In 75 years the Llangollen Eisteddfod has attracted competitors representing 140 cultural strains from all over the world. For a week they can assert their own cultural identity and waved their own flags: as a nation, from USSR to Samoa or the Tuva Republic; a region, like Sardinia, the French Basque country, Hawaii or the Isle of Man; even an aspiration, like Kurdistan. Groups of expatriates have always been welcomed by the Eisteddfod. England is the country which has supplied the most choirs and dance parties.
More than 400,000 individual competitors have sung and danced on the stage, around the field, and in the town. They’ve excited us with their performances and charmed us with appreciation of the beauty of the Dee Valley. Many brought gifts, which survive in the Archive: plates, plaques and pennants have been the most popular. The most unusual was a loaf of bread weighing 20 kg (32 lb, over 2 stone) from a Dutch group in 1953; it hasn’t survived, and there is no record of who ate it.
We share with you here a selection of the photographs of the competitors who have visited Llangollen. There are thousands of them in the archive. One of our aims is to digitise them in coming years and make them available to the world through this website. As you look through them, it will become obvious why this is a task we will relish.
On the Stage
Around town and in the parade
Around the Field