TWELVE initiates will be honoured with Cornish bardship next month, joining the 500 or so existing members.

Gorsedh Kernow, now in its 90th anniversary year, was established with the aim of celebrating and promoting Cornwall’s distinctive Celtic culture and the historic mining town of St Just in Penwith provides the setting for this year’s Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival, which includes the iconic blue robed bardic ceremony on Saturday, September 7.

The high point of the ceremony, which starts at 2pm at the world famous Plen an Gwari, will be the inauguration of 11 of the 12 new bards in recognition of their outstanding work in serving Cornwall and her distinctive Celtic identity.

Among them will be Helston's Paul Phillips, who will be recognised for being an outstanding promoter of the Cornish dialect.

Owing to exceptional circumstances and failing health, another of the new initiates, Rev Julyan Drew, was initiated into the bardic circle in June at a special ceremony surrounded by his family and held in his home in Newlyn.

“Being awarded a bardship is a great honour,” said Grand Bard of Cornwall Elizabeth Carne, Melennek “especially as the ceremony is conducted in front of gathered members of the College of Bards, alongside representatives of our sister Celtic nations of Wales and Brittany, other Cornish organisations and friends and families that support Gorsedh Kernow and come together on this special occasion to celebrate our precious Cornish culture.”

The importance of work done to promote Cornwall’s history, community arts and Cornish identity features strongly in this year’s group of candidates.

The new bards for 2019 are:

Mary Ann Bloomfield, Botallack, for promoting the Cornish element in community arts

Richard Cawley, St Mawgan, for services to Cornish wrestling.

Greg Drew, South Australia, for promoting the knowledge of mining technology and his commitment in the Cornish Diaspora.

Rev Julyan Drew, Newlyn for a lifetime’s promotion of Cornwall in everything he does.

Rosie Fierek, Gunnislake, for promoting the Cornish element in community arts.

Ronald Hogg, Newlyn, for research and promotion of local history in Newlyn.

Michael Jenkin, Bodmin, for promoting Cornish identity at home and overseas.

Kate Neale, Porthcothan, for promoting the revival of Cornish music in Cornwall and the Diaspora.

Paul Phillips, Helston, for being an outstanding promoter of the Cornish dialect.

Gwenno Saunders, Cardiff, for services to the Cornish language through music and the media.

Colin Short, St Austell, by examination in the Cornish language and continuing service to Cornwall.

Kathy Wallis, Rillaton, for being an enthusiastic promoter of Cornish folk arts.

For more information about all the festival's events, visit