Gorsedh Kernow

The Cornish Gorsedd 1928 - 2014

Dy' Sadorn 6es mis Gwynngala 2014.
Saturday 6th September 2014.

This year’s ceremony will be held at Thanckes Park, Torpoint, PL11 2JN.

(Please note that this is a different venue to the one where the Proclamation ceremony was held in April)
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Kedhlow adro Penntorr - Information about Torpoint

Torpoint lies at the mouth of the river Tamar, opposite Devonport dockyard and the city of Plymouth. The river is crossed here by three chain ferries, which carry cars, buses, trucks and pedestrians across the 500 yard wide tidal estuary. Torpoint is one of the “gateways” of South East Cornwall and the Rame peninsula, with the other main gateway being Saltash.

The town was developed to provide housing for workers at the dockyard, and naval facilities were also built around the town. At one time the main route from Plymouth to Cornwall was across the ferry, but the opening of the Tamar Bridge north of the town, the decline of employment at the dockyard, and the reduction in Royal Navy facilities has seen the focus of the town shift towards providing local employment, as well as providing housing for workers in Plymouth.

aerial view

There are several interesting houses to visit nearby including Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park and the National Trust properties Antony House and Gardens, and Cotehele. There is also the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.

If you wish to spend a few days in the area there is some accommodation in Torpoint and surrounding area, but it will get booked up early.

You are advised to do an online search and read some of the reviews, or visit your local Tourist office for advice.

You can download a map from the Visit Cornwall website by visiting www.visitcornwall.com/destinations/torpoint use the zoom button to see street details. There is also a detailed map on the Torpoint Town Council website www.torpointtowncouncil.gov.uk.

view from river

Arrangements for the 2014 Gorsedh in Torpoint

Car parking for bards: Please note - it’s easier to use the A374 road which goes round the town past the entrance to Antony House rather than trying to negotiate a short cut through the town via the earlier turning along Trevol Road.

Car parking for Bards, other than disabled Bards, will be in the free Sports Field car park located on the left about 400/500 yards after Torpoint Community College, Trevol Road, Torpoint PL11 2NH. You will need to walk back up to the College across the (busy) road from the car park.

Please do not park in the College car park which is reserved for disabled Bards. Any Bard who has mobility problems needs to say on their booking form and a special parking sign for your car will be issued so that parking can be as near to the changing rooms as possible

Bards with a disability: Car parking for disabled Bards will be in the car park of Torpoint Community College, Trevol Road, Torpoint, PL11 2NH. The procession to the Bardic Circle in Thanckes Park will take approximately 25 minutes. The terrain at the site is level although the route back to the College is uphill all the way.

There will be one special room in Torpoint Community College for disabled people to change in, both male and female, so that the stewards can assist with their needs. Bards with mobility problems will be transported from the College to the circle with their stewards.

If you wish to be transported, please fill in the form appropriately.

Please advise the Senior Marshal as to any other special requirements for the day in advance.

Public Attendance: Public attendance is free and welcome and it is hoped that visitors will regard the ceremony as a mark of the unique difference between the Celtic nation of Cornwall, newly recognised under the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and the entirely separate counties of England. The ceremony will be conducted by the Grand Bard of Cornwall, Mrs Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor, assisted by the Gorsedh Officers.

The Gorsedh Site: The route from the main roads will be marked by black and yellow Gorsedh Kernow signs. The site for the ceremony is Thanckes Park, known locally as “The Lawn”, Torpoint, PL11 2JN and is situated on the outskirts of Torpoint old town. It slopes down from the A374 to the foreshore at Thanckes Lake with Thanckes RN fuel depot to the north and the southern side being bordered by housing and allotments. The terrain in Thanckes Park is level.

Please note - if using Sat-Nav, bear in mind that it will take you to Thanckes Drive, this is one turning on the right too early coming from the Torpoint direction and one turning on the left too late coming from the Antony direction

Robing: This is from 12 noon onwards in Torpoint Community College (not the School). Bards are advised to arrive early for robing. There will be no morning procession.

Seating: The chairs forming the Bardic circle are for Bards and Dignitaries only. Visitors can view the ceremony from the outside of the circle of Bardic chairs, and are asked not to enter into the Bardic circle.

Wet Weather: In the event of wet weather, the Gorsedh ceremony will take place in the main hall of Torpoint Community College, Trevol Road, Torpoint PL11 2NH.

Photography: No photographers will be allowed in the circle during the ceremony.

Stalls: There will be a number of stalls on the Gorsedh field selling Cornish language books, Cornish memorabilia, crafts and other goods with a Cornish theme. Displays are also welcome if they relate to Cornish cultural life.

