Huw Llywelyn Rees


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29th December

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By: Huw Llywelyn Rees
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Cardigan Castle - Birthplace of the Eisteddfod.

A cultural gathering of poets, singers and musicians was held in Cardigan Castle over the Christmas period of 1176.  It was a significant moment in Welsh history as all subsequent eisteddfodau owe their origin to this first event.

The aftermath of the Norman Invasion of 1066, saw a period of intense and constant warfare between the Marcher Lords of Chester, Shrewsbury and Hereford and the Welsh princes.  However, by 1155 Rhys ap Gruffydd (the Lord Rhys) had managed to bring all of Deheubarth under his control and felt sufficiently secure to organise a cultural event that would underline his position as a far-sighted ruler and as a major supporter of artistic endeavour.  So decided to hold a competition for poets and musicians, with bardic chairs to be awarded to the victors. The tournament attracted competitors from all over Wales, as well as from Ireland and France.  


Born on this day 1970 in Bangor and raised in the Welsh-speaking community of Llandegfan on Anglesey.

Aled Jones singer best known for his single of 1985, "Walking in the Air", from the animated film "The Snowman".

Jones was signed up by the record company Sain, after coming to their attention as the lead soloist of the Bangor Cathedral choir at age eleven.

His recording career was paused after hiss voice broke, but by this time he had recorded 16 albums, sold more than six million albums, and sung for Pope John John Paul II, the Queen and the Prince and Princess of Wales and had the distinction of being the first artist to have two classical albums listed simultaneously in the popular music charts.

In recent times, Jones has presented various television programmes, such as Songs of Praise, Escape to the Country, Cash in the Attic and ITV Breakfast programme Daybreak. In 2014, he became the host of the ITV show, Weekend.  

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Patagonian settler Llwyd ap Iwan, the son of the Welsh settlement's founder, Michael D Jones, was murdered on the 29th December, 1909, some say by Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid but more probably by members of their gang.   He was shot dead in the co-operative store, of which he was the supervisor, close to his home at Nant y Pysgod, about thirty miles from Esquel in the foothills of the Andes.   


Born on this day 1971 in Coventry
Dominic Dale - Welsh snooker player, who grew up in Penarth and is proud of his Welsh roots.
Dale has won two world ranking tournaments in his career, as well as the Welsh Amateur Championship and was runner up at the World Amateur Championship in 1993.  He is the only player to have ever won multiple ranking tournaments without ever reaching the world top 16.


Traditionally in the Western Church, the First Day of Christmas is Christmas Day, therefore 29th December is the Fifth Day of Christmas.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me - Five Gold Rings.

Welsh gold occurs naturally in two distinct areas.

* A band stretching from Barmouth, past Dolgellau and up towards Snowdonia, which was mined mainly at the Gwynfynydd Gold Mine, near Ganllwyd, which was discovered in 1860 and was active until 1998 when it was closed because Health and Safety issues regarding the mine discharge into the River Mawddach and the Clogau Gold Mine near Bontddu, which following the gold rush of 1862 developed into the largest and richest of its kind and continued as a major operator until 1911. It still re opens occasionally for small extractions

* A small area in the valley of the River Cothi at Dolaucothi, midway between Llandovery and Lampeter. It was the neolithic Britons of the late Bronze and Iron ages who originally opened Dolaucothi, perhaps as early as 600 BC and it was then further developed by the Romans in AD 75, under the military control of their fort near the present village of Pumsaint, producing gold destined for the Imperial Mint in Lyon. Mining recommenced at the site on a small scale in the 17th century but it was not until the 19th century, that there was expansion beyond the original open cast, culminating in a shaft to a depth of 140 metres, which produced large amounts of ore during the 1930s. However, by 1938 the mine was no longer commercially viable and when it flooded, it was not re opened.

12/30/13 05:45:36AM @gaabi:
These are great :)