User talk:Owain/archive1

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Please explain who instituted these so-called Counties of Wales, then. I note none of them have particularly Welsh language sounding names. Thanks, Morwen 20:25, 4 Nov 2003 (UTC)

As it says on the page, they are a result of natural evolution. Six of the 13 evolved after 1282 from existing kingdoms, cantrefs and commotes, and the remaining 7 were created in 1535 from the Marcher Lordships. They don't have Welsh sounding names because this is the English-language version of Wikipedia. If you go to you can see that they all have Welsh names as well that are recommended by the National Library of Wales.
And those Marcher Lords you speak of, they were anglo-normans, right? And the act that created those remaining 7 was an act given authority by the english crown? Morwen 20:59, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Not necessarily. The Marcher Lords were generally local land owners who were exempt from direct crown control, certain taxes &c. This is why they were sympathetic to the crown. The Laws in Wales Act that created the final seven counties ensured that all burghers, citizens, &c were treated equally under the same laws, had the same acccess to courts, &c. Their areas were based on the lordships, and their creation welcomed by the people.

If you want to move a pages content, please use the 'move this page' facility - that's what its there for - you can then edit the redirect. The way you've done Denbighshire, you've lost the edit history and thus authorital credits. Morwen 12:18, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)

And I see you did it again after I requested you not. Morwen 12:31, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't read this before I'd already done it.

Just thought it might be worthwhile bringing to your attention the fact that an awful lot of the traditional counties of Scotland don't have articles about them. Morwen 16:38, 17 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I'll see if I can dig up anything!

Hello, you might want to have a look at the VFD discussion currently going on at MediaWiki:VfD-Lincolnshire_unneeded. A sufficient number of votes to save this page and move to Lincolnshire (traditional) would pave the way for similar articles on all the traditional Counties by consensus, which are most needed, given their generally appalling treatment in the current "all-in-one", primarily administrative county articles. 80.255 12:57, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)


As far as I'm aware, we do have a consensus, and you are ignoring it : even 80.255 has agreed to give primacy to administrative counties, as long as he gets to refer to the traditional ones in the present tense.

A question for you: do you support his position of rejecting the 1844 changes (exclave transfers)? Certainly I don't think it would be useful to have an article named Donisthorpe, Derbyshire, when the place has been considered part of Leicestershire for over 150 years.

In this case, I think we could have it at Newport, Wales, or why not just at Newport? I'll look into the sizes of the other ones. Morwen 12:58, May 14, 2004 (UTC)

As far as Exclave transfers are concerned my position is that places within such detached parts can be thought of as being in both the exclave and the surrounding county. This position is consistent with most literature I've seen on the subject. It does pose a problem for articles that need a specific title though. Regarding Newport, I believe the neatest naming convention would be 'place name, traditional county' - As I explained on the naming conventions page it means: One doesn't have to keep renaming as one would with administrative naming; It doesn't reduce the country to the same apparent status as a US state; It doesn't favour nationalists over unionists - especially important in the casr of places in Monmouthshire, which can't really be described as being in either England or Wales categorically. I think just Newport would suffice with the usual disambiguation notice. Newport, Mon is by far the biggest in the UK and the research I've done shows the biggest in the US to be in Rhode Island, at about 1/5 the size.
My take on that is that articles will need updating when local government changes happen anyway, even if we were to write this encyclopedia from an ABC-POV, so using traditional counties wouldn't really save us any work. And once every twenty or thirty years is hardly frequent.
The recent changing of the preserved counties of Wales borders was rather taking the piss though.
Yeah well the concept of Preserved counties is a little odd anyway. Why preserve local authority boundaries that have ceased to exist anyway? The uses that they are allegedly put to are toally unconnected. Making parliamentery constituencies fit in them I guess is fair enough, but why base Lieutenancies on them? The Scottish ones are almost all the same as the traditional counties - which makes a lot more sense... madness!! Owain 14:39, 14 May 2004 (UTC)
Ok, that's easily enough to move Newport there : which I shall do, with my super-sysop-powers-of-deleting-redirects-with-no-history-to-make-way-for-uncontroversial-moves. Yay for sensible compromises! Morwen 13:22, May 14, 2004 (UTC)

St Asaph[edit]

Do you know when that stopped being considered a city? (by the rest of the world - I undestand its residents have done no such thing) Morwen 15:03, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm guessing it was during various local government reorganisaions, either in 1888 or 1974, when it was spelled out in legislation that only cities with charters could style themselves as 'city council'. Before then the word 'city' wasn't officially part of the name of any municipal corporation. Owain 15:11, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Talking of Welshness…[edit]

Thought you might be interested in Wikipedia:Wikipedians/WalesOwenBlacker 00:42, Jun 18, 2004 (UTC)


