Welsh pub’s ‘unacceptable’ change of name to English sparks anger

Pen-y-Bont pub in Abergele put up new signs reading ‘The Bridge Head’  (Google Maps)
Pen-y-Bont pub in Abergele put up new signs reading ‘The Bridge Head’ (Google Maps)

Welsh residents have hit out a local pub for “erasing” their culture after it changed its name from Welsh to English.

Pen-y-Bont pub in Abergele, Conwy, relaunched after refurbishment last week with two new prominent signs with The Bridge Head written on them.

The original Welsh name remains written above the door, but locals shared their anger at what they called a “slapdash translation” of the original name.

“It disparages the Welsh language... this is some kind of slapdash translation, which is unacceptable,” local Dylan Rhys Jones told the BBC.

“You have the English translation in big letters and the Welsh name in small letters underneath. I don’t see the reason why they need to change the name.”

Another local, Gareth Bolton, told the broadcaster that the change was “atrocious” as it was “erasing [the Welsh] language”.

He added: “At the end of the 19th century, Abergele had 16 pubs, all of them with an English name apart from Pen-Y-Bont and the Gwindy.

“The names of these institutions are woven into local culture, identity and history. The savage act of erasing our language is atrocious.”

The pub has been contacted for a comment.

It comes as debates on whether Welsh cities and landmarks should be known solely by their Welsh names.

Eryri and Bannau Brycheiniog national parks - formerly known as Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons - have both moved to use Welsh names only.

The national park authority voted to use a standardised list in November, with some 200 lakes now being known for their names in Welsh. The head of the authority’s cultural heritage said it would mean the names were protected for future generations.

There has also been some debate as to whether some names of Welsh cities should also only be referred to as their Welsh names.

A petition was put before Welsh Parliament last year calling for the use of “only Welsh names for places in Wales” and was backed by over 1,300 signatures.

Welsh place name standardisation guidelines say: “If the difference between the Welsh form and the ‘English’ form consists of only one or two letters, the use of a single form is recommended, with preference being given to the Welsh form.”