Festival 2012 – 25th Anniversary Celebration
The Festival Queen, Grace Morgan, stated “I auditioned last year for the position and was unsuccessful but I was determined to try again. I was so excited when I was told that I was to be this year’s Queen”.
Nicky Piper MBE, Commonwealth light-heavy weight champion joined the Camelot Parade to set off our 25th Anniversary Festival. Over 150 children and their parents dressed in colourful costumes and paraded from Windsor Road to the Old Church Rooms for the Fete, opened by Nicky and the Festival King, queen and her attendants. The City of Cardiff (Melingriffiths) Brass Brand led the parade followed by King Arthur on his horse and the Festival Queen in her open top car. This was one of the most colourful parades yet, thanks to Jane Morris who organised the schools to make costumes and encouraged them to play musical instruments. It is a big thank you to both primary schools for their support. In the words of the Festival Queen “It was spectacular and I felt amazing waving to everyone.”The King, Daniel McKerlich commented “I reallyenjoyed riding Bella as King Arthur”April Spiteri “My favourite was the Festival parade with all the beautiful costumes and being in their roofless car was great fun.”
The Fete, organised by Nick Hawkins and Liz Fraser was centred on the Old Church Rooms. Lower Park Road was closed to accommodate all the stalls and a large crowd followed the parade into the grounds to see dancing from the Nicole Miles dancers and the Zumba class. Thanks to Chris Dale for his technical skills on the sound system. The bouncy castle was well used with young children enjoying a dry sunny day. Teas by the NSPCC, Barbecue, bar and all stalls were busy whilst Imaging 2000 showed off over 60 photos in their annual competition. The winner photograph this year was taken by Hannah Wellbourne.
The Radyr Tennis Club opened its new courts to the general public for the Festival and it is hopeful that their membership will grow. Our local Rotary Club organised a concert with the South Wales Police Band entertaining a responsive audience at Morganstown Village Hall in the evening.
The weather was good on Sunday and the biggest Radyr Rangers Football tournament kicked off at the Mound Fields. The bucket collectors were out for the Festival Charity, George Thomas Hospice Care. This event attracts hundreds of people from across South Wales. Allan Cook met up with a large group at the Radyr Court Inn to start the walk “in the footsteps of the pilgrims”, which included a visit to the parish church of St Johns’ and to see the remains of stonework from Rebecca’s toll house from Radyr Chain. The walk proceeded through Danescourt covering the first part of the pilgrims trail to Merthyr Tydfil.
The Community Council invited our local MP Kevin Brennan, AM Mark Drayford , County Councillor Rod McKerlich and Margaret Pritchard of GTHC to the Community Service and Reception. The service was led by Reverend Canon Jenny Wigley representatives from the Catholic Church and the Methodist Church and circuit. Reverend Dr Stephen Wigley gave the address. Margaret outlined the work of GTHC at the reception, which was started by the late Viscount Tonypandy, George Thomas. Many families have received benefit from this charity when family members have suffered terminal illness. It was Chris Wills, a volunteer of the Charity, who proposed GTHC for this year’ s Festival charity.
Monday, the weather was on the decline. Over 100 runners started the 5k run from Radyr Primary School down to the River Taff and back. Mr Jonathan Bussy, head teacher at the school joined the run and was able to recover sufficiently to present the winners with their prizes. The first time in 25 years we had to take the Crowning Ceremony and Maypole dancing indoors. So it was off to the Old Church Rooms – the WI collected all their cakes to set up in the OCR. A temporary pole was erected for the Bryn Deri dancers. The floor was cleared for the folk dancers from Radyr Primary and the Skidmore school of dance. A large crowd packed into the hall with many finding themselves on the stage behind the Queen and her party. Cllr Tyrone Davies performed the crowning ceremony of Grace Morgan, along with her attendants, April Spiteri and Cerys Howard Cook. King Arthur, Daniel McKerlich was there to make sure the proceedings were in order. Grace was heard to say “This was one of my favourite events as I got to sit on a special throne on the stage, I loved watching my friends dance around the Maypole and I even took part in the Sherman dance in my special dress.” The party then went for the traditional visit to Dan y Bryn Cheshire Home to see the residents and all their lovely new facilities.
More events on Tuesday with staff, governors, parents and pupils of both primary schools, all playing boules under the watchful eye of the Twinning Fellowship. Allan Cook organised a Noson Gymreig inviting Dr Alun Evans who spoke about the Eisteddfod in Caerphilly in 1955.
The weather continued its downward path for the Wardens Walk whilst the audience was assembling at Morganstown Village Hall for the presentation of Joyce Grenfell’s amusing comic sketches presented by Rowena Petty from West Wales. Rowena spends a good part of her time in London theatres. She kept the audience amused with sketches from the classroom and songs from a fictional community. A big thank you to Allan Cook who organisers all our concert events with a professional skill and balance.
Nick Holmes, the Tenovus quiz master, was in good form for the traditional Festival quiz. This year the Community Council were missing as they had a business meeting so their title was taken by Geoff Williams’ team, who had been training all year at the Golf Club quiz nights.
The Twinning Fellowship Jazz evening was a sell out for the performance by CUBE. Raymond Rivron and his group kept the audience awake and toe tapping with lively traditional jazz music. A very talented group of musicians who perform a variety of popular music. The Twinning Committee thanked them for their generous support.
The car boot sale arranged on behalf of the Horse and Pony Rescue Society had to be relocated to the Old Church Rooms car park as the fields at Ty Gwyn farm were too soggy for vehicles. Although not many punters turned up the sellers seemed content with their morning, perhaps it was because the sun shone on them.
