Wales

Powys village name row is down to a 'T'

Llansantffraid sign with the 'T' covered over
Image caption To T or not to T? That is the question in this Powys village

A centuries-old row over the name of a Welsh village has been re-ignited following a new report by boundary officials.

Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain lost the t in its name back in 2008 after Powys council argued it was being spelled incorrectly.

The "t" then returned in 2014 after a council U-turn.

But a new recommendation to the Welsh Government suggests dropping the t again in Welsh versions of the name.

The village is named after the church to the Celtic saint Brigit.

But it appears an error in the 1800s identified the saint as a man - which meant the letter t was introduced to the village name to signify the male gender.

However, Brigit was definitely a woman and no t was required.

Now, a review of electoral wards across the whole of Powys has been presented to Welsh Government ministers, with the latest recommendations for ward names.

Image caption The village football team is pretty clear on where it stands on the "t"

It requests the village adopts both versions - with the t in English - and without for the Welsh version of the moniker.

The proposals go against suggestions previously laid out by the Welsh Language Commissioner's Office.

The Welsh language body's advice is that where the difference between names comes down to a single letter or two, just one name should be adopted - with preference given to the Welsh.

But the Boundary Commission said it had received "no representations in regards to the proposed name" during its consultation.

Councillors have now written to the commission to voice their concerns.

"Llansantffraid has a stronger claim to be regarded as the 'Welsh' or correct name," insisted Powys councillor, Gwynfor Thomas.

Image copyright Google/BBC
Image caption With or without - the village has seen both

A final decision on the recommendations will be taken by Welsh ministers in the coming weeks.

But Mr Thomas told BBC Wales that while it was all a "storm in a t-cup", there was also a more sinister side to the row.

About 14 name signs for the village replaced in the last decade have had the t burnt out.

"Whatever your view on the name - that's not acceptable," added Mr Thomas.

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