Esedhvos Festival 2019

Esedhvos Festival 2019. Account by Pol Hodge, Mab Stenak Vur, Deputy Grand Bard


Well, the good people of St Just did us proud. The town and parish of St Just in Penwith proved to be an excellent place to host the Esedhvos including the Gorsedh ceremony itself.  We did not have to work too hard to make a real impact and at the same time there were appropriate venues available for our events – and all within walking distance within this super little Cornish town.


This was a great success with 7 stalls and interesting sessions with authors.  It was enhanced by the huge book sale of the late former Bardh Meur Commow’s library.  Again, the Lit Fest was the tip of the Holyer iceberg.  This year’s event was also a great networking opportunity. Approximately 40 people attended.

Nos Pewas ha Diskwedhyans an Esedhvos – Awards Evening and Exhibition
It was a full house for the Awards Evening and all sectors of Cornwall’s thriving cultural sector were celebrated and showcased. Performances from some of the prize winners made it a night to remember. Approximately 120 people attended

The display exhibition was very impressive with displays of the old trophies.  However, the highlight was the film loop playing in the side room of the Miners’ Chapel.  There was, of course, a huge amount work done by Dave Brotherton and his team especially Amanda Harris.


With a theme of Global Kernow, the venue was almost full.  With the main speaker unfortunately unable to attend at the last minute, Jenefer Lowe did a great job in delivering a full program. There was were  the usual technical difficulties despite much planning and advice but the day was interesting and informative. 44 people attended.


With thanks to Helen Musser and all the musicians who teamed up to give us a crqcking night.  We have so much talent within  Gorsedh Kernow. Approximately 60 people attended.


Good weather, a fantastic setting and the hard work of Tim Hamley and his team made this a great success.  The six stalls added to the atmosphere as did our honoured guests from Gorsedd Cymru and Goursez Breizh.

Bardic tea

This has always been the pinch point but a great time was had by all.  The coffee at various events was the best ever!  We were very lucky this year as St Just Old Cornwall were able to run a parallel tea for banner bearers, dancers, etc.  The tea event was excellent this year. 147 people attended.

Keskan – Concert

There was much debate as to who should take part.  In the end we decided to go with local talent who treated the concert as an honour rather than an opportunity.  The Penwith Youth String Group with the Miners’ Chapel acoustics was amazing. 72 people attended

Fringe Events

Come ye All – yes, we had two events.  I did pop into this event.

Cape Cornwall Singers at The Star – I did hear them, they sounded good.

Levant Walk – of the 20 or so people who attended 14 were National Trust members.

Town Walk – This was led by Doug Luxford and was very informative. Approximately 40 attended.

A Taste of Cornish Language

Personally, I believe that Kernewek is the heart and soul of the Cornish nation.  It was great that there may be a new class in St Just.  The Kowethas ran good events that used the SWF, working with their fellow bards. Approximately 30 attended -The Knut was full.

Church Service

With Gorsedh Chaplain, Jane Kneebone, the Tereba Nessa Choir as well readings from Bardh Meur and Kannas Bardh Meur the service was very much a Gorsedh Kernow affair.  We owe thanks to the Bishop of Truro who gave an excellent sermon.  The event was rounded off by a fabulous tea provided by the WI in the parish hall. Approximately 50 people attended.


Apart from thanking all the people who produced a great Esedhvos we need to give special thanks to Pat and Gareth Parry, not only for a good LitFest, but also for all their hard work with Holyer an Gof throughout the year.

Sadly the Covid-19 restrictions mean that it has not been possible to hold the Esedhvos this year, although there will be a small bardic ceremony on September 5th. 2020 to initiate new bards and read the roll of those Bards who have passed during the year.