A dream becomes a reality
In 1970, Dr Carl Clowes moved from Manchester to single-handedly run a medical practice in Llanaelhaearn. Both he and his wife, Dorothi, were determined to bring their children up as Welsh-speakers.
But what he found was a community that was facing real difficulties, and he felt that something needed to be done:
- There were rumours that the granite quarry at nearby Trefor was going to close
- Llanaelhaearn School faced threats of closure
- The area desperately needed new employment opportunities if it was to survive
Revival of the language - what was needed?
- Specialist classes for Welsh learners were held throughout Wales. The first Welsh Language Act of 1967 was passed which meant that they required skilled bilingual personnel to meet their obligations.
- A specialized and national language centre that would be open all through the year.
Both ideas merged, and Nant Gwrtheyrn seemed like the perfect location. Although the condition of the buildings were in fact derelict by the 1970s
, it was decided to establish a dedicated centre that would:
- Create employment for local people
- Give a necessary boost to the Welsh language
Dr Carl Clowes was influential in gaining the support of tutors, businessmen and friends to start a Trust in order to purchase the village of Nant Gwrtheyrn.
By 1978 negotiations to buy the village from the AMEY Roadstone Corporation (ARC) who owned the site had been completed. A huge amount of fundraising took place throughout Wales in order to gain support for the project. Nant Gwrtheyrn will forever be indebted to the people of Wales for their belief, their determination and their generosity.
Letter sent by ARC to Carl Clowes in 1973