Welcome - News
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.
Disclaimer: Gorsedh Kernow is not responsible for the content or any views expressed on linked sites.
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News from Gorsedh Kernow Bards in Australia
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.
For a report from Leanne Lloyd - Nanscarow a Bendygo click here.
A visit to 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
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!
St Piran Celebrations 2014
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.
There were many events throughout Cornwall and overseas to celebrate St Piran.
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.
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.
"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 - 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.
Report of Meeting of Gorsedh Kernow Council February 2014
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.
Torpoint Gorsedh Proclamation
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
A date for your diary - 'Bude, Spirit of Place' exhibition
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.
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
Bardh Meur and instrumentalist Phil Beer at the fundraising event in aid of Gorsedh Kernow in St Ives.
St.Ives Feast 10th February 2014
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.
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 photographer Julia Nottingham
St Piran's Oratory
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.
This year's walk is on the 2nd March.
Kresen Kernow – A New Home for the Stories of Cornwall
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 firstname.lastname@example.org find the project on Facebook at ‘Kresen Kernow’ or contact Tamsin Mallett at Cornwall Record Office, on 01872 323127 or via email@example.com
Kernowyon a Gan/ Men of Cornwall Sing
As Grand Bard, I was invited by the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs to sit in the Royal Box at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate their 30th Anniversary, on Sat.2nd Nov. I was very honoured to do so and was very proud to hear 590 voices singing their hearts out for Kernow, together with an enthusiastic Cornish audience.
Cornish young people were represented by Cambiata (a choir for boys with changing voices) and the Cornwall Youth Orchestra, whose organist, Angus Webster masterfully played the Royal Albert Hall organ, aged 14! I was very proud of the bards, who contributed by composing music and lyrics, by performing with instruments and voices, by conducting choirs and translating songs into Cornish.
The supporters, who travelled up with their flags and Cornish humour, were like Trelawny's army of old, anxious to make a presence in London and to be able to say afterwards, "I was there!" Kernow bys vykken!Maureen Fuller, Grand Bard of Cornwall Steren Mor, Bardh Meur Kernow
Ida Hilary Summerhayes Shaw - Myrgh Dumnonya
Hilary Shaw has died at the age of 90. A past member of both the Gorsedh Council and the Cornish Language Board she was a very successful Cornish teacher in the Falmouth/Penryn area for more than 25 years running the local adult education classes at Penryn College. At the classes she used her own specially written course with many of her students going on to become bards and teach themselves.
Hilary had also organised many services in the Cornish language and was an active member of the Bredereth Sen Jago, a group tracing Cornish religious links with other Celtic groups in Europe. Her special interest was the Cornish classical religious plays.
Hilary received her Bardship at Callington in 1984 taking the bardic name Myrgh Dumnonya.Pat Miller - Myrgh Jowna
Gorsedh Kernow 2013 Pennrynn/Penryn 2013 DVD
February 16th 2014 : a date for your diary
A fundraising event in aid of Gorsedh Kernow is to be held in St Ives Guildhall on Sunday February 16th. The instrumentalist will be Phil Beer of 'Show of Hands' fame.
Full details of the event can be found here.
Book Launch at Leedstown
Derek Williams, Ann Jenkin, Maureen Fuller
Grand Bard Maureen Fuller attended a special gathering in Leedstown, to launch the new book on the life of Richard Jenkin (1925 – 2002) who was a central and inspiring personality in the resurgence of the Cornish identity, its language and culture.
The launch was commemorated and celebrated with poems, prose and music from family and friends.
"Richard Jenkin was the first person I heard speaking Cornish," said Maureen - Steren Mor at the well attended launch, "and it gave rise to a need in me to become a Cornish speaker as well."
Loveday Jenkin - Myrgh an Tyr, younger daughter of Richard Garfield Jenkin paid tribute to her father as an inspiration to successive generations. "His interest in Cornwall and Cornish was a passion, not an academic study," she said, "and he will continue to inspire us all."
"He had a kind and understanding nature," said close friend and former Grand Bard Jori Ansell - Caradok "To many he was a good and caring friend, with an open and generous spirit and a gentle humour which could defuse a difficult situation."
A video clip of the event can be seen here.
To order a copy of Richard Jenkin: A Great Son of Cornwall / Map Dyvroeth: Mab Meur a Gernow, please click here.
