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Gorsedh Kernow


The Celtic spirit of Cornwall


St Piran’s Day Book Launch


A ground-breaking new book about bard of Gorsedh Kernow, Robert Victor Walling (1895-1976), soldier, poet, journalist and writer with a special interest in the Cornish language, is being published on St Piran’s Day, Saturday 5th March, 100 years after its original publication and exactly 121 years after the birth of the author.


“Scryfer – R.V.Walling”, has been researched and compiled by former Grand Bard Ann Trevenen Jenkin, Bryallen, the result of months of painstaking work by several bards of Gorsedh Kernow, including Stephen Gadd, Reskadinnick, who has translated Walling’s original words and designed and produced the layout.


Encouraged by his father Robert Alfred Walling, who was also a bard, the young R V Walling had been inspired by Henry Jenner’s Handbook of the Cornish Language, first published in 1904.  As he lay injured in a French military hospital during the First World War, R V Walling drew on this inspiration and turned his attention to a deeper study of Cornish and while recuperating from his injuries, he produced a magazine called “An Houlsedhas” (‘The West’), an illustrated manuscript in his own handwriting.  


“This important book is being published as a facsimilie of “An Houlsedhas” for the very first time,” said Mrs Jenkin, “and will add considerably to our broad study of the Cornish language written during the First World War.”


R V Walling was made a bard of Gorsedh Kernow in 1934 taking the bardic name Scryfer an Mor, Sea Writer.  The long awaited publication of his illustrated magazine, translated into English, has never been seen before by the general public.


“The original text has been translated by Stephen Gadd, from Camborne, a new bard living and working in London,” said Mrs Jenkin, “and he has worked extremely diligently on what has been a fascinating but sometimes difficult project.”


“This ground-breaking book is a valuable addition to other documents in the Cornish language,” said Grand Bard Merv Davey,“and Gorsedh Kernow, along with the Cornish Language Board, is very proud to support its publication.”


“Skryfer – R V Walling” will be launched by Jori Ansell, Caradok, past Grand Bardof Gorsedh Kernow and currentChairman ofthe recently launched Cornish Language Academy, at 6pm at Camborne Rugby Club, on St Piran’s Day, Saturday 5th March 2016.





Members of the press are welcome to attend the book launch in Camborne Rugby Club.  Kindly send your acceptance to Ann Trevenen Jenkin by email to pellgowser@btinternet.com  or tel 01736 850332  from whom you can also request further information about “Skryfer - R V Walling”.


“Scryfer - R.V.Walling,” A5 format, with some colour illustrations and black and white photographs, price £9.99 + postage. (Costs with postage: UK £11.50; Europe £15.00; rest of world £17.50.)  Copies of the book may be ordered and paid for in advance from Ann Trevenen Jenkin (see details above) or collected from the launch itself on 5th March or from other Gorsedh Kernow or Cornish language events during the year, where they will also be on sale.


R V Walling had a distinguished career as a journalist, interrupted by war service.  He was wounded at Passchendale and invalided out of the army.  In 1916-17, while recuperating from his injuries, he produced the magazine “An Houlsedhas” (‘The West’), an illustrated manuscript in his own handwriting.  There are three unfinished issues, each accompanied by his watercolour drawings.


There is a moving article in “Skryfer – R V Walling” by bard Tim Saunders, Bardh Gwerin, on his recollections of R V Walling, and a detailed biography by Ann Trevenen Jenkin,who compiled the book with the valuable help of Stephen Gadd, Mark Dungey, Donsyor Lanust and Esther Johns, Tamm Steren. There are several appendices, giving the flavour of Robert Walling’s writings, and the essence of his time.


R A J and R V Walling’s letters and correspondence, R V W's military handbooks, booklets on journalism, press cuttings books, newspapers, material relating to the First World War, Plymouth Corporation Grammar School Debating and Literary Society minutes and school magazines, Parliamentary elections pamphlets and reports, and miscellaneous items are all held for research at the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office.


For further information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact

Delia Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, Communications Officer, Gorsedh Kernow,

email  communications@gorsedhkernow.org.uk  or tel  01736 799305

or visit our website www.gorsedhkernow.org.uk





Gorsedh Kernow


Young People’s Awards 2018 announced


The Council of Gorsedh Kernow has announced the winners of their annual Awards for young people after careful consideration and review of this year’s entries.


