Welsh village's plans to change name from Varteg to Farteg are ditched after residents feared they would be ridiculed

  • Due to 'overwhelming' opposition name will not be changed
  • Councillor hails decision as a 'victory for common sense'
  • Welsh language activists said Farteg would have been more authentic

By Chris Pleasance

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Council plans to change the name of Welsh village Varteg to Farteg have been dropped due to 'overwhelming' public opposition.

Welsh language campaigners had argued the name change was necessary because there is no 'v' in ancient Welsh.

However the 1,000 villagers protested, arguing that the name Farteg would make them the butt of schoolboy jokes, as people unfamiliar with the nuances of Welsh pronunciation would say it as 'Fart Egg'.

Due to 'overwhelming' opposition, plans to rename Welsh village Varteg as Farteg have been dropped

Due to 'overwhelming' opposition, plans to rename Welsh village Varteg as Farteg have been dropped

Welsh language campaigners argued that Farteg would be more accurate as there was no 'v' in ancient Welsh

Welsh language campaigners argued that Farteg would be more accurate as there was no 'v' in ancient Welsh

After receiving a letter with 150 signatures opposing the plans, local councillor Richard Clark agreed that the new name could bring the town and villagers into 'disrepute'.

He added: 'Whilst we in Wales understand the pronunciation, outsiders will say it Fart-egg.'

 

The change was asked for because most Welsh street signs display place names in both English and Welsh.

At the time Sioned Jones, 42, who lives in the village near Pontypool, South Wales, said: 'Just imagine how embarrassing it will be to have the word "fart" in your village's name - never mind being followed by "egg".

The 1,000 residents opposed because they were worried that outsiders would pronounce it 'Fart Egg'

The 1,000 residents opposed because they were worried that outsiders would pronounce it 'Fart Egg'

Local councillor Giles Davies has hailed the decision as a 'victory for common sense'

Local councillor Giles Davies has hailed the decision as a 'victory for common sense'

'I'd be humiliated every time I told someone my address. Everyone will be laughing at us and coming to get photographed next to the street signs.

'I just think it's ridiculous - these Welsh language campaigners are a lot of gasbags, they’re full of hot air.'

Fellow villager Ray Leyshon, 62, said: 'Can you imagine the bus going past and some naughty schoolboy shouting: "You are going to Fart Egg". It is just a bad joke.'

Following the decision to keep the name Varteg, councillor Giles Davies hailed a victory for 'common sense.'

Speaking to the BBC, he added: 'It's one thing for an outsider to say they have got to do it, it's the law, but if you live in the village and you don't want this change it's a different story.'

SLACK BOTTOM TO SHITTERTON: BRITAIN'S UNFORTUNATE PLACE NAMES

While the villagers of Varteg may have narrowly escaped the humiliation of being called 'Fart Egg' by passersby, spare a thought for the residents of these unfortunately named places.

Sitting between Dorchester and Poole, the hamlet of Shitterton has been voted as officially the most embarrasing place to live by ancestry website www.findmypast.co.uk.

The tiny hamlet gets its unfortunate name from a literal translation from French, which meant it sat astride a sewer.

It is probably best not to speculate as to how Slack Bottom, near Burnley got its name, though it could just be an unfortunate counterpart to the nearby Slack Top.

Schoolboy taunts could also be levelled at places such as Upperthong, in West Yorkshire, Bushy Gap, in Northumberland, and Fannyfield in the Scottish highlands.

The town of Sandy Balls misses out on the dubious accolade of most appropriate place name, because it is sadly at the wrong end of the New Forest, and therefore not next to the beach.



The comments below have not been moderated.

Varteg is an anglicised approximation but it has no meaning. I too am from Varteg and the people who shouted loudest about keeping it as the English version were not from this area...no prizes for guessing their previous place of residence. Yes there were some locals against the change but they were generally just following the braying pack. I am totally in favour of y Farteg (which means 'the horse fair' by the way) as for you scouse 55 next time I see you face to face I will tell you exactly what I think of your dimwittedness. Farteg fawr is the proper name of the hill, and was recorded as varteg fawr because like most English cartographers, they changed the spelling like they did for places all over Wales.

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So what happens next, visits in the night from balaclava clad Welsh language zealots brandishing brushes paint pots ??

