Mae'n bont rhwng Llydaw (Plouie) a Chymru (Merthyr Tudful)/ A bridge between Brittany (Plouye) and Wales (Merthyr).

My co-ordinates

Pub/Bar info.

Degemer Mat, Bienvenu(e), Welcome, Croeso i Lydaw ag i 'Tavarn Ty Elise'. Ambiance positive acçeptée, ambiance negative rejetée.
An hent /Route de Collorec
Bro Gerne/Cornouaille
29690 Plouie/Plouye
Penn ar Bed/Finistere
Twinned with Carrog in North Wales
All times are negotiable between 6am. & 1am., but
generally is as follows:
Llun/Lun/Mon: Fermé
Maw/Meu/Mar/Tue: Fermé
Mer/Wed: 15h > 23h
Iau/Yaou/Jeu/Thu: 15h > 23h
Gwe/Ven/Fri: 15h > 23h
Sad/Sam/Sat: 12:30h > 23h
Sul/Sun/Dim: 12:30h > ?
(33)(0)229250115 (pub) leave message.
Mobile: 0699724935

A little bar lost in the Breton countryside with a clay floor, wood burner, an eclectic music collection, Welsh, Irish, Breton, World, & pop/rock we don't have hip-hop/rap/techno, no juke-box or pool table. We do have real ale, organic artisanal beers and local farm cider, malt whiskies(Scotch, Irish, Breton & Welsh) and bourbons. Priority given to live music; wifi.
Coreff Ambrée: Pint = 5 euros, demi = 2 euros 50
Coreff Blonde Bio: Pint = 5 euros, demi = 2,50e
Coreff Blanche: Pint = 5 euros, demi = 2,50e
Coreff I.P.A.: Pint = 5euros, demi = 2,50e
Coreff Stout: Pint = 5 euros, demi = 2,50e
Pint of cider = Pint = 4euros, demi= 2e
My photos of Brittany taken when I was out of work on sale for 2,50euros each.
T(ee)-shirts: 15e au bar; 20e p+p.
Bar games: draughts; chess; dominoes; cards; solitaire; backgammon. Extensive parking & large beer garden opposite.

PLOUIE/PLOUYE, Breizh/Llydaw/Brittany/Bretagne:

(The original premise: "Mainly banter, slightly rambling reminiscences, a little bit political, slightly cultural and a touch of publicity for my bar in Brittany".)

Ambiance positive acceptée, ambiance negative rejetée.
(Positive ambience accepted, negative ambience rejected).
Le mot clé est 'convivialité' - 'Conviviality' is the key word.
Degustation, appreciation, conversation, tout en écoutant la musique.

Up in smoke

Regrettably my Pub 'Tavarn Ty Elise', a little bar in the Breton countryside between Uhelgoad (Huelgoat) & Karaez (Carhaix), (Bro Gerne) Finistere, Breizh/Llydaw/Brittany/Bretagne burned down in the early hours of friday February 19, 2010. Thirty years of my life up in smoke, but in spite of that the phoenix has risen again and the red dragon is back.
Red Dragon Pictures, Images and Photos

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Friday 6 November 2009

Breton Migration borrowed from Mitch Williamson


Friday, November 6, 2009



Early medieval Brittany: the Dark Age kingdoms. The approximate limit of Breton political power in the 6th century is shown as a dashed line; P = place-names in Plou attested before 1200; the white lines represent the Roman road network.

Despite their location on the European continent, the Breton language and associated culture owe their distinctive shape to origins on the Island of Britain, with especially close affinities to the pre-English groups of Cornwall (Kernow) and south-west Britain generally. For this reason, Breton is classed as an Insular Celtic language, despite its location. Settlers brought Brythonic speech and culture to Brittany (Breizh) in a series of migrations from the 3rd to 9th centuries ad, most heavily c. 450–c. 600, moving into an area of Gaul that had previously been known by the Gaulish name Armorica. The well-documented presence of a leader with the Brythonic name or title Rigotamus and known to the Gallo-Romans as ‘king of the Britons’ with 12,000 men on the river Loire (Liger) c. 470 represents an advanced stage in a process which had by then become well organized and included an important military component.

