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Monday, October 25, 1999 Published at 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK

UK: Wales

Memorial to lost community a 'monstrosity'

Capel Celyn was drowned when the Tryweryn reservoir was built

A retired teacher has hit out at plans to build a memorial to a community drowned by a reservoir.

The village of Capel Celyn was lost forever when the Tryweryn valley, near Bala in Gwynedd, was flooded in the 1960's by the Liverpool Corporation, to provide drinking water for the city.

John Lewis Jones, 85, who lives at Gwernymynydd near Mold, has branded the proposed sculpture an "alien monstrosity".

The 28 ft-high memorial depicts a bird rising from the lake, above a row of anguished faces.

[ image: Local sculptor John Meirion Morris]
Local sculptor John Meirion Morris
Mr Jones, who was a pupil at Capel Celyn School, claimed most of the relatives of the villagers were against the new memorial.

He believes the sculpture resembles Liverpool's "Liver Birds" and asking the Merseyside council for a donation would add insult to injury.

His uncle, Dafydd Roberts, was chairman of the Capel Celyn defence committee 40 years ago and Mr Jones' relatives are buried in the cemetery at the bottom of the lake.

Mr Jones feared that the idea was being promoted by outsiders.

He said a slate or stone memorial listing the names of the houses and farms lost would be more appropriate for future generations.

The Tryweryn Memorial Fund has launched a national appeal to raise money for the art work by local sculptor John Meirion Morris.

They believe the "breathtaking" memorial would also reflect confidence in a new Wales.

"I know visitors go to the lake and think it is lovely. But when you have lost a local Welsh community, one which was rich in Welsh culture, then the pain is always there," said Mr Jones.

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