Gorsedh Kernow announces new Grand Bard elect

The Council of Gorsedh Kernow is delighted to announce that the new Grand Bard elect is Merv Davey from Withiel.

Merv, whose Bardic name is Telynor an Weryn meaning Folk Harper, was made a bard in 1978 at the Merry Maidens stone circle near St Buryan, West Cornwall, through examination in the Cornish language Kernewek.

“It is a great honour to be elected as the next Grand Bard of Cornwall,” said Merv, accepting the invitation, “and a wonderful opportunity to work with Gorsedh Kernow in promoting, and sharing my enthusiasm for, Cornwall’s distinctive culture and Celtic identity.”

Grand Bard elect, whose bardic name is Telynor an Weryn, is pictured withe the Grand Bard of Cornwall Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor, after Gorsedh Kernow's AGM.

Grand Bard elect Merv Davey, Telynor an Weryn, with Grand Bard of Cornwall Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor.

Merv qualified as a social worker in 1974 and has worked in a variety of social care situations, most recently as sensory team manager for Cornwall Council. In 2005 he undertook postgraduate research with Exeter University’s Institute of Cornish Studies which led to the award of a Doctorate in 2011.  His thesis explored the fascinating world of Cornish folk tradition and identity and is due to be published as a book later this year.

Affectionately known as “Dr Folk”, Merv Davey was born in Newquay and lists among his many interests Cornish studies, folk dance, guizing and kayaking. He was one of the founders of Lowender Peran, Cornwall’s own Celtic festival, and plays banjo for the North Cornwall Ceilidh Band. It is, however, as a Cornish Bagpiper at the head of parades and processions that he will be recognised by many.

“The highlight of my year is doing duty as Bodmin Town Piper on St Piran’s Day,” said Merv, “and at the end of the procession we lead some 500 children through some Cornish dances and they have an absolute ball.” 

Dr Davey has been elected for a period of three years.  The only candidate nominated by the College of Bards and following the agreed procedures laid down in the Gorsedh Kernow constitution, he will assume full duties as Grand Bard of Cornwall at the bardic ceremony to be held in St Austell on Saturday 5th September 2015.

His role as Deputy Grand Bard will be conferred at the same ceremony to Elizabeth Carne, Melennek, who was elected to this role by the College of Bards last year.

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For further information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact Delia Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, Communications Officer, Gorsedh Kernow,  email  communications@gorsedhkernow.org.uk

Further notes for Editors

Gorsedh Kernow exists to maintain the national 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.

Gorsedh Kernow is increasingly becoming the first port of call for views, insights and information about the historic and modern culture of Cornwall.  The role of the Grand Bard of Cornwall has grown considerably over the years and in addition to overseeing the formal Bardic ceremonies both in Cornwall and overseas, the role also includes an increasing number of public speaking appearances, chairing of and contributing to high level meetings on behalf of the College of Bards and being continually aware of current affairs and developments in the worlds of culture, business and politics in Cornwall and beyond.

The main Bardic ceremony, where awards and prizes are presented and bardships conferred, will be held on Saturday 5th September in Poltair Park, St Austell, as part of Gorsedh Kernow’s Esedhvos Festival of Cornish culture, which runs from Tuesday 1st  – Sunday 6th September 2015.