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Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Old postcard found in New Zealand creates Eisteddfod mystery


* The girl in the postcard discovered in New Zealand.

A 1950s postcard found by a Llangollen man in a vintage shop 11,000 miles away in New Zealand has revived memories of the early days of the town’s International Musical Eisteddfod.

Darren Preston, who owns Books Llangollen in Castle Street, has been on holiday over there and spotted the postcard while browsing at the store in the town of Murchison on the country’s South Island. 

The sharp black and white image shows a young lady, in traditional Welsh costume of high hat and apron, posing for the camera on what looks like the original eisteddfod field with a row of tents in the background. 

* Film footage showing girls wearing similar badges.

And now Darren, who previously owned Maxine's cafe in the building below his current bookshop from 1991, would love to try and find out who she is.

He said “I got it from a shop named Dust & Rust. The guy there said it came in with some old postcards.

“The back of the photo could say ‘July 1951’ but it was written in 1952.

“It also looks like someone in Christchurch was going to do some research on it.”

Doing research of his own Darren has been looking at an online copy of a famous British Pathe News cine film showing the 1952 eisteddfod.

* Darren Preston who discovered the old postcard.

He believes that the badge being worn by the girl in the photo is the same as ones as those seen on the capes of three other girls in one of the sequences.   

Karen Price, an eisteddfod board trustee, has seen a copy of the picture Darren discovered and reckons a rare memento of the eisteddfod’s early days has come to light.

She said: “It’s a great find on the part of Darren and it’s incredible that someone from Llangollen has found it all the way over on the other side of the world.

* The Dust & Rust vintage shop in Murchison, New Zealand.

“It also shows the truly international reach the festival has had over so many years.

“Like Darren we’d be fascinated to discover who the young lady is and, if we can locate her, we’d be delighted to welcome her back to next year’s eisteddfod.”  

* If you have any idea on who the mystery girl might be, please call: 01978 862000.

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