Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Welsh Builders of Liverpool

Voelas Street - another of the Welsh Streets facing demolition. This photograph was taken before the street was emptied and tinned-up.
 There is a very strong Welsh heritage element in the Madryn Street story, which has been little focussed on during the campaign. Huge numbers of people from north Wales migrated to Liverpool in the 19th century. The first Welsh church was built in the early 19th century followed by many chapels and schools. It was a common saying that 'Liverpool was more Welsh than Cardiff'. The Welsh language was commonplace.

Many of the streets now being torn down (or threatened with demolition) across the Victorian suburbs were built by Welsh owners and builders for their own kin, none more obviously than Madryn Street, now of Ringo Starr fame.

Remains of the Welsh cm Church in Stanley Road, Bootle. Read More.
Madryn was the name of a famous old estate near Caernarfon (now a Lost House of Wales), but the reason it is called Madryn Street is because the principal harbour of the Welsh colony of Patagonia (in Argentina) is called Porth Madryn. Porth Madryn was the landing place for the  'Mimosa' which sailed from Liverpool with the first Welsh emigrants to the most celebrated part of the Welsh diaspora, the Chubut Valley in Patagonia [Trelew, Trevelin, Gaiman, Cwmhyfryd, etc.]. Porth Madryn is twinned with Nefyn in North Wales. Visitors from Patagonia are especially welcome in Wales, because many people are intrigued that (unlike, for example, those returning from the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) they generally don't speak any English, only Welsh and Spanish!

Madryn is a place name, but is also an old name for a fox (particularly a 'cunning' fox). It was the name adopted for the Welsh anti-nuclear waste campaign in the 1980s.

The Liverpool Welsh - article on the BBC North East Wales website

A Corner of England Forever Wales - Liverpool Daily Post

With thanks to Tom Lloyd and Trevor Skempton for their help with this post.

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