We do not have abundant evidence to show to what extent Gaulish was still a spoken language in Armorica when the Britons moved in. Clearly, there was some Latin spoken there, as throughout the Western Empire. However, to judge from extant Gallo-Roman remains, Armorica was not one of the most Romanized regions of Gaul. Repeatedly, for spans of several years at a time over the 4th and earlier 5th centuries, Armorica slipped out of imperial control and into the hands of armed peasant rebels, known as Bacaudae. The word itself is not Latin but Gaulish, and is probably related to the Breton and Welsh bagad ‘a band of men’. It seems inherently unlikely that the Bacaudae—from the most underprivileged and anti-Roman classes of the most remote region of Gaul—were all monoglot Latin speakers. We may note also a late Gaulish inscription from Plumergat, indicating that a learned Gaulish was still in use for prestigious occasions in the old territory of the Veneti c. ad 300 or possibly later. One may also point to a number of pre-Breton place-names which are clearly Gaulish, rather than Gallo-Roman, in character, for example, the name of the great megalithic site Carnac ‘Place of stone monuments’. It is likely, therefore, that Gaulish did survive, at least in some areas, to contribute names and words to the incoming Brythonic and possibly even influence its phonetics, morphology, and syntax. Some scholars, notably François Falc’hun, went as far as to argue that Gaulish was still a living language at the time of these migrations, and that Breton (particularly the Vannetais dialect in the old civitas of the Veneti, shows substantial influence from Gaulish, if it is not a direct descendant. However, any such argument flies in the face of the fact that the earliest Welsh, Cornish, and Breton are similar to the point of being often indistinguishable on linguistic grounds. It seems, therefore, that whatever Gaulish might have survived when the Britons arrived, it was the similar but distinct speech of the dominant incomers that was to become the standard variety of spoken Celtic in the peninsula.

Two 6th-century historians, the Byzantine Procopius and the Gallo-Roman Gregory of Tours, both demonstrate that Brythonic Brittany was an accomplished fact. The latter gives a detailed account of a peninsula ruled by chieftains with Brythonic names, whom the Merovingian Franks insisted on calling comites (counts), but who were effectively independent sovereigns. By the 570s Brythonic speakers were already dominant in an even further colony in north-west Spain called Britonia. However, we have only one near contemporary source that describes the migrations themselves, namely the De Excidio Britanniae of Gildas. Writing the better part of a century after the event, Gildas gives a luridly melodramatic account of an Anglo- Saxon ‘conquest’ from which the Britons had to flee, either to the west, i.e., Wales (Cymru) and Cornwall, or overseas to Brittany. Gildas, however, tells us that no British historical records had survived; he was therefore producing a stark and moralistic historical explanation of the distribution of Brythonic, Old English, and Gallo-Latin in his own day, and working from an admitted position of ignorance.

The spread of languages with the decline and collapse of the Western Empire—primarily the early Germanic languages such as Old English—has tended to be understood within the framework of Volkerwanderung (migration of peoples), i.e., a great post-Roman migration period. Applying this idea to Gildas’s testimony, the Breton migrations have been seen as a ‘knock-on’ or ‘billiard-ball’ effect, with Celtic migrants set in motion by an earlier Anglo-Saxon movement. However, a number of factors other than mass migration can influence the change from one language to another, including political or religious authority and social or economic pressure. The Armorican peninsula had close and bidirectional relations with Britain throughout prehistory and the ancient and medieval periods; therefore, the real processes behind cultural and linguistic Bretonization must have been a story of many complex increments. For example, is the Bacaudic prelude to the migrations to be viewed primarily as the story of a local power vacuum or an anti-Roman, philo-Celtic movement, or both?

Early Christian communities were clearly a factor in the Breton migrations. Le Duc has recently proposed that Romano-British Christians moved into Armorica as early as the 3rd century ad, when Christianity was still actively persecuted in Roman Britain (Celtic Connections 1.133–51). In a letter written between 509 and 521, the bishops of Tours, Angers, and Rennes (Roazhon) threatened to excommunicate, for their alien and unorthodox practices, two priests in Armorica with the Brythonic names Louocatus and Catihernus; thus we see the faltering grip of the Gallo-Roman hierarchy on a nascent Brittany with its own distinctive Christian practices. Traditional history has long held that the saints were leaders in the journey to Brittany. Breton Latin saints’ lives support this, both in their descriptions of actual migrations and in the connections between insular Britons and Bretons. Britonia in Spain probably had a similar origin. The study of Breton place-names suggests a detailed picture of settlement by British early Christians in the peninsula, especially the numerous archaic names (often still those of parishes and towns and villages of local importance) that comprise the element Plou- the name of an early Brythonic saint or an obscure element popularly understood as a saint’s name. In many instances, the same saints’ names are found in parish names in Wales and Cornwall.

