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Ancrum walk

In May 2021 we enjoyed a talk on “The last whispers of Welsh in the Borders” by Geoff Parkhouse of the Ancrum and District Heritage Society (ADHS). Geoff has invited interested members to join in the ADHS guided walks that are part of Scottish Archaeology Month. These walks, of just two miles from Ancrum to Ancrum Bridge and back, will highlight some of the locations Geoff mentioned in his talk to our Society.

Two dates to choose from – 11.00am on Tuesday 6 September and 2.00pm on Sunday 11 September. For details, click the image of the poster.

More Festival titbits

As well as the three shows mentioned by Jennifer in her August EWSNEWS, Hywel has told us about two other shows with Welsh connections and adult humour:

Tudur Owen (from Sir Fon) presents Just the Tonic – “Welsh stand-up and Fringe veteran Tudur Owen returns to Edinburgh with a true-ish tale of a man he once knew called Alive Huw” – Mash House, Guthrie Street, 5.55–6.55pm, 18–27 August.

Morgan Rees (from Merthyr Tydfil) presents Bi and Large – “Debut hour from Welsh funnyman Morgan Rees. An hour full of ‘fast gags, unexpected swerves and rolling stories’” – Pleasance Courtyard (Bunker One) 6.10–7.10pm, 18–28 August.  Hywel reports this has a 4-star write-up in Saturday’s Scotsman.

Saint David and other legends

Our friends at Cwmulus invite us to join on-line:
Dewi Sant a Chwedlau Eraill – hen chwedlau anghofiedig
Talk in Welsh by Pat Williams – with optional simultaneous translation
Friday 12 August 2022, 7:00pm
This talk will look at old legends about biblical characters and stories of saints which have been preserved in mediaeval manuscripts; but unlike the Mabinogion they have not received the attention which they deserved. In the Scriptures themselves the facts about the biblical characters who are portrayed in these legends are scarce and to satisfy popular curiosity the authors of the Middle Ages set about creating stories about them and their exploits which are as incredible as the adventures of James Bond and Dr Who in our own times.

Dr Pat Williams was a lecturer in the Celtic Studies Department of Liverpool University, then later in the Celtic Studies Department of Manchester University. Her main field of research is the language and literature of the Middle Ages and she has published numerous articles and books about Middle Welsh texts.

Register for the Welsh or English version at the links.

Ffynhonnau Carpiau Cymru

In Wales there are hundreds of sacred wells amongst which are a small number where there was (and is) a custom of leaving rags in them, or nearby, or trying to foretell the future of a sick person by putting clothes in the well itself. This presentation will take a look at the historical evidence for these practices in Wales and beyond, and their geographical distribution, through interpreting the available information and weighing-up claims that they might be connected with paganism or Celticism. It will also look at the significance of the revival of the practices from the end of the Twentieth Century onwards.

The talk at 7:00pm on Friday 17 June will be presented in Welsh by Howard Huws, Secretary of Cymdeithas Ffynhonnau Cymry and editor of “Llygad y Ffynnon”, who has spent years studying our country’s sacred wells, and there will be an optional simultaneous translation. Register at this link.

Gossiping and crusading around Wales

Giraldus Cambrensis: gossiping and crusading around Wales, 1188
Talk in English by Mike Farnworth (plus special guest)
Friday, 18 March 2022, 7:00pm

Giraldus was a priest, author, grandson of a famous Welsh princess, but most importantly he was a dreadful gossip. In the spring of 1188 he escorted the Archbishop of Canterbury on a six-week trip around Wales, recruiting for the crusades. Four years later he wrote a book about their journey.

This talk gives a glimpse of life in an independent Wales during the age of the princes, illustrated by maps, pictures, stories, and the words of Giraldus Cambrensis himself. Although most of his book is true, Giraldus couldn’t resist also including improbable tales which he heard during his travels.

Register: English – Cwmulus

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