Because my radio presenting days have been so cruelly curtailed and are now, it seems, over for ever, I find myself in the wholly unfamiliar situation of not having wished our Welsh-speaking co-truckshunters ‘Happy St David’s Day’. So...

Dydd Dewi Sant hapus!

...a day late.

As I type, I am reminded that on St David’s Day five years ago - when I had just stumbled Englishly through my hopeless and totally inadequate Welsh pronunciation - a listener called with one of those unforgettable pieces of utterly pointless trivia which were our stock-in-trade on the Big Blue Bus. Were we aware, he asked, that, to conform with the flags of the other nations that make up the United Kingdom, the Welsh flag would need to be changed out of all recognition?

He explained that the flag of England is also the cross of St George; the flag of Scotland is also the cross of St Andrew; and the flag of (Northern) Ireland adapts the cross of St Patrick. Why then, he suggested, isn’t the Welsh flag the cross of St David?

Rashly, I denied that such a design even existed. I was wrong. As proof, I present you with exhibit A above: The Cross of St David.

I’ve never quite recovered from this devastating new information. The problem for me is that, although the flag currently accepted everywhere as the national flag of Wales is undoubtedly a colourful, powerful and startlingly dramatic design, the simple yellow-on-black cross above is just as striking. I reckon it’s as unlike other national flags as the familiar red dragon is. I like it a lot.

I’ve never really understood why Wales wasn’t included when the Union Jack (properly, the Union Flag) was designed. It combines Sts George, Andrew and Patrick but not St David. So my next point is obvious...

If there are any truckshunters who know a thing or two about graphic design and who would like to make a stab at a Union Jack that does incorporate the Cross of St David, I’d love to see it...

Our very own local national day is almost upon us. St Cuthbert’s Day is on March 20 - the day before our next AGM at the Winter Gardens in Sunderland. How are you going to celebrate it? Let’s have some ideas.

Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com


Marion said...

I'll have to pass on the graphic design but I just wanted to say that I took a bunch of students to the 'Sunderland Museum', as the Winter Gardens were labelled, and the Glass museum the other day and we had a wonderful time at both venues. I fully intend to return to further explore but unfortunatley not on the 21st so I'll not be able to join with you in the ABM - I'm sure that you will all enjoy the experience!

Ellie said...

Regarding 127, and the St David's Day wishes, may I say:
Diolch y chi, del bach
to you, Ian
(Translation: Thank you little lovely)
I hasten to add that I don't speak much Welsh, but lived there for 12 years so picked up a little of the native tongue.
Like Marion I will opt out of the flag design thing as I would have no idea where to start.
Hope all are well and Ian please stop with the 'never again' thing regarding broadcasting.......it has to happen ~ you know that!

Vivienne said...

Hi Ian,

I've called this the UK Flag. Does it fit the bill?

Hildie said...

Phew! Thank goodness for Vivienne!
Like Ellie and Marion, I was about to pass on the graphic design! Well done, Vivienne. As I couldn't attempt the flag, I've been working on an anagram of a placename for you Truckshunters to solve - SEE WONDERBUNNY TERROR -
it's in Cleveland, I heard Paul Mooney mention it last week.
Ellie, Ian will be impressed that we have a Welsh speaker amongst us!
Vivienne, I don't know for sure when Ian was intending the Birkheads/ Tanfield Railway Outing
to be, but I would definitely like to go. I could do with running into him to ask what Snod's Edge could mean. I've been invited to a 40th Birthday Party and that's where it's to be held.

Ellie said...

I'm with you on that one, Hildie! Wow! and am I impressed with Vivienne - how clever.

Vivienne said...

Hi Hildie & Ellie,

Thanks for thinking I'm clever. I wish I was! If so I might be able to work out Hildie's anagram.

I think you've found one of those obscure little villages, which is too small to show up on a road map Hildie! I gave up trying to work out the place name and scrutinised my road map in great detail. I still couldn't find a name with those letters. Is it '....... on Tees' or '...... on Derwent'? It could even be '.......... on Tyne' except you said it was in Cleveland! I give up!!!

Vivienne said...

Hi again,

I forgot to say that Inga's home again. She's very busy trying to catch up with some important work, so she may be some time before she posts a Comment. Inga has had a quick look at Truckshunters and was very sorry to read your account of your choking episode, Hildie.

Hildie said...

The place in Cleveland, Vivienne, it's definitely not on something.
I'm glad you are managing to keep in touch with Inga. I look forward to her return to the fold!

Vivienne said...

Hi Hildie,

I'm afraid all I can come up with is an anagram of your anagram!

Hildie said...

Hi Vivienne,
I think you deserve an ice-scraper for that - it's brill!

Vivienne said...

Hi Hildie,

I needed an ice-scaper this morning, as my porch window, despite being double-glazed, was completely frosted over. It cleared when the sun moved round and shone on it.

Here's another attempt!


Ian Robinson said...


Hildie said...

Wow! you got it in one, Ian! Well done! Your turn to be clever today!
Did you like Vivienne's flag?