From the standpoint of social history, the model of colonization—though without the word’s modern political overtones—is probably appropriate for the Breton migrations, in that the movements seem to have been largely voluntary, and conducted on the scale of family groups and small religious communities, rather than mass conquest by a hostile invading force. The prior inhabitants of Armorica—whose initial resistance to Rome had been fierce and whose position within later Gallo-Roman society had been increasingly marginal and precarious—were probably gradually incorporated into the new society rather than being driven out, destroyed, or having suffered some depopulating catastrophe, as previous theories have proposed. Whatever the circumstances of the original impulse to settle Brittany from Britain, it is certain that the connections between Brittany, Cornwall, and Wales were maintained for centuries, facilitated by a common language, trade networks and other economic factors, and the relative ease of travel by sea. Subsequent settlement from Brittany to Britain and vice versa occurred throughout the Middle Ages, both in the context of the Norman invasion of Britain and independently. The family of Geoffrey of Monmouth is believed to have been of Breton origin.

Further reading

Bowen, Britain and the Western Seaways; Bowen, Saints, Seaways and Settlements; Chadwick, Early Brittany; Falc’hun, Les origines de la langue bretonne; Fleuriot, Les origines de la Bretagne; Galliou & Jones, Bretons; Jackson, LHEB; Le Duc, Celtic Connections 1.133–51; Poisson & Le Mat, Histoire de Bretagne.



Jean-Claude Dreyfus, & Merzhin au bar Ty Elise

Post-cards sent to pub/bar

The discoloration on certain cards is from the cigarette smoke and open fire due to having been pinned to the ceiling for many years.

Bro Gozh ma Zadou

Meic Stevens - Rue St. Michel (leaning against my bar)

Glenn Devant le Pub/Bar Eté 2009

Those with an advanced musical aptitude who have trodden the clay floor

Jim O' Rourke; An Triskell; Glenmor; Youenn Gwernig; George Jouin; Liam Weldon; Jean-Yves le Roux; Alan Stivell: Dan ar Bras; Yann Tiersen; Davy Spillane; Meic Stevens; Paddy Keenan; Patrick Molard; Les Freres Morvan; Alan Simon; Tornaod; Lleuwen Steffan; Soig Siberil; Nolwenn Corbell; Steve Eaves (& Cerys Matthews, according to Steve's daughter Lleuwen Steffan); Gwennyn Mammen; Jackie Molard; Glenn le Merdy; Youenn Bihan; Twm Morris; Gilles le Bigot; Laurent Jouin; Eric Marchand; Pierre Crepillon; Les Freres Quere; Jean-Jacques Milteau; Rhys Harries(Trwynau Coch); Jean-Claude Dreyfuss (o.k. so he doesn't sing); Gweltaz ar Fur; Siân James; Derek Smith (Mabon); Gareth Westacott & Guy (Toreth); Plethyn; Yr Hwntws; Bernez Tangi; Gaby Kergoncuff; Louis (Lulu) Roujon; Louise Ebrell; Annie Ebrell; Jean-Claude Lalanne; Bernie Smyth; The Halby Brothers; Brian McNeill; Jamie McMenemy; Jean-Michel Veillon; Patrick LeFebvre; Fanch Landreau; Linda Thompson, from Fairport Convention; Mick Tems & Pat Smith; Peter Meazey, Susanne George and Stuart Brown (Mabsant); Dom Duff; Dedé Hellec; Michel Caous; Michel Clec'h; Ti Jaz; Anweledig; Kristen Nikolaz; Kern; Christian LeMaitre; Dezzie Wilkinson; Sean Corcoran; Jim Rowlands; Gazman; Maffia Mr Huws; Yvon Etienne; Iestyn ap Rhobert; Gafin Morgan; Côr Caron, Tregaron; Côr Seren Burma Star Choir, Abertawe/Swansea; Hastan; Fanch le Marrec; Katell Uguen; Katell Kloareg; Brigitte Kloareg; Fran May; Jamie Bevan; E.V.; Laurent Bigot; George Cadoudal; Re An Are; Mona Jaouen; Denez Abernot; Pat Kilbride; Aelodau'r Anweledig; Aelodau'r Mim Twm Llai; Aymeric; Matteo Cargnelutti; Jean Baron; Katelsong; Dik Banovich; not forgetting the Peruvian native American who made a point of calling in to play 'en route' to concerts in Paris, Berlin and London: Would those of you with better memories than myself please be kind enough to let me know who I've inadvertently left out.



Independence Cymru

Owain Glyndwr

Pan anwyd fi,

'Roedd gwyneb nef yn llawn o ffurfiau tanllyd,

A rhedai'r geifr o'r bryniau; a'r diadelloedd

Ddieithr frefent yn y meusydd dychrynadwy:

'R arwyddion hyn a'm hynodasant i,

A holl droellau'm bywyd a ddangosant

Fy mod uwchlaw cyffredin ddyn.

