Skip to main content

This website uses cookies to make the website simpler.

Find out more about our privacy policy. Ok

Ask Myra

Ask Myra

Myra Dawson grew up in London.  Myra's parents spoke Welsh and were originally from Ceredigion.

And although her parents spoke Welsh at home, Myra did not speak Welsh with them.

50 years later, during lockdown, Myra decided she would like to learn her parents' language and registered on a course, held in a virtual classroom, with Learn Welsh Ceredigion-Powys-Carmarthenshire.

We had a chat with Myra to hear her story re-learning Welsh.

Let's start by getting a bit of your family history in London - why did your parents move there?

My parents met in London, although they both came from Ceredigion.  They had both moved there as teenagers to look for work, and both got a job in a shop.

After getting married, they opened a cafe in the centre of London on one of the small streets off Regent Street.

Then, they sold the cafe in the 60s and bought a small hotel in Marble Arch - and that's where they were until they retired.

Did you speak Welsh as a child?

I understood every word but I wouldn't speak Welsh with my parents.  My older sister spoke Welsh with them, but I didn't.

We went to the Welsh chapel in London, and I was willing to do a reading in Welsh, but I wouldn't speak Welsh with anyone.

I then married an Englishman, spoke English with my children and lived a completely English life - the Welsh language was irrelevant to me.

So when and why did you decide to learn Welsh?

During lockdown, I was looking for something to do.  I thought about all kinds of things and then thought 'maybe I can do something with my Welsh'.

I found a summer course through Learn Welsh Ceredigion-Powys-Carmarthenshire and enjoyed it very much.  My Welsh came back to me, it was better than I had expected.

I found writing difficult, as I had never had a formal lesson as a child.  I didn't understand the language rules at all.  My work was full of mistakes.

Three years later, my Welsh has improved enormously, and I really enjoy speaking the language.  I'm currently following a Gloywi (Proficiency) course with Learn Welsh Gwent.

What will be your next step?

I started learning Welsh because I was looking for something to do; something I would enjoy and keep my brain agile and that's what I’m still doing.

Sometimes, I think I would like to live in Cardiff - as people there would speak Welsh, but I would still live in a city.

But at the moment, I have no intention of moving.  I am very happy in Dorchester, Dorset as my son and his family live 7 miles down the road.