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Facts and Fiction

Tales from the old country

Image thanks to James Robbins, via Wikimedia Commons

Dinky dinosaur roaming Wales

Mind you, it was 200 million years ago!

Found at Pant-y-ffynnon Quarry in Wales in 1952 the fossil was subsequently lost in the collections of the Natural History Museum, London. The original classification was wrong but to make it worse, it was incorrectly reclassified some years later!

Then in 2021 Angela Milner and Susannah Maidment rediscovered the fossils. The fossils were named as representing a new genus of theropod.

Welshman Richard Amerik names the New World!

America or Vespucciland?

Welshman Richard Amerik names the New World!

Richard Amerik was a Welshman based in Bristol as a British customs official (there were lots of Welshmen in Bristol in the 15th century). Amerik invested in the explorations of John Cabot, who arrived in the 'New World' in 1497, becoming the first recorded person from Britain to do so.

The curious case of the missing country.

Union Hi-Jack

The curious case of the missing country.
The Union Flag, the 'Union Jack' is possibly the best known of all the British icons appearing on car roofs, guitars, underpants you name it, its been branded but what does it really mean if it ignores one of the oldest nations in the British
The Welsh in Washington,  America

Welsh in Washington!

Welsh in Washington!

The famous Washington Memorial has an inscription which places the Welsh influence in the formation of the United States of America into stone.

A brave old world

A brave old world

Ladies of Llangollen
With the introduction of civil partnerships in the United Kingdom we've now come to a time when even government recognises, for some at least, gender has little to do with the vagaries of the heart. Remembering the 'Ladies of Llangollen'.
Have you got your war paint on?

Glamour, it's a Welsh thing.

Have you got your war paint on?

Next time you hear of a super model or film star described as glamorous remember the word 'glamour' originates from the ancient Welsh.

Glamour was a paint they applied to their face and body before going to battle! When we say someone has her 'war paint' on, we really mean it!

Premium Bonds know-how

You could be entitled to a slice of a £850k pie!

Premium Bonds know-how
We've been in touch with the UK organisation (NS&I) who handle the Premium Bonds for the UK government and look what we've found...
Welsh family claims they own Manhattan!

Manhattan connection!

Welsh family claims they own it!

Descendants of the West Wales adventurer Robert Edwards fight it out in court to prove their ownership of Wall Street, the world famous financial centre at the heart of New York.

Hippocratic Oath in Welsh

Hippocratic Oath

Hippocratic Oath in Welsh!

As of 1989, doctors can take their Hippocratic Oath in Welsh.

Written about 2,500 years ago this Oath is one of the most famous texts in Western medicine, yet most people (including doctors) know very little about it. Here is a quick guide to the Oath.

Facts & Fiction


Welsh national icon the daffodil helps Alzheimer sufferers.
The old Klondike saying "There's gold in them there hills" could come true in Brecon. It seems a variety of daffodil which is naturally high galanthamine will flourish there.

'D Day' advances

At the end of 'D Day', the first day of the allied invasion of Nazi Europe, it was the South Wales Borders(The Royal Regiment of Wales) who'd made the greatest penetration into enemy territory! They'd manage to get as far as the outskirts Bordeaux some eight miles from the beach head!

This regiment has a noble and hard won history. They have taken part in many campaigns over the years  Perhaps best remembered for the defence of Rorke's Drift in South Africa made famous by the movie ZULU. One hundred and thirtynine British troops stood against over four thousand Zulu warriors. It's an inportant fact that although in the movie we see most of the Zulu's with knives and spears they were actually armed with firearms. All the British casualties were wounded or killed by gunfire, not knife wounds.

'Welshing' is an English invention!

In the 1800's (and early 1900's too) speaking Welsh in school was not allowed, an English policy. Young school children in Wales were rewarded (with Sweets/Candy) for 'telling' on their fellow class mates if they'd heard them speaking Welsh during school time!

Some say (the editor's grandmother for one) they were punished for speaking Welsh outside of school too. Hence the term 'Welshing' came originally from these children. The meaning has changed over the years and in America it is now used to describe someone who goes back on a promise.