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I have had a shock at the amount of up votes certain comments have had criticising the amount of money spent on welsh. If it wasn't for the english introducing the welsh not we wouldn't have to pump millions in to the language every year in order to secure its long term future. The welsh language is a very sad story of how a neighbouring country decided to basically get rid of it all together. But it is still here, and just like how Wales still exists as a country, the language will always live. Fe godwn ni eto.

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Eryr, chance would be a fine thing, but don't buy into that myth - believe me, nobody is "pumping millions in" to Welsh, so please don't say so. We spend a tiny amount compared to any other nation with more than one language, and Welsh was still worlds away from receiving anything like a proportionate allocation of either resources or service provision even before the recent swingeing cuts. A Welsh language service costs no more to provide than an equivalent English language one - it simply requires recruiting appropriately skilled people. A Welsh school costs no more to run than an English one - in fact they learn the exact same curriculum in the same way, but through the medium of Welsh. Welsh speakers don't need translators, only those who don't speak Welsh, so I'd argue translation isn't down to us either.

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Do inhabitants of Wales speak Welsh? In true tribute to their ancestry perhaps they should also remove all windows, since there is no original word for that either.

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2 of 3 repliesSee all replies

YOU TOOK TIME OUT TO WRITE THAT INANE COMMENT USA....LOOK UP THE WORD FOR WINDOWS IN WELSH.

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What an ignoramus! harding j58 is! Pillock!

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As a resident of Varteg, I am sick of the pressure by Cymdaithas to force their language on everything in Wales It has been doing this for some years, but now, having done all the major places, not with a great deal of success as few in Wales call the major sites by their Cymraeg title. Cardiff is still Cardiff, not Caerdydd, Swansea stays Swansea and not Abertawe, no matter what the road signs say, so it now hits on the places where people stubbornly retain the name they are used to. But we fought back. They claim there is no 'V' in Cymraeg , so why has a small place near to Penarth known as Court Vil in Saes, gained it's Cymraeg name of Cwrt y Vil.? Strarnge eh, that our village name should be altered, yet that village retains a 'V' in it's Cymraeg name. Behind my house the mountain is called, Varteg Fawr, makes no sense of the claim that those cartographers who wrote down those names when mapping the area were ignorant semi educated English.

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It is due to people in Wales like you that the language is under threat. You say that few in wales call place names by their Cymraeg name. I hope you realise that those few are the few that are welsh people who speak the national language, and the one's who still have pride over their country. The inhabitants of Y Farteg are no more welsh than Betty Windsor.

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Well said Y Eryr Edwards (like the pun by the way). Scouse you are an ill educated dimwit. V does not exist in the modern Welsh lexicon. Varteg is nothing more than an anglicised version. The Welsh maintains the original meaning and the reason you didn't find 'far' in the Welsh dictionary is because of the mutation of m into f due to it following the word 'y' (the). Then you need to look up 'march' which means horse which has been shortened to mar. That is the beauty of bilingualism, it opens your mind up to different views of the world rather than the myopia that being limited to just one language brings. I highly recommend it , it helps to develop a capacity to think in a cogent and informed way.

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Why not call it Trumpton?

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The villagers of Wark in Northumberland often fall foul of local wits with marker pens.

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Glad this is not now happening. But just think about the money spent on arguing over it that could have been spent on the failed welsh NHS or education. Stop this ridiculous obsession with "welshifying" everything and spent that money on the people and children who need it.

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Scunthorpe ?

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2 of 4 repliesSee all replies

Who put it in there ?

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Spare a thought for the good folk of a town in Austria, whose signs regularly get stolen as souvenirs. Its name is too rude to print in an English language newspaper.....a form of the f-word!

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When I went to junior school in Wales, we used to chant a song in the playground: Welsh is a dead language, as dead as it can be, it's killing all the welsh folk and now it's killing me. Actually, I think it is a valuable part of Welsh culture, AS LONG AS THE FANATICS DON'T TRY AND RAM IT DOWN OUR THROATS!

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how many years ago was that then,,, was that in ww11 when english teachers came down to teach the evacuees and because they coudnt understand the language kids [my father was caned and hit[ we will hit out of them].IS THAT WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT IAN....

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Nice bit of parochial Welshness (look it up, Valley's boy), plenty English towns with far more embarrassing names - in their own language! - but poor little Wales-ers can't cope with the thought of pride taking precedence over schoolboy jokes.

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