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Surfer from St Ives among 18 new Cornish bards

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 06, 2013

By Simon Parker

  • Champion surfer Tassy Swallow and musical director Nick Hart, below, are among 18 men and women who will be welcomed into the Gorsedh Kernow circle at Penryn in September

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A champion teenage surfer from St Ives, a musical director from St Neot and a historian from Newlyn are among 18 men and women who are to receive one of Cornwall's highest honours next month.

Tassy Swallow, Nick Hart, Pam Lomax and 15 others will be made Bards of Gorsedh Kernow at an open-air ceremony in Penryn. Every year Gorsedh Kernow recognises a small number of individuals who are deemed to have contributed greatly to the cultural life of Cornwall. This year, bardic honours cover work for the Cornish language and wrestling, music, rugby, surfing and history.

Tassy Swallow has won numerous surfing titles and was seen on TV screens across the nation last summer when she carried the Olympic torch on its first leg from Land's End to Sennen.

Nick Hart wrote and produced A Daughter's Tale, a music-based play which was performed at St Neot Church last year. However, his contribution to the musical life of Cornwall goes back many years. A former headteacher at St Cleer and head of professional development for education in Cornwall, Nick's musical directorships have included Liskeard Operatic Society, County of Cornwall Male Voice Choir, Loveny Male Voice Choir and Tamar Valley Youth Orchestra. A former headteacher at St Cleer, he also established Canoryon Lowen.

Pam Lomax, meanwhile, has been the guiding light in the success of the Newlyn Archive.

The modern Cornish Gorsedh was established in 1928 with the aim of celebrating and promoting Cornwall's distinctive culture and holds its principle ceremony each year on the first Saturday in September. This year's ceremony, which will be attended by around 300 blue-robed bards, starts at 2pm on College Field in Penryn, the ancient site of Glasney College.

Deputy Grand Bard Merv Davey explained that Glasney was the driving force of Cornish culture and identity throughout the medieval period, building the foundations the modern sense of Cornish identity.

"The gathering will provide a spectacle of colour with the blue robes of the bards augmented by a myriad banners of all the Cornish organisations that come together to celebrate our Cornish culture," he said. "The high point of the ceremony will be the inauguration of 18 new bards in recognition of their outstanding work in serving Cornwall and its distinctive identity.

"The ever-increasing interest and activity around the Cornish language is reflected in the number of people recognised for their work in this area. Music, sport, crafts and heritage are also well represented amongst the new bards."

The new bards are:

Delia Brotherton of St Ives by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall

Mike Cawley of St Mawgan for promoting Cornish Wrestling to the community.

Edwina Dorman of London by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall.

Richard Evans of Penzance and Kenya for his continuing support of Cornwall through Cornish Rugby.

Nicholas Hart of St Neot, for his creativity in Cornish music.

Pam Lomax of Newlyn for her researches into and promotion of Newlyn.

Simon Margetts of St Dennis by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall.

Robin Menneer of Sancreed for continuing the promotion of Cornish hedging.

Roger Radcliffe of St Agnes for his researches into and promotion of St Agnes.

Anabelle Read of Newlyn for her continuing support of Cornwall's heritage.

Angela Renshaw of Truro for her creativity in Cornish music.

Ani Saunders of Wales by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall.

Tassy Swallow of St Ives for her promotion of Cornwall through sport.

Patricia Tremain of Launceston by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall.

David Trethewey of Truro by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall.

Heather West of Callington by examination in the Cornish language and continuing work for Cornwall.

June Whiffin of Australia for ongoing support of Cornwall in Victoria.

Carlene Woolcock of South Australia for ongoing support of Cornwall.

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