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Welcome to Gorsedh Kernow!

We invite you to explore our site. Here you can learn about the history and origins of the Gorsedh, the purpose and significance of the ceremonies, our annual competitions, events, our links to organisations and our place in contemporary Cornish society. The site is continually updated to include the latest news. Gorsedh Kernow is also on Facebook.

To see a Cornish version of any page, please click on the flag. Click on the logo at the top of any English page to return to this one.

The Cornish Gorsedd used Unified Cornish (UC) spelling for all its business until the June 2009 AGM when it adopted the Standard Written Form (SWF). All news items added since that date are therefore in the new spelling.

Disclaimer: Gorsedh Kernow is not responsible for the content or any views expressed on linked sites.

Please note that all material on this site is copyright and may not be used without permission.


Gorsedh Kernow Competitions 2015

Trophies

The 2015 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 27th April 2015 and the awards will be presented by the Grand Bard at the Open Gorsedh in St Austell on Saturday 5th September 2015.

For full details click here for adults, details for young people to follow.


Report of July 2014 Meeting of Konsel Gorsedh Kernow

GK Council

A meeting with FOCS will go ahead as soon as possible when arranged with all parties involved. This is to discuss sales and marketing strategies.

A few updates from the sub-committees:

  • Archives -The book launch date is fixed and order forms produced which will now go out to bards. Bryallen will be going on ‘legacy training’ to represent the Gorsedh on 22 July.
  • Awards - Mentenor a’n Ertach reported that all awardees have replied and are delighted.
  • Competitions - A new group has been formed and this is now under way.
  • Language - SWF dictionary is on track for launch before the start of new school year.
  • Communications - Myrghwyn Melynor reported that Facebook postings and followers are growing steadily. The topic of ‘How to use social media’ will be addressed at the conference.
  • The Treasurer’s report was accepted with thanks.
  • Holyer an Gof - The awards evening is coming up this Tuesday at Waterstones. The book fair at Lys Kernow went well with 14 stalls but the next one may be organised for October or November to coincide with the start of the HaG year.
  • Merchandise - Kaswydh reported on sales of £80 at the AGM and £68 at FOCS. Hoping to break even soon.

Some effort had been put into making the AGM more attractive to bards but this had not been successful. This will be discussed further and put on agenda for October meeting.

Arrangements for the Torpoint ceremony are progressing well.

Council members were invited to look at the timetable for election of Deputy Grand Bard and speak now if anything needs changing. David Holman Rifelwas has accepted the role of Returning Officer.

The Standing Orders have been revised and will be sent out to all bards.

Kannas Bardh Meur put it to Council that a budget should be allowed for arranging future Esedhvos events to go towards possible cost of venues and printing of programmes. This was approved.

A letter was received from Ian Saltern of St Piran Trust asking Bardh Meur to write a supporting letter for their bid for funding. This she will do.

Kernow Bys Vykken Book Website – a reply was received from Michael Galsworthy thanking the Gorsedh for the pledge of £500 over two years.

The Council showed appreciation for the inspiring speech made by Bardh Meur at this year’s An Gof Commemoration in St Keverne.

Gwythyades an Log gave a short update on excavation work at St Piran’s Oratory.

Bryallen had attended the prestigious opening of Charles Causley House and suggested Bardh Meur write to them to express support.

Cummow reminded Council of the upcoming Eucharist in Cornish being held at Truro Cathedral.

Esther Johns Tamm Steren, Secretary to Gorsedh Council


Sad news from Australia

William Robinson (Bill) Phillips - Mapwyn Whel Ros has died suddenly. He was the father figure of the Cornish Association of Victoria and in more recent years had been Patron of CAV.

Over the years Bill and his wife Gwen - Ertach Penwyth welcomed many visitors from Cornwall, including Bardh Meur just a few months ago.

Bill was a very active member of the Cornish community in Australia, loved Cornwall and was very proud of his Cornish heritage.

In 1993 he received a Bardship for services to the Cornish Community in Australia. Bill and Gwen's son Rod is also a Bard -Tresoryer.

Our condolences go out to his family at their sudden loss. Our thoughts are also with CAV and their loss of a valued member and friend.

For tribute from Gorsedh Kernow please click here, and from Rev E.A.(Ted) Curnow please click here.


