The title is true but I needed something to grab your attention. I am helping organise a London Welsh learner event on Friday, 28th September, 2018 at 6.30pm for an hour in one of the Welsh chapels. It will be at Capel y Boro (SE1 0EX) located a short walk from London Bridge Station. This is to celebrate the role of the Welsh churches in keeping the Welsh language alive right up to the present time. The event will include songs from some of the members of Cor y Boro (they came third in the recent eisteddfod in Cardiff in the mixed choir competition) and, Sir Simon Hughes, one of the previous MP’s for the area who is learning Welsh, should also be taking part. Not only is this a free event but afterwards there will be a free buffet and free drinks (wine, Welsh beer and Welsh cider) – all unlimited depending on numbers as we’re a generous lot! The whole thing will be in Welsh but everyone will have access to a full written translation so it doesn’t matter what level of Welsh you may have, everyone will know what is going on. Everyone is invited and the more we get the better the event. Capel y Boro is an easy to get to, traditional, small, balconied chapel which buzzes when it is full. More details can be found at www.useyourwelsh.cymru (not to be confused with Nicky’s www.useyourwelsh.com ).
Is that an active chapel Peter?
I had got the impression (from Huw Edwards splendid book about the Welsh chapels in London) that only about a couple were still active. Although perhaps I am misremembering, or misread it at the time.
Pob lwc with the event.
There are about seven or so active Welsh chapels in London. All, as far as I know, with small congregations but all, I think, with well maintained buildings and all can put on a ‘show’ when they need to eg camanfa ganu’s, easter and Christmas services. Capel y Boro hosts three successful Welsh choirs so, when they perform, numbers swell. These are physical locations where Welsh is used so it is important that they have inclusive events regularly. Particularly ones that promote the learning of Welsh. The other Welsh asset in London is the London Welsh Centre (Canolfan Cymry Llundain) which has a bar and many Welsh lessons etc take place there.
Wow this sounds amazing Peter, I will be putting this in my diary! A chance to use welsh in the wild in london is amazing
Where to practise in London and the Midlands?
It will be brilliant to see you there. Part of the event will be everyone having a chat (in Welsh) with the person next to them. We did this at a Christmas service last year with written questions in Welsh (with English translations) and suggested answers so possible to use that or go a bit ‘off piste’ for those more confident.
Oh, I’m sorry I can’t make this as I am away at a work conference. Do let us know about future events!
With the food, beer and wine and the choir sorted as well as the songs for those attending I have been looking for a couple of easy to understand (and relatively short) Welsh language poems for some of the participants to read. Anyone have any ideas? I carried out an internet search so the following will be one of the readings.
Mi gerddaf gyda thi dros lwybrau maith,
A blodau, cân a breuddwyd ar ein taith;
I`th lygaid syllaf i a dal dy law:
Mi gerddaf gyda thi, beth bynnag ddaw.
Mi gerddaf gyda thi pan fydd y lloer
Fel llusern yn y nen ar noson oer.
Addawaf i ti’n ghalon i yn llwyr:
Mi gerddaf gyda thi drwy oriau’r hwyr.
Mi gerddaf gyda thi drwy weddill f’oes,
Pan fydd yr haul ar fryn neu’r dyddiau’n groes;
A phan ddaw’r alwad draw, pwy wyr pa awr,
Mi gerddaf gyda thi i’r freuddwyd fawr.
(Actually, I probably should translate this fully before posting, just in case!)
Just a gentle nudge to anyone in or around London this Friday as we will be holding an event/concert/service in one of the Welsh chapels nearest to the Centre (Capel y Boro by London Bridge). As the title suggests there will be free food and free Welsh beer and cider afterwards. The whole event will be in Welsh but there will be a full translation given to everyone so everyone will be able to understand what is going on. Several from Cor y Boro will be singing and they are well known here and sang at Buckingham Palace at Megan and Harry’s party after the wedding, they have just come back from the USA, they were third in the mixed choir at this year’s eisteddfod etc. The actor Glyn Pritchard will also be reading (rather than singing) Dafydd Iwan’s, ‘Yma o Hyd’. The flyer for the event is a couple of messages above but it starts at 6.30pm for people to come straight after work and start their weekend with a whole lot of Welsh singing and chatting. Copying in @dee just in case there is time to slip this into her regular email.
Looking forward to Capel y Boro on Friday evening.
The most active Welsh chapel in London - and biggest measured by numbers attending regularly - is Eglwys Gymraeg Canol Llundain/The Welsh Church of Central London, 3-4 minutes walk from Oxford Circus.
There are two services every Sunday.
6pm: Wide variation 15-30+.
Mid-day Mid-week (Wed): 15 average.
All services are bilingual. The vast majority of members are fluent Welsh speakers. They are very helpful and encouraging to people like me who are learning so there’s plenty of opportunity to practise.
Like Capel y Boro, it is a lovely traditional Welsh chapel.
And looking forward to seeing you at Capel y Boro too.
Changed the title from free Welsh beer and cider (though that and free food will still be there) to now include the content of the concert/event/service at Capel y Boro at 6.30pm this Friday. For further details go to www.useyourwelsh.cymru
Some of the songs being sung by the choir or the audience;-
• Calon Lan
• Ar hyd y nos
• Dacw 'Nghariad (Welsh folk song)
• Men of Harlech (in Welsh)
• Mae hen wlad fy nhadau
Some of the poems being read;-
• Hiraethu yw fy ngalon i (I got this from somewhere on SSiW but don’t know where!).
• Wythdeg (poem about how difficult it is to memorise Welsh words. Will you remember a word after saying it 80 times?)
• Yma o Hyd (normally sang, written by Dafydd Iwan)
The service includes a three minute talk (yes, I have timed it) on the role of the Welsh churches in keeping Welsh alive in London and audience participation where all will speak Welsh to each other (it works, we have done it before, nobody cried, panicked or cried for help).
The whole service is in Welsh but there will be a full translation provided. Everything should be over in an hour with all then able to enjoy the food and drink available in the downstairs hall.
Whether on your own or with a group come along and take part.
Hi Peter what a fantastic night.I was visiting London for a week staying with a friend of mine who is also doing SSIW .I also had a little reunion with Debra Roberts who plays the organ and comes from the same town as me Mtn Ash and was in the same year etc.I enjoyed the well thought out programme and just listening to the hyms,songs and poems transported me back home .Next time I am visiting London will definitely visit the Capel y boro just to listen andattempt to speak in welsh.Thw poem -wythdeg certainly strikes a chord with me Thanks for a wonderful evening
Got a message at 2.06 this morning that several of those who came last night were still out in London celebrating (I was in bed). Also, great to see that four of those who were at the chapel had heard about it via this forum showing how important the forum is in developing a community of learners (and those who have learnt) across, sounding pretentious but true, the whole world. Diolch SSiW for that.
Diolch @peterallen and all involved for the wonderful evening. This was the first time ever speaking Welsh with people and it was a really heady experience for me. I really really enjoyed the service, the performances, but most of all the welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. I’ll definitely be going again if there are some evening events.
An excellent and very enjoyable evening. Well done.
I was one of those still out with Mike and members of the choir until some time after 2am!
I knew I shouldn’t have taken my car! On the other hand, perhaps it was good I did. Anyway, lots of positive feedback and, hopefully, a basis for more things in the future - isn’t something happening for learners at East Castle Street soon?. SSiW was represented well too which was really positive and a resource for future events.