Dilys ‘Gannets’ Mildon to lead 2019 Parêd

Dilys Mildon, ‘Gannets’ to lead 2019 Aberystwyth St David’s Day Parade

The popular owner of Gannet’s Bistro, Dilys Mildon, has been chosen to lead Aberystwyth’s 2019 Parêd Gwyl Dewi (St David’s Day Parade) held on Saturday 2 March. Dilys and her husband, Dave, have given 34 years to running what became an Aberystwyth institution and a popular focus for Welsh life in the town and area.

Dilys Mildon The honour of ‘Tywysydd’ (guide) is give every year at the Parêd to a local Aberystwyth person or persons for their commitment and dedication to Wales and the Welsh language and life.

Dilys was raised in Llangwyryfon and attended Ardwyn Grammar School before attending the catering college in Cardiff. Following ten years working in the pioneering years of Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin (the Welsh-language nursery school network) in the 1970s in Cardiff, she and the family moved to London where she worked in catering in many schools. Her husband, Dave, who’s from St Fagans near Cardiff, worked for British Airlines, including Concorde, as an international menu planner. Following the death of her mother, Dilys, Dave and their daughter, Lisa, moved to Aberystwyth and took over Gannets on St James’s Place – which had been a vegetarian restaurant. Since then the bistro has been a hub of good food and good company and was a focal point for Welsh life in the town, and, indeed people from across Wales who travelled to Aberystwyth.

Siôn Jobbins, Chair of the Parade said;

“We’re very glad Dilys Mildon has agreed to be the 2019 Tywysydd,” said Siôn. “The Parade organisers were glad to give recognition to Dilys and Dave for their contribution to the life, and especially Welsh language life, in the town. When Gannets opened in 1985 not only were there very few restaurants in Aberystwyth but the idea of a restaurant or bistro which was so naturally and proud to use the Welsh language, rather than being embarrassed of it, was quite rare. Dilys’s love of food and people and her natural, Welsh welcome to all customers was a source of great pride and hope for Welsh-speakers in the town and beyond. She’s also been a happy and committed supporter of Welsh cultural events in the town. Independent business owners like Dilys and Dave Mildon, are the backbone of any good, decent place to live in. And local businesses who are ready to support local causes, including Welsh language and cultural ones, are an essential part of what makes Aberystwyth a special place to live in,” added Siôn Jobbins.

Dilys is very proud to have been chosen as the Tywysydd to lead the 2019 St David’s Day Parade.

“It’s a great honour and total surprise for me to be asked to lead this year’s St David’s Day Parade. It’s especially nice because this will be the first time I’ve been able to attend as we’ve been working every other St David’s Day Parade! Running Gannet’s has been a great and happy experience for myself and Dave, and Gwen my sister. We’ve had support from local people from the very beginning and we’re very grateful for that. People like the late Meredydd Evans (who was the first ever Tywysydd, in 2013) was a regular at the bistro as well as people from all ages and backgrounds. Our busiest ever week at Gannets was the 1992 National Eisteddfod in Aberystwyth – we’ve never been so busy. And I insisted on taking two hours off a day to visit the Eisteddfod too – I don’t know where I found the strength! I’m looking forward to the Eisteddfod in Tregaron in 2020. Using and speaking Welsh in the business was always natural to me and I think added to the success of Gannet’s,” said Dilys.

Parade Details – new route

The 2019 Parade will be held on Saturday 2 March, and, as in previous years, will start at the town Clock, then proceed to the bottom of Great Darkgate St before turning left onto Terrace Rd at Barclays Bank (not Baker St as in previous years) before finishing at Llys y Brenin. The parts of Bath St and Marine Terrace which border Llys-y-Brenin will be closed to traffic for the duration of the ceremony for safety reasons.

The Parade will be a musical and colourful event and individuals and local groups are invited to join the parade and show their support for the Welsh language, St David and Welsh culture.

Sponsors:

The organising committee is extremely grateful to our main sponsors – Aberystwyth Town Council. They are also grateful to the support of individuals and other clubs and societies in Aberystwyth who have made it possible to hold this vibrant and uplifting event again this year.

