Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod

The Penddol Site


Despite adding a new wing to the marquee in 1953, the festival was growing each year and by 1958 the Ground was getting dangerously full so the organisers started to look for a new site. At this time my father, who farmed our old home, was not having good health and neither my brother Eric nor I wanted to take up farming. Father was approached to sell part of Penddol, a deal was made and about 26 acres with farm buildings was sold for around £7500.


Work started on the new site, roadways were made, drains were laid and electricity, gas and water services were installed. The ground was raised at the back and sides to six feet above the level of the stage so improve audience viewing; tons of slate shale from the Old Horseshoe Pass quarries were used. The new cross-shaped tent was created, wooden collapsible seats with canvas backs were used but life was a luxury – flush toilets, permanent roadways and gas cooking to replace the old coal fired boilers. – Frank Jones, Grounds Committee


All Hands on Deck (1974)

“A very severe storm broke over the Dee Valley and the entire marquee, covering 10,000 chairs, was brought down to the ground. This was the situation at six o’clock on the very eve of the Festival. In less than an hour scores of Llangollen schoolboys went under the low canvas to retrieve all the chairs and bring them to the open field, and
the tent owners brought their sewing machines to sew the tattered canvas. The B.B.C. very kindly lent their searchlights, and throughout the night work went on laboriously to mend the damaged marquee
and to have it re-erected. This work proceeded until late afternoon the following day, but by 7.30 that evening all was well and 10,000 people sat comfortably to enjoy a ballet concert. That gives you the spirit of these people behind the Festival.” Lord Maelor Hansard, House of Lords 1974

Reproduced from the book ‘Fifty Glorious Weeks 1947 – 1996’
ISBN 0 9528296 06 – Compiler and Art Editor Robert B. Attenburrow M.B.E
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