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Friday, August 6, 1999 Published at 21:40 GMT 22:40 UK

Special Report

Chairing of the bard

Flowers for the new bard Gwenallt Llwyd Ifan at the National Eisteddfod

A teacher from a school in Menai Bridge has been awarded the prestigious chair at the National Eisteddfod, on Anglesey.

The chairing of the bard ceremony
Gwenallt Llwyd Ifan won with a poem called Bridges, about the relationship between a father and son.

The theme bridges was chosen because the Eisteddfod venue is on the island of Anglesey, linked to the Welsh mainland by two famous crossings - the Menai and the Britannia.

[ image: Dancers perform at the National Eisteddfod]
Dancers perform at the National Eisteddfod
The prize is offered for a poem of 200 lines and written in "cynghanedd".

This is a traditional alliterative pattern and the poem has to be constructed on more than one of the accepted metrical forms.

The chairing of the bard ceremony is the highlight of the week-long festival celebrating the Welsh language and culture.

Last year the chair was donated to the Welsh Assembly after the standard of entrants failed to impress judges.

This year, for the first time, the chair has been designed and made by a woman.

[ image: The presentation ceremony]
The presentation ceremony
After nine months of studio work, designer Dwynwen Parry from Moelfre, Anglesey, presented the chair in memory of her brother Gareth.

Made from the oak of one tree, the design is packed with symbolism and also includes a piece of wood from Zaire in West Africa.

"There are a few things on the chair that nobody will know about until whoever wins it, takes it home and has a good look," Dwynwen said.

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