Yellow Fever

In 1865 fifteen Swansea residents died of Yellow Fever, the only time the disease has occurred in Britain.

Typical symptoms of yellow fever include:

high temperature
nausea and vomiting
jaundice – yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes

Yellow fever is a virus known as a flavivirus. It is transmitted through mosquito bites. Clearly there are not so many mosquito in Swansea but, it can be spread from one host to another, usually between monkeys, or from monkeys to humans and of course from person to person.

Mmm. interesting because Yellow fever can't be spread by close contact between two people like a cold. However, there is more than enough contact in ordinary situations to allow it to transfer. Luckily the outbreak was confined to Swansea.

Signing of the famous declaration.


Signing of the famous declaration...
The largest ethnic group of signatories (16 in all) on the original draft of the American Declaration of Independence were Welsh! Thomas Jeffersons' family who came from Snowdonia spoke Welsh too!

Spina Bifida Advance

Tenovus, the cancer charity opened the world's first fully equipped Spina Bifida unit in Cardiff.

The official website states:

In 1943, Tenovus was founded by ten businessmen. Initially, the charity funded a wide range of projects in the local area. These ranged from building the Sunshine House for Blind Babies just outside Cardiff, to donating a washing machine to a widow with seven children who had lost an arm. In the 1960s, Tenovus embarked on a project which was to influence our work for the next 40 years.

We built the Tenovus Institute for Cancer Research in Cardiff which carried out vital research into the causes of cancer. Since then, we have concentrated our efforts on cancer and are now recognised for our pioneering work.

Helping the charity

This is a well managed and dedicated charity who have help patients and contiinued research sincde they were founded. If you would like to donate to this great cause please visit their website today.

Ole' Ma Garibaldi

Apparently, the Italian leader Garibaldi was partly Welsh.

It seems his grandmother was from the village of Cerrig y Drudion. There's another interesting snippet related to Cerrig y Drudion - According to Colonel Mainwaring in a speech he gave in 1887, Lawn Tennis derives from the Welsh game known as Cerrig y Drudion!

Ghostly canine for best seller...

The Hound of the Baskervilles may be based on a mid Wales tale of a ghostly canine. There is a Baskerville Hall near Brecon.

Welsh Miners help find missing links

Known as the 'Cradle of Mankind' the high plains West of Johannesburg, South Africa's biggest city and capital of Gauteng province palaeontologists have found the remains of some of our earliest ancestors.

It seems modern-day scientists have to thank a group of Welsh miners, quite ordinary men who had gone to South Africa to help build the new city of Johannesburg. Hunting for limestone, needed for construction they detonated explosives to unearth the limestone, unearthing the ancient remains as they did.

Even though there was limestone there they went no further, we can only guess why but it may have been having seen the bone fragments they felt it wrong to disturb graves further. Whatever the cause of their decision, we can thank them for giving us a glimpse into our evolution from primitive hominids to modern humans.

An apple a day?

We all know of the old proverb 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away' - well it's thought to have originated in Pembrokeshire. Another form is 'Eat an apple before your bed and keep the doctor from his bread'.

Yorks' Penn friend...

The Duke of York gave Penn (who was more Irish than Welsh) the parcel of land now known as Pennsylvania as payment for a debt he owed his father, the Admiral Penn.

William Penn wanted to name it 'New Wales' but by the time he got his act together his secretary (another Welshman) had called it 'Pennsylvania' - the local, newly established Welsh community were already calling it 'pen this and pen that' after places they'd left behind in Wales.

Welsh Elvis debate will run and run...

Many people now believe the great (greatest?) rock & roll singer to swell his lungs on the planet Earth, the one and only Elvis Presley, may be of Welsh descent.

The surname Presley actually comes from the world Preseli - a chain of mountains in mid-Wales! And to make the story more believable there is an ancient Celtic church in the area called St Elvis's Church!

Welsh claim on first car...?

In 1805 Oliver Evans, American of Welsh descent drove his steam powered digging machine to work! - Not only the first automobile but a company car too! - The hook to hang his jacket on came a lot later :-)