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Sion Tudur, Maes B organiser
"The eisteddfod is an opportunity for the young to enjoy themselves"
 real 56k

BBC Wales's arts correspondent Jon Gower
"For over 50 years, the National Youth Orchestra has been performing"
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Saturday, 12 August, 2000, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Eisteddfod set for record crowds
Llion Jones, eisteddfod chair winner
Llion Jones, at the chairing of the bard
Attendances at the National Eisteddfod in Llanelli are on target to break new records.

By Friday, 135,000 people had passed through the turnstiles at the impressive festival site.

There is already talk of the eisteddfod returning to Llanelli at a later date.

But organisers of the event - who work years in advance - believe it may be 2010 before a return to the town.

The week ended with the one of the most important events of the eisteddfod, the chairing of the bard.

The prize was won by Llion Jones, of Penrhosgarnedd in Gwynedd for his poem in strict verse.

Excellent opportunity

The father-of-two works as a lecturer and is also a keen cricketer.

The chair, featuring themes of heavy industry, was designed and made by Arnold James, who lives at Pembrey and is head of design and technology at Ysgol y Strade here in Llanelli.

The evening saw the performance of a major piece of new work by the National Youth Orchestra of Wales - Scenes from Wales - composed by Carl Jenkins.

Mr Jenkins said it was an excellent opportunity for young musicians to perform their work on an important platform.

"It reflects well on Wales. It is good for young people, it gives them a sense of identity and teamwork."

Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed that a man had been charged with drugs-related offences after being arrested at the eisteddfod.

Court appearance

The man, in his early 20s, has been charged with four offences related to possessing controlled drugs with intent to supply.

He has been bailed to appear before Llanelli magistrates on 18 August.

Police said the man was arrested on Thursday in the vicinity of Maes B, the youth field.

On Thursday, the eisteddfod celebrated the achievements of young and old.

Gwynfor Evans - Plaid Cymru's first ever MP and Welsh language campaigner - was presented on the Maes with the Anrhydedd Cymry'r Cyfanfyd / The World-Wide Welsh Award.

Gwynfor Evans
Delighted: Gwynfor Evans received a special award
Now in his 80s, Dr Evans went on hunger-strike to try to force the Conservative government to establish the Welsh language television channel, S4C.

Dr Evans was clearly delighted with the presentation and said it was a "tremendous honour" and something "quite unusual" to take place at the Eisteddfod.

The day saw a special gathering of hundreds of Welsh "exiles" from round the world - and a global internet link-up for those that could not join the party.

The youth contingent at the festival are playing an increasingly important part in proceedings and the laying on of nightly bands at the Maes B field has proved a big success.

Maes B organiser Sion Tudur said it was an opportunity for young people to enjoy themselves.

Bethan Elfyn, Radio 1 DJ
Bethan Elfyn: Band showcase

The conversion of a disused factory at Maes B attracted the Radio 1 show and DJs Bethan Elfyn and Huw Stephens, broadcasting to a UK audience.

They are using the opportunity of showcasing new Welsh bands such as Tystion and giving them a wider audience.

Earlier in the week, the Music Prize was won by teacher John Mark Davies from the Aman Valley, who is the son of Revd Gareth Davies.

He attended the University of Wales at Bangor where he graduated in music.

He was head of music in a number of schools in Wales and abroad.

In September he will be moving with his family to Geneva in Switzerland.

First-time winner

This was the first time Mr Davies, who is a member of the folk group Ogam, had competed in the eisteddfod.

In the awards ceremony, part of the winning composition was performed by the Cantorion Teifi choir.

The two adjudicators were Dr Lyn Davies and Eirian Owen.

It was the second main ceremony of the week-long festival, which is being held on a site at Llanelli's Millennium Coastal Park.

On Monday, former BBC Wales journalist Dylan Iorwerth, now managing editor of the magazine Golwg, won the eisteddfod crown for a collection of poems.

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08 Aug 00 | Wales
Call for new language movement
08 Aug 00 | Wales
National Eisteddfod
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