EWSNEWS – December 2020

The story so far

Friday 27 November 2020. Zoom meeting at 7.30pm
Our poetry evening was good fun with a range of limericks and poems and even a haiku in Welsh from Hugh Richards to add a bit of tidy culture. We finished, very appropriately, with Nancy Hacking reciting “Leisure” by W H Davies which starts … “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare…”.

There were 19 members participating. I have been assembling all the bardic offerings, to be included in a newsletter once they have been collected, but there is a splendid report by Martin Tarr on the Edinburgh Welsh Society webpage.

Our next meeting

Sunday 20 December 2020. Zoom Christmas service at 3.00pm

It would have been lovely to have a proper Carol service and vestry tea – maybe next year (?) – but for now, let us join together for a Zoom meeting. There will be readings and carols led by Margaret Brandie with a chance to chat afterwards, so have your kettle ready to boil and your mince pies to hand.

By the way, we have decided to invest in a Zoom licence so we can meet for longer than the free 40 minutes. I plan to send the codes out to all members once I have them. [If you don’t receive those, please email gro.yteicoshslewhgrubnidenull@yraterces and ask!]

Other news

Web page news …

Martin has added more pages, including the history of the miniature chair that was made by Jim Graham and presented to me by Prof Caradog Roberts in 1986, and there is a reproduction of the handwritten account of the Society’s annual eisteddfod. A look back to earlier times. As it is our centenary year we invite members to add their reminiscences of good times and special occasions in the Society’s past for publishing on our webpage. Thinking caps on please. We would love to hear from you.

And here is another contribution from Hedd …

Know the Name – Caio

Allegedly known to one-time American tourists as CA 10, (apologies to American readers but this little gem has tickled locals for many years), this small village sounds more like a postcode/zipcode than a beautiful and enchanting area to live!

The name Caio can also be spelt Caeo and comes from the name given to the parish of Cynwyl Caeo which is located roughly between Lampeter and Llandovery.

Cynwyl  was a 6th century saint and warrior (I’m not entirely certain of the practicalities of that dual role!) who fought for King Arthur at the battle of Camlann. He was apparently a huge man – being described as a giant – and was one of only seven to survive the battle when he escaped on his horse, Hengroen (Oldskin). In North Wales, there is a place named after the horse but not the saint – possibly the North Walians also questioned the dual role of warrior and saint!

St Cynwyl founded churches at Cynwyl Elfed and Ceredigion as well as in other parts of Wales. Today, Caio is usually known just as ‘Caio’ and there are some interesting connections with the word. Prior to the area adopting this name, there is some evidence to suggest that it was called ‘Y Drev Goch yn Neheubarth’ (the Red Town in South Wales). This was due to it being a fairly large town with buildings constructed of red brick following Roman occupation. There are some reports of Caio taking its name from a Roman called ‘Caius’ but this is somewhat debatable.

In later years, when Caio became an important part of the drovers route, it became the first place for an overnight stay by men and cattle as they rode from Cardiganshire on their way to Barnet Fair in London. Although many of the hostelries who provided B&B for the drovers were known as ‘Drovers Arms’, in Caio the chosen destination was a ‘Farmhouse B&B’ known as Llundain Fach (Little London) while the stream than ran through the farmyard was nicknamed ‘The River Thames’.

Caio is definitely a small village with a big history!

Thank you, Hedd.

Stay safe and I hope to see you via Zoom soon.


Jennifer Welsher – Ysgrifenyddes CCD / Secretary EWS