“We are keen to give Awards to entries that highlight the Celtic spirit of Cornwall and demonstrate exceptional effort to express Cornish identity,” said Grand Bard of Cornwall Merv Davey, Telynyor an Weryn. “ I am delighted with the quality of this year’s entries and look forward to presenting prizes to all the winners.”


“Gorsedh Kernow Young People’s Awards are more flexible and less prescriptive these days,” said Merv Davey “and seek to encourage learning, understanding and promotion of Cornish culture.


Entrants are encouraged to demonstrate creativity in a variety of ways, including the use of digital media.


“We’re thrilled that our students' work has been recognised in this way,” said Sarah Mottart, Drama Teacher at Redruth School which has won a prize in the Cornish film and drama class.


“Their work is a tribute to the genius of Nick Darke and hopefully, in taking part in producing this work, our young people will go on to form the next wave of notable Cornish creative talent.”


The Young People’s Awards winners for 2018 are:


Ilow Kernewek / Cornish Music

Treverbyn Primary School Class 5 for “A Life in the Clay.”


Fylm ha Drama Kernewek / Cornish Film and Drama

Ladock Primary School Top Class for “What Happened.”

Redruth School Year 10 GCSE Group for “Exploring the Work of Nick Darke.”


Studhyans Kernewek / Cornish Studies

First: Daisy Hart, St Meriadoc Primary School for “Farming in Cornwall; Wild and Wooly Cornwall.”

Second: Owen Roskilly, St Meriadoc Primary School for “A Celebration of Cornish Culture.”

Third: Lauren Powney, St Meriadoc Primary School for “A Celebration of Cornish Culture.”

Highly Commended: Zach Thomas, St Meriadoc Primary School for “A Celebration of Cornish Culture.”


Art, Desin ha Diskwedhyans Besyel Kernewek / Cornish Art, Design and Digital Media

Seth Coppinger, St Meriadoc Primary School for “Cornish Chough.”

Bardh Meur Launceston 2017 (1)

Bardh Meur Launceston 2017

Unless stated otherwise, photographs by Ivor Corkell


The Celtic spirit of Cornwall

Joint Press Release by Gorsedh Kernow and Newquay Town Council


Gorsedh Kernow announces host town for 2018


“Newquay is now a very popular holiday destination in the UK but it had a long history before tourism,” said the Grand Bard of Cornwall, Merv Davey, Telynyor an Weryn, “and with the remains of prehistoric burial grounds on both the Barrowfields and Trevelgue Head, plus evidence of Bronze Age and Iron Age dwellings, we know that people have lived and worked here for thousands of years.”


The Grand Bard’s words were spoken as a joint declaration with town mayor Cllr Margaret North that Newquay, on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast, would host the 2018 Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture and bardic ceremony.


“We are delighted that the bards of the Cornish Gorsedd have accepted our invitation to hold their celebrations here next year,” said Cllr North, “and we are proud that history shows that our town was an important hub for Cornwall’s then main industries of mining, fishing and agriculture.”


Accepting the invitation on behalf of fellow bards, Dr Daveyexpressed a wish for openness and inclusiveness among Cornish people as they grapple with the issues facing a modern Cornwall whilst at the same time celebrating their distinct cultural identity.


“I come from an old Newquay family who have always been proud of both Newquay’s heritage and ability to embrace the new” said the Grand Bard.


“My Grandfather was a keen local historian and a strong supporter of Gorsedh Kernow and would be delighted to see the ceremony being held at Newquay.”


“These days Newquay is firmly established in the world of top class surfing with our famous Fistral and Watergate beaches,” said mayor Cllr Margaret North, “and we are also a contender for obtaining a licence to operate as a Spaceport, but we are immensely proud of our Cornish roots and look forward to welcoming members of the College of Bards to our town.”



Holyer an Gof 2018


Awards winners announced


Gorsedh Kernow has announced the winners of the annual Holyer an Gof Publishers’ competition at a prestigious Awards ceremony held on Wednesday 11th July, hosted for the first time by the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro with special guest mc Jon Cleave, Lev Enev an Tir frontingthese popular Awards.  


“We are very grateful indeed for the support shown over previous years by Andrew Forster, manager of Waterstones in Truro and his hard working staff,” said Grand Bard Merv Davey, Telynyor an Weryn, “and I am pleased that Holyer an Gof books will continue to be available for purchase in their Truro store.”


