Y Llien Gwyn

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‘Y Llien Gwyn’ ydy papur Cymraeg ardal Abergwaun a’r cylch. Sefydlwyd y papur yn Hydref 1979 ac erbyn Chwefror 2024, roedd 464 rhifyn wedi ymddangos.

Yn Awst 2002, gwnaeth Gareth Francis ysgrifennu erthygl yn egluro tarddiad enw ein papur bro. Dyma dalfyriad o’r erthygl.

‘Efallai bod sawl un yn pwslo o ble daeth yr enw ‘Y LLIEN GWYN.’ Digon tebyg mai cyfuniad o rywbeth hen a rhywbeth newydd a roes fodolaeth iddo fel enw papur bro.

Fe ddaeth yr ymadrodd o gân oedd yn cael ei chanu gan forwyr o Gymry ar y llongau hwyliau rhyw saith deg neu wyth deg o flynyddoedd yn ôl:

Mae’r awel wedi codi i lanw’r llien gwyn.’

Yr hwyl yw’r llien gwyn yma, wrth gwrs.

Wrth chwilio deunydd ar gyfer rhaglen radio ar forwyr Dinas a ddarlledwyd ym mis Mai 1948, fe ddaeth fy nhad T. J. Francis, ar draws y gân ‘Ffarwel i ddociau Lerpwl’. Fe’i canwyd iddo gan Gapten James Harries, Laurel Villa, Dinas, ac fe’i cyhoeddwyd yn “Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru, Cyfrol IV, Rhan 2”, yn 1951.

Dau bennill a’r cytgan oedd iddi bryd hynny ond erbyn hyn, ychwanegwyd pennill arall.

Mae’r pennill cyntaf, a’i sôn am ddociau Lerpwl, Ynys Mona (Môn) a thref Biwmaris, yn amlwg yn dod yn wreiddiol o arfordir Gogledd Cymru. Yr ail bennill sy’n clymu’r gân wrth yr ardal hon, a Threfdraeth yn arbennig:

Am y cyntaf lawr i’r Parrog i weld y Seventy-Four.           Mae ‘i bows hi ar y Castell a’i starn hi ar y môr. Ffarwel i draethau Penfro,   a’r merched ieuainc llon,   Rwy’n mynd yn awr heb oedi i nofio ar y don.’

Mae’r sôn am y Parrog, y Castell a thraethau Penfro gyda’i gilydd yn arwyddion lled bendant o Drefdraeth fel man cychwyn y pennill hwn.

Mae awgrym efallai bod gweld ‘Seventy Four’ yn beth  newydd. Mae’n debyg mai mesur o hyd y llong mewn troedfeddi a roes yr enw iddi yn hytrach na nifer y drylliau. Go brin y byddai llong ryfel wedi dod i mewn i Drefdraeth. Os felly, efallai mai llong hwyliau sgwår oedd hi, brigantîn neu rywbeth felly. Rhwng 1810 ac 1830 y daeth y brigantîn i fri, yn lleol. Mae’n bosib mai ymweliad cyntaf brigantîn â Threfdraeth a gofnodir yn yr ail bennill yma, ac os felly, oes yma awgrym o gyfnod cyfansoddi’r ail bennill. Mae’n amlwg ei bod yn llong mwy na’r cyffredin, hyd yn oed a derbyn bod peth ‘mystyn’ yn y linell-

Mae’i bows hi ar y Castell A’i starn hi ar y môr.’

Roedd ‘mystyn’ yn eithaf cyffredin. (Gellir meddwl am storiwyr celwydd golau fel Daniel y Pant o Drefdraeth a Shemi Wad o Wdig.) Roedden nhw’n dweud yng Nghwmyreglwys, slawer dydd, am frigantîn Capten Sheci Dafis, bod y starn yn cwrdd â chreigiau Iwerddon tra roedd y jib-boom yn sgubo’r defaid bant o Ynys y Dinas!

Mae’n braf meddwl bod yr hen gân o Drefdraeth a ganwyd gan hen forwr o’r Dinas wedi rhoi enw i bapur bro cylch Abergwaun a bod awel yn dal i lanw’r llien gwyn.

‘YLlien Gwyn’ is the Welsh language newspaper of the Fishguard area. The paper was founded in October 1979 and as at February 2024, 464 editions have appeared since then.

In August 2002, Gareth Francis wrote an article explaining the origin of the name ‘Y Llien Gwyn’ (The White Cloth). This is a summary of the article.

‘Perhaps you may be puzzled as to where the name ‘Y LLIEN GWYN’ came from. It seems likely that it was a combination of something old and something new that gave it existence as the name of a local paper.

The phrase came from a song that was sung by Welsh sailors on sailing ships some seventy or eighty years ago:

The breeze has lifted to fill the white cloth.’

The white cloth in this respect, is of course, the ship’s sail.

While searching for material for a radio program on Dinas Cross sailors which was broadcast in May 1948, my father T. J. Francis came across the song ‘Farewell to Liverpool docks’. It was sung to him by Captain James Harries of  Laurel Villa, Dinas, and was published in “Welsh Folk Society Magazine, Volume IV, Part 2”, in 1951.

It had two verses and a chorus then, but now another verse has been added.

The first stanza, with its mention of Liverpool docks, Mona (Anglesey ) and the town of Beaumaris, clearly comes originally from the North Wales coast. The second verse however, ties the song to Newport, Pembrokrshire in particular:

(Who’ll be first down to the Parrog to see the Seventy-Four? Her bow is on the Castle and her stern is on the sea. Farewell to Pembroke beaches, and the girls so young and free, I’m going now without delay
to swim upon the wave.’) 

The mention of Parrog, the Castle and the beaches of Pembroke together are quite definite signs of Newport as the starting point of this stanza.

There is a suggestion that seeing a ‘Seventy Four‘ is an exciting prospect. It is probably the measurement of the ship’s length in feet rather than the number of her guns. (A warship would hardly have entered Newport!) If so, it might have been a square sailed ship such as a brigantine. 1810 to 1830 was the period when brigantines grew in importance locally. The song may commemorate the first visit of a brigantine to Newport. If so, there may be a clue to the age of the song here.  It is clear that the vessel is a larger than average ship, even if we accept that there is some exaggeration in the line-

Her bow is on the Castle And her stern is in the sea.’

Exaggeration was quite common in local songs and stories. (‘Daniel y Pant’ from Newport and Shemi Wad from Goodwick were renowned tall tale tellers.) They used to say in Cwmyreglwys, years ago, of Captain Sheci Dafis’ brigantine, that the stern would touch the rocks of Ireland while the jib-boom swept the sheep off Dinas Island!

It is nice to think that the old Newport song sung by an old sailor from Dinas has given its name to our local paper and that the breeze continues to fill the white cloth.

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