15.8.16 Gorsedh Kernow names 19 new Bards

The international importance of being awarded with Cornish bardship will be plain to see once again this year as 19 proud initiates, of whom nearly a third are from outside Cornwall, wait to take their honoured place among the 500 or so existing members of the College of Bards of Gorsedh Kernow.

Gorsedh Kernow was established in 1928 with the aim of celebrating and promoting Cornwall’s distinctive Celtic culture and the village of St Keverne, home to Cornwall’s celebrated statue of Cornish martyrs, St Keverne blacksmith Michael an Gof and Bodmin lawyer Thomas Flamank, provides the setting for this year’s Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival which includes the main bardic ceremony on Saturday 3rd  September at St Keverne Playing Field, right in the heart of the village.

The high point of the ceremony, which starts at 2pm, will be the inauguration of the 19 new bards in recognition of their outstanding work in serving Cornwall and her distinctive Celtic identity.

“Being awarded a bardship is a great honour,” said Grand Bard of Cornwall Merv Davey, Telynor an Weryn “especially as the ceremony is conducted in front of all the other blue robed bards, alongside representatives of other Cornish organisations and friends and families that support Gorsedh Kernow and come together on this special occasion to celebrate our precious Cornish culture.”

 Once again the ever increasing interest and activity around the Cornish language, Kernewek is reflected in the number of people, almost a third of the new bards, recognised this year for their work in this area.  Industrial and musical heritage is also well represented as is the important work done for Cornwall by people overseas.

The 19 new bards are:

Penny Champion, Lewisham, London – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall

James Daniel, Penzance, Cornwall – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall

Michael John Edwards, Truro, Cornwall – for his work with Cornish rugby and gigs

Thomas Derek Giles, St Austell, Cornwall – for his work with the China Clay industry

Heather Gladstone, Christchurch, New Zealand – for her support for Cornwall and Cornish music

Amanda Harris, Ponsanooth, Cornwall – for her work with Scavel an Gow and KEAP

Jacqueline Heard, Stratton, Cornwall – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall

Ronald M James, Iowa, USA – for services to Cornish heritage and culture

Alan Frank Kneebone, Newquay, Cornwall – for his work with mining heritage

Joanna Mattingly, Truro, Cornwall – for services to the study of the fabric and history of Cornish churches

Helen Musser, Penzance, Cornwall – for services to Cornish culture including dancing

Eric Rabjohns, Carharrack, Cornwall – for his work with the history of mining

Sonia Reuter, New South Wales, Australia – for her work for Cornwall in Australia

Rod Sheaf, Liskeard, Cornwall – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall

Michael John Smith, St Cleer, Cornwall  – support for Cornwall and the Cornish language

Carole Stark, St Austell, Cornwall – for her work for Old Cornwall Societies and summer pilgrimages

William J Thomas, St Ives, Cornwall – for his work with Cornish music, the St John’s Ambulance Service and the Mission to Seamen

Jacqueline Wheatton, Hertfordshire, England – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall

Ruedigar Wohlers, Oldenburg, Germany – for work with wildlife support and talks about Cornwall

End of press release *************************************

Further notes for Editors

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.

The annual procession of bards and installation of the 19 new initiates will take place on Saturday 3rd September at the ceremony in St Keverne Playing Field as part of the Esedhvos Festival. The procession will be led by Grand Bard of Cornwall Merv Davey, Telynor an Weryn, accompanied by the Chairman of St Keverne Parish Council David Lambrick and local girl Bethany Lyne as the “Lady of Cornwall.”

The bardic names of all 19 new bards will be made known at this ceremony,  which will be conducted in the Cornish language although it can be easily followed with the English translation. All are welcome to attend the ceremony and there is no charge for this event.

The Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture runs from Wednesday 31st August to Sunday 4th September and, as well as the main bardic ceremony, has a variety of events including a book launch & literary fair, a one-day conference – “Border At Risk” – with guest speakers including Dr Garry Tregidga and Dr John Kirkhope, a play followed by the ever popular Cornish ceilidh, a gala concert, Cornish language taster morning, a talk and evening prayer in Cornish.

Most events are free of charge and all are welcome to attend.

For the first time the new Gorsedh Kernow Awards will be presented at a special evening on the Thursday of Esedhvos week with displays and performances from some of the winners. Members of the press are invited to attend this evening.  For an invitation please contact Delia Brotherton email communications@gorsedhkernow.org.uk

For more information about all the Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival events visit the website  www.esedhvos.org.uk

For more information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact Delia Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, Communications Officer, Gorsedh Kernow, email  communications@gorsedhkernow.org.uk

or visit the Gorsedh Kernow website   www.gorsedhkernow.org.uk