One Gloriously Drizzly Day In Hermon for Gwyl Y Gwanwyn!
Last month, on a drizzly bank holiday weekend, CARE hosted a community festival in Hermon: Gwyl Y Gwanwyn. Local people gathered to celebrate rural skills and crafts, to learn, to network, to eat delicious local food, and to dance the night away.
And what a massive community effort it was. Ximon and his crew set up a massive marquee like a pop-up tent. Blink, and she's up! Shanna artfully threw bunting everywhere, and quickly, the festival look took shape. The legendary Cegin Cawl Potsch overcame an initial muddy disaster to ensure bacon butties were available for all who needed them. Straw bales were pulled apart to protect us and the playing field from future muddy disasters. Stallholders shared their gazebos with other stallholders to survive the drizzle - why not have energy advice and face painting in one tent? Australian accents sold lemonade on the side. Nant y Cwm Steiner school rigged cabling to electrify their stall and provide hot tea and cake to the people. Hermon’s men’s shed opened their doors and chatted repairs over tea. Keith and Mair Jenkins graciously allowed us to park all over their field. Bill Davies gave us advice, bins, fencing, and a plentiful supply of jokes. Community Meals fed the hoards with pasties and colourful curries.
The initial intention with Gwyl Y Gwanwyn was to gather local people together and provide relevant land-based skills. Seeing the extent of local knowledge in the area was fantastic. Gwyl Y Gwanwyn proved itself as a way for people to share local knowledge. To list the talks on offer that day - agroforestry, Biofertilisers, How to make fantastic cider, The changing face of Farming and How to make successful compost. Workshops included; Cyanotype, biodiversity walk, Soil health, Mushroom cultivation, Block-printed tote bags, Introduction to seed saving, and leather craft.
For these talks and workshops, special thanks to Tom Clare, Matt Dunwell, Amanda Jakson, Yusef Samari, Rachel Hasler, Emma Stevens & Anthony Manrique, Bev James, Chris Vernon, Ben Hawkins, Alex Heffron, Jimmy Whitworth, Gerald Miles, Lyn Evans, Anna Young, Carys Hedd, Josh Simon, Matt Dunwell and Ceri John Philips.
At the end of the day, people gathered around the fire for a brilliantly dark Welsh storytelling by Ceri John Philips.
The evening was colourful - a massive thank you to Ant and Adrian, who brought us so much joy with their decorations, booming sound system, banging tunes and big hearts! Fel Y Nant got us stomping with their first-class Twmpath. And Hermon bar kept the dancers suitably lubricated into the early hours.
It is hard to Thank everyone who helped because it was brought together by volunteering helpers… but here goes to name a few -
Canolfan Hermon - thanks for letting us use your space.
Noson Allan/Night Out Fund - thanks for supporting us to have an evening part of our event.
To our brilliant volunteers - THANK YOU. From standing in the rain AND managing to have fun whilst directing traffic and successfully keeping the streets of Hermon unclogged, to helping us set up the whole event and tidy up afterwards, we couldn't have done it without you. Cris Tomos, how do you have time to eat? I do not know. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And, a bonus thank you to my mother for the unconditional supply of hot meals while I was constantly on the go that week!
Everyone put in so much effort, and no one did stress. With so many exciting people doing brilliant things and eager people keen to learn and help, it's easy to feel hopeful. What an epic corner of the world we get to call home!
There has been some gossip about another one... whaddya think?