The businessman, artist and 'father of Mr Urdd', Wynne Melville Jones (Wyn Mel) will be the ‘Tywysydd’ (Guide) for the annual Aberystwyth St David's Parade.

The annual parade, which will be held on Saturday, 4 March, recognises Wyn’s contribution to the Urdd movement nationally and especially for his contribution locally as a businessman and promoter of the Welsh language.

After working for the Urdd (where, among other work, he designed the original Mr Urdd character in the 1970s), Wyn founded the public relations company Strata Matrix and ran Deli Cymru on North Parade.

He was Chairman of the Urdd and is now Honorary President. Wyn is originally from Tregaron, but now lives in Llanfihangel-gennau'r-glyn (Llandre) and is a highly respected artist.

The privilege of 'Tywysydd' has been given in every St David's parade since its establishment in 2013 and they lead the Parade through the town of Aberystwyth. It is a sign of the Aberystwyth community's thanks and appreciation to a local person or persons who have made an important contribution to the language and culture of Wales.

After working with the Urdd, Wyn founded Strata (later Strata Matrix) in 1979. It had offices in Aberystwyth and Cardiff and was the first bilingual public relations company and operated for 30 years.

Wyn was also active for the Welsh language as he was one of the founders of Golwg magazine, the papur bro paper, 'Y Tincer', and he campaigned for over ten years to gain status for Llandre's original name, Llanfihangel Genau'r Glyn, as an official name. He was also central in establishing Banc Bro in the community as a resource to be able to raise money and pull the community together. A public poetry trail - Llwybr Llen Llanfihangel Genau'r Glyn (Poetry Path in English) has been developed in a woodland of his property to glorify the local poetic tradition.

As a former Art student Wyn returned to his keen interest in fine art and after retiring he took up the paint brush again after a gap of forty years. He was very productive and produced 450 original drawings and his work can be seen across Wales in homes and art galleries. His work has travelled further and his picture of Soar-y-Mynydd chapel is owned by former US President Jimmy Carter and his picture of Elvis Rock, Eisteddfa Gurig in Gracelands Tennessee, the former home of the King of Rock and Roll, which now a museum and dictionary to remember Elvis

Siôn Jobbins, Chair of the Parade, said: "We are extremely proud that Wyn Mel has accepted our application to be Tywysydd at this year’s parade.

"His contribution in promoting contemporary Welshness whether in creating Mr Urdd character beloved by children across Wales, or his work in establishing and running the Strata Matrix business and now as artists is extraordinary.

"The establishment of Strata Matrix showed that it is possible to establish contemporary businesses here in Aberystwyth and that with the Welsh language at the centre - that the Welsh language was not a language for one type of business.

"He has worked over decades to employ people and to promote Wales and Welshness."

Wyn said: "The invitation to lead the parade through the streets of Aberystwyth is a great honour for me and I feel very humbled to think that I am in the line of giants and pioneers who have led the event since 2013 - people of substance , of special abilities and talents and people who have kept the flame alive

"Aberystwyth is very significant from the point of view of the Welsh Language and Welshness.

"This is the town of the first Welsh medium school, the town of famous Pont Trefechan Protest of 1963 for official status for the Welsh language, a town of culture and the home of so many key organizations and movements of our nation and there is significant Welsh employment in the town and the area.

"The parade is a happy and fun occasion and an opportunity to celebrate St David's and an opportunity for all of us to come together to keep noise and to praise our Welshness on the highways and fields and to share our pride in our nationality with all the people of the town

"We walk forward together - come with us"

Parade Route:

The 2023 Parade will be held on Saturday 4 March 2023. It will start from the Town Clock to the bottom of Great Darkgate Street, then turn left at the corner of Barclays Bank towards Terrace Rd and straight towards Lys-y-Brenin. The top of the parts of Bath Street and Terrace Rd that border Llys y Brenin will be closed to vehicles for the duration of the Ceremony.

Previous Tywyswyr:

Wyn Mel follows in the footsteps of: Robat and Enid Gruffudd (2022), Meirion Appleton (2020), Dilys Mildon (2019), owner of the famous Gannet's restaurant; author, publisher and activist, Ned Thomas (2018); entertainer and fundraiser Glan Davies (2017); the artist Mary Lloyd-Jones (2016); author and former headteacher Gerald Morgan (2015); the founders of the Siop y Pethe business, Megan and Gwilym Tudur (2014) and the musician, writer and television producer, Dr Meredydd Evans (2013). As a Tywysydd Wyn will wear a beautiful sash made exclusively for the Parade by Caroline Goodband from Machynlleth and which includes the names of former guides. Following the tradition from the Basque Country, Wyn will also receive a gift of a walking stick carved by the late Hywel Evans formerly of Capel Dewi.