Village looks back on Eisteddfod anniversary
3:59pm Monday 14th July 2014 in News
Residents of Llandybie has marked the moment 70 years ago when the National Eisteddfod was hosted by the village.
With the show-piece event of Welsh culture returning to the county next month, members of the community sought to highlight the time – towards the end of World War Two – when the nation’s greatest talents showed their skills on its doorstep.
A committee made up of members of the community has worked diligently throughout the year to raise funds in support of the National Eisteddfod, to be held in Llanelli at the beginning of August, but they did not forget the part their village played in the history of the event.
So, after completing that task of fundraising for this year’s event, they set about raising further cash in order to commemorate the past.
Their efforts were boosted by a £500 donation from Lloyds Bank.
The 1944 National Eisteddfod in Llandybie was the only eisteddfod which lasted for a whole week during a time of hardship during the difficult war years and the village was swelled as numerous visitors from the many allied countries attended.
To mark the anniversary, a plaque - designed and created by Ieuan Rees - was unveiled at the Memorial Hall, Llandybie, on Friday by the Archdruid, Dr Christine James.
The unveiling was the centre-piece of a day of events and performances to honour the anniversary.
The afternoon’s events commenced with an introduction to the historical background of the events of 1944, by Alun Lloyd.
There were also performances from the choir of Ysgol Gynradd Llandybie and Dawnswyr Aelwyd Penrhyd at the Gorsedd Stones.
An address by the Archdruid was followed by prayers given by Rev Carl Williams and Rev Ann Howells.
A procession then led those present to the hall where Dr James unveiled the plaque.
There followed a celebration concert in the hall with performances from a variety of artists including the baritone Rhys Jones, mezzo soprano Jennifer Parry and tenor John Davies, accompanied by Sian Davies.
There were also performances by Cor Ysgol Llandybie, Cor Meibion Llandybie, Parti Dawns Penrhyd and Cor Merched Tybie.
The Master of Ceremonies throughout the event was Tom L. Jones and the events producer was Alun M Lloyd.
As well as those present, good wishes were sent by the world-famous actress Sian Phillips, who refers fondly in her autobiography to her memories of competing in the 1944 Eisteddfod in Llandybie.
The evening captured many of the memories of the 1944 event and a number of those attending the concert recalled their participation – with memories and anecdotes - in the events of 70 years earlier.