THE community of Cenarth celebrated the centenary of ‘Reluctant Redhead’ poet Eluned Phillips on Monday, October 27.

The Community Council officially opened the memorial garden in the village, dedicated to Eluned on the 100th anniversary of her birth, and unveiled a stone in her memory alongside an information board.

The event saw the culmination of five years of work to celebrate the life and work of the local poet, whose centenary fell on the same day as Dylan Thomas.

Well known and respected, both locally and internationally, Eluned was an inspiring character who gathered friends and admiration wherever she travelled.

She was the only woman to have won the Crown at two National Eisteddfods, 1967 and 1983, and was admired as a wonderful storyteller and raconteur.

Her stories are legendary, some of which are included in her 2007 memoir “The Reluctant Redhead”.

Her association with the bohemian lifestyle of the early part of the 20th century is well recorded, as she rubbed shoulders with such luminaries as Augustus John, Jean Cocteau, Maurice Chevalier, Pablo Picasso and Edith Piaf, with whom she formed a friendship which lasted over the years.

As a vice President of the South Wales Male Choir, she travelled the world and was dubbed Wales' best unofficial ambassador. The choir formed the focal point of a 2012 concert held at Rhosygilwen to mark Eluned's contribution to Welsh culture. Proceeds were distributed locally to part fund a sensory garden at the primary school in Cenarth and provide four Welsh oak stools.

Eluned died in January 2009. At the time of her death she was the oldest member of the Gorsedd of Bards.