19 January 2007

Ty Cenedl, Aberystwyth 1983 - 1986.

Tŷ Cenedl 1983 - 86:

Over time, the "Times they were a changing" and continued State harassment was putting incredible strains on the survival of COFIWN and in the end it was decided at a Senedd meeting that the pioneering work of COFIWN as a National Consciousness Movement had been completed to all purposes and that the time was right to pass on the torch of organising Cilmeri to others. Sian Ifan and Gethin ap Gruffydd two chief officers of Cofiwn then went on to founded Ty Cenedl in Aberystwyth. Tŷ Cenedl consisted of an office/workshop located at the Barn Centre in Alexandra Road Aberystwyth and was the power house of COFIWN until its demise. Literature was produced and published at the centre, flags and banners were printed there in abundance (sadly, many of the best, were stolen from there on one occasion) exhibitions were organised there as well as meetings, conferences and talks.

During this period in 1983, Dr Gwynfor Evans worked closely with us to produce a pamphlet on the history of Macsen Wledig, the Romano Cymric leader who had left Wales in the hands of our Cymric leaders towards the end of the 5th century. Gwynfor also suggested to Dafydd Iwan the writting and producing of a song on the subject. This song ‘Yma o Hyd’ is now a well known patriotic anthem in Wales and we are so proud to be able to witness two items of such worth and positivism having transferred from our friendly working relationship with Gwynfor.

During 1985, we organised a week long Welsh Tour for a representative of the 'First Peoples' (native Americans) from our base at Ty Cenedl around Cymru. Picture below shows Mark Banks with Welsh supporters taking break from tour meetings to visit Castell Carreg Cennen.

The First People’s Nation were amidst yet another crisis at the time with 10,000 natives were under threat of eviction off their ancestral lands by a large American Mineral company who were hell bent on mining the land for minerals for profit. We lived with Mark for a week and became very close as we realized how much the Welsh and First People of America had in common in regards to being conquered and deprived of so much of our native land and exploited of our mineral resources. Following on this visit Ty Cenedl published and distributed the following items of publicity in support of the AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT which still to this day continues in struggle on behalf of their people, we suggest you visit their websites. Cultural/Language Activists may find much of great interest and use on America's 'First Peoples' Web sites. Just search web for AIM or by name of 'First People Nations' names as Soiux, Apache, Crow or Commanche et al also take a look at Canadian 'First Nations' web sites, much of interest going on there too.

During the Tŷ Cenedl period, we also realized the need to catalogue all the COFIWN publications, photographs and ephemera which we did to completion and now all this material can be viewed at the National Library of Wales in the Tŷ Cenedl Collection of the Political Archive Department.

More Material on Ty Cenel will be published here in due course.
NB: Pics & Images: G.ap Gruffydd (C) Cofiwn Archive.