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Welsh Not
In 19th Century Wales, over 70 % of the population spoke only Welsh, and the London government of the day saw this as a major threat, so concerned were they that they undertook cultural genocide. And one sad consequence of the 1847 education report was that all education was to be in English only.

Any child that was caught speaking Welsh in school was forced to wear a wooden plaque around their necks, with W. N. carved on it, they were made to stand in front of the class and be humiliated and belittled by the teachers, the last child of the day to wear the plaque was given a severe beating.

Whole families left the country for America, Canada, Patagonia and Australia to get away from this and other tyrannies, as these countries, gave them the freedom they sought.

This wicked practice died a death after a few years, as the teachers themselves refused to continue with this barbarous act.

Gwenno my six year old Granddaughter was the model here, and this image is part of an exhibition that will be touring the country this year, it's about this part of our history that a lot of people have never heard of, or wish to forget.

To get her to look like this, I photographed her first thing in the morning before she brushed her hair. The light came from a north-facing window, with a reflector to her right.
The hardest part was hiding her smiling face, as she thought it was all great fun.

F3.5, 1/40 sec, Lens @ 55 mm, ISO 250. No filter.
Toned it in Photoshop, and used the blur tool around the edges.

Please view…Large…if you can.

P.S. If you Google “Welsh Not” images, you’ll see the original shot that I took three years ago for a web page.

Hope you like it, and many thanks for your comments and clicks on my last upload.

Hope you have a great weekend, Regards Tony

Camera:Nikon D200 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:Nikkor 17-55 F2.8 zoom Check out Nikon Nation!
Recording media:Extreme III
Title:W. N.
Username:rhiw_com rhiw_com
Uploaded:19 Jan 2007 - 7:09 PM
Tags:Black & white, Photo journalism, Portraits / people
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Votes:124

Comments

chrissd
chrissd  8304 forum posts United Kingdom
19 Jan 2007 - 7:15 PM

have never heard of this despicable behaviour and me being half welsh by birth, how aweful must that have been, your daughter personifies it perfectly, an excellent image and a lesson to us all, thank you
chris

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Maddie
Maddie  92714 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 7:18 PM

interesting story, im glad they changed thier rules in the end. The picture shows well this piece of history.

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TheImagepoint
19 Jan 2007 - 7:20 PM

what a very interesting story and image...quality at its best...thanks for sharing this...

alex

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graceland
graceland  92378 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 7:21 PM

Thanks for showing us this and telling the info ,
Can i copy you Info there for another site ,not picture !!

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Sezz
Sezz e2 Member 9617 forum postsSezz vcard England15 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 7:22 PM

A poignant reminder Tony and very well taken. Thanks for sharing the history.

Sez Smile

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NevP
NevP  9853 forum posts Canada13 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 7:37 PM

A technically beautiful shot, the toning is up with the best I have seen, gorgeous light.

A sad piece of history, like so much of history. It seems that ignorance and prejudice endure no matter what. Who said "history is just philosophy with examples"?

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redstag
redstag e2 Member 8100 forum postsredstag vcard United Kingdom14 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 7:42 PM

Fascinating image, even more fascinating description. Lucky you to have a willing vict, er I mean model.

Out of interest does your grand daughter speak Welsh?

Jon

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elkiebrooks
19 Jan 2007 - 7:49 PM

A striking image with striking words.

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rhiw_com
rhiw_com  8
19 Jan 2007 - 7:51 PM

Many thanks for your brilliant comments.

Yes Jon, Welsh is her first language, and it is for 85% of the Llyn peninsula population, including myself.

All the very best, Tony

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Malc_V
Malc_V  8 England
19 Jan 2007 - 7:54 PM

Brilliant image, great work, and well done to your grand daughter too.

Very interesting write up.

Malc.

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redstag
redstag e2 Member 8100 forum postsredstag vcard United Kingdom14 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 8:01 PM

Wish I could congratulate you on your superb shot in your native tongue!
A wonderful shot. And along with Big Brother another reason to be a little ashamed of being English!
All the best
Jon

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kitsch
kitsch  8431 forum posts United Kingdom4 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 8:06 PM

interesting shot and narrative

very well done
jo

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chris-p
chris-p e2 Member 864 forum postschris-p vcard England
19 Jan 2007 - 8:11 PM

Fascinating..well produced and excecuted
Chris

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starliz
starliz  101594 forum posts England3 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 8:11 PM

a very sad bit of our history,thanks I had never heard of this before,a very effective image,wonderful shot.

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rhiw_com
rhiw_com  8
19 Jan 2007 - 8:19 PM

Many thanks Jon (Redstag).

