Llangollen Eisteddfod stalwart Gethin Davies steps down after 64 years – Daily …

The only two-time chairman of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod steps down this week ending a 64-year association with the event.

Gethin Davies began as a 12-year-old programme seller in 1951 and has also been an usher and festival secretary as well as chairman from 1992 to 2003 and from 2013 to this year.

His wife, Eulanwy, has also served as Musical Director of the Eisteddfod which began back in 1947.

Retired solicitor Gethin, 76, said: “My three-year term ends this year and I’m not seeking re-election and I’m moving out of the way after 45 years on the board.”

He was born in Porthcawl but moved to Llangollen when his father became head of Llangollen’s secondary modern school.

In later years he saw artists like the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin, the Bulgarian bass Boris Christov and an artist billed as ‘A Mexican Tenor’ who turned out to be a young Placido Domingo.

Until 1992 when the Queen opened the new Royal International Pavilion, the event was held in a huge marquee but the Eisteddfod, set up originally as a means of promoting peace and harmony internationally also displayed a shrewd business sense.

Gethin said: “In 1958 they bought the fields where the event is held today for £12,000 which was a large sum but it’s turned out to be a very good piece of business.

“They leased part of it to the old Denbighshire Council with the proviso it be available for the Eisteddfod. We raised £500,000 and the Council successfully applied for £3 million of European money which paid for the Royal International Pavilion.

“The construction was running rather slowly but when the builders found out that the Queen was coming to open it they really got a move on.

“It’s a wonderful auditorium for competitions and concerts and it still retains that feeling that you’re virtually in a canvas marquee which is unique to the Eisteddfod.”

Gethin’s first term as Chairman began in 1992 and he was in post for Luicano Pavarotti’s return in 1995 a and then he stepped up again in 2013 but his involvement hasn’t been confined to the backroom. He has competed as well as a member of the renowned Froncysyllte Choir for 13 years.

In retirement Gethin plans to take a break from that behind the scenes labour but he will still be a fixture at the event.

Article source: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/llangollen-eisteddfod-stalwart-gethin-davies-9632900