Reflecting back on a memorable Conwy Eisteddfod


August 14, 2019

Speaking at the end of the Conwy County National Eisteddfod Chief Executive, Betsan Moses, spoke of the success of this year’s festival held on the outskirts of Llanrwst.

She said, “We may not have had the weather we hoped for, but something quite magical happened in Conwy County last week.  Everyone had been looking forward to returning to the Llanrwst area after 30 years. 

"There was an enthusiasm nationally and locally across the whole county, excellent competing and a fantastic atmosphere on the Maes and in the local town. 

“2019 is an Eisteddfod which will be remembered for many years as a happy and friendly week; when the country came to Conwy County, and were welcomed with open arms.

“We had plenty of worthy winners, and the standard of the literature prizes was extremely high.  Guto Dafydd won the Crown and the Daniel Owen Memorial Prize – no mean feat coming top with a novel and a collection of poems of no more than 250 lines in one week. 

"Rhiannon Ifans won the Prose Medal on Wednesday and then, on Friday, the whole Pavilion erupted as T James Jones, Jim Parc Nest stood to claim the Eisteddfod Chair.  A former Archdruid and a hugely popular winner.

“The Eisteddfod team is only small, and we could never have staged such an event without the hundreds of volunteers who work with us locally and nationally.  We are indebted to them for their help and support.  Many of them went the extra mile for us last week, working for long hours, helping and supporting visitors across the Maes, and we thank them for everything they do. 

“Another group who went the extra mile for us were the bus drivers running the shuttle bus service.  What can I say?  They were wonderful throughout the week, and I thank Llew Jones Coaches for all their work in the period up to the festival and during the week itself.

“We also thank the volunteers who help us throughout the year.  The team of local people led by Trystan Lewis, who put together such an amazing programme, and who chose the competitions which attracted a huge number of competitors. 

"There were fifteen choirs competing on the final Saturday, all singing their hearts out in a bid to be named as Wales’ top male voice choir.

“I would also like to thank the young people who had been looking forward to attending Maes B throughout the year.  Maes B is the pinnacle of the Welsh music scene calendar, and thousands had already flocked to the festival when we were forced to cancel the event and evacuate the site due to the terrible weather warning. 

“These young people were a credit to their families, their friends, their schools, to their generation.  They behaved impeccably as they left the site, and I thank them for this, and hope to see them all, and many more at Maes B in Ceredigion next year.

“The Eisteddfod has evolved and developed since its last visit to Conwy County in 1995, when it was held in Abergele. There are now well over 1,000 individual events and activities, running from early morning until late evening. 

"Compassing all elements and genres of culture, this varied programme gave new and unfamiliar visitors a taste of the language and culture, and for those who visit us every year, the programme was as varied and packed as ever, offering something for everyone of all ages throughout the week.

“Conwy, you gave us a fantastic Eisteddfod.  You opened your arms and Wales responded. We came, we enjoyed and we’ll miss you.  We thank you for all your work over the past two years.  The fundraising and awareness raising work.  Your help in preparing for the festival was invaluable.  You decorated your towns and villages.  You responded to our visit by working hard and making the most of what the Eisteddfod has to offer. 

“We will look back at our time working with the people and organisations of Conwy County with great fondness.  You took us into your hearts and you gave Wales and beyond an Eisteddfod to be proud of and a week we’ll definitely remember for many years to come.”