This site came about, as a lot of things do, over a conversation in a Pub. We were shocked to read - (Daily Telegraph, 9th January 2006)
“What do Punch and Judy, a cup of tea and the SS Empire Windrush have in common? All are national icons that sum up the essence of England, a new government website claims today.
They are on a list of 12 "national treasures" that the website, set up with £1 million of taxpayers' money, claims should kick-start a debate on the designs, artworks and monuments that sum up the idea of "Englishness".
To add insult to injury the article continued -
The creators hope to add 108 items to the list over the next year as a result of suggestions from the public and an advisory board. They will be reviewed every quarter.
People can nominate anything, but not a person, that they believe builds up a picture of England. It is planned to extend the project to Wales, Scotland and possibly Ireland, if funding becomes available.
A million pounds? Wales if funding becomes available? You’re having a laugh. A few pints later in our local Welsh hostelry we had listed over 100 Welsh icons ( - there are now nearly 700 Icons on this site and an additional 1,800+ reference pages) and devised a cunning plan on how to get this website on-line.
We hope you enjoy this site and please DO VOTE. It is your country! And unlike the English site you can vote for people both living and dead.
We thought we could do better. Grabbing a pen and paper from behind the bar a group of regulars (pictured below) quickly came up with the first draft list. The idea was not for us to define the list of Welsh Icons but to have a starting point that people could look at before nominating their own Welsh Icons.
Over subsequent evening many other people became involved and the most common phrase at the bar (apart from “same again please luv”) was “I’ve got another one”. The list began to grow.
The domain welshicons.org was registered and Dom of 3Cat Design, a local web design company started to piece together the site in his spare time. The site you see before you now is just a starting point. Being a group of locals we acknowledge that this site is in danger of being Cardiff-centric and that is the last thing we want, and ask that you use the polls and forums on this site to make this site truly representative of the Principality.
For those interested in matters fiscal, the site has cost less that £50 to develop against the £1,000,000 the English are reported to have spent.
One final point. We are looking for Welsh speaking volunteers to help translate this site so we can have a bi-lingual version up and running in the next few months. Please get in touch via our ‘Contact Us’ Page.
In the meantime, enjoy the site.
The Welsh Icons Team. April 2006 - March 2007