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Kernowyon a Gan/ Men of Cornwall Sing

Grand Bard at Royal Albert Hall

As Grand Bard, I was invited by the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs to sit in the Royal Box at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate their 30th Anniversary, on Sat.2nd Nov. I was very honoured to do so and was very proud to hear 590 voices singing their hearts out for Kernow, together with an enthusiastic Cornish audience.

Cornish young people were represented by Cambiata (a choir for boys with changing voices) and the Cornwall Youth Orchestra, whose organist, Angus Webster masterfully played the Royal Albert Hall organ, aged 14! I was very proud of the bards, who contributed by composing music and lyrics, by performing with instruments and voices, by conducting choirs and translating songs into Cornish.

Choir at Royal Albert Hall

The supporters, who travelled up with their flags and Cornish humour, were like Trelawny's army of old, anxious to make a presence in London and to be able to say afterwards, "I was there!" Kernow bys vykken!

Maureen Fuller, Grand Bard of Cornwall Steren Mor, Bardh Meur Kernow

Ida Hilary Summerhayes Shaw - Myrgh Dumnonya

Hilary Shaw has died at the age of 90. A past member of both the Gorsedh Council and the Cornish Language Board she was a very successful Cornish teacher in the Falmouth/Penryn area for more than 25 years running the local adult education classes at Penryn College. At the classes she used her own specially written course with many of her students going on to become bards and teach themselves.

Hilary had also organised many services in the Cornish language and was an active member of the Bredereth Sen Jago, a group tracing Cornish religious links with other Celtic groups in Europe. Her special interest was the Cornish classical religious plays.

Hilary received her Bardship at Callington in 1984 taking the bardic name Myrgh Dumnonya.

Pat Miller - Myrgh Jowna

Gorsedh Kernow 2013 Pennrynn/Penryn 2013 DVD

A DVD of the afternoon Gorsedh ceremony 2013 at Penryn is now available.

The price is £6, plus £1.00 p & p in the UK, £2.50 p & p Europe, and £3.50 for the rest of the world.

It is European PAL format on a DVD-R, color printed disk.

It comes in a DVD Library case with color printed sleeve.

Order form here (PDF document)

DVD cover

February 16th 2014 : a date for your diary

A fundraising event in aid of Gorsedh Kernow is to be held in St Ives Guildhall on Sunday February 16th. The instrumentalist will be Phil Beer of 'Show of Hands' fame.

Full details of the event can be found here.

Book Launch at Leedstown

Richard Jenkin book launch
Derek Williams, Ann Jenkin, Maureen Fuller

Grand Bard Maureen Fuller attended a special gathering in Leedstown, to launch the new book on the life of Richard Jenkin (1925 – 2002) who was a central and inspiring personality in the resurgence of the Cornish identity, its language and culture.

The launch was commemorated and celebrated with poems, prose and music from family and friends.

"Richard Jenkin was the first person I heard speaking Cornish," said Maureen - Steren Mor at the well attended launch, "and it gave rise to a need in me to become a Cornish speaker as well."

Loveday Jenkin - Myrgh an Tyr, younger daughter of Richard Garfield Jenkin paid tribute to her father as an inspiration to successive generations. "His interest in Cornwall and Cornish was a passion, not an academic study," she said, "and he will continue to inspire us all."

"He had a kind and understanding nature," said close friend and former Grand Bard Jori Ansell - Caradok "To many he was a good and caring friend, with an open and generous spirit and a gentle humour which could defuse a difficult situation."

A video clip of the event can be seen here.

To order a copy of Richard Jenkin: A Great Son of Cornwall / Map Dyvroeth: Mab Meur a Gernow, please click here.

Bards of the Tamar Area

A new book on bards from the Tamar area, the fifth in the series, is to be launched in September 2014, to coincide with the holding of the Gorsedh Kernow ceremony at Torpoint.

It will be about Cornish bards, both living and deceased who have links with that area. It will include bards connected with the towns of Tavistock and Plymouth on the north bank and the areas around Callington, Saltash and Torpoint on the south side.

A local meeting has already been held with the support of the Mayor of Torpoint, a provisional list prepared and living bards have been given instructions on how to write up their entries. We hope for help from all bards from that area, Old Cornwall Societies and local archive groups with detailed research on deceased bards. Some were initiated as early as 1930, not necessarily within living memory.

If you would like a copy of the 2 provisional lists and are able to help please email Ann Trevenen Jenkin at pellgowser@btinternet.com or telephone 01736 850332.

Tony Piper - Baneror

The Camborne Crematorium was packed and full to overflowing on 6th November for the funeral service and cremation of our bard Baneror or Tony Piper.

The remarkable thing about this gathering was the diversity of those attending and the good humour and affection displayed among the mourners and which was so typical of Tony himself.

He was simultaneously a man with a well developed sense of humour which was infectious and very serious about those matters he held dear.

A larger than life figure, always present at Cornish events, he did not suffer folly gladly and the Gorsedh Council has been grateful often for his wise advice.

He has been an important figure in raising the status of Cornwall in the lnternational Celtic Congress where he made many personal friends as well as friends for Cornwall.

A family man, he was respected by his colleagues in the Police Force and by many in the Cornish Movement. He felt deeply the honour of being a bard of Cornwall.

The Gorsedd too feels the honour of his membership and comradeship.

We will remember his smiling eyes.

May he be happy on the other side of the deep sea.

God be with you Tony.

Skogynn Pryv - Mick Paynter

Click here for video "In Memory of Tony Piper".

Summary Report of Meeting of Gorsedh Kernow Council October 2013

GK Council

A minute’s silence was held at the beginning of the meeting to remember our former fellow Council member, Tony Piper Baneror.

The Council then voted to co-opt Delia Brotherton Myrghwyn Melynor onto the Council and she was invited into the meeting as the new Communications Officer.

A list of Gorsedh sub-committees was read out by Bardh Meur and the information on members of these has been updated.

Kannas Bardh Meur then gave a report on how the Penryn ceremony had gone and several issues were pointed out – however the general opinion was that this had been a success. Approval was given for new signage to be produced for next year and it was agreed to try to recruit an Events Manager to arrange the Esedhvos.