Established and organised by Gorsedh Kernow to raise the standard and profile of publishing in Cornwall, this year’s winners were once again chosen from the best, recently published books about Cornwall or in Cornish.


“We usually receive a good number of entries in the fiction for adults class although that is up by 35% this year and we are very pleased indeed to see more than a 50% increase in entries to the non-fiction history, language and creative arts class,” said Holyer an Gof co-organiser Gareth Parry, Mab Meliner Gwlan.


Gorsedh Kernow, now celebrating its 90th anniversary year as an organisation creating and promoting real Cornish culture, is keen to build on this success and has accepted gratefully the offer of holding its prestigious Awards evening at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro.


“We are delighted to be hosting the Gorsedh Kernow Holyer an Gof Publishers’ Awards evening here at the Royal Cornwall Museum,” said Royal Institution of Cornwall Director Ian Wall, “and we look forward to welcoming publishers, authors and other guests as they anticipate the results.”


The winners of the 2018 Gorsedh Kernow Holyer an Gof Publisher’s Awards are:



Class 1.1 – Cornish language books for children


Ted a Rewl an BysbyFrank Cottrell-Boyce, translated by Pol Hodge, published by Barrington Stoke.



Class 1.2 – Cornish language books for adults


Dicky Hollaby Rod Lyon, published by Kesva an Taves Kernewek.



Class 1.3 – Books translated into Cornish


Pystrior Marthus Pow OzbyL. Frank Baum, translated by Nicholas Williams, published by Evertype.



Winner of the Kowethas an Yeth Cup for authorship or translation from Class 1


Dicky Hollaby Rod Lyon, published by Kesva an Taves Kernewek.



Class 2.0  - Books for children of primary age


A Song for Will and the Lost Gardeners of Heligan by Hilary Robinson & Martin Impey, published by Strauss House Productions.



Class 2.1  - Books for young adults


The Ghosts of Blackbottle Rock by Martyn Beardsley, published by Our Street Books, John Hunt Publishing.




Winner of the Gorsedh Kernow Ann Trevenen Jenkin Cup


A Song for Will and the Lost Gardeners of Heligan by Hilary Robinson & Martin Impey, published by Strauss House Productions.



Class 3 – Adult Fiction


Dan Daddow's Cornish Comicalities by Alan M Kent, published by Ryelands (Halsgrove).


Runner –up To Untie a Sealed Knot by S.J. Haxton, self published via Boswell Book Publishing.



Class 4 – Poetry


A Certain Man edited by Simon Parker, published by Scryfa.



The Holyer an Gof Trophy, awarded to one of the winners in classes 1 to 4.


Dan Daddow's Cornish Comicalities by Alan M Kent, published by Ryelands (Halsgrove).



Class 5.0 – Non Fiction – History, Language and Creative Arts


Hark! The Glad Sound of Cornish Carols by Hilary Coleman and Sally Burley, published by Francis Boutle Publishers.


Runner-up A Cornish Celtic Way by Nigel Marns, self published.



Class 5.1 – Non Fiction – Marine, Industrial Heritage and the Environment


Penlee Lifeboat Station: Service not Self by Rachael Campney, published by the RNLI.



Class 5.2 – Non Fiction in which illustrations predominate


Stanhope Forbes: Father of the Newlyn School by Elizabeth Knowles, published by Sansom & Company.



Class 6 – Booklets


The Great Cornish Cake Bake Cake Book by Judy Lawton, published by Cornwall Hospice Care Ltd.



The new Federation of Old Cornwall Societies (FOCS) Holyer an Gof Cup – awarded to one of the winners in classes 5 and 6.


Hark! The Glad Sound of Cornish Carols by Hilary Coleman and Sally Burley, published by Francis Boutle Publishers.



HanG winners 2018

The 2018 winners


Back row left to right: Rhisiart Tal-e-bot (for Barrington Stoke); Katie Herbert (Sansom & Co); Elaine Trethowen (RNLI); Clive Boutle (Francis Boutle); Sally Burley (co-author Hark the Sound of Cornish Carols); Jan Pallett (Cornwall Hospice Care); Trounce Guy (reader - Song for Will).


Front row left to right: Steph Haxton (Boswell); Rod Lyon (author Dicky Holla); Grand Bard Merv Davey; Jackie Hamley (Strauss House); Hilary Robinson (author - Song for Will); Sarah Britton (RNLI); Ray Chubb (for Evertype).