CROESO

Welcome to the

Chelmsford & District Welsh Society

 

Membership is open to anyone with Welsh origins or connections,         or to anyone with an appreciation of Welsh heritage and traditions.

There are currently 90 members and you would be warmly welcomed to come and join us for one of our meetings.

 

DUE TO THE CURRENT HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS

 

We are sorry to announce that ALL of the Society's social activities will not take place for at least the next few weeks.

 

These include:

  • The next two monthly meetings which were to be held at the Chapter House on 25th March
and 22nd April
  • The Trip to Llangollen May 17th to 20th
  • The Choir Concert which was to be held at Chelmsford Cathedral on June 13th 

PLEASE NOTE any monies paid for the above activities will be refunded/returned where appropriate.

 

We look forward to meeting you all when restrictions are lifted.

The next meeting will be announced here as soon as we feel that it is safe to do so.

Keep coming back to this page for the latest news.

 

CATHERINE JENKINS

with orchestra and supporting artists

PAUL POTTS, COLLABRO,

and THE KINGDOM CHOIR

will perform at a "WITHINTHEPARK CONCERT" at Promenade Park Maldon on Sunday July 26th 2020

 

Tickets currently £27.75

 

NOTE: This concert is not promoted by the

Chelmsford & District Welsh Society

 

More information and tickets available at:

https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Chelmsford/Promenade-Park/Katherine-Jenkins-plus-Special-Guests-/13708728/

 

RECENT EVENTS

FEBRUARY MEETING 2020 

An evening with MIKE PRICE

Liz Armishaw, President                             Mike Price                           Sina Williams, Raffle 

Music and Mirth was the theme of Mike Price’s video presentation at the 19 February monthly meeting. He opened with  examples of the work of three conductors. Sioned James, who died at the age of 41 four years ago and was a prodigy of Islwyn Evans, who introduced her to  conducting at the age of 16, was shown conducting Cor Dydd.  The Latvian conductor Mariss Jansens, who died at the age of 77 in 2019, was frequently awarded the accolade of “the greatest living conductor” in his lifetime. He was also probably the most loved by the performers, being totally focussed on the music as opposed to the typically autocratic approach of the third famous conductor shown in the video. Mariss knew from the age of four that he would be an orchestral conductor. His mother was an opera singer and his father a conductor, and he trained at the Leningrad Conservatory. He  was guest conductor of the leading north America and European orchestras, including the BBC Welsh Orchestra. Mike’s fourth example showed the  amazing Cory Brass Band, for 10 years the World Champions, winning the 2019 British Open at Birmingham. It was, without doubt, a superb performance. The next clip was of Mike’s, – and many others, –- favourite male voice choir, Cor Godre’r Aran singing under the directorship of Eirian Owen, conducting and playing the piano
After a break for refreshments and the opportunity for a “scwrs”, Mike continued with the theme of Mirth, with the comedian Mike Doyle’s hilarious sketches featuring regional accents from the four corners of Wales. Finally a celebration of multi talented Ryan Davies. Ryan was indeed gifted: a composer, instrumentalist, singer ,actor, and dancer extraordinaire. Mike had chosen two much loved examples of his work: Kalinka, with the Gentlemen Songsters, who were clearly immensely amused/bemused since the concert version was quite different from the rehearsal; and the famous and hilarious sketch, The Chemist, where he plays the part of a little boy  trying to buy an article usually purchased by a female from a bemused Mrs Evans! How sad that such a talent died young, at the age of 40 in 1977, but how wonderful that his work continues to be enjoyed today. Mike was congratulated on providing such enjoyable entertainment by Arthur Williams, the Vice-president.
Liz Armishaw, the President, announced the sad news that Father Rowland Webb, an active member for many years before moving away, had died.          