A list of assets held by the Gorsedh is to be made – An Alhwedhor has made a start on this but there are further items that have been gifted to the Gorsedh over the years which must be recorded on an inventory for insurance purposes. It is hoped that they may one day be displayed in a national archive.

Dates for next year’s meetings were agreed as follows:

    Saturday 8th February 2014 – Lys Kernow, Truro
    Saturday 12th April 2014 – Torpoint (afternoon of Proclamation in morning)
    AGM – Saturday 14th June 2014 – Lys Kernow (Awards meeting 10.00, Council 11.00, AGM 13.30)
    Saturday 12th July – Lys Kernow
    Saturday 25th October 2014 – Lys Kernow

The various reports were presented by the sub-committees and these accepted by Council. Among these the following news:

    An Alhwedhor repeated the appeal for bards to donate to the Endowment Fund.
    The Awen ceremony 2014 was discussed and Kernow volunteered to research which site would be best.
    The updated Constitution is now ready for printing and this was given approval to go ahead.

Thanckes Park, Torpoint

Torpoint 2014 GK site

Thanckes Park has been chosen as the site for the next open Gorsedh ceremony to be held at Torpoint on 6th September 2014.

Gorsedh Kernow Competitions 2014

The 2014 Gorsedh Kernow competitions are now under way. These competitions are open to all, adults and young people alike. There are classes in Cornish and English, poetry, prose, Cornish studies, music, art and photography.

Full details of all classes, rules for entry, and an entry form, are now available on this website. The closing date for all classes is Monday 28th April 2014 and the awards will be presented by the Grand Bard at the Open Gorsedh in Torpoint on Saturday 6th September 2014.

For full details click here for adults, and here for young people.

Gorsedh Kernow : Holyer an Gof Awards 2014
(for books published in the calendar year 2013)

Holyer An Gof

Entries for the above awards are now being sought. These annual Publishers' Awards are for quality publications relating to Cornwall or the Cornish language. There are six primary Classes, and from these the overall award of the Holyer an Gof Cup will be chosen. This perpetual trophy was given in memory of Cornish Bard and publisher, Len Truran - Holyer an Gof.

The closing date for entries is Friday 28th February 2014.

For full details and entry form go to www.holyerangofawards.org.uk

Penryn Gorsedh 2013

past grand bards and ocs banners

After torrential rain and hail the previous night and a wet start to Gorsedh day, the clouds rolled back and the sun shone as the bardic procession made its way down Lower Market St, into St Thomas' St before passing through College Ope and entering the Glasney field. What an incredible feeling to be on such an historic site so important to Cornwall's history and its language, and the second time the Gorsedh has been held there, the last being in 1974.


After the Bards entered the circle the fanfare' Entry of the Grand Bard' echoed across the ground to announce the arrival of Grand Bard Steren Mor and the ceremony commenced with a welcome in Kernewek from the Mayor Beverley Hulme who presented a specially commissioned plate from 'Malcolm Sutcliffe Glass' to commemorate the day. In reply the Grand Bard gave a bilingual address, which can be read here.

Joining of the Sword

After the Horn had sounded and the Herald Bard had called to the four compass points of Cornwall, the 'cry of peace' was heard and the Gorsedh declared open. Next came the ceremony of joining of the sword, a symbol of unity and friendship of the three Celtic nations. This year the two halves were carried by Bert Biscoe Vyajor gans Geryow and Breton bard Bernard Cousquer. Then followed the flower dance and the offering of the fruits of the earth by the Lady of Cornwall. After the commemoration of deceased bards, 18 new bards were welcomed into the organisation and given their chosen bardic names. Speeches were given by the Archdruid of Wales Christine James and Mona Cousquer from Brittany. Competition winners and recipients of Council Awards received their trophies and certificates and a 'Special Certificate of Exceptional Endeavour' awarded to the late Mr Perran Penrose was accepted by Mrs. Angela Penrose. A second 'Special Certificate of Exceptional Endeavour' went to Mrs. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett of Helston. To read these citations please click here.


Long service certificates were awarded to past Grand Bard John Chesterfield Gwas Constentyn, 50 years a bard and Charles Thomas Gwas Godhyan, 60 years a bard. A special award was given to Wella Brown Crenner, 40 years a member of the GK council.


As the ceremony drew to a close the bards moved forward to the Omborth, the oath of loyalty was given and the customary "Old Land of our Fathers" rang across the circle before the ceremony was closed. After the traditional bardic tea, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE spoke of his support for all the Gorsedh does to promote Cornwall, its history and traditions.

Thank you Penryn and to everyone who helped make it a memorable day!

The 2014 Gorsedh will be held in Torpoint on Saturday Sept 6th.

New Bards
New Bards

Kernow bys vykken!

Pat Miller, Myrgh Jowna

Launch of Gorsedh Kernow Bardic Collection at Tremough

Wednesday 4th September saw the launch the Gorsedh Kernow Bardic Collection at the Exchange, Tremough. The invited audience included dignitaries from the University, the Library and the Cornish Studies department, Council members and guests from Gorsedh Kernow, led by the Grand Bard Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor, members of the Gorsedh Archive and Publications Committee, as well as Bards who have contributed to the collection. Guests were welcomed by Doreen Pinfold, the Head of Library and Information Services at Falmouth (and the University of Exeter). Speeches followed from Garry Tregidga Map Rosvean and Ann Trevenen Jenkin Bryallen. Music was provided by the Gorsedh Harpist Esme Frances Ylades and Mike O'Connor Crowder, and poetry by Bert Biscoe Vyajor gans Geryow. After the opening by the Grand Bard guests were taken on a tour of the reference library which is open to the public.

During the past three years, books have gradually been collected from living Bards through donation including many deposited by the Cornish overseas, and the number continues to grow. This Bardic Collection, a reference only resource, reflects the wide-ranging and varied interests of Cornish Bards.

With nearly 300 listed in the catalogue, this is the first time that books from Gorsedh Kernow have been collected in one place, which raises the profile of the organisation and helps to establish the status of Tremough as a specialist academic library for Cornish research.