Would you mind looking at User:Morwen/trad and telling me what you think? There is far too much "supporters say" and "critics say" stuff in the existing version, which doesn't make for a good article. Its probably not entirely NPOV but I have tried to avoid calling either general usage, or the traditionalists wrong. There are bits and pieces of info I haven't integrated, will do that before I merge. Morwen - Talk 09:49, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

That's much better! The present article seems like a slanging match which definitely detracts from the information. Owain 10:11, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I'm very glad you've said that :) Morwen - Talk 10:18, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Now, we obviously want text similar to this describing the traditional counties of Wales and Scotland. Question: should I attempt to pool the text into a general Traditional counties of Great Britain page, and just have the individual articles divert to that? Or are the issues different enough to not justify that? I'm thinking the latter - because in Scotland we don't get the dispute about the meaning of 'county' (forgetting Ross and Cromarty, and in Wales there was a total lack of continuity - whereas in comparison England was only subjected to minor twiddling. Morwen - Talk 10:32, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Tough one. Obviously the ABC's position is that the counties are a geographic framework across the whole of Britain, but you're right that there have been different local government changes in England, Scotland and Wales. I guess that could be explained quite succinctly in a paragraph or two on a Britain-wide page. That would then have the advantage of showing that the counties are Britain-wide, whereas separate pages could give the impression that they are different in England, Scotland and Wales as they are in the US.


Owain I would suggest you read the policy more carefully, it specifically states "we do not take the minority position that traditional counties still exist with their former boundaries".

It also says "Examples of acceptable things: Coventry is in the West Midlands, and within the traditional borders of Warwickshire" - I don't see how expanding on a stub article to include extra information that is explicitly stated by the policy is somehow 'wrong' all of a sudden. Owain 08:19, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I have already had a similar argument with User:80.255 at Shipston-on-Stour about this. If you dont like the present policy then I suggest you raise it at the talk page, but whilst we have it, you cannot simply ignore it because you dont like it. G-Man 22:42, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I have not once removed information that was already there about the current administrative arrangements, simply added extra information. What could possibly be wrong with that? Owain 08:19, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I really dont have the energy to have an argument with you, suffice to say that your selective interpretation of the policy is certainly not what I or any of the people who voted for it take it as meaning. However if you insist upon adding traditional counties, could you word it something like, "originally part of the county of X" instead of "in the traditional county of X", as this is less confusing for the average reader. G-Man 00:02, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Less confusing? That would make it more confusing! We already have pages on traditional counties, so what would be achieved by removing useful cross-referencing from articles? In any case your wording is factually incorrect. Look at Encyclopædia Britannica - they never once use the phrase 'former'. Owain 08:08, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

No, your wording gives endorsement to the POV that traditional counties still exist, which itself is a controversial matter of debate. I could just about live with " X place is in Powys but by tradition part of Denbieghshire" (if this is relevant) but that's about as far as I would be prepared to compromise. G-Man 18:57, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Excuse me for butting in...
"Secondly, the Government propose that 21 unitary authorities should be established in Wales. The areas of these are set out in detail in the White Paper. The large towns of Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Wrexham will all be served by unitary authorities, as will traditional counties such as Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire and Anglesey" The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. David Hunt MP) [1]
Interesting wording, isn't it; the traditional counties (that are there - implied existence) will be served by the new unitary authorities!
"I shall certainly press the new Powys authority to establish a committee for each of the historic counties of Montgomeryshire, Breconshire and Radnorshire so as to maintain the political identity of the traditional counties within Powys." Ibid.
And you can't maintain the political identity of something that doesn't exist!
Or perhaps you think the The Secretary of State for Wales holds a "minority opinion" when he makes official government statements during parliamentary questions?
80.255 10:03, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to mention that I've added to the discussion on the St Ives talk page, please read it and comment if you wish. I have not reverted your latest change, but I'd like you to reconsider carefully and put the wording back as it was prior to your latest revert. Thanks. Chris Jefferies 16:14, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

UK geography WikiProject[edit]

The WikiProject I briefly discussed yesterday is now up at Wikipedia:WikiProject UK geography (after some thought I felt it worth splitting) if you're still interested. Joe D (t) 11:23, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Cardiff lead section[edit]

Hi Owain. I've put a note on the Cardiff talk page, perhaps you might read it and undo your recent revert. Thanks Chris Jefferies 28 June 2005 15:44 (UTC)

I'd appreciate it if you'd avoid splitting up my contributions on the Cardiff and other talk pages. To avoid confusion it's important that talk page topics stay in chronological sequence. Thanks Chris Jefferies 1 July 2005 11:35 (UTC)

I'm copying your latest reply to me on Talk:Swansea and adding my response below.