In no way is this a dig at England or it's people, these atrocities happened over a hundred and fifty years ago, and I doubt that many in England, or any other civilized country would be party to this kind of behavior today.

I've tried to convey in this image, what the child was going through, when she was standing all alone, maybe only seconds before she was punished in front her class mates.

"History is a window on the past, and a lesson for today and the future".

Thanks for all your brilliant comments.

Regards Tony

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chase
chase Critique Team 91118 forum postschase vcard England239 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 8:24 PM

A sad story Tony which the image depicts very well.
Janet

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rontear
rontear e2 Member 11rontear vcard England4 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 8:37 PM

Evocative image, linking the past( in most cases our governments want to forget they have a lot of blood on their hands!). Another incident we knew nothing about. Great sentiment Tony. Ron.

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phototime
phototime  8 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2007 - 8:57 PM

A great bit of history Tony and a great image.


Mo.

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pmorgan
pmorgan  7217 forum posts England13 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 9:09 PM

A very Poignant shot Tony, as always expertly captured, and message very well conveyed.

Rgds
Paul

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taggart
taggart e2 Member 1042 forum poststaggart vcard United States12 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 9:11 PM

I love this picture and your description brought a small memory to mind-- My husband was a University English professor-- a great deal was made or using correct "English" and sentence formations. The children seemd to be doing alright with this-- but I was very carefully told by their lady school bus driver that --the very minute they stepped on the bus, they slid seamlessly into "Valley Talk"-- the local lingo which is a language unto itself--- I am afraid THEY would have gotten a placque to wear had they tried such at home-- All very funny now !.

thanks for the memory!

Jennnnnnnn

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rhiw_com
rhiw_com  8
19 Jan 2007 - 9:24 PM

Many thanks, Janet, Ron, Mo, Paul and Jenn, for your comments, very much appreciated.

Regards Tony

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LisaRose
LisaRose  7172 forum posts United States4 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 9:45 PM

What an amazing photo with great impact. Thanks for the history a long with it. Powerful picture.

Lisa

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Glynn
Glynn  81169 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 9:46 PM

Tony,

Very powerful image and thanks for the narrative my friend, it makes you stop and think.

Glynn

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Nigel_95
Nigel_95 e2 Member 8260 forum postsNigel_95 vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 10:01 PM

I had never heard of this before Tony. No doubt it is history that it was convenient not to teach us. I know it is mainly only spoken in North Wales, but I am glad your language is kept alive. Long may it be so.

Nigel

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John_Humphreys
19 Jan 2007 - 10:29 PM

Uimhir a 30! John

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Buffalo_Tom
Buffalo_Tom e2 Member 82322 forum postsBuffalo_Tom vcard Wales9 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jan 2007 - 11:20 PM

Super story Tony and it is good that these acts are discussed and brought to the attention of the populace.Great picture to accompany the story.
Tom.

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Possum
Possum  7148 forum posts England
19 Jan 2007 - 11:28 PM

Tony, this is just fantastic, not just for the shot but for the piece of (shaming) history attached to it. The way you've portrayed it in the image with her head hanging down is simply perfect.
Allie

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caotiquemind
20 Jan 2007 - 2:08 AM

Strong description but realist.
Like a lot the composition and narrative.
Really fantastic work.

Noe

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GregorP
GregorP  9 Slovenia
20 Jan 2007 - 3:20 AM

Nice story and lovely shot! Well done!

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Mavis
Mavis e2 Member 12143 forum postsMavis vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jan 2007 - 8:12 AM

A very interesting story Brian and a lovely portrait .
My Sister-in-Law lives at Llantwit Major and she played a part in the learning of Welsh in the local School

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Slaterm
Slaterm  8496 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jan 2007 - 9:10 AM

History is a fickle thing Tony - strange to think that when Edwaed Longshanks had suppressed the Scots, the Welsh almost took most of England! At least welsh language and culture is growing strong again. Seems just as English culture seems to be on slide (Big Brother) and the language has been butchered!

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TelStar
TelStar  9116 forum posts United Kingdom
20 Jan 2007 - 10:05 AM

Beautiful shot and an excellent reminder of historical prejudice and educational ineptitude.

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Jou©o
Jou©o  1056 forum posts Finland
20 Jan 2007 - 2:26 PM

an EC in my eyes!

Jouko

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A Booth
A Booth e2 Member 12A Booth vcard United Kingdom4 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jan 2007 - 3:08 PM

superb lighting and contrast captured on this young model.

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Alfoto
Alfoto  7 Wales
20 Jan 2007 - 3:27 PM

Beautiful image Tony - Great narrative to this powerful photograph. Da iawn.
Alfie.

