GWERINWYR GWENT WELSH FOLK DANCERS
Gwerinwyr Diary May 2015 by Sue Venn
Gwerinwyr Gwent started their dancing year off on Saturday 28th Feb at Hanbury Square Bargoed. This was part of the St David’s Day celebrations organised by Caerphilly CBC; other venues were Risca, Blackwood and Caerphilly town centre. Risca would have been closer for several members of the team, but, unfortunately Tredegar Park in Risca doesn’t have a large enough hard surface for us to dance on – we prefer not to dance on grass (all too easy to twist an ankle). But Hanbury Square in Bargoed is a lovely display area and there were a few hardy souls who braved the bitter cold weather to watch. After performing we retired to a local café to thaw out with a hot drink!
Later in the day we were on duty again, this time at Pontnewydd Community Hall, where we were taking part in a Welsh-flavoured fund raising night for Pontnewydd Male Voice Choir. GG was in charge of the first half of the evening where we mixed displays with teaching some easy ceilidh dances. After some initial reluctance, members of the audience joined in enthusiastically.
A month later on Sunday 29th March we paid our annual visit to Llanover House, dancing at the National Garden Scheme open gardens afternoon. The weather was horrible in the morning with very strong winds and, at times, horizontal rain, but we arrived with fingers crossed and a forecast of showers rather than continuous rain. Amazingly, the rain dried up and we completed our whole programme despite the buffeting wind. Unsurprisingly visitor numbers were well done on last year, but a good amount was still raised for NGS charities.
Saturday 18th April brought another double-header. On a gorgeous sunny day we danced 2 spots at the inaugural Newport People’s Food and Folk Festival, held jointly at the Graig Community Hall and the Ruperra Pub in Bassaleg. The free afternoon concerts were well attended, as was the big evening concert, while the lovely weather brought out large crowds to look around the stalls and watch us dancing in the hall car park.
Later, in the evening, we ran a fund raising ceilidh for the Tredegar House Folk Festival - in conjunction with Rogerstone Roses WI. The evening went well, and I’m sure everyone enjoyed themselves as there was almost no spare room on the dance floor! Of course, being with the WI meant the half time buffet was great too.
On 30th April a small group led by Barbara Griffiths returned to the adult special needs centre in Rhydfelin near Pontypridd. This is becoming an annual event as, according to their teacher Maria, our visit is the highlight of the student’s year. Barbara had once again put together a programme of educational games and easy dances that the students could participate in.
A week before the Tredegar House Folk Festival, Sue Oates (chair and dance arranger for the festival and GG member) was asked by the National Trust to arrange an afternoon of dance displays at Tredegar House for the May Day Bank Holiday. In the sunshine 8 local groups each danced for 30 minutes in the courtyard in front of the Brewhouse tearooms, to entertain the many visitors.
Gwerinwyr Gwent is always seeking new members, and beginners or experienced
dancers/musicians are very welcome. Practice night is Thursday 8 – 10pm at the
Graig Community Hall, Bassaleg…opposite the Ruperra Pub.