Storytellers from Wales, Scotland and Ireland have teamed up to broadcast a series of online events that celebrate the Celtic calendar of festivities through stories, songs and traditions from their homelands.
The third event in the series, Spring Awakening, will be broadcast on Monday, February 1 from 8pm to 9.30pm and celebrates the arrival of spring, the Goddess and Saint Brigid and the feminine life, death, life cycle. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/137632589781
The storytellers are Kama Roberts, who works for the Willow Globe theatre near Llandrindod Wells, Maria Gillen from Ireland and Shona Cowie from Scotland.
Kama explained that she had been collaborating with Maria and Shona Cowie to broadcast online storytelling evenings since the Celtic new year, Samhain.
“We have also been building a collaboration between Kerry Writers Museum and Community Arts Rhayader and District (CARAD) and hope that, beyond this pandemic, this relationship will develop into live events and festivals in each of our home countries,” she said.
“The events have had really brilliant feedback and a regular and loyal audience. The next storytelling evening will have nature and nurture as its theme.”
As St Brigid's Day in Ireland is an important event, Maria will be the host and has a surprise special guest up her sleeve. Nuala Hayes, Irish actress and chair of Storytellers of Ireland, will also be sharing a Brigid blessing translated from ancient Gaelic.
At the end of the evening, the storytellers open the floor to the online audience to share a story or a song. Anyone wishing to get involved is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Eisteddfod has announced that they are postponing the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod for a year.
The decision was taken by the organisation's Management Board following a number of discussions with the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales. Ceredigion County Council supports the National Eisteddfod's decision to postpone the Ceredigion Eisteddfod for another year until 2022.
Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Welsh Language, said, “We support the Eisteddfod on their difficult decision to postpone the Eisteddfod for another year. It will be strange not to work towards and attend the Eisteddfod on the first week of August this year again. However, everyone's health and safety is the main priority. Organizing or preparing to compete and attend the Eisteddfod is a big task. With all the planning that needs to be done, it is not practically possible to carry them out this year. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Ceredigion when it is safe to do so.”
We thank the Eisteddfod and all the volunteers for their work so far. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Ceredigion in 2022.
For practical information regarding postponing this year’s Eisteddfod, go to the Eisteddfod’s website, www.eisteddfod.wales.
A partnership between Ceredigion Museum and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has attracted £1,000 funding to display fragments of a unique Roman glass vessel found at Abermagwr Romano-British villa.
The villa at Abermagwr, near Aberystwyth was discovered during aerial photography in 2006 and excavated by Dr Jeffrey L. Davies and Dr Toby Driver between 2010 and 2015 in a volunteer-led community project.
It remains the only known Roman villa in the county and the most remote Roman villa in Wales. The finds have been researched over time and the best have been put on public display at Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth.
The finds include parts of Ceredigion’s earliest known slate roof, just one of the innovations discovered at the villa. The most recent Roman finds handed to the museum are the cut glass fragments.
A grant from the Association for Roman Archaeology (ARA) will fund a bespoke mount, made by a museum specialist, to enable the delicate glass fragments to take pride of place in the museum’s archaeology gallery.
Roman cut glass is rare; only one cut glass beaker is on permanent display in the British Museum and the design on the Abermagwr vessel is unparalleled in Roman Britain.
Professor Jennifer Price was struck by the rarity and quality of the glass vessel describing it as ‘of outstandingly high quality….[which] must have been an extraordinary item of luxury. Its quality is vastly superior to the rest of the glass vessels found at the villa’.
Prof. Barry Burnham, of University Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, said “Its discovery so far west in Wales is all the more significant because it is vastly superior to the general range of glass material found anywhere in Wales.
“This raises interesting questions about how it came to be here, who owned it and what it signifies in terms of social status and economic links.”
Carrie Canham, Ceredigion Museum curator, said: “When I was at school, we were taught that the Roman’s didn’t have a significant presence in West Wales, but local excavation results have overturned that assumption.
“This extraordinary object shows that the villa at Abermagwr was the home of comparatively wealthy Romans enjoying the good things in life. I’m extremely grateful to the ARA for the funding that will enable visitors to the museum to see it displayed to its best advantage.”
Councillor Catherine Hughes, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Porth Ceredigion, Early Intervention, Well-being Hubs and Culture, said: “It is a delight to hear the history of the rare Roman cut glass here in Ceredigion.
“Thanks to Carrie and the team at Ceredigion Museum and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales for their work, and the Association for Roman Archaeology. We look forward to the day when we can see the pieces in all their glory.”
The Covid-19 pandemic is delaying the work to make the mount until later in 2021. The glass fragments are too delicate to courier to the craftsperson making the mount, so he will have to come to Aberystwyth and set up a temporary workshop at the museum. The fragments will then go straight on display.
>>Click here for more information about Ceredigion Museum on the Visit Mid Wales website
Abermagwr Roman cut glass and the Abermagwr reconstruction
A new ‘Gardening for Nature’ day takes visitors on a journey to explore ways of helping nature in even the smallest of outdoor spaces. Top tips from CAT’s expert gardeners will help you learn new tips and techniques while you enjoy a day in CAT’s beautiful gardens.
The new ‘Nature Detectives’ family day is the perfect bookable experience for nature-loving families. Visitors will explore everything from camera traps and bug hunts to tips and tricks to bring a variety of bird species into your garden at home.