A bunch of people agreeing with that statement does not make it a fact! If it was true, then Wikipedia would not have separate articles on Traditional counties of England for example, which, referring to local government acts, states "it did not formally abolish the 'ancient and geographic' counties. Furthermore, it is questionable whether Parliament could abolish many of them, given that many were not created by Parliamentary bill or Royal edicts, and, as such, could be argued to have an "untouchable" Common Law existence". Owain 1 July 2005 11:07 (UTC)
Voting is acceptable on issues such as layout and ordering, classification, etc. but not on defining what is right and wrong! There is ample evidence on Wikipedia itself to dismiss this one-size-fits-all approach, not to mention Government statements. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (places): "This page is fledgling. It shouldn't yet be thought of as final". Even if I were to accept the validity of determining facts by popular vote (which logicaly is nonsense), the policy has been edited after it had been voted on! Owain 1 July 2005 11:07 (UTC)
Feel free to re-open the debate on the Naming conventions page if you want, but I'm not actually breaking the conventions, I'm using the exact wording suggested there. Your continual reverting of the page seems to be based on your opinion that you want the traditional county information hidden away from the first paragraph. A policy of including it there which is good enough for Encyclopaedia Britannica and doesn't contravene the naming conventions of Wikipedia is not good enough for Chris Jefferies. I'm sorry, but that is not sufficient reason. Owain 1 July 2005 11:07 (UTC)

I think everyone knows that a vote doesn't create facts. On Wikipedia what it creates is an agreed position, a policy, a guideline; everyone is supposed to abide by these agreements whether they voted for them or against. A vote is second best to a consensus.

And as for the separate articles on traditional counties - that too is a serious breach of policy! You cannot use one breach to 'prove' another one right. The policy states,

'Articles about counties should not be split up and should not be disambiguation pages. They should treat the counties as one entity which has changed its boundaries with time. We should not take the minority position that they still exist with the former boundaries. We should mention that this position exists, especially on pages like Yorkshire and Middlesex.'

I am not talking about separate individual county articles with disambiguation pages, I am talking about separate articles such as Traditional counties of England, Ceremonial counties of England, Administrative counties of England. That clearly makes a mockery of the "one entity which has changed its boundaries with time" policy. Owain 1 July 2005 14:59 (UTC)

It seems to me that you are determined to flout, distort, misread, and if possible ignore the Wikipedia policies and conventions concerning British county names. And that is what is unacceptable.

HOW? I have used the EXACT wording from the policy! Owain 1 July 2005 14:59 (UTC)

It is not for you, Owain, to declare whether a vote is unacceptable. It was decided long ago that where Wikipedians cannot reach a consensus, one acceptable way forward is to formulate a policy and vote on it. Chris Jefferies 1 July 2005 14:07 (UTC)

I have nothing against votes per se, just that using a vote to determine facts is logical nonsense. Wikipedia already contains evidence that more than one entity exists that can reasonably assumed to be called a 'county' - see the three articles I linked above. To have that and then have a policy saying "there is only one definition of county" is farcical. Owain 1 July 2005 14:59 (UTC)

UK geography COTM[edit]

Hi all, July's collaboration of the month is Northumberland, which needs quite a lot more work than last month's. I've listed some basic places to start on Talk:Northumberland, and will get to work looking up the statistics this week. (If you're not interested in further COTM updates, amend your listing in the table on WP:UK geo.) Joe D (t) 30 June 2005 22:59 (UTC)

List of towns in Wales[edit]

Thanks for reverting the vandalism to this page. I note that although you said you were re-adding Ystrad Mynach, it's not appeared on the page. I'd encourage you not to do so. The question is really of the definition of a town. Casual references to Ystrad Mynach are split between describing it as a village and as a town. However, it has no town council, no market and no town hall. A search on Google for Ystrad-Mynach-town, returns only five hits, in contrast to hundreds or thousands for recognised towns. Warofdreams 14:03, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

OK, We'd better revise the Ystrad Mynach article itself then. Owain 18:26, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Pretentious, Moi![edit]

I was shocked to see your slur against those educated souls who use 'an' before a H. It is not pretentious at all, indeed it is more accurate (H may not be listed as a vowel in the "Ladybird Book of English", but several of the myriad of sounds it makes are) and sounds better. Compare by saying: "a historic" and "an historic", the former sounds stilted and decidedly primary-school, the second flows and sounds erudite. OK- so it doesn't work all the time (e.g. with 'hospital') but in an encyclopædia (as should happen in real life) good (and good-sounding) English should be encouraged, NOT declared as pretentious or snobby! Dan 16:41, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Well yes, some words begin with a silent 'h', but I'm not sure 'historic' is one of them. To me 'an historic' doesn't exactly trip off the tongue either. Each to his or her own, I suppose! Owain 18:56, 27 July 2005 (UTC)