Archivists, Cornish language speakers and, arguably, Cornwall’s funniest of funny men are among 20 people from across Cornwall and beyond who will be welcomed as new bards of Gorsedh Kernow at next month’s ceremony in St Austell.
Kim Cooper from the Redruth Cornish Studies Centre, community manager and consultant Ian Saltern from Stratton and, fittingly in her home town, Ruth Webb from St Austell will stand alongside Ed “Kernow King” Rowe and 16 other proud initiates who will be waiting to take their place among the 500 or so existing members of the College of Bards.
Described as being side splittingly funny and a loyal spokesman for the people of Cornwall, Roche boy Edward Rowe (otherwise known as the Kernow King) is thrilled to become a member of one of Cornwall’s most respected cultural organisations. Edward said,
“It’s wonderful to be invited to join the Gorsedh, and my family are really proud” said Edward.
“One of my happiest moments was when a young lad came up to me and said ‘KK, you make me feel cool to be Cornish’, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do really. I want the young people to realise that they live in one of the best places in the world and for it to inspire them to great achievements. I love talking about Cornwall and as a bard I’m going to work really hard in promoting Cornishness at home and abroad.”
The Cornish Gorsedh was established in 1928 with the aim of celebrating and promoting Cornwall’s distinctive Celtic culture and St Austell, Cornwall’s largest centre of population in Cornwall, provides the setting for this year’s Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival week of celebrations.
This includes the Bard’s Open Gorsedh ceremony on Saturday 5th September at Poltair Park, home of St Austell AFC.
The high point of the ceremony, which starts at 2pm, will be the inauguration of the 20 new Bards in recognition of their outstanding work in serving Cornwall and her distinctive Celtic identity.
Kathryn Jones & Ruth Webb with Grand Bard Maureen Fuller at the Cornish Language Board Graduation Ceremony
“Our ceremony always provides a spectacle of colour with the blue robes of the Bards and the myriad of colours from the banners of the many Cornish organisations that come together to celebrate our Cornish culture,” said Grand Bard of Cornwall Maureen Fuller.
Once again the ever increasing interest and activity around the Cornish language is reflected in the number of people, almost half of the new bards, recognised this year for their work in this area. Archive and heritage is also well represented as is the important work done by Cornish people in Australia.
“We aim to recognise and reward ordinary folk who are doing their level best to keep the spotlight on our precious Cornish culture,” said Mrs Fuller, “and this year we are proud to welcome a particularly strong representation from the Cornish language speaking community.”
“Being awarded a bardship is a great honour and we know from our own experience that all our new initiates will have renewed confidence to stand tall and take their place alongside their fellow bards as they continue their work for our beloved nation.”
The 20 new Bards for 2015 are:
Cora Boyns Buchanan – From Roseudgeon, Penzance – for her work with Archives and Publications
Tony Burt – Camelford – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall
Robyn Coates – Melbourne & Ballarat, Victoria, Australia – for her continuing work for Cornwall in Australia
Kim Cooper – Redruth – for services to Cornish heritage
Ivor Corkell – Camborne – for services to the Old Cornwall Society movement and industrial heritage
Pamela Cox – Gunnislake – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall
Stephen Gadd – Camborne – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall
Peter Harwood – Stratton – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall
Bramwell Hayes – Welwyn Garden City – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall
Kathryn Jones – Roche – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall
Anne Knight – St Agnes – for her strong support for Cornwall’s heritage
Peny Melmoth – St Ives – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall
Rosalind Peskett – Penzance – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall
Leon Pezzack – Mousehole – for his work with traditional rowing boats and maritime history
Anthony Richards – St Keverne – for his work with music and heritage in Cornwall
Karen Richards – St Keverne – for her work with Cornish heritage and education
Edward Rowe – Budock Water – for his work as ambassador for the Cornish identity
Ian Saltern – Stratton – for his work with Cornish identity
Lenice Stuchbury – Ballarat, Victoria, Australia – for her continuing work for Cornwall in Australia
Ruth Webb – St Austell – by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall
For more information of the Gorsedh and the Bards of Cornwall – Gorsedh Kernow web site: http://www.gorsethkernow.org.uk/