Random Stwff

Hoping that this will be ok as a background “All things Welsh” light interest type thread.

Here goes for a starter -
I’ve always liked the name of the Gabalfa area of Cardiff. Those of our number who have lived there will be aware of It’s earlier name “Ceubalfa”. This seems to have most likely meant the place of the Ceubal or boat, one of which operated as a ferry across the Taff at that point.

I can’t find much on the net about ceubals, other than the name of the local primary school, Ysgol Glan Ceubal. However, there is plenty out there about the similarly named fishing coble, which is much loved and still very much in existence along the East coast of Britain. It turns out that the coble has a prehistoric origin and owes at least part of its heritage to the Welsh ceubal type boat. Possibly a larger version of the coracle.

I’d be very interested if anyone has any information or pics of ceubals :slight_smile:


Did you come across this webpage in your search John?

In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any other references!

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Ah yes, thanks, Siaron. I found it interesting but perhaps a little Northumbria-centric for these pages, although it did give me a touch of hireath :slight_smile: Great that it didn’t mind plugging Wales though.

That’d be great if you come up with something at some point. Don’t forget that you are on Holiday, though :slight_smile:

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According to the Geiriadur Mawr, ceubal is a now obsolete word meaning ferry or skiff - and I do know for sure of images of the Wye in and around Monmouth which show old ferryboats and skiffs (which is really what popped into my head when I first saw your post!), although I haven’t yet found any referring to the boats pictured as ceubals.

… and I’m never on holiday when I sense a chance - however tenuous - to research about Monmouth! :wink:

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ooh, ooh, ooh! Just thought to stick ceubal in as a search term on the LLGC Welsh Newspapers Online site and got 20 hits in papers ranging from 1857 to 1917! No images unfortunately, but possibly some nice snippets of info :smiley:


That’s fantastic, thanks, Siaron. You’re a star. Stuff there about the Gabalfa ferry and also that a ceubal can be a ferry, barge or fishing boat.

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Diolch @siaronjames! I didn’t know about that site! I used to work on The Cambrian Index when I,lived on
Gower and tried to set up something similar up here, despite not having the same level of interest. I know the on line Cambrian Index site, but it’s useful to have so many on tap! I will not bother to search the CI!

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keybal or kowbal is the word I learned for “ferry” in Cornish :slight_smile:


Here’s another piece of reading for you, John :slight_smile: http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/mnq1904/n229.htm
Saying much the same thing as we already know, but interesting nonetheless.


It doesn’t say ‘ceubal’, but going by the descriptions we’ve come across so far, I reckon this image in the Rhondda Cynon Taf Library Service Digital Archive must be pretty close -


Those scamps in the motorway control centre were trying to catch me out tonight with a tricky verb ending on a motorway matrix sign: “OEDI DISGWYLIR” for “delays expected”.

It reminded me of the cards that used to be displayed in shops, which I think were headed; “Cymraeg siaradir yma”. Hopefully not an indication of the level of learning that would be required to strike up a conversation inside the shop :wink:


:slight_smile: Scamps indeed. I think this usage is normally only seen in official or semi-official notices like that.

The passive in Welsh (in its various forms) is something I have only ever skirted around with some trepidation.

Gareth King does throw some light on it (and many other things) in his “Routledge Intermediate Welsh Reader” (and also in his various grammar books).

It seems to be enough to know how to recognise it, unless one is going in for serious writing in Welsh.


yup, this. You’ll hardly ever hear it spoken except perhaps in formal news bulletin type reports, but it does crop up written down in, as you say, official notices and sometimes forms and of course some literature/poetry.

All you need to remember is which ending is which -
-ir is present/future
-id is past (over period of time i.e. not a one-off occurrence)
-wyd is past (finished with i.e. a one-off occurrence)

I’m sure Gareth explains it clearer in his books though!


Your list seems pretty clear to me!! Diolch! Now all I need is to remember it!! (Not that I read many official documents in Welsh up here in unseasonably dry warm Scotland!!!)


I’m revitalising this thread, to avoid messing up any of the others. Sorry about the spelling of the title.

Anyway - I’m enjoying the M4 Matrix signs at the moment. Welsh first, then English on the next sign. A bit like an SSiW Challenge in reverse. This morning’s offering was “Murion at y ffordd” for “Debris on the road” :slight_smile:

On the way home, Welsh only, with no English following, just to keep us on out toes.


I am visualising the likely reaction of unfortunate English speakers who might think there was now a ford on the motorway!

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Sorry, should have been “ar y ffordd” (autocorrect).

Here’s the footer of an e-mail sent to my employer’s office in Bristol. :slight_smile:

Assistant Area Engineer West
Peiriannydd Ardal Cynorthwyol Gorllewin

South Wales Trunk Road Agent
Asiant Cefnffyrdd De Cymru

Unit 12,
Llandarcy House,
The Courtyard,
Llandarcy, SA10 6EJ

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and will deal with Welsh and English correspondence to the same standards and timescales.

Croesewir gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg a byddwn yn ymdrin â gohebiaeth Gymraeg a Saesneg i’r un safonau ac amserlenni.


Hi All.
Just in case anyone is missing my actual voice on here or Slack. I have decided to catch a bank holiday lurgy. My wife is gutted that I’m not answering her back all the time :smiley:

Surely lurgies are as essential to Bank Holidays as bad weather, aren’t they?

Hope you feel better soon John :slight_smile:

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