Book Launch at Penryn

Book launch

The week preceeding the Penryn Gorsedh saw publication of the book on Cornish Bards of the Penryn and Falmouth Area. The launch of the book by the Grand Bard Maureen Fuller Steren Mor, was held in Penryn Town Hall in the presence of representatives of the Town Councils of Penryn and Falmouth, and other dignitaries, sponsors and contributors. The event was packed and sales were brisk as peopled queued to purchase copies. The book includes biographies of both deceased and living Bards and can be obtained from Gorsedh Kernow.

As Steren Mor says in the foreword 'One is amazed at the diversity of the bards, where they were born, where they lived and what they have achieved. It re-enforces the fact that a bard can be anyone who works for Cornwall and its culture, as long as they are passionate about both. That is the essence that all bards have in common'. For video click here

Engaging the Diaspora

This year the GK Conference was held at Penryn Town Hall on the eve of the Gorsedh. A number of overseas visitors with links to Cornwall were present. After a welcome from the organiser David Holman Rifelwas we heard a recording of Jim Wearne Canor Gwanethyr of Woodridge, Illinois singing his own composition 'Where's Cousin Jack' followed by a live link with Peter Trevorah Mab an Gwylvos in Northcote Australia who gave an account of his Cornish roots, later we heard from Jean Ellis Kernewes an Keweenaw in Calumet. USA. The audience looked forward to hearing from Bill Phillips Mapwyn Whel Ros however sadly there were technical difficulties with the link to Melbourne.

Lesley Trotter gave an interesting talk about the lives of the wives left behind whilst their menfolk were working away, often on another continent and Kate Neale gave an insight into musical traditions. Colin Roberts Mab Sen Kolomm narrated a film on the 2005 Australian National Cornish Wrestling Championship. Good to know this Cornish sport is thriving in Australia.

Much discussion took place both during and at the end of what was an interesting and informative day.

Thank you, David, for arranging the conference and to everyone who took part.

Award Ceremony for Successful Candidates
in Cornish Language Examinations 2013

2013 exam ceremony

Successful candidates in this year’s Cornish Language examinations gathered with their families and teachers at Lys Kernow for the presentation of their certificates. The Chairman of the Cornish Language Board Graham Sandercock welcomed everyone and said he was delighted to speak the Cornish language in the Council Chamber. Jenefer Lowe, Development Manager, MAGA Keskowethyans an Yeth Kernewek) explained the present position of Cornish and Asset Languages. At the moment, it is not possible to be examined in Cornish in the Asset Languages structure as it had been previously, but talks are continuing and she hopes that Cornish will be reinstated.

2013 exam ceremony

The Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller, congratulated all the successful candidates and said that over half of the world’s seven billion population spoke more than one language, although some countries try to superimpose their language on others as the main language. By learning Cornish, the successful candidates were joining the world of the polyglots, the majority. The Grand Bard presented the certificates and was especially pleased that eleven candidates had passed their Grade 4 examination, the most since 1999 when there were 15 successful candidates. This augurs well for the future.

The successful candidates were:

  • Grade 1: Anthony Best, Monica Best, Joe Borthwick, Richard Clemo, Denise Hunt, Ben Larham, Michael Rottenbury, Shaun Toft.
  • Grade 2: Colin Barnes, Gillian Beswick, David Cockersell, Patricia Green, Peter Green, Peter Jenkin, Ben Lang, Karen Tregaskis.
  • Grade 3: Bramwell Hughes, Penny Melmouth, Anne Slade, Briar Wood.
  • Grade 4: Frank Blewett, Fred Coxon, Yann Jaffredou, Trevor Lawrence, Gareth Parry, Pat Parry, Stephen Penhaligon, John Prowse, Christine Stephens, Ronan Tremel, Julia Wass.

2013 exam ceremony

Grand Bard at Lys Kernow

Grand bard and John Pollard

Grand Bard Maureen Fuller met John Pollard - Kampyer a’gan Ertach, the Leader of Cornwall Council to discuss Cornish matters. Further meetings will follow to exchange ideas on Cornish culture and its preservation.

Richard G. Jenkin: A great son of Cornwall/
Map Dyvroeth: Mab meur a Gernow

The launch by the Grand Bard of this important book on Richard Jenkin will take place at Leedstown Village Hall at 7 pm on Friday 25 October. Invitations have been sent out to contributors, family, and leaders of the organisations with which he was involved.

If anyone else wishes to come, from about 7.45 pm onwards, the book will be on sale and there will be an evening of Cornish entertainment when you are welcome to drop in. However, please ring or email me to see there is still space. Hall numbers are limited.

Ann Jenkin (01736-850332) pellgowser@btinternet.com

For further details and an order form please click here.

The National Eisteddfod of Wales, Denbigh North Wales 2013

Celtic Delegates

There was an air of excitement at the National Eisteddfod this year because the Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle of Britain had followed the precedent set by Gorsedh Kernow and appointed a woman as Archdruid for the first time. Christine James, whom we know as she had previously been a delegate with us to Brittany, is a very worthy holder of this illustrious office. She is the first person to hold the office who does not have Welsh as her mother tongue, but had to learn it as a second language. In fact she gave a lecture during the Eisteddfod week entitled ‘From learner to Archdruid’.

The National Eisteddfod was held in Denbigh, North Wales and was a brilliant celebration of the Welsh language. The Cornish delegates were the Grand Bard Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor and Mike Millard, Gwythyas Melyn, the Gorsedh Marshal. Delegates from other countries were Per-Vari Kerloc’h and Youenn Amice from Brittany, Alan Campbell and his wife from Scotland, Caitlin Ui Chochlain and Mairaed Mhic Daibhead from Ireland, Paul Salmon and his son Maian from the Isle of Man and Ivonne Owen from Welsh Patagonia.

Each year one of the Celtic countries, in rotation, has to give a speech on behalf of the others and bring greetings from the Celtic family. This year it was the turn of Brittany to speak on our behalf. Speaking in Breton, the Grand Druid began his speech with words of appreciation for inviting Celtaidd (Celtic delegates) and then talked of the difficulties in Brittany and reiterated his frustration with the French government for not recognising the Breton language, without which the language authorities cannot apply to the European Union for funding to further develop it. This was sympathetically received by the Welsh Mother Gorsedd, who then had a meeting with Celtaidd to further understand the situation in each of our countries. The delegates vary each year, but over several years you meet again people you have met previously and it is a happy reunion of like-minded souls in the Celtic family.

