Gorseth Kembry - 2006

This year the Welsh National Eisteddfod, together with the Welsh Gorsedd, was held near Swansea, at a location which was originally the site of the Felindre Steelworks. The site was easy to find, it being about half a mile to the north of the M4, opposite Junction 46. Accommodation for the Celtic delegates was in Swansea University, about 25 minutes by car from the Eisteddfod field.

It seemed to us that a lot of work was necessary to the Eisteddfod Field and the bigger car parks adjoining - doubtless it being a former steel works - because the entire site had been levelled and covered in gravel. The appearance of the Field therefore was somewhat bare, and the gravel created a multitude of problems through the clouds of dust sent up each time a car passed over it, and if there was very much wind, it was twice as bad. There were a lot of complaints regarding this, especially in the press and on the TV. In truth, after spending an hour or two walking around the Field, our feet and shoes were absolutely filthy. By Tuesday things had got so bad through the dust that a tanker was brought in twice a day to spray the paths.

We went on Saturday the 5th of August to get our tickets etc., and Sunday we looked around the Field, meeting loads of people we hadn’t seen for a long time. Sunday morning the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, preached in the Pavilion and afterwards came into the Council Room, where he came over to us and had a chat. He was delighted to say that the copy of the ‘New Testament’ given to him in Cornwall last year, was on his bookshelf, although he doesn’t understand much of the Cornish! He said that he would be coming to Cornwall at the end of September, and when I suggested to him that if he came a little earlier he could come to the Gorsedd, he said that this was something he would like to do, and perhaps in a year or two he could arrange something.

Corn Hirlas

Monday morning the Gorsedd met in the circle built especially on the Field, and although it was a little windy, it was a good ceremony. New Bards, Druids and Ovates were received into the Gorsedd, amongst whom was Iris Williams the Welsh singer. In the afternoon another meeting of the Gorsedd was held in the Pavilion, where each of the delegates from the Celtic nations was welcomed by the Archdruid, and where the Crowning Ceremony took place. This year this was won by the Druid Eigra Lewis Roberts, who was one of the Welsh delegates who came to Cornwall for the 2000 Gorsedd at Falmouth.

Mam o'r fro

Tuesday was a free day for us, and so we spent the day with friends on the Field, along with buying books and presents.

Wednesday saw us in the Pavilion again, robed in our Gorsedd attire, this time for the presentation of the literary medal. This was won by a young woman - Fflur Davydd.

Friday was again a day of two Gorsedd ceremonies - one in the morning in the Circle on the Field, and the second in the afternoon in the Pavilion, where the ‘Chairing of the Bard’ took place. This year this was won by Gwynfor ap Ifor.

A great week and we were so pleased to meet once again so many old friends. Next year we were told that the Eisteddfod will be held in Flintshire and the year after in Cardiff.


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