Past Tywyswyr:

Dilys will follow in the footsteps of academic, author and activist Ned Thomas (2018), the performer and charity supporter, Glan Davies (2017); artist Mary Lloyd Jones (2016); author and first headmaster of Penweddig, Gerald Morgan (2015); Megan and Gwilym Tudur, founders and proprietors of Siop y Pethe (2014) and the late academic and musician Dr Meredydd Evans of Cwm Ystwyth in 2013. As the ‘Tywysydd’ (guide) Dilys will wear a specially commissioned Parêd sash by Caroline Goodband of Borth, which includes the names of previous Tywyswyr. He will also be awarded a specially commissioned walking stick by Capel Dewi resident, Hywel Evans.

 

***

Ned Thomas to lead 2018 Aberystwyth St David’s Day Parade

The writer and journalist, magazine editor and publisher, academic and activist, Ned Thomas, has been chosen to lead Aberystwyth’s 2018 Parêd Gwyl Dewi (St David’s Day Parade) held on Saturday 3 March. Ned has given over forty years of dedication to explaining and bringing the world to Wales and Wales to the world.

The honour of ‘Tywysydd’ (guide) is given every year at the Parêd to a local Aberystwythperson or persons for their commitment and dedication to Wales and the Welsh language and life.

Ceridwen Lloyd Morgan a Ned Thomas

Ceridwen Lloyd Morgan a Ned Thomas

In Spain he had met with leading campaigners for the national and linguistic rights of Catalans and Basques and since his return to Wales he has worked for twenty-five years in the field of European languages such as Welsh, Catalan, Basque and Breton which have been minoritised by the dominant state.

In Aberystwyth he founded the Mercator Institute for Culture, Media and Languages of which he remains President. With other academics he was arrested when he switched off the Pencarreg mast as part of the eventually successful campaign for S4C. He also led the unsuccessful attempt to establish a daily newspaper in the language. Two of his publications have achieved a wider than academic resonance. ‘The Welsh Extremist – A Culture in Crisis’ (Gollancz 1971) was influential in the 1970s New Left and in the Welsh language movement. His memoir ‘Bydoedd’ was Welsh-language Book of the Year in 2011.

Siôn Jobbins, Chair of the Parade said:

“We’re very glad Ned Thomas has agreed to be the 2018 Tywysydd,” said Siôn. “His contribution towards creating a better understanding between Wales and similar small nations has been very important. By writing and also leading by example he has helped strengthen the Welsh language and identity and made it easier for Welsh people to see themselves as part of a Europe-wide struggle of small nations. By bringing many people from across Europe, many of whom have learnt Welsh, to Aberystwyth he has also contributed to the diversity of Welsh language culture in the town and to the vitality of Aberystwyth as a town of learning and culture.”

Ned Thomas added:

“It will be a privilege and a pleasure to lead the parade, especially at a time when Aberystwyth and the surrounding district has so much to be proud of. I’m thinking in particular of the welcome given in challenging times to refugee families and indeed to all those from afar who have made their home here and make such a contribution to our society. The character and culture of a community and a nation is indeed a precious heritage but it is a heritage renewed and reinvigorated in each generation. Wherever you come from, come and join us in this national celebration on March 3. Where you come from and who you are will be respected and welcomed; and where we are going , let us go together.

Ned Thomas. 2005.

Parade Details

The 2018 Parade will be held on Saturday 3 March, and, as in previous years, will start at the town Clock and then proceed along Great Darkgate St and Baker Street before finishing at Llys y Brenin. The parts of Bath St and Marine Terrace which border Llys-y- Brenin will be closed to traffic for the duration of the ceremony for safety reasons.

The Parade will be a musical and colourful event and individuals and local groups are invited to join the parade and show their support for the Welsh language, St David and Welsh culture.

Sponsors:

The organising committee is extremely grateful to our main sponsors – Aberystwyth Town Council and Clwb Cinio Aberystwyth and for Cered organising free events and workshops during the day in the new Bandstand,

Past Tywyswyr

Ned will follow in the footsteps of the performer and charity supporter, Glan Davies (2017); artist Mary Lloyd Jones (2016); author and first headmaster of Penweddig, Gerald Morgan (2015); Megan and Gwilym Tudur, founders and proprietors of Siop y Pethe (2014) and the late academic and musician Dr Meredydd Evans of Cwm Ystwyth in 2013.

As the ‘Tywysydd’ (guide) Ned will wear a specially commissioned Parêd sash by Caroline Goodband of Borth, which includes the names of previous Tywyswyr. He will also be awarded a specially commissioned walking stick by Capel Dewi resident, Hywel Evans.

