Wednesday, 17 October 2018

A SWANSEA DEBTOR

 Debra John - 'A Swansea Debtor'


Dressed in period costume, storyteller and actress, Debra John, enthralled our society members as she performed a poignant monologue entitled 'A Swansea Debtor.'

The story was based upon her research into the harrowing conditions in Swansea Debtors' Prison in the 1850s, then located in the tower of Swansea Castle.

Debra portrayed a Victorian lady, who described the circumstances of her husband's death, her consequential financial ruin and the harsh, uncompromising regimen within the prison. To quote an example - prisoners had to provide their own food,clothing and furniture otherwise the basic essentials of life were only available from the gaoler, often at exorbitant costs! This of course resulted in further debt. Should a debtor have no relatives to provide for him, or her, then the bleak outcome was death!

It's a sobering thought that such appalling penal conditions existed not so very long ago.








Wednesday, 1 August 2018

THE ROYAL MINT TRIP


This year's annual trip took us to The Royal Mint at Llantrisant, and what a fascinating experience it turned out to be! 1,100 years of history in coins. Initially, mints were not large factories but more like blacksmith's shops, often operated by a part-time moneyer who travelled from town to town to meet local demand for coins.

For nearly half its existence The Royal Mint was located inside the Tower of London until it moved to nearby Tower Hill in 1810. Although housed today in a modern factory at Llantrisant, specialist skills and expert knowledge has been passed down by staff over hundreds of years. The action of striking a blank disc with a 'heads and tails' by means of a single blow from a hammer still forms the basis of what is done at The Royal Mint today.

Still on show today, an Alfred the Great Penny c.880AD, inscribed with the name 'LVNDONIA' represents the start of The Royal Mint's long history. A Sovereign, struck on 10 November 1975 was the very last coin to be made by The Royal Mint in London. Today, The Royal Mint is the world's leading export mint, striking coins for as many as 60 different countries around the world. 'From Wales to the World'.


Following the fascinating experience at The Royal Mint we repaired to another experience - Spanish style cuisine at the 'Braseria El Prado',  Laleston. OlĂ©.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

THE BRONTES

On 15th May 2018, we were privileged to receive an illustrated address from the Rev. Richard Walker on the history of the Bronte family. In an erudite, educative and entertaining talk, Mr. Walker enlightened us on the fascinating history of this famous family. As a member of the Bronte Society, he showed the true breadth and depth of his knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, these one-time inhabitants of Haworth Parsonage, West Yorkshire.

 
Rev. Richard Walker - 'The Brontes'
  
The three most famous family members, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, proved themselves to be, at one and the same time, women of, and women ahead of, their time. The authors of 'Wuthering Heights', 'Jane Eyre' and 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall', drew on their colourful and tragic upbringing, as well as their literary skills, to write some of the English language's most influential tomes.

Mr. Walker left us in no doubt of their importance and contemporary relevance, and of the pleasure to be had from reading their work. 





 

Monday, 4 June 2018

VICTORIAN COSTUMES








17 April 2018

Mr.&Mrs. John Blyth entertained us with a talk and demonstration of Victorian costumes and accessories. Considering how we dress today, it is remarkable how they could wear such voluminous and heavy duty clothing in those times.

LLANELLY & REBECCA


19th September 2017
Lyn John of  Llanelli Community Heritage gave us an in depth account of the Rebecca Rioters' actions in Llanelli and the surrounding district. Of particular and important interest was their involvement in Five Roads at their meeting and rallying points in the 'Stag and Pheasant' and 'Farmers' inns. Another local inn, 'The Plough and Harrow' witnessed the capture of one of their ringleaders.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

RIVER TAWE TRIP

A pictorial record of our trip on the River Tawe aboard the 'Copper Jack', exploring the industrial history of Swansea,  which  earned the nickname of "Copperopolis" for its importance as the world capital of the copper industry during the 19th century.



Following an initial visit to the Waterside Maritime Museum, we repaired to another "cultural" establishment, the "Queens Hotel".
Fabulous beef and ale pie.



 Still standing and getting ready to board the "Copper Jack".








Safely aboard and ready for embarkation. Note Elfryn, our Landlord of the "Stag Inn", immediately testing the liquid refreshments on board. More on Elfryn in the next picture.









Outward bound and safely out of harbour.  To the left you will see "the wall that Elfryn built". It was during his time as an engineer with Swansea City Council. Was it a one-handed job with a glass in the other! Must have been a navvy on the canals in his previous life.


This is Roger, our host and guide for the trip.
A font of knowledge and not a note in sight. Remarkable memory.


















These two chimney stacks are all that's left of the many that stood during the heyday of "Copperopolis".










The end of the outward journey. In the distance is the Liberty Stadium, home of the legendary Swansea AFC. Following a heart stopping end to the season , the "Swans" staged a heroic performance to secure their first division status.
FLY HIGH SWANS.
A THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE DAY OUT.












 












Friday, 21 April 2017

FAMILY HISTORY


At our meeting on the 18th April, we were given a talk by Christine Davies of the Dyfed Family History Society who entertained us with her own family history, together with a detailed explanation of how she researched and gathered all the necessary information. If any member wishes to research their own family history, contact Christine who will be pleased to help.

Should any members have any interesting tales, photographs, and articles from their family history, especially relating to a community, heritage or historical value please let us know. We would love to hear from you.