Bev Lewis led the families on their bikes from the allotment on the River Taff down the trail and back. 28 adults and children joined in the fun. No accidents and all enjoyed the experience! Some even went further, which gives Bev the idea that next year the route might be extended!
David Silver arranged the Ceilidh, a traditional barn dance in the evening. He was concerned that ticket sales were slow, but he was pleasantly surprised with the final numbers who danced the night away. This event certainly would suit all families as everybody can get involved. Cat’s Claw played with gusto and encouraged all dancers on to the floor with clear instructions to all the steps. The bonus of the evening was that they waived their fee and donated it to the Festival Charity.
Sunday brought us to two major events – the junior cricket which gave young players chance to show off their skills. The club laid on food and drink for the spectators.
ABBA at RADYR – 150 members and residents squeezed on to the patio at the Golf Club to enjoy a meal and listen to Octave take on ABBA. Terry Fitzgerald made sure that everybody had a seat and left enough room for a few dancers in the middle. Despite a strong westerly wind the day was bright and everybody sat out and sang along with the group.
Again the weather took its toll on Pam Williams’ Garden Party which had to be relocated to the Old Church Rooms. Despite the weather everybody turned up in force for tea and cakes in support of the Festival Charity – GTHC. All that slogging that David did a few days before, cutting, planting, weeding and pruning was all for nought – they will have to do it again!
Another party on Wednesday, when the Good Neighbours, last year’s charity, invited senior citizens and friends to a grand tea party. This was enriched with songs from the Bryn Deri School choir. The girl guides opened the hall for their annual beetle drive, organised by Julie Davies, who tells me it was a lively night. She is still looking for volunteers in the community to help out with guiding.
Later in the evening the Association celebrated its 25th Festival anniversary with a dinner at Radyr Golf Club. Guests were Margaret Pritchard, her husband Dr John Copley and Nicky Piper MBE. Margaret gave a brief overview of work of the Charity whilst Nicky conducted an auction, which raised the grand sum of £125. He also helped with a fun quiz based upon the life of the village over the last 25 years.
Christchurch was the venue for the lunchtime concert, the next day, when one of local talents, Tomos Xerri entertained a large audience with a first class performance of harp playing. He played pieces from Fauré, Hindemith, Bach, Handel and Chopin making the harp sing. For a twenty one year old prize winning student of Trinity College he should look forward to a glittering future.
Mick Sullivan’s preparation of slides and music kept the audience enthralled at the Audio Visual Night with extracts of last year’s Festival, a trip up the River Wye, Cardiff flower show and the current year Festival photos. This was followed in the second half with extracts from the Parish Music Group presentation of Iolanthe, Is there Anybody There and Festival 2012.
Friday – this was the end of the second week of activities. Donald Sturrock, Roald Dalh’s biographer gave a potted history of his life and times as a child in Radyr, a young man in the RAF and his plane crash, and as an older man and his writings for film and TV, including one of the Bond films. This was in addition to his many books for children, for which he is more famous. Unfortunately little is left of his childhood home “Ty Mynydd” except his reminisces of ”thebighouse, acres of gardens, the greenhouses and of course the pig sty”.
The next day we set up the barbecue for another outdoor event – The Festival Gymkhana – where over 25 horses competed for fancy dress, dressage, races and jumping. Another well organised event by Val Allen. The Festival Queen presented rosettes to all the winners.
In the evening it was the turn of the Radyr Parish Music Group to entertain a packed Morganstown Village Hall for their “Little Knight Music” concert. Ably presented by Nick Hawkins as compere. The concert was conducted by Tessa Davies for her last time as both Gill Evans and she are retiring from active duty – they will be missed and hard to replace. Gill gave an amusing poetic account of her open garden day as it slid into next door’s garden! Gill raised over £1000 for Velindre Hospital. Cyril Williams, Chairman of the Association presented a cheque to Tracy Wheeler of GTHC for £3000 as a down payment to the Charity.
Sunday – the last day! The Duck Race on the River Taff, started at Gelynis Farm. Daniel commented “I helped release the ducks and then dashed back to see if I was a winner.” Grace Morgan, the Festival Queen stated “I enjoyed particularly riding the tractor.” This was followed by a demonstration by members of the Radyr Youth Club on their skateboards.
Whilst all this was going on the team were setting up at Lychgate Gardens, Radyr Sidings for the “Val Allen” Dog Show and motor bike exhibition. Over 50 dogs appeared – all very well behaved and all spruced up for the occasion. The Festival Queen and her entourage assisted in presenting all the rosettes to the winners. The week was rounded off with a “Songs of Praise” at Christ church with Gareth Davison leading the singing for the last time. He has presented this event for a number of years and we are indebted to him. The Bryn Deri School choir filled the air with beautiful sounds under their leadership of Gary
Waters. This was the last Festival for the head teacher, Dianne Moverley and we wish her a long and happy retirement at the end of the summer term. Bob Roberts, treasurer of the Association for the last 25 years was presented with the Ken Innes Bowl by the Chairman, Cyril Williams.
All the girls and Daniel have expressed their thanks to Maggie Roberts for looking after them all during the Festival fortnight. Grace commented, “I’ve had the time of my life and I am very grateful to have had this chance”. April said, “I am sad that’s It’s all over but I have happy memories and lots of photos to keep. I would like to thank Maggie for helping me through this brilliant fortnight.” Ceri Howard Cook was heard to say “this was the best time of my life and it was very difficult to choose the most enjoyable event”.
On behalf of the Festival committee I would like to thank all the sponsors, advertisers, supporters, barbecue chefs and all those who have given their time and skills in making this Festival one of the best. We still need more help and we are always seeking new members to our team. If you have an interest in working in the community with a dedicated team of volunteers please let us know.