holidaying in Wales - but I was even sadder to read his casual dismissal of the right of Welsh people to preserve their own language.

Probably he is not aware that the reason Welsh isn't widely spoken in modern times is the direct result of a determined effort by the English government to eradicate it. Following the publication of a Royal Commission in 1847, children in primary schools in Wales were severely punished for speaking their native tongue. Imagine the outcry if that were to happen to children being taught at our school in Stoke Ferry today!

Ron asks: "With all the pressures that there are on school syllabuses why waste so much time and study effort?"

The answer is simple, Ron: for precisely the same reasons that time and study effort are spent on teaching English in English schools.

English is a wonderfully rich language, enhanced by centuries of use. If it were to die out, that would be huge cultural loss. Even though it is spoken by far fewer people, the same is true of Welsh. Every country has the right to value its own language and culture and should respect the right of others to do so.

Yours sincerely

Marion Clarke

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