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Last Updated: Monday, 7 August 2006, 19:37 GMT 20:37 UK
Minister's family love story told
Rhodri Morgan and Prof Prys Morgan
The brothers first attended an eisteddfod 60 years ago
The importance of the main Welsh language festival to the family of First Minister Rhodri Morgan has been uncovered at the National Eisteddfod.

Mr Morgan was there with his brother and 2006 eisteddfod president Prof Prys Morgan who revealed their parents fell in love at the event in 1926.

"That's why we are here," Prof Morgan joked on the maes (field) at Swansea.

On a more serious note, Mr Morgan said the eisteddfod, which receives public money, should further widen its appeal.

The Welsh Assembly Government has given 458,000 for the festival, which this year aims to make a profit.

Mr Morgan said: "If they (the organisers) ask for public money then they should make sure the appeal is widened as much as possible.

He added the assembly government would not dictate to the organisers how they should widen the appeal.

The Morgan brothers visited Rhydypandy, where their ancestor burned a tollgate
The brothers' ancestor was a leader in the Rebecca riots

Mr Morgan said all the signs were that the eisteddfod would be a success, as the pavilion at the weekend had been "jam-packed".

A total of 16,565 people attended on Saturday, which was 633 more than the opening day at last year's event.

And on Sunday, 14,483 people visited the maes, compared to 12,759 in Eryri in 2005. Monday's figure was 20,123, down 597 on last year.

Prof Morgan said he thought half the audience at the weekend had been non Welsh speakers and he had been pleased to see so many of them taking part.

The Morgan family's long connection with the Swansea area is not just confined to its Velindre site where their ancestors farmed from the time of Elizabeth 1.

Eigra Lewis Roberts
Eigra Lewis Roberts won the day's main literary prize

On Monday, the brothers visited the site of the Rhydypandy tollbooth nearby where their great-great-great-grandfather Morgan Morgan was a local leader the Rebecca riots in the mid 19th Century.

Rhodri Morgan said his ancestor was arrested and nearly transported to Australia "so I might have been Bruce Morgan, the premier of New South Wales and not Rhodri Morgan, the first minister of Wales".

His brother added the imprisonment of their ancestors ( other members of the family were also leaders of the riots) "has always been an inspiration from childhood to the radicalisation of my dear brother."

Meanwhile, at the eisteddfod Monday's main literature prize, the crown, was awarded to Eigra Lewis Roberts for her poetry.

An established author originally from Blaenau Ffestiniog in Gwynedd, and now living in Dolwyddelan in Conwy, she has won National Eisteddfod drama and literature medals in the past.


Eisteddfod visit on royals' tour
05 Jul 06 |  North East Wales
Eisteddfod reaches 60th milestone
04 Jul 06 |  North East Wales


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