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.
A festival based around music was bound to try to capture the essence of what was being performed by the choirs, instrumental groups and soloists taking part, and by the great artistes and orchestras invited along as guests. The earliest recordings take the form of 78 rpm discs, usually of individual choirs. These were often provided courtesy of the BBC from its Llangollen broadcasts. Most recordings in the LIME Archive consist of reel-to-reel audio tapes made year by year at each Eisteddfod, which preserve the entries at each of the competitions. These are listed as ‘Official Audio Recordings’ made on behalf of the Eisteddfod. More recent audio formats, such as the audio cassette and the CD, have been used in later years and have frequently been made available to the public through sales at outlets on the Eisteddfod field.
Some of these recordings are still retained in the LIME Pavilion, but the majority have been deposited over the years at the Denbighshire Archive in Ruthin. One of the aims of our current Archive Project is to digitise these recordings so that they become accessible to enquirers and researchers from across the world.
A small selection of accessible recordings has already been made, and a playlist created, which is available to hear in the Archive Tent during each Eisteddfod Week. We hope to build on the work done already, and to create an audio archive which will preserve much of the Llangollen Eisteddfod’s musical heritage for posterity.