Welsh Learners Festival - Aberystwyth, Llanberis, St Fagins and Swansea

There’ll be lots of opportunities for Welsh learners to use and enjoy the language at this one-day festival - from guided tours and a one-man show with award winning actor, Llion Williams, to a treasure hunt and activities for children.
Welsh language taster sessions will also be held.
A warm welcome for everyone.

*** Free admission by ticket. ***

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales, Ceredigion on Saturday 22 April 2017
Doors Open at 10:00AM
From 10:30AM to 4:00PM
Ticket Price: £0.00
Box Office: (01970) 632 548

I know there are similar events happening one the same day in Cardiff and North Wales - but I haven’t been able to find much about them.


correction to the above: There is also an additional event in Swansea.

@robbruce I know. I only heard of the event from a friend in town rather than a website/news outlet etc :frowning:

Welsh Learners Festival is taking place on 22.4.2017 at the following locations

St Fagans National History Museum
National Waterfront Museum, Swansea
National Slate Museum, Llanberis
National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

Events include -

Guided tours
Craft Workshops
and much more according to the advert


Here is a bit more info on this event from the NLW newsletter I’ve just received:

New festival for Welsh learners at the National Library of Wales

Welsh learners in the Aberystwyth area will have the opportunity to practise and enjoy speaking the language in a new festival, ‘Ar Lafar’, held at The National Library of Wales on 22 April.

There will be a variety of activities suitable for learners at all levels on offer, including guided tours, workshops, a treasure hunt and one-man-show with the actor Llion Williams. Welsh language taster sessions will also be available to visitors who would like to learn some Welsh.

The aim of this free festival is to give learners and their families an opportunity to socialise and use their Welsh in an informal, relaxed setting, while at the same time enjoying the treasures on display at the National Library.

The festival will be held between 10.30am-3.30pm and visitors are asked to book beforehand

This free one-day festival is the result of a new partnership between the National Centre for Learning Welsh, the National Museum and the National Library of Wales.

‘Ar Lafar’ will also be held at three other sites across Wales: St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff, the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea and National Slate Museum in Llanberis.

Linda Tomos, Chief Executive and Librarian, The National Library of Wales said:
"It is a great pleasure to welcome the Ar Lafar festival to the National Library of Wales. This new and exciting partnership will encourage the Welsh language to flourish by offering informal opportunities for people to chat through the medium of Welsh, and by using our rich culture and heritage as a way of inspiring interest in the language.

“As an organisation, we are always eager to encourage and support both learners and fluent Welsh speakers, and hope that events like these will give people the confidence to use the language comfortably in public places such as the Library."

Efa Gruffudd Jones, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh, said:

“When learning Welsh, it’s vital to have the opportunity to practise the language in an informal setting outside the classroom. We also know a large number of people learn the language because of a sense of identity or roots.

“This festival combines those elements perfectly, giving people the opportunity to enjoy practising Welsh while at the same time learning more about Wales’ rich history.”

For more information contact Hawys Roberts on hawys.roberts@dysgucymraeg.cymru or 07812757716

Editor’s notes:
• The National Centre for Learning Welsh is a new organisation responsible for the Welsh for Adults education programme.
• It’s possible to reserve free tickets for the Ar Lafar festival at the National Library of Wales via the following link: www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EKJJHI

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And the Llanberis event details (not very detailed, but gives an idea);

And if you see someone looking slightly flustered with 5 young children hovering, come and say hello to me! (using the secret SSiW handshake of course! :wink:)


It looks good doesn’t it @Richmountart . Unfortunately I can’t get that day off work or I could have met you there for a sgwrs


I was lucky enough to attend an acting workshop with Llion Williams once and it was an amazing experience. He is really lovely and very easy to get on with. It would be worth going to the festival for the one-man-show!


Happening next weekend… got to be worth a visit if you can make it!

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Is anyone else going to St Fagans? I was there yesterday and asked about it- sounds like there are lots of things going on, demos, cooking etc.

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Yes, we are planning on going. Every little bit helps as they say.


Interesting times at the Saint Fagans day yesterday. We got to sit in the benches at the school room and hear how attendance linked teacher pay meant teachers spent part of their morning touring the local area for delinquent pupils to haul into class.

I also learnt that the “Welsh not” was more fiendishly clever than a sign of shame hung around the neck, instead being used to encourage pupils to tattle on their classmates for speaking Welsh, since the last person caught speaking Welsh at the end of the day was soundly thrashed. Think musical chairs, but with menaces.

The volunteer in the festival building I spoke to at two o’clock said they must have had around 300 people come check out the building by that point.

There was a full programme of events, including site tours, tours of the new Saint Fagans building, and various activities such as an iron age workshop and Welsh language taster lessons.

Unfortunately, I didn’t experience much in the way of a festival “feel”, such as you might get at the learner’s tent at the Eisteddfod. Once away from the main festival stand we were right back into the mostly English world of families enjoying the museum. Hopefully the turnout means next year’s festival will be bigger.


I didn’t get on with the Aber event if I’m being honest. It wasn’t really made clear that the event was something you needed to be there at the start for (the whole day was timetabled)

I had been led to believe it was going to be more of a fayre/drop in kind of event so when I arrived at 11.30 everyone was in the middle of a scheduled treasure hunt and there was no ‘central point’

Was hoping to see loads of stalls, break off areas, people selling stuff etc etc but probably my fault for not researching enough


I had the same impression as you! There didn’t seem much info available other than “there’s a festival this day, come along”


If anyone else has any feedback on the Llanberis, Swansea or St Fagans events, could they PM me? I wasn’t involved in setting up or running the events, but work with the organisers. Anything that helps us keep the best bits from this year and do better next year would be appreciated.


I also went to the Aberystwyth one. I also expected more publicity and information prior to the event, and a more festival appearance. Luckily I arrived at 10.30 and was surprised that it was so regimented. I was lucky that I met two people straight off, one I had known previously and another I met last year in the Sylfaen exam. I think I would have struggled if I’d been a beginner. I really did enjoy the experience of only speaking Welsh all day. The ‘taster’ session wasn’t what I expected at all. Llion Williams was good even if we did get dragged out of our seats to take part! I was Mari Waedlyd by the way!


I agree.

Like I said, I walked in at about 11.30 and was told that a treasure hunt was happening and I should go upstairs to the Council Room where something else will be starting in about 20 minutes.

I went up there, to find no-one there - and we ended up leaving and going home about 2 minutes later.

If the same format is going to be used next year, maybe taking the word ‘Festival’ out and changing it to something like “Activity Day” and maybe really really impress on people that you do need to be there at the start of the day to gain anything from the day?

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I went to the St Fagans day. I only heard about it the night before, purely by chance. As others have commented it was quite structured so not what I was expecting. The people who were running the activities and ‘meet and greet’ were great though. Very patient and welcoming. I’m on SSiW 1:12, so it was quite a challenge. The attendees were lovely as well, keen to help. I tried to avoid them getting stuck with me, particularly a lovely lady who was a Welsh teacher and another who had been learning for 11years! I enjoyed it but couldn’t stay for the full 5 hours. Perhaps a central ‘tea and chat’ area would be a good idea, for folk to drop by and practice would work well in future events.


Apparently there was one of these in Caernarfon on Saturday?

We didn’t know anything about it - just met someone today who had expected to see us there…!

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