Due to Covid restrictions the eisteddfod will not be held this year again. Never mind – relive previous eisteddfodau here with a selection of programmes , posters and photographs from Keith Ladd’s collection.
The 1909 Eisteddfod was a notable event with thousands attending from all over Wales. It was held in a marquee at Parc-y-rifle. The chair winner was Thomas Evans (Tel), of Cwmamman, Aberdare, but a native of Cardigan and in fact the nephew of the town’s most famous poet Telynog. For more about Tel click here.
Clockwise: 1 The Market in its heyday in the 1880s 2 The Tivy-side reports on plans for a multi storey square block in the middle of town instead of the Guildhall (1960s). 3 The old Market Yard 4 Cardigan and Brioude Town Twinning Meeting with the mayor and mayoress Mr and Mrs Berwyn Williams, and the local MP Elystan Morgan. 5 The Guildhall as a Polling Station.
You may have heard of Telynog but here is his nephew Tel. Born in Mwldan Upper in 1861. His father John (Telynog’s brother) was a bootmaker and precentor at Bethania (1864–76). Thomas moved to Aberdare in 1888. He was employed as a miner and underground fireman. He also was a fine poet and often competed at local eisteddfodau. His wife Ruth died in 1908. In 1909 he won his first chair in Llwynypia eisteddfod. He won the chair for ‘Angladd ar y Môr’ (Funeral on the Sea) in Cardigan’s Semi-National Eisteddfod of 1909, in front of a crowd of 8, 000. He won 10 bardic chairs. He was also a fine musician, as a choirmaster and he led many Singing Festival across Wales. Tel was also active in the mining community and played an important role on the local miners’ Sliding Scale Committee. He had 8 children, two of them Taliesin (ap Tel) and Ceridwen (Telferch) were also poets.
And then the Lord Rhys held a special feast at Cardigan, and he set two kinds of contests: one between the bards and the poets, and another between the harpists and the crowders and the pipers and various classes of string-music. And he set two chairs for the visitors in the contests. And those he enriched with great gifts. And then a young man from his own court won the victory for string-music. And the men of Gwynedd won the victory for poetry. And all the other minstrels received from the Lord Rhys as much as they asked, so that no one was refused. And that feast was proclaimed a year before it was held throughout Wales and England and Scotland and Ireland and many other lands.
1176 Brut y Tywysogyon
25 (Tues.) 1888
A very successful concert was given in Capel Mair, in this town, on Christmas night, under the presidency of the Rev. W. Jones (Mayor). The building was well-filled, and excellent order was maintained throughout by the conductor, the Rev. T. J. Morris, which was certainly not the least pleasing feature of the gathering. The programme was contributed to by a number of local amateurs, assisted by Eos Myrnach, and a male party from Llanfyrnach, and it will not be considered invidious to say that it was in a great measure owing to their valuable assistance that the concert was one of the best that has been given in the town for some time.
Eos Myrnach possesses a capital voice, and sang several high-class songs with excellent taste and feeling. His rendering of “Alone on the raft” was particularly deserving of mention.
The Llanfyrnach male party, too, proved a great acquisition, and gave evidence of close and careful training, and their rendering of the choruses allotted to them was admirable. “Comrades Song of Hope,” and “Martyrs of the Arena” — the latter including a splendidly rendered quartet- fairly delighted the audience, and were deservedly encored. Mr. Davies led the Llanfyrnach party in the first chorus, and Eos Myrnach afterwards.
Among the locals, the Capel Mair party, led by Mr. Reynolds; Mr. W. Thomas and party, Mr. D. Charles and friends, and Mr. D. Davies and friends, were deserving of commendation, as were also Misses Lowther and Letitia Evans, and Mrs. Jones, and Messrs. W. Thomas, D. Thomas (Tyrhos), and T. Lewis. Miss Daniel and Miss Edith Daniel accompanied with much taste throughout the evening.
The following is the programme:
Pianoforte duet, The Little Sailor, Misses Daniel and Lowther;
glee, Croeso’r Boreu, Capel Mair Party;
solo, Gitana, Miss Lowther;
glee, “Beautiful Rain,” (encored and repeated) Mr. W. Thomas and party;
solo, “Llwybr yr Wyddfa,” (encored and sang Bwthyn bach melyn fy Nhad”)
Eos Myrnach quartet, “Geiriau Mam,”
Mr. D. Charles and friends solo,
Mr. D. Davies solo, Baban diwrnod oed,” (encored)
Mr. D. Thomas, Tyrhos .Song, Darby and Joan,”
Miss Letitia Evans chorus, “Comrades Song of Hope,” (encored)
Llanfyrnach Party solo, Jerusalem,”
Mr. T. Lewis; duet, “As it fell upon a day,”
Misses Lowther and Evans. Part 2-Glee, Yr Haf,”
Capel Mair Party duet, O Gartref yr Eryr,” (encored and sang a duet from Blodwen “)
Eos Myrnach and Mrs Jones solo, Hen Ffon fy Nain,” (encored)
Mr. D. Thomas, Tyrhos; solo, Alone on the Raft,” (encored)
Eos Myrnach; chorus, “Y Gof,”
Llanfyrnach Party; solo, Pleser-fad Niagara,”
Mr. W. Thomas;
trio, Tri Chymro,” (encored)
Mr. D. Davies and friends; chorus, “The Martyrs of the Arena,” (encored)
finale, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau,” air by Eos Myrnach and chorus by the audience.
