Stations of the Albion

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Stations of the Albion: Community Performance

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A week of events commemorating the bicentenary of the sailing of the Albion to New Brunswick came to a conclusion on Easter Monday 2019 with the promenade performance Gorsafoedd yr Albion/Stations of the Albion.  The event was directed by Rowan O'Neill in collaboration with a cast of community players and told the story of the ship and its voyage through various voices including the ship's owner, Captain Tom Davies, the Jones family, a poor farming family from Trelech who made the momentous decision to travel to the new world, the preacher Eben Morris who gave spiritual succour as they waited to board, Captain Llywelyn devout master of a pious ship, the interior of which was recreated in the coal-yard at Fforest and the wayward surveyor Captain Antony Lockwood who welcomed the emigrants as they arrived at St Johns.  The performance culminated with the founding of Cardigan settlement on the quay where the audience were asked to join the family as they crossed the river St John or, as it is known to the first nation people of that land the Wolastoq, to form a human chain spanning the bridge, linking the past to the present whilst the Teifi flowed sweetly below.  As the light faded the choir sang the hymn Bydd Melys Lanio/ T'will be sweet to land as a solitary Teifi skiff rowed out towards the estuary carrying the family's grandmother holding a glowing ember from the homestead she had left behind and guiding her to her new home.

The full cast and crew were as follows:

Y Band ar y Cei/The Band on the Quay - Radwm (Delyth Wyn Jones a Helen Blackburn)

Captain Thomas Davies - Glen Johnson

Y Teulu Jones, Bryndu, Trelech, Travellers to New Brunswick

Megan Jones, Mamgu - Sandra Rose Thomas 

Morgan Jones (Y Graig), Tadcu - Richard Oernant

Martha their daughter - Helen Groth

Rebecca their granddaughter – Shylar 

Mair their other daughter - Deri Morgan

Dafydd her husband, a carpenter - Steffan Morgan

The Accordian Man - Robbie Smith

The Minister Eben Morris - Geraint Volk 

Captain Llywelyn - Jonathan Rees 

Captain Anthony Lockwood RN - Bill Hamblett

Stena Line Safety Officer – Rhowan Alleyne

‘Cyfaill’ - Rowan O'Neill 

'Bydd Melys Lanio' was sung to the tune Dolwyddelan by Côr y Cynhaeaf and Côr Clwb Rygbi Aberteifi led by Terence Lloyd and Rhian Medi Jones.

The Skiff 'Y Dwrgi' was rowed by Caroline Jenkins and Emma Williams, members of St Dogmaels Rowing Club and coxed by Richard James.

The Ship's interior was created by students from Coleg Ceredigion led by their tutor Ben James with significant input from Nick Newland. The wood was donated by Quentin's sawmills.

The Cabin was dressed by Sian Tucker, Jackson Tucker Lynch and James Lynch of Fforest who also created the art work for the exhibition panels with thanks to the National Library of Wales for the digital scan of the ballad and the National Museum of Wales for use of images from the Tom Mathias photographic collection.

The panels were printed by E. L. Jones and the Ballad was translated into English by Richard Oernant.

Thanks to Sam Vicary for marketing assistance and Jacob Whittaker for photography.

Thanks also to Colin Thomas and his Great Grandfather Herbert Thomas, Captain of the Triton for providing a song of inspiration for the project.

To Cymdeithas Aberteifi Society and Ann F Stokoe for organising a programme of Albion related talks and events and for making a place in their programme for this performance.

To Kathleen Martin for bringing the bicentenary to our attention and for her passion and persistence in ensuring that the Albion, its crew and passengers are remembered in this community.

And to the late Dr Peter Thomas of the University of New Brunswick whose book Strangers from a Secret Land has introduced many a new pilgrim to this affecting episode of Cardigan's history through the past weeks and months.

Diwedd y gân/The end of the song"

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