In a new Welsh-language novel to be launched at the National Eisteddfod in Montgomeryshire next week the author Eiddwen Jones draws attention to the story of the drowning of a village in the Vyrnwy Valley.
Cofiwch Lanwddyn (trans. ‘Remember Llanwddyn’ ) is a historical novel set at the end of the 19th century when the Vyrnwy Valley in Montgomeryshire was flooded to provide clean water for the city of Liverpool.
Around 400 residents from the village of Llanwddyn were forced from their homes, and chapels, pubs along with the school; a number of farms and a mansion house were also demolished.
Eiddwen Jones said: “It was a sad event and the biggest injustice of all was that the villagers were completely powerless to oppose the disaster.”
“Even though the story of Tryweryn has been seared on the nation’s memory, the drowning of Llanwddyn, and the creation of Lake Vyrnwy along with the pain felt by the villagers have been long forgotten today. Even during the flooding itself the villagers of Llanwddyn were largely ignored by the newspapers of the period. I’m hoping that my novel is a chance to tell the story and right this wrong.”
Cofiwch Lanwddyn follows the story of one family in the middle of the devastation – their distress and family trials unfold against the backdrop of drowning the valley. Even though there are historical elements to the novel, it also interweaves with the fictional story of a 21st century family with close ties to Llanwddyn and Liverpool.”
The author has dedicated the novel to the memory of her first husband, Tecwyn. They were married for nearly 48 years, and his family lived in the old village of Llanwddyn before the flooding.
Eiddwen Jones was raised in Rhewl, Mostyn, Flintshire and now lives in Abergele. She was awared a PhD for creative writing from Bangor University under the guidance of prize-winning novelist and lecturer, Angharad Price.
During her career Eiddwen was a headmistress and education officer in Clwyd. She’s a mother of one and a proud grandmother to two grandsons and one grand-daughter.
Her novel Cofiwch Lanwddyn will be launched at the ‘Lolfa Lên’ in the National Eisteddfod on Tuesday, August 4 at 2pm. Eiddwen Jones will also be signing copies of the novel at the Welsh Books Council’s stand between 1 and 1.30pm.