Arthur Williams, Vice President

 

Jim Armishaw

Saint David's Day Dinner

Friday 28th February 2020

 

The Society celebrated the feast of our patron saint, Dydd Gwyl Dewi, in traditional manner with its 57th Annual Dinner at the County Hotel, Chelmsford and a church service at Little Baddow URC, the Society’s spiritual home since 1990. The dining room was beautifully decorated, with Y Ddraig Goch looking down from behind the top table.The rousing processional march “Men of Harlech”, played by the harpist Rachel Bartels and her husband Ken, a flautist, accompanied the entry of the Mayor and Mayoress of Chelmsford, Cllr. Bob Massey and Mrs Janice Cheese, escorted by the President, Liz Armishaw and her husband, Jim, the Guest of Honour Mr Garry Owen and his wife Lee, escorted by the Vice-president Arthur Williams and his wife Carys. Bendith, (Grace), said in Welsh and English by Society member Brother Gildas, was followed by a fine dinner of traditional Cawl cennin a thatws (leek and potato soup), Syrlwyn cig eidion wedi’i rostio, gyda pwddin Efrog, thatws rhost a llysiau (roast sirloin of beef and Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and vegetables), Pannacotta llaeth enwyn, tuille sinsir a sinamon gyda saws mafon (butter milk pannacotta tuille ginger and cinnamon tuille with raspberry coulis), followed by Coffi, Te a Petit Fours. Alternatives were served to those with particular dietary requirements.
 
Following the meal the President proposed the Loyal Toast to “The Queen”. The Vice-president proposed the toast to Dewi Sant. The President then introduced the Guest of Honour, Garry Owen a radio and television  journalist who works through the medium of Welsh and English, who spoke about his career, in a fine speech. Following a Law Degree and a period working as a lawyer, during which time he met his wife, also a lawyer, he worked for the radio station Swansea Sound. He has since covered major news stories for the BBC, including from the USA on an American Presidental Election and from Southern Africa reporting on the effects of drought. At the conclusion he proposed a toast to The Society. Before proposing a toast to Our Guests, the President thanked everybody present gathered to celebrate the  wonderful example Dewi has given on how to live our lives. She congratulated Garry for delivering an excellent speech, and thanked those members of the committee involved in arranging the celebration: Kay Bright who produced the tickets, and the lovely menu cards; David Brown for the seating plan and place names; Sue Almond for help in getting the room ready; Shirley Moody and John for the beautiful flower arrangements; and Gwil Williams the M.C. She also thanked the committee for their hard work in securing the  continued success of the Society, and in particular Gwenno Pope the Secretary, and took wine with them in celebration. Special thanks were offered to the Mayor and Mayoress for allowing time in their busy schedule to attend the dinner, and to Rachel and Ken for entertaining us with their musical talents, which would continue later in the evening. She concluded with  a few words about a long forgotten Welsh Princess Gwenllian, the daughter of the last Welsh Prince, Llywelyn, whose murder was arranged by Edward, the Norman King of England, in 1282. In order to eliminate a perceived  threat of a Welsh Royal succession, Edward ensured that the orphaned six month old Gwenllian would remain childless by sending her secretly to an abbey in Sampringham, in the vast flatness of the Lincolnshire fens, where she remained as a nun until her death, forgotten and probably unaware of her ancestry. Then in 1991, a Captain  Richard Turner determined that she should not remain forgotten for ever and arranged for a small memorial cairn to be erected in what he described as “a corner of a foreign field that is forever Wales” at a site near Sampringham. In his response, the Mayor said that he had been assured by several previous Mayors that he would have a particularly enjoyable evening. He was aware that the Society had a tradition of supporting local charities. As a finale to a wonderful evening, Rachel and Ken delighted with some nostalgic and some exciting music which included audience participation, always a feature of Welsh celebrations. Coincidences are always interesting, and it emerged that Gwil had been one of the Mayor’s school teachers, and that a committee member was at school with the  guest speaker’s wife! The Society are grateful to the County Hotel for the welcome and consistently high standard of the services provided.
 
The church service at Little Baddow URC on Sunday 1 March was well attended. The sermon was delivered by Brenda Hooson, a member of the church, whose daughter lives in Wales, and Society member Keith Byatt was the organist. Following tradition, the last hymn, Seintiau Cymru, was dedicated to  Society members who had died during the year. The dedication was led by Carys Williams, in memory of John Styles, Barbara James, Yvonne Blackwood, and previous members John Williams, Richard Collopy and Father Rowland Webb. Refreshments were served after the service. The Society are grateful to the elders of the church for their continuing generosity in allowing them to  use their delightful church.
 
Jim Armishaw.