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Now druid free, please add something :-)

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


supercrutch Report 30 Dec 2012 13:11

Police were called to a shop in Wales after an Archdruid refused to pay for his goods because the cashier did not speak to him in Welsh.

Dr Robyn Lewis, a former Archdruid of literary group the Gorsedd, told the Cambrian News he felt "humilated" after officers were called to the store merely because he "wanted to be spoken to in his own language."

The ruckus occurred at the Spar in Pwllheli, after the 83-year-old was told to pay £58.62 for his groceries. He told the BBC he was shocked to hear the amount spoken in English rather than the Welsh number "pum-deg-wyth punt, chwedeg-dau".

The Archdruid was aggravated further when a police officer arrived, who also had no knowledge of Welsh. After backup was called the situation was resolved: in Welsh of course.

Dr Lewis told the BBC: "It was sorted out by me being given another Welsh-speaking cashier whom I spoke entirely in Welsh.

"I paid and left. Honour was satisfied.

"All I wanted was an answer in my own language, in my own country."

The manager of the Spar, Conrad Davies, told Cambrian News: "The customer was not happy so we had to call the police as he refused to pay for his goods.

"The situation was completely blown out of proportion and left our member of staff extremely upset."

The Gorsedd are community of bards which promote Welsh language literature.


supercrutch Report 30 Dec 2012 13:15

This attitude really gives me the hump!

The language of business in Wales is English for a start. If he had attended any high level business meeting he would have ben handed the agenda in English. Some authorities do provide simultaneous translation but very few can afford that luxury.

Does he really think that everyone he comes across in every day life should speak Welsh? Would he refuse treatment in A & E if the doctors couldn't speak Welsh?

Plain rudeness and he should know better.



Merlin Report 30 Dec 2012 13:23

If I remember correctly "Wales" is a Principality, and I think that if he wishes to converse in Welsh, then he should be a customer of a Welsh Speaking Shop,of which there would be quite a few.Apart from that he seems to me to be a` complete plonker.**M**. Ps. Just in case anyone complains, I am Welsh.


Merlin Report 30 Dec 2012 13:29

Rose, as there is no Welsh Coinage ,perhaps they should give him any change due in Leeks or Daffodils. :-D


Janet Report 30 Dec 2012 13:29

I also read the article and thought 'what an ********. How has the man managed to get through 83 years, only speaking in Welsh. I wondered if his wife had sent him to the shop and this was his way of getting his revenge. Its a good job I wasn't there as I would have just taken his goods back and told him what to do............ ' sithee bahn off'.-lol-jl


AnninGlos Report 30 Dec 2012 13:39

So, by his actions he has done more damage to the language and country he presumably loves than would have been done to him if he simply paid and left.
Stupid man :-( :-S


BarbinSGlos Report 30 Dec 2012 13:47

Can you tell me what are the first and second languages taught in Welsh schools?


supercrutch Report 30 Dec 2012 13:55

That's a very good point Ann, hadn't looked at it from that view.

I do think his actions will backfire, there will be a few shopkeepers in the area on the look out for him.

If he thought his belittling of the cashier was necessary he soon found out that he was the one that needed an aittitude adjustment.

I expect the local paper's readers' comments will be really explosive for a couple of weeks.


supercrutch Report 30 Dec 2012 13:57


Mine went to Welsh medium schools so Welsh first language but there were two other schools that were English medium.



Merlin Report 30 Dec 2012 13:58

Depends what part of Wales you are, If Ceridigon Probably Welsh.Most others would be English I expect. :-D


JustJohn Report 30 Dec 2012 14:20

I have not seen the full article, but am assuming he knew that the assitant could speak Welsh. In fact, it is clear that the assistant did understand Welsh and was determined to address him in English for some reason.

Just plain rudeness. And the Manager of the Spar could surely have dealt with it more appropriately in a place like Pwllheli in December!! If Dr Robyn Lewis wants to live his life in a very Welsh area through the medium of Welsh, he should be allowed to do it. Welsh is his passion, and elderly people should be allowed their passions. And large shops (with their Welsh signage everywhere) can usually resolve a situation like that (as this shop eventually did) without making the old boy a martyr at next August's Eisteddfod. :-( :-(


JustJohn Report 30 Dec 2012 14:44

Have just realised I named my son Robyn after Robyn Lewis.

