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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
No tears from Sir Dai's neighbours
Sir Dai Llewellyn's house
Sir Dai Llewellyn agrees that his back yard is not pretty
Neighbours of the baronet who has blamed nationalism, xenophobia and vandalism for his decision to leave Wales say they are not sorry to see him go.

People living near Sir Dai Llewellyn criticised the piles of rubbish in his garden and his attack on the way the Welsh language is promoted.

Sir Dai announced that he would never return to Wales after complaining about theft and damage at six former miners' cottages he owns, as well as "bully-boy" tactics forcing children to learn Welsh.

The socialite also claimed there was no longer a welcome in the hillsides for someone like him due to a growing dislike in Wales of outsiders.

But people in the south Wales villages of Aberbeeg and nearby Llanhilleth said he would not be missed.

He ought to be ashamed of himself
Neighbour Graham Watkins

Sir Dai, the son of Aberdare-born Olympic gold medallist Sir Harry Llewellyn, had bought a house in Aberbeeg, although most of his time was spent in his other home in the upmarket Mayfair area of London.

He also invested in the cottages in Llanhilleth, but said they had been vandalised and targeted by thieves.

Sir Dai Llewellyn
Sir Dai says he tried to keep a low profile in Aberbeeg

Sir Dai has said he will not be returning to Wales, attacking what he claimed was a new type of xenophobic nationalism.

He also said the promotion of the Welsh language was part of "an unhealthy and essentially racist agenda".

His next-door neighbour in Woodlands Terrace, Aberbeeg, former post mistress Hazel Robinson, 78, said nobody was particularly impressed when Sir Dai bought his three-bedroomed house.

"It was always pretty good without him," she laughed.

Rita Boucher, who lives next door, told BBC Radio Wales that Sir Dai's roof guttering letting the wet into her house.

The Welsh language is a wonderful addition to our country's culture...but the children of Wales would be much better off if it were not a core subject
Sir Dai Llewellyn

She was also upset about the "eyesore" in his back yard, piled high with rubbish, including a bike and old chairs, and boxes.

Another neighbour, steelworker Graham Watkins, said the garden was a mess, encouraging vermin and devaluing other properties.

Mr Watkins also criticised Sir Dai's comments on the language.

'Rather strange'

"There's no need for that," he said. "To call himself Welsh, he ought to be ashamed of himself."

Sir Dai told Good Morning Wales that he liked his neighbours, although they probably found him "rather strange".

"I don't expect them to be impressed by people with titles and people throwing their weight around, which I really have tried not to do there," he said.

"I drove a little old beaten-up car and tried to be as low-profile as possible, and I really was not showing off in any way."

But he agreed that the mess in his garden "didn't look pretty". He said there was not enough room in his home for the "pile of stuff" and promised it would be sorted out.

Sir Dai also insisted that this issue was separate to his views on nationalism and the Welsh language.

"I have long held the belief that the Welsh language is a wonderful addition to our country's culture," he said, "but I still believe that the children of Wales would be much better off if it were not a core subject and made compulsory to learn".

Baronet attacks 'xenophobia'
16 Jun 03  |  Wales


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