Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Eddie Butler's Welsh Towns: Cardigan

Last night, the Welsh rugby legend Eddie Butler presented the 2nd in his 4 part series looking at the history of 'Welsh Towns'.

As the information going alongside this accompanying BBC iPlayer clip reads:
"Eddie Butler explores the story of Cardigan. Today it's a quiet market town, but it has a rich and turbulent history dating back over 900 years. The town first made its mark in the 12th century when Rhys ap Gruffudd ousted the Norman invaders and built his own castle there. In celebration, he held a festival of music and poetry - the first ever Eisteddfod. In the early 19th century, Cardigan became Wales's busiest port and a centre for shipbuilding, employing a thousand men in its maritime industry. The railway ended Cardigan's heyday as a port, but the town continued to prosper with its stylish Guildhall and busy market. In the 21st century Cardigan has struggled like many small towns, but a 10 million-pound grant to restore its castle will hopefully give the town a new lease of life".

The iPlayer link to the 30 minute episode can be watched for the next 7 days here.

My take on it as a former Mayor of the town?

Well, in just 30 minutes, Eddie managed to cover the importance of the Eisteddfod, St Mary's Church, the Port, the Cardi Bach Railway, the Mwldan, the Guildhall, Barley Satuday, Cardigan Fair, sport, the manufacturing of jeans and the castle to our town.

He did so by speaking to the right people. He spoke to amongst others, historians Glen Johnson, Father Cunnane and Donald Davies, to local poets Dic Jones (an old interview clip before he passed away in 2009) and Ceri Wyn Jones, the former owner of Cardigan Castle, the formiddable Barbara Wood (again, an old interview clip before she passed away in 2009), and to our sporting champions Grand National winner Hywel Davies and 4-time World Powerboat Champion Johnathan Jones.

Well done Eddie Butler. This proud historian and adopted-Cardi couldn't have written a more concise and all-encompassing 30 minute history of our fantastic town if I'd tried!

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