Monday, 1 March 2010

Conwy Castle flies the flag on St David’s Day

Phil Edwards has welcomed the sight of the national flag, Y Ddraig Goch - The Red Dragon, flying once more over Conwy Castle, after being absent from its flagpole for many months.

Following complaints from local people about the missing flags, Phil took the issue up with CADW and the Welsh Assembly Government.

Officials confirmed to Phil last week that the flag would be back flying over Conwy today, St David's Day, and so it was!

"Y Ddraig Goch - our national flag, had been absent from its flagpole over the Castle for some months now and, despite my best efforts to find out why, no-one in officialdom was providing me with a satisfactory explanation," said local Conwy man, Robin Jones, who then complained to Cllr Phil Edwards and Cllr Tony Tobin, leaders of the Plaid Group on Conwy County Borough Council.

Phil Edwards took up the issue with CADW and its boss, Heritage Minister Alun Ffred-Jones AM, asking for an explanation and an assurance that the flag would be flying in time to celebrate St David’s Day.

Responding on behalf of the Minister, a spokesman explained:

"There have been a number of health and safety concerns linked to the flying of the Ddraig Goch at Conwy which we have been seeking to resolve and which have prevented us flying any flags from the Castle. Primarily these relate to the hoisting mechanism, which causes some staff difficulties, particularly on windy days, and the problems with seagulls."

Phil Edwards said:

"Conwy Castle has towered over the town since the 13th Century and it’s slightly ironic that, given the brutality of Edward 1st towards the Welsh and the violent history surrounding Conwy Castle , 800 years later Health & Safety steps in and prevents us from hoisting a flag up a pole!

"St David was famous for saying ‘do the little things’ and the least we can do is to make sure that our proud heritage is protected and we fly our flag over Conwy on the day we remember and celebrate Wales ’ Patron Saint."

CADW’s spokesman then confirmed:

"We are continuing to explore solutions to these problems but have in the meantime taken the decision to continuously fly the Ddraig Goch between 1st March and 30th September each year (changing it when its condition dictates). I can therefore confirm that the Ddraig Goch will be flying on St David's Day this year."

Phil Edwards stressed the importance and significance of the flag being flown throughout the year adding:

"I’m hopeful that, whatever the difficulties are at the moment, they can be resolved before next September so as to allow the flag to be flown all year round."

Robin Jones, who first raised the issue with Phil, said:

"I’m delighted that CADW have finally responded in such a positive manner and I am very pleased that Y Ddraig Goch is flying once again from Conwy Castle on St David's Day."

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