We attended the Gorsedd on the Monday morning, but unfortunately it rained hard and the ceremony had to be held indoors. It was at this ceremony that nineteen people were initiated into the bardic circle. In line with the Gorsedd of the Bards’ arrangements for honouring new members, all new members enter the Gorsedd on the same level, irrespective of whether they are honoured into the Blue or Green robes. Those who have succeeded in the fields of Law, Science, Sports, Journalism, Media, local/national activities become Honorary Druids – Blue robes for their services to the nation. The Gorsedd also honours new members to the Green robes for their contribution to the arts. Those who have succeeded in the Gorsedd examination or are eligible because of their degree in literature, music, drama or art, also receive the Green robes, as will the winner of the Osborne Roberts Memorial Prize every year and the winners of the Urdd Crown and Chair. Only the winners of the main competitions at the National Eisteddfod are honoured with White robes. The Gorsedd also honours some people who have worked tirelessly for the National Eisteddfod through the years – often behind the scenes, and these individuals receive the same honour as the famous faces.

On the Monday, we also attended the Crowning of the Bard ceremony in the afternoon, on the stage in the main pavilion. The winner was Ifor ap Glyn from Caernarfon. Twenty-nine poets competed and Ifor won with the pseudonym of ‘Somebody Else’. He wrote a collection of poems entitled ‘Riot’. The poet visits places important to his everyday life and the history of his nation. The presence of the past and what is lost is obvious in the poems. His concluding poem begins with him staring at the results of the 2011 Census on his computer screen, his eyes hurting as he sees the numbers. Ifor had previously won the crown in 1999 in Anglesey.

On Tuesday, at the invitation of Mererid Hopwood, we attended the launch of a new online world news service, called World Button (www.botwm-y-byd.org). This has been set up by the University of Trinity St. David in response to our news being filtered and we do not always get the full picture. The university has funded this website and the contributors are people living in other countries around the world who write about their news without bias. You can click on any language to read the news and get the real picture. I’m afraid Kernewek is not available...at the moment!

On Wednesday we attended the presentation of the Prose Medal which was won by Jane Jones Owen on the subject of Knots. Her creative work consisted of 59 pieces on place names from Aberdaron to Mold and was entitled A Web of Silk Knots, about the social change in rural Wales. The Chair was not awarded this year.

We thank the Welsh Gorsedd for their friendship and hospitality, especially Mererid Hopwood, for looking after us so well and whose company we always enjoy.

Kembra bys vyken! Cymru am byth! Wales forever!

Breton Gorsedh 2013

On the hottest day of the year, the Breton Gorsedh was held at the stone circle in Anzaro. The Cornish delegates were the Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller Steren Mor and the Gorsedh Secretary, Esther Johns Tamm Steren with Mererid Hopwood, the Celtic Delegate Secretary, from Wales. The procession wound its way through the fields to the Circle, where the Grand Druid, Per-Vari Kerloc’h conducted the ceremony in his inimitable style.

The ceremony has similar elements to our own Gorsedh with a welcome to the Celtic delegates who were invited to bring greetings from their own country. In her speech, the Grand Bard supported the Grand Druid in his quest to gain recognition of the Breton language by the French government. This had been an election promise by Francois Hollande, now the French President, but to date this has not happened. It is crucial that Breton is officially recognised, because without it, Brittany cannot access monetary grants from the European Union, which means the development of the Breton language is curtailed at this time. Other parts of the ceremony include the Lady of the Flowers, the horner calling to the four points of the world, the Joining of the Half-Sword, singing accompanied by a harpist, Swearing on the Sword, and the initiation of bards. This year there were two new bards, one for the blues and the other for the greens. The ceremony ended with the singing of the Breton National Anthem, the distribution of mistletoe and the drinking of mead from the horn.

The Gorsedd was followed by a feast to celebrate and everyone was invited to attend. The hospitality was superb and every kindness given to the guests making a joyful occasion. Gorsedh Kernow would like to thank the Bretons for their welcome, their hospitality and the deep friendship which exists between the two countries.

Bevet Breizh! Bevet Kernev Veur! Kenavo gwesh all!

Long live Breizh! Long live Kernow! Till we meet again!

Gorsedh Kernow Council Awards and Competition Results 2013

For Gorsedh Kernow Council Awards 2013 please click here. For Competition results 2013 please click here. .

Summary Report of the Gorsedh Kernow Council meeting July 2013

GK Council

Mentenor a’n Ertach spoke about how the awards will be presented at the Truro Music Festival. She also mentioned the Helston lady, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, who had recently been in the news and it was agreed that the Gorsedh should recognise her bravery and send a certificate.

A request was received from Eaglehawk, Australia for permission to hold a gathering of the bards and this was granted.

Bardh Meur reported that she has attended the memorial service for Lord St Levan and then went on to thank the 36 bards who attended the Awen ceremony in quite poor weather and considered this to have been a success.

Concerning Gorsedh Competitions - Bardh Meur has asked to be present at the next meeting of this sub-committee and suggested contacting Pol Hodge/MAGA in order to involve more schools.

The Gorsedh was contacted by a production team making a BBC2 programme with Ian Hislop about Olden Days. Filming has been done with Pol Hodge and this will be shown in April 2014.

Bardh Meur reported that the status of Gorsedh Kernow has been steadily improving as shown in the number of events to which she has been invited and the position of seating at these.

A report from Kannas Bardh Meur Telynyor an Weryn made several recommendations. The following were agreed by Council:

  • That a Communications Officer should be appointed.
  • That the positioning of the stand at the Royal Cornwall Show be looked into.
  • That the AGM continue to be held in June at Lys Kernow but with the addition of refreshments and, perhaps, a talk.

Other Business: Gwythyas Melyn informed Council that the Men Omborth is now ten years old and in need of servicing. It was agreed that this should be done.

Any future changes to costumes for Gorsedh ceremony would be made in consultation with the Mistress of the Robes and after seeking feedback from the dancers and their parents.

New Bards 2013

For a list of new Bards at the Penryn Gorsedh please click here.

Gorsedh Kernow Conference 2013

The 2013 Bardic Conference is being held at Penryn Town Hall on Friday 6th September.

