Friday, 24 June 2011

EPYNT: Pilgrimage to the military training ground on Epynt 25th June.

Glastonbury weekend, remember when it was a peace festival supporting C.N.D, yes it's been a long time, since then walls built higher and ordinary  people have been kept out. The spirit of 71 apparently this year, so it's free entry is it?
Anyway 70 years ago Mynydd Epynt was a strong Welsh speaking community of 220 people, inhabiting 54 farms. During the Second World War the people of Epynt thought that the war would have little impact on them, but in March 1940 however a government letter changed all that.
Despite united opposition on the part of the Welsh speaking community and support of a throng of Welsh M.Ps and leading national figures, a deadline was set. By June 30th each and every farm was empty. The community was no more and a whole way of life had been shattered. A community where farmers had lived for 450 years on the same farm.
The area became known as the Sennybridge Training Area, and is now used by the M.O.D as a military training area and artillery range, in an area of outstanding beauty.
Tomorrow on " Armed Forces Day" I hope to join Cymdeithias y Cymod ( the fellowship of Reconcialiation) on their pilgrimage to this place. We will remember the civilians killed by unmanned vehicles ( drones).
The area between Epynt and Aberporth ( ten miles up from where I live) is one of the two places in Europe where testing drones is permitted. As reported earlier in this blog these unmanned aeroplanes are part of the recent development in robots used as arms. Those used in Afghanistan and Libya are controlled thousands of miles away in a center in Nevada in the USA through satellite communication technology.  This has the effect that many innocent civilians are killed because of misinterpreting images on video screens that are so far away from the battle field.
Those who join ( at their own risk) this pilgrimage to Epynt will show their objection to testing these drones in the air above Wales and will send a message to the governments in Whitehall and Cardiff Bay that the militarisation of Wales is not welcome.


The pilgrimage is setting off at around 2pm from the Shoemakers Arms, Pentrebach, Sennybridge, Brecon, LD3 8UB for the remains of Babell Chapel (see below), which is within the army's training area.

remains of Babell Chapel. 

There will be  be a service led by a Rev Guto Prys ap Gwynfor at 2.30 p.m. Following this we will visit the mock village built by the army for practicing house-to-house fighting. We will commerate some of the civilians killed by drone strikes by writing their names onto the grave stones in the mock graveyard.
For me personally it will be a rare opportunity to visit this important place in my countries history, where a rich  ( not monetary value) community was displaced for imperialistic purposes, and I will remember.

The Northern boundary of the Military Training Area.

more on the history of Epynt here :-

a really scenic part of the woods too, their is a lake on the firing range and the views are outstanding.
Remember we will not be tresspassing, it is the army that has done that for all these number of years.
Have a nice weekend,
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