Votes of thanks to the Chairman and those who took part concluded the proceedings (probably early Boxing Day!)
25 (Wed.) 1889
A grand evening concert was given in Bethania Chapel on Christmas night, and there was a crowded audience. A letter was read from Mr. Morgan-Richardson, Noyadd-Wilym, who had been announced to preside, regretting his inability to attend, and inclosing £2 towards the funds. In the absence of the chairman, Mr. W. Lewis, Brecon Old Bank, was unanimously voted to the chair. The Rev. T. J. Morris acted as conductor.
The following was the programme :
Pianoforte solo, Miss Gwynne, R.A.M. solo, “Baner ein Gwlad,”Gwyn Alaw” (encored, and responded with “My Pretty Jane”);
solo, “Remember me,” Miss S. A. Esau;
solo, Death of Nelson,” Mr. Wm. Thomas (encored, and responded with a Welsh song);
solo, The Blind Girl to her harp,” Miss S. A. Jenkins (encored, and responded with “Trip, Trip”);
solo, “I had a dream,” Mrs. S. A. Owen;
solo, The White Squall,” Mr. W. Jones
solo, “O dywed im’, awel y Nefoedd,” Llinos Gwent;
solo competition, “Mair Magdalen,” ten competed, three singing on the stage, the best being Miss Lizzie Jenkins, Greenfield-square
duet, Martial Spirit,” Gwyn Alaw and Mr. William Thomas;
juvenile choir competition, Y Galwadau,” three choirs, namely, Bethania (led by Mr. William Jenkins), Tabernacle (led by Mr. John James), and Mount Zion (led by Mr. D. Ivor Evans), and the prize was divided between Bethania and Mount Zion
choirs quartet, Mount Zion Party duet, “Howel, Howet, Llinos Gwent and Gwyn Alaw (encored, and repeated);
solo, Pleserfad Niagara,” Mr. William Thomas;
solo, Good Shepherd,” Gwyn Alaw
solo competition, Y Morwr Lion,” five entries, prize awarded to Mr. William Jones
choral competition, Cwynfan Prydain,” two choirs competed, namely, Tabernacle (led by Mr. E. Ceredig Evans), and Bethania (led by Mr. William Jenkins), and the prize was awarded to Bethania Choir
song, Aunty,” Llinos Gwent (encored, and responded with The Donkey Cart”)
finale, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau.”
It is but fair to say that the singing of Miss S. A. Jenkins (Llinos Gwent) was much admired she possesses a beautiful soprano voice of great power and compass, and should have a great future if she becomes a professional singer. Votes of thanks to the Chairman, Mr. Morgan-Richardson, the Conductor, Miss Gwynne (the accompanyist), and the singers, concluded the proceedings.
25 1888 (Tues.)
On Christmas Day the inmates of the Workhouse were, as usual, through the generosity of Mr. Brigstoike, the much respected chairman of the Board of Guardians, treated to a splendid dinner, composed of roast beef, plum pudding, and beer, with two ounces of tobacco to those who smoked, and oranges to those who did not, and to the women and children.
Mr. Thomas Llewelyn and Mr. Lewis Davies superintended the distribution. A hearty vote of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Brigstocke for their kindness, to Messrs. Llewelyn and Davies for superintending, and to the master and matron for the great trouble they had taken in preparing the good things, were unanimously passed.
Dinner being over, Mr. John James, St. Dogmells, and his choir, attended, and several pieces were sung, to the great delight of the inmates.
25 1909 Bethania
25 (Wed.) 2013 Tonight it’s Downton Abbey v. Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special (Progress or what?)
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL WHO HAVE READ THESE SNIPPETS OVER THE YEAR.
4 1976 (Wed.) National Eisteddfod 1976: Noson Lawen at 10.30 pm. Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd presents: Ryan Davies, Mynediad am Ddim, Caleb a’r dwlals, Eirian James, Côr Poliphonig Caerdydd, Alun Williams, ac R. Alun Evans
1 1976 (Sun.) National Eisteddfod: Morning Service from the Pavilion at 10.00. Theme: ‘The Christian Watchfulness’. President: Revd. D. Rhys Thomas; Call to Worship: Revd Milton G. Jenkins, Bethania; Recitation: Parti Ebeneser, Dyfed; Côr Tannau Teifi, conductor Alun Tegryn Davies; Reading by Revd. A. J. Davies; Eisteddfod Choir : conductor Terence Lloyd; Prayer : Revd Tom Roberts, Tabernacl; Sermon: Revd D. J. Roberts, Capel Mair; Blessing : Father Seamus Cunane. Harpists: Sybil Milton-Jenkins, Barbara Morris and Buddug Stephens.
1 1905 (Tues.) Launch of the Elizabeth Austin lifeboat.