South East Wales

Sully villagers to vote on 'Sili' place name change

Residents of a south Wales village want to change the Welsh place name, saying it sounds silly.

People in Sully, Vale of Glamorgan, say the Welsh translation, 'Sili', is wrong.

The residents' association said villagers were not consulted and are now balloting every household in the town asking if they want it changed.

The Welsh Language Board (WLB) said their reference book recommended the use of Sili for the village.

The WLB said the book, A Gazetteer of Welsh Place-Names, is the standard reference work for Welsh place names.

"Consequently one should not deviate from its recommendations without good reason," a spokesperson said.

"The form Sili is recommended in this publication and this name, which is a cymricisation of the Norman name Sully or Silly, is well-established in Welsh writing and is used widely both locally and nationally."

But some residents in the village disagree.

Lino Scallioni, chair of Sully Residents Association said: "Sully is a proper name, so there is no Welsh translation."

'Silly'

"In the beginning we just had two signs at either end of the village just saying Sully.

"The Welsh translation was added to the two signs later. There was a little tut-tutting by villagers who thought it was was a silly name.

"But the number of complaints to the residents association has grown so we have decided to hold a ballot"

Each of the around 2,000 households in the village will receive a ballot paper this week, asking for their thoughts on the name "Sili" and whether they want to petition the authority to change the name.

Residents have until the end of January to have their say.

Mr Scallioni, 76, said his preference is for the Welsh name "Abersili".

"Sili means fast running stream and it is still there in Sully.

"There used to be houses there as well dating back to 1510 and the people called themselves Abersili as Aber means the mouth of the river.

"So I think Abersili would be the right Welsh name for the village.

"People have also told me that the name Abersili is used on documents from their gas board and the planning department so I don't see why it couldn't be the official Welsh name for Sully."

Local authorities are responsible for changing place names but they follow guidance from the Welsh Language Board.

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