What does ‘Ffos Las’ mean in English?
Nowadays, Ffos Las is a dual-purpose racecourse situated between the former mining villages of Trimsaran and Carway in the Gwendraeth Valley in Carmarthenshire, South West Wales. Indeed, the 600-acre site on which the racecourse now stands was, until 1997, the location of one of the deepest opencast mining excavations in Europe. However, the name ‘Ffos Las’ was taken from the farm that occupied the site prior to the commencement of mining operations in 1983. ‘Ffos’ is a Welsh word meaning ‘ditch’ or ‘trench’ and ‘Las’ is a Welsh word meaning ‘blue’, so the name translates as ‘blue ditch’.
Mining ceased in 1997 and the site was subsequently restored and reclaimed, such that Ffos Las Racecourse opened its doors in 2009 as the first purpose-built racecourse to be established in Britain for 82 years. In so doing, it became the third racecourse in Wales after Bangor-on-Dee, which opened in 1859 and Chepstow, which opened in 1926. In 2018, David ‘Dai’ Walters, the founder of Ffos Las Racecourse, sold his interest to Arena Racing Company (ARC), but the course continues to flourish, offering 21 fixtures throughout the year.