Wall art in New Brighton tells of Welsh cultural battle

Published date: 15 January 2014 |
Published by: Romilly Scragg 
Read more articles by Romilly Scragg  Email reporter


 A GRAFFITI timeline has brought almost a century of Welsh language advocacy to life.

Urdd Gobaith Cymru, which has over 50,000 members and promotes the use of Welsh throughout the country, moved to its new premises at New Brighton Community Centre last month.

Now a streetwise homage to the organisation’s colourful past has been spray-painted on a stairway at its new home by graffiti artist Andy Birch– also known by his tag ‘Dime One’.

Andy was asked by Urdd development officer Darren Morris to create a dramatic piece of artwork celebrating more than 90 years of Urdd history.

And the artist, who has already made his mark with other local projects, including helping kids create a mural at Glanrafon Primary School in Mold, proved he was more than up to the task.

Mr Morris described Andy’s graffiti timeline as “absolutely brilliant”.

“I gave Andy a load of pictures and, armed with a spray can, he’s done it. It  took two days and it’s absolute class.”

And he said the multi-coloured work seems to have gone down well with Welsh speakers young and old.

“A lot of local older people have been saying they absolutely love it too, which is great,” said Darren.

“Some have said they want him to come and do something on their house.”

The main focus of the work, which goes up the stairwell of the centre, is of Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards, who established the Urdd in 1922 in an aim to protect the Welsh language.

The first-ever Urdd Junior Youth Club - or ‘Adran’ - set up by Marian Williams in Treuddyn is represented in the artwork. The addition follows a photographic timeline unveiled in Treuddyn in April celebrating the special relationship between the village and the Urdd.

Mr Morris, who is one of 16 development officers across Wales, said everyone was very happy with their new premises.

“We used to be on a business site,” he said.

“This is back into the community so people can just drop in.

“If young people want to chat about an idea, they can just come in. The door’s open and they haven’t got to make an appointment.”

And he said after painting their office themselves, Andy’s timeline was the perfect addition.

“Maybe it’s a bit cheesy but I keep telling my friends we’ve got the history of Urdd coming up the stairs right to our door, which is the future.”

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