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Ceredigion national eisteddfodau past and present

Collections - Posted 01-08-2022

 

 

‘Croeso’ sign, Tregaron

 

The National Eisteddfod has arrived in Ceredigion! Here’s a look at some of the past eisteddfodau held in Ceredigion with some interesting facts about them:

 

Aberystwyth, 1916

The Eisteddfod was held on the Vicarage Fields near the town.

The subject of the ode was ‘Ystrad Fflur’ [Strata Florida].  John Ellis Williams was the chaired bard and Hedd Wyn came second.

No crown was offered.

 

Cardigan, 1942

It was intended to hold the Eisteddfod in Carmarthen but due to the War it was held in Cardigan.

No one was worthy of the chair.

Crwys was the Archdruid.

Kate Roberts was the adjudicator of the short story.

 

Aberystwyth, 1952

The winning ode ‘Hands’ was by John Evans.

No bard was worthy of the crown.  The subject was ‘The creature’ or ‘Any Welsh legend’.  The crown is part of our exhibition ‘A Oes Heddwch: The Eisteddfod Tradition’.

Cynan was the Archdruid.

You can watch a record of this eisteddfod in a silent film which includes some prominent people such as T. H. Parry-Williams and Elfed.

 

 

Eisteddfod crown, 1952

 

Cardigan and district, 1976

This was a very memorable eisteddfod for several reasons – the celebration of the Eisteddfod’s 800th anniversary, the heatwave, the saga of the two ‘Spring’ odes and the great number of people who flocked there and broke a record.

Alan Llwyd won the crown for a sequence of around fifty verses on ‘Life’s Trials’ and the chair for his ode ‘Spring’.

The Royal Mail published commemorative stamps to note the anniversary.

 

 

 

Official programmes for the 1916, 1952 and 1976 eisteddfodau

 

 

Lampeter and district, 1984

John Roderick Rees  won the crown for his ode in free metre ‘Eyes’ about the decline of the countryside and a second crown the following year in Rhyl.  He was a Welsh teacher at Tregaron Secondary School and some of the pupils had the privilege of seeing the crown on his visit to the school.

Both chairs were presented to Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth, after his death.  They were designed by Kathleen Makinson.

J. Gruffydd (‘Elerydd’) was the Archdruid, one of a number of poets from Ffair Rhos.

 

Ceredigion, Aberystwyth, 1992

Gelli Angharad [Lovesgrove] near Aberystwyth was the location of the festival.

The present Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd was one of the adjudicators for the ode competition.  Idris Reynolds was the chaired bard.

Owen and Prys Edwards donated the crown.

The Archdruid was ‘Ap Llysor’ (W. R. P. George), nephew of Lloyd George.

Robin Llywelyn (Portmeirion), a former student at The Welsh Department, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, was awarded the prose medal for his novel Seren wen ar gefndir gwyn.  The novel was translated by him as White star in 2004.

The Youth Tent was called ‘GigioDigion’.

The children’s pageant was ‘Sethgwenwyn a’r Gwyrddedigion’.

‘Tic Toc’ was the rock opera.

‘The Eisteddfod’s big night’, ‘Llais y lli’, was held with former students Dyfan Roberts, Geraint Lövgreen, Mynediad am ddim and Myrddin ap Dafydd entertaining.

‘The Gorsedd, the Eisteddfod and the Library’ was our exhibition.

 

Ceredigion, Tregaron, 2022

After a long period of uncertainty the Eisteddfod is back.  Visit us at our stand on the Eisteddfod field to learn more about the history and culture of Tregaron.

I wonder what highlights and interesting stories will be a part of this long awaited eisteddfod?

 

 

Tent on the Eisteddfod field, Tregaron

 

 

The ‘Gorsedd’ stone circle, Tregaron

 

Ann Evans

Assistant Archivist

 

This blog is also available in Welsh.

 

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A blog about the work and collections of the National Library of Wales.

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