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ChristineD
ChristineD e2 Member 8ChristineD vcard England
20 Jan 2007 - 3:44 PM

Excellent portrait with beautiful tones.
Christine

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kinfatric
kinfatric  9550 forum posts Scotland9 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jan 2007 - 4:25 PM

what a great subject and shot, really well done with a superb description.

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BertC
BertC  729 forum posts Malta
20 Jan 2007 - 4:40 PM

Interesting story and a technically superb shot, the toning is excellent as is the light.
Fantastic Tony !

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UserRemoved
20 Jan 2007 - 7:00 PM

Lovely shot Tony,the toning gives it the appearance of a mid 19th century picture and the fact that Gwenno's face is obscured by her hair gives it a sense of mystery.
Superbly handled subject.
John

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MalcolmS
MalcolmS e2 Member 91067 forum postsMalcolmS vcard England13 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jan 2007 - 7:28 PM

Great comment Tony, that's two things I've learnt tonight. Never heard of this so thanks for the information.

Looks well in sepia, can't get away from the image of your granddaughter chuckling away under her hair

Malcolm

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TerryBaxter
20 Jan 2007 - 7:31 PM

This is one of the most striking images of this month, Tony. It's also why we have to stand up and be counted. Thankyou for your kind comments, also.

sincere regards, Terry.

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Chant57
Chant57 e2 Member 8371 forum postsChant57 vcard United Kingdom3 Constructive Critique Points
20 Jan 2007 - 10:26 PM

An excellent informative narrative Tony, and a wonderful image to accompany it. Super tones, and detail. A very striking thought provoking image.
C

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rhiw_com
rhiw_com  8
21 Jan 2007 - 8:43 AM

Of all the images that I have in my portfolio, I think the comments on this one are by far the most interesting and heartwarming. Apart from showing me what a great bunch of people there are on EPZ, It shows quite clearly that none of you took offence, at what could have been a very provocative image and description.

If I had uploaded this without the graphic description, hardly anyone would know what it was about, and it took me quite a while to choose my words carefully, as not to offend, or make anyone feel uneasy.

I apologise for not being around the last couple of days, but the flu bug has hit me quite hard, and I'm feeling very much under the weather.

Regards to you all, Tony

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TerryBaxter
21 Jan 2007 - 8:58 AM

Reckon you're right, sir. Get well soon!

Regards, Terry.

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KKmoments
KKmoments  8 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2007 - 10:40 AM

What a super model your grandaughter is.... brilliant pose and love the tones to create the perfect image of the past.... coupled with the description is a beauty. I've never heard of Welsh Not so it made for a fascinating read as well as view... superb work.
Karen

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glenalva
glenalva e2 Member 8324 forum postsglenalva vcard Scotland
21 Jan 2007 - 10:59 AM

I think this is stunning work Tony. I had never heard of this before, and it was fascinating to read the history behind your image, (feel so sad for the poor little mites though).

Ali

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daffydill56
21 Jan 2007 - 11:27 AM

A very striking image Tony, and an interesting read too.

Fran

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bliba
bliba  8 Austria2 Constructive Critique Points
21 Jan 2007 - 2:48 PM

nice to see some portraitwork...excellent and the discription also


ollie

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Elwin
Elwin  7
21 Jan 2007 - 3:43 PM

Lovely work Tony.
Good backstory.

Emlyn

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sunshot
sunshot  9 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2007 - 5:13 PM

a very intresting story tony,excellent work well done.

marc.

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JimV
JimV  8 Canada3 Constructive Critique Points
22 Jan 2007 - 2:27 AM

Excellent work! You have conveyed a piece of history wonderfully here Tony, both with the camera and the written word. Much the same was happening in Scotland at that time with the Gaelic language.
Rgds., Jim

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AlanBW
AlanBW  8 England
22 Jan 2007 - 8:21 AM

Cracking image with a great pose and superb toning, as well as a fascinating (and disturbing) piece of social history

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Hanners
Hanners e2 Member 8875 forum postsHanners vcard Ireland10 Constructive Critique Points
22 Jan 2007 - 11:24 AM

Fantastic photograph, superbly shot and toned and a wonderful informative scipt. Great stuff.






CLIX

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Dotrob
Dotrob  8 Wales
22 Jan 2007 - 12:52 PM

Lovely sepia image, A sad but very interesting piece of history,that I had never heard before.
Dot.

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mollye
mollye  7 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2007 - 4:48 PM

Really interesting story but great sepia image lovely work
Mol

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anthhope
anthhope  8 England
22 Jan 2007 - 8:37 PM

An excellent photo. Great stuff!!