The theme for the Conference is 'Engaging the Diaspora' and is designed to look at the Cornish who live away from Cornwall, the diaspora, both in its historical connection as well as the modern diaspora.

For a full programme please click here. More details and a booking form can be found here.

Cornish Remembrance Day, Penryn

Penryn Remembrance

Shortly after 12.30 on Saturday 24th August - Penryn Fair Day - the ceremonies will open with the annual 15 minute Service of Remembrance at the Memorial Stone on the Green adjacent to the Commercial Road traffic lights.

This Service commemorates the many Cornish who, over the centuries, have given their lives for their Homeland. Civic dignitaries are joined by Bards of Cornwall and members of the general public. All are welcome.

Gorsedh Kernow Bardic Collection

On Wednesday 4th September a reception will be hosted by the library team at Tremough to celebrate the launch of the Gorsedh Kernow Bardic Collection.

The Gorsedh Kernow Bardic Collection brings together for the first time literature by, and about, Cornish Bards, through the kind donation of material from Bards, their families and friends and is a joint venture between the Gorsedh and the library staff at Tremough, University of Falmouth.

Should you wish to contribute additional works to this collection, contact Carole Green: c.green@fxplus.ac.uk or + 44 (0)1326 259350
As some commercially produced media material is now accepted, there is a new deposit form for 2013. Please consult the form here for restrictions.

If there are any individual queries please contact

    Ann Trevenen Jenkin
    An Gernyk, Fordh an Chapel, Leedstown, Hayle TR27 6BA, Kernow, U.K.
    telephone 01736 850332

Holyer An Gof Awards 2013

(for books published in 2012)
HaG logo

Past Grand Bard Vanessa Beeman/Gwenenen recently attended the annual presentation evening for these literary awards which were set up by Gorsedh Kernow in memory of Redruth publisher Leonard Truran - Holyer an Gof.

The winner of the major overall award of the Holyer an Gof Trophy was, The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies - 'Wade-Bridge: notes on the history of the fifteenth century bridge' by Andrew G. Langdon.

For details of the awards please click here.

Summary Report AGM 2013

GK Council

This year, the AGM was attended by 37 bards and apologies were read out for 13 bards. The low attendance was a cause for concern as there has to be a quorum of 30 to carry out business.

Bardh Meur extended a welcome to all and gave her report which included details of her recent visit to Australia. She also reported that invitations for the Grand Bard to attend important occasions were on the increase and this showed the growing standing of The Gorsedh in the eyes of the public.

Thanks were given to the local organising committee in Camelford who did so much to ensure a successful Open Gorsedh ceremony last September and preparations are well under way for the event in Penryn this year.

The numerous events that happened over the week including St Piran’s Day were touched upon and, it is hoped, these will continue to proliferate. The Celtic Congress was held in Bodmin this year and Gorsedh Kernow supported this and held a Proclamation in the town.

Last October’s conference on Education and Cornish Culture was a very interesting one and many thanks go to Merv and Alison Davey for organising this and to the many speakers. We look forward to this year’s conference entitled ‘Diaspora’. One of the ideas to come out of the conference was the need for a Communications Co-ordinator and the process of obtaining someone for this role is now in hand.

Bardh Meur finished by reporting that President Obama had appointed a Cornish woman, Natasha Trethewey as Poet Laureate and Gorsedh Kernow have sent her a book along with congratulations. The Treasurer’s Report then followed which was accepted unanimously. The need to promote The Capital Endowment Fund was stressed.

The Secretary gave a brief report including correspondence received from Australia praising Bardh Meur’s attendance at so many events there, and from the estate of the Late Lord St Levan with details of a memorial service.

The Admissions Report was read by Cum Morek in which she announced that 21 people had been invited to become bards and 18 of these had accepted.

Further reports from the sub-committees: Archives and Publications, Holyer an Gof, Cornish Language, Merchandise and Website were read and accepted.

The main business of voting on the proposed changes to the Constitution then followed and this was carried, all being in favour but with one abstention. These changes will now be printed in both Cornish and English and distributed to all bards. Thanks were given to Jori Ansell Caradok, who headed up the team who worked on this document and also to the Gorsedh’s legal advisor, Claire Bowden-Dan Roswhythyer.

Other business included Bert Biscoe Vyajor Gans Geryow informing the Gorsedh that the new leader of Cornwall Council, John Pollard is a bard and it was suggested that Bardh Meur write to congratulate him.

Awen Ceremony, The Hurlers, Minions

Awen ceremony 2013

On Sunday 23rd June 2013, the annual Gorsedh Awen ceremony was held at the Hurlers, Minions in what can only be described as a gale. Three dozen intrepid bards gathered for the ceremony and processed across boggy ground, behind banners which were bowed by the strong winds.

The ceremony of the Awen centres around the elder people of the community giving their knowledge to the younger ones, represented by the Lyver Bewnans, Book of Life, made in Cornish yew. The elders were Jack Davy, whose ancestors were stonemasons in Linkinhorne parish and community stalwart Zena Jones, who is descended from miners and farmers and has received the MBE for her services to local life. The elders gave the book to the Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller, who paraded it around the circle for all to see, before giving it to the younger members of the community. They were two children from Upton Cross Primary School, Hannah Dilworth, the daughter of a local quarryman and Alex Daniel, whose father is a farmer at Rillaton.

The Grand Bard said, "I was very pleased that the people representing the elders and the young ones all attended the primary school at the nearby Upton Cross Primary School. This really demonstrates the continuity of the village school. Despite the difficult conditions, a fair crowd came to watch the ceremony and see how Gorsedh Kernow demonstrates its considerable on-going input in both maintaining and progressing the culture of Cornwall."

The previous Awen ceremonies were held at Boscawen Un, where the first Gorsedh was held in 1928 and we will continue to hold the ceremony at mid-summer in the many stone circles and other sites of cultural significance throughout Kernow, in a different area from where the September Gorsedh is being held. Grateful thanks was expressed to Simon Parker Scryfer Carn Marth for organising the Awen ceremony and to all the valiant bards who braved the gale to attend this event.

Gorsedh Kernow 1928-2013
Open Gorsedh : Saturday 7th September 2013

Glasney Field

The gathering of the bards of Cornwall this year is to take place in Penryn.

