Shropshire Star

Happy St Dwynwen’s Day! Shropshire MP helps celebrate border town's ‘unique bilingual culture’

A Welsh language store in Oswestry received a visit from the MP for North Shropshire in a celebration of St Dwynwen’s Day.

Oswestry BID Manager Adele Nightingale with MP Helen Morgan and owner of Siop Cwlwm, Lowri Roberts

North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan marked St Dwynwen’s Day by celebrating the Oswestry area’s unique bilingual heritage, with a visit to Welsh language Siop Cwlwm on Bailey Street.

Siop Cwlwm is an independent family business, specialising in books, cards, music and gifts.

Shop owner Lowri Roberts is a keen advocate for the Welsh language and its heritage in Oswestry and the Welsh Marches, helping children in the area learn Welsh and access Welsh medium education.

The MP visited as part of a tour of high street businesses in the town, and has praised the work done by the shop’s team to preserve and promote Oswestry’s bilingual heritage.

Lowri Roberts said: “At Siop Cwlwm we’re passionate about promoting the Welsh culture that has existed in Oswestry since the birth of the town.

"A key example is St Dwynwen’s Day on January 25: this is the Welsh equivalent of Valentine's Day. Our selection of St Dwynwen's Day cards and gifts are always in demand.

“With its border location, for countless years Oswestry has been the shopping and cultural hub for many Welsh towns and villages.

"There is also an established and strong Welsh community within the town.

“The demand for Welsh medium education is on the increase for Oswestry children, which will be key to protecting and developing Oswestry’s unique and historical bilingual culture.”

Helen Morgan said: “The market towns across North Shropshire have an incredibly rich heritage, with the mix of Welsh and English history we have in Oswestry serving as just one of many examples.

“Many residents have told me of their memories of hearing Welsh on market day, and how the town acted as a real hub of trade for the Welsh Marches countryside stretching over the border into Montgomeryshire and Clwyd.

“It is great to hear that the St Dwynwen’s Day cards are flying off the shelf at Siop Cwlwm – a real testament to how important and well-received the work being done to keep that history alive is.

“Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus!”