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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK
Prize handover as festival nears
The Eisteddfod chair (picture from Arwyn Roberts)
The chair has been made out of natural oak
The most prestigious awards at the National Eisteddfod have been handed over by their creators, as preparations for the festival continue.

The eisteddfod chair and crown are presented to the writers of the best works in strict verse and free verse.

Local craft workers John Parry and Ann Catrin Evans have created the items for this year's event.

The week-long eisteddfod, held at the Faenol estate between Caernarfon and Bangor, starts on Saturday 30 July.

Mr Parry, a carpentry teacher from Porthmadog, began making the eisteddfod chair in December 2003.

The chair, in an art nouveau style, is made of natural oak from Meifod, in Powys where the eisteddfod was held two years ago.

"It is an honour to design a chair for the eisteddfod in the area where I live," said Mr Parry.

The Eisteddfod crown (picture from Arwyn Roberts)
The crown has been designed by Ann Catrin Evans

Ms Evans said it had always been one of her ambitions to make a crown.

"I usually work with iron and I was very willing to work with silver and slate - the two materials contrast beautifully, with one dark and matt and the other light and shiny and that's a lovely combination," she said.

"I'm hoping that somebody will be crowned - it will be great to see the crown on somebody's head and I will be very disappointed if there's no winner."

Prayers for weather

Unlike the crown, which is awarded for poems in the free metres, the chair is reserved for poems in cynghanedd - the ancient system of strict poetic metres which requires poems to be written in a complex mix of consonantal harmony, stress, rhythm and rhyme.

Richard Morris Jones, chair of the eisteddfod steering committee, said he was impressed by the chair and the crown.

"I think they are both quite unique in their design," he said.

"The crown is very light, and has been designed to represent the spine of books," he said.

He said that preparations for the eisteddfod were going well, with an encouraging number of tickets sold and high numbers of entries for the literary and stage competitions.

The National Eisteddfod, which dates back to 1176, celebrates the best poetry and music in the Welsh language.

The crown, donated by the publishing company Dwyfor, is due to be awarded on 1 August, while the chair - sponsored by the Farmers' Union of Wales - will be presented on 5 August.




SEE ALSO:
'No blank cheque' for eisteddfod
26 Jun 05 |  South West Wales
Festival facing 111,000 debts
24 Jun 05 |  North West Wales
Festival winner returns crown
15 Jun 05 |  South West Wales
Porthmadog pitches for eisteddfod
13 Apr 05 |  North West Wales
Council 'can't afford eisteddfod'
09 Apr 05 |  North East Wales


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