Public attendance is free and welcomed.

Details of the ceremony and supporting events can be seen by clicking on the following link. Click here.

Calendar for 2014

2014 calendar

A high quality Cornish, 13 month, calendar is available to Bards with dates of key annual Cornish events, festivals and celebrations including Gorsedh Kernow activities and dates. Days and months are in Cornish and English.

Also available is a selection of 4 assorted general note cards, designed and printed in Cornwall for Gorsedh Kernow. Order form here.

Sad News

Two Bards of Gorsedh Kernow have died during recent weeks. Their names are:

John James Matthews - Curvester who received his Bardship at Bude Castle in 1975.

Jack Libby - Map Porthpyra who received his Bardship at Merry Maidens, St Buryan in 1986.

Cornish Bards of the Penryn and Falmouth Area/
Berdh Kernow Ranndir Pennrynn hag Aberfala

Glasney Tapestry

To commemorate the 2013 Gorsedh taking place at Glasney Field, Penryn, Gorsedh Kernow have put together a publication which details the lives and works of 46 deceased bards who lived and worked, at least for part of their lives in the Penryn and Falmouth area.

Also included are details of 49 living bards and the work they are now doing for Cornwall.

This is the fourth book in a planned series covering the area in which the annual Gorsedh Kernow is held.

For further details and order form please click here.

2013 Gorsedh Kernow AGM

The Gorsedh AGM will be held on Saturday 1st June at 13:30 in the Council Chamber, County Hall, Truro.

An Overseas Visit

Over the past few weeks the Grand Bard Maureen Fuller Steren Mor has been visiting Australia.

Six Bards of Bendigo
The six Bendigo Bards with Bardh Meur

Maureen in the Botanical Gradens
Maureen in the Botanical Gardens in White Hills. The plaque beside her makes reference to Cornish
miners being responsible for the White Hills gold rush due to their determination
to break through the hard ground.

Bush Fire monument
Maureen and Bards Leanne Lloyd and George Ellis next to the monument in Bendigo which was
supported financially by the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs to show solidarity
between Cornwall and the historical settlement of St Just Point, an area which lost many homes
and one life in the Black Saturday bush fires of 2009.

On Tuesday 7th May, the Mayor of Bendigo, Cr. Lisa Ruffell, hosted a reception in the Old Bendigo Town Hall for the Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller and 70 invited Cornish guests.

The six Bendigo bards, Tom Luke, Colon hag Enef yn Bendygo, Libby Luke Rosen Wyn Bendygo, Leanna Lloyd Nanscarow a Bendygo, George Ellis Map Bendygo, Ruth Hopkins Covathores Ystory Tramor, and Peter Mundy Lowarther Yllogan ha Bendygo, were introduced to the assembled Cornish and they explained their Cornish names and its meaning.

The Mayor then introduced the Grand Bard, who then made a speech about the importance of the diaspora and the esteem to which Gorsedh Kernow regards them. A buffet followed and a convivial time was had by all.

An Ancient Folk Tale

On the 2nd June Gorsedh Kernow Bard Mike O’Connor Crowder, storyteller, musician, and winner of the Henwood Medal of the Royal Institute of Cornwall will be the guest performer of artist duo Yoke and Zoom at an evening of story telling, music, academic discussion and performative re-interpretation of the ancient Cornish folk tale of ‘Nancy Trewier’.

Click here for full details of the event.

Summary Report of the Gorsedh Kernow Council meeting April 2013

GK Council

Since the Gorsedh was already in Penryn for the Proclamation, it was decided to hold the April Council meeting there, in the afternoon of the same day. Penryn Town Council was very accommodating in letting us use the Town Council Chambers.

There has been considerable progress made with the Mistress of the Robes, and quality of bards’ robes should now be consistent.

It was reported that twenty-one people had been invited to become bards and eighteen acceptances were received.

Further reports from the sub-committees were received and accepted by the Council.

The main business of the day was to review and accept the work done to revise the Constitution and this was acknowledged with thanks to those involved. The new wording will now be distributed amongst the bards so that a vote can be taken at the AGM in June.

It was also agreed that Gorsedh Council donate £120 towards an award/cup for a children’s publisher to be presented through Holyer an Gof.

Kannas Bardh Meur gave an update on work being done to appoint someone to head up the communications strategy for Gorsedh Kernow and stressed the importance of information going out to bards whether by e-mail or post. He advised that they are confident there will be an officer appointed to this role by October.

The Gorsedh Proclamation at Penryn 2013

After a week which suggested Spring was finally arriving, the skies opened on the Saturday of the Proclamation. In spite of the wet weather a number of Bards still travelled to Penryn. The original intention had been to process from the town hall to the Memorial Gardens, a moving remembrance of lives lost when houses there were destroyed during World War 2.

New plans were hastily made and we crossed the road from the Town Hall, to Penryn Methodist Church just a few yards away, to hold the ceremony indoors. In front of many guests, including local Councillors, Mr Geoffrey Evans, the Mayor of Falmouth and Mrs Gill Grant, the Mayor of Penryn, Mrs Grant welcomed the Gorsedh to the town. Bardh Meur thanked the Mayor and Penryn for the assistance given to the Gorsedh and presented the town with a framed piece of poetry by the Gorsedh's poet, Tim Saunders - Bardh Gwerin.

The short ceremony commenced with the customary call of peace to the assembed Bards. Pretty Jessica George dressed in spring coloured robes, was the 'Lady of the Flowers', after which the Grand Bard announced that the open Gorsedh would be held on Saturday Sept 7th, on the site which was once Glasney College. After the singing of Bro Goth Agan Tasow (Old Land of Our Fathers) and the customary cry of 'Kernow bys vykken!' (Cornwall for ever!) the ceremony closed and the Bards returned, before meeting up in the Temperance Hall where local ladies had arranged splendid refreshments which were much appreciated.

Thank you Penryn for your very warm welcome!

(left) Grand Bard, Herald Bard, Graham Sandercock, Gwas Conok / (right) Deputy Grand Bard, Grand Bard

Giant Bolster - not one, but two Bolster dates for your diary

Sunday 5th May 4.30p.m.

The annual Bolster Pageant on the cliffs above Chapel Porth.

