PROJECT LAUNCH

The Launch of the Bro Beca Project took place at Bethlehem Chapel Hall and the White Lion public house in Pwll Trap on Friday 22nd November 2002. The evening involved a re-enactment of the Ceffyl Pren and the burning of the toll gate, an incident that transpired at Pwll Trap 160 years ago almost to the day. Ray Gravell played Beca in command of an unruly mob led by Dafydd Hywel consisting of students from Trinity College Carmarthen and members of Hoelion Wyth from Efailwen.

The evening began in the Chapel hall. Mererid Hopwood introduced the Bro Beca Project, followed by entertainments provided by the children of Ieuenctid Clwb Cristnogol San Clêr and Hoelion Wyth. Ray Gravell then took centre stage as the re-enactment began. He led the audience to the garden of the White Lion. The mob passed by the toll house, especially constructed for the evening, and marched on to the gate where a pantomime in the form of a Ceffyl Pren took place. The gate was destroyed and the fragments of wood were taken to the bonfire and set light to. The action concluded with another song from Hoelion Wyth and riotous chanting from the assembled crowd.

The audience were then invited into the White Lion to enjoy the hot cawl and bread provided and to partake of ‘Blas Beca’, a beer especially brewed for the project. The evening was rounded off with folk music performed by a local folk band. The event was covered by the media including BBC Radio Cymru, Agenda for S4C’s Wedi 6 programme and was reported in the Western Telegraph, Carmarthen Journal, Tivyside Advertiser and Carmarthenshire /Pembrokeshire Life. The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all and provided an opportunity to talk to communities already involved in the project as well as those who were interested in joining. It established that events such as this would be viable in the future of the project, St Clears Bro Beca group have shown interest in making the occasion an annual event. Most of the invited guests were eager to wear the Beca costumes provided and many blackened their faces. They were representatives of local communities already involved in the project and representatives of the partners in the project. The costumes and the Toll House are now available to any community who may wish to hold a re-enactment. The launch has proved to be a great success and both ACTT and PLANED would like to thank all those who took part.