Bill Phillips 1930 -2014



Award Ceremony for Successful Candidates in
Cornish Language Examinations 2014

Successful candidates in this year’s Cornish Language examinations gathered with their families and teachers at Lys Kernow for the presentation of their certificates by the Grand Bard.

exams 2014
First grade (L to R) - Sarah Broome, Philip Hurley, Duane Glasby, Claire Murphy, Mark Elton, Alice Holland,
Bardh Meur, Marrick Taylor, Hilary Payne, Kevin Phillips, Ben Doney, Jamie Purves, Matt Sharp, Beth Carey, Rebecca Sharp.


exams 2014
Second grade (L to R) - Shaun Toft, Colin Short, Ann Short, Bardh Meur, Denise Hunt, John (Ken) Cocks.


exams 2014
Third grade (L to R)- Jacqueline Love (Jakki Kerensa), Bardh Meur, Brian Pocock on behalf of James Daniel.


exams 2014
Fourth grade (L to R)- Peter Harwood, Pamela Cox, Ruth Webb, Kathryn Jones, Bardh Meur,
Bramwell Hayes, Penelope Melmoth, Tony Burt.


Torpoint Gorsedh

GK 2014

The annual gathering of the Bards of Gorsedh Kernow is held on the first Saturday in September. This year the event took place at Torpoint and included several Bards and initiates who had travelled thousands of miles from both the USA and the Southern Hemisphere.

The day dawned clear and at 13.30 with the Bards, official guests and initiate Bards assembled outside Torpoint Community College, the procession set off for the circle, following the Gorsedh piper and Gorsedh banner with the Awen symbol representing love, justice and truth.

After a welcome speech from the Mayor of Torpoint Cllr Mike Pearn MBE, the Grand Bard thanked him and Torpoint Town Council and in her speech reminded everyone of the sacrifice made by Cornishmen and women who fought on foreign fields so that we might live in peace.

The full text of her rousing and emotional speech can be read here.

GK 2014

The guest delegates were Per-Vari Kerloc'h, Grand Druid of Brittany, and Aled Davies for the Archdruid of Wales.

GK 2014

During the traditional ceremony the Deputy Grand Bard read out the names of the deceased Bards after which as a symbol of continuity 23 new Bards were welcomed into the Gorsedh. The Gorsedh Council awards and prizes in the Gorsedh competitions were then distributed.

Just before the end of the ceremony all Bards moved to the centre of the circle for the customary singing of 'Bro goth Agan Tasow' (Land of our Fathers) and the shout of 'Kernow bys Vykken' Cornwall for ever!

GK 2014

On the following day the Bishop of Truro Tim Thornton attended Evensong in Cornish, in Cornerstone Methodist/United Reform Church along with the Rev Steve Wild who delivered the sermon.

The 2015 Gorsedh ceremony will be held at St Austell on Saturday September 5th.


Gorsedh Kernow hosts annual Conference


David Holman (Rifelwas), Kernow King, Merv Davey (Kannas Barth Meur)

Popular Cornish comedian Kernow King and Anna Pascoe, Business Performance Manager, Cornish Orchards were among the speakers sharing their professional expertise at the 2014 Gorsedh Kernow annual Conference focussing on 'Brand Kernow', which was free of charge and open once again to the general public.

The conference theme was chosen by Deputy Grand Bard Merv Davey, Telynor an Weryn, with a view to drawing on the experiences and views of people from the world of culture, entertainment, education and business and to share their expertise with their audience.

Following a warm welcome from Grand Bard Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor and a presentation by Communications Officer Dee Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, on the subject of 'Does Cornwall have a Brand', special guest Ed Rowe, Kernow King, spoke about building up audiences using social media, citing his 37,000 Facebook and 15,000 Twitter followers and 1 million YouTube viewers.

GK conference 2014
Dee Brotherton (Myrghwyn Melynor), Anna Pascoe, Bardh Meur, Tom Fidler

Tom Fidler, Chair of the Celtic Students Association then spoke about Cornish identity at Tremough, and that although Gorsedh Kernow did not, according to the current University prospectus, feature in 'Cornwall’s Cultural Top 10', Cornish identity was growing among young people and that support for St Pirans Day had been strong in Penryn following the Gorsedh Kernow ceremony there.

Amy Hale via SKYPE from California, shared some fascinating results from recent academic research into 'nation branding', highlighting some of the real and perceived challenges with asserting Cornish identity.

She was followed by Anna Pascoe, Business Performance Manager of Cornish Orchards, with a strong presentation about the serious business of producing, marketing and selling a product effectively, honestly and commercially.

A closing plenary session led by Deputy Grand Bard Merv Davey drew many helpful comments from the audience who encouraged Gorsedh Kernow to continue to recognise the importance of its own brand and to embrace enthusiastically new media to maintain and strengthen Cornish, Celtic and worldwide links.

