Corwen remembers the 1919 Peace Eisteddfod
This year marks the 100 year anniversary since the Peace Eisteddfod was held in Corwen in 1919. It was a very special occasion being the first Eisteddfod following the Great War and particularly important for Corwen to be the town to host this special event.
To mark the occasion, the National Lottery-funded Our Picturesque Landscape project, has been working with local artists to support the community in a commemorative event.
The pupils of Ysgol Caer Drewyn learnt about the traditions of the Eisteddfod and the actual events that took place in Corwen in 1919, such as:
- how the A5 road was closed for the Eisteddfod week;
- how 4 platforms were built at Corwen train station; and
- how the harpist, Nansi Richards, overslept and arrived late in her night dress and a large overcoat to play her harp and had to stay dressed like that for the whole hot August day!
They also enjoyed using their imaginations to decide what happened to the 1919 Corwen National Eisteddfod Chair, the whereabouts of which is still a mystery to this day.
A commemorative community event took place on Wednesday 10th July where a procession led by the pupils went from Canolfan Ni up to the Gorsedd circle in Coed Pen y Pigyn. Members of the wider community joined in to remember the 1919 Corwen National Eisteddfod together. For the procession, the children at Ysgol Caer Drewyn and some of their parents created giant Druid puppets. The children, who are aged 7-11 formed a percussion band to create a celebratory atmosphere for the procession and they developed drama and dance performances based on the actual happenings at the Eisteddfod in 1919, to perfrom at the Gorsedd at Pen Y Pigyn. The local community were also involved. Groups from Canolfan Ni including the Vale of Clwyd MIND group and the lunch club together with the nursery school children used printing techniques to create banners and flags to decorate the procession. Following the procession the community enjoyed refreshments at the Corwen Museum and spent time enjoying the exhibits.
The occasion was also filmed for the future, to remind people in 100 years’ time how Corwen celebrated this important centenary. You can view the film on the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB Facebook Page.
Following the event in July, members of the community took the Druid puppets to this year’s National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst to remind people of the anniversary of the 1919 National Peace Eisteddfod and encourage people to come and visit Corwen.