Martin Tarr

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You’ll have read in Jennifer’s report on the Christmas Carols and Lessons session that “we could all sing the lovely Welsh carols”. Whilst that was indeed the case with the more traditional elements of the afternoon, your webmaster really enjoyed listening to a couple of more modern pieces found online by Team Brandie, and especially this song of the angels: 


Christmas Carols and Lessons

Sunday 20 December 2020

Margaret Brandie, with splendid technical support from Chris and Olivia, devised our Christmas carol service to which all were welcomed, and thirty came. Margaret used the mute button with discretion, so we could all sing the lovely Welsh carols and hear clearly the five Bible readings, some Welsh, some English, with the words displayed on the screen.

There was time afterwards to greet new members and guests and catch up with everyone over a virtual cup of tea and mincepie, before we waved goodbye – till next time.

Season’s Greetings

Our President, David Hughes, writes:

Annwyl Aelod, mae 2020 bron a dod i ben – diolch byth. Da ni yn gobeithio gewch chi gyfarfod hefo teulu and cael ychydig o bleser ac mwynhad dros y Nadolig a’r Flwyddyn Newydd. Felly Nadolig Llawen and Blwyddyn Newydd dda i bawb. Cymerwch ofal ac aroswch yn iach. Hwyl fawr – David & Alison.

Dear EWS member, 2020 is coming to an end and we can only hope that 2021 is a lot, lot better. We both hope that you are able to have some time and some enjoyment with family over the Christmas and New Year period. So please have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope that we can meet up at some point before too long. Take care and stay safe and healthy. Best wishes – David & Alison.

Chair from the past

The chair that Jennifer Welsher displayed at our “Bards wanted!” session was one that she had won at the 1986 Society Eisteddfod, an occasion that she remembers as the “E-flat Eisteddfod”, for reasons that will become clear when you read this linked account, which is in Jennifer’s own handwriting. Changed days!

Not so changed is the description of EWS in the entry that enabled Jennifer to win the beautiful Jim Graham chair from a field of 27:

There thrives a Society of Taffs
In Church Halls, Skittle Alleys and caffs
Keeping hiraeth at bay
As they sing, talk and pray
Or just get together for laffs.

A different St Andrew’s night!

Friday 27 November 2020

Our “Bards wanted!” Zoom meeting started with the 19 members present raising a glass to the memory of Jean Phillips, whose idea this session had been, but who is sadly no longer with us.

Jennifer Welsher was in the chair – not the one in the image, though she told its story, which you’ll find in this post – and led us swiftly through our 40 minutes of fun. Many dressed for the occasion, with glimpses of tartan, and many contributed their poems. Some of these were a wee bitty political, as one might expect in these strange times, and some struck a somewhat poignant note, but all were good-humoured.

Some of the non-Welsh content was local – Pam Williams talking about Nessie – and some less so, Jennifer’s own contribution ending up with a hint of Uncle Tom Cobley. Some of the poetry rhymed and scanned as intended; in some the poetry was rather more force-fitted than manipulated. If any one can think of a rhyme for Llanelli, Huw Thomas would love to hear!

With so many participants, it’s invidious to single out particular contributions, but Hugh Richards provided examples of haiku, limerick and other verse forms in both Welsh and English, and Alison Hughes read Pam Ayres poem “About Lockdown”. In the final minutes, Nancy Hacking recalled a W H Davies poem that she had learned in her youth. “Leisure” – the one that starts “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare” –  was indeed one to run out of time on!

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