Tuesday 14th May 7.00p.m.

"Giant Bolster: the legend continues" in the Hall for Cornwall featuring:

  • 4 “Character Cameos” devised and presented by classes from St. Agnes, Blackwater, Mount Hawke and Perranporth schools.
  • A new Community ballet/opera composed by David Frost.
For further details, please click here for the Press release.


A message from David Frost - Carer Brest:

    Your support at both events would be welcome, but please may I put in a special plea for you to support the children on 14th May. They have been researching the Bolster legend and with the support of teachers from Music Cornwall and coaches from Duchy Ballet, have created 4 short pieces based on Giant Bolster, Mrs. Bolster, (St.) Agnes and Sir Constantine. It would surely make the presentation of their efforts more rewarding if viewed by a large audience, including a number of Bards.

David Crewes - Gwas Ertach

Bard of Gorsedh Kernow, David Crewes - Gwas Ertach, who is also Mayor of St Columb was one of Cornwall’s delegates at the recent International Pan Celtic festival.

The photograph shows him lighting the festival candle at the opening ceremony in Carlow Ireland during Easter week.

International delegates from each of the six Celtic Nations also elected him to the prestigious position of International President for 2014.

He is the only person in the 42 year history of the International Celtic organisation to hold this position twice.

Dave received his Bardship in 1989.


Sad News

Three Bards of Gorsedh Kernow have died during recent weeks. Their names are:

Catherine Rachael John - Myrgh an Syns, who received her Bardship at St Just in 1982.

Margaret Perry - Hwilores-Kedhlow, who received her Bardship at Penzance in 2007.

Lord St Levan - Arluth Carrek Los, who received his Bardship at Marazion in 1995.

St Piran Celebrations 2013

Redruth Piran Procession 2013

St. Piran’s day was well and truly celebrated this year, with numerous events throughout Kernow. Redruth started with their procession on Saturday 2nd of March, led by two St.Pirans, one young and one older. The Mayor Cllr. Judy Davidson led the procession with the Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor, and the Gorsedh Banner led the bards up Redruth hill, followed by the children and townspeople. The two St.Pirans stopped at the Miner halfway up the hill, who was shrouded with material. The young St. Piran paid his respects and laid flowers at the Miner’s feet and the older St. Piran pulled the ribbon and exposed the Miner who was dressed in a tabard bearing the town’s lamb crest. We proceeded to the Flowerpot car park where stalls were doing a brisk trade. The Mayor introduced the Grand Bard, who made a short speech about St. Piran.

The procession then returned down the hill to Murdoch House. Within the procession was a large lamb made by the school children with willow and paper and they had held a competition to give him a name. The winning name was Tolgus, very appropriate to Redruth. There were many other events taking place around the town and bards Bert Biscoe, Vyajor gans Geryow and Pol Hodge, Mab Stenak Vur entertained with poetry and music at Murdoch House.

In the afternoon, the Deputy Grand Bard, Merv Davey Telynor an Weryn and the Past Grand Bard, Mick Paynter, Skogynn Pryv, were representing Gorsedh Kernow in St. Ives for the St.Piran Procession around the town. The mayor and fellow town councillors welcomed everyone and then led the people and musicians dressed in black and white around the town, ending with refreshments at the Guildhall.

On Sunday 3rd March, the annual procession across the dunes at Perranzabuloe to St. Piran’s Cross took place in windy but dry conditions. Hundreds of people armed with daffodils processed and the walk was interspersed with scenes from a new play about St. Piran written by Alan Kent. King Arthur even gave a guest appearance and the play was enjoyed by all. Children performed a modern street dance around the cross and then everyone sang Trelawny and laid daffodils at St.Piran’s Cross to show our respects.

On Monday 4th March, one hundred children put on a St.Piran in Penwith Concert at St. John’s Hall, Penzance, accompanied by the Penzance Ladies’ Orpheus Choir. There was an excellent programme of music with many Cornish songs from both choirs. The children sang heartily and obviously enjoyed every minute. A particular favourite was the song ‘There is something about a Pasty’, arranged by the late bard Derek Kitt, Yleweth Essa, to a march and full of actions. They were making pasties and when they finished they hung them on the washing line to dry, with lots of happy smiles! The Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor, spoke to the children about living in a special place like Kernow and that we all had a responsibility to look after it and pass it on to our descendants in a good state. The concert was organised by bard Howard Curnow, Kernow.

On Tuesday 5th March, St. Piran’s Day, the weather was glorious sunshine as befits our patron saint. We started the morning with a procession led by the Mayor, Bard Phil Rendle, Baneroniethor, and the Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor, followed by 700 children from Causeway Head in Penzance, processing around the town to the Morrab Gardens, where the Bolitho School put on a play they had made up about St. Piran in the bandstand. With no sound system, the children projected their voices superbly and their dance and actions added to the play, an excellent production and all their own work. All the children were enthusiastic and the procession took 10 minutes to pass by, a fitting tribute to St. Piran.

Grand Bard on Cathedral Steps

At the same time in Bodmin, the Deputy Grand Bard, Merv Davey Telynor an Weryn, was leading the St. Piran Procession with his pipes, from the Library to Mount Folly followed by the Mayor Cllr. K.Stubbs, the High Sheriff of Cornwall, Catherine Mead, the children and townspeople. The procession halted at the memorial in the main street for Myghal An Gov and Thomas Flamank; flags were lowered and a minute’s silence held in their memory. Speeches were made on the Mount, followed by dancing with the children, called by Alison Davey, Corolyores. The children then processed to the Parish Church of St. Petroc, where the schools sang songs. They then returned to the public Rooms and enjoyed a pasty lunch.

At 1.15p.m. the Truro Procession started from the Waterfall Gardens off St. George’s Road and processed in sunshine with flags flying to the steps of Truro Cathedral. Again the Gorsedh Banner was paraded through the streets with bards beneath it. At the cathedral steps, we were welcomed by the Mayor of Truro, Cllr.Lindsay Southcombe. A trophy was presented for the best window display by bard Stephen Gainey, Mab Hirnans, and the Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor spoke about making St.Piran’s Day a public holiday, allowing working people the chance to join in the celebrations. The school children then entertained, Penair and Tregolls performing a Cornish Song Medley, Bosvigo a drama telling the story of St.Piran and Truro School Prep singing the Ballad of St. Piran. Lynda Barley, Canon Pastor of Truro Cathedral led us in prayer and we ended in singing Trelawny, led by Richard Lander Boys Choir.

