Taunton and District Welsh Society

Croeso cynnes i bawb!

Please note that the Society, as of July 2016, exists only informally. Our numbers and health have declined too much to sustain a formal organisation. However we will continue to meet on a less formal basis, thus taking a load off our officers!

Taunton Welsh Society had been celebrating our Welsh heritage for near 50 years, since the days when, with no Severn bridges & only occasional telephone calls, it could feel as if Somerset was a long way from Wales. We try now to meet roughly once a month in members' homes, at a pub, or at Temple Methodist Church. We liaise with the Welsh Societies of Bristol & Burnham for a number of occasions, including a Gymanfa Ganu in Bristol, and in the past a competitive Rally involving literary, art & craft sections. However these Societies too are struggling against the tide of numbers, age and health.

We are always glad to meet new people- drop us an email if you are interested, or phone 01823 451332 to talk to a member.

Next planned meetings are a bacon-butty breakfast in Kingston St Mary, and a Beetle Drive. Others are currently being planned.


Summary of meetings 2015-16

We kicked off with Jenny giving us a taste of Somerset, with beautiful photographs interspersed with readings of local poetry and others,

Clwyd has a 'back copy' of his inimitable literary output in Welsh and English over many years. He wove these into aspects of his life in a village in North Wales and elsewhere. Magic!

2015 -2016 Program   Chair- Tim Sutton
July          Summer Breakfast Party
2  Sept       Jenny Fisher              'Somerset's Sounds and Scenes'
7  Oct        Clwyd Jones               'An Evening with Me!'
4  Nov        Norman Thompson           'SmilePlease!'
2  Dec                                  Christmas Celebrations

6  Jan        Parti Calan               New Year celebrations
3  Feb        Chairman's Evening        In and around Bodelwyddan
2  Mar        St David's Day Lunch, Oake Manor Golf Club. 12-30 for 1-00 pm.
6  April      Derek Bebb                History of the Welsh National Anthem
24 April      Invitation to Gymanfa Ganu, Bristol
4  May        Albert Jones              My Music.
11 May        Cwrdd a chyfeillion at Commodore Hotel.
8  June       AGM

Summary of meetings 2014-15

September's meetiing had Tim mixing memories of his childhood and upbringing, with musical asides.
Will Cann gave a great demonstration of a wide range of stringed instruments, from zithers to balalaikas to banjos-- and more!
In November, Dick Atkinson talked about his early years in the Howgills and the Lake District, when he accompanied his father visiting the hill farms selling seed, fertiliser and cattle feed. At this time the mechanised farming we take for granted hardly existed, and it was a battle against the elements for all the family, young and old- and a few horses. Dick showed us stunning photographs from early last century onward of isolated farms and local characters, with the backdrop of the Lake District mountains. This glimpse into a hard and beautiful world now past was narrated with humour and perception.
In December we held our traditional Christmas evening with carols, poems and readings in English & Welsh- followed by mince pies and hot punch. Marion Jones accompanied the carols on the piano.
The New Year Party was a fun sesssion with games and quizzes. We wished all our friends 'Blwyddyn Newydd Dda'- Happy New Year.
This year the formal St David's Day celebrations change in format. We will celebrate at an informal carvery at mid-day at Oake Manor on March 2nd.

2014 -2015 Program   Chair- Tim Sutton
Garden Breakpast Party
3  Sept       Tim Sutton                'This and That'
1  Oct        Will Cann                 Music for everyday folk
5  Nov        Dick Atkinson             A boyhood in the lake District
3  Dec                                  Christmas Celebrations

7  Jan        Parti Calan               New Year celebrations
4  Feb        Yvette Staelens           Folk songs of Somerset
2  Mar        St David's Day Dinner, Oake Manor Golf Club. 12-30 for 1-00 pm.
4  Mar        Clwyd Jones & Derek Bebb  An evening with Clwyd & Derek
1  April      John Fisher               Illusions & Perceptions
26 April      Invitation to Gymanfa Ganu, Bristol
6  May        Derek Bebb                Desert Island Disks
9  May        Intertown Rally        Kingston St Mary Village Hall
3  June       AGM


2013 -2014 Program   Chair- Tim Sutton
Garden Breakpast Party
4  Sept             Jenny Fisher           New Orleans
25 Sept                                    60th Anniversary of Taunton Welsh Society
                                           12-30 for 1-00, Oake Manor Golf Club
2  Oct              Ron Prentice           My life as a musician in the Swinging Sixties
6  Nov              Janice King            Granny on her charity travels
4  Dec                                     Christmas Celebrations

8  Jan              Parti Calan            New Year celebrations
5  Feb              Derek Bebb and Clwyd Jones entertain
1  Mar                                     St David's Day Dinner, Oake Manor Golf Club. 6-00 for 6-30pm.
5  Mar              Don Bethune            A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Theatre.
2  April                                   Chairman's evening.
6  April                                   Invitation to Gymanfa Ganu, Bristol
7  May              Dr Francis Burroughs   Visit to Glass Making works, Bristol.
10 May                                     Intertown Rally        Bristol.
4  June                                    AGM


2012 -2013 Program  Chair- Clwyd 
Summer Garden Party
5  September        Jen & John Fisher      Utah
3  October          Adam Fouracre          Stand Against Violence
7  November         Gwenan Jones           The Remarkable Wesley Brothers
5  December         Christmas Celebrations

9  January          Parti Calan -New Year  Celebrations
2  March            St David's Day Dinner, Oake Manor Golf Club.  6-30 for 7pm.
6  March            Bernice Cardy          Archaeology of Gower
3  April            Chairman's Evening
21 April            Invitation to          Gymanfa Ganu, Bristol
1  May              Dr Francis Burroughs   The History of Glass making
5  June             AGM


2011 -2012 Program								
July            Coffee Morning
7  September	Mr & Mrs J. Fisher             Chile				
5  October                                     Desert Island Discs 	  			
2  November     Mandy Coombs                   T.A. Nursing in Iraq 2003					
7  December     Tim                            Christmas Celebrations	
4  January      Parti Calan                    New Year Celebrations
1  February                                    Taunton Museum Visit ( recently refurbished)
3  March        St. David's Day Dinner         Oake Manor Golf Club 
               ( in presence of the Mayor of Taunton Deane & many friends)
7  March        Bernice Cardy                  Gower History / Archaeology
4  April                                       Musical Evening
21 April        Invitation to Gymanfa Ganu, Bristol
2  May          Geoff Williams                 Antarctica	
12 May          Rali Rhyngdrefol               Intertown Rally     ( Trull Memorial Hall, Taunton)
6  June         A.G.M.
July            Coffee morning

We always start our meetings with an item in Welsh or about the Welsh ( poem, article, music..) and always finish our meetings with the Anthem. We have members for whom Welsh is first language, second language- or the culture of a spouse.

   Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
   Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
   Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra md,
   Tros ryddid gollasant eu gwaed.
   Gwlad, Gwlad, pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad.
   Tra mr yn fur i'r bur hoff bau,
   O bydded i'r hen iaith barhau.