Source: The Western Morning News
The streets of Torpoint will come to a standstill this Saturday as several hundred blue-robed bards process through the East Cornwall town for their annual gathering.
Members of Gorsedh Kernow, who have all been honoured by the cultural organisation for their contribution to Cornish life, will use the ceremony as a public declaration of allegiance and Cornish distinctiveness.
With the Government officially recognising the Cornish people as a minority earlier this year, the number of bards present on Saturday is expected to be one of the biggest for years.
Gorsedh Kernow, which exists to protect and promote Cornwall’s unique culture, each year selects a small number of new bards, following nominations from existing members.
A playwright, choirmaster, archivist, archaeologist and St Piran campaigner are among 23 people from across the world who will be initiated as new bards. Anna Murphy, Stephen Lawry, Tamsin Mallett, Caradoc Peters and Colin Retallick will be invited to take their place in the circle of some 300 bards. Other new bards have been honoured for their work for the Cornish language, music and research and for promoting Cornwall through expatriate societies in Australia, New Zealand and Brittany.
Grand Bard Maureen Fuller, who will lead the proceedings in the Cornish language, said: “Our ceremony always provides a spectacle of colour with the blue robes of the bards and the myriad of banners from the many Cornish organisations that come together to celebrate our Cornish culture.”
The public are welcome to attend the event, which will also include exhibitions, concerts, stalls, church services and other activities as part of the Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival.
“We are especially proud this year because the Government has recognised the Cornish as a distinct group under the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities,” added the Grand Bard. “This recognition will give Cornish people the respect they deserve and the confidence to stand tall and be themselves, taking their place in the multi-cultural society that is Britain today.”
The Gorsedh Kernow gathering begins at 2pm on Saturday September 6 in Thanckes Field, Torpoint. For further information visit gorsedhkernow.org.uk
Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival
The Week's Events in Torpoint
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, September 1, 3 and 5 – 10am-4pm, ‘Torpoint All at Sea’, display of photos, documents and memorabilia at Torpoint Library
Thursday, September 4 – At Torpoint Council Chambers
10.30am-3pm, Cornish Book Fair and photo displays
12 noon Book launch of ‘Bards of the Tamar Valley’ and ‘Placenames of the Tamar Valley’
Friday, September 5 – All at Torpoint Council Chambers
9.45am-3.45pm, Conference on ‘Brand Kernow’
10.30am-3pm, Cornish books and old postcards
8pm Cornish Dance with Scoots Kernow and the Scoots Lyskerrys Band
Saturday, September 6 – 11am Market stalls at Thankes Park/The Lawn 1.30pm Procession of bards from Torpoint Community College to Thankes Park
2pm Gorsedh Kernow bardic ceremony at Thankes Park
7pm Gorsedh Kernow gala concert at St James Church Sunday,
September 7 –
10am-1pm, Myttin Lowender Cornish Language morning at Torpoint Council Chambers
3.30pm Cornerstone Church Evening Prayer in Cornish?
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