This film is part of Free

A Celtic Celebration

The 800th National Eisteddfod takes place in Cardigan and in the dry summer heat bardic ambitions, like the ‘maes’ itself, turn to dust.

Documentary 1976 59 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


The 800th National Eisteddfod takes place in Cardigan during the dry, dusty summer of 1976 and draws thousands, as usual. This film features 3 emigrants, or descendents of immigrants, who come anxious to reconnect with the homeland; 2 bards – Dic Jones and Alan Llwyd - competing for chair and/or crown, and 3 tenors. Rugby player Gareth Edwards is received into the Gorsedd of Bards, and Côr Godre’r Garth from Pontypridd celebrate their singing success in the Poppit Club.

Passions ran high this hot summer, with controversy surrounding the winning of the Chair (for verse in strict metre). It was initially awarded to local farmer and poet Dic Jones but he was disqualified as, being a member of the Eisteddfod’s Literary Committee, he would have had access to the subject on which competing poems should be written before it was made public. The Chair was then awarded to Alan Llwyd who had also won the Crown (for free verse) but, owing to the circumstances, the feat had none of the lustre of his double win in 1973. A sportsman rather than a bard but equally well versed in passion, Gareth Edwards was made an honorary member of the Gorsedd in recognition of services to Wales.