Bards of the Tamar Area
A new book on bards from the Tamar area, the fifth in the series, is to be launched in September 2014, to coincide with the holding of the Gorsedh Kernow ceremony at Torpoint.
It will be about Cornish bards, both living and deceased who have links with that area. It will include bards connected with the towns of Tavistock and Plymouth on the north bank and the areas around Callington, Saltash and Torpoint on the south side.
A local meeting has already been held with the support of the Mayor of Torpoint, a provisional list prepared and living bards have been given instructions on how to write up their entries. We hope for help from all bards from that area, Old Cornwall Societies and local archive groups with detailed research on deceased bards. Some were initiated as early as 1930, not necessarily within living memory.
If you would like a copy of the 2 provisional lists and are able to help please email Ann Trevenen Jenkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01736 850332.
Tony Piper - Baneror
The Camborne Crematorium was packed and full to overflowing on 6th November for the funeral service and cremation of our bard Baneror or Tony Piper.
The remarkable thing about this gathering was the diversity of those attending and the good humour and affection displayed among the mourners and which was so typical of Tony himself.
He was simultaneously a man with a well developed sense of humour which was infectious and very serious about those matters he held dear.
A larger than life figure, always present at Cornish events, he did not suffer folly gladly and the Gorsedh Council has been grateful often for his wise advice.
He has been an important figure in raising the status of Cornwall in the lnternational Celtic Congress where he made many personal friends as well as friends for Cornwall.
A family man, he was respected by his colleagues in the Police Force and by many in the Cornish Movement. He felt deeply the honour of being a bard of Cornwall.
The Gorsedd too feels the honour of his membership and comradeship.
We will remember his smiling eyes.
May he be happy on the other side of the deep sea.
God be with you Tony.Skogynn Pryv - Mick Paynter
Click here for video "In Memory of Tony Piper".
Summary Report of Meeting of Gorsedh Kernow Council October 2013
A minute’s silence was held at the beginning of the meeting to remember our former fellow Council member, Tony Piper Baneror.
The Council then voted to co-opt Delia Brotherton Myrghwyn Melynor onto the Council and she was invited into the meeting as the new Communications Officer.
A list of Gorsedh sub-committees was read out by Bardh Meur and the information on members of these has been updated.
Kannas Bardh Meur then gave a report on how the Penryn ceremony had gone and several issues were pointed out – however the general opinion was that this had been a success. Approval was given for new signage to be produced for next year and it was agreed to try to recruit an Events Manager to arrange the Esedhvos.
A list of assets held by the Gorsedh is to be made – An Alhwedhor has made a start on this but there are further items that have been gifted to the Gorsedh over the years which must be recorded on an inventory for insurance purposes. It is hoped that they may one day be displayed in a national archive.
Dates for next year’s meetings were agreed as follows:
Saturday 12th April 2014 – Torpoint (afternoon of Proclamation in morning)
AGM – Saturday 14th June 2014 – Lys Kernow (Awards meeting 10.00, Council 11.00, AGM 13.30)
Saturday 12th July – Lys Kernow
Saturday 25th October 2014 – Lys Kernow
The various reports were presented by the sub-committees and these accepted by Council. Among these the following news:
The Awen ceremony 2014 was discussed and Kernow volunteered to research which site would be best.
The updated Constitution is now ready for printing and this was given approval to go ahead.
Thanckes Park, Torpoint
Thanckes Park has been chosen as the site for the next open Gorsedh ceremony to be held at Torpoint on 6th September 2014.
Gorsedh Kernow Competitions 2014
The 2014 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 28th April 2014 and the awards will be presented by the Grand Bard at the Open Gorsedh in Torpoint on Saturday 6th September 2014.
Gorsedh Kernow : Holyer an Gof Awards 2014
The launch by the Grand Bard of this important book on Richard Jenkin will take place at Leedstown Village Hall at 7 pm on Friday 25 October. Invitations have been sent out to contributors, family, and leaders of the organisations with which he was involved.
If anyone else wishes to come, from about 7.45 pm onwards, the book will be on sale and there will be an evening of Cornish entertainment when you are welcome to drop in. However, please ring or email me to see there is still space. Hall numbers are limited.
Ann Jenkin (01736-850332) email@example.com
For further details and an order form please click here.
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Previous news and reports, past competition results, annual list of new bards, grand bards gallery,
notable bards, etc can be found through the index on the archives page.
All content © The Gorsedh of Cornwall unless otherwise attributed.