Each year, you will find our Archive Tent on the field – a treasure trove of books, programmes, photographs, newspaper cuttings, posters, film footage and sound recordings. The Archive Committee has been working hard to share some of the material we hold in our archive collection in the form of a daily blog during ‘Eisteddfod Week’.
The Prince of Wales has hailed an international festival where he once did some impromptu bhangra dancing as a “shining example of peace and harmony”.
The royal tribute was in the foreword he wrote for the programme of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod that’s celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
The event was established in1947 in the aftermath of the Second World War as a way of bringing the nations of the world closer together in a colourful, multi-cultural melting pot.
Ever since the picturesque town of Llangollen in the Dee Valley has been known as the place where Wales meets the world. (more…)
Opera star Sir Bryn Terfel and First Minister Mark Drakeford are leading a chorus of congratulation for an iconic festival that’s celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Also among those who’ve sent their best wishes to Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is the popular singer and TV presenter, Aled Jones, who will be performing at this year’s event.
After a Covid-enforced absence, competitors are returning to Llangollen just in time to mark the momentous milestone.
Charities often have patrons. Their role is, in the vast majority of cases, that of a “figurehead” or “flag bearer,” a leader whose example people are willing to follow and whose name can lend credibility and status to the organisation which, in turn, can increase the effectiveness of its fundraising, campaigning and public relations activities. Unlike trustees, patrons have no legal status or binding obligations. Neither do they have any responsibility for the management of the organisation or the manner in which funds are spent. (more…)
Competitors who took part in first ever Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod will be presented with commemorative medals
A music loving 92-year-old great-grandmother is spearheading an appeal to find veterans of the first ever Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in 1947.
Retired teacher Moira Humphreys was a member of the Coedpoeth Youth Choir who took to the stage at the inaugural festival which was established to promote peace in the aftermath of the Second World War. (more…)
World-famous peace festival returns 7-10th July 2022 after two-year hiatus with new-look Llanfest on Sunday 10th
This July, Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and Llangollen Fringe Festival join forces to celebrate two significant cultural milestones for the town; the Eisteddfod’s 75th anniversary, and the Fringe’s 25th which combine to make an amazing 100 years of summer festivals in Llangollen. (more…)
There are few stories from the 75 years of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod which excite supporters more than the visit of Dylan Thomas in July 1953. He described his visit a few weeks later in a 15 minute broadcast for the BBC Home Service, and generated verbal images of the early Eisteddfod whose power resonates to this day.
This compilation of posters shown in the Eisteddfod Archive Tent between 2016 and 2019 gives a very short factual history of the festival. It’s based only on verified records. This year we’ve turned them into a flip book which can be viewed for free HERE or downloaded as a booklet from AMAZON.
You’ll find a timeline reporting the main changes which the Llangollen International Eisteddfod has gone through, and why: from the first glimmerings of the concept through to the very different world of the 21st century. It tells you about a few of the topics for which the Eisteddfod is famous, like its floral displays. It includes a bit of what other people have written about the festival, particularly in the early years. You can understand the transformation of the Eisteddfod finances during the inflation and depression of the 1970s. And it’s packed with wonderful photographs.
The eight minutes and twenty seconds of this film are a unique audiovisual record of the first festival in 1947. You’ll see and hear the winning choirs. You’ll share the excitement with the audience packed into the marquee, made from war surplus canvas with 6000 seats borrowed from schoolrooms, chapels and elsewhere round the area. The first President, Mr W. Clayton Russon, articulates the Eisteddfod’s concept of how an international musical competition can help promote better understanding and friendly relations between people of different nations. The stage presenters, borrowed in 1947 from the Welsh National Eisteddfod, are busy and down-to-earth, just as they are now.
“The World Still Sings” is a documentary film of the 1964 International Eisteddfod, directed by Jack Howells and produced jointly by Howells’ own company and the Esso Petroleum Company, Ltd. In 1962, Howells won an Academy Award for his documentary of Dylan Thomas, and at the time of the Eisteddfod film he was working for ITV on a film about Aneurin Bevan. By opting to film the Llangollen Eisteddfod he placed the festival firmly in the pantheon of Welsh icons.
The title responds to lines from Dylan Thomas’s 1953 radio broadcast about the Llangollen festival:
“Are you surprised that people still can dance and sing in a world on its head? The only surprising thing about miracles, however small, is that they sometimes happen.”
There have been audio recordings since the first Llangollen Eisteddfod in 1947. In the part of our Archive currently held in the LIME Pavilion, we have a recording of the Coedpoeth Youth Choir singing ‘Robin Ddiog’ (or ‘Lazy Robin’) during the 1947 Eisteddfod. The sound quality is not brilliant, but for just over a minute, we go back in time, and listen to this young group entertaining their audience, which erupts in applause at the end. (more…)