Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 15:04 UK

Village drops the 't' out of name

Llansanffraid is in north Powys, about eight miles from Welshpool

What's in a name? In the case of a Powys village it is a letter "t", which a council says should not be there.

Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain has been spelt with a t since the mid-19th Century, but the letter has now been dropped, on road signs anyway.

Powys Council said the Welsh spelling of Llansanffraid, which dates back 400 years, would now take precedence.

Llansantffraid, near Welshpool, means Church of St Bridget in English and ym-Mechain dates to medieval times.

They mistakenly thought that my business was based in Llansantffraed, near Brecon - nearly a two-hour drive away
Llansantffraid businessman Peter Condliffe

Kim Langley of The Sun Hotel is hoping the alteration will not lead to confusion.

"I've lived in the village for 12 years without ever hearing of the old spelling," she said.

Powys Council said when English and Welsh place names sounded the same but were spelt differently, the Welsh version was shown only on its new road signs.

Villagers supporting Powys Council's decision said there were several Llansantffraids in Wales, and this confused people.

There is one in Ceredigion spelt the same and another in south Powys, near Brecon, spelt Llansantffraed, but it is pronounced the same way.

Peter Condliffe, who owns the Station Grill restaurant in Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain, said: "A consultancy firm based eight miles away in Welshpool once took three days to get here.

The Sun Hotel, Llansanffraid
Kim Langley of The Sun Hotel hopes the change will not lead to confusion

"They mistakenly thought that my business was based in Llansantffraed, near Brecon - nearly a two-hour drive away."

"Anything that helps improve communication is a good thing, but I also believe in sticking to tradition and the old Welsh spelling should be recognised."

A spokesman for Powys Council said Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain had been acknowledged as the correct spelling for the community since about 1600.

"On our highway signs, where the English and Welsh names for the same location are similar, the Welsh version only will be shown.

"Roads signs that come to the end of their working life will be replaced and the correct spelling will be used."

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