A deep feeling of pride in being honoured with Cornish bardship will be plain to see this year as 16 proud initiates, 8 of whom are from outside Cornwall, wait to take their place among the 500 or so existing members of the College of Bards of Gorsedh Kernow.
Gorsedh Kernow, now in its 90th anniversary year, was established with the aim of celebrating and promoting Cornwall’s distinctive Celtic culture and the major tourist destination town of Newquay provides the setting for this year’s Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival which includes the iconic blue robed bardic ceremony on Saturday 1st September.
The high point of the ceremony, which starts at 2pm on the Barrowfields, will be the inauguration of the 16 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, Telynyor an Weryn “especially as the ceremony is conducted in front of gathered members of the College of Bards, alongside representatives of our sister Celtic nations of Wales and Brittany, other Cornish organisations and friends and families that support Gorsedh Kernow and come together on this special occasion to celebrate our precious Cornish culture.”
The importance of work done for Cornwall by people overseas is particularly recognised this year with half of the new bardships being conferred on people from the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The new bards for 2018 are;
Nick Bartle, Wellington, New Zealand, for services to Cornish identity in New Zealand including work for the NZ Cornish Association.
Dave Brotherton, St. Ives, for services to Cornish music including writing and performing Cornish folk music as co-founder of Tir ha Tavas, Bagas Porthia and the revived St Ives Guisers.
Jean Charman, Camborne, for services to Camborne’s heritage and the Cornish in Mexico including twinning with the Cornish in Mexico and, as a Camborne councillor the protection and re-use of historic buildings in her home town.
Dick Cole, Fraddon, Truro, for campaigning for Cornwall’s cultural and geographical integrity.
Jane Darke, Porthcothan Bay, Padstow, for services to Cornish film making and writing, her archival and educational work and the promotion of films and other work by her late husband Nick Darke.
Mark Elton, Twickenham, London, by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall. He also helps organise Kernow in the City to celebrate St Piran each year in London.
Malcolm Gould, Luxulyan, for services to Cornish industrial history including talks on China Clay and work for the China Clay museum.
Darren Hawken, Tideford, Saltash, for services to Cornish music.
Margaret Johnson, Morphett Vale, South Australia, for services to Cornish identity in South Australia. Sings with and leads the choir at Australian bardic gatherings and is a popular mc and public speaker at bardic events in Australia including Kernewek Lowender.
Jan Lokan, McLaren Vale, South Australia, for services to Cornish identity in South Australia. A hardworking member of the Kernewek Lowender organising committee.
Peter Meanwell, Washaway, Bodmin, for services to Cornish music including researching old Cornish music for performance by his own choir the Washaway Gallery Choir.
Jane Nancarrow, St.Stephens, Launceston, for services to Cornish literature. A pupil and disciple of Charles Causley who works hard for the Charles Causley Festival and is one of the finest readers of Causley’s poetry. She is also well remembered for her performance as Mary Yellan in ‘Jamaica Inn’ and had a leading role in Edward Woodward’s last film ‘A Congregation of Ghosts’.
Jonny Nance, Cullompton, Devon, for services to Cornish maritime culture. Builds traditional boats for St. Ives, which resulted in the formation of the Jumbo Association, named after the design of the boat, and the reappearance of unique Cornish luggers in St.Ives harbour. Grandson of Robert Morton Nance, Mordon and Bernard Leach, Resor an Nor.
Richard Damian Nance, Stratford, Connecticut, U.S.A., for services to Cornish identity in the U.S.A. A geologist with a particular interest in the geology of Cornwall, especially the Lizard. He has also directed attention, with a view to increasing public access, to the only known surviving Cornish engine house in the U.S.A. which housed a massive Cornish engine known as ‘The President’. Grandson of Robert Morton Nance, Mordon and Bernard Leach, Resor an Nor.
Glen Ridnour, Mineral Point, Wisconsin, U.S.A., for services to Cornish identity in the U.S.A.
Carole Roberts, North Vancouver, Canada, for services to Cornish identity in Canada.
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Gorsedh Kernow exists to promote and maintain the 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 16 new initiates into the College of Bards will take place on Saturday 1st September at the 2pm ceremony on the Barrowfields as part of the Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture. The procession will be led at 1.30pm from the Hotel Bristol by Grand Bard of Cornwall Merv Davey, Telynyor an Weryn, accompanied by the Mayor of Newquay Cllr Andy Hannan and local girl Cassandra Sheppard as the “Lady of Cornwall.”
The bardic names of the 16 new bards will also be made known for the first time at this ceremony, which will be conducted in the Cornish language although it can be followed easily with the English translation. All are welcome to attend the ceremony and there is no charge for this event.
This year’s ceremony will also include the installation of a new Grand Bard, Elizabeth Carne, Melennek and a new Deputy Grand Bard, Pol Hodge, Mab Stenak Vur.
The Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture runs from Wednesday 29th August to Sunday 2nd September and, as well as the main bardic ceremony, has a variety of events including a Literary Festival, a one-day conference – “Cornwall’s Heritage Assets – Time for Change?” with guest speakers including Dr Nichola Harmer of Plymouth University, Dick Cole, Bert Biscoe and Kim Conchie, CEO of Cornwall Chamber, the Adults and Young People’s awards evening, the ever popular Cornish troyl ceilidh, a gala concert, Cornish language taster morning, a Newquay history walk and sung evensong in Cornish. Most events are free of charge and all are welcome to attend.
For more information about all the Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture events visit the website www.esedhvos.org.uk
For more information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact Delia Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, Hon Secretary, Gorsedh Kernow,
or visit the Gorsedh Kernow website www.gorsedhkernow.org.uk