Perranzabuloe 2013
Click here for more videos

At 7p.m., Evensong for St. Piran was held in St. Martin’s Parish Church, Liskeard and followed by a concert by the Liskeard Town Band and Pelynt Male Voice Choir. This was arranged by the President of the Federation of the Old Cornwall Societies Duncan Paul Matthews and the Grand Bard Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor, read the lesson.

Konsel Gorsedh Kernow: Report of the February 2013 meeting

GK Council

Before the main business, a framed certificate with a poem specially written for him was presented to David Lindo, Carer Lowarthow to thank him for his service as Alhwedhor 1983 – 2012.

Tim Saunders, Bardh Gwerin is pleased to accept the role of ‘Poet Laureate’ for the Gorsedh and continues to produce poetry.

Bardh Meur gave an update on work being done by new robemakers to ensure quality.

A way of incorporating the Penryn Feast Commemoration Ceremony into the Esedhvos events in September was discussed. Also, a general discussion about how events of this sort should be well-attended by bards throughout the year and, specifically, St Piran’s Day celebrations.

A letter was received from Wella Brown, Crenner resigning from Gorsedh Council. This was accepted by the Council with the comment that it was ‘the end of an era’.

Permission was sought and granted from Australia to hold a gathering of bards in Davies Square Wallaroo on Saturday 25th May 2013 with an invitation extended to Bardh Meur and others. A report was also received on the last gathering of bards in Australia.

A report was given by Kannas Bardh Meur on progress made on the Communications Strategy for Gorsedh Kernow with recommendations on how best to move forward in this field.

There is now agreement with Truro Music Festival organisers that the Gorsedh Music Awards should now be held at their event in Truro.

A report was presented by Jori Ansell, Caradok, suggesting new wording for the Constitution. The proposed changes will be put to The College of Bards at the AGM in June.

Many of the other items discussed have already been distributed amongst bards in the February newsletter. These included appeals for volunteers to come forward to help with the Royal Cornwall Stall, attending meetings about Cornish Language and someone with knowledge of publishing.

Gorsedh Kernow Competitions 2013


Can we remind everyone that the closing date for the 2013 competitions is Monday 22nd April.

For full details click here for adults, and here for young people.

Presentation to David Lindo - Carer Lowarthow

David Lindo Presentation

At the recent February meeting of the Gorsedh Council, the room was packed with past Grand Bards, the Deputy Grand Bard, Gorsedh Councillors, current Treasurer and GK Secretary to see the Grand Bard Steren Mor make a presentation to David Lindo, the former Treasurer.

David entered the Gorsedh in 1992 taking Carer Lowarthow - Lover of Gardens as his Bardic name. In 1993 he became the Honorary Treasurer, a post he held until 2012.

The Grand Bard thanked him for his loyal service to the council and presented the unique gift of a framed poem, written especially for him by acclaimed Bard Tim Saunders - Bardh Gwerin. David also received a bouquet of flowers on behalf of his wife Brenda.

St. Ives Feast 4th February 2013

St Ives Feast 2013

Grand Bard, Steren Mor, was invited to the St. Ives Feast and asked to bring the Gorsedh banner, which was proudly processed throughout the town by the Gorsedh Banner bearers, from the Guildhall to the Venton Ia Well. It was good to see our banner advertising our existence and several bards marched proudly under it, wearing Cornish colours, and sporting sprigs of ivy, denoting St. Ia. The procession was led by the St. Ives Guisers, dressed in black and white and the children from St. Uny school, wearing Cornish tartan sashes, danced through the streets.

The Mayor, Cllr. Ron Tulley followed with the St. Ives Councillors and guests, together with many representatives from local organisations. After a short ceremony at the well, when the water was blessed by the vicar, the Rev. Andrew Gough also blessed the children, dousing them in holy water, which produced squeals of laughter.

St Ives Feast 2013

The procession then made its way back, following the music to the Parish Church, where the Mayor started the custom of Hurling the Silver Ball from the church graveyard, overlooking the beach which was in a state of high tide. The young people were all gathered on the small strip of beach, eagerly anticipating the Mayor throwing the ball from the wall of the churchyard. It was caught and passed from one to another on the beaches and streets of the town.

The Silver Ball is about the size of a tennis ball and is made of wood and covered in silver leaf. The Mayor had carried the Silver Ball in a wreath of ivy, throughout the procession. The rules are that the person holding the ball at 12 noon takes it to the Mayor at the Guildhall and is rewarded with a silver coin (originally a Crown Piece).

After the hurling was started, the Mayor and guests returned to the Guildhall where later, shiny new pennies were thrown to the children from the balcony and then the guests enjoyed a pasty lunch.

over your green down
you have travelled
to our great welcome

by Tim Saunders - Bardh Gwerin

A new award for Literature written in Cornish

Pewas Perghyryn

Cornish Language society Agan Tavas, launched a new award for literature in the Cornish language at their recent Annual General Meeting in Redruth. The Award is to be known as the “Pewas Perghyryn Lyenyeth Kernewek” The carved trophy has been given by the Palmer family in memory of the late Michael Palmer, a prolific writer in the Cornish language whose Bardic name was Perghyryn.

To read the full press release please click here.

Two Proclamation ceremonies in 2013

GK Proclamation 2013

The Penryn Gorsedh Proclamation will be held on Saturday April 13th at Penryn. Robing will be in the Town Hall from 10.00a.m., and all Bards to be robed by 10.30a.m. The Ceremony will follow at 11.00a.m. at the Memorial Gardens.

Refreshments available afterwards in the Temperance Hall which is opposite the Town Hall.

GK Proclamation 2013

This year the 2013 International Celtic Congress Annual Conference is being held at Bodmin from the 1st - 6th April and delegates from the six Celtic nations will be attending.

A Proclamation Ceremony will be held on the afternoon of Thursday April 4th at Mount Folly, Bodmin.
13.15 Robing will be in the Shire House Suite, 13.55 The procession to Mount Folly, 14.00 Proclamation.

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