(Shakespeare: Henry IV)

Wales - W. Watkin Davies

Wales - W. Watkin Davies

Destiny of the Britons - Taliesin

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Wales United

"If they decide to unite," he said, "they would be completely invincible. This nation would be fortunate....if they could accept one prince, and he a good one." - Gerallt Cymro (Giraldus Cambrensis)
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The result was that the king, Henry II, with his mighty army, was forced to retreat, and in his anger he blinded his hostages and burned the churches.

Putting the Record Straight

At a time when the vast majority of the French abandoned their fate into the hands of Marshall Pétin, many Bretons chose, and that as early as 1940, to go to England to continue the fight. At the end of 1940 the Bretons made up 70% of the resistance while Brittany only comprises 7% of the French population. The resistance went on to attract more and more men and women, yet at the end of 1943, only six months before the Normandy landings, the Bretons still represented 40% of the Free French. This is not to forget the resistance in Brittany itself, a vast uprising of the whole people, which retained many German troops in the peninsula, for these, had they been allowed to reach the Normandy front, would have pushed the Allies back to sea. It is also thanks to the Bretons that France, whose authorities had massively collaborated with Nazi Germany from 1940 to 1944, could recover her honour. The brutal repression which was triggered after D-Day against all forms of Bretonness, seems all the more disgraceful. Bernard Le Nail

Bethesda Chapel, Georgetown, Merthyr Tydfil

Bethesda Chapel, Georgetown, Merthyr Tydfil
Joseph Parry worshipped in this chapel as a young boy before going "off to Philadelphia in the morning". One day I received a note from Margaret Roberts, Emrys's wife asking me to volunteer to help to clean it out, which I was happy to do. Later on John Jenkins had an office there and I used to go down to see him for a chat at lunch time."



Richard Trevithithick Commemorative Plate

Richard Trevithithick Commemorative Plate
2004 Bi- Centenary Limited Edition No. 110 out of 200, a gift to me from Llinos Davis representing the school

The first steam locomotive to run on rails in the world, Feb. 1804

The first steam locomotive to run on rails in the world, Feb. 1804
Designed by the children of Ysgol Santes Tudful, Merthyr Ty(u)dfi(u)l

Football Results, Surprise, Even The Welsh Championship

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Born Merthyr Tydfil, Cymru/Wales/Galles
Georgetown Infants,Queen's Rd.Infants, Penydarren Juniors, Cyfarthfa Grammar, Merthyr Tydfil
Sold ice-cream in Billy Smart's Circus, Merthyr Tydfil
Records clerk, Ebbw Vale Steelworks
Turner, Moss Gears, Merthyr Tydfil
Insurance salesman, Prudential, Merthyr Tydfil
Handyman, Castle Hotel, Merthyr Tydfil
Asst. Costermonger around the streets of Rhymni, Merthyr & Cwm Cynon Valley
Industrial painter, Mid-Glam C.C.
Storeman;night watchman;refuse collector;street cleaner;toilet attendant;brickie's,plasterer's,fitter's,
roofer's mate;Town Hall caretaker;General handyman, Rhydycar Leisure Centre,all with Merthyr Borough Council
Shop Steward;Political Ward Branch Secretary;Constituency Membership Secretary;National Delegate;Area Organiser Welsh Language;County Council Candidate;Election Agent, Borough Council;member of Merthyr Tydfil and Ebbw Vale Rugby Clubs;member of Gellifaelog Bowls Club;life-long supporter of Merthyr Tydfil F.C., founder member of extra mural Welsh classes; signed Merthyr's 'Visitors' Book' after Charles and Di; moved to Brittany in 1979, landlord of 'Tavarn Ty Elise';
voted in newspaper, person who comes to mind when one thinks of Brittany; more than one guide book refers to my Pub as an 'institution'; largest open air music festival in France conceived in my Bar. Helped to establish first 'Real Ale' micro-brewery in Brittany. Alan Stivell is my niece's godfather and my daughter's godmother is a daughter one of the 'Soeurs Gouadec';Yann Tiersen played in the pub;Jean-Claude Dreyfuss drank and acted in the pub for a video-clip.
For my Wedding, the Merthyr Express sent over its Chief Reporter Melanie Doel and her photographer boyfriend Robert Haines. Best Man to George & Marilyn Quirk; Usher to Mike & Rhiannon Jones. Pall-bearer to Erwan Kervella. Grandfather to Goulwen, Glen & Awena.