July 28th – Llyn Geirionydd – Llanrhychwyn

Report by Liz Noonan, Golygfa Gwydyr

On site at 8:30 am to let the boys from Trefriw Village Fete bring in and set up the marquee next to the Taliesin monument on a hill overlooking Llyn Geirionydd which is said to be the birthplace of the Bard in the sixth century. It was a glorious sunny day – the first in over a month. New friendships were started and a group spirit was born to create future events that celebrate the beauty, history and language of this magical pocket of North Wales.

Alan Collinson held a drumming workshop next to the monument and explained that the Welsh drum we were using would have been played by Taliesin all those centuries ago – the Welsh form of drumming had always been used to add to the atmosphere of stories and songs of that time up till now.

The Celtic Cauldron performed a play about Ceridwen with the local children and storytellers who came to take part. There was a colourful procession down to the lake and back acting out the story of Ceridwen and the birth of Taliesin.

A lovely lunch was brought and shared by everyone who attended in the marquee and walkers came by to show their interest in what looked to them like a happy, family orientated festival.

Rhys Mwyn, a well known Welsh musician, gave a talk on Gwilym Cowlyd who had staged Arwests at this location from 1863 – 1921. He explained what a radical thing this was for him to do all those years ago – sometimes even making the performers walk a few miles uphill from Llanrwst to the beautiful site. He believed that the spirit of the traditional songs and poems should be in the open air – whatever the weather!

Rhys brought a copy of a poster promoting the Arwest and an original medal (which had been recycled from another use as a war medal) and a book on the life of Gwilym Cowlyd.

Fiona Collins sang a song about Rhiannon and her birds Myfanwy sang songs and recited poetry. Alan Collinson played his drum and sang a song with other story tellers taking it in turn to give beautiful renditions of stories of love and kindness.

After goodbyes the marquee was taken down and by 5:30 it was as though nothing had occurred on that magical spot.

Golygfa Gwydyr would like to thank Celtic Cauldron and all those who supported us at this event. It was a wonderful day which we hope to make into an annual event. See you next year.