One of my earliest books (written in English) was Second-Class Citizen - a series of views published in 1969 by Lewis (when George Thomas was Welsh Secretary and was widely loathed and caricatured by the Welsh nationalists). I have fetched it from by book-case and it had a big effect on my opinions about the Welsh language in those days. I loved the name Robyn, and fortunately son and heir (now 27) likes it too.

Before late 1960's, Lewis (a well-known solicitor based in Pwllheli) was Labour. He contested Denbigh for Labour in 1958 elections. He joined Plaid in 1966 (same as me coincidentally).

I have never met Robyn Lewis, but I think he must be the tall druid in the front row. He has done an enormous amount to communicate the need for Welsh to English speaking people living in Wales and beyond.


MrDaff Report 30 Dec 2012 14:58


Where English is the school's primary medium, the Welsh language is taught as a compulsory subject between the ages of 7 and 13.
At 13, students have the choice of continuing to learn Welsh or opt for a different subject altogether.



AnnCardiff Report 30 Dec 2012 15:00

a bard - think a few letters have been missed out there - what a pillock - him, and his ilk, are the types that make non-Welsh speakers such as myself, shy away from Welsh speakers - as Sue says, if he had an accident and went to A & E where the staff could likely be from Asia, how would he feel if they chose to speak to him in Urdu!!!


AnninGlos Report 30 Dec 2012 15:06

John, sorry, why is it clear that the assistant spoke Welsh? I didn't read it like that. And they found him a welsh speaking assistant. So maybe the first one was non welsh speaking. :-S


supercrutch Report 30 Dec 2012 15:17

I read some comments that stated the asssistant was speaking to him in Welsh it was just the total sum owed she said in English......BIG DEAL!

Who should have been gracious in this situation? The elder person of course! Aren't they supposed to 'lead the way'?

Instead of him spitting his dummy out he should have just paid and left the shop.

John, he would have trouble in leading all his life speaking only Welsh, in fact he has NO chance. Just because somebody gave him the title of Archdruid doesn't mean he can't be an Archpillock too.

As he joined Plaid (and please remember that was a terrorist organisation not that many decades ago) does not mean that he can command anything. Now he cannot even expect respect IMO.


Guinevere Report 30 Dec 2012 15:19

What an ill-mannered oaf.

"Honour was satisfied" according to him but he upset an assistant, wasted police time and made a total arse of himself.

I can't stand bullies and that's just what he is.



AnnCardiff Report 30 Dec 2012 15:20

from the BBC website

Dr Robyn Lewis, 83, insisted the shop assistant at the Spar in Pwllheli told him the amount owed in Welsh.

But she repeated it three times in English before the manager told Dr Lewis he would call the police unless he paid or left the premises.

Dr Lewis said: "All I wanted was an answer in my own language, in my own country."

"The young lady at the till spoke fluent Welsh but she told me the sum of £58.62 was due," he said.

"I asked her to repeat it in Welsh but she said it again in English.

"I told her I'd asked her to repeat it it in Welsh but she said it for the third time."


supercrutch Report 30 Dec 2012 16:10

Would you rather say:

"fifty eight sixty two please"


"pum-deg-wyth punt, chwedeg-dau os gwelwch yn dda"

No contest is there?


BrendafromWales Report 30 Dec 2012 16:24

I do think it ridiculous that this blew out of all proportion.
I have lived in Wales for 50 years,know a few phrases,but speak English as most people can.
Could he not have been a bit humorous about it.I agree it is his own language,but he has not lived for 80 odd years not understanding English!
My children both learned Welsh at school as it was compulsory,but English is an International language,and neither of them found it useful in their work.
I do wonder at the amount of paperwork in bills etc as we often get 2 in English and one in Welsh...also voting forms.They could find out who wants what surely to cut down on expenses...just a simple tick would do it!