28.08.15. Gorsedh Kernow gears up for Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture

Press release for immediate use issued Friday 28th August 2015 by Delia Brotherton, Gorsedh Kernow Communications Officer.

Gorsedh Kernow is putting the finishing touches to this year’s week-long Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture being held in St Austell, starting next Tuesday 1st September.

Following on from last year’s success the Festival will include a one day Conference on the Friday, which is already nearing full delegate capacity, focussing on Cornwall’s national minority status.

“We are delighted with the level of interest shown in our Conference,” said Bert Biscoe, co-ordinator and speaker alongside, among others, leader of Cornwall Council John Pollard, cultural consultant Ian Saltern and “new bard-in-waiting” Edward “Kernow King” Rowe.

One of many events in this year’s Festival, the busy Esedhvos programme also includes a book fair and book launch, talks and walks, songs and stories, a Cornish troyl dance, a gala concert on the Saturday evening in Poltair School with local musicians, including the St Austell Town Band and a church service in the Cornish language. Many events are free of charge and all are welcome to attend.

The centrepiece of the Esedhvos Festival week will be the 2pm Bardic ceremony in St Austell Amateur Football Club ground, Poltair Park on Saturday 5th September where new bards are initiated and special prizes and awards are presented. Entry is free and there will be plenty of seating in the spectator stands.

On the Thursday Gorsedh Kernow will launch a new book “Cornish bards of St Austell and the China Clay Area”, the collected biographies of 106 living and deceased bards. The sixth and most extensive in the series, this new book will document the substantial and significant contribution made by these local bards to Cornish heritage and culture.

Staff and volunteers at the St Austell Library and the Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum and Country Park have been busy preparing to make their contribution to the list of events with talks, tales and teas – Cornish of course!

The local Baptist and Parish churches are also playing their part by hosting the Thursday book fair as well as welcoming bards with their families and friends along with locals and visitors to the annual Sunday afternoon service in Cornish.

Help has also been forthcoming this year from St Austell Brewery who are providing their Visitor Centre as a venue for the popular Friday Cornish troyl dance night with Hevva and to mark the celebration they are launching a special Gorsedh Ale. Other events are also being held at St Austell Brewery’s White Hart Hotel on the Thursday, Saturday and Sunday of Esedhvos week.

Acknowledging the enormous amount of local help received, Grand Bard Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor, praised the efforts of the Local Organising Committee.

“We are so pleased that they came forward to help us,” said Mrs Fuller, “everyone is so busy these days but members of the local committee understand Cornwall’s unique and distinctive culture and the importance of keeping it going.”

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Further notes for Editors and Esedhvos programme “at a glance”

Gorsedh Kernow exists to maintain the national Celtic Spirit of Cornwall and to give expression to such spirit, to encourage the study of Cornish history and literature, the Cornish language, to foster Cornish art, music, dance and sport and to link with other Celtic countries.

For full information about the Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture please visit the website www.esedhvos.org.uk or follow the link on the Gorsedh Kernow website www.gorsedhkernow.org.uk or contact Pat Parkins, Esedhvos Events Manager, email esedhvos@gorsedhkernow.org.uk or tel 07762 169 733

For more general information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact Delia Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, Communications Officer, Gorsedh Kernow,

email communications@gorsedhkernow.org.uk   or tel 01736 799305

Esedhvos 2015 Events “At A Glance”

Tuesday 1st September

The Grand Bard’s chair will be on display in St Austell Library until Friday 4th September.

3 – 4pm Talk “The Trials and Tribulations of Writing for Children with freelance journalist and St Austell Brewery Archivist Chris Knight @ St Austell Library, 2 Carlyon Road, St Austell, PL25 4LD.

Wednesday 2nd September

2pm – 5pm Cornish history, bardic tales & cream teas @ Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum & Country Park, Carthew, St. Austell, PL26 8XG. Ample free parking.

7pm Talk on “Old Cornwall” with Mac Waters @ St Austell Library. Tickets £1 on the door.

Thursday 3rd September

11am Cornish Dance with Merv & Alison Davey @ St Austell Library. Free.

10.30am – 3pm Book launch & Cornish Book Fair @ Cornerstone Christian Community Centre, St Austell Baptist Church, West Hill, St Austell, PL25 5ET. Tel 01726 67679. Free.

2pm Cornish Poetry with Bert Biscoe with harp and song from Joanna Tagney. St Austell Library. Free.

7pm Traditional and dialect songs & stories @ The Barnes Room, The White Hart Hotel, 2-3 Church Street, St Austell, PL25 4AT. Free entry.

With Hilary Keam, Mike O’Connor and Barbara Griggs, Joanna Tagney, Trevor Lawrence, Audrey Caust and MC Moe Keast.

Friday 4th September

10am – 4.30pm Conference “National Minority Status – Facts & Opportunities” @ Council Chamber, St Austell One Stop Shop, 39 Penwinnick Road, St Austell, PL25 5DR. Tickets £5 to include pasty lunch. All welcome. Pre-booking advised, tickets from St Austell Town Clerk 01726 223327/223374. Ample free parking. Full access for people with disabilities.

Speakers include Leader of Cornwall Council John Pollard, Ian Saltern, Matt Barton Cornwall Council policy development officer, Sandra Rothwell CEO Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, Rose Barnecut and Jack Morrison from FEAST community and artist lead projects and events, and Edward “Kernow King” Rowe with Merv Davey, Bert Biscoe, Craig Weatherhill and Jane Kneebone.

8pm Cornish Troyl/Ceilidh with Hevva @ St Austell Brewery Visitor Centre, Trevarthian Road, St Austell, PL25 4BY. Free.

Saturday 5th September

11am Civic procession from White River Place.

11am Cornish stalls open @ Poltair Park Amateur Football Club (AFC), Trevarthian Road, St Austell, PL25 4LR.

1.30pm Procession of Bards from Poltair School, Trevarthian Road, St. Austell, PL25 4BZ.

2pm Gorsedh Kernow Bardic ceremony @ Poltair Park AFC, Trevarthian Road, St Austell, PL25 4LR. Free entry. ALL WELCOME, plenty of seating in the spectator stands.

7pm Gala Concert @ Poltair School, Trevarthian Road, St. Austell, PL25 4BZ.

Tickets £6.50 on the door only. Ample free parking. Full access for people with disabilities.

With Salt & Sky, Caracana, The Press Gang and St Austell Town Band.

8.30pm Cornish Singalong @The White Hart Hotel, 2-3 Church Street, St Austell, PL25 4AT. Tel 01726 72100. Free. Led by singer songwriter Matthi Clarke.

Sun 6th September

10.30am – 1pm Myttin Lowender Cornish language taster session @ The White Hart Hotel, 2-3 Church Street, St Austell, PL25 4AT. Tel 01726 72100. Free.

10.30am – 12.30pm Guided walk around St Austell. Meet at Market House, NW side of Church. Free.

3pm Evening Prayer in Cornish @ Holy Trinity Church, Trevarthian Road, St Austell, PL25 4BH. Free with retiring collection for the church.

The Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture is supported by St Austell Town Council, Poltair School, St Austell Brewery, Cornwall Council, AFC St Austell and St Austell Library. We also thank Robinson Reed Layton, Chartered Accountants & Chartered Tax Advisors, for kindly sponsoring Gorsedh Kernow.