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DYankee
DYankee  8 United States
22 Jan 2007 - 8:58 PM

What a well done photo, which really captures the feeling of any child that had to endure such a display.
Dawn Smile

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Rogerex
Rogerex  829 forum posts Australia12 Constructive Critique Points
23 Jan 2007 - 8:05 AM

A beautiful portrait. Thanks for sharing the history of that sign.
Roger

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Gaz_H
Gaz_H  8150 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
23 Jan 2007 - 1:13 PM

Tony, this is an absolutely superb portrait and a pleasure to view. Thank you for the history behind it.

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PatrickSmith
23 Jan 2007 - 4:46 PM

This is excellent, both the story and the image. Have her look down makes this work.

Patrick

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KingArthur
23 Jan 2007 - 6:53 PM

A good portrait Tony, beautiful lighting and tones, interesting write-up.

Joe

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viscostatic
24 Jan 2007 - 9:58 PM

A very sad but interesting story to accompany this image. I had no idea that the English government were so severe on the Welsh language and people - and as recently as the mid 19th century. Thank you for enlightening me about this. As always the photograph is top quality.

Phil.

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mommy2cutekids
26 Jan 2007 - 12:39 AM

I had no idea of this story-it's very sad, after reading the story the photo makes perfect sense-

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AnnaBanana
26 Jan 2007 - 3:32 AM

I had never heard of this sad and cruel tale - thank you for bringing it to light. The image is so powerful, and the toning works to provide an old feel. Beautiful and powerful.

Anna

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Scott_Scot
26 Jan 2007 - 8:27 AM

Lovely capture and a great story!
(Those English did some nasty things during this period of history!)

Scotty

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clivebo
clivebo  7
28 Jan 2007 - 12:37 PM

Good portrait
Clive

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jimPat
jimPat  9 Scotland1 Constructive Critique Points
28 Jan 2007 - 6:22 PM

Great piece of work Tony and narrative - Regards JP

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alpha788
alpha788  8 Canada
29 Jan 2007 - 12:18 AM

Hi Tony,

Didn't recognize it as yours at first! Great camera work with super tones!!

The fact that we don't see her face only enhances this image - just wonderfully done

Stan

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VintageRed
29 Jan 2007 - 10:08 AM

Yes I'm not sure the smiling face would have matched the tone you've created. Great shot Tony.

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Nigel_95
Nigel_95 e2 Member 8260 forum postsNigel_95 vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
30 Jan 2007 - 8:12 PM

I hope you feel better soon Tony.

Nigel

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clivebo
clivebo  7
31 Jan 2007 - 4:49 PM

Nice shot like it a lot
Clive

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Chriscj
Chriscj  896 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
2 Feb 2007 - 9:57 AM

Great history lesson Tony, hard to believe things like that went on.

Chris

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BURNBLUE
BURNBLUE e2 Member 8BURNBLUE vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
5 Feb 2007 - 11:48 AM

Well presented and captured Tony!

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Adrian_Reynolds

Great shot Tony capturing the sadness; a study of our social history always throws up some horror stories that have been hushed up, great work, Adrian

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Shroomer
Shroomer  7 England167 Constructive Critique Points
6 Feb 2007 - 6:18 PM

Fantastic shot Tony, very poignant of times lost, love it. Richard

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trissie
trissie  8 United Kingdom
17 Feb 2007 - 10:00 AM

A great interesting story and a lovely capture.

Trish x

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Gecko
Gecko  825 forum posts Australia
19 Feb 2007 - 7:34 AM

Very interesting story, love the image, Pam

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Mari
Mari  101825 forum posts Wales
4 Mar 2007 - 9:48 AM

Hi Tony, this is wonderful, love the tones and speaks volumes, I know how she feels (as I told you yesterday!!)

Was great to meet you at last as i've always been a fan of your stunning Llyn shots.

Mari Smile

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PLCimagery
PLCimagery e2 Member 877 forum postsPLCimagery vcard England1 Constructive Critique Points
8 Mar 2007 - 7:40 PM

SUPERB piece of work!

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rhiw_com
rhiw_com  8
9 Mar 2007 - 5:47 AM

Many thanks for all your brilliant comments, they are all very much appreciated.

Regards Tony

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annefromleo
9 Mar 2007 - 7:31 AM

Thanks for the History lesson Tony, shocking...
Anne

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KarenFB
KarenFB Junior Gallery Team 84270 forum postsKarenFB vcard England162 Constructive Critique Points
11 Mar 2007 - 8:19 AM

This was a 'featured e2 photo' this morning. (I'm afraid I missed it the first time around). Thank you for sharing this with us, and I think your photo perfectly depicts this dreadful treatment of the Welsh.

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