The Ddraig Goch returns to its roots

As @owen-mcknight has already posted in the Oxford Welsh Learners’ Group, a street-art mural has relatively recently gone up in Oxford commemorating the time during the Great Depression when workers from South Wales (chiefly Cwm Garw, I think, although I can’t now find the reference) walked all the way to Oxford in search of jobs in the Morris Motor Works. They all wound up renting rooms in the Florence Park area, in houses that had been built cheaply by a speculative builder who had himself come to Oxford from Wales not long before; and as a result the area was, for a time, known locally as “Little Wales”. (Perhaps not entirely affectionately: there was a certain amount of local suspicion of outsiders coming to take “our” jobs and “our” women.) It’s thanks to those men that Oxford still has a Welsh male-voice choir (Côr Meibion Rhydychen), which still sings all manner of things Cymreig and Cymraeg, despite being almost wholly composed of monolingual Englishmen.

Anyway: the mural.

At some point I shall probably tire of pointing out to people that, according to the Red Book of Hergest (Cyfranc Lludd a Llefelys) the Red Dragon of Wales actually comes from Oxford: I’m afraid I haven’t yet done so. But this is our new East Oxford Draig Goch, and it’s rather magnificent.


It is magnificent! Wish the artist(s) would visit my street and do something similar.


Well - I never knew this! I was born and brought up in Oxfordshire and lived in Cowley for a year after leaving school. My eldest went to uni in the city and is still there (in Headington) 10 years later. I’m adopted Welsh now, so I hope I’ve brought a bit of the Oxford Welsh back! Thanks for sharing this - fascinating :slight_smile:


This is a wonderful story. I thought the most Welsh thing about Oxford was Jesus College and and fascinated to learn about this other connection between a city I love and the country I love. Thanks for sharing!

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