***

Glan Davies to lead 2017 Parêd

The community-spirited, humourist and proud Welshman, Glan Davies,  has been chosen to lead Aberystwyth’s 2017 Parêd Gwyl Dewi (St David’s Day Parade) held on Saturday 4 March. Glan is known throughout the town and Wales for his contribution and support of Welsh language culture, his humour and impressive charity work.

The honour of ‘Tywysydd’ (guide) is give every year at the Parêd to a local Aberystwyth person or persons for their commitment and dedication to Wales and the Welsh language and life.

Glan Davies, Tywysydd Parêd Gwyl Dewi Aberystwyth 2017

Glan Davies, Tywysydd Parêd Gwyl Dewi Aberystwyth 2017

It may surprise many that Glan isn’t a Cardi.

He was born, a son to a miner, and staunch Labour party official, in Brynaman, at the foot of the Black Mountains in Carmarthenshire. He left school at 15 and became a surveyor before moving to Aberystwyth in 1970 to work for various building companies. His brother, Eurig, was at one time a policeman in Goginan.

He’s spent his life entertaining people – first with drama companies at the Chapel and Urdd and then with the popular ‘Pinaclau Pop’ and nosweithiau llawen of the 1960s and 70s. He’s worked with Sian Phillips, Ronnie Barker, Ken Dodd, Little and Large, Mike Doyle and Max Boyce. He also presented Hob y Deri Dando for tv in the 1960s. Ironically, Glan presented the programme twice from the old King’s Hall, site of today’s Llys-y-Brenin where Glan will give a short speech as part of the Parade. He’s also published two joke books in Welsh, ‘Jôcs Glan’ and‘Hiwmor Cefn Gwlad’.

His charity work is legendary in the Aberystwyth area. He’s raised money for Children in Need, health charities, Aberystwyth rugby and football clubs. He’s one of three people who’ve trained 700 people across Ceredigion on how to respond if a colleague has a heart attack and has worked and raised money to get 70 life-saving defibrillator machines for the county.

Siôn Jobbins, Chair of the Parade said;

“We’re very glad Glan Davies has accepted our request for him to be the Tywysydd and lead the 2017 St David’s Day Parade. Our anthem says that Wales is the “land of poets and singers” but it’s also the land of natural entertainers and generous charity workers. Throughout his career as an entertainer and working to raise money for charity, Glan has been consistently proud to use and celebrate the Welsh language and culture. He always uses Welsh naturally without apologising and brings a quiet dignity to the language and to his work. He’s an example of how to use the language naturally whilst presenting it to non-Welsh speakers,” said Siôn.

Glan is very proud to have been chosen as the Tywysydd to lead the 2017 St David’s Day Parade.

“There are three things which are very close to my heart; Rugby, collecting jokes and raising money for charities. I also believe that we now have to look after our own communities and the Welsh language and encourage others to learn the language. It’s also extremely important that rural and coastal areas like Aberystwyth get what’s right for them as well as our cities. I’ve now joined Calonnau Cymru (Welsh Hearts), a charity which raises money to support treatment for people with heart conditions here in Wales. I’m very proud to work with Calonnau Cymru.”

 

Parade Details

The 2017 Parade will be held on Saturday 4 March, and, as in previous years, will start at the town Clock and then proceed along Great Darkgate St and Baker Street before finishing at Llys y Brenin. The parts of Bath St and Marine Terrace which border Llys-y-Brenin will be closed to traffic for the duration of the ceremony for safety reasons.

The Parade will be a musical and colourful event and individuals and local groups are invited to join the parade and show their support for the Welsh language, St David and Welsh culture.

Sponsors:

The organising committee is extremely grateful to our main sponsors – Aberystwyth Town Council, the Big Lottery Wales with Cered organising free events and workshops during the day in the new Bandstand, They are also grateful to the support of individuals and other clubs and societies in Aberystwyth who have made it possible to hold this vibrant and uplifting event again this year.

Past Tywyswyr:

Glan will follow in the footsteps of artist Mary Lloyd Jones (2016); author and first headmaster of Penweddig, Gerald Morgan (2015); Megan and Gwilym Tudur, founders and proprietors of Siop y Pethe (2014) and the late academic and musician Dr Meredydd Evans of Cwm Ystwyth in 2013. As the ‘Tywysydd’ (guide) Glan will wear a specially commissioned Parêd sash by Caroline Goodband of Borth, which includes the names of previous Tywyswyr. He will also be awarded a specially commissioned walking stick by Capel Dewi resident, Hywel Evans.

 

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