County looks forward to St David’s Day celebrations in build up to National Eisteddfod
Monmouthshire’s communities are preparing to celebrate St David’s Day with a number of exciting and varied events to raise funds for the 2016 National Eisteddfod held in Abergavenny this summer.
Three barn dances – twmpathau – will be held in different corners of the county with the first taking place at Penallt’s Pelham Hall featuring local Welsh dancers Gwerinwyr Gwent at 7.30pm on Saturday 27th February. Tickets cost £10 (£5 for children) and are available from Robin Davies (01594 563172), Cindy Holton (07769 155830) or on the door if available.
On the same evening Murphy’s Law perform at Usk’s Memorial Hall for an evening of Welsh folk music, dancing and songs starting at 7pm. Tickets are £7 for adults, £5 for children and £20 for families and may be purchased from Meirion at 72 Maryport Street or the Green Flute Café.
Abergavenny’s Welsh-medium school, Ysgol Gymraeg Y Fenni, hosts its annual twmpath on Thursday 3rd March from 6pm at the town’s market hall. Featuring a local band, performances by the school’s pupils and hot food stalls as well as Welsh crafts and produce, entry is by ticket, available from the school, Abergavenny Museum, the council’s one stop shop and the Expresso Bar within the market. Prices are £6 for adults, £3 for children and £15 for a family.
On St David’s Day itself, local performers The Singing Club will hold an open rehearsal at Usk’s Sessions House with an invite to sing along to well-known Welsh songs and to learn Mae hen wlad fy nhadau – the Welsh National Anthem. Celebrations start at 7.30pm and include cawl, bread and a bar – entry is free.
Usk also hosts a St David’s Day musical coffee morning on Wednesday 2nd March from 9.15 to 11am in the town’s school hall. Pupils will perform and coffee and cake will be available. Everyone is welcome to attend.
That evening, Abergavenny’s Melville Theatre offers a poetry reading starting at 7.30pm. A Nest of Poets/Nyth o Ffeirdd will introduce William Ayot, Ann Drysdale, Paul Groves and Christopher Meredith and tickets at £10 for adults and £5 for children may be booked by calling the Melville Centre on 01873 853167.
Abergavenny also offers an evening concert of music and song. Cerdd a chân takes place at the town’s Methodist Chapel in Tudor Street starting at 7pm on Friday 4th March and features Charlie Lovell Jones on fiddle, tenor Peter Totterdale, soprano Christine Burbridge and contralto Helen O’Sullivan. Tickets are £10 on the door.
Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for the Welsh language, Councillor Phil Hobson said: “More and more events are planned to support the Eisteddfod as we approach the summer. The days either side of March 1st and St David’s Day itself offer a variety of fine opportunities to celebrate the Welsh language and culture across the county.”
In addition, schools across Monmouthshire will celebrate St David’s Day with eisteddfodau, dressing in traditional Welsh costume and participating in Welsh cultural activities. A special St David’s Day lunchtime menu will feature pork and leek sausage or a vegetarian option of homemade Glamorgan sausage, both served with cheesy leek mash, baked beans or spaghetti hoops with a Welsh cake and milkshake to follow.
• For further information, log on to the Facebook page: Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Sir Fynwy a’r Cyffiniau. The Monmouthshire & District National Eisteddfod takes place on Abergavenny’s Castle Meadows from July 29th to August 6th and 150,000 people are expected to visit the county during the week.
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