Unveiling Speeches

Below are the speeches given by Anne-Marie Bollen, Cerflun Cranogwen Community Monument project leader, at the Gwersyll Llangrannog and at the statue unveiling at the village Garden, 10 June 2023.

Garden speech

Cranogwen, the people of this village remember your pioneering achievements with gratitude. Some here today are your descendants.

Seb Boyesen, our gifted local sculptor, has created a moving statue linked directly to this natural place. Keziah Fergusson, a Coleg Sir Graduate, has been a valued and dedicated mentee.

Seven local women drove this project forward with our steers MWW Helen Molyneux, Lywydd Elin Jones, Professor Jane Aaron and Emma Price. There were 3 parts to our community project: the statue, the garden and the unveiling. The women’s equality theme we have championed still needs driving forward with courage.

Previous generations must be respected as alongside local historians like Jon MO;  they kept Cranogwen’s memories alive by sharing stories: Huw Dafis arriving on his donkey enabling Cranogwen to have an education and then teach girls. Young men climbing a ladder into the loft to study and become Cranogwen’s Captains. Her devotion to Fan her dog. She taught navigation using the stars and trees she planted. She took a ventriloquist doll to school for fun. The stories are endless and deserve a film….

This community joined forces and placed a small postcard of Cranogwen in their windows. This action brought her back into our minds and hearts. Visitors started asking about her. We got to know each other better. So many people donated on our fundraising platform and in our yellow buckets.

Successful events kept the momentum. Meinir Mathias artwork. The Talon and Mewn Cymeriad’s ‘in character’ shows delighted our packed audiences at Pontgarreg Hall. Aberration and the panel at the Eisteddfod. Back garden music and drag gigs. Cranogwen pizzas. Biography Book Launch in the Beach Hut, the Tallship Klevia sailing experience, and Canfas Gallery art exhibition. As well as todays’ diverse and creative unveiling procession produced and directed by Carys and Jill.

Gail [Robinson] and Seb designed the garden, Neal and Dan [Teifi Landscaping] landscaped. Helena [Boyesen] was the unstoppable garden project manager. She coordinated the local volunteers and grave restoration groups with Mari and Enfys. Kat did all our project admin. Jess [Brookes] donated the plants, Debbie [Mossman] the water and electric.

Hopefully we have inspired other small communities to work together. Importantly a lot of themes Cranogwen felt so passionately about are still apparent. Cranogwen was a woman who loved two women in particular, Fanny and Jane. Some still find this difficult to talk about openly. Women are still in refuges and families still struggle with alcohol misuse. She heard the voices of the poor and some in our communities are struggling with poverty and using food banks.

Young people of Llangrannog, like Cranogwen each one of you are precious and so full of fresh ideas. Remember you can all be courageous like Cranogwen.

Gwersyll yr Urdd Llangrannog reception speech

Cerflun Cymunedol Cranogwen Community Monument project team alongside Pwllgor Lles Llangrannog Welfare Committee and our community thank you, our partners and supporters, for enabling this successful campaign. Helen Molyneux and Monumental Welsh Women are leading this equality movement in a triumphant way. Lywydd Elin Jones and Professor Jane Aaron have steered this Cranogwen ship.

Through Covid and the cost-of-living crisis our bilingual all-female project team of seven and this small coastal community have been inspirational.

The project was in three parts: the statue, the garden and the unveiling ceremony. The statue was straight forward to facilitate once we were given permission to appoint our friend and neighbour Seb Boyesen, who has lived and worked in this village for 30 years. We thought Cranogwen would approve of using a local person and skilling up Keziah Fergusson, a talented Coleg Sir Graduate as a mentee.

We seemed to push a lot of open doors with many supporters demonstrating their desire to raise a statue of our pioneering heroine.

After a UK-wide search Helena sourced a light-coloured costume from the Welsh National Opera. We spent windy days on rocks on the beach developing ideas. We connected Cranogwen to the elements and the geology of her beloved Llangrannog. I experienced the discomfort of wearing heavy corseted costume in the wind. Helena was the driving force behind my posing and also provided the much more suitable hard-working hands to complete the statue.

Gail Robinson helped Seb design the garden. Helena deserves a medal for being the forewoman and sorting the supportive Council Capital Grant with Kat for this part of the project. It was overwhelming at times as materials and fuel costs have risen so much since our initial quotes. Neal and Dan did a great job of the landscaping.

Carys secured Arts Council Funding so she and Jill could produce and direct today’s diverse and creative unveiling events. Carys also coordinated all the media coverage with Cerith from MWW. Mari and Enfys have helped with many aspects including translation and involving the school and local community groups.

This community was blissfully quiet in the early months of Covid lockdown. It emphasised how few people live here and how many houses were empty. In fact, we counted 24 people living in the lower village. Helena and I worked with the Welfare Committee generating a contacts list so that we could involve our second home owners, holidaymakers and visitors in our community activities. This project has tried to address some of the divides and bridge some of the gaps.

Representatives of those groups are here today, evidencing that this method worked.

Cranogwen has got us all talking to each other and helped move the community forward by remembering the past.

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