Gorsedh Kernow launches new Cornish book at Torpoint

The latest publication by Gorsedh Kernow, the fifth in the series, is Cornish Bards of the Tamar Valley/Berdh Kernow Nans an Tamar, was launched by the Grand Bard of Cornwall Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor in the presence of the Mayor Cllr Mike Pearn MBE with representatives of Torpoint Town Council and other specially invited guests.

The launch was held on Thursday 4th September in Torpoint Council Chambers during Gorsedh Kernow’s Cornish Book Fair.

An all-Cornish publication steered through by Ann Trevenen Jenkin, Past Grand Bard and Deputy Chair of Gorsedh Kernow Archives and Publications, this new illustrated book gives brief biographies of 34 past Tamar Valley bards, their contribution to Gorsedh Kernow and the life of the area. It also includes 40 short biographies of living bards who are continuing to work for the Tamar area, Cornwall and the wider world.

“We are very grateful to the huge number of volunteers, mostly but not solely bards from the area, who have researched and compiled the material,” said Grand Bard Maureen Fuller,“and particular thanks are due to the local archive research groups, the Old Cornwall Societies in Callington, Saltash and Torpoint and Torpoint Town Council for their help.”

The book is illustrated with black and white photographs and a central page of colour photographs of the large number of living bards who are still working for Cornwall.

“This fascinating new book features important local bards who have achieved national or international fame like Dennis Trevanion, a former Grand Bard,” said Chair of the Steering Group Ann Trevenen Jenkin, “or Alderman Kimberley Foster, a former inspirational chairman of Cornwall County Council.

“It also features Rosina Avis from Plymouth who spent much of her life supporting Cornish emigrants in New York,” continued Mrs Jenkin, “ and William Carder from Callington, who became an important leader of the Cornish in Australia.”

There are also entries about many former citizens of the area who have worked more unassumingly as bards for Cornwall, like Pat Snow, a very active member of the London Cornish Association, Lawrence Maker, researcher of Methodist Chapels or William Paynter, a researcher into witchcraft.

“There are many others of course and you need to buy and read the book to see what they have done or are doing for Cornwall,” said Mrs Jenkin.

The splendid coloured front and back cover scenes are reproductions of Mary Martin’s evocative paintings of the Tamar Valley and her sister has added two passages about the Tamar Valley from her writings in the “Guardian”.

A further new book, written by local Cornish bard Dr Ken George, will also be launched at the Book Fair. Published by Kesva an Taves Kernewek /The Cornish Language Board it has been written specially to coincide with Gorsedh Kernow’s celebrations in South East Cornwall and will explain the meanings of local place names.

Production is in A4 format with 46 pages and four  in colour. ISBN 978-1-903668-10-8. The cost is £6.50. Details of how to purchase the book are on the Gorsedh Kernow website with a booking form – please see www.gorsedhkernow.org.uk

The book is illustrated with black and white photographs of bards, and includes a list of main sources for each biography.  There is a central page of colour photographs of the large number of living bards who are still working for Cornwall and will continue to do so, details of the three local Old Cornwall Societies and the Torpoint Archive.

For enquiries about postal copies, multiple orders, trade rates, or any further details about the launch please contact Ann Trevenen Jenkin, Deputy Chair Gorsedh Kernow Archives & Publications, An Gernyk, Fordh an Chapel, Leedstown, Hayle TR27 6BA, Kernow, UK. Tel: 01736-850332.

Email: pellgowser@btinternet.com to whom any queries should be addressed.

The Cornish Book Fair was part of Gorsedh Kernow’s Esedhvos Festival which runs from Monday 1st to Sunday 7th September 2014 in Torpoint and includes the main Bardic ceremony at 2pm this Saturday 7th September in Thanckes Park, Torpoint. All welcome.

 All are welcome to attend all the Esedhvos Kernow Torpoint events, and the great majority are free of charge. Further info about the Esedhvos Festival can be found on www.esedhvos.co.uk

For further information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact Delia Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, Communications Officer, Gorsedh Kernow, tel 01736 799305 or email tirhatavas@hotmail.co.uk