On-site accommodation, a vegetarian café, free parking for cars or coaches and acres of woodlands and organic gardens provide the ideal setting. Keep an eye out for more day-out experiences being added throughout 2021!
CAT’s head of Eco Centre, John Challen, said: “We hope that these new experience days will give nature lovers something special to look forward to – the chance to find out more about the amazing wildlife of Mid Wales and discover new ways to help nature thrive, all while enjoying a memorable day out.”
COVID safety measures are in place throughout the centre and experiences are designed to ensure participants’ safety. Full refunds are available should legal restrictions prevent people from attending a booked experience.
Find out more by visiting www.cat.org.uk/days-out . For bespoke events for groups of any type, contact the CAT team by emailing email@example.com.
‘Nature Detectives’ family day is one of the new visitor experiences at CAT.
The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) near Machynlleth will once again be host to the BBC’s Iolo Williams as he shares the wildlife of Mid Wales with viewers across the UK in this year’s Winterwatch.
The BBC team will bring a much-needed dose of nature into our living rooms this January as they help us to celebrate the magic of the wildlife on our doorsteps.
Having broadcast Autumnwatch live from CAT last year, Iolo and team will return for two weeks, from January 19 to 29, to share the sights and sounds of a new season, with Chris Packham, Megan McCubbin and Gillian Burke broadcasting from elsewhere in the UK.
Located in the foothills of Snowdonia, in the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere Reserve, CAT is a world leading eco centre focused on researching and sharing solutions to the climate and biodiversity emergency.
Introducing the centre to millions of people across the UK during Autumnwatch, Iolo said: “Here at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Mid Wales, it’s all about forward thinking. This is a place with the future survival of our planet at its very core.”
Built on what was once a barren slate quarry, the centre has been transformed over 50 years into a rich tapestry of habitats, providing a home for a wide range of species, including rare hazel dormice, pine martens, endangered birds species and many more.
On arriving at CAT last year, Iolo said: “There is such an abundance of wildlife in Mid Wales and it’s great to see it flourishing at a site that was once an industrial slate quarry.
“But even where wildlife is thriving, we know that the effects of climate change are already having an effect on biodiversity in the UK. We need to take action now, as a nation, or some of our wildlife could be lost forever.”
Peter Tyldesley, CAT’s chief executive, said: “We can’t wait to welcome Iolo and the team back to CAT to share the wonderful Mid Wales wildlife with viewers across the UK.
“Learning to appreciate our amazing natural world is often the first step towards protecting it; programmes like Winterwatch can really help spark that essential love of nature.
“Last year’s Autumnwatch gave us a fascinating insight into a wide range of species, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the changing seasons will bring to CAT and the Dyfi Valley.”
CAT is currently closed to visitors in line with Welsh Government COVID rules, but – thanks to Winterwatch – you can enjoy a virtual visit and experience the magic of Mid Wales wildlife from your living room. Winterwatch broadcasts on BBC 2.
Winterwatch presenter Iolo Williams.
A winter view from the Centre for Alternative Technology.
The chairman of an award-winning leisure company that has a sales centre in Mid Wales is predicting a fantastic year ahead for tourism in the UK after the extreme challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
Tony Bywater, from Salop Leisure, which also has sales centres in Machynlleth, Shrewsbury and Stourport-on-Severn, believes the demand for ‘staycationing’ will be greater than ever in 2021, with British people reluctant to jet off to sunnier climes.
In addition to running one of the UK’s most successful caravan and motorhome dealerships, Salop Leisure also owns the Love2Stay resort and adventure centre and Love Plants specialist plants centre in Shrewsbury and caravan holiday home and touring parks across Mid Wales.
Outside the national Covid-19 lockdowns last year, caravan and motorhome sales boomed at Salop Leisure as more first-time buyers opted to invest in holidays in the UK for the foreseeable future instead of travelling abroad.
Many caravan holiday home parks across Mid Wales and the Heart of England reported a huge demand for available pitches.
Mr Bywater believes that this trend will continue in 2021 and the years to come as the Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out across the UK.
Having devoted more than 50 years of his life to the caravan and motorhome industry, he has experienced many economic highs and lows and is well placed to offer an opinion on future business prospects.
He says the UK will emerge from the pandemic as a much different place, as people re-evaluate what is and what is not important in their lives. Spending quality family time away from work will become a top priority.
“It has been an extremely difficult time for everybody, but I think 2021 is going to be very special for our industry and tourism in the UK,” he said. “People are going to want to stay in the UK, rather than travelling abroad, like they have done in the past. The pandemic will change people’s habits forever.
“Demand for caravan holiday homes, touring caravans and motorhomes is going to be massive, putting pressure on manufacturers and parks.
“We lost a lot of trade whilst our businesses were forced to close during the lockdowns, but, when we reopened in late summer, customer demand was huge.”
Mr Bywater says it’s imperative that all four home nations work together to agree a uniform policy on future lockdowns to make it easier for people to understand the restrictions. Having different rules in each country caused confusion.
Salop Leisure is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent organisation that represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Mid Wales, which includes Powys, Ceredigion and the Meirionnydd region of Gwynedd.
This could become a common sight in 2021 as Salop Leisure chairman Tony Bywater predicts a staycation boom.
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