There will also be an Esedhvos market in Torpoint Council Chambers on Thursday 4th September at which stalls are also available.

Details and application forms are available from Pat Parkins, Gorsedh Kernow Events Manager, Inglenook, Culver Lane, Rattery, South Brent, Devon TQ10 9LJ. Tel 0776 2169 733.

Exhibitions and Events: In the days running up to and around the Saturday Gorsedh ceremony, there will be exhibitions and events, including a book launch, the GK Conference and the Sunday Evensong service, organized by Esedhvos Kernow and the Torpoint LOC.

Please try and come to as many of these events as possible, your support will be welcome.

Dress and Decorum: Please ensure that your robe is immaculately ironed and groomed, and no jeans, shorts or trainers to be worn under robes. It is important that the ceremony is orderly and impressive, so please retain ranks throughout processions.

Ceremony Booklet: By tradition the ceremony is conducted mainly in Cornish and the booklet with proceedings in English and Cornish will be available at a cost of £1.

Public concert: This will be held after the Saturday formal tea (which will be at the Community College) in St James' Church, Torpoint, PL11 2BH and starts at 7.00pm. Tickets cost £6.50 each and can be ordered in advance on the booking form and paid for on the door. There is parking available - by St James Church, PL11 2BH - at the Antony Road carpark at PL11 2JW - at the Tamar Street carpark PL11 2AW.

Formal Tea: For Bards and specially invited guests only. This will be in the main hall of Torpoint Community College. Space is limited so please book your tickets as early as possible. The cost will be £6 each ticket plus 50p postage and must be booked in advance. Please be there by 5.00pm prompt for Grace in Cornish.

For Bards' families, tea and refreshments will be available in a marquee situated on the school playing fields. Refreshments will also be available from the tea-hut in Benodet Park.

Commemorative Mugs: Attractive mugs are being produced as a souvenir in fine bone china, at a cost of £6.50 each; these should be ordered through the booking form and collected on the day.

Booking for Saturday Tea & Concert: Bards and Initiates must book tea tickets in advance, as early as possible, and by Sunday 10th August at the latest. There are a limited number of seats available so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Tea tickets will cost £6 each plus 50p postage. A booking form can be printed off from the Gorsedh Kernow website here (or via a link from the Esedhvos Kernow website www.esedhvos.co.uk).

Please send a cheque or postal order for the full amount, made payable to Torpoint Town Partnership, with your completed form and a self addressed envelope to - Torpoint Town Partnership c/o Torpoint Town Council, 1-3 Buller Road, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 2LD and post to arrive by Sunday 10th August. We strongly advise you to book early.

Alternatively Bards and Initiates can book online using PayPal via this link.

Celtic Delegates: Gorsedh Kernow warmly welcomes the Breton and the Welsh representatives. We hope they have a memorable time.

The Gorsedh Council is very grateful to the Torpoint Local Organising Committee who have worked tirelessly to give us a memorable day, St James Church, Cornerstone Methodist/United Reform Church, Torpoint and to local organisations and volunteers for their welcome and for the help given, without whose assistance our ceremony could not be staged.


Gorsedh Kernow – Torpoint, Saturday 6th September 2014

    12:00 Robing in designated rooms in Torpoint Community College.
    12:50 Initiates to be robed before a briefing at this time by the Initiates Stewards. Before you arrive please ensure that your hood fits, making any adjustment to the elastic, as necessary.
    13.00 All Bards to be robed. The Marshal will brief the Bards, guests, initiates, Lady of Cornwall and dancers with the specific instructions.
    13.30 Bardic Procession leaves for the Circle.
    14.00 The Gorsedh Ceremony will begin.
    17:00 Prompt! Bardic Tea in the Main Hall of Torpoint Community College for the Council’s special guests and bards who have pre-booked.
    19:00-21:00 Public Concert in St James Church Torpoint PL11 2BH.
To facilitate the work of the Marshals and Stewards in forming the procession, it is requested that Bards and guests acquaint themselves with the linear order of the procession, which is as follows:-
    Marshal, Piper, Gorsedh Banner, Initiates, Bards, St. Piran’s Banner, Council Members, Esedhvos Banner, Mistress of Robes and Herald, Chanter and Chaplain, Horner, Dancers, Lady and Attendants, Past Deputy Grand Bards, Past Grand Bards, Secretary and Treasurer, Breton Banner, Breton Reps., Welsh Banner, Welsh Reps., Deputy Grand Bard, Sword Bearer, Grand Bard, Junior Marshal, Deputy Senior Steward, O.C.S. Banners.

Sunday 7th September
    15:00 Ecumenical Service in Cornish in Cornerstone Methodist/United Reform Chuch. The collection is for the Church, and all are welcome whether Cornish speakers or not.


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