Dee Brotherton Myrghwyn Melynor


Book Launch at Torpoint


Sir John Richard Carew Pole, Bardh Meur Maureen Fuller Steren Mor, Torpoint Mayor Mike Pearn MBE,
Ann Trevenen Jenkin Bryallen, Mrs Val Pearn and Dr Ken George Profus an Mortyd

The Thursday preceding the Torpoint Gorsedh saw the publication of two books. The launch of the book on Cornish Bards of the Tamar Valley by the Grand Bard Maureen Fuller Steren Mor, and 'Placenames of the Tamar Valley' by Dr Ken George Profus an Mortyd.

Both events were held in the Torpoint Council Chambers.


Gorsedh Kernow: Torpoint 2014

The Gorsedh ceremony will take place on Saturday 6th September at Torpoint - click here for details.

Public attendance is free and welcome.


The National Eisteddfod in Llanelli, Wales 2014

Eisteddfod 2014
Padraig O Healai, Ivonne Owen, Maureen Fuller, Bernard Cousquer, Esyllt Nest, Merv Davey, Mona Cousquer

The Welsh Eisteddfod was held in Llanelli, South Wales and attended by the Grand Bard of Cornwall, Maureen Fuller Steren Mor and Deputy Grand Bard, Merv Davey Telynor an Weryn, as Cornish delegates. The site was superb, the best for many years with three tiers for separating different types of organisations and steps which formed an amphitheatre, where you could sit and listen to all sorts of music.

This year the Patagonian delegate Ivonne Owen, Leader of Gorsedd y Wladfa, made the greetings speech on behalf of the Celtic delegates. The main thrust of her speech reminded everyone that next year, the Welsh people in Gorsedd y Wladfa (The Gorsedd of the Colony) would be celebrating 150 years since their colony was started in Patagonia, Argentina. The Welsh at this time wanted to go to a place where they could speak Welsh and live a Welsh life without the influence of the English language.

They started colonies in Canada and the U.S.A., but each time the Welsh became subsumed within the local culture. Then Argentina offered parcels of land measuring 100 square miles along the Chubut River, in exchange for settling the still-unconquered land in Patagonia. Prof. Michael D. Jones, a Welsh nationalist, non-conformist preacher based in Bala saw this as the chance they had been awaiting.

The first people sailed to Patagonia in a tea clipper called the Mimosa on July 28th 1865 and now there are between 5,000 and 12,000 people who have Welsh as their first language with a further 25,000 speaking Welsh as a second language. The organisers of the event hope that as many Celts as possible will go to Patagonia to help them celebrate.

Eisteddfod 2014
Flower girl - Bardh Meur Steren Mor and Archdruid of Wales Christine James - Lady of the Flowers

The Celtic delegates attended a Gorsedh on Monday morning, where the prize winners of the Eisteddfod competitions from the previous year were barded and in the afternoon, we saw the presentation of the Crown in the main pavilion to Guto Dafydd, one of the youngest crown winners at the age of 24. He wrote ten poems entitled ‘Growing’, which were about Wales including events from history up to the present year.

On Wednesday the Prose medal was presented to Lleucu Roberts, who had won the modern novel prize of £5,000 the day before. A dinner was held for all the Celtic delegates, organised by the Celtic Relations Officer, Mererid Hopwood and in the presence of the Archdruid, Christine James.

A happy time was enjoyed with our Celtic friends and reinforced our friendships for another year. We thank Mererid for all her hard work, for arranging our stay giving us a special time to share with our Celtic colleagues and to the Welsh Gorsedd for their hospitality.

Eisteddfod 2014
Delegates

 


New Bards 2014

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


Esedhvos Kernow 1st - 7th September 2014

Esedhvos Kernow promoted by Gorsedh Kernow is a festival of events to celebrate Cornwall's distinctive identity and Celtic heritage and it takes place in the week leading up to the annual Gorsedh ceremony which this year is in Torpoint.

Some of the weeks' events are listed below, further information on these and other events taking place can be found at www.esedhvos.co.uk

  • Thursday 4th September
    10.30am – 3pm Cornish Book Fair and Photo Displays
    12 noon - Book Launch 'Bards of the Tamar Valley' and 'Placenames of the Tamar Valley' both events will be in the Torpoint Council Chambers

  • Friday 5th September
    9.45am – 3.45pm Gorsedh Conference 'Brand Kernow' with special guest speaker The Kernow King in Torpoint Council Chambers

  • Saturday 6th September
    2pm Gorsedh Ceremony at Thanckes Park/The Lawn
    7pm Gorsedh Kernow Gala Concert in St James' Church


Report on Breton Gorsedh 2014

Breton Gorsedd 2014

On 20th July at Arzano, Brittany, the Breton Gorsedd was held, led by the Grand Druid Per Vari Kerloc’h. The Cornish delgates were the Grand Bard Maureen Fuller Steren Mor and the Gorsedh Marshal Mike Millard, Gwythyas Melyn. After last year when it was the hottest day of the year in Brittany, it was a welcome surprise when it rained heavily in the middle of the ceremony. The special guests were Lena Louarn, the Vice-President of the Brittany Region Council, in charge of the Breton language and Mona Bras, a very active elected member of the Brittany Region Council.

