GWERINWYR GWENT WELSH FOLK DANCERS
Gwerinwyr Diary 2012 by Sue Venn
GG’s first booking of 2012 was on 18th Feb when we held a twmpath (ceilidh) for Rogerstone Roses W.I. at St Anne’s church hall. This was a fundraising event on behalf of the Tredegar House Folk Festival which Rogerstone Roses kindly supported.
On 27th March GG danced at our annual booking at Llanover House near Abergavenny. The weather was glorious and the crowds flooded in, there were a record number of over 750 visitors, which raised more than £3,000 for NGS charities. Mared Lloyd our 9 year old Welsh clogger and her family once again joined us. Dad Geraint is a dancer and fiddle player and mum Sara plays the accordion – what a talented family!
We were very pleased to be asked to dance at Cardiff Bay on 5th May as part of the entertainment for the 870 mile Wales Coastal Path official opening celebrations. Space was rather limited on the stage at Roald Dahl Plass, but we managed to complete our programme without mishap. TV news presenter Frances Donovan was MC, and the path was officially declared open by John Griffiths AM for the Environment. The proceedings were filmed by S4C, and Mared, Geraint, and Alun Griffiths (our harp player) were all interviewed and appeared on the TV programme Bro.
The following Saturday, the 12th May, we took part in the Spring Fest at Bedwellty House and Park in Tredegar. Fortunately the weather was fine and we were able to dance outside the house in the café area. Isca Morris Men were also on hand to entertain the crowds.
GG was heavily involved with the Tredegar House Folk Festival 18th – 20th May, several members of the group are on the festival organising committee and many act as hosts to visiting international dancers. Sat and Sun afternoons 1 -5pm, the large crowds were entertained in the main marquee and outside in the courtyard by 28 different dance groups. GG danced two spots on Saturday.
On Thursday 24th May we spent a very warm evening in Brecon with the Welsh WI, where we demonstrated several folk dances and then invited the ladies to join us in a couple of twmpath dances.
The 14th June saw us make a return visit to the adult special needs class at Rhydfelin, Pontypridd. Our visit had been eagerly awaited and we were given a very warm welcome. GG member Barbara Griffiths had put together a mixed programme about Welsh culture and dance, and the students listened attentively and answered any questions thrown at them. As this took place during the day, only a small group from GG was available but we were able to demonstrate Llanover Reel and also got the students to join in some simple twmpath dances….which they thoroughly enjoyed.
We had a very busy weekend on 23/24th June, Saturday saw us dancing in front of the Sessions House in Usk as part of the entertainment for the Usk Open Gardens weekend. The weather was showery in the morning but fortunately was dry for our two spots. We then had the opportunity to look around some of the lovely gardens that are open to the public.
Sunday was the National Trust’s Tredegar House Housewarming Party, with a day of free entertainment being held in the grounds.
The annual Gwyl Plant festival took place over the weekends of 30th June and 7th July in Abergavenny, Newport, Abertillery and Cwmbran. This Welsh folk dance festival for children was started by GG members in 1981 to promote Welsh folk dance and culture in primary schools. Almost 80 schools took part this year.
On 9th August GG helped to entertain the crowds at the National Eisteddfod.
In October we were invited to the Lowender Peran Celtic festival in Perranporth. This was held over the weekend of 19th – 21st and was fortunately blessed by lovely weather. A good time was had by all.
To finish the year, GG danced 4 spots at the Tredegar House Xmas tours.