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Diary May 2023

Gwerinwyr Diary May 2023 by Sue Venn

For our last booking of 2022, 3 Welsh speakers from GG were on hand to run a ceilidh as part of  Learn Welsh Gwent’s adult learners’ Xmas party on the 14th December. We have done this before around the county at Llancaiach Fawr and Llanhilleth Institute, as the job of organising the celebration falls on a different borough each year....this time Torfaen. The evening started with a hog roast supper, then, musical entertainment was provided by Gareth Bonello aka The Gentle Good, and rounded off by a ceilidh with all the calling in Welsh of course.

Our 2023 bookings started on 13th February when we were invited to Ystrad Mynach Primary School to display and teach some easy dances to years 1 and 2 as part of their WOW week. This was quite a long day for us as we did 3 sessions for the children and their parents, 2 in the morning, stopping while the hall was used for lunch, and continuing in the afternoon....and it was surprisingly tiring. The children were keen to join in, some with more enthusiasm than ability (they are very young), but all seemed to enjoy it....especially when mums and dads had a go, and that was the main objective along with teaching them a little of their culture. For this we are fortunate to have the services of ex-headteacher Barbara Griffiths who knows exactly how to get and keep young children’s attention.

Next came 3 evenings in quick succession at WI meetings around the county. The first at Penhow held in the Baptist Chapel on the A48, where we danced in the smallest room we ever have. Then to Llandenny and finally Llantilio Pertholey at Mardy Community Hall where they have a big room for their large membership. As the 2nd and 3rd bookings were on the 1st and 2nd March, we were treated to tea with home-made Welsh cakes and bara brith afterwards....and very nice they were too. Most of the ladies joined in and those that couldn’t, enjoyed watching their friends take part. We were told it made a nice change from just sitting listening to a speaker.

After several years of glorious weather on the National Garden Scheme open Sunday at Llanover, this time on the 26th March it was different. We danced under leaden skies with a chilly wind although amazingly it didn’t rain. Visitor numbers were surprisingly good, although nowhere near last year’s record breaking total, the beautiful displays of magnolias and daffodils plus the refreshments provided by ladies from the church are probably the reasons for that.

Our next outing will be at the Tredegar House Folk Festival  5th-8th May.

Gwerinwyr Gwent is always seeking new members, and beginners or experienced dancers/musicians are very welcome. Practice night (numbers permitting) is Thursday 8-10pm at the Graig Community Hall (opposite the Ruperra PH).

For more details visit our website, ring 01495 271953.