The Grand Druid had two themes in this Gorsedd. The first was to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Brittany from ‘the Nazi yoke’. In welcoming the Cornish and Welsh delegates, he expressed his thanks to Wales and Cornwall for helping Brittany during the war. His words of thanks to Kernow are as follows: “I wish to thank Gorsedh Berdh Kernow for the warm-hearted welcome to the Breton exiles during the war. Under the patronage of “The Friends of Brittany” with Mr. George Hunter Doble, Gwas Gwendron, as Chairperson, they came to the aid of widows and orphans of Bretons killed by Germans.

Fraternity between both our countries was splendidly celebrated on the 5th September 1942 at Penzance by the Breton Cornish Committee with Mr. Scobel-Armstrong as Chairman. We also know of the tremendous work of Gwas Gwendron on the Cornish language and culture and his staunch friendship with Brittany and Bretons. Many thanks in the name of the Breton people to the Cornish people and to Gorsedh Berdh Kernow! Meur ras dhe’n bobel ha dhe’n Orsedh Berdh Kernow!”

His second theme was the reunification of Nantes back into Brittany. He reminded us the reasons why Nantes was incorporated into the area of Angers. It was because the German Wehrmacht had a command post there and it was easier for repression. He said these were very strange reasons that had nothing to do with the values of the French Republic. He said, “The Gorsedd demands that the people’s opinion in Loire Atlantique and in the other departments of Brittany be canvassed in a referendum.”

Breton Gorsedd 2014

In her speech, the Grand Bard commented on the people who had helped the Bretons which included Jean Louis le Breton, a member of the French Resistance who lived in Newlyn. He was decorated with a medal after the war. When Charles de Gaulle gave the call from London, many Bretons got in their boats and came to Newlyn and Falmouth, on their way to London. The Grand Bard mentioned Kernow being recognised as a nation this year and hoped that Brittany would be recognised in the same way soon. She mentioned the petition entitled “The French Government: Give Brittany, a Celtic Nation, its Freedom!” and urged all Cornish bards to sign it as a mark of solidarity with our Breton brothers in their hour of need.

Grand Bard would like to thank the Grand Druid Per Vari Kerloc’h, Mona and Bernard Cousquer for their wonderful hospitality and friendship. We look forward to welcoming Per Vari to our Gorsedh in Penntorr, when we can reciprocate their kindness.


Gorsedh Announces Competition Results for 2014

For Gorsedh Kernow Council Awards 2014 please click here. For Competition results 2014 please click here.


Cornish Bards of the Tamar Valley/Berdh Kernow Nans an Tamar

To commemorate the 2014 Gorsedh taking place at Thanckes Park, Torpoint, Gorsedh Kernow have put together a publication which details the lives and works of 33 deceased bards who lived and worked, at least for part of their lives on both sides of the River Tamar.

Also included are details of 38 living bards and the work they are now doing for Cornwall.

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

For further details and order form please click here.

cover

Calendars for 2015

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 Newlyn Artists Calendar and a Desk Diary.

Order form here.


Holyer An Gof Awards 2014
(for books published in 2013)

Holyer Presentation 2014

On 15th July the annual Holyer an Gof Awards ceremony was held in Watersones, Truro. The Grand Bard of Gorsedh Kernow Maureen Fuller presented the awards and in a speech to those assembled said "We are very proud of the Holyer an Gof competition and we are delighted by the support we receive from all the publishers who submit entries each year.”

This year's winner of the major overall award of the Holyer an Gof Trophy was publisher Twelveheads Press for Cornish Milestones by Ian Thompson.

These literary awards were set up by Gorsedh Kernow in memory of Redruth publisher Leonard Truran. The Holyer an Gof trophy presented by the late Joan Truran, is perpetual and awarded for the most outstanding entry in the whole competition.

Details of the winners can be found here


Commemoration at St Keverne

The Cornish rebellion of 1497 began in response to taxes being levied on the Cornish people by Henry VII to finance a war against the Scots, their fellow Celts. The rebellion was led by Michael Joseph An Gof, a blacksmith from St. Keverne and Thomas Flamank a Bodmin lawyer who with many other Cornish marched to London to protest. The uprising ended with the Battle of Blackheath, and the subsequent execution for treason of these two brave Cornishmen at Tyburn on 27 June 1497.

