St David's Day Celebrations 2017

Members of Chelmsford and District Welsh Society and their guests celebrated the Feast their patron saint Dewi Sant (St. David) with a grand Dinner at the County Hotel, Chelmsford, and a service of thanks giving at Little Baddow URC. The tables in the dining room was beautifully dressed in the Welsh colours of white and green, with daffodil centre pieces, under the proud gaze of y Ddraig Goch (Red Dragon) on the national flag. The diners stood to welcome the arrival of the President Arthur Williams and Vice-president Brian Farmer and their wives, escorting the Guest of Honour Tudur Owen and his wife and the Mayor of Chelmsford Cllr. Patricia Hughes and her escort, to the strains of the violin and harp  played by Bil and Ann Efans. The Grace was said by Society member Brother Gildas, garbed in the white robe of the Norbertines Order. Rather appropriately, Gildas was a 4th century saint, taught by St. Illtud in Glamorgan, who preached to Nonnita when she was pregnant with Dewi!
The menu comprised: traditional cawl cenin a thatws (leek and potato soup); cyw iar wedi’i rostio gyda lemwn a theim (roast chicken with lemon and thyme) served with tortellini efo madrach gwyllt a tharagon (tortellini of wild mushrooms and tarragon); tarten lemwn a hufen ia (lemon tart with ice cream). The loyal toast to the Queen was proposed by the President. The Vice-president sainted several Welsh rugby greats, before proposing the toast to Dewi Sant! In a speech of welcome and thanks, the President congratulated and thanked Liz Armishaw, Kay Bright and David Brown for their impeccable organisation of a splendid Dinner, and Shirley Moody for providing the daffodils. He thanked the committee for their support throughout the year and said how proud he was that the Society had raised over £30,000 for local charities in recent years. He welcomed the Mayor and her escort, and Bil and Ann Efans for coming all the way from Caernarfon to provide the musical entertainment. He then introduced the Guest of Honour Tudur Owen and his wife. Tudur, originally from Ynys Mon (Anglesey) but now living in Caernarfon appears regularly on a number of comedy and other entertainment programmes on the Welsh TV channel S4C, and on radio. He has written several programmes for radio, and travels the UK as a popular circuit stand-up comic. It was no surprise that he delivered an hilarious and at times daring performance, at the end of which he proposed a toast to Our Guests. He was rewarded by loud applause. The Mayor responded on behalf of the guests in an accomplished speech, part of which was inspired  by Tudur’s delivery. Bil an Ann then entertained with traditional Welsh music, with some audience participation including Cerdd Dant where the singers  sing a different tune from that played by the instrumentalists. John Roberts, splendid in red outfit, was an excellent MC. The evening ended with an enthusiastic rendition of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
Officiating, as always, at the church service was the Rev. Dr. Cally Hammond, Dean at Gonville and Caius College. Cally’s mother, who died several years ago, was a past President of the Society, and Cally has honoured her memory by continuing to officiate. The singing and sermon were inspirational, ending with the hymn Seintiau Cymru, (Saints of Wales). The Society are grateful to the officers of URC for allowing them to enjoy the Church for so many years.

Left:   Ann Efans,    Harpist.


Centre:  John Roberts,     M.C


Right:      Vice President Brian Farmer and wife  entertain Chelmsford's Mayor Councillor Patricia Hughes

Arthur Williams President          Brian Farmer Vice President             Chelmsford's Mayor

                                                                                                        Councillor Patricia Hughes                

                        Guest of Honour                                      Entertainment with  Bil (Violin) and                            North Wales Comedian                                             Ann Evans(Harp)

                      Tudur Owen

Little Baddow URC

Venue for the St David's Day Service