Plaid Cymru in North Wales

ukip_plaid_tories   ukip_plaid_tories-1 (2)   ukip_plaid_tories-2Saturday 2nd May 2015 / Leanne Wood and Hywel Williams campaign in Arfon, North Wales.

The heavens open as Plaid Cymru candidate for Arfon, Hywel Williams and party leader Leanne Wood join their weatherproof campaign team to visit some key towns and villages in the North Wales constituency.

The party battle-bus leaves from Caernafon Castle,  site of The Prince of Wales’s investiture, and is tailed periodically by a van full of Labour Party supporters who are dressed as badgers and squirrels in protest at Plaid Cymru’s policy on fox hunting.
The candidate and members of the Plaid team tell me a lot of interesting stories about the areas history, topography and culture.

Canvassing is conducted entirely in the Welsh language. Hywel Williams tells me it would very unusual to greet the electorate speaking English on the doorstep.

At the foot of Mt Snowdon I make a few quick drawings of Mr Williams as he canvasses support from local climbing gear suppliers on the issue of business rates.

The Welsh dragon flag is borne up whilst umbrellas are folded briefly for a photo opportunity with the party leader in Bethesda.
Hywel Williams explains that ‘Pesta’ as the locals call the place, has pubs on one side of the street only as the A5 marks the border between Lord Penrhyn’s land and freehold land.

Slate looms large in the landscape. Mr Williams visits the official re-opening ceremony for a narrow gauge railway station where trains would have served local slate quarries. Arfon contains a slate museum, an old slate mans hospital and as well as slate quarries, several mountainous slate spoil heaps.  3 North Wales constituencies including Arfon meet at the summit of Mount Snowdon.

It’s still raining as the day ends up with a campaign walkabout through Bethesda and I end up with a very soggy sketchbook.