In 1997 to mark the 500th anniversary a commemorative walk, Keskerdh Kernow 500 traced the original route of the rebels from St. Keverne to Blackheath, where a Delabole slate plaque was placed on Blackheath Common by the London Cornish Association and Gorsedh Kernow.

Every year on June 27th An Gof, Flamank and their compatriots are remembered in a ceremony at St Keverne which begins at the statue.This year the honour of laying flowers at the foot of the the statue fell to Ruby Lambrick and Isaac Richards from the local school. Afterwards a long procession with flags flying followed the An Gof Band down the hill to the Church where a wreath was placed on the commemorative plaque by the church gate.

This year's commemoration was well attended and the Grand Bard gave an inspiring speech which can be read here. The ceremony ended with the singing of Trelawny.

Always a moving occasion, and as it states on the plaque 'they shall have a name perpetual and a fame permanent and immortal'

Kernow Bys Vyken


Awen Ceremony at Perran Round

awen 2014

Each midsummer the Awen ceremony is held at a significant cultural site in Kernow. On Sunday 22nd June it took place at Perran Round, where 40 bards gathered in glorious sunshine. This Mediaeval playing place which is now in the care of the St Piran Trust was also the setting for the 1992 Gorsedh.

The Bards followed the piper and Banners into the Round where they formed a circle. During the short ceremony two older members of the Parish gave the Lyver Bewnans, Book of Life, to the Grand Bard who paraded it around the circle for all to see. This book made of Cornish yew and representing their knowledge was then handed to two younger members of the local community.

awen 2014
Bert Biscoe Vyajor gans Geryow and Past Grand Bard Rod Lyon Tewennow /
Sisters : Shelagh Garrard Cares Jyndywros and Past Grand Bard Vanessa Beeman Gwenenen

The ceremony culminated with the singing of 'Bro Goth' - Land of our Fathers and the cry of 'Kernow bys vykken' - Cornwall for ever.

Thank you Eileen Carter Gwythyades an Log for arranging the event.

awen 2014

The elders were Danke Flamank a descendant of Thomas Flamank, joint leader with Michael An Gof of the Cornish Rebellion of 1497 and Joan Juleff. The two children were Elinor Payne and Piran Dunbar.


Cornish Language in the Cathedral

The Bishop’s Group is delighted to announce another significant step in the advancement of the Cornish language – by kind invitation of Truro Cathedral we are going to be celebrating the Eucharist in Cornish there for the first time ever. Although services in Cornish have been held in the Cathedral in the past, there has never been a Eucharist. This is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate that Cornish is a vital part of our national identity and culture, for it’s placing the language right at the heart of Christian worship in Cornwall. The Cathedral and we are very excited about this, and we hope that both of the planned services will be well supported.

Following the Cathedral’s already established practice of celebrating the feasts of major Cornish saints, the first service is a said Eucharist for the Feast of St Samson, on Monday 28th July at 1 pm, in St Mary’s Aisle; the second on Wednesday 1st October at 5.30 pm, a solemn sung Eucharist for the Feast of St German, with mass setting sung by the Cathedral Choir. They will be singing a Latin setting, and the rest of the service and the hymns will be in Cornish, so there will be no word at all of English spoken! We thought that would be very fitting, as before the Reformation, when some Cornish was used in church services, all the rest would have been in Latin.

There will, however, be no excuse for non-Cornish speakers’ not coming, because, as with all our services, the service books will be bilingual! So do come if you can, and prove that this new venture is one that will deserve to be continued.

Gorsedh Chaplain - Rev. Jane Kneebone Colum Wyn


Gorsedh Kernow 1928-2014

Open Gorsedh : Saturday 6th September 2014

Torpoint

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

Public attendance is free and welcomed.

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


Rod Lyon Tewennow

Rod and Mo

After almost 25 years of writing and presenting ‘An Nowodhow’ on BBC Radio Cornwall, Rod Lyon has retired. Grand Bard Maureen Fuller - Steren Mor presented a special certificate to him from Gorsedh Kernow, marking the event.

You can listen to ‘An Nowodhow’ on BBC Radio Cornwall at 5pm every Sunday.


Report of April 2014 Meeting of Konsel Gorsedh Kernow

GK Council

The April meeting took place in the afternoon of the day of the Gorsedh Proclamation at Torpoint and the Local Organising Committee there kindly gave us the use of their Town Council Chambers.

Reports from the sub-committees were presented and accepted by Council.

The Admissions Secretary reported that all 23 prospective new bards have now accepted and their bardic names are now going through approval.

The review of children’s competitions was discussed and a proposal made that changes be made as laid out in the report by Kannas Bardh Meur with the addition of assurance that it will be self-funding and make use of full supporting technology. This will be put to the College of Bards at the AGM in June.

An Alhwedhor distributed detailed accounts. These are now being audited and will be finished by end of April in order to be presented at the AGM.

The need for a marketing strategy for book sales and a website sales facility was discussed and it was agreed that Bardh Meur and An Alhwedhor approach the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies with a suggestion to work together to create a marketing strategy.

It was agreed that the Gorsedh would create a new award entitled Tyr Gwyr Gwerin, in the memory of Jim Pengelly (Den Lodenek) and details of this will be discussed further.

A few suggestions have been put forward for persons suitable to be the next Kannas Bardh Meur. These were discussed and it was agreed to keep this confidential as the Grand Bard at the AGM has to call on the members of the Gorsedh to put forward suitable names and spell out the timetable for the election process.

Myrghwyn Melynor in her role as Communications Co-Ordinator made an appeal for all information to be sent to her and it also applies to the Archives.

A speaker has been agreed for the AGM – this will be Sarah Jane and the subject will be the Charles Woolf Collection of photographs.


A message from the Grand Bard of Cornwall – Steren Mor

An epic day, 24th April 2014, the day when Kernow was recognised as a national minority under the Framework convention of the Council of Europe.

It is hard to grasp that this has actually happened after all these years of campaigning.

I thank all those involved and especially state that many bards of Gorsedh Kernow have been at the heart of this campaign in the past and the present.

We salute you all, a job well done.

 

(Photo: Grand Bard Maureen Fuller outside Bodmin Town Hall with Treasury Minister Danny Alexander and Dan Rogerson, MP for North Cornwall.)

Bodmijn Announcement 2014

Press release

Official Westminster Government Press Release
CORNISH GRANTED MINORITY STATUS WITHIN THE UK

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, today announced that the proud history, unique culture, and distinctive language of Cornwall will be fully recognised under European rules for the protection of national minorities.

The decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish, now affords them the same status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish. For the first time the government has recognised the distinctive culture and history of the Cornish.


Bards gather for the Gorsedh Proclamation

Gorsedh Proclamation at Torpoint

The annual Proclamation has taken place at Torpoint. The Bards along with council officials and guests processed through the town to recently refurbished Rendel Park on the banks of the river Tamar.

The Mayor of Torpoint Cllr Mike Pearn MBE, welcomed the Gorsedh to the town. The short ceremony in Cornish commenced with the sounding of the horn and the customary call of peace. Local girl Rosie Hortop dressed in spring coloured robes presented flowers symbolising the 'fruits of the earth' to the Grand Bard Steren Mor. Rosie was chosen as this year’s “Lady of the Flowers” so will also take part at the main ceremony in September.

The Grand Bard thanked the Mayor and local organising committee for the assistance given to the Gorsedh and presented the town with a gift of an original framed poem about Torpoint, written in Cornish, as a memento of the occasion.

After the announcement that the 2014 Gorsedh would be held in Torpoint on Saturday September 6th, the ceremony ended with the singing of ''Bro Goth agan Tasow'' (Land of our Fathers), followed by the customary cry of ''Kernow bys vykken'' (Cornwall for ever) before the ceremony closed.

Thank you Torpoint for your very warm welcome!


Grand Bard’s Australian visit 2014

Australian Gathering

To read the Grand Bard's Australian report please click here.

For more pictures please click here.


Annual play competition

There is a prize for a play with a Cornish theme. Closing date for the competition is the 31st July. For full details www.sterts.co.uk.


News from Gorsedh Kernow Bards in Australia

Bendigo

The Festival at Eaglehawk (Bendigo, Victoria) was attended by 23 Bards of Gorsedh Kernow, and was led by Bardh Meur Maureen Fuller - Steren Mor. The ceremony took place in the delightful Canterbury Gardens.

Bendigo
For a report from Leanne Lloyd - Nanscarow a Bendygo click here.

A visit to Canberra

Canberra
Bob, Maureen, and Tom - Libby and Maureen


For a report from Tom - Colon hag Enef yn Bendygo and Libby Luke - Rosen Wyn Bendygo click here.


St Piran ceremony in the Ancient Capital of Cornwall

St Piran Launceston

At 6p.m. on St. Piran’s Day, Cornish folk gathered in Launceston Castle, at the base of the Norman keep, for the annual lowering of St. Piran’s flag at dusk. As the light dimmed, all eyes focussed on the keep as the strains of Trelawny came from the bagpipe and the flag was lowered slowly and reverently. The scene was evocative and moving. It was the perfect end to a day spent celebrating the life of our patron saint. Well done Launceston!

Master of Ceremonies was Cllr. Rob Tremain, Cryor an Dre Lanstefan and Piper was Rob Strike.


St Piran Celebrations 2014

Perran Sands
The walk across Gear Sands 2014

On March 2nd in spite of driving rain and strong winds, there was still a crowd of hardy souls who made the annual trek across the dunes following the St Piran play to the Celtic cross and the Oratory where they were able to see the progress of excavation work being carried out on this important historical site as it emerges from the sands.

Perran Sands


There were many events throughout Cornwall and overseas to celebrate St Piran.

Redruth


Thousands of people descended on Redruth for the St Piran Festival on Saturday 1st March. Black and white flags fluttered throughout the town as the long procession with hundreds of schoolchildren wound its way through the streets with live music and street performers entertaining the crowds. Bardh Meur Maureen Fuller walked with the Mayor of Redruth, Judy Davidson at the head of the procession. At the Miners statue Bardh Meur addressed the crowd before they all sang Trelawny with great passion.

Redruth


Redruth


Now in its 10th year, the Penzance procession was led by Bardh Meur, along with Penzance Mayor and bard Phil Rendle - Baneroniethor, with fellow bards, members of local Old Cornwall societies and other civic dignitaries. Followed by more than 500 children from local schools, each parading their own banner, the procession wound its way down Causewayhead and on to Morrab Gardens.

Penzance


"There’s nothing better for feeling Cornish than hoisting a flag, wrapping up in tartan and going marching" said Bert Biscoe - Vyajor gans Geryow, President of Truro Old Cornwall Society and organiser of Truro’s annual St Piran’s Day Parade. The procession commenced at the Leats and made its way to the Cathedral steps where Bardh Meur addressed the crowds in Cornish and English with a rallying call to "learn about your heritage and understand Cornwall and the Cornish and their impact on the world". Read her full speech here.

Click here for videos from Falmouth, Perranporth, and Redruth


Interesting news from the USA

Bill Curnow and Natasha Trethewey

Bill Curnow - Towednack tells us how he recently had the opportunity to meet Natasha Trethewey, Poet Laureate of the USA and of the state of Mississippi. Bill was delighted to hear she is fully aware of her Cornish heritage on her father's side and how she hopes one day to visit Cornwall, a journey her father who lives in Canada has previously made.

Presently in her second term as U.S. Poet Laureate, she was initially appointed by the Librarian of Congress in 2012 as the nation's 19th holder of that very distinguished honorary office. A past recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry she has received prizes and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment of the Arts, all organizations supporting the arts and cultural affairs.

Natasha is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University in Atlanta and has had four collections of her poetry as well as a non-fiction book published.

On parting Bill gave her his Cornish American lapel pin with the Stars & Stripes and St Piran flags side by side, and told her "We're very proud of you, Cousin Jenny"


Report of Meeting of Gorsedh Kernow Council February 2014

GK Council

Pol Hodge Mab Stenak Vur was invited to speak on the subject of Gorsedh Competitions and gave his opinions as a judge of children’s classes and how to better engage with Cornish schools. It was decided that this be followed up by a smaller group.

Pat Parkins has been appointed as Events Organiser for Esedhvos.

The Awen ceremony will be at Perran Round on 22nd June 2014.

It was decided that a PayPal facility would be created on the Gorsedh website to enable bards to book their places online. Postal copies to bards without e-mail will continue to be sent in the usual way as well.

The Gorsedh Conference 2014 will be entitled 'Putting the Modern Cornish and Cornish perspective at the heart of Brand Kernow'.

Reports from the sub-committees followed.

Admissions reported that 23 people have been invited to become bards this year.

Bardh Meur will write to bards from Milwaukee, USA to grant permission for their gathering. Kernow and Vyajor Gans Geryow are planning to go and are hoping that the American poet laureate Natasha Trethewey will be there.

A new leaflet has been printed to hand out to anyone seeking information about Gorsedh Kernow and the revised Constitution has also been produced in booklet form.

The final wording for the Standing Orders was also approved by Council and this will now be produced and distributed to bards.


Torpoint Gorsedh Proclamation

Torpoint Proclamtion

The Torpoint Gorsedh Proclamation will be held on Saturday April 12th at Torpoint. Robing will be in the Scout H Q from 10.00a.m. and all Bards to be robed by 10.45a.m. The Ceremony will follow at 11.00a.m. at Rendel Park, Ferry Street, Torpoint.

Refreshments available afterwards in St James Church Hall, St James Road, Torpoint.

There is a new website for the 2014 Esedhvos at www.an-daras.com/esedhvos2014


Gorsedh Kernow Competitions 2014

Can we remind everyone that the closing date for the 2014 competitions is Monday 28th April.

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


A date for your diary - 'Bude, Spirit of Place' exhibition

Bude Spirit of Place

Gorsedh Kernow Bard Jonathan Ball - Tregarthen has curated this exhibition which celebrates Bude through many aspects. It will be held in the Willoughby Gallery, the Wharf, Bude Castle from Monday 24th March until Friday 12th April.

There will be an event in the Willoughby Gallery especially for Bards of Gorsedh Kernow, Old Cornwall Societies, and local dignatories on Tuesday 8th April at 6.30pm which Bardh Meur will be attending.


St.Piran’s Oratory Excavation 17th February 2014

After 15 years of hard work by the St. Pirans’s trust, Eileen Carter Gwythyades an Log finally made the first dig in the sand dune covering St.Piran’s Oratory to begin its excavation.

In 1980, the building had been covered to conserve the remaining ruins with the hope that in the future it would be uncovered again and conserved in a building where everyone could visit it. The excavation is the first step on this journey and many people arrived to help dig on this historic day.

St Pirans Oratory Excavation

Many bards were in attendance and included Maureen Fuller Steren Mor Grand Bard and Cllr.Julian German, Ago Marghogyon, Portfolio Holder for Culture. The St.Piran’s March will be on Sunday 2nd March at 2p.m., when we hope to see progress in the excavation.


Bardh Meur with instrumentalist Phil Beer

Phil Beer Gorsedh fundraising night

Bardh Meur and instrumentalist Phil Beer at the fundraising event in aid of Gorsedh Kernow in St Ives.

There were more than 100 people at the event held at St Ives in February.


St.Ives Feast 10th February 2014

St Ives Feast

A merry band of people and children, wearing the traditional ivy, joined the civic procession to St. Ia’s well at Porthmeor, where the vicar blessed the spring and all the children and watching people were doused with holy water.

The procession then made its way to the church graveyard and the Mayor threw the hurling ball towards the waiting young people on the beach.

The chase started and resulted with the winner returning the silver ball to the Mayor outside the Guildhall at 12 noon.

St Ives Feast
Kannas Bardh Meur - Merv Davey (Telynor an Weryn), Bardh Meur - Maureen Fuller (Steren Mor),
Mark Dungey (Donsyor Lanust), Delia Brotherton (Myrghwyn Melynor)

This was followed by a pasty lunch accompanied by music from Bagas Porthia and ended with a speech of thanks from the Mayor. A very happy time was had by all.


Cornish Bards - photographic exhibition

Bardh Meur and Julia Nottingham
Bardh Meur and photographer Julia Nottingham


Photographic Exhibition

Cornish Bards – a photographic exhibition is being held in the Spring Gallery at the Poly Arts Centre, 24 Church Street, Falmouth until Saturday 8th February 2014 from 10am until 5pm, except Sundays.

Visitors to the exhibition, which is open to the public, will be able to talk to Bards of Gorsedh Kernow about the Gorsedh and Bards' work on the two Saturdays of the 1st and 8th February.

The photographer is Julia Nottingham, a third year Falmouth University student studying BA Press and Editorial Photography at the Penryn Campus.


St Piran's Oratory

St Pirans Day

After many years campaigning permission has finally been granted to uncover St Piran's Oratory on Gear Sands. This ancient site so important to Cornish culture has been buried in the sand since 1980.

Every year hundreds of people process across the dunes with scenes from the St Piran play re-enacted during the walk. At the end everyone sings Trelawney and daffodils are laid at St Piran's cross.

This year's walk is on the 2nd March.

To read the St Piran Trust press release please click here
To read the 'St Piran News' please click here


Kresen Kernow – A New Home for the Stories of Cornwall

Tregellas tapestry
Tregellas Tapestry

There is now Stage 1 funding to develop a new home for Cornwall Record Office, the Cornish Studies Library and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Historic Environment Record, combining these three fascinating collections and services.

The new building will bring together primary, printed and electronic sources into one centre at the Old Brewery site in Redruth. Here the collections can be stored, accessed and preserved and the extraordinary stories that they tell can be used to engage old and new audiences with the heritage of Cornwall.

A county-wide programme of consultation about the proposed new centre will take place during March and April 2014. Initially the consultation will cover the facilities and services users, potential users, partners and stakeholders would like to see in the new building. It will be starting out in the old Boots shop in Redruth on the 1st March, and at Stuart House, Liskeard on the 8th March, further dates will appear on their website. These will be followed by focus group sessions with various audiences and partners.

To find out more about the project and consultation programme, or keep up to date with the news, see the web pages at http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/kresenkernow sign up to their e-newsletter by emailing cro@cornwall.gov.uk find the project on Facebook at ‘Kresen Kernow’ or contact Tamsin Mallett at Cornwall Record Office, on 